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Ramsey: State incentives for GM plant decades ago may have been a 'mistake'
As state lawmakers consider a $166 million incentive package for a Volkswagen expansion in Chattanooga, a top Republican lawmaker said Thursday incentives for General Motors' Saturn Plant in Spring Hill years ago may have been "a mistake." Nashville Business Journal
Submitted yesterday


Tax increase isn't 'liberal' idea, it's common sense: Reader opinion
Governor Bentley has demonstrated common sense in calling for more tax dollars. Within his political party there are objections and frequent calls for small government. According to Census data Alabama state government expenditures are modest. Small government is not a panacea; it has its own problems... problems seen in crumbling infrastructure (roads, prisons, airports, waterways...), problems seen in meager state services (such as education) to the people.
Submitted 2 days ago


Why NC needs no business incentives
When they were out of power, North Carolina Republicans rightly attacked Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue’s wanton use of economic incentives. Since winning control of state government, however, some GOP leaders have regrettably changed their tune. Gov. Pat McCrory last year urged a reluctant legislature to adopt a more aggressive incentives program to entice corporations to locate in the state. Though incentives in the form of tax abatements and cash grants have been part of North Carolina’s economic development policy at the state and local level for years, there are sound reasons for abandoning this misguided policy. News Observer
Submitted 3 days ago


What If the Economy Were Awesome, Always and Forever?
Since the 2007-08 financial crisis, income inequality has widened, labor-force participation has fallen and productivity growth has been abysmal. In its Economic Report of the President, the White House Council of Economic Advisers conducts a little thought experiment to show what might have happened if those forces hadn’t stalled the economy. First, a little history. The report divides the postwar period into three distinct eras. They call the 1948-73 period the “Age of Shared Growth,” in which the U.S. enjoyed a burst of productivity following World War II, as wartime innovations made their way into commercial use. The Wall Street Journal
Submitted 4 days ago


GOP is bamboozling Americans, Obama says
President Barack Obama’s done running for office, but not making fun of Republicans. In a speech to the Democratic National Committee’s winter meeting Friday in Washington, Obama ripped into Hill Republicans — and Sens. Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) in particular — for attempts to “spin” and “bamboozle” Americans by claiming to be for the middle class. Politico
Submitted 5 days ago


“50 Shades” of Confederate grey: Why the Christian right is losing power over Southern morality
The release last week of BDSM blockbuster “50 Shades of Grey” has left many voices on the Christian right predictably incensed. One writer at the Christian Post, for example, warns readers that ”the plague of pornography is an epidemic in our culture, and this movie will make things far worse.” The same writer later insists that “porn damages the brain.” Focus on the Family, in its review, observed that “any love story without God gets twisted into a broken, heartbreaking jumble.” But even that negative review wasn’t enough to save Focus on the Family from the rebuke of other Christian organizations, who consider it sinful even to review the film at all. “The Scriptures warn us to ‘flee from sexual immorality,’ not run toward it in the name of evangelism,” wrote the Christian website Gospel Spam. “Even the lost knows that this material is trashy, why is it that a supposed mature Christian ministry hasn’t quite figured it out?” Salon
Submitted 8 days ago


Lack of economic freedom holds Alabama back
Much fanfare has surrounded the recent announcement that Polaris will be building a manufacturing plant in Huntsville and will “create” a projected 1,700 new jobs.We should, however, be careful to distinguish between job announcements and actual jobs. Montgomery Advertiser
Submitted 9 days ago


What Alabama’s Roy Moore Got Right
Roy Moore, the chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, escalated the conflict over same-sex marriage last week, when he ordered probate judges in the state not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, even after a federal judge struck down Alabama’s ban on the practice. In a recent radio interview, Moore said that he would continue to resist federal intervention: “There’s nothing in the U.S. Constitution that authorizes the Supreme Court of the United States or any federal court anywhere to misinterpret the word marriage to include something outside that.” The government, he added, does not have the power to “redefine marriage.” The common progressive reaction is simple: reject the phrase “redefining marriage.” It is biased, according to this reaction, to take marriage to be defined as traditional marriage. If the Supreme Court sanctions same-sex marriage, it will be expanding the class of people to whom an existing institution applies. When women received the right to vote, that did not redefine “voting”: it was just expanding the same institution to include more people. When a state raises the drinking age, that does not redefine “drinking.” Similarly for marriage. New York Times
Submitted 11 days ago


Which will win? Hope vs Fear and Ignorance
Clarksville, TN – Our society is at war with itself. The downturn in the economy has brought great fears to many citizens. People who focus on their fears have little chance of seeing a solution. Fear is a paralyzing emotion. Mix that with ignorance of some basic facts that are misconstrued by devious politicians seeking their own aggrandizement and you get demonstrations that defy logic.
Submitted 11 days ago


Viewpoint: Florida failing its sick, poor
The Sunshine State has one of the highest rates of uninsured in the nation, and things could get worse, experts warn, if the Legislature does not take action. Experts painted a grim picture of health care in Florida on during a recent League of Women Voters of Florida media conference call.
Submitted 12 days ago

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Features & Opinion

 Top Ten Places in the South for Relocating California Companies

Just look around at what's happening in the aerospace industry in the American South. Aerospace is really making a move to become one of the region's top two industry sectors. It’s not there yet, but if large project counts are any indication, aerospace may soon challenge the petrochemicals sector as the second largest industry in the region. Never before has the aerospace industry been so important to the South's economy. Oh, what's the No. 1 industry sector in the South? Automotive is, of course. That industry hasn't been challenged much for 25 years in this region, or since we’ve been counting.


 Randle Report - Business News in the South

By Stacy Randle
Demographer Wendell Cox recently analyzed the largest gains in holders of bachelor's and post-graduate degrees between 2007 and 2012 in the 51 metro regions in the U.S. of 1 million residents or more. The results were published in Forbes magazine and the South dominated the ranking.

 Business News in the South - Randle Report

This is our annual "Made in the South" issue and it's timely because there is a new player in the South's manufacturing universe. For almost two decades, economic developers and politicos in the South and the U.S. have been chasing Chinese projects with little or nothing to show. Want proof we've been chasing ghosts in China for years? Okay, go ahead and name a Chinese brand that's made in the South? Tick. . .tick. . .tick. Give up?
 Nashville Mayour Karl Dean
If you have ever seen one of my presentations, then you know about the word "reshoring" and how that phenomenon has lifted the spirits of even the most skeptical Southerners regarding the future of the region's economy. After all, in the last four decades, manufacturing has suffered a bloodletting never before seen in U.S. history. The biggest factor behind the slow and long meltdown that began in the 1990s was the herd mentality to offshore manufacturing capacity to cheaper locales, primarily by U.S.-owned companies.



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