There was a good piece of work in the Herald over the weekend, dealing with our film industry and whether the huge subsidies given to it have been worth it.
The short answer seems to be no-one really knows, which leaves the real answer in the eye or mind of the observer.
Now, I've paid a lot of attention to this particular piece of economic philosophy largely because it was a major news story and a highly controversial one at the time
And also because former National MP Steven Joyce, who was a regular on my show, was a major player in the operation.
Most of us remember the deal negotiations by John Key, then Prime Minister, with the people running Peter Jackson's operations, on whether or not they could avoid tax if they shot movies here.
It was decided on balance a subsidy was worth it, given Hollywood claimed if they didn't get one they'd go elsewhere.
Jackson himself was a major lobbyist for the move.
And there was no doubt - there was a bidding war. There is no shortage of countries from Canada to Ireland to India, which are more than happy to give tax trade-offs in return for movie projects and the money, jobs, and branding they bring.
Making it slightly more complicated was the upgrade we gave Hollywood a number of years later.
The tax cut or write-off we gave them got bigger, which led, quite rightly toward the accusation or question, where did it stop? Was this a race to the bottom?
Now the purist, of which I am sort of one, would argue if you open the subsidy box to film, why not everyone else?
Not a bad question, and with no real answer.
What's so special about movies that they deserve treatment no one else gets? Once again, no real answer.
But, look at what we have, look at the work, the reputation, the sheer size of the industry that has been built up around the Jackson success.
Look at the work Weta still does that garners awards, contracts, jobs, and image.
Look at the marketing that brings millions upon millions to New Zealand each and every year from those who want to visit Middle Earth.
Would you, having seen all of that, go back and argue? No.
Rules are rules, and if we give a break to the movies we have to give a break to everyone.
It's like arguing we need exemptions on GST and the fuel tax. We don't do that, and we don't do that for very obvious reasons.
So could we argue film is unique? Could we argue that what we have and continue to get is, in fact, worth an economic artificiality?
I'll leave you to make up your own mind.
But for me, I conclude, it was and is worth every cent.