Filmmakers and government economic development types are bemoaning the fact that Texas doesn’t offer as much as other states when it comes to film subsidies.
“Texas is losing jobs because we cannot compete,” said Janis Burklund, director of the Dallas Film Commission.
It may, or may not, be the case that Texas is losing jobs in the film industry. But even if that is true, what is missing from that equation is what Texans would be doing in the private sector if the money for subsidies had not been taken from them.
My bet is that George Mitchell and Glenn McCarthy, Gerald Hines and Trammell Crow, Michael Dell and Bob Rowling, etc., could do a lot more for the Texas economy with that money in their pockets than a Hollywood filmmaker. Especially when we consider the cut taken by the state to run the Division of Film Subsidies and the rest of the Texas State Office for Government-created Economic Development, or whatever they are called.
The thing is is that we don’t need data to understand whether the effects caused by regulation are on balance good or bad. Liberty tells us that the cumulative effect of regulations will be harmful because they interfere with voluntary exchange in the market. Humans act in their own perceived self-interest. Regulations seek to replace the outcomes of the billions of transactions and interactions market by millions of people with the outcomes preferred by a few hundred or thousand regulators and rent seekers.
Von Mises and Hayek both demonstrated the problem with that; in addition to the violence of forcing people to accept outcomes they do not want, regulation eliminates the vast majority of available information within a market, thus making the outcome much less efficient. That’s why socialism doesn’t work, and why the Soviet Union collapsed.
The opposite of the position of this paper is what is true: regulations should not be adopted or maintained unless it is proven there is a need for them. And determining the need for them should be based on whether they secure life and liberty. Then people–rather than a few intellectual elites–can use markets and courts can figure it out from there.
Wendell Cox’s new report, 2013 Metropolitan Area Population Estimates, is the latest confirmation that Paul Krugman and other liberal critics of the Texas Model are wrong; Texas has far and away the most dynamic economy in the United States.
Late in the last decade, Dallas-Fort Worth passed Philadelphia to become the fourth largest metropolitan area. Then, Philadelphia was passed by Houston in 2011. The result is that, for the first time since the nation’s founding, two of the five largest cities (which are functionally defined as metropolitan areas) are in a single state (Texas).
Here are the leaders in population growth from 2010 to 2013:
“In a social order that is entirely founded on the use of money and in which all accounting is done in terms of money, the destruction of the monetary system means nothing less than the destruction of the basis of all exchange.” – Ludwig von Mises, The Theory of Money and Credit, p. 202.
In a recent email chain, some of my friends said the gold standard was crazy and wrote of the need for the Federal Reserve to manage our money supply—relying on appeals to “experts” to make their case. I wrote the following to try explain the problem with central banking. I hope you find it informative:
The fact that most economists and “experts” think returning to the gold standard to be crazy should be another reason to support such a move, given the competence of most economists these days.
But lest I rely too heavily on ad hominem attacks against them to make my case, let’s look at the facts.
“I never thought it was my style or the words I used that made a difference: it was the content. I wasn’t a great communicator, but I communicated great things.” – Ronald Reagan, in his Jan. 11, 1989 farewell address to the American people (text)
“The biggest misunderstanding about Reagan’s political life is that he was inevitable. He was not. He had to fight for every inch, he had to make it happen. What Billy Herndon said of Abraham Lincoln was true of Reagan too: He had within him, always, a ceaseless little engine of ambition. He was good at not showing it, as was Lincoln, but it was there. He was knowingly in the greatness game, at least from 1976, when he tried to take down a sitting president of his own party.” – Peggy Noonan, in her column on Ronald Reagan during this season of his 100th birthday celebration.
“We cannot buy our security, our freedom from the threat of the bomb by committing an immorality so great as saying to a billion human beings now enslaved behind the Iron Curtain, “Give up your dreams of freedom because to save our own skins, we’re willing to make a deal with your slave masters.”” – Ronald Reagan, in his October 27, 1964 “Time for Choosing” speech
“Reagan understood instinctively that modern liberalism represented a rejection of the constitutional premises of self-government. … Hence the core of Reagan’s political purpose was recovering an appreciation for the Founder’s understanding of the principles and practices of American government. This was central to his rhetoric to a much greater extent than it was to that of any other modern day president of either party. … ‘We’re for limited government,’ he said in his 1988 State of the Union speech, ‘because we understand, as the Founding Fathers did, that it is the best way of ensuring personal liberty and empowering the individual so that every American of every race and region share fully in the flowering of American prosperity and freedom.’” – Steven F. Hayward, in The Age of Reagan, 1980-1989: The Conservative Counterrevolution.
Fox News reports that the city of Taunton, Massachusetts is considering the use of eminent domain to save some manufacturing jobs:
When the Haskon Aerospace plant in Taunton, Mass. shut down in October 100 workers lost their jobs. Many had worked at the facility for decades, making seals and gaskets for aircraft.
City leaders are considering an unusual measure to save the plant, which has been a staple in the community for 80 years, operating under the umbrellas of numerous corporate entities over the decades.
The Taunton City Council is exploring the possibility of exercising the power of eminent domain to take the machinery away from the parent company, Bellevue, Wash. based Esterline. The city would pay a fair price to prevent the equipment from being sold at an auction scheduled for December 14.
Former Haskon workers hope to raise the capital to buy it and run an employee owned operation or find a new corporation to take over the business.
A coworker of mine noted the creativity of this endeavor. I agree with him. In fact, governments area full of very bright, very creative people. So it never surprises me to see actions like this in government because God created man in His image and endowed all people–government employees as well–with a measure of His creativity to use when they face challenges. Normally, in a free market, the employment of that creativity works out to the benefit of all because all the property and effort used in the process is voluntary. Not so in this case, where the government will use theft to supply the needed resources to carry out this project.
Creativity is a beautiful gift from God, but just like with all of His gifts, we are required to use them wisely for His glory and our good.
The Texas Public Policy Foundation released some great research today by Dr. Art Laffer explaining why Texas is doing so much better than California—or just about anybody else for that matter. In case you didn’t know, it is because we have lower taxes, spend less and regulate the economy less than most other states. No surprise here–we didn’t really need to do a lot of research to understand this. But not everybody gets the free market approach, so sometimes we have to do research to prove that it is true. Click on the link to see the whole report.