The Energy Subsidy Game

Whether or not it is a good idea to increase subsidies for renewable energy, one thing is certain: we need to stop giving them to fossil-fuel companies and start charging dirty energy for their “externalities,” i.e., the costs of carbon and other pollutant emissions.

In Iowa Layoffs Can Pay Off

It is not uncommon for state and local governments to pay out subsidies to companies to get them to retain existing jobs rather than creating new ones, but Iowa finds itself in the position of giving millions to food giant Kraft Heinz to eliminate far more jobs than it is saving.

Tennessee Officials Ponder the Future of VW’s Subsidies

Amid a global scandal in which Volkswagen admitted to equipping its diesel-engine cars with devices that cheat air pollution tests, Tennessee lawmakers are planning to review the state’s subsidy contract with the German automaker, including the clawback provisions.


By Scott Cohn, September 29, 2015

92 percent of small business owners believe their state's economic development incentives are biased toward big business.

Gold Shovels Digging Holes in State Budgets

Area Development Magazine, a magazine covering corporate relocation and facility planning, released its 2015 Gold & Silver Shovel Awards, which are said to "recognize individual states for their

Subsidy Debate Heats up in North Carolina

After losing to South Carolina in the competition for a new Volvo auto plant, North Carolina is trying to figure out what went wrong.  Some blame the legislature’s gridlock over reauthorizing the state’s biggest subsidy program, the Jobs Development Incentive Grant (JDIG).  Others say incentives had a minimal impact on Volvo’s decision and that North Carolina would never have been able to outbid South Carolina anyway. 

Subsidizing Server Farms in Iowa

Facebook just announced a third expansion of its $1.5 billion data center in Iowa. This followed a similar move by Google for its server farm in the state. These developments are fruits of the effort by officials to encourage big-name tech companies to locate in Iowa. This private investment, however, does not come free.

Supported By a Megadeal, Volvo Choses South Carolina

Swedish automaker Volvo has chosen South Carolina over Georgia and North Carolina for its first car-making facility in the United States. A hefty subsidy package of more than $200 million helped the state close the deal.


By Damian Carrington and Harry Davies May 12, 2015

Shell, ExxonMobil and Marathon Petroleum got subsidises granted by politicians who received significant campaign contributions from the fossil fuel industry, Guardian investigation reveals



Small business looms large in American political rhetoric. From the campaign trail to the floor of the U.S. House and Senate, members of Congress love to evoke the diner and dry cleaner, the neighborhood grocer and local hardware store. Ensuring the well-being of Main Street, we might easily assume, is one of their central policy aims.