WILL Press Release | Kimberly-Clark Incentives are Wrong, Unnecessary

State shouldn’t pay to save jobs in tight labor market


November 14, 2018 – Milwaukee, WI – The Joint Finance Committee of the state legislature is meeting today to consider a Foxconn-like incentives package for paper products manufacturer Kimberly-Clark. The aim of the bill is to save 600 jobs.

WILL President and General Counsel Rick Esenberg issued the following statement on the plan.

“Wisconsin politicians are trying to have it both ways. They rightfully boast of a positive economic climate with an unemployment rate below 3% for eight straight months.  And they correctly note that this success is a product of getting government out of the way and letting markets work. But at the same time they are considering interfering with the market and paying Kimberly-Clark $100 million to save jobs when the top concern for Wisconsin businesses is a labor shortage.

WILL Director of Public Engagement and Policy Analyst Collin Roth added:

On principle, this plan is wrong. Government shouldn’t pick winners and losers. The market and consumer choice ought to determine the destiny of businesses, not politicians. But given the state of Wisconsin’s economy, this plan is also unnecessary and counter-productive. If Wisconsin can’t pull back from corporate giveaways with a strong economy and a tight labor market, it never will.”

In February, WILL joined with The MacIver Institute, The Badger Institute, and FreedomWorks to express opposition to the Kimberly-Clark incentives legislation. A Wall Street Journal editorial called the plan part of a “no-win game” where businesses threaten to leave a state or cut jobs in a bid to secure taxpayer money.

The Kimberly-Clark incentives bill passed in the Assembly earlier this year. It did not receive a vote in the State Senate.

Read more of WILL’s commentary on the Kimberly-Clark incentives plan

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