Facebook's recent decision to extend its ban on former President Donald Trump has prompted calls from Capitol Hill to break up the social media giant, along with other Big Tech monoliths like Amazon and Google. But the fight against tech tyranny doesn't start in D.C., it starts at the state and local level. A new PJ Media column calls for cutting off local government subsidies to Big Tech, which often come in the form of sweetheart tax and land deals in exchange for companies building factories or other properties. "Companies like Facebook are often given mega-deals, with 20-year property tax abatements valued at millions of dollars," says Paula Bolyard, PJ Media editor and author of the column.
The column cites a report that Facebook alone has received some $800 million in total government subsidies since 2010, with $148 million of that coming from Texas---the third most of any state. Bolyard tells KTRH states are often swayed by tech companies promising jobs and economic development. "When states are inviting people like Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook with the promise of a few hundred jobs, they need to look at the bigger picture," she says. "Is Mark Zuckerberg going to help Texas in the long run, or is he going to hurt Texas?"
"States shouldn't just focus on jobs, they also need to think about the values that Mark Zuckerberg and the tech giants are bringing with them when they come to the state asking for money, and is it worth it?"
Bolyard believes powerful red states like Texas could put a dent in Big Tech and send a powerful message by simply cutting off these subsidies. "If states would simply say no, we don't want your data center here, we don't want Mark Zuckerberg involved in our state, and don't offer them subsidies, that would go a long way toward helping manage some of the damage Facebook is doing around the country," she says.