HB 481 Is Actively Harming Georgia–But That’s Not The Real Lesson

When DAs representing a bit over 33% percent of Georgians say they won’t enforce a law because it’s implications weren’t thought out that should be enough to say we’ve got a bad law on our hands.

So, yeah, maybe the overriding lesson is that we shouldn’t have legislators grandstanding on poorly-written laws.

We now have actors and and production companies (here, here, and here) refusing to work in Georgia because of the law. As the resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue makes clear; anything that’s bad for jobs is on it’s own bad. Even the MPAA was quick to warn Georgia that 90,000+ jobs and some $9.5 billion was generated by the film industry.

But once again the real lesson is we see the dangers of wanting to rush to the bottom with other states to lure industries and businesses. Doubly so when said industry doesn’t align with the values of the legislature.

Triply so with a cowardly governor who’s quick to insult the people behind the film industry but loathe to face them.

Of course we can’t know how much of the film industry may leave Georgia. But there’s no reason for it to stay if other states are willing to offer themselves up and be more aligned with Hollywood’s mores.

Did I also mention there’s going to be an ungodly amount of money spent challenging this in court and there’s already a preliminary injunction so whatever benefit was to come from HB 481 is nowhere near the horizon.

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Michael
Michael

None of these cogent arguments matter, sadly. The Christian right proponents of this anti-abortion legislation think abortion is murder. They literally think aborting an embryo at 12 weeks is akin to murdering a living, breathing human being. When you think that way, Hollywood and their jobs can go screw themselves – – saving human lives is more important than jobs or movies. And Republican politicians in Georgia who know that 12 week embryos are not humans, who know that abortion is not the same thing as murdering a human being, will never relent to cogent arguments because of how they… Read more »

NoParty4Me
NoParty4Me

All mass murdered school children had a heartbeat, too. Ok, heavy handed, but my point is – sanctity for life cannot be held on high for just one cause. Otherwise it’s just political hypocrisy.

NoParty4Me
NoParty4Me

How about when legislature doesn’t align with the values of the people? rhetorical.

Another point of note. I don’t see the usual major business players speaking out against HB 481 yet either. As you say, it’s all on hold via the courts, so these players and the film industry are mostly in a business as usual mode.

Don’t demonize all the Hollywood folks working here as having the same opinion. I work with a lot of very conservative minded production personnel from out of town.

Benevolus
Benevolus

I bet it’s coming though. I mean, Coca Cola or Delta or Home Depot just can’t pick up and leave like these production companies can. But next time a Delta hub or a Home Depot expansion come up, I would expect it to come up then.
And how about real estate developers, sports events like NCAA tournaments, and conventions?

alpha male
alpha male

Let all the Hollywood leftists leave. Please. But unfortunately I doubt they will. The Geirgia economy is booming and will continue to. We will not even feel their departure. Sure, there will be some unfortunate anecdotal examples of folks being hurt by this. But those folks are just gonna have to be collateral damage in the left’s war against Christianity. Cyber alone will dwarf what Hollywood produces in Georgia. And then some. Georgia does not need Hollywood. And we don’t want Hollywood. And yes to the suggestion regarding this in another thread. We need to rescind those tax breaks. Let… Read more »

NoParty4Me
NoParty4Me

95,000 people with good paying jobs and thousands of local businesses disagree. It would hurt many people and the Georgia economy by losing billions in lost jobs and business. Once again you take ill defined group ‘A’ (LEFT) and decide it does ‘B’ (War on Christianity). The true war on Christianity comes from the extremist, regressive right that refuses to practice true Christian beliefs yet claim their way is sovereign. Back at yah, AM. See how easy it is to twist crap around with your own not-so-logic?

armanidog
armanidog

Substitute “Muslim” for “Christianity” and you sound like a conservative in Pakistan. It’s conservatives shooting up and burning churches, temples, and mosques.

Mr. Bear
Mr. Bear

To my mind, the goal of HB 481, and all the other states’ similar legislation has less to do with abortion and more to do with 2020 election politics. As a matter of practicality, HB 481 isn’t going to hold up in courts of law until it reaches the Supreme Court. At that point, perhaps some sort of accommodation can be reached. Meanwhile, the issue is almost always on the evening news and in the papers. Looking at the bell-shaped chart of voters, those at the extremes (both left and right) will continue to maintain their positions and march around… Read more »

NoParty4Me
NoParty4Me

All good points.

