by Ted Wright
January 24, 2005
The U.S. government and a number of state governments subsidize corporate growth and development when it helps create jobs, increase productivity, or provide a competetive edge. Why shouldn't local governments do the same? When Washington state and the U.S. government provide hundreds of millions of dollars in incentives and breaks for Boeing, I don't cry foul because I know it is important that Boeing compete with its heavily subsidized European Union counterpart, Airbus.
Competition is the thing. And sometimes Ketchikan will find itself competing with other communities for industry. So sometimes it may make sense for the local government to spend public money to get an edge. Juneau does this all the time. I don't know enough about the cold storage capacity and market in Ketchikan and Southeast to suggest that the use of public funds is warranted; but it should at least be considered.
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