Thursday, May 8, 2008

Goldwater Institute: When government picks winners, it creates losers

By Byron Schlomach, Ph.D.

Last week, the Arizona legislature killed an entrepreneur's dream. It passed a bill to create a "regional attraction district," with taxing authority, exemptions from property and income taxes, and the ability to issue up to $750 million in government bonds to finance construction. Thus, government greased the skids for the Decades Music Theme Park, a rock music attraction that developers want to build near Eloy, a small town between Tucson and Phoenix.

But the government didn't do any favors for Dan Stokich, a gentleman who has spent a passel of his own money over the course of a half dozen years trying to build a genuine amusement park in Arizona that would appeal to more than the hard of hearing. He's never asked for a single government dime. All he wants is to develop his ideas without the government getting in the way.

Well, it looked like Dan was all set, until the legislature got in on the act. Now Dan's financing has dried up. Why would private investors want to compete with a government-subsidized project? This is what happens when a few at the top take it upon themselves to decide economic winners and losers.

Dr. Byron Schlomach is the Director of the Center for Economic Prosperity at the Goldwater Institute.

No comments: