Socialized tire making | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Socialized tire making

Posted By on Thu, Dec 4, 2008 at 6:05 AM

You betcha Arkansas is unlimbering its wallet for Cooper Tire's extortion of four states now in a bidding war to avoid a shutdown of one of its plants. How much? Governor Beebe won't say.

Remember though that this corporate welfare payment will be for a plant that 1) employs at least half Texans; 2) where workers who do live in Arkansas pay no state income tax; 3) where the majority of spending power generated by the plant is spent in Texas. Property tax on the plant does accrue to the benefit of local school districts.

Bailout of a school district is enough to justify special handling in the world of Arkansas free enterprise, however. Elsewhere in the news, you'll read that SWEPCO thinks the customary practice of not allowing construction of power plants to continue while air permits are being appealed should be set aside in the case of its poisonous coal-burning plant in Hempstead Coujnty. Why?  Because, its mouthpieces say, it's vital to create some new tax revenue for the failing Mineral Springs school district. Build a power plant to save a school district that should be consolidated? Yes, that should make perfect sense to Arkansas policy makers.

UPDATE: Steve Harrelson's blog predicts Cooper's decision will come down to Texarkana vs. a Georgia site.

THOUGHT: What if all four states told Cooper to go to hell. What if they said: "We won't be extorted. Make your decision on which plant is most efficient, most profitable and highest quality. Because, really, isn't that how you'll make that decision for the long term anyway? Somebody's gotta lose, but most likely it will be the one that was going to lose in the first place."

PS: You've probably forgotten that Cooper lost a whopper of a class action lawsuit because of shoddy production and sale of defective tires.


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