Toyota is moving most of its U.S. operations from California to Texas. The state of Texas is paying the company $40 million to relocate. This represents an utterly stupid and useless case of corporate welfare detrimental to the public interest.
Texas governor and swaggering moron Rick Perry could be heard bragging to the Wall Street Journal about his pro-business policies paying off: "It is the biggest win we've had in a decade," the slick-haired glad-hander said. "Ten years of tax, regulatory, legal and educational policies have now put Texas at the top of the heap." The paper says that the state of Texas is paying Toyota $10,000 for each job they're moving to the state, the highest per-job rate of corporate welfare in a decade. About 3,000 jobs from California, and another 1,000 from Kentucky, are relocating to Texas.
Is Rick Perry a patriot? I would argue that, to the contrary, Rick Perry is engaged in domestic financial terrorism. These sorts of corporate welfare programs—that use public money in the form of tax breaks and financial incentives to lure businesses from one state to another—sound good, if you pretend that only your state matters, and furthermore, that your state is at war with all of the other states in America, and that you can only win by cannibalizing the resources of another state. If you see America as a nation, though, it quickly becomes clear that these programs are counterproductive and downright idiotic. Here is what the United States of America as a whole has gotten with this deal, which is typical of countless others of this nature:
California (-3,000 jobs) + Kentucky (-1,000 jobs) + Texas (+4,000 jobs)= 0 net jobs.
Financial cost to the public: -$40 million.
So our nation as a whole, thanks to politicians like Rick Perry, has gained zero jobs at a cost of $40 million. Great patriotic financial management there, you swaggering moron. If our federal government was rational it would ban these sorts of state vs. state corporate giveaways, because they only benefit one state at the expense of another state, and they cost public money, so on the whole they represent nothing more than a transfer of public funds into the pockets of corporations. If companies have actual compelling business reasons for moving their operations to a different state, they will do so even without public subsidies; if they don't have an actual compelling business reason to move their operations to a different state, then paying them public money to do so is the opposite of "efficiency" or "common sense." It is a desperate move by suckers (us).
Is Rick Perry pro-business? He sure is. He's pro-business, and anti-American.