The Real Deal: The Cost of Development Subsidies and Incentives

February 20, 2019 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Detroit Beer Co.

1529 Broadway St., 3rd Floor, Detroit, MI 48226

Detroit and hundreds of other cities offered Amazon billions of dollars in subsidies and incentives, before the company selected New York and Virginia for its highly-publicized new facilities. This “HQ2” process was the latest escalation in an economic development industry that’s tripled in size since just 1990, transferring more than $70 billion per year from city and state budgets to selected private businesses in the name of economic growth and job creation.

Does this work? Does it make sense? And as research-based evidence continues to mount against these deals, why do politicians keep making them? Join AFF-Detroit as John C. Mozena, president of the Center for Economic Accountability (full bio below), explains what’s going on behind this growing intersection of big business and big government, what it means for our communities, and shares some ideas for beginning to bring it under control.

Join us at 6:00 pm to meet and network with other young professionals from across Michigan. The remarks will begin at 6:30 pm, with more networking to follow. As always, we’ll have free food and your first drink is on us.


Learn more about our keynote speaker here:
John C. Mozena is the president of the Center for Economic Accountability (CEA), a nonpartisan educational organization that advocates for transparency and accountability in state and local economic development programs. After beginning his career in the early 1990s as a trade newspaper reporter and editor, Mozena became a marketing and public relations consultant and worked for almost two decades with development authorities, trade associations, tourism groups, government agencies, real estate developers, corporate subsidy recipients and other economic development stakeholders. In 2016, he followed his passion for free markets and limited government into a new career in public policy advocacy when he was named the vice president for marketing and communications at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Mozena co-founded the CEA in 2018 with fellow free-market activists, and is a member of the organization’s board of directors and its first president.