Today’s Boston Globe has an article on the fallout from Curt Schilling’s 38 Studios, who moved from Massachusetts to Rhode Island. The move was prompted in part because of the difficulty of doing business in Massachusetts as outlined by a survey of Chief Executives for CEO Magazine. Rather than seek a level playing field for all businesses, the Commonwealth has embarked on picking winners and losers.
One of the bets that Bialecki was unwilling to make was on Curt Schilling’s 38 studios. In that case he picked to not do business with a “loser” – the company, not Schilling.
Schilling launched 38 Studios in Massachusetts in 2006, and sought government support here before moving to Rhode Island. Greg Bialecki, the state’s secretary of housing and economic development, said the Schilling deal was just too rich for the Patrick administration.
But Bialecki defended the general policy of helping specific companies to expand or remain in Massachusetts, particularly those in industries deemed vital to the state’s future.
He noted that successful firms such as Cambridge biotechs Genzyme Corp. and Vertex Pharmaceuticals have received direct or indirect help from the state in the forms of infrastructure improvements, tax credits, grants, and other incentives. Sometimes, Bialecki said, the state has to take risks when the private sector can’t or won’t.
The private sector, often won’t, when it comes to Massachusetts because of the general business climate. Those businesses that are here are looking to move – see Fidelity, EMC, etc.. – to more business friendly environments.
The key to economic growth in Massachusetts, is to stop the Patrick Administration’s desire to pick winners and losers – especially the gloating when one of the one’s they didn’t pick to help fails elsewhere. It is not a justification of your not deciding to help 38 Studios, it points to the corrupt Crony Capitalist system you have set up.
It’s time to stop Crony Capitalism at all levels, Federal, state, and local. Let the market decide.