U.S. states vie for big Foxconn display panel factory


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YO! FOXCONN! Microsoft is closing a large touch panel display factory in Oregon to focus on Cloud computing and we have fresh, well trained, EXPERIENCED technical workers for a quick start to production plus an available dedicated two year old production facility ready to go. There is excellent transportation in all modalities, mild winters, endless outdoor activities, near the Pacific coast, a good corporate tax policy, and, best of all, Oregon. You will not find a better opportunity anywhere in the Midwest and both the summers (heat, humidity, tornados) and the winters (snow, brutal cold, more snow, and ice) in the Midwest are hard on man and beast. Oregon rarely freezes in winter and, although the days can become warm in summer, the nights always become wonderfully cool with ocean breezes. We are midway between Seattle and San Francisco and have a highly diverse ethnic community. And, in Texas you'll just fry in the summer and your air conditioning costs will eat into your profits. Again, we, Oregon, are ready to go. And Intel is just a short drive up the road. Come and see! You'll believe!

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This sounds dirty. These companies will play the states off against eachother to squeeze more and more public money out of the taxpayers. As a European, I'm glad the EU has made these sorts of state aids illegal. They only distort competition and misallocate resources. Factories should establish themselves where it makes longterm business sense to do so (ie. proximity to customers, transportation links, skilled workers, etc) not simply where they can extort the biggest tax cuts or other kickbacks. In the decades that follow, whichever state 'wins' this factory is probably going to be held to ransom time and time again with threats of closure and job cuts if more public money isn't forthcoming. What a nightmare.

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