Click for audio Leave Business to the Businessmen

Did you know that our state government tries to entice businesses into the state by giving them millions of dollars in tax breaks and other perks? Did you know that by giving outsiders an unfair advantage, the government hurts the businesses that are already here?

It happens all the time. The program is called the Michigan Economic Growth Authority, or "MEGA." Its boosters claim it attracts businesses to Michigan and has created more than 74,000 jobs. But critics say companies planning to expand into Michigan anyway simply go to Lansing and pick up their MEGA tax credit because they'd be crazy not to. And University of Michigan economists say MEGA's job creation estimates are in the future. They could never materialize.

If MEGA is creating new jobs, who is taking them? Not the unemployed—they've been at record lows for years now. These companies are coming into our state and luring workers away from Michigan companies—companies that are trying to make it on their own without the government's help.

We don't want an economy where government favors decide who succeeds and who fails. We want a level playing field where everybody has an equal chance. Let's get rid of MEGA and leave business to the businessmen.

For the Mackinac Center, I'm Catherine Martin.