Old Jobs Called New Jobs is Still No New Jobs

by Lewis Loflin

One of the more interesting gimmicks by the practitioners of massive corporate welfare is what they call "jobs saved" and if that doesn't work what about outright deception? In reality business across the nation knows they can blackmail desperate communities for millions in corporate welfare and subsidies or simply threaten to leave.

The Bristol Herald Courier and Kingsport Times-News both announced September 17 that "Triad Packaging to add 25 jobs over next five years." Triad Packaging (www.triadpkg.com) has been around since 1984 with between 50 and 100 employees at their Bristol facility according to various sources. To quote their website:

Triad Packaging Inc. is a privately held corrugated converter founded in 1984. What began in a small building with only a few pieces of equipment and employees has grown over the past 25 years into a three facility operation with over 300,000 combined square feet of manufacturing. Triad Packaging employs over 150 associates throughout the Southeast and serves over 600 valued customers nationwide. Triad's other two locations are in Athens, Alabama and Gastonia, NC.

The first clue that something is fishy is to quote, "Triad Packaging will retain its current 35-member workforce and add another 25 jobs at the corrugated-package manufacturer over the next five years..." Excuse me, most of those promised jobs if they ever materialize are rehires back to their old employment level. These are not new jobs. The press reports hint at the routine corporate blackmail:

(Triad's president and CEO) Shillito said the Industrial Drive company is increasing its Bristol workforce and investing an estimated $1 million in local operations after ongoing work with numerous groups - including Tennessee's Department of Economic and Community Development, Networks Sullivan Partnership, Bristol officials and Bristol Tennessee Essential Services' Business Development Manager April Eads - to help Triad stay in the area.

Bristol Deputy City Manager Michael Sparks, who oversees the community's business and economic development efforts, noted that North Carolina lobbied Triad to expand its operations in that state rather than in Bristol. Sparks praised Triad for deciding to boost its local investment.

The Times-News reported the financing was obtained from BB&T Bank in Bristol. So what exactly was Triad given for some promised rehires sometime in the future? Will this be like the Eastman Chemical deal where Sullivan County and Kingsport handed out $60 million in tax breaks for the promise of 2000 new jobs by 2010, instead got 300 layoffs?

This is about saving what few jobs that are left and to justify the cushy jobs of economic developers leeching off the taxpayers and community. To quote: "Governor Haslam's Jobs4TN economic development plan has placed a renewed emphasis on existing industry, and we recognize the potential that companies like Triad Packaging have to create jobs for our citizens..." In other words there will be no new jobs, just an effort to save what is left at lower pay.

This system of states cutting each other throats over often low paying jobs from unstable companies has to end. The Federal Government imposes crushing regulations on business then subsidizes off-shoring allowing this form of blackmail to flourish. They have created this situation with destructive trade deals and anti-labor policies that allows corporations to terrorize communities costing local treasuries billions every year.

This system must be ended by treating all forms of corporate welfare as income and taxing it at 100 percent while cutting regulations and punitive taxes on business. This way we can restore a true free market system and end this system of crony capitalism.