I don’t normally spend a lot of time taking reports from the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies (AIMS) as gospel. The think-tank — a registered charity — describes itself as providing “a distinctive Atlantic Canadian perspective on economic, political and social issues.”
I mean, I read AIMS reports — I read everything — but it often seems to me that while the scholarship is fine, the choice of what’s to be studied seems to suit a particular business-based world view. Which probably isn’t surprising, given its funders. (Those same funders get income tax receipts, even in this world where charities that try to affect public policy — at least the ones whose work doesn’t dovetail with the federal Conservatives — seem to get quickly and mysteriously selected for audits by tax authorities).
But more on that another day.
This week, AIMS released a report on golf courses in P.E.I., and the thrust of the research essentially proves a bit of a truism about government investment in business. Primarily, it’s that when governments invest, they’re often the investors of last resort, and things don’t go very well.