I find myself in northern Indiana once more, for what may be my last stint in this particular gig – unless they extend the contract, which they have the option to do.
Honestly, there are worse places – although having gone through a winter here and facing a summer, I’m reminded of the two reasons I left the upper Midwest where I grew up:
- The summers.
- The winters.
But enough of Midwestern weather for now.
This tidbit in yesterday from Investor’s Business Daily: The Dead Hand of Crony Capitalism. Excerpt:
Earlier this year, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed a bill that more than doubled the tax credits available to film producers who come to the state. McAuliffe called it a big win for Virginia, since so many other states compete for Hollywood productions with special tax favors.
Meanwhile, Wal-Mart has secured a total of $1.2 billion in at least 260 special benefits over the years. Nike, Boeing, Alcoa and Intel got more than $2 billion each.
North Carolina promised Apple up to $370 million in benefits and an additional $255 million to Google to build data centers in the state.
Washington offered Boeing $8.7 billion in benefits to build the wings of its new jetliner in the state.
Ayn Rand called this “the Aristocracy of Pull:”
“Money is the barometer of a society’s virtue. When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion—when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing—when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors—when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you—when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice—you may know that your society is doomed. Money is so noble a medium that it does not compete with guns and it does not make terms with brutality.“
Have we come to this point? Has Ayn Rand been proved more prescient than we ever imagined?
I’m afraid that this might be precisely the case.