Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

The Wars Between the States by Richard C. Longworth

It would seem impossible for Midwestern states to get any sillier and more irrelevant, but they're trying. In a time of continuing recession and joblessness, with crunching budget problems, failing schools, crumbling infrastructure and no real future in sight, these states have decided to solve their problems by stealing jobs from each other.

The most recent example is the so-called "border war" between Kansas and Missouri, as the two states compete to see how much money they can throw at businesses to move from one state to the other. The focus of this war is Kansas City — both the Kansas one and the Missouri one, basically a single urban area divided not only by an invisible line down the middle of a street but by a mindless hostility that keeps its two parts from working together.

This competition is not new, but it seems to have heated up since 2009, when Kansas passed a law that lets companies relocating to the state keep 95 percent of their employee withholding tax for up to 10 years. This has lured several companies to move from Kansas City, Missouri, to Kansas City, Kansas (known locally as KCK) and its suburbs, bringing several hundred jobs with them. Stung by the moves, the Missouri KC has offered multi-million-dollar packages to keep firms, like the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and AMC Entertainment, from decamping to the Kansas side.

Top Corporate Leaders Urge Governors to Stop Poaching Neighbors’ Businesses, Kansas City Star, April 11, 2011
Businesses Stand to Gain Most in Rivalry of States, New York Times, April 7, 2011

Kansas and Missouri aren't the only Midwestern states raiding each other's watermelon patches. The governors of Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana, which would seem to share a common economy, have been squabbling over which state has the lowest taxes, to the point that Indiana and Wisconsin have posted billboards on their state lines urging Illinois companies to flee north or east, as the case may be (presumably passing en route all those Democratic legislators from Indiana and Wisconsin who hid out in Illinois to avoid having to vote for objectionable legislation back home.) 

In Kansas and Missouri, all this has reached the point that even businesses in the two KCs, which presumably could benefit from these bribes, have told their two states to grow up. Seventeen leading businessmen from both sides of the border sent an open letter to Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, urging them to voluntarily "agree to a bilateral halt" in this "economic border war."

Nixon responded positively. Brownback basically told the businessmen to go jump in the Missouri River. This probably has something to do with the fact that, so far, Kansas has been winning most of these battles. Whatever the reason, Brownback's press secretary said Kansas would keep on poaching, because the state "needs to compete and win against 49 other states plus Europe, India, China and the rest of the world."

Well, no argument there. Except competition with "Europe, India, China and the rest of the world" has nothing to do with this juvenile job-raiding. In fact, this "border war" keeps Missouri and Kansas from competing globally — indeed, robs them of the tools they need to compete globally.

Some rational thought shows why. It's precisely these states' inability to compete globally that causes them to declare war on the folks next door.

In a global economy, Kansas and Missouri aren't competing with each other, any more than Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin are competing with each other. The real competition is 10,000 miles away and all Midwesterners know that we're losing it. The region — not just the individual cities and states but the entire region — is losing companies, manufacturing, jobs, people, congressional seats and college grads, which means they're losing the resources needed to compete in a global economy.

Clearly, what the Midwestern states are doing isn't working. You'd think they'd do what the Europeans, Indians, Chinese and other competitors are doing, which is to form regional alliances to leverage all their strengths, to maximize their economies of scale, to merge their assets in to a single world-beating economy. On a global scale, Midwestern states are tiny: there are more than 30 Chinese cities with more people than there are in all of Kansas. But as a region, the Midwest has more than 60 million people which, even on a global scale, counts for something.

But this involves political initiative. It also involves spending on education. It requires the sort of imagination necessary to recognize that the old ways don't work and a new approach — to economic development and job creation — is needed.

But governors seemingly don't get paid for imagination and, these days, they're avoiding all the spending they can. Especially, they don't get paid for anything that benefits the states next door. By mandate, they are geography-bound, forced to limit all thinking and action within their state lines. Any business they can steal from next door looks good to their voters, whether it makes sense or not. Their economic development people, who know from hard experience that this is insane, go along, because the governor signs their paychecks and, as one official told me, "governors just love to cut ribbons."

One reason this doesn't work is that poaching businesses involves giving tax breaks to the poachee. Right now, states aren't spending on the future because they're broke, and one reason they're broke is that they're giving away badly-needed tax money. The letter from the Kansas City businessmen made this point clearly:

"At a time of severe fiscal constraint, the effect to the states is that one state loses tax revenue while the other forgives it. The states are being pitted against each other and the only real winner is the business who is 'incentive shopping' to reduce costs. The losers are the taxpayers who must provide services to those who are not paying for them." 

