Author Topic: Film Industry: Community Contributors or Corporate Welfare Bums?  (Read 887 times)


  • Administrator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 157
    • View Profile

It’s probably the best line that  I have  ever heard from an NDP Leader:  David Lewis  introduced his  ”corporate welfare bums” characterization of Canadian big business during the 1972 election campaign,  referring to the widespread corporate federal take through tax breaks, grants etc.

That phrase is now an oft-repeated denunciation of corporate greed, not only in Canada, but throughout the world …  so much so it has its own listing in Wikipedia:  ”The term is often used to describe a government’s bestowal of money grants, tax breaks, or other special favorable treatment on corporations or selected corporations, and implies that corporations are much less needy of such treatment than the poor.”

There is something ugly about corporate greed …  companies that measure their PROFITS in BILLIONS  demanding, taking, being awarded  MILLIONS in tax breaks and publicly subsidized free services … especially at a time when the public purse is so depleted that seniors who can’t afford fancier private care homes and live in fairly basic public facilities are being billed $25 a month for their wheelchairs!!!

These are indeed tough times for public programs and should be for those corporate welfare bums pushing for publicly-paid privileges.

But there in the Legislature late last week was NDP MLA George Heyman portraying the BC government as the villain for failing to cough up enough of a  public bribe to prevent the Fantastic For movie production  from moving to Louisiana.

“This government has succeeded in doing what no other super villain has, and that’s to scare away the Fantastic Four,” Heyman complained. “Will the government’s message continue to be it’s clobbering time for the BC film industry?”

Awwwww! Poor BC film industry … those corporate welfare bums that will ALREADY receive an estimated THREE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY MILLION DOLLARS this year alone in public subsidies.

The BC film industry …that fought tooth and nail against removal of the HST … because it poured millions more each year into its HUGE publicly-stuffed pockets.

The film industry … those corporate blackmailers  who play one community against the other, one province against the other, one country against the other  … contributing as little as possible to those places where they operate, soaking up as much as they bleed from those same communities    … while measuring their own profits in the BILLIONS .

And even that’s after hiding as much of their income as they can behind all those tax breaks, write-offs, free services and expense accounts that would make any NORMAL person or business (not just those billed for their wheelchairs)   blind with rage.

How much of a public giveaway to those corporate welfare bums would be enough for Heyman and today’s NDP?

David Lewis would not be amused … and neither should we!

I know there are the arguments that the giveaways to the film industry are offset by the wages, personal income taxes, local spending and other benefits  due to the industry’s presence in our midst.

Well, why not cancel taxes, fees and provide freebies for a whole slew of companies that can prove they could operate somewhere else?

And nowhere in Heyman’s NDP plea on behalf of this production did I see any figures showing the net benefit we’d all enjoy by PAYING them to stay here.

Just pretty shallow grandstanding on behalf of another corporate welfare bum.

Or maybe the NDP wants BC to be transformed into the type of  non-union, heavily armed, socially backward society they have in Louisiana?

Just to keep The Fantastic Four happy … while the rest of us pay to support them in the luxury to which they feel entitled.

Harv Oberfeld