TN Republican Wants to Kill Hundreds of Thousands of Jobs Because Unions

The state of Tennessee is about to approve a package of more than $165 million in tax incentives for Volkswagon to create hundreds of thousands of jobs in that state, but a Republican state legislator is opposed to it because those workers might form unions.

Tennessee Republican state Sen. Bo Watson warned on Tuesday that a plan to bring 200,000 jobs to his state was a “magnet for unionized labor, intentionally.”

According to Chattanooga Times Free Press, Watson told the state Senate Commerce Committee that approving $165.8 million in tax incentives for Volkswagen was dangerous because unions could change the “culture” of Tennessee.

“I hope the committee will take some time to fully vet this incentive offer,” Watson advised. “At the end of the day, we can have no buyer’s remorse.”

“The incentive, no doubt, will create about 200,000 jobs directly, and countless more indirectly,” he admitted. “It will give southeast Tennessee a big foothold in the automotive industry, particularly in research and development. And it will allow the development of a new line of Volkswagen vehicles, particularly the SUV.”

But Watson asserted that the threat of organized labor unions might not be worth the benefits that Volkswagen would bring to the state.

“VW is a magnet for organized labor, intentionally,” he opined. “I believe this committee should know and understand what Volkswagen’s position is on this issue, both here and in Germany.”

Watson ended up not voting for the incentives, but all the others on the committee did. Seriously, how fucked in the head do you have to be to take this position after admitting that this would create hundreds of thousands of jobs not only in your state, but in your specific district?

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • birgerjohansson

    It makes sense from an ideological point of view. If your primary objective is to block your perceived enemies, it makes sense to burn down the country as a “schorched earth” tactic.

    Because Republicans are Patriots (TM).

  • Kengi

    Sen. Bo Watson has a valid point. Bringing in hundreds of thousands of jobs to a state (including many high-tech jobs) will certainly change the culture of the state. It would probably increase the population and many people there would no longer marry their cousins. Someone has to defend traditional Tennessee family values.

    Think of the children!

    Education levels may even rise, and health-care could become wide-spread. Many would even bring in their foreign music, like that “rock and roll” stuff. Tennessee just wouldn’t be Tennessee anymore…

  • kenbakermn

    I bet he knew it would pass without his vote. He just wanted to be on record as casting an ideologically correct vote.

  • John Pieret

    All you need to understand about Bo is the title: “Tennessee Republican state Sen.” You know all those damn unionists vote the Democrat party line! Purdy soon the whole state will be bright blue.

  • dugglebogey

    The Tennessee republicans have been sour on VW ever since they found out that the company is pro-union. Nevermind that they are required to be by German law.

  • http://www.thelosersleague.com theschwa

    It could bring 200,000 jobs. But if the unions get involved, it will only be 100,000 jobs! Scrap the whole plan!!!11

  • Drew

    Seriously, how fucked in the head do you have to be to take this position after admitting that this would create hundreds of thousands of jobs not only in your state, but in your specific district?

    The fact that it’s in his specific district is the problem. All those union folks in his district mean that he’s going to lose his seat. It’s also going to significantly throw off all of the gerrymandering that they did in drawing their district lines. They might actually risk a democratic legislature.

  • karmacat

    It’s the “cut off your nose to spite your face” ideology.

  • smrnda

    Did it ever occur to him that the culture of Tennessee might just be something that needs to change? Then again, plenty of southerners seem to be hanging onto the lost cause of finding something to be proud of with the whole ‘heritage’ thing.

  • parasiteboy

    I’m even more surprised that he voted against it since Tenn. is already a right to work state.

  • Sastra

    I also question the wisdom of his assuming that poor, unemployed, or underemployed Republicans (and those who love them) are all going to jump up eagerly and respond to the usual Republican dog whistles when they’re also looking at the potential of an incoming business with 20,000 jobs. There’s always the danger of reaching that tipping point where people suddenly come to, shake their heads, wipe their feet, and head off in another direction.

  • kantalope

    What could be worse for the state of Tennessee than higher wages and benefits for workers?

  • http://festeringscabofrealityblogspot.com fifthdentist

    He has a point. Maybe Tennessee should look to grant tax incentives to a project that is more in line with its values and culture, and it just so happens that Ken Ham’s historical Noah’s Ark project ran into a snag in nearby Kentucky, where the evil, heathen God-haters insisted on Ham following the law prohibiting discriminatory hiring practices.

    That could be a match made in heaven, and it could result in dozens of minimum-wage jobs — many of them part-time — with no benefits for Tennessee if the dinosaur history museum and planned ark historical exhibit could be lured to Tennessee.

    Not only that, but Ham would diligently withhold every penny in taxes to Tennessee that he possibly could. So we can be sure it would be a good, conservative-Christian-operated enterprise.

    Let those Socialist, union-loving Krauts put their factory in a more enlightened state. … Like South Carolina.

  • grumpyoldfart

    Bo is no fool. Now the lobbyists know for sure that he has no shame. They will be chucking money at him from now on.