Sancho
Sancho

A few points here: 1) Abortion is obviously murder. This has nothing to do with religion. Rather, it is basic biology as human life with its own unique DNA begins at conception. The reason that many religious people don’t rationalize away the reality of abortion is because they are less committed to the ideology of the sexual revolution that sees abortion as a necessary backstop if and when birth control fails and/or is not properly used. Hollywood folks are all about the sexual revolution, so it’s little wonder they are so supportive of abortion. That said, we as a society… Read more »

Benevolus
Benevolus

You don’t have to be a fan of corporate welfare to understand that if we don’t do it then Tennessee or North Carolina will.

Not ironic, just practicality.

Sancho
Sancho

Benevolus, That’s a terrible argument. If tax subsides to Hollywood are a net loss to the state of Georgia, as it has been to all other states who have done this to date, then why should Georgia care if Tennessee or North Carolina are foolish enough to do something that loses money? If those states want to blow money on corporate welfare, that’s their prerogative. However, as a citizen of the state of Georgia and as a Georgia taxpayer, I don’t want Georgia to waste money that could go to our schools or kids in foster care or a number… Read more »

Benevolus
Benevolus

While I agree that a cost/benefit analysis should be done (if it hasn’t been) obviously some people think that it is not a money losing endeavor at this point. So that is the assumption we are operating under. The tax incentive is a 20-30% tax credit. Georgia’s corporate tax rate is 6%, and the payroll withholding is about 23% on average. So it’s probably in the ballpark to say that the tax credit is a wash- the production company would essentially owe little to no Georgia taxes. But that is only direct expenses and payroll for these companies. It doesn’t… Read more »

bethebalance
bethebalance

Don’t have time to comment much beyond this, but it should be noted: 1) There have been studies done on the economoic impacts. If I come across them again, I’ll post them. 2) “Unique DNA” can not be the definition of personhood. It can’t even be the definition of plant-hood. There are many more fine-tuned distinctions that should be recognized for any serious conversation. 3) On a related point, I can’t express any confidence in Michael’s above comment that GA legislators know the differences in biology at 4, 8, or 12 weeks. Definitions vary even as to when an embryo… Read more »

Sancho
Sancho

Unique DNA, i.e. life begins at conception, is a much better definition of personhood than anything pro-choicers typically offer. Those who are pro-choice typically argue that personhood must include things such as consciousness and bodily independence. The problem is that pro-choice ideas about personhood are all intellectually incoherent. After all, if applied consistently, they would deny personhood to a whole range people born individuals such as infants, those in a coma and those on life support. Also, technically speaking, we are all just “clumps of cells,” so asserting that unborn children are “clumps of cells” doesn’t tell us anything meaningful… Read more »

Grindelwald
Grindelwald

Let’s follow that logic trail. IVF is a form of fertility treatment for couples who’ve spent years trying to conceive naturally or who are incapable of conceiving naturally. For a lot of couples, it’s a last chance kind of treatment before they give up on having kids. IVF involves the creation of multiple embryos, not all of them are implanted. The ones that aren’t get discarded. If life begins at conception, every single one of those embryos is a human life, are they not? Are fertility doctors committing murder when they discard embryos not used in an IVF procedure? If… Read more »

Grindelwald
Grindelwald

And look, I don’t mean this to belittle your beliefs. You’re entitled to your belief about when human life begins.

I mean this to show that, no matter where the line is drawn, there are very real consequences for people, not just unborn people, but already born people (borned? bornt?), including people who’d love to have a baby of their own but, for whatever reason, have been unable to.

Sancho
Sancho

Grindelwald, I have major ethical problems with IVF as well. This is especially the case when it results in the creation of embryos that are discarded. I do feel for couples that struggle with infertility. We wife and I struggled to have more than one child biologically ourselves as we got started in our thirties, which is a little old. I would classify us as low fertility instead of infertile. In any case, we wanted to have a second child, but were unable to conceive a second time. So we became foster parents and eventually adopted a young child out… Read more »

Grindelwald
Grindelwald

Good on you for adopting and fostering. Seriously. It’s commendable.

Having been through multiple IVF cycles, this is an issue that’s important to me and to a lot of other couples.

There’s a reason Roe drew the line at “viability” (i.e., if the fetus was delivered today, could it reasonably survive outside the womb). It’s because the question of when a fetus becomes “a life” isn’t scientific, it’s a moral and cultural and religious question that isn’t neatly defined.

