Fixing the battle for corporate scraps

Greg LeRoy of Good Jobs First has the following news for the government officials who read this blog:

The low-road “Economic War Among the States” was visibly on steroids during the Amazon HQ2 tax-break auction. But Jeff Bezos was only playing a system that is more than 80 years old. This “race-to-the-bottom” captures the public sector in a “prisoners’ dilemma,” thereby enabling site location consultants and their corporate clients to dominate how economic development happens in the U.S.

If you have any officials in your state whom you know to be rightfully aghast at this system and would like to learn more about how nations of the European Union have for decades achieved greater cooperation than have the states of America, we have a positive alternative for you. Yes, EU nations spend less and get more for their Euro-incentives. (Hint: no nation’s capital region or financial center would have been allowed to give Amazon a dime if the HQ2 auction had taken place in Europe.)

Starting in late February, in a special three-part learning event organized by Good Jobs First and the European Union Delegation to the United States — “International Lessons for Interstate Progress” – we will teach U.S. leaders on how European Union “state aid” rules shape economic development subsidies to attract investment and jobs.

If you wish to nominate a governor, cabinet secretary, state legislator, mayor, county executive or city or county council member, please send their name and contact info to our Fellow, Professor Emeritus Kenneth Thomas (author of two books comparing the U.S., EU, and Canada), and he will follow up. Please give Kenny a brief note and/or links to newsclips or other information on what you know about the official’s opinion of the “economic war.”


PS: if you yourself are interested, see this U.S. set of remedies we’ve laid out, and also a primer on the EU system.

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