The State of Iowa is again chasing a major employer for more jobs using massive tax incentives. The lure of 4,000 automobile manufacturing jobs with a new Toyota plant has Iowa Economic Development officials salivating to compete with Texas and Mississippi that could require a package costing state and local taxpayers over $500 million. At the same time, Governor Kim Reynolds and the GOP legislature are in denial that extravagant corporate giveaways have decimated government services from health care to education.
It seems that every government job to provide services to our children and seniors is worthless and only jobs in the private sector have value. An article in the Business Record on August 17 cites Brendan Walsh, executive vice president of American Express Global Commercial Payments, that small employers in the “middle market” are disproportionately creating jobs.
“What our Middle Market Power Index shows us is that economic growth does not always come from the most expected places,” Walsh said. “It’s not just the small startups and large multinational companies that are hiring the most people and leading the way in revenue growth, it is also midsized manufacturers and wholesalers in the heartland, which are becoming leaner and more globally competitive. Growth in these sectors, among other middle-market industries, is what is really moving the needle for the American economy.”
Most small businesses, without public subsidies, have driven growth while huge, highly-profitable multi-national corporations have been the benefactors of the GOP largesse. This is in spite of virtual full employment and the failure of Reynolds and her cohorts to govern responsibly.
Iowa government suffers from revenue starvation. Restoring high quality public education and health care for all Iowans takes public funding. Chasing golden gooses will only exhaust our resources and further lead Iowa down the path of poor schools and deprived but needy citizens. We don’t need to chase geese, but must restore public funding of essential public services. Let’s put 4,000 public servants back to work!
by Tim Urban