Friday, November 05, 2004

North Carolina's Latest Outrage

So in the interest of "creating jobs" (3,000 low-paying ones in Greensboro, where unemployment is well below the national average), the North Carolina state legislature is considering a bill to give Dell a really cushy tax incentive package. And they don't even have to keep the jobs to keep receiving the tax credits - they can lay off all their new hires and still get paid.

Dell, of course, needs our money. Just like Bill Gates needs a welfare check.

Seriously, though, this corporate welfare thing has gotten way out of hand - and for conservatives who claim to believe in the free market to support this kind of handout is ridiculous. These are the same people who think we shouldn't be helping the mother supporting three kids on a job that pays $6 an hour.

Ohio just got slapped in the face for giving this kind of incentive - I think the 6th Circuit ruled it unconstitutional. Stay tuned.


Jeff said...

I will point out that, in fairness, this particular handout was proposed by Democratic Gov. Mike Easley and enjoys bipartisan support in the state legislature.

Anonymous said...

You'll always hear the battlecry of the free market until it starts tugging at the pursestrings of the people crying the loudest. NC is basically bribing Dell to give them incentive to keep NC laborers employed, so that NC laborers will continue filling the NC state government's tax coffers. Hmmm, I think that was enough anachronistic euphemisms for one paragraph, don't you?

But I'm with you. Would you mind expanding on your 6th Circuit reference? I hadn't heard about that, and I'm curious as to what in the U.S. consitution prevents states from bribing corporations (as opposed to the reverse, which almost certainly happens in the form of campaign donations).

- Pierce

Jeff said...

Pierce, Ben - the name of the case is Cuno v. DaimlerChrysler. It's currently under appeal to the entire 6th.

Anonymous said...

Bug me and I'll look that up. Like I said in my e-mail to you, the best I can think is that this might fall under the Dormant Commerce Clause doctrine - a doctrine that is so boring ConLaw professors read it to their kids at night to get them to go to sleep....but a doctrine that can occasionally cause momentous decisions like this one. Of course, maybe it's not based on the DCC at all. I should read the damn case and find out.

- Ben

Jeff said...

I'm bored at work, so I just read a little bit of the opinions. Ohio had offered DaimlerChrysler, who was already in the state, a tax credit if they expanded within OH instead of to another state. Seems the 6th ruled that this discriminated against interstate commerce and was thus an unconstitutional use of state power. Precedent for this is in US Supreme Court rulings Boston Stock Exchange v. State Tax Commission and Westinghouse v. Tully. I don't know how much this applies to the NC law, where Dell is looking to place a new factory rather than expand from an existing operation.