Job Poaching Effort Will Probably Come Up Empty-Handed

July 2, 2015

Florida Governor Rick Scott is trying to take advantage of a fiscal controversy in Connecticut but he is probably wasting his time. Last week Scott flew to Hartford as part of his campaign to lure companies to the Sunshine State. This job poaching is nothing new. He’s made similar trips in the past and has also sent out mailings to corporate executives.

Scott is targeting three large Connecticut-based companies – General Electric, Aetna and Travelers – that have expressed their disappointment with a new tax increase in that state. Yet for all their complaints, these companies are unlikely to move and are probably angling for special tax deals for themselves. Scott’s visit might do nothing more than improve their bargaining position.

Gov. Scott in Connecticut. Image via News 12 Connecticut

Gov. Scott is not the only governor who has tried to lure companies from other states. The best known poacher is former Texas governor and current presidential hopeful Rick Perry, who took the practice to a new level . The current Texas Governor, Greg Abbott, following in his predecessor’s footsteps, has just announced a trip to New Hampshire to pitch Texas. Wisconsin’s Scott Walker, Indiana’s Mitch Daniels and New Jersey’s Chris Christie are also known for largely unsuccessful efforts to pirate jobs from other states.

One can just wonder if this new economic development “practice” is worth the time, effort and money.  If only Gov. Scott would focus on what actually matters for business and economic development: good schools, a good workforce, and good infrastructure.