In another shocking development, it turns out that corporate welfare dispenses lots of money to big corporations without bringing in many jobs.
The General Assembly”s Fiscal Research Division released a memo memo saying the movie industry’s tax incentives led to no more than 70 jobs — at the cost of than $30 million in credits in 2011, according to the Star News.
For those of you keeping score score at home, that’s at least $428,000 a job.
Wilmington is home to some of these shoots, as for Iron Man 3. The mayor sputtered that he could point to “hundreds of jobs that have been created” by film work. However, that just points out the problems with incentives.
Supporters say they can point to jobs created. But of course no one is there when jobs are “created.” The mayor and others are merely pointing to people are working. Many of those people, if they weren’t working on a movie, would be doing the same job somewhere else. For instance, the caterer serving the film crew their lunches would have drummed up business somewhere else.
Also, where is the mayor when the jobs go “poof.” For these movie jobs, obviously, don’t last. “Iron Man” cruises into town, there’s work for awhile, then the movie and the jobs are gone. Is the mayor there to wave good-bye?
And what kind of jobs? The best jobs are those that create more value and wealth over the long term. The movie jobs, not so much. North Carolinians move some equipment, etc., and that’s it. The jobs create nothing of lasting value for the NC economy.
Which jobs rake in almost all of the money? Movie stars, producers, special effects experts — people and companies in other states.
“Iron Man 3” had a budget reported to be $200 million. Apparently the hope is that it’s take can equal the $1 billion “The Avengers” raked in.
In its fiscal 2012, Disney, the studio behind “Iron Man,” made a profit of $5.7 billion.
The star, Robert Downey Jr., had a net worth reported to be $85 million. And that seems to be before cashing any “Iron Man 3” paychecks.
So they need the money more than regular working people in North Carolina, right?
As the Fiscal Research Division reports, the film jobs represent 290 to 350 fewer jobs than would have been created through an across-the-board tax cut of the same size. So a few people in Wilmington got jobs, at the expense of people all over the state.
In other words, politicians like to gas on about how they need our tax money to help other people. But those helped often seem to have already have millions or billions of their own.
The same thing goes on with the $1.3 billion that the state gives away every year in its attempt to lure businesses here. Read the Fiscal Research Division’s North Carolina Economic Development Inventory.
Think about that when the politicos blather on about how much money these bribes supposedly bring in to NC.