Commanding failure: Yet more proof
An in-depth analysis of Michigan's fumbling foray into government-directed "economic development" is must reading in Pennsylvania, which embraces the same fiscal policies -- and with the same miserable outcomes.
In what The Wall Street Journal calls "one of the largest experiments in smokestack chasing in American history," Michigan politicians over the past 14 years have provided $3.3 billion in tax credits plus another $1.6 billion to create jobs. The results in the analysis by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a free-market think tank, aren't pretty.
For every 100 jobs promised by politicians through tax credits for the favored few, only 29 materialized. Worse still, for every $1 million in manufacturing tax credits from 2001 to 2007 in a given county, 95 manufacturing jobs were lost in that county.
Two initiatives that promised to accrue half a million jobs and $440 billion in new investment by 2010 went bust in 2007 amid millions in bad loans.
And despite politicians' chorus for "jobs, jobs, jobs," the authors write, "(T)here's little evidence to show that these direct financial incentives actually have any impact on state employment levels."
Whether the same programs in Pennsylvania are called "economic development" or "WAMs" or "Susquehanna Succotash," they're a waste of precious taxpayer dollars.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.