Can Philly Drop its Addiction to Throwing Money at Big Business? Not likely

This is a fascinating article about the zero sum game that cities and states across the country play to persuade corporations to move to whichever of them is the "friendliest". In other words, to whichever jurisdiction pays the biggest bounty.

Of course this is not a real game, but a gargantuan swindle perpetrated by big business on job-starved jurisdictions. As a general rule few real jobs are created, those that are cost way beyond what it would cost to create a greater number of public jobs, and the effect on the country as a whole is to drive wages and productivity down. Nationwide over $70 billion had been thrown at companies through these "incentives", enough to rehire every employee laid off in the recession. Many times these companies don't even stay bought. They take the incentive, then a few years later, move again or shut down completely.

Philadelphia is hooked on this kind of legal bribery as its primary economic development strategy. We offer cheap land, tax abatements, tax increment financings and a variety of other special tax benefits for individual, and various classes of, companies. Our political leaders have been doing this for decades, and will continue to, unless and until we make them stop.

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