Friday, July 27, 2007

Corporate welfare lawsuit in North Carolina

The State of North Carolina gave Google millions in taxpayer funded incentives. This is clearly unconstitutional on so many levels. Hopefully this new lawsuit will succeed where others have failed:


1. No public purpose. Private economic benefits to GOOGLE, and private political benefits to North Carolina's elected officials. Nothing here for the businesses and taxpayers of NC. Government shouldn't be in this business. It violates our constitutional principles, and violates a long tradition of separation of business and political activities. GOOGLE is being used as free political advertising for politicians, and taxpayers are being used as unwilling subsidizers of GOOGLE's stock price.

2. Equal protection. You can't single out a business for bad treatment, and tax them extra to benefit everyone else. But then you can't tax everyone else just to benefit one business.

3. These programs don't work. It's a waste of money. Few jobs are created, at enormous cost. The cost to taxpayers will be double the "salary" of the "new" workers. And, more generally, businesses don't make location decisions based on these kinds of subsidies. It's just a pure political payoff.