Monday, July 25, 2005

conservatism costs jobs

A few weeks ago Toyota announced it would open its seventh North American plant in Woodstock, Ontario. Several US states offered hundreds of millions of dollars more in subsidies, but not enough to overcome the extra costs Toyota said it would have to spend on training US workers in the South. A Canadian auto union official said Japanese auto manufacturers have had to resort to using pictures to train workers in Mississippi and Alabama.

It's not just our crappy public schools letting us down. Canadian workers end up being cheaper despite conferable wages because of the savings generated by the Canadian national health system.

Inadequate public education? Non-universal health care coverage? Conservatism costs jobs -- in this case, 1300 of them.

Paul Krugman today weighed in on the Toyota decision, noting correctly that corporations will vote with their feet to go to places with adequately trained work forces and with health costs made cheaper by universal coverage.

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