It appears reporter Jeff Ayres of the Clarion-Ledger fell for more UAW propoganda. He penned a story last week on Mercedes moving its corporate headquarters in America from New Jersey to Atlanta. However, he felt the need to trot out the claim that the South was buying its way into manufacturing prosperity:
A key reason why Nissan and Toyota are in the Magnolia State, and why Nissan Canton has doubled its workforce and number of vehicles manufactured locally in the past four years, is a state Legislature that has been willing to provide hundreds of millions of dollars in incentives.
Critics of such spending deride those incentives as corporate welfare, but supporters contend it's what states like Mississippi with no long-term automotive manufacturing history and a generally less-skilled workforce have to do to land such businesses.Rest of article.
JJ documented six years ago that the South was not merely "buying" auto manufacturing plants as I published a list of northern states that engaged in the same behavior:
The total incentives, credits, and abatements on this list total $1,456,300,000 with nearly $1 billion of it coming from Michigan alone. (This list is incomplete as it was compiled after only spending 20 minutes on Google.).
In fact, JJ stated "A quick search on Google reveals Northern states haven't exactly sat on their hands when it comes to shoveling out the dollars to Detroit". It would be nice if local reporters would not buy into the UAW propaganda and actually just report the news or conduct some actual research. Here is the real reason that Mercedes is moving (Wall Street Journal):
John Boyd, principal of the Boyd Company Inc., a Princeton, N.J.-based site selection consultant, said that New Jersey has the country’s most appealing incentives policy in his assessment, but it was outweighed by the cost- savings and convenience of moving to the U.S. South. He said that the move would reduce Mercedes-Benz’s costs, including real estate, energy and property taxes, by about 20%.
20%. Ouch. Brings to mind UPS making a similar move in the 1990's when it moved its corporate headquarters from Connecticut to Atlanta. Company executives then said the average price of a home in the northern state was over $200,000 and in Atlanta it was approximately $75,000. They also said their employees couldn't afford to live in Connecticut, hence the move. Mercedes employees will probably enjoy a similar experience once they move to Georgia.