Saturday, February 16, 2008

The six degrees of wallet separation

Federal Industry Minister Jim Prentice announced this afternoon a $19.6 million "repayable" investment by the Canadian Government in London's Diamond D-JET Corporation for research and development into the company's proposed five-seat jet aircraft. Repayable, in the context of government industrial investment, means of course we'll be lucky to see a nickel back for every dollar spent.

Together with the $11 million already committed to the project by the provincial government, this less-than-zero-sum type of political economic tinkering is the new face of investment in a city determined to erect even higher tax and regulatory obstacles to private development. Considering how much of the local economy is subsidized by other levels of government, where do politicians get away with claiming that London needs even more money from them?