Economic Development . . . For No One
Government waste--often disguised by agencies with well-meaning titles like "Office of Economic Development"--is frequently cited as having at least a marginally positive effect on those it is intended to help. More often than not, however, that wasted taxpayer funding goes absolutely nowhere and benefits precisely NO ONE:
The Office of Economic Development (OED) was created by the General Assembly with the simple, if not obvious task of promoting economic development. But sometimes obvious and simple tasks don't always remain that way.After all, it's only taxpayer money anyway . . .
In 2008, the OED created a grant of $47,000 to spend on office space that was occupied by...no one.
. . .
The ACC was asked to market the unused space. However, when the unoccupied space was offered at market rates to other non-profits, the OED couldn't find any takers.
“This is a perfect example of how, when government dips into work outside their core activities, they are still insulated from having to make market decisions that affect their bottom line," said Dennis Polhill, senior fellow at the Independence Institute. "Some business would rather move than throw away $47,000, but when it's taxpayer money, what the heck?”