Russ Latino: Taxpayers bear risk in Continental deal

There is a better long term solution than picking winners and losers with taxpayer dollars. America’s great wealth was amassed largely on the back of free market principles. Understanding the free market means understanding that it is not the role of government to “create” jobs or to manage the economy. Instead, the government should create an atmosphere that allows people to buy, sell and profit with as little tax and regulatory burden as possible. In that setting, consumers—citizens—decide what businesses thrive and which businesses go under. It leads to the most efficient use of resources.

The fact that our state gives such lucrative tax breaks to a handful of companies is a tacit admission that lower taxes create a climate for economic growth. The state should embrace this understanding for all employers and would-be entrepreneurs, not just the chosen few. In practice, this looks like comprehensive tax and regulatory reform that stops punishing businesses for investment and productivity in Mississippi and tears down barriers to entry for entrepreneurs.

Lastly, I’d invite you to consider this issue as a question of property rights. In 2011, 73% of Mississippians voted against eminent domain abuse that allowed the government to take private property and give it to a private business. This is not much different. The money you earn is your property. It should not be given to private corporations.