Neither does this poaching usually create new jobs. Most of these cross-border raids, in Kansas-Missouri and in other states, involve companies just moving a few miles away across the state line — usually so close that their workforce changes not at all. People just commute in different directions. The overall impact on job totals, incomes and economic gain in the region itself is absolutely nil.

Only one person gains if a business crosses the state line, and that's the "winning" governor, who gets to claim short-term job growth on his turf during his tenure. This, of course, is why this practice continues. The payoff to the governor is immediate and gives him a boost in his next campaign. Really creating jobs in the region and restoring genuine economic growth is a long-term project that spans many gubernatorial terms and, hence, holds no charm for the incumbent of the day.

The state governments and governors, like Brownback, claim that these tax lures are necessary to draw in companies not from next door but from far-away states. If so, they aren't working. A University of Illinois study showed that there are some 300 significant corporate relocations in the United States every year, and about 15,000 different economic development organizations — state, county and local — competing for them. In other words, the odds against success are fifty-to-one. No wonder states go for a quick and dirty kidnapping across the state line.

Even when truly new investment takes place, such as the building of a Japanese car factory in the United States, the states let themselves be played for suckers. State economic development officials tell me that the company, such as Honda or BMW, simply announces that it intends to set up a new assembly plant somewhere in the Midwest. Then the company just sits back and watches the states throw money at them, trying to outbid each other with tax holidays, free land, training subsidies and other lavish gifts.

All the states know this goes on. All know they could stop it in an instant by banding together and refusing to play the game. But all are so jealous of each other, and all governors are so anxious to cut that ribbon, that they just can't help themselves.

Mark Drabenstott, in his Heartland Paper for the Global Midwest Initiative, Past Silos and Smokestacks, wrote that these recruiting incentives and other bribes account for no less than 80 percent of economic development budgets in the twelve Midwestern states. That leaves virtually no money left over for approaches that might really work.

Every economic development professional knows that this adds nothing to the Midwest's long-term growth or its ability to compete globally with China and other rising nations. The only true solution is to create truly  new companies and industries by building them from the ground up  — by investing in local education, encouraging local entrepreneurs, setting up incubators, growing business services, increasing venture capital.

This is called economic gardening, and it works. It means working regionally. It means spending money, not giving it away in tax breaks. It means planting seeds now, knowing they won't sprout until some other governor is in office.

Right now, Midwestern governors are competing not with China but with each other to see how much they can slash spending in the next few months while stealing jobs from the next state. It's easier. It makes a better headline. And it's useless. 

Richard C. Longworth is a Senior Fellow at The Chicago Council on Global Affairs. He is the author of Caught in the Middle: America’s Heartland in the Age of Globalism.

This post originally appeared in The Midwesterner on April 15, 2011.

Topics: Economic Development, Globalization, Public Policy, Regionalism, Strategic Planning
Cities: Kansas City

21 Responses to “The Wars Between the States by Richard C. Longworth”

  1. Max says:

    Excellent piece summarizing what we have been suffering through in KC for years now. Do you see the federal government stepping it at anytime with anything to stop this “race to the bottom”? Its arguably the kind of interstate commerce Congress was granted the right to govern.

  2. Cool Beanz says:

    I read an article just yesterday about this phenomenon occurring between New Jersey and New York, maybe the two most notorious competing states in the U.S.


    Gov. Christie of NJ has been using the tax incentive strategy to lure business away from New York City. Since his term began at the beginning of 2010, he has spent a total of $1 billion in incentives!

    He even nixed a vital rail connection between NJ and NY, and sacrificed $3 billion in federal funds, to fund more road development in NJ.

    What’s interesting is that Mayor Bloomberg of NYC has is employing the opposite strategy, what you call economic gardening. He is instead focusing tax money on quality-of-life issues such as alternative transportation and safety, and is betting that in the long run NYC will attract more business.

    So far Gov. Christie’s strategy has worked in the short term, as he has recently stole a lot of jobs from NY. It will be interesting to see how this plays out over time though. Will more businesses flock to the low-taxed NJ or will they pay more to settle in a high quality-of-life NYC?

  3. Jason Tinkey says:

    Just making the threat of relocation is enough to get a state to throw money at a corporation. We saw this just last week in Illinois with Sears Holdings. A failing company got a fat new tax break to stay in a failing suburban commercial development that was initially paid for largely by the state.

    The state now gets to continue to subsidize the sprawl brought on by them decamping their formerly eponymous tower in the city, and for a company that has no strategic plan as to how it will return to relevancy.

