Runaway Plants

Howard, Robert
May 1979
New Republic;5/26/79, Vol. 180 Issue 21, p16
Comments on the twin economic phenomenon known as the "runaway corporation," and the "runaway plant," as illustrated by the story of Colonial Press in Clinton, Massachusetts. Closure of Colonial Press' printing and binding factory; Number of people employed at Colonial before its mergers with other companies; Sheller-Globe's acquisition of Colonial with neither the interest nor the expertise to maintain the high quality work for which Colonial was known; Conceptual problem of determining which plant closings are inevitable or justified and which ones constitute antisocial behavior; Clemson University economist Richard McKenzie's claim that any effort to regulate runaways is a solution to a nonexistent problem; Tax breaks given to runaways because of the competition between states; Attempt of certain unions to make economic dislocation a national issue


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