The Durham Herald Sun recently ran my piece discussing why the corporate welfare handout to Durham-based Cree, Inc. is not worth celebrating.
What the Cree ribbon-cutting ceremony actually represents is a harmful economic fallacy debunked centuries ago. Focusing exclusively on the jobs “created” by the Cree incentives deal (or the Greenfire Development deal, for that matter) only describes the readily seen effects of the incentives.
Ignored are the unseen effects.
As the 19th-century French economist Frederic Bastiat pointed out more than 150 years ago, “There is only one difference between a bad economist and a good one: the bad economist confines himself to the visible effect; the good economist takes into account both the effect that can be seen and those effects that must be foreseen.”
In order to provide sound economic analysis, the negative effects of these disruptive corporate welfare schemes must be foreseen.
What jobs must be destroyed, or never created, in order to finance the jobs “created” by the Cree and Greenfire incentive deals? It is impossible to know, but that makes them no less real.
Read the whole thing.