Out of Control Policy Blog

Economic development by litigation

Ohio is trying a novel approach to economic development: sue private companies if they don't keep jobs in the state. The air freight carrier DHL has decided to take advantage of the lower costs that UPS can provide, so its canceling its contract with higher cost ABX. Since ABX is based in Wlimington, Ohio, state Attorney General Lee Fisher has decided the best approach is to sue DHL for antitrust infractions.

According to the Wilimington (Ohio) News Journal:

Short of persuading DHL's parent company to renegotiate with the Wilmington-based cargo airlines, public officials are in basic agreement that the best chance to stop the transaction – and prevent the massive job loss and harmful impact on area families – is via anti-trust and other legal challenges.

....

Meanwhile Fisher, who is director of the Ohio Department of Development as well as lieutenant governor, briefed the task force on his June 25 phone call with Deutsch Post CEO Frank Appel. Media reports at the time correctly said Appel wasn't open to alternatives to the planned set-up with UPS, but sometimes omitted how Fisher was equally resolute in his response.
According to Raizk, Fisher made it clear on that phone call that the administration is not taking no for an answer.

There you have it. Official policy is to for companies to tow the line for the state government or get sued. My analysis of this novel approach to economic development written for The Buckeye Institute can be found here.

Jonah Goldberg's book Liberal Fascism, which seems more insightful by the day, can be purchased here.

Samuel Staley is Research Fellow


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