The loudly-trumpeted news that the Ontario government is to give California-based Cisco Systems “up to” $220 million to create “up to” 1,700 jobs is a typical example of “opportunist mercantilism” — that is, “beating” other governments at self-destructive policies.
...The one relatively clear statistic is that the Ontario government seems to be ponying up well over $100,000 a job. This is nonsensical.
... This game bears little or no relevance to the voluntarily, non-criminal cooperation of the free market, but it does explain a lot about the government behaviour. ... governments aren’t interested in economically optimal results. They are interested in gestures that will win votes, whatever the costs to the economy. They play. Taxpayers lose.
Ezra Levant's take: