Picking winners and losers — L.A. and the Chinese electric car

For an interesting case study in government efforts to “create jobs” through subsidies targeted at one company, check out Tim Cavanaugh’s blog post at Reason.

The city’s successful courtship of the Chinese electric car manufacturer BYD is expected to bring between 46 and 102 jobs, with a total city subsidy of $5.2 million — a taxpayer hit somewhere between $51,000 and $113,043 Per job.

This is pretty common — Haley Barbour does it all the time, as do municipalities seeking to gain or retain a sports team. Cavanaugh discusses how the BYD story is actually not as blatant as other “incentive” packages.

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