Sam MacDonald writes from this here blog’s Western PA bureau:

Want a lesson in small versus large? In the consequences of scale? Of local versus global? Check out these two stories in the Erie Times-News. In one instance, an aerospace company strong-armed the state into coughing up $4 million to keep its factory from moving. A lot of it will be used to clean up the mess it made at a former site.

This was of course approved by GOP governor Tom Corbett. And I don’t know. It’s 700 jobs. What do you do, particularly if a governor in some other state is also writing checks? easy for me to point to some study from the Cato Institute. That’s 700 real people and real families.

Now look at this 12-person company that’s making baseball bats out of local hardwood.

Great, great story. Talk about passion.  But this will eventually get me in trouble. That factory is about half an hour from where I live. I recognize the family names involved. Seems to me that there is no reason whatsoever that the local Little League teams should use anything other than these bats. Right? And my kids are in the mix, having just signed up for tee-ball.

You know it will never fly, though. I can almost guarantee that the other parents will object. Aluminum bats offer an advantage. What about when it’s time for the All-Star team to play teams from other towns? We’d hamstring ourselves and lose! The humanity!

So. Do I buy one for my own kids and make them to use it? It’s the right thing to do. But do I owe my kids the courtesy of not using them to grind my political axes? Or is this rationalizing, and maybe I am training them at an early age to accept a world in which gobs of tax dollars go to clean up environmental messes made by multi-billion dollar aeronautics corporations?