  • moarscienceplz

    All you slaves, get back to the cotton fields. Tennessee culture forever!

  • moarscienceplz

    What could be worse for the state of Tennessee than higher wages and benefits for workers?

    Now that’s just silly. Money belongs in the hands of billionaires, not workers. If you give money to workers, they just waste it on food and clothing, instead of forming PACs to funnel it to Republican politicians, as God intended.

  • Michael Heath

    Ed asks (rhetorically):

    Seriously, how fucked in the head do you have to be to take this position after admitting that this would create hundreds of thousands of jobs not only in your state, but in your specific district?

    Sen. Bo Watson only appears more zany because he’s conceding obvious economic benefits vs. U.S. conservatives and libertarians who lie about efficacy of policies they oppose, e.g., policies to stimulate the economy in 2009, the Fed’s monetary policies during the recession. So it only appears more zany because Sen. Watson’s being more honest than modern-day conservatives and libertarians. His argument’s far more sane than what McCain, Romney, and all the other GOP leaders have advocated since Sec. of Treasury Paulson left the U.S. Treasury.

  • Donnie

    Dammit! I wish that I was an Executive of VW. Had I heard of his remarks, knowing that I would be part of a great business opportunity but the political will within the district setting up the plant was not 100% behind VW, I would threaten to move the plant to another TN district or State.

    Of course, that is why I would never be an Executive of VW or any other company. i would end up showing my ruthlessness instead of sufficient ass kissing well before I could get into a CEO position to actual wield that ruthlessness.

    Plus, I would more likely to be more business orientated by saying, ‘Suck it America! you are soooo desperate for jobs that you are willing to give my company incentives to locate a plant in your State, and I get political support for busting Unions increasing my profit? Suckers!” instead of pushing the buttons of one State rep.

    On the other hand, you would expect a more ruthless CEO would demand Koch-like sucking demands towards politicians to a corporation? Hence, threatening to pull out of his District unless Sen. Bo Watson gave up total and complete sycophant to me, as the CEO. You would expect the other State Senators would swirling Sen. Watson in the State Senate washroom?

    Hard to tell which way to push?

    Also: Yes, and reading between the lines my mind is seemingly wondering towards this weekend. Why do you ask?

  • eric

    Evidently the invisible hand of the free market can solve any problem, except unions. Those we gotta regulate out of existence.

  • theguy

    “approving $165.8 million in tax incentives for Volkswagen was dangerous because unions could change the ‘culture’ of Tennessee.”

    Oh noes! Not the culture! Not that I’ve ever been to Tennessee, but I know there’s a problem there with poverty and lack of health insurance. A new plant with unionized workers could help change that.

    “And it will allow the development of a new line of Volkswagen vehicles, particularly the SUV.”

    This I found surprising. Companies are still making SUVs? Is it because oil prices have dropped? People aren’t worried about climate change? (well, duh for some people, I guess)

  • Childermass

    Not that it makes this creep’s statement any less asinine, but no new plant is going to directly employ 200,000 people in Tennessee or anywhere else.

    Not only does not care one whit about working people, he does not care that his figures are WAY off. The world’s largest auto plant is in a Hyundai plant in Korea that employes 34,000 workers.

  • zmidponk

    birgerjohansson:

    It makes sense from an ideological point of view. If your primary objective is to block your perceived enemies, it makes sense to burn down the country as a “schorched earth” tactic.

    Because Republicans are Patriots (TM).

    Actually, from what I’ve seen, the general Republican tactic is to burn down the country as a ‘scorched earth’ tactic – then blame the resulting pile of ashes on whatever is the current liberal thing to demonise and/or liberals in general.

  • felidae

    Destroying the culture of Tennessee would require the abandonment of long held assumptions like the value of widespread ignorance

  • http://www.facebook.com/den.wilson d.c.wilson

    Destroying the culture of TN apparently means more high paying jobs with good benefits and what? Less moonshine, meth, and incest?

  • Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    …and the definition of “culture”

  • shadow

    Don’t they believe that culture can only be found in yoghurt?

  • weatherwax

    Here in So Cal a few years back we had a company trying to set up what would have been a useful train line, using existing tracks. The local Republican. state rep. fought it tooth and nail. ‘Cause stuff might get stolen off the train, and the police would then have to investigate, unacceptably draining their resources.

    So don’t open any new businesses, ’cause it’ll just overwork the police.

  • http://johnm55.wordpress.com johnm55

    I wonder if it has occurred to him that Volkswagen like most German companies prefer to have a unionised workforce.

    While the company and the Union may not always see exactly eye to eye on everything the negotiating forum that results from having a unionised workforce that wants the employing company to prosper brings about a genuine win – win situation. A happier, fully trained, well paid workforce that produces quality products efficiently. A good union brings training and health and safety deficits to the attention of the management before they become a production problem. It is not just about pay.

    Or is having well trained workers, working in a safe environment for decent wages against Tennessee culture as well?