Friday, April 8, 2011

Mr. Obvious Headline of the Day

Businesses Stand to Gain Most in Rivalry of States, at the NYT:
Though some say such moves strengthen communities with new jobs and tax revenue, a growing chorus of leaders on both sides are wondering about the point of it all, warning that the efforts serve only to help private companies at taxpayer expense. Even some beneficiaries confess surprise at neighbors’ competing with such rancor.
“In all candor, it’s unusual and a little disconcerting,” said Gerry Lopez, chief executive of AMC Entertainment, the movie theater chain, which is being offered incentives to move to Kansas from Missouri. “I do wonder whether this is an appropriate role for government to be playing.”
Other Midwest states are engaged in similar battles, and have set aside neighborliness for easy growth as they search for answers to rising unemployment in their still-struggling economies.
Though they may say their development efforts are designed to help them compete with the two coasts for companies, they often end up fighting over companies already in the region.
The states have been in a race to the bottom for years, taxpayers pick up the burdens and companies get richer.  It is pretty sad.  Worse is when a business needs to expand, so they make the threat that they are looking at sites in one or two other states, just so they get some sweetheart deal right by where they started.  See Evans, Bob.  It is good political symbiosis between business interests and Republicans to keep this alive, always giving them the ability to wave a bloody shirt over taxes.  Screw those thugs.

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