The author is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.
How does being taxed to give money to the oil-rich kingdom of Abu Dhabi and its hereditary ruler strike you?
The cost, if you live in New York State, comes to about $1.4 billion, or roughly $190 per household, for an economic development deal with a privately held company called GlobalFoundries to build a microchip plant near Albany.
As you ponder this forced transfer from you to the chip-making giant, which is controlled by Abu Dhabi‘s ruler Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, keep in mind that Abu Dhabi says its citizens enjoy the world’s third-highest per capita income, a third higher than Americans’.
The deal for the chip plant is being challenged in court by a long-time critic of “corporate welfare” in a case that will test New York‘s long-standing policy of subsidizing business.
At issue is the state constitution’s Article VII, Section 8, which says, “The money of the state shall not be given or loaned to or in aid of any private corporation or association, or private undertaking …”