Ti chiedono soldi, promettendo benefici, e minacciano di lasciarti se non soddisfi le loro richieste. Salvo metterle in atto appena torna a loro vantaggio, le minacce. Si atteggiano a benefattori, ma, alla fine della giornata i beneficati stan sempre peggio, i benefattori sempre meglio. Picchiatori di quartiere? No, Big Companies. Quelli che dicono che il privato crea, il pubblico spreca e s’ingozza. Anche il New York Times sembra essersene accorto: forse non è la miglior strategia continuare a offrire sgravi fiscali, agevolazioni varie a gente che sa meglio promettere che mantenere, come hanno imparato a proprie spese intere cittadine sparse ovunque negli Stati Uniti, dove amministrazioni locali hanno sacrificato servizi alla persona per appagare la vergognosa brama di avidi — e immorali — general manager. “A [New York] Times investigation has examined and tallied thousands of local incentives granted nationwide and has found that states, counties and cities are giving up more than $80 billion each year to companies. The beneficiaries come from virtually every corner of the corporate world, encompassing oil and coal conglomerates, technology and entertainment companies, banks and big-box retail chains.
The cost of the awards is certainly far higher. A full accounting, The Times discovered, is not possible because the incentives are granted by thousands of government agencies and officials, and many do not know the value of all their awards. Nor do they know if the money was worth it because they rarely track how many jobs are created. Even where officials do track incentives, they acknowledge that it is impossible to know whether the jobs would have been created without the aid.”
Almeno 80 miliardi di dollari (ma il costo è “certamente molto maggiore” [“certainly far higher”]), ogni anno, senza avere riscontri certi quanto all’efficacia di tali provvedimenti. Non solo: nonostante gli incentivi, le compagnie non consentono alle amministrazioni di intervenire in alcun modo nelle scelte operative, a volte con conseguenze disastrose, cioè con la chiusura dell’impianto sovvenzionato perché la compagnia ha continuato a produrre qualcosa che l’amministrazione locale sapeva essere il prodotto sbagliato:
Officials said part of the difficulty was that communities do not get much say in a
company’s business strategy.
“We, as communities, stake our futures with these people who are supposed to
know what they’re doing, and sometimes they don’t,” said Arthur Walker, a
businessman in Shreveport and former chairman of the city’s chamber of
commerce. Mr. Walker and other officials in Shreveport know firsthand. In 2000, they were worried that G.M. would close a plant in their area and responded with a generous
proposal: the city would cut the company’s gas bill and provide work force training
grants. In addition, G.M. would benefit by a recent increase in one of the state’s
income tax credits. Eager to encourage innovation, Shreveport officials suggested ways the city could assist G.M. in building electric cars. “We wanted to be part of the future,” said Mr. Walker, whose brother worked at the plant. G.M. took the city’s incentives but not its business advice and began building the giant Hummer there.
“We knew they needed to build green cars — I mean, who builds a Hummer for the
21st century?” Mr. Walker said. “It was a losing proposition that we found ourselves
in. We couldn’t win because those people weren’t making the correct business
decisions, in my view. When it didn’t work, we’re the ones left holding the bag.”
The Hummer was discontinued in 2010, and the Shreveport factory closed this
August, the final victim of G.M.’s bankruptcy.”
È un articolo lungo, ma val la pena provare a leggerlo. Anche se si può riassumere in questa dichiarazione: “Mr. Winters loves the history of Willow Run but hates what he views as corporate hypocrisy: G.M. asked for government help on the one hand and then appealed to free-market rationales for closing shop.”
L’articolo originale del New York Times è qui.