The interstate and international competition for jobs creates a destructive race to the bottom–on wages, tax fairness, environmental protections, and even democratic rule– as progressives has long argued. Corporation use exit threats or dangling the possibility of new plants to keep wages low, eliminate or mnimize their taxes, and win exemptions from real enforcement of environmental laws.
While this is common widsom on the Left, it is always amazing to hear a frank admission from Ray Scott, one of Alabama’s leading Republicans, who served as George H.W. Bush’s campaign manager in the state in 1988:
”We do everything but kiss them all over their body from the bottom of their you-know-what to the top of the whatchamacallit trying to get these people to come in here and bring another industry in, and in one way we allow them to rape us.
They rape our streams. They rape our resources, and they bring a small payday in,” while paying property taxes that are ”an absolute joke.” As a result, says Scott, who is known nationally as founder of the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society and as President Bush’s fishing partner, ”we’re sucking the hind tit of poverty in this state in almost every count.”
From Howell Raines, "Alabama Bound," New York Times, June 3, 1990.