Hollywood is probably a gift to us to show us in outrageous examples of economic reality all over the country. As card-carrying Leftists, virtually everyone in Hollywood supports the “correct causes” but, on the other hand, they also make a boatload of money thanks to Capitalism. The Hollywood rage against Michigan is a case study in class hypocrisy.
Deadline Hollywood came out this week reporting (and supporting) the moral indignation of the Hollywood guild, SAG-AFTRA, in condemning Michigan’s recent legislation to become a right to work state. In the process, they actually describe Michigan as if they could have once been “in” with the cool crowd, but it just isn’t working out:
“Remember when Michigan was going to be the next go-to state for Hollywood productions, with choice incentives that included an almost 50% tax credit on TV and film projects? It lured native son Sam Raimi’s Disney pic Oz The Great And Powerful among others to film there. Now, economic realities have led to heavy caps that have watered down the credits (the anatomy of one Michigan studio’s downfall was nicely dissected this week in the NY Times), driving away Hollywood in the process. Now Hollywood’s biggest union SAG-AFTRA is drumming up support to fight bills passed this week in the state House and Senate that would make Michigan a right-to-work state.”
The NY Times story, mentioned by Deadline Hollywood, is about a corrupt robbery of Michigan’s public employees. The basic story is, Hollywood celebrities and businessmen convinced the hurting town of Pontiac that if they offered cash incentives to make movies there. Disney wanted to do it. The spending of Disney and others to produce movies would stimulate the local economy and create new jobs.
This was, of course, all motivated by nothing but altruism:
“In public, the investors extolled the studio as an altruistic effort on behalf of Pontiac. ‘I go into things to make money, but on this, I don’t really care,’ Mr. Taubman told The Detroit Free Press. ‘I just want to help create jobs, and this can create 3,600 jobs.’”
And because he didn’t really care, he made sure the state would back the bonds that were sold to make the project work:
“Over the objections of some local officials, the state agreed to use the state workers’ pension funds to guarantee the bonds. If the investors failed to pay, the retirees would be on the hook.”
Can you guess what happened?
I have no idea why this country has decided that it is not criminal embezzlement to use promised pension funds as collateral for business loans. I think anyone who obviously underfunds a pension should be in prison. And I understand that workers have plenty of reasons to hate and despise corporations which engage in immoral accounting and make promises they don’t keep. But unions are not a workable way of dealing with these problems. You can’t fight a corporation by becoming one. You simply double up the damage on the economy.
Hopefully Michigan will stop destroying the tax payers for the sake of union contracts and stop destroying tax payers for the sake of “incentives” to “create jobs.” All of this is a scam.
And Hollywood investors are as much scamsters as anyone on Wall Street.
For a few more comments on Hollywood and Michigan, see the first ten minutes below.