Why the government shouldn’t pick the winners and losers in an economy

Victor Joecks

Las Vegas Sun headline: “How did so many experts get their forecasts so wrong? Difficulty, missed signs and lingering boom-time euphoria all contributed to inaccurate predictions”.

And that’s exactly why it isn’t the government’s job to try and pick winners and losers. There are no sure things. Every business decision involves a degree of risk.

And when politicians try to “create” jobs using TIF, STAR bonds or tax incentives, they are taking a risk, a chance, a gamble with taxpayers’ dollars.

Legislators and governors aren’t elected to try to win money for the taxpayers. They should create a uniformly low tax and regulatory burden that allows businesses to succeed or fail on their merits, not their ability to play politics, woo politicians and gain taxpayer subsidies.

Once the government gets involved with determining how money is distributed to businesses, decisions often get made for political decisions. Anyone remember Obama’s Las Vegas comment and its negative impact on tourism? That is a perfect example of what happens when the government gets involved with businesses. Although Nevada’s politicians complained about it, they’re now in danger of making the same mistake.