"It is an unfortunate consequence of the way our system of government was set up."
The way I read it, that's not true. We've drifted, unfortunately. If we maintained the way we were set-up, we'd probably not see this stuff.
Details: IMO the trend started after the Civil war and then accelerated after we swallowed the jagged little pill of "progressivism" in the early 20th century. Take a close look at 1913. It was a hat-trick strike against individual liberty: Establishment of the Federal Reserve (centralized money) and two Constitutional Amendments: the 16th (income taxes - yeah) and the 17th (directly elected senators). I know, on the surface seems good, but it abolished the most powerful direct tool that state governments had over the federal governement.
Then going off the gold standard (60's) could be described as the final nail.
But...ultimately this economy relies on us: the makers, the creators, the doers. Those who wake every day and ask themselves how they can be more productive than the day before. We'll carry on, carrying this economy on our backs despite all their folly. Because we have little choice. It's our bourden and yet our pleasure. It's who we are and I, for one, love it.
Yes, we really do have to be dogmatic about it because this sort of thing is out of control at the federal level. If a local government wants to encourage business by providing certain tax breaks, that is one thing. That's local money, to spend locally. I'm OK with that because there is much better accountability (usually) at local level than at the federal level and it provides for a competitive environment from state to state, region to region to help keep taxes at bay. It seems like every politician of every color and stripe, is only too anxious to troll for votes by spending someone else's money in their own district. It is an unfortunate consequence of the way our system of government was set up. Also given the way, some appropriations are set up, accountability by virtue of an actual vote are avoided so no one can be held 'responsible' for it. I would be all for a Presidential line item veto to give the President (of whatever party) the opportunity to strike out the nonsense from our federal budget, and if the Congress really thinks that line X should stay, they can vote to override. Now, we would have some accountability.
Yeah, Susan. You certainly opened the whole can of worms by bringing up China. Let me be clear, every country, every state has some sort of incentive programs to promote certain industries -- in order to bring in more employment and potential 'revenues' on long term.
Some are indeed overreaching (e.g. Samsung's huge fab in china comes to mind), but I find nothing in particular offensive about creating business development opportunities -- be it by local government, chamber of commerce or federal government.
So, this is the American way of supporting its industry, as opposed to the Chinese way. How does it work in China, Junko? Don't some of the cities or provinces own the fabs? Oh, gosh, maybe this is opening a can of worms.
Sorry, Junko, I'm with anon on this one. Except I have a slightly different cynical take. I read it this way: Obama/Shumer to SUNY: "Hey NY Universities, thanks for all of the support! Here's 70 million of somebody else's dollars."
No !! We need to get the government out of the business of picking favorites. If it's worth doing, someone will be willing to bet their own money on the deal. Remember Solyndra and all the other bone-headed wastes of taxpayer dollars? We need less government, not more.