Bob's Links and Rants

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Monday, November 10, 2003

Corporate Welfare
There's a good article in today's NY Times about a huge aircraft maintenance facility built for United in Indianapolis, using $320 million of state and local tax money, which now stands empty, providing neither jobs nor tax revenues for the area. There was a similar article in Mother Jones a couple of years ago about a shipyard renovated in Philadelphia for a Norwegian shipbuilder, at a cost of $429 million to the taxpayers. Alabama has offered $126 million in incentives to Hyundai to build cars in Montgomery.

I was going to write a long rant on this, but I already did, back in May. I'll just update a little: the Borders strike and the Wal-Mart issues and the war are all part of the same struggle to get money and power out of the hands of people and into the hands of corporations.

The Constitution says:

The Congress shall have Power ...To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States.

That Congress has allowed this unbridled ruinous competition between states to go on for decades, destroying communities, unions and the environment, when they have full constitutional authority to regulate or even stop it altogether, is one of the clearest signs of who they actually work for (hint--if you're not a millionaire, it's not you).

Atrios asks why the cities and states don't have smart lawyers who require the corporations to assume more of the risk when they receive this corporate welfare? Short answer, IMHO: There's always another state, or country, willing to offer them the same deal with making them assume the risk.