Are Economic Development Programs Really Beneficial?

While the title screams for a doctoral thesis on the subject, my question has more to do with the incredible cost of marketing the state of Michigan in the manner our Glorious leader has decided is appropriate.  Governor Granholm’s pet Michigan Economic Development Corporation is a perfect example of government thinking it knows best what we need, and giving us the bill for it.

I can only Imagine if Michigan had lower business taxes, a less restrictive business code, and other free market attractions such as less government and a stable market driven infrastructure how fast the state would fill with  business, jobs and wealth.  Instead, we are expected to foot the bill for a program which selectively provides tax breaks and incentives for companies who will take the quick fix or might have possibly already planned to have their businesses here.

While I realize there has been tax breaks, renaissance zones, and other incentives since modern government was invented, I still disagree with the premise that providing a select few with those carrots on a stick fixes it for all of us. It wasn’t too long ago, lefties such as Granholm were complaining about “welfare for the rich.” The answer lies outside of government handouts, rebates and other artificial incentives.

Michigan government could best provide incentives for business growth from WITHIN Michigan by lowering taxes,  reducing paperwork to be in business, and essentially getting the thumb off the back of business.  Current Michigan businesses should be REWARDED for staying, not punished and told it is for their own good. The cost of Economic Development Programs, at least in the way they are structured will continue to put the overall tax burdens on the real job makers in Michigan.

Granholm, the Michigan legislature, and policy makers need to understand basic principles of socio-business economics before taking action on our behalf.  That understanding would correct ALL of our state’s economic woes in a very short time period.  The longer we wait, the longer our population is punished, the longer it is to our eventual recovery.