Corporate welfare policies
Thank you for the comprehensive news article published in the Record on March 2 about continuing tax incentives and rebates to corporations that are interested in relocating or expanding in Texas. Left out of the discussion is whether such corporate welfare is good public policy. Over two decades ago, Time magazine published a lengthy investigative report that demonstrated that such corporate welfare does little, if anything, for communities and school districts. Such corporations regularly fail to fully honor the agreements to hire new employees at good wages or invest in local communities at specified rates.
What has always been missing from the agreements, however, are any requirements to direct training and hiring at the local community. Instead, people from far away commute to the new jobs, leaving under-employed and unemployed local workers out in the cold. Taxpayers support these private corporations, which is why I call the incentives corporate welfare. The politicians who support this kind of corporate welfare rarely support other benefits that help support low-income and working-class families. Texas has not expanded Medicaid, for example, or resolved the funding crisis for public schools. But our state and local politicians wholeheartedly support corporate welfare.
While our politicians concern themselves with how well Texas does economically, other areas of life are ignored. U.S. News reported recently about how well Texas ranks among the states. Texas has pitiful rankings in education (34th in the nation), health care (31st in the nation), crime and corrections (37th in the nation), and the natural environment (40th in the nation).
Clearly, handing out corporate welfare for decades has not made Texas an oasis of opportunity for the average person. And I have to wonder, what happened to those conservatives who used to advocate for free markets, not corporations feeding off the largesse of the elected public officials, to the detriment of taxpayers? Lamar Hankins