The Long Con of Tax Breaks

As everyone has seen with the recent tax breaks passed by President Trump, business has started increasing their output more than projected. Everyone on the progressive side, however, poo poos on the output by listing that jobs are being eliminated. Except, that’s not the actual story. The actual story about all of this is that they’re cherry picking the one bad thing to make the personal items political. If you want to actually be progressive, then look at the whole picture.

Libertarians look at the entire long con of the tax breaks. Yes, the belief is that government should reduce the taxes. And that at best, social services are at bare minimum needed. Non-existent would be better. However, in America, that will probably never happen as we’ll see the American Liberals claw and throw tantrums. And the American Conservative will need that as a bargaining chip against the American Liberals.

Take a look at this article from The Atlantic, discussing a topic that’s currently ongoing. Jeff Bezos is wanting to move Amazon into a second HQ to build jobs. While that may be one of his purposes, that’s not what will entirely happen. Most businesses move into a city looking to be wined and dined by the prospective cities. David and I are witnessing that in our cities, as we live within one of the twenty finalist cities.

The cities pull out all the stops: building zone exceptions, tax breaks, personal tax exemptions, payments per number of employees. Do city managers and mayors like doing this? Not even close. They know they’re prostituting themselves out to cause possible long term damage to their infrastructure. Because what if Amazon leaves the city on a whim? That would leave you in the sports team situation.

St. Louis was dealing with this when they were negotiating with the Rams. The team was asking for a new stadium and more tax breaks. All St. Louis saw was an organization that wasn’t bringing any prominence to their city. They are still dealing with the damaged reputation from Ferguson. And the city coffers are constantly removed from the city every year by the last of the prominent families still invested in the city.

The Rams elected to take their circus to Los Angeles (again). The city of St. Louis had bargaining chips, however. The Cardinals and the Blues were better sellers in that city. The Rams had an embarrassing record and even worse reputation. The Rams tried to zero in on the fact that the city had spent money on the two teams, until the mayor reminded them that the teams were not a royal embarrassment to the city.

However, not all cities are in that position to deal with a sports team or a major business. A lot of the cities that are being focused on either have a burgeoning economy that could use a push. The other side of the coin, the city is experiencing white flight in massive proportions. Which yes, progressives, I agree with you on that point. White flight does happen, and there’s not much you can do to stop it.

Amazon and their fellow businesses who go into areas promising job numbers in the five and six figures know what they’re doing. They’re gaming the system tremendously to get the cities to play ball with them. The only real issue is that the cities are in a rigged game. If they present the proverbial Brown M&M to Amazon, then the deal gets killed on a miscue. Your city looks foolish, and Bezos moves on laughing all the way to the bank in another city.

That’s the amazing long con of tax breaks.

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