The Center for Economic Accountability exists to change the way Americans think and feel about economic development in their communities.

Most Americans believe the false narrative that state and local government subsidies to corporations are a helpful and important part of their local economy. However, there’s no evidence that these subsidy programs work to create jobs or grow an economy, and there’s plenty of evidence that they cause far more problems than they solve.

That’s where the CEA comes in. We’re not a traditional research-based think tank. Instead, we’re educators, advocates and communicators who advance our mission by fighting misinformation with truth, and fear with facts.

This includes:

  • Developing and testing messaging that connects with people, helping them understand why they should care about this issue and take it seriously as a threat to their community.
  • Assisting local partners on the ground across the country who are fighting back against corporate welfare and need our expertise, capabilities or other support.
  • Working with elected officials who want to reform their economic development programs by identifying potential policy reforms and helping them talk effectively about the issue to their constituents.
  • Assisting journalists in becoming more effective reporters on economic development deals by identifying the truly newsworthy components of the story, rather than just the parts the press releases want them to cover.
  • Spreading the word in the media, on social media, at in-person events and through other communications channels.
  • Engaging with researchers at universities, think tanks and other research institutions to ensure that our work is based on real-world evidence and hard facts, and helping spread their new evidence or insights to other advocates and stakeholders.
  • Developing and hosting high-quality collections of research and insights into economic development research studies, stadium subsidies and other topics. (Our site is regularly one of the top few results for Google searches on “stadium subsidies.”)
  • Serving as a bridge between unlikely allies. Corporate welfare isn’t a right-versus-left partisan issue, and the most successful reforms have come from trans-partisan coalitions. As free-market advocates with connections and relationships with center-right organizations across the country, we have become a key connection point for coalitions that span the political and philosophical spectrum.

Perhaps most importantly, we’re an independent voice that can’t be intimidated into silence. As an organization dedicated solely to this one issue, we have no donors who support us on everything but corporate welfare, or political allies who can hold other policy priorities hostage to our good behavior. That kind of pressure is a standard part of the crony capitalist playbook – which is why we designed an organization that was immune to it.

We can do all this thanks to the support of our generous donors; individuals and foundations who share our principled opposition to corporate welfare and crony capitalism. Now more than ever, we need your support as well. Please click here to make a tax-deductible donation today.

And if you think we could help you in any way — or if you think there’s something we should know about what’s going on in your community — reach out and start the conversation. We’re here to make a difference, and we’re always open to talk.