Politicians have a weird relationship with the entertainment industry. I was once in a room full of influential Washington types and a 3rd tier reporter from one of the cable news shows walked in the room. Suddenly the focus shifted immediately to the ” television personality.” It was weird. All these accomplished big shots and they suddenly were interested in this fellow who was probably 5 years out of college. I can just imagine what happens when Robert Redford or Taylor Swift walks into a room full of wonks. Some folks probably go into seizures.
So it shouldn’t be any surprise when politicians entice Hollywood studios to a particular neck of the woods with tax breaks and outright subsidies. Thing is, this enticement is usually not such a good deal for the localities the politicians represent.
Voters are getting hip to this.
One of the most egregious forms of modern corporate welfare is the statehouse giveaway to television and film production, a star-struck economic nonsense maneuver that went from about 0 to 50 in less than two decades. Thescience is settled: This deal stuffs the pockets of one favored industry at the expense of the rest of a polity’s taxpayers, generating headlines like “Michigan’s Film Industry took $500 Million in Subsidies, Produced Laughable Number of Jobs.” And confiscating my money to reward a politically favored industrial constituency is more than just wasteful and ineffective, it’s morally wrong.