a thoughtful web.
Good ideas and conversation. No ads, no tracking.   Login or Take a Tour!
comment by b_b
b_b  ·  1747 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Where even Walmart won't go: how Dollar General took over rural America

Tax breaks of course represent a way to lure companies into certain geographies, and I think that there can be useful use cases. However, on the balance they're really destructive, and have set up a race to the bottom between states. The Amazon second headquarters is the most obvious right now (and the Foxxcon sweepstakes of a couple years ago), but it happens all the time with companies moving cities and states. The "Texas Miracle" was driven by Rick Perry essentially telling every single company he could that there are few taxes and no additional environmental regulations in his shithole of a state (not exactly sure what their marketing materials said, but I'm sure it was close to that if you read the euphemisms correctly). Detroit just about threw a party last week when Chemical Bank announced it was building a new 20 story building in downtown without asking for any local abatements (they're becoming the city's preferred banker though, so it's still a sweetheart deal). So many of these deal are zero sum in terms of job creation, but they are essentially stealing from the schools, the road commission, the water quality inspectors, etc. I have no idea how you tackle this problem, but it's spiraling to a very shitty place.

kleinbl00  ·  1747 days ago  ·  link  ·  

On the face of it, the Interstate Highway System was a big-government giveaway that aimed to decentralize the United States through military applications. A similar infrastructure program designed to facilitate manufacturing or technology in small towns would turn everything around.

Create an ecosystem whereby small entrepreneurs received federal funds for recolonizing failing small towns and those small towns would cease to fail. Of course, that would run afoul of states' rights and is therefore communist and will therefore never happen.