Posts Tagged ‘nashville’
This week, the city of Nashville approved a grant of $1 million in taxpayer money, doubling its previous grant, to keep production of ABC’s hit TV series “Nashville” in Music City. Claims by ABC that production of the third season of the popular series may relocate to Georgia or Texas has sparked action by Tennessee officials.
This $1 million incentive grant by the Metro Council, coupled with a $5.5 million incentive grant from the state of Tennessee according to the Nashville Scene, should cause us to question why our government is funding a TV series that makes millions of dollars each season and does little in return to help the average Tennessee taxpayer. Is it the responsibility of Tennessee state and local governments to incentivize private industries? And if we allow taxpayer dollars to be frivolously spent on “Nashville,” where do we draw the line in the future?
Proponents of the incentives claim that Nashville and Tennessee benefit tremendously from keeping production local—through increased job opportunities, major spending in the area, and “immeasurable” marketing benefits, as viewers around the country are exposed to the exciting music scene of Nashville on their TV screens each Wednesday night. However, these proponents fail to realize that economic development incentives, particularly in the film industry, are often irresponsible investments from which taxpayers rarely see the benefits. Critics have noted that in many states, film industry incentives have at most a 30 cent return on the dollar, an “investment” that no person would make with their own money. It is unjust and unreasonable to expect Tennessee taxpayers to fund the production of a highly profitable show, especially when many do not even tune in on Wednesday nights.
-Kate CavenaughSeptember 20th, 2014 | Beacon Blog, Feature, Recent News
Today, news broke that AT&T will bring Gigabit Internet service to Nashville. This is a significant investment and a clear sign that when the government stays out of the market, private investment follows and businesses thrive.
Unfortunately, we have also seen the other side of this coin. Last week, Chattanooga petitioned the FCC to allow an expansion of its government-owned Gigabit network—financed on public dollars, carrying a price tag of more than $550 million for taxpayers and ratepayers.
These subsidies have created an unfair advantage for the Electric Power Board (EPB), the public operator of the network, making it difficult and unappealing for independent networks to compete. Yet, despite these unfair advantages, EPB has struggled to capture a considerable share of the local market. Just some 4,000 of Chattanooga’s 173,000 residents are surfing the Internet at high speeds through EPB.
To make matters worse, EPB President Harold DePriest remarked that his employees had the pleasure of spending like drunken sailors. Of course, that’s easier to do when it’s taxpayer money and not your own bottom-line.
Fortunately, the largely conservative and more fiscally responsible Tennessee General Assembly has refused to allow Chattanooga to expand its public network. Yet, Chattanooga government officials believe they’re entitled to their subsidized growth and have now turned to the federal government and the FCC. And while I would love to see the same fiscal restraint from the federal government that has been displayed by our General Assembly, I am not holding my breath.
I will, however, be closely watching a bill introduced in Congress by Rep. Marsha Blackburn that would prohibit the FCC from trampling on states’ authority to limit the growth of government-owned networks. After all, most of us wouldn’t expect the government to mow our lawns, run our restaurants, repair our homes, or offer many of the services provided by the private sector, so why should we ask them to provide us with Internet?
- Justin Owen
Enjoy the Beacon blog? Help us keep it going with a tax-deductible gift.July 28th, 2014 | Beacon Blog, Feature, Recent News
The Beacon Center of Tennessee
“The Connection Between Liberty & Character”
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
6:30 PM CT – 7:30 PM CT
While it is free to attend, space is limited, so please RSVP to Suzanne Michel at (615) 383-6431 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lawrence W. (“Larry”) Reed became president of FEE in 2008. Prior to becoming FEE’s president, he served for 20 years as president of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy in Midland, Michigan. A champion for liberty, Reed has authored over 1,000 newspaper columns and articles and dozens of articles in magazines and journals in the United States and abroad. His writings have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor, USA Today, Baltimore Sun, Detroit News and Detroit Free Press, among many others. He has authored or coauthored five books, the most recent ones being A Republic—If We Can Keep It and Striking the Root: Essays on Liberty. He frequently appears on national television programs, including those anchored by Judge Andrew Napolitano and John Stossel on FOX Business News.May 20th, 2014 | Feature