A Raw Deal by Any Other Name

There’s a front-page article in today’s Buffalo News about Alcoa’s attempt to get a really sweet deal on low-cost electrical power.  By the News’ estimate the subsidy to Alcoa would amount to $148,000 per job, per year for the next 30 years.

Wouldn’t it be cheaper for New York State simply to pay the workers their wages for the next 30 years?  If the state gave each employee $60,000 the cost would only amount to $2.16 billion after 30 years.

We would not tolerate that kind of welfare system for individuals.  Why would we tolerate one costing over twice as much for corporations?  I’m an advocate for government programs that attempt to bring competitive balance against the lucrative offers made by other states to lure away our jobs, but this is ridiculous.  Alcoa has upped the ante with respect to the deals made by Occidental and Olin, locally.

I think it would be cheaper for the state to build a jet-engine power plant (like the one that powers most of the island of Hawaii), donate it to Alcoa and to tell them that all they have to do is pay for the fuel.



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