Cooper Tire givebacks | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Cooper Tire givebacks

Posted By on Wed, Dec 10, 2008 at 9:19 AM

Cooper Tire hardball continues. Report from Steve Harrelson's Under the Dome. If they're not getting corporate welfare payments from a state government, they're forcing workers at an Ohio plant to agree to wage cuts to keep their jobs. Will the Texarkana workers agree to work for still less while Arkansas government agrees to give away still more subsidies to Cooper, which lost a giant class action lawsuit some years back on account of management-approved shoddy construction procedures?

If history is any judge, Arkansas will open its checkbook, though the plant produces virtually no income tax for the state and generates most of its retail buying power in Texas.

Someday, states will get together and stopping cutting each other's throats for corporate shakedown artists. I can dream, can't I?

In the meanwhile, the question is how many local governments will be flim-flammed into taxing poor people to produce corporate welfare kittys for local chambers of commerce to pass out to extortion artists too small to lure state handouts. Pine Bluff residents resisted yesterday. But we'll be seeing more of this gimmick, not less. If giving away our birthright could make Arkansas rich, our prostrate submission to any corporate raider that comes along would have made us the most prosperous state in the country decades ago.

For the umpteenth time: An educated workforce, raw materials, utilities, transportation and quality of life are the big dealmakers, not corporate welfare payments. But, sure, businesses will gladly accept any gratuities tendered.

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