Disney’s Corporate Welfare Is Modern Mercantilism, by Ryan McMaken

What the government gives, it can also take away. From Ryan McMaken at mises.org:

Florida’s government is poised to revoke the longstanding special favors that the state granted the Walt Disney Company nearly five decades ago. As of Thursday afternoon, both the House and the Senate in Florida have voted to end the megacorp’s special district, which has long enabled Disney to engage in activities prohibited to other private groups and individuals in the state. The governor is expected to sign the legislation.

The impending change in status comes after senior Disney representatives repeatedly criticized the Florida GOP—currently the ruling party in the state—for legislation unrelated to Disney’s business dealings. Perhaps not surprisingly, this caused numerous GOP officials to question why Disney was receiving special privileges denied even to Disney’s direct competitors. In the past, Disney’s special status was shielded from political dangers, as Disney has famously showered politicians in the state with gifts, campaign cash, and other types of special favors that normal people would identify as bribes. Indeed, many of the same elected officials who are now voting to repeal Disney’s special status have accepted such “gifts” in the past. But for whatever reason, the political landscape has changed enough in recent years that it appears to many policy makers that it is now more politically rewarding to punish Disney rather than cater to its whims.

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