South Ensuring Detroit Won't Rise Again

States woo Northern economy with lower wages, 'inhumane standards'
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Dec 18, 2008 1:20 PM CST
Tennessee's Bob Corker, a key Republican negotiator, is among those who blocked the auto bailout.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – It's no coincidence that Dixie senators derailed the Big Three bailout, since the South—with anti-union laws, low wages, and modest taxes—has built a counter-Detroit that will ensure that neither the Motor City or the South will rise again, Michael Lind writes in Salon. The same tactics were used to poach Northern textile factories early last century, he adds, calling for a "Third Reconstruction" that puts a halt to the South's spiraling "race to the bottom."

Foreign automakers have spied an outsourcing opportunity in the affordable South that threatens not just the North, but Southerners themselves. Their desire for good pay, education, and public services will be "sacrificed to the greed of the well-connected few," Lind says, unless Congress and Barack Obama—oft likened to Abe Lincoln anyway—push federal control over Southern wages and regulations.