“Uncertainty” for crony capitalists

Oh, woe is us. There is “uncertainty” in Wilmywood—a crony system of local and State government operators and a marginal, fickle film business formerly operating from the Left Coast. Hunter Ingram reporting in the Wilmington, N.C. StarNews described the dilemma in the August 9, 2014 print edition (StarNewsOnline.com).

My view: A segment of the film industry that apparently found coastal North Carolina photogenic has for the past several years enjoyed freebies compliments of other hapless taxpayers in the State. It has received public funded subsidies to prop up profits for its presumably marginal (or sub-marginal) productions.

It is assumed that film producers can’t make a go-of-it without public monetary assistance (presumably our politicians believe film-making is in the “public interest”). Supporters say if the established Wilmywood loses its current largesse, producers will move their valuable contributions to society to richer grounds in other States.

Many State legislators outside benevolent Wilmington can’t brag about bringing film “jobs” and localized spending to their districts. Thus, they wonder why they should support the financial drag on their taxpayers. I imagine that their burdened voters have questioned the unfairness of this cozy arrangement. Even the governor seems to sense this film-folly.

Gov. Pat McCrory’s new budget allocates only a mere $10 million to film producers and pays them off with grants rather than previously more lucrative tax credit “incentives.”

Along with copious press support, local and State film “commission” lobbyists have sounded alarms that Big Film may pack up cameras and crews. The idea (involving blackmail) is to move into States that have less regard for the financial well-being of their general citizens and business people.

For now, the uncertainty involves “obstacles that currently face the industry.” The press has no interest in investigating how crony capitalism stands in the way of progress for all of us in a free market.


About R. E. Smith Jr.

Mr. Smith writes essays and commentary on politics, American history, environment, higher education and culture. He's been published in print media and at blog sites for about 25 years. Smith's formal education includes B.S. and M.S. degrees from the State University of New York and Syracuse University. He has earned a 21-credit hour Certificate in Professional Writing from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. Training/work experience: NYS Ranger School; U. S. Army, Corp of Engineers; soil scientist and forester with USDA; Assoc. Professor at SUNY; real estate agent; small business owner.
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