Corporate Welfare – Are We Being Played?

For years, the insiders have conspired to create the cronyism rampant in the Ocean State. In their zeal for headlines, does the political class ever question the value of these corporate welfare deals? Just this week, we saw the results in questions surrounding the Governor’s claims in the Wexford deal. The tone-deaf Brookings report lays the ground work by recommending that we can achieve better results if, instead of taking the arbitrary approach to 38 Studios-style corporate cronyism that has dominated Rhode Island public policy for decades, we take the same approach in a more targeted and strategic manner. Nonsense.

The lesson from 38 Studios that our state’s political leaders have obviously not yet learned is that doling out millions of dollars in corporate welfare is not a credible economic development strategy. We need to focus on organic solutions that help real Rhode Island families. Whether by politicians or their corporate friends, when there’s this much money floating around, fraudulent information will be peddled to the public, not to mention potential hidden agendas.

Are we being played? Rhode Islanders do not want more of the same special interest deals that have dragged down our economy for decades. We do not want state government controlling major industries via a complex system of socialized tax giveaways. Conversely, we need broad market-based reforms that put every family and business owner on a level and more competitive playing field, both in-state and regionally, with a better chance to improve the quality of their lives. This is the philosophical difference between a big-government and a free-enterprise approach.

Does anyone trust that an elite cabal of political cronies should centrally engineer our economy? Or do we place more trust in the great people of Rhode Island to be able to unleash their suppressed capacity in a fair and family friendly market economy, via major tax and regulatory reductions across the board? Your voice is powerful. I encourage you to speak out against the insider deals in the Ocean State. Our center trusts in the economic power of free people in a free society; sadly, our political class does not.

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