Minneapolis Star Tribune – August 18, 2016
by David Morris
Aren’t rural high-speed internet and garbage collection worth government playing a role?
Business and economics columnist Lee Schafer recently mused about spending the summer “watching government decide to supply things that pretty clearly aren’t public goods (“Amazing what we now call a public good,” Aug. 3). He offered three examples.
The first concerned the $600 million bribe Minnesotans paid the Vikings to stay in town. No dispute there. The Vikings stadium is a monument to private benefit. Indeed, all public financial assistance to private, profit-making businesses should be severely curtailed, if not eliminated. Study after study finds that such incentives are costly and ineffective and that they divert scarce public resources from being spent on otherwise clear public goods such as health, education and welfare.