Another prominent rationalization used to defend Metro's financial support of the park--that subsidies create jobs for North Nashville--is open to debate in the wake of a study that finds that subsidizing capital projects does not do anything of the sort:
a recent study by the Kauffman Foundation suggests that the money [from public subsidies and tax breaks] only shifts jobs from one state to another and doesn't necessarily create them. State and local incentives rarely target the new and young businesses that actually do create jobs.
The subsidy escalation that states have entered has become a zero-sum game in which a largely fixed set of jobs shift from one state to another as companies search for the highest bidder. And even when new jobs are created, companies would likely have needed to add them anyway, and the cost per position to taxpayers can be astronomical.
The 2011 embarrassment of the failed move of IQT Solutions that Karl Dean went through a few years ago drove the point home that the "creation" of jobs in Nashville would cost Canadian workers their jobs if the company had not eventually gone bankrupt. To a certain extent common sense should tell us that the relocation of companies often comes at great cost to the places they leave. But studies help reinforce the point.
|If you build it, they will relocate.|
How many livable wage jobs (I'm not talking about construction jobs, which end in a few months when the building is erected) are going to be created by First Tennessee Park? The latest research indicates that we will not see enough jobs to equal the $65 million investment that we are dumping into the development.
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