    The current system benefits somebody other than sitting governors, and that is the “personage” of large corporations. If your business gets big enough, just an idle threat of moving a few miles away can be enough to ensure you will be showered with massive government subsidies.

    In fairness to Pat Quinn, I don’t think he wants to be playing this game either, but Governors Walker & Daniels have forced his hand. If Sears were to have left Illinois, it would not have had a huge financial impact on the state (they employ a lot of folks, but their corporate tax payments were already minuscule). The symbolic loss would have been massive of course, but the state would have recovered from it. Whether that recovery would have come in time for the next election is an open question.

  4. John says:

    Ohio recently gave away $6.6 million to Bob Evans to move it’s headquarters from a place that needs jobs (the south side of Columbus) to a the wealthiest suburb in the region (New Albany), which just happens to be where the CEO lives. New Albany kicked in another $9.8 million. It’s corporate blackmail. I wish the politicians would tell them to go eff themselves.

  5. Wad says:

    In California, there’s a present drama being played out over the fate of 400 redevelopment agencies.

    Gov. Jerry Brown proposed eliminating them to close the budget deficit. He’s also citing studies showing that the redevelopment authorities and enterprise zones have no bearing on job growth.

    The cities, meanwhile, are pushing back. They say the redevelopment authorities are needed to make them competitive, and also say that state regulations are what is causing their commercial and industrial tenants to leave.

    Both make very compelling cases.

  6. tacitus says:

    One of the factors which is rarely mentioned: The 10-year old $2B Sprint-Nextel headquarters is in the Kansas City exurbs (on the Kansas side). Due to layoffs, there is a great deal of mothballed office space there — and a desire to lease it out at cut-throat costs. Right now, they’re willing to part with some 300,000 square feet of office space which is already finished and furnished, free parking, telecommunications, and (I think) utilities provided for a mere $16 per square foot.

    So the desire to see this office space leased is there, and the state of Kansas will rebate the income tax paid by employees of a company that moves for 10 years. Using this mechanism, they’re offering companies such as AMC (you know, the movie people) $50m to move from downtown Kansas City Mo to the Kansas exurbs. Missouri and Kansas City lose income, and Kansas doesn’t gain it. What’s more, it doesn’t take much to see that AMC would probably only sign a 10 year lease on the Sprint campus — then use that to play the two states against each other once the lease is up.

  7. Jake says:

    We just saw this in Cleveland. Both Eaton Corp. And American Greetings used move threats to get sweet new deals in the Cleveland suburbs.

    This happened despite huge deficits at every level and every school district in the area begging for more money to retain basic services.

  8. Zach says:

    The focus on “the midwest” here is really misguided. I used to live in Kansas City. I now live in Baltimore. DC/MD/VA job sniping is every bit as intense as that in KC and more. We’ve also got plenty of senseless border disputes where laws differ on cigarette/liquor taxes, sales tax, gambling, etc.

    @tacitus — How in the world does filling the Sprint campus (which was built on a ton of tax incentives to start with) not help the state’s revenue? Are the employees that move to the Kansas side given income tax vouchers and the businesses around the Spring campus given sales tax vouchers?

    I can envision binding pacts between states similar to the WTO that would ban these sorts of anticompetitive policies, but until we have that the race to the bottom will continue as long as there’s a slight benefit to getting a business to move.

  9. Mike says:

    It is interesting how the recent announcement by Google that they were bringing their gigabit fiber project to Kansas City has played out. Back in March they announced that Kansas City Kansas was the winning city (out of hundreds of applicants) for the project. This was touted heavily by the KCK unified government and business leaders.

    Just yesterday, Google announced (not at all unexpectedly) that the fiber network would also encompass KCMO as well. Like I said, this was not unexpected – in March Google said nearby cities would get the fiber as well, and having both cities wired is a huge economic win for our region and the whole metro area. Yet, from some of my Kansas friends, the first reaction was dismay that the Missouri side was “stealing” some of KCK’s thunder.

    There’s a traditional rivalry in college athletics between Kansas and Missouri that goes back to the civil war – never get a Jayhawk and a Tiger in the same room – but for economic development, Kansas City is one big metro area crossing state lines and anything that benefits our metro area and our region is a win for everyone. I wish more people realized that.

  10. Chris Barnett says:

    “anticompetitive policies”?

    I think this piece highlights the opposite, and I think Longworth’s proposal is “anti-competitive” in the sense that he wants to end these competitions that play out over city, county, and state lines within the same region. Longworth appears to be arguing that they are “zero-sum” games. Perhaps they are for the region, but they most definitely aren’t for localities.

