Incentives equal corporate welfare, nothing else

In today’s Dayton Daily News, Business Editor Arundi Venkayya Cox has an opinion piece on the front page of the business section “Incentives help lure business to Ohio.” It’s not available on the site, nor does a search of her name return a single result.

Needless to say, that may be the paper’s way of saying that she isn’t really worthy of having her content published in the first place.

Tax incentives for business are nothing other than corporate welfare, the transfer of your tax dollars in exchange for corporate largess. If we have to rely on incentives to bring business here, it only means that everything else isn’t able to support a business. It’s an admission of being overpriced, under stocked in talent or any number of other failings.

In fact, incentives seem to be nothing other than an excuse to prop up business models that wouldn’t work without them (at least that’s what the robber barons claim as they have their hands out).

We’ve seen companies renege on incentives more than a few times, and had we spent that money on things that benefit the whole, instead of the few, I believe we might be better off.

The only incentive I’m in favor of is the “walk to work tax credit” which would encourage companies to locate close to their workers to reduce the reliance on automobiles and foreign oil. Other than that- it’s time for government to get out of the “economic development” game altogether, and focus on providing basic services and a business friendly environment on a level playing field.

It wasn’t long ago that the City of Dayton awarded $125K to one of my competitors who promised to double in size. Instead, they got the money and cut their staff in half. Not much different than what GM did to Morraine, with threats to close the plant if we didn’t subsidize their new clear-coat paint line, which now stands idle.

No, Ms. Cox, incentives are good schools, safe neighborhoods, sound infrastructure, hassle free living in a polite, cultured and happy social setting. What you are talking about is wealth redistribution, with the poor giving to the rich.

Try again with your editorial, this one didn’t fly.

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1 Response

  1. Jeff May 11, 2009 / 4:35 pm
    Not quite the same thing but you should take a look at those earmarks lists for Turner and the DDC posted at the DDN site.   Turner alone proposes around $80M of earmarks for various programs and defense contractors.

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