It sure didn’t take long for the very first of the vaunted “First Five” corporate-welfare recipients to sticks its thumb in the eye of Connecticut taxpayers.
But don’t blame Cigna Corp., which celebrated the holidays by announcing it would lay off an undisclosed number of workers, including up to 60 in the state, as it transferred its accounting functions to India, according to the Journal Inquirer. For-profit companies always pursue their economic self-interest — that’s the fuel that makes capitalism go.
Instead, blame our feckless governor and a misguided policy that serves the interests not of real economic development but of a PR machine desperate to be able to announce fake “wins” at any cost.
And what a cost: $50 million from the state’s Department of Economic & Community Development in return for a promise to add 200 jobs within 24 months. (We wonder if that’s supposed to be gross or net, subtracting the 60 jobs it moves to the other side of the planet.)
The First Five was sold to the credulous as a gotta-have-it tool to attract major employers to the state. Well, Cigna already had a major presence here, and had indeed been headquartered in Connecticut before relocating its corporate offices to Philadelphia in 1982. (As a result of last July’s deal, Cigna agreed to return headquarters to the Nutmeg State.)
The takeaway: When state-government bureaucrats — most of whom have never had to meet a payroll in their lives — decide in their omniscience that they can pick corporate winners and losers, it leaves favored “winners” like Cigna laughing all the way to the bank — and poor suckers like taxpayers and small-business owners holding the bag.
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