By on August 25, 2008

Show up a thumb for each $1000 in incentives you\'re planningGM's $350m investment in Cruze production capacity in Lordstown, OH was big news for the "American Revolution." A compact car, built in America… and all it took was $80m in taxpayer-funded incentives to GM.  That, ladies and gentlemen is what passes for a PR win-win these days. In fact the good vibrations were flowing so freely at the big Cruze announcement that Ohio Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher even told Rick Wagoner that if he commited to another Lordstown model by Thursday, the good people of Ohio would "double the incentives." The Detroit News reports that Fisher was "joking" but goes on to say that GM did take the offer seriously enough to go on the record and decline the kind joke/offer. But the unrequited-love awkwardness isn't stopping the DetN from wallowing around in the Cruze-y feel-good. Check out their soft-focus paean to GM's once-proud tradition of actually employing Americans, featuring proud Hamtramck workers gushing lines like "We've got such an incredible history. I mean GM, of course, but I guess I'm thinking of my family too." As the kids say, Vom.

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11 Comments on “Ohio Hearts GM. Maybe Too Much?...”

  • avatar

    If you come to Ohio, visit any of the small towns in every region of the state. They have all been devastated by the wholesale destruction of our manufacturing base in this country.

    I could give you names of towns that are basically empty factories and downtowns, but just visit Wooster (abandoned by Rubbermaid), Newark (Owens-Coring), Portsmouth (Steel), Celina (Huffy bikes), Dayton (NCR, Delco, Delphi), etc. There are hundreds just like them in the state.

    The few good paying jobs left that let the state continue to support it’s infastructure are invaluable. Not every state can make it’s money on the backs of illegal immigrants – somebody has to earn an honest dollar for the future of this country.

  • avatar

    Ohio has more then several of my “honest dollars..” from a bogus speed trap last year.

    It makes me struggle to care about these people anymore….

    Hasn’t this region figured out yet that these industries are not coming back? Wasn’t Reagan present when the term “rust belt” was coined? And yet, they’re still waiting?

    Where’s the tipping point when they are going to try and do something else?

    PS – I feel the same about Canadian Fisherman too – they’re still waiting for all the fish they previously harvested for the past 100 years to somehow reincarnate themselves back into the North Atlantic.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    Ohio is a cop ridden, high-tax, hell hole — no wonder the factories fled. I am stuck here while my mother is still alive (she is 85). When she goes, I go too.

  • avatar

    Being from the Youngstown area, I can verify taxman100’s assertiions and add to his list. Northeast Ohio was hit especially hard in the early 1980’s by the double whammy of the loss of steel mills and the loss of auto manufacturing.

    For folks not familiar with the situation, Ohio has more people working in the auto industry than Michigan does (which is where I reside now). A Chapter 11 or Chapter 7 of any of the domestics will have a devastating effect on the area, regardless of what the coastal types seem to think. The only cold comfort some will get is that when the other shoe drops, it WILL affect you.

    For all of the bad reputation that Lordstown retains, they are one of the few bright areas in that part of Ohio and North American Operations. From worst to first. Like many people from the Valley, I have friends and relations working there and wish only the best for them.

    I don’t blame the Lt. Gov. for shilling for more jobs. If I were in government anywhere around here, I would too…

  • avatar

    I hope this will help turn GM around. Quickly…

  • avatar

    All state governments give incentives to manufactures to set up factories in their state. Its not just Ohio.

  • avatar

    Ohio could try lowering their taxes and maybe laying off some govt. workers. Instead, they’ll just continue to whine and watch more businesses and people move to Texas.

  • avatar

    …And we will welcome those large businesses with open arms. However, our legislature has decided to try putting the little guy out of business with regulation and tax programs that are both byzantine and oppressive.

    I do have faith though. We will get it fixed. They know better than to try to take our guns, here. So they know who is really in charge.

  • avatar

    The rust belt psyche: “faith and guns”. And with this life philosophy they try to fend off Toyota and BMW.

  • avatar

    Our Gov is really worried about keeping HIS job.


  • avatar

    Ohio is among the top-5 highest taxed states. This is one of the main reasons driving businesses away from the state, and preventing new ones from forming in-state.

    Giving away free taxpayer money to corporations is a good way to further alienate Ohio businesses. Not only do they and their employees pay very high taxes to the state, but the state turns around and give it for free to other corporations.

    Of course, the cost for that, and the big crunch in the state government, will have to be made up by raising the already high taxes for businesses and individuals who just made a sweetheart contribution to GM, with no say in the matter.

    And so the Ohio death spiral continues. As taxes are thereby raised, so do frustrated business owners depart, and so does unemployment continue to rise.

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