Thursday, July 8, 2010
What if we kept the money and invested it ourselves?
Mississippi politicians and bureaucrats continue to use taxpayer money to fund private businesses.
Gov. Haley Barbour - supposedly a conservative - sees nothing wrong with this and has continued this policy.
I’m a businessman and I’m still waiting for my government subsidy. I wonder how the politicians decide who gets the millions.
We all know about the big bucks to Nissan and Toyota. Something close to a billion dollars in taxpayer money has been given to these two multinational companies.
At the time, everybody considered car companies to be rock solid.
Little did Govs. Musgrove and Barbour know that the car industry was headed straight for its biggest downturn in 50 years. That’s why politicians don’t need to play investor.
The new $50 million state investment in a solar panel manufacturing plant in Senatobia is taking it to a whole new level. Now the state is playing venture capitalist. These are highly speculative ventures with a lot to lose. I’m not sure our politicians have the skill set to manage this kind of risk. Remember the beef plant?
I can think of better ways to gamble with a billion in taxpayer money than a handful of manufacturing plants.
How about funding a high-end hotel in every major town in the Delta to jump start its burgeoning tourism industry? The Alluvian in Greenwood has done wonders.
Or how about investing in the biofuels industry? Unlike a solar panel manufacturing plant, a biofuel homerun could change the nature of agribusiness throughout the state.
Or how about Two Lakes, which could resuscitate the Jackson tax base and transform the state’s leading city?
Or we could even use the money to stave off firing teachers and police.
Or how about we just let people keep their money and invest it themselves?
Nobody wants to admit it, but there is a correlation between our huge public deficits and willy-nilly public spending.
Bribing a few lucky companies to come to Mississippi is not a viable strategy for promoting long-term growth.
Maybe if our government was doing a perfect job with education, road maintenance and crime prevention, then I’d support its branching out into investment strategy.
Government does not create jobs. Only private industry does. Government only takes money from private citizens and uses that to artificially create jobs - all in the name of some mythical multiplier effect.
Unfortunately - as we are finding out - there is also a multiplier effect to taxation.
Funny, the development gurus don’t factor that “multiplier” into the cost-benefit equations.
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