Letter to Toyota Motor Corporation from Marco Battaglia

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Auto Manufacturing

Dear Mr. Takeshi Uchiyamada, Mr. Akio Toyoda, and whomever it may concern

“Well, some people create their own opportunities; others go where opportunities are the greatest; others fail to recognize opportunity when they are face to face with it.”

Walter Chrysler

I have been behind the wheel of a Toyota since I have first been allowed to learn to drive in my country. My truck has gotten me and my band all around the country safely, afford-ably, and reliably. My truck is going on the 200,000 mile mark and I intend to keep driving it as long as it continues to do so. I had to laugh in high school when people would make remarks about me not driving a Chevy or a Ford because there are only a handful of companies that make more or very many more of their autos in the USA than Toyota. Off the top of my head Tesla and Jeep are among the few. I am of the belief that people anywhere on the globe would benefit from supporting local business and having more options of things that are manufactured locally, using locally sourced goods when possible. I think that it would be wonderful to have a new Toyota plant in Iowa and I think that you should give the thought some heavy consideration. I think that the workforce, and locations available would surpass your needs and expectations. On the other side of the bargain, approximately 4000 new jobs paying well above average wages? What Governor would not want that for the citizenry? Great question, if I may say so myself. I do however think that more and more consumers are beginning to take notice of what we now commonly call “incentive packages”. And I do think that everyone in the state that gives a damn should be pondering how to tackle the State budget, of which analysts expect Iowa’s total budget shortfall to reach about $350 million this year. I do know that your company often makes its moves based on business decisions. What do you think the cost in public relations would be if you chose to turn down what some now call corporate welfare and relied simply on the current strength of your company? I think that this move would be invaluable to the profitability of your company. Good products and good service speak for themselves. Just think Iowa we could woo companies just by being a damn good workforce and by simplifying our taxation so that it is clear and fair to local business and global corporations alike. I believe that when we think about government subsidies we should include thinking about tax loopholes and all manner of regulatory and trade decisions that give one company an edge over another via government force. The label of corporate welfare is often used to decry projects advertised as benefiting the general welfare that spend a disproportionate amount of funds on large corporations, and often in uncompetitive, or anti-competitive ways. For instance, in Iowa, agricultural subsidies are usually portrayed as helping independent farmers stay afloat. However, the majority of income gained from commodity support programs actually goes to large agribusiness corporations, as they own a considerably larger percentage of production than many remaining family farmers or new farmers do. What better way to win favor of consumers but to decree that their hard work and advantageous location is enough to make a situation win-win?

Sincerely

Gubernatorial candidate Marco Battaglia