Giving Away the Store to Get the Store

Back when I covered local government this was beyond routine: Jewel wants to build a store to make money off of (and employ a few of) our residents! Let’s give them tax breaks to come here because if we don’t, they’ll build 10 feet down the road in a town that will!

Thus ensuring that any economic development doesn’t benefit the schools or the residents, which is … the entire rationale behind encouraging economic development in the first place.

I’m seeing more pushback against this in the Amazon discussion than I ever did previously:

Critics of Amazon’s “race to the bottom” as it searches for a home for its second headquarters said on Thursday that the company’s newly released shortlist of 20 cities highlights a crisis in the U.S. economy—one exemplified by the huge incentives offered to Amazon in the bidding war among potential hosts.

When politicians talk about incentives for businesses people assume they mean giving Jane and Joe a break on their water bill while they’re opening an ice cream shop, not giving Jeff Bezos a free pass to rebuild their whole city for rich white people.

A.

One thought on “Giving Away the Store to Get the Store

  1. PSGP says:

    Nice work. And I look back at your archive and see you’ve been at this forever. That’s the internet. I’ve been blogging myself for ten years I should have come across this site before, but oh well, the waves roll a certain way a certain day and you find something that was there all along. I’ll keep visiting for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

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