Sancho
Sancho

Grindelwald, I’m sure that going through multiple IVF cycles isn’t easy. I don’t know all of the technical aspects of it how it works, but I would hope that it could be done without destroying embryos. My understanding is that Roe drew the line at the end of the first trimester, not viability. Still, for me viability isn’t a good place to draw the line. After all, by way of analogy, would you pull the plug on someone on a life support machine if they could survive on their own if you only left them on the machine for a… Read more »

FreeDuck
FreeDuck

“Unique DNA, i.e. life begins at conception, is a much better definition of personhood than anything pro-choicers typically offer. ” All due respect, that definition doesn’t even meet the biologic definition of a living thing. Furthermore, identical twins have the same dna. Does that mean it’s ok to abort one of them? The current standard is viability — the point at which the fetus can survive outside of the womb — and that’s the most reasonable standard there is as it balances the rights of the woman with the value of the potential of the unborn. Anything else is government… Read more »

NoParty4Me
NoParty4Me

North Carolina severely reduced their film tax incentives. Business went to GA. NC is now restoring the tax credit to get business back. It is very selfish to deny your middle class neighbors the opportunity to earn a good living wage or make extra income on goods and services. These are everyday businesses, “producing quality products” that normal people use. Do you want to deny them business simply because the film industry also buys their goods? No tax credit is given until the money is spent in GA on GA labor and purchases. Most productions never get the full 30%… Read more »

Sancho
Sancho

It isn’t selfish of me at all to deny my neighbors job opportunities if said opportunities are based on tax credits that are net losses to the state of Georgia. In that case, the tax credits are nothing but wasteful corporate welfare. If one other hand, solid academic studies show that tax credits, in this case to the film industry, indeed bring in more revenue on balance than they cost, then by all means, let’s keep them. I’d say the same principal applies to professional sports teams, which nationwide are notorious for demanding expensive stadiums from cities (and thus taxpayers)… Read more »

NoParty4Me
NoParty4Me

Thanks Sancho, I’ve mentioned earlier that I work in the industry so I know what good paying film local jobs do for the economy, and increased state income tax revenue from the locals. I see thousands of businesses benefiting from purchases by production companies. $2.5 billion annually in local spending may be a close estimate. 95,000 jobs per year may be true also. Caveat: I don’t think those are all single person, year round jobs, but a cumulative number local resident jobs for all annual productions. I too wish there was a solid study that showed all the local wages,… Read more »

Sancho
Sancho

NoParty4Me, I don’t doubt the film industry has created well-paying jobs in Georgia, although the key is whether the tax credits are a net loss or net gain for the state of Georgia overall. I’d apply this same principal to big manufacturers such as Kia as well. With all that said, I prefer industries such as the auto industry over the film industry. After all, irregardless of controversial social issues, it’s a lot easier for the film industry to pack up and leave the state of Georgia than a massive automobile plant like Kia’s. There’s a risk that any industry… Read more »

NoParty4Me
NoParty4Me

Totally agree that we need a definitive study that can prove direct benefit to the economy, meaning residents and businesses receiving income from the industry, is higher than any potential of lost tax revenue. I will point out the irony again about crying over lost revenue while government continues to reduce tax revenue. I think it is way higher and generates revenue from the locals that pay taxes to balance some of the incentives. The oft quoted figures of jobs and spending are never fully explained. I can work 2-6 jobs a year to fill my calendar. Background extras may… Read more »

tiger
tiger

Sigh. It is costing us jobs! Fear! Dismay! Alarm! Yeah right. What about the policies that you support that cost us jobs? For those you either A) deny that they cost you jobs or B) say that the jobs that they cost you aren’t those you want anyway. I am going to give you an example: education reform. You want jobs? Well try this: at various checkpoint grades you evaluate kids. Those who – to quote Ulysses McGill from O Brother Where Art Thou – demonstrate a capacity for abstract thought to the left. Everyone else … to the right.… Read more »

Benevolus
Benevolus

Well that is a bad example. YOU try telling parents that their kid is assigned to the vocational path. That’s got nothing to do with left or right.

auh2o
auh2o

In the immortal words of Judge Elihu Smails, the world needs ditch diggers too.

FreeDuck
FreeDuck

Yeah, that idea is wholly un-American. You want the state to decide what each individual can do? Your “elite” would be the only ones prepared to work in a service economy. Also, you may not be aware of this but most of the jobs you list “to the right” also require a good bit of abstract thinking. Logistics experts have 4 year degrees. What you’re proposing is a state sanctioned caste system and I find it hard to believe anyone would go for that. Also, wtf does this have to do with declaring a 6 week gestational embryo a fully… Read more »