Badger Blog Alliance

Sic Semper Tyrannis

Thursday, June 05, 2008

GM pullout exposes state's vulnerability

The decision by General Motors to phase out the Janesville plant means a GM plant in Arlington, Texas, becomes the main producer of the once-popular SUVs built here.

GM executives never said it was either Janesville or Arlington as they decided on what plant closing to make in addition to plants in Canada, Mexico and Ohio.

But the Janesville and Arlington plants were once considered industrial mirror images. They've both worried about being shut down in the past.

Texas Republican congressman Joe Barton said the quality of Arlington's workforce was a factor in the plant avoiding closure. But Wisconsin governor Jim Doyle said GM officials had also praised the output and performance of GM's workforce.

Benton said other factors in Texas' favor were the state's lack of an income tax, and the state's status as a right-to-work-state.
People on the yes-let’s-raise-taxes train may not want to acknowledge it, and we can argue about the importance of costs like taxes, but they are factors.

There’s also this:

Auto industry analysts said Texas' proximity to lower-cost, Mexican supply factories, and lower wages for GM workers in Arlington, worked against Wisconsin.
We have to offer an even more attractive package of workforce and added costs (taxes, reglation) than Texas because of those additional factors.