Just as Liberty Mutual’s $50 million city/state tax break package comes up for votes at City Council (3/24) and the state Economic Assistance Coordinating Council (3/31), the Boston Globe reveals these “business incentives” as no more than waste, fraud and abuse, the real purpose of which is to give politicians a chance to brag of “doing something” about economic development (and to recruit corporate campaign donors). Economists have long documented that subsidies don’t sway important business decisions, and Deval Patrick, when he was first campaigning, said that a business relying on subsidies is a business going out of business. Yet the state corporate gravy train has continued and accelerated. Boston Mayor Menino, hair on fire over Hynes/Vornado’s admission of “blight creation” to get public subsidies, has, with the usual help from the Boston Redevelopment Authority, created blight on paper for LibMu, to qualify the project for tax breaks.
Question: Why don’t all the the library, park and school advocates pay attention to this? Why don’t they organize to protest this bleeding of the public treasury? Every group losing services will only beg and weep over their own loss, and none will pay attention to the root cause of their problems. The tax-break lobby is taking hundreds of millions of dollars from us and the citizenry is, for some reason, unable to organize opposition, even when the information is revealed. Can anyone help me understand this syndrome?