Let’s question a bit of common wisdom in big-government circles, shall we? This is from an article in the Worcester Telegram about Woonsocket Glass Fabricators — a Woonsocket, Rhode Island, company that Northbridge, Massachusetts, lured away from the city whose name it bears:
Small businesses are the backbone of the economy as well as communities.
That was the message conveyed on Thursday during a celebration marking Woonsocket Glass Fabricators’ new 33,000-square-foot production center and showroom at 369 Douglas Road in Whitinsville.
Founded in 1946, the company outgrew its space in Rhode Island and, after an extensive search, decided to relocate in Massachusetts, according to president and chief executive officer Chip Rogers. He said he received nothing but support from Northbridge officials and the Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce.
Massachusetts provided a $5 million taxpayer-backed bond and $375,000 in additional tax credits, which makes one wonder: What sort of “backbone” can be lured out of its body with easy money? Once again, the point of this worldview seems to be that government is the backbone of the economy and the community.
Supporters of this sort of government-picks-the-winners crony capitalism would take this story as an opportunity to say, “See, this is why Rhode Island has to be able to compete in handing out taxpayer dollars.” How Rhode Island could possibly compete with nearby states that have more people, more money, and stronger economies is never explained.
The alternative, of course, would be to reduce taxes and eliminate regulatory burdens to make the Ocean State more attractive on its own merits, without the handouts. But that wouldn’t leave as much room for politicians’ ego trips and corruption.