One of the most familiar forms of cronyism is the close relationship between big business and the government. This form of corporate welfare is particularly outrageous since most of these large companies are perfectly able to compete and earn money on their own. It is unacceptable to see big companies like Apple, Caterpillar, Boeing and several other Fortune 500 listed companies getting special treatment from their friends in the government.
There is no need for federal, state, or local governments to give them any form of tax incentives, loans or subsidies. These corporations should only get rewarded in the market system when they create value for their consumers.
The following articles give us examples of this type of corporate cronyism in action today:
1. This article shows how Texas is giving $21 million to Apple to “incentivize” them to move away from California. Local governments give billions of dollars to “convince” corporations to do business in their states at local taxpayer’s cost.
‘Supporters of tax incentives will argue that this incentive package will add will add 3,600 jobs to the economy, but this is still a bad deal. First, it’s not clear if these jobs will actually be created; research consistently shows that state incentive programs fail to produce the jobs and economic activity that they promise. Second, it ignores that jobs are lost in the private sector when the government creates jobs.’
2. The following article is a clear example of how local governments are creating incentives for private companies to bring businesses to their states, but at the cost of the workers in their state. These incentives allow businesses to keep their employees income taxes, without even informing them. These types of incentives only foster cronyism among companies, pushing them to seek further government favors rather than be more competitive and cost-efficient.
“States are allowing private companies to withhold personal income taxes from their employees, and keep the money for themselves. According to a recent report from Good Jobs First, more than 2,700 companies in 16 states do this, totaling nearly $700 million each year.”
3. In this example, we see how this terrible form of corporate welfare uses different governmental entities in order to receive special incentives. The Essential Air Service program is a federal program that subsidizes flights and small airports to function. These subsidies go from the small airports straight into big airline companies that benefits from the program. Taxpayer’s money is wasted on empty airplane seats, which doesn’t seem to bother the airline one bit.
“This is absolutely outrageous, said Florida Rep. John Mica, the Republican chairman of the House Transportation Committee, which oversees the Air Service. You know we’re running $17 trillion in deficit.”
“The Scripps National Investigative Team’s investigation exposed one flight between Baltimore and Hagerstown, Md. — about 75 miles apart — was so sparse, the captain allowed the only other passenger who wasn’t the team’s producer to sit in the co-pilot’s seat. Some seats remained folded down for the round trip.”
4. When governments try to help business at any cost, they often end up stimulating unprofitable and inefficient projects. In this article, we see how Pinellas County (Florida) charged the taxpayers millions of dollars for a construction project that never even started.