Sunday, October 22, 2006

More on Corporate Welfare from "Hat's Off" Winner

Two months ago the "FromDC2Iowa Journalism Review" presented one of its first "Hat's Off" Awards to a couple of Des Moines Register reporters for a series about TIFs in the Sunday, Augus 13 Register. Nicholas Johnson, "Hat's Off to Lee Rod and Donnelle Eller," August 14, 2006.

Today (October 22) one of those reporters, Donnelle Eller, has done it again with Donnelle Eller, "Efforts to attract jobs can pop under pressure; Towns provide incentives, businesses break the deal," Des Moines Register, October 22, 2006.

It contains a number of specific case studies of failures in the effort to prop up free private enterprise with taxpayer funding.

1. Business is risky, even when it's wholly in the hands of entrepreneurs, investors, venture capitalists and loan officers.

2. There is no evidence that public officials -- with no financial stake in the enterprises -- are any better at calling winners and losers than those who do have a stake in the outcome.

3. There are some examples of dramatic taxpayer losses from investments in for-profit ventures -- even instances in which the recipients deliberately ripped off the public.

4. At best -- even if not literal violations of the constitutional protections called "equal protection" and "due process" -- giving substantial "corporate welfare" to some firms and not to others, which must compete with them wihout assistance, is by any measure an "anti-competitive" involvement in "the market" by government.

Technorati tags: , , , , .

No comments: