Movie Magic

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Michigan is a poster child for what happens when tax-and-spend politicians run a state for decades. It is an economic basket case. A report by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy gives a new illustration.

On April 7, 2008, the governor signed into law a program to subsidize the motion picture industry. At the time of signing, only 5,867 Michiganians were employed in that business. Ads were then run on LA television bragging about how much financial aid was available to companies that would film in Michigan. And the subsidies were not minor: they will rise this year to $117 million in credits, costing the state $155 in tax revenue — about 7% of the state’s business tax receipts.

The result? The most recent figures available (for September 2009) show that the state actually lost film industry jobs on net — almost a 10% loss, in fact.

Just another case of what happens when government tries to pick winners in business.

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