States’ rights and economic development
To the editor:
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, some $30 billion in public funding was given to big business between 2005-2006 for, among other things, incentives to build, move to, or stay, in a respective area in which public funds were expended. This does not take into consideration states, counties and municipalities offering even more carrots, such as free land, tax credits and the like, thus sweetening the pot.
Corporate-bought Congress has been supplanting states’ rights for decades now, and there is an obvious dearth of political leadership, will, or more precisely backbone, to withdraw from trade agreements decimating our country’s middle class workforce. Congress refuses to make calls to enforce variations of job protection laws currently on the books from the Reagan and Clinton administrations. Perhaps Congress, under the rubric of protecting American jobs at home, can make legitimate hay in several areas and allow the governors to oversee the rules regulating the use of public funds generously plowed into corporations.
Using the now-forgotten “Experience Ratings” will allow governors to adjust the unemployment insurance premiums to corporations that increase, decrease, outsource or move away, from their states, thus providing the state executive more latitude and flexibility when using taxpayer funds for brick and mortar facilities and business recruitment. Concomitant to these new authorities, the municipalities should also have some influence as to their own use of public funding of corporate business in a similar manner. Business should be required to publicize, along with their earnings and losses each year, the layoffs and outsourcing that has taken place the previous year. Communities can then decide whether to allow another abatement and increase or decrease the business unemployment insurance premiums.
Should these corporations decide to keep moving production offshore, removal of government contracts for everything from bullets to toilet paper should then be abrogated from these companies immediately. Some 60,000 rounds for troops overseas and 6,000 rolls a week for the ever-expanding New Hampshire factory incarceration industry are no small pieces of change.
Finally, Congress should remove the gift of the tax write-off provisions for corporate relocation costs out of this country and further remove the tax deferment to corporate profits until repatriation. In this time of global economics, moving back stateside is an unlikely occurrence. Corporate-bought Congress and organized labor union acquiescence to en-masse layoff policy have made them their own worst enemies and relegated them both to insignificance in job protection here. Tragic.
States should be given the rights to oversight of their own taxpayer funds with regards to providing job security and economic stability within their borders. Corporations write in provisions to require protection of intellectual capital in trade agreements. “We the People” should demand the same protections of our taxpayer funds from going offshore and mandatory protections of our own human capital.
William J. Cowie