The Case Against Corporate Subsidies
Gilbert M. Tucker
[An excerpt from the book, The Self-Supporting
City. Reprinted from a publication
of the Public Revenue Education Council, St. Louis, Missouri]
This is the story of a simple but vital fact about government and
taxes. It is soundly based on experience and on truths of economic
science. The fact, briefly stated, is:
Government, like on individual or a business, has a
natural source of income and can be self-supporting.
This fact, when understood, will show all thinking people how our
present system handicaps the producers of wealth and services and
destroys their natural incentives. When this fact is applied to our
economic system the same amount of labor and capital will produce much
more wealth-and services and give added leisure. The observable
benefits will be so great that any serious threat to Free Private
Enterprise by proponents of Marxism will be ended forever; and, by
example, it will help roll back Marxism in other countries where it
Men have seen the possibility of a SELF-SUPPORTING government. The
following conversation between William H. Seward, Secretary of State
under Lincoln, and Andrew H. Green, a distinguished citizen of New
York, is taken from the book, "War-time Statesman", by Mr.
Seward's son. All that Mr. Seward and Mr. Green say of New York City
and the citizens of their time applies just as certainly and as fully
to our government and our conditions today.
Taking up a corporation report, Mr. Seward said:
"Mr. Green, here is something which you can
comprehend, but I confess I cannot Here is a great corporation which
has vastly more property and resources in the way of real estate,
streets, franchises, docks and wharves, buildings, rents, licenses,
powers and privileges, than any other corporation can possibly have.
And yet it cannot pay its own expenses. It has to ask the individual
taxpayer to go down into his pockets and take out of his personal
earnings a yearly contribution, in order to keep this gigantic
corporation on its feet Why should not the City of New York pay its
own expenses? Why should the individual taxpayer be called upon at
To this Mr. Green replied:
"Mr. Seward, you are right. The problem is one that
I have worked on over many years. The City of New York has given
away more than enough to pay its expenses many times over. But the
citizens of New York don't see it, either because they are too
careless, too ignorant, or too unpatriotic, or don't want to."
- From: Self-Supporting City by Gilbert Tucker.