A new report shows how little residents in Alabama are getting for opening up their wallets to corporations that promise economic prosperity. In the community of Anniston, Alabama A&M University Researcher Emily Erickson found jobs created paid little, were unsafe and offered fewer opportunities for Black people, who already earn significantly less than White people in the community.
“Incentives designed to attract jobs and investment to the region have not pulled the region out of poverty and into prosperity,” she wrote.
“Like much of the state, Anniston leaders have focused on attracting global manufacturers to the region as a remedy for low incomes and high poverty rates. Incentives designed to attract jobs and investment to the region have not pulled the region out of poverty and into prosperity. Since 1993 Alabama has spent nearly $5 billion in corporate subsidies (Good Jobs First, 2020). Former state lawmaker Patricia Todd writes that ‘the public, and many policymakers, seem to be unaware of the cost and impacts of these subsidies’ (Todd, forthcoming). A lack of transparency results in limited accountability and little community oversight.”