Click for audio Government Should Stay Out of Business (RealAudio)

Did you know our state government gives outside companies millions of dollars in economic incentives to locate here—while leaving Michigan businesses out in the cold?

Consider Boar's Head Provision Company—a meat producer from Brooklyn, New York.  The Michigan Economic Development Corporation has given Boar's Head economic incentives worth $5.1 million. Boar's Head opened a plant near Holland, Michigan in December.

But how will this impact Michigan businesses, such as Koegel Meats, in Flint? Like Boar's Head, Koegel makes meat products.  A Michigan-based family business for three generations, Koegel Meats has always paid its taxes and never took a dime of taxpayer money. Along comes the government, which gives more than $5 million worth of  advantages to an outside competitor. 

Whose side are they on, anyway?  Their own.  They can't prove it, but bureaucrats will now brag about "creating" 450 new jobs.  What they don't say is that unemployment is so low, those workers were more than likely lured from other Michigan businesses.

The government shouldn't be deciding winners and losers in the economy. It should make sure there's a level economic playing field so everyone has an equal chance.

For the Mackinac Center, I'm Catherine Martin.