MIDLAND-The Mackinac Center for Public Policy is marking the seven-year anniversary of the creation of the Michigan Economic Growth Authority (MEGA)-a state "jobs" program, by launching a new web page that challenges many of the assumptions behind government-sponsored "economic development."
The page, located at http://www.mackinac.org/depts/ecodevo/, features all the research on economic development issues produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.
"Michigan's state government still believes it can unfairly dispense tax breaks and other economic favors to some businesses while denying them to others-and boost net economic growth," says Michael LaFaive, an economist with the Mackinac Center. "This is why we created this new web page-to inform Michigan citizens about what such government intervention really accomplishes: an arbitrary redistribution of income that may actually retard economic growth, and a business community that expects favors from the government."
The new web site contains numerous commentaries by Mackinac Center scholars, addressing issues such as MEGA's job creation claims, so-called "Renaissance Zones" and the inadvisability of government funding for professional sports teams. The site even offers readers a new baseball statistic: the subsidies-to-victories ratio (SVR), which measures how much taxpayers pay per team victory for the latest publicly funded sports stadium.
"We want the site to become a resource for people interested in sound economic development policy in Michigan. It is a quick, one-stop research tool for policy makers and citizens looking for information that is not found in the state's self-aggrandizing pronouncements," said LaFaive.