FreeMarketDuck.com

Idaho's Weekly Journal of Local & National Commentary  Week 4814

 

Home • Up • About us • Contact • Glossary • Links

 

 

Back to Quack Off

 Quack Off               

 

 

by Free Market Duck

Corporate Welfare Alive and Well in Idaho
(Aug 12, 2008)

 In 2007, out of 1,982 recipients of the Byrd Amendment’s protectionist law that allows U.S. businesses to share in protectionist tariffs against foreign companies, Idaho’s Micron semi-conductor company “won the jackpot” receiving $37,938,402.

 Boise, ID – Remember a couple of years ago when the Idaho state legislature granted Micron Technologies hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks on the premise (and promise) that Micron would build another multi-billion dollar computer chip fabrication plant in Boise, hire a zillion new workers, and thus boost the local economy to the Moon and back?  And the Idaho legies and Gov fell for it?  And then, about 6 months later, we discovered that Micron was cutting the ribbon for a newly built fab plant in Singapore and another one in China?

   Awwww.  Was we twicked again or did all the key players already know the scoop?  Like, for example, how could the Idaho legies not have known when they granted Micron their million dollar tax breaks that Micron was about to open two new fab plants in the Far East?  Didn’t anybody check?  Didn’t anybody ask CEO Steve Appleton for an implementation timeline for a Boise fab plant?  I guess not.  Does that mean Appleton – busy racing his souped-up dune buggy in the Baha California dirt cross country races – lie to the state legies?  Gosh a-roonie, I don’t know.  What do you think?

   But that’s not the first or the last corporate welfare cookie that Micron has pilfered from the unsuspecting taxpayers of America.  According to the Wall Street Journal’s Op Ed piece on Aug 11, 2008, Senator Byrd (Liberal – W. VA) has just re-snuck into a new spending bill his previously-repealed protectionist trade law that allows U.S. businesses to share in protectionist tariffs against foreign companies.

   There exist two main problems with the Byrd Amendment.

   First, all economists – including socialists -- have known for the last two hundred years that protectionist tariffs harm both the exporting nation and the importing nation, raising the cost of goods for both recipient and exporter, on net, as more capital is expended for that which could be produced and traded for cheaper prices.  Protectionist tariffs are based upon economic sophisms and don’t work.

   Second, protectionist tariffs always encourage both traders to engage in reciprocal tariffs, thus creating an escalating trade war.  And this is exactly what the Byrd Amendment accomplished the first time around.  Not only that, the World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled that the Byrd Amendment was illegal, after which 11 of America’s trading partners, including the EU and Japan, were authorized to impose retaliatory tariffs on American products.  As the WSJ reported, many of our trading partners “duly slammed us.”

   Who benefited from the first Byrd Amendment?  A GAO report found that between 2001 and 2004, more than half of Byrd money went to five big businesses, with 20% going to Timken, an Ohio ball bearings manufacturer.  As of 2007, $1.9 billion had been handed out to thousands of U.S. corporations blowing whistles against real and imagined below-market “dumping” of foreign products.

   In 2007, of 1,982 recipients of the Byrd Amendment’s protectionist law that allows U.S. businesses to share in protectionist tariffs against foreign companies, Idaho’s Micron semi-conductor company “won the jackpot” receiving $37,938,402.

   The big losers in this protectionist gift scam are all U.S. taxpayers, including Idahoans, AND American companies who suffered or collapsed because they could not compete with domestic rivals flush with Byrd tariff money.  Another unintended economic consequence of government intervention in the free market.

   But this hasn’t stopped the new Byrd Amendment supporters.  Leading the pack of corporate pork supporters is Idaho’s retiring Senator Larry “Bathroom Stall” Craig (R-ID) who unabashedly brags on his Web Site about steering millions in protectionist tariff money to Micron Corporation.  So much for Idaho being a fiscally Conservative GOP state.  In reality and on net, Idaho is a welfare redistribution recipient, brought to you not by the socialist-fascist left Liberals but rather by the socialist-fascist Republicans.  There isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between the two major political parties today.

   Seems like Micron is not the leading free market private employer in Idaho.  Rather, Micron is one of the leading participants in our U.S. Congress’ Fascist Business Model of Pork Barrel Economics. – FM Duck

        back to top...

 

               Home • Up • About us • Contact • Glossary • Links


freemarketduck.com   all contents copyrighted ©1994-2014   Free Market Duck tm   all rights reserved