Politicians love to woo entertainment corporations to their states and cities through subsidies and tax cities. But Pat Garofalo
argues that such incentives waste taxpayer money in The Billionaire Boondoggle: How Our Politicians Let Corporations and Bigwigs Steal Our Money and Jobs
(Thomas Dunne Books, 2019). Garofalo details how filmmakers, gambling companies, sports teams and other companies play governments off one another, making them bid against each other to win the privilege of luring companies to their areas, without providing any benefits in economic development. Garofalo sees hopes in recent grassroots backlashes, such as with Boston’s rejection of the Olympics and New York City’s resistance to Amazon. But he cautions that without a coordinated effort among governors and mayors, companies will continue to be able to manipulate the process.
Bill Scher is a Contributing Editor for POLITICO Magazine. He has provided political commentary on CNN, NPR and MSNBC. He has been published in
The New York Times, The New Republic, and
The New York Daily News among other publications. He is author of
Wait! Don’t Move to Canada, published by Rodale in 2006.