The Clovis cosmetics plant fiasco is a good demonstration of the truth that the best thing government can do, about the economy and everything else, is: nothing.
It's a result that it seems anyone who doesn't look at life through the "beer goggles" of government could have seen coming.
Judging from comments I saw when the deal was first announced, I'd say many are not surprised.
Yes, the area could use more jobs, but handing out "tax" money to bring them in is just not a good idea, even if you believe it is ethical to do so. Apparently, it doesn't even work.
By all means give new companies a tax break, as a good first step. All new companies. Don't play favorites.
Then get rid of local "laws" that prevent some businesses from operating in the area, eliminate red tape and anti-business regulations and zoning, and eliminate all the government fees and licenses.
Deal with any actual problems — fraud, theft, faulty products, breach of contract — as they arise rather than punishing everyone based upon "what might happen."
Get out of the way and allow the free market to exist, and then stay out of the way to allow it to work.
This is a big problem crippling the economy all across America: There has been no free market in at least a century.
And yet, economic woes are somehow still blamed on "too little regulation" by the socialists who get all the attention. It's sickening.
Blaming the free market, or some imaginary "lack of regulation," for recent economic woes is like blaming ghosts for the loss of your chickens.
The supposed culprit was nowhere near the scene of the crime.
America can't afford this kind of economic interference anymore. If it ever could.
The city still claims it didn't lose the money it handed out. Sure, the city can foreclose on the property in order to get its "investment" back — but unless someone buys that foreclosed property, what good does that do? The money is still wasted.
It doesn't seem that the property is in great demand, otherwise someone would have purchased it on their own, voluntarily, without expecting government to give them money for the project.
Maybe somehow the deal will still pan out. Or, perhaps the property will get foreclosed and someone else will come along and buy it to start a business that will boost the local economy. If this happens, no one will have learned anything, but the harm will at least be mitigated. That's better than nothing.
Kent McManigal is a freelance writer who sometimes offers commentary on our websites. Contact him at: