To the editor:
I am fascinated by the term "development community," used frequently in the Journal-World and most recently in Chad Lawhorn's article about the candidate debate sponsored by Grassroots Action. This innocuous-sounding term seems to embrace developers, builders, real estate speculators and the like. By normal journalistic ethical standards, when using such a term, the Journal-World should always disclose the interests of its own parent company, which uses the megalomaniac moniker "The World Company" to indicate its apparent ambitions, including in real estate and "development."
I believe a better and no more biased term for this "community" would be the one coined by sociologist William Domhoff in his book, "Who Rules America Now?" Domhoff uses the term "power elite" to refer to the "growth coalitions" that dominate local governments with the same sense of ownership displayed by the "corporate community" at the national level. These groups do form a kind of "community," but their interests do not correspond with those of the community as a whole.
Rather, the power elite uses political power to enhance its private profits. That the local media are monopolized by those private interests should not only raise our concern about the health of our democracy, but should also encourage us to join groups like Grassroots Action to build a counter-hegemony to the power elite.