Tuesday, August 29, 2006

More Corporate Welfare for the Film Industry in New York

The famous are different than you and me

Mayor (President?) Bloomberg announced a new program for job training for the “behind the scenes” people for film. New York is big into film and tv and fashion as is well known. (And publishing too but that might be a different category). Film is a big export business for the USA.

These training subsidies are just a form of industrial policy, or economic central planning of you will, and are a gift to the already established film industry (so the ‘infant industry’ argument doesn’t even hold up in this case). Why should the film industry get their people trained by the taxpayer as opposed to those in other industries? Or another way to look at it, the major film companies are owned by the Japanese (not that there is anything wrong with that - we can all invest in Sony) so why should we pay for their workers to be trained, as opposed to say non-tradeables such as the gas company’s tech repairmen. Because the government should not be in the business of subsidizing one company over another, it’s not fair, thats why.

The government should focus more on the rule of law and the coddled film industry should lower its prices; I can get a bootleg DVDs of the latest movies at the corner market here in Brooklyn for $5 two days after the release of a blockbuster.

Economic growth (technology and capital investment) gives one access and options to goods and services but one doesn’t necessarily have to indulge. Just knowing they are there provides a good unto itself. You ever been to an African supermarket (as opposed to say the open-air informal markets)? Talk about the need for rule of law and failed industrial policy. If alot of that money would have been used for commons like roads or not ended-up in overseas bank accounts, instead of failed support to what could have been a developing entrepreneur class, alot of the poorer parts of Africa might be on a different path or at least a more abundant and less corrupt one.