WRAL.com today has an interesting feature article examining the recent track record of North Carolina’s corporate welfare programs. Spoiler alert: the results are not pretty.
In the wake of the 2008 recession, about four of every 10 of the jobs state officials hoped to lure to North Carolina with the promise of millions in taxpayer money failed to materialize, new Commerce Department data show.
A WRAL News analysis of grants from the state’s two largest incentive programs, the Job Development Investment Grant and the One North Carolina Fund, shows that more than one-third of the companies that announced relocations and expansions failed to hire a single worker.
Of the 279 projects Perdue’s administration announced, 97 of the firms haven’t created a single job.
In her announcements, Perdue promised the creation of 43,000 jobs during her tenure. Data show that 57 percent of those jobs – about 24,700 – have been created.
No surprise here. Of course politicians and bureaucrats are not going to possess the vital localized knowledge to make accurate entrepreneurial projections.
The main objection, however, is the unfair nature of such programs that not only force taxpayers to subsidize politically-favored companies, but provide politically-manufactured competitive advantages over other companies. The arrangement of scarce productive resources become guided more by the top-down decisions of the ruling class instead of consumers. Power shifts from citizens to the state.
And this quote from Allen Freyer of the far-left NC Justice Center got me thinking:
“If any other program in state government was to only deliver six out of 10 successes, that is a program the legislature would close down.” (emphasis added)
Interesting barometer for success. In unrelated news, I’ll call Mr. Freyer’s attention to this data on NC’s public schools: less than half of all students in grades 3 through 8 are proficient in math and reading appropriate for their grade level.