Watching the titans do battle

My thoughts turn to our libertarian-leaning friends every time I see another example of large scale corporate subsidization. People whine and moan about the nickels and dimes sloshing around New Brunswick to try and prime a little economic development.

Check this out.

An EU official said the US subsidies [to Boeing] between 2004 and 2006 had caused Airbus to lose $27 billion dollars and were illegal under world trade rules.

Now, even with currency parity, $27 billion over three years is just plain unbelievable. Add up all the grants given in New Brunswick since the fish the aboriginals gave the Acadians (subsidized of course) in return for guns back in 1735 and you wouldn’t have $27 billion. Not even in current dollars.

Regardless of your ideology, you can’t deny the billions and billions of dollars spent by government (or forgone through tax breaks) to stimulate economic development. Whether it’s the billions in forgone revenue from the oil sands of Alberta to the Boeing protection schemes of the U.S. government to the billion dollar grant program for the auto sector in Ontario, the money is served up and served up big.

Just not in a place like New Brunswick.