    Longworth’s proposals would probably require a radical realignment of local government structures and local economic development activities; until then, there will always be arbitrage opportunities where there are borders between political divisions.

    Many commenters here seem unaware of the fact that much of what passes for “economic development” work by municipalities and states is simply finding and engaging in these sorts of bidding wars. Vie for eight or ten projects, get two or three, and it counts as two or three “wins”, not a half-dozen losses.

    Also important are the activities of “economic development consultants”, who drum up business with expanding/relocating companies by touting their record of incentives gained for clients. These are highly specialized rent-seekers, often with close ties to elected or permanent government staff. They exist only to take advantage of the cross-border arbitrage, and often they are the ones who take the battle to the states and municipalities.

    When mayors and governors are expected by most voters to “do job creation” in order to win re-election (or election to higher office), is anyone really surprised that this game exists, or that it is perpetuated by spending OPM (other people’s money) to insure advancement of one’s goals? This is exactly where the politicians’ and the businesses’ interests are fully aligned! When such a high-stakes game is created, can you really blame the players who seek to “win”? To the politicians, it looks like a “win-win”: politician wins, company wins.

    I do not think there is anything cynical about suggesting this is a built-in structural “problem” that won’t go away soon. Mr. Longworth himself writes frequently about jobs and economic development, and seems to be in the camp that expects sincere efforts at both from state and local politicians. Luring “good-paying jobs” plays well, and probably always will.

  11. Ziggy says:

    This is another one of our country’s problems that could be ended with the stroke of a pen – just make it illegal for public funds to be used for underwriting (directly through subsidies or indirectly through tax abatements) state and local recruiting efforts. Corporations are not going to flee the country for subsidies that amount to rounding errors in their budgets. The price tag of the incentives for state and local governments, however, is very meaningful – and more with each passing day as public funds become increasing limited and precious. $100 million is significant chunk of change for a state or a municipality trying to maintain infrastructure or implement new public amenities like parks and trails that enhance residents’ quality of life.

    What’s the likelihood of public subsidies for corporations ending? Not much:


  12. John Temple says:

    I guess the companies only looking at a tax break is missing the boat down stream. When education suffers so does the work place. Everyone screams about immigration and our borders being breached by those seeking jobs from other countries. Well from what i have seen…HP tech problem..India will help..computor built in China..jobs are leaving and turning out the light…when one has nothing to offer maybe they can lement on our schools that once where..Hey folks might want to move to one of the countries to find work before we Wall ourselfs in !

  13. Jake says:

    @Chris Barnett- The taxpayers lose, since they end up subsidizing something they shouldn’t have to. He’s talking also about investing more of that subsidy money in education and other long-term programs instead of just handing tax money away to businesses that don’t need it. There’s nothing wrong with that.

  14. marko says:

    The midwest might not be losing the economic war with places 10,000 miles away, it may be that it has been offered up as a sacrifice by the elites in DC and NYC. What do they care about the domestic US markets? They are part of the global class, which knows no rules or borders. Sell out a factory in America’s midwest while passing easy trade legislation while simultaneously investing in Guǎngzhōu. International arbitrage at it’s finest. One could say it borders on treason. We all know what the end game is – everybody in the world working for $5 an hour except the Lizard overlords.

  15. Chris Barnett says:

    Jake, not necessarily. A few people get the jobs, or sell goods and services to the people who do, and the tax base goes up (which theoretically reduces any individual’s burden). The current system is built on the assertion that everybody wins with local economic growth; those economic impact statements and cost-benefit analyses by consultants and economic developers always include the downstream impacts. The question usually is posed as an investment and return equation: how much does the government “invest” per job to get back $5,000 a year in tax increment from wages and sales taxes?

    I’m not saying it’s a great system, and it is certainly susceptible to gaming. I’m just at a loss to imagine how to maintain healthy competition and freedom of choice while restricting incentives. It’ll end up being a game of whack-a-mole, just like “campaign finance reform”. Every reform or regulation or restriction will bring a new form of incentive that the rule-writer didn’t think of. As we have learned in the mortgage-securities debacle, finance and investment types are among the most creative of the creative class.

    marko, for another view, check out http://www.newgeography.com/content/002226-manufacturing-stages-a-comeback

  16. Wad says:

    Chris Barnett wrote:

    I’m just at a loss to imagine how to maintain healthy competition and freedom of choice while restricting incentives.

    Only Americans are at a real loss.

    The U.S. has this peculiar system which isn’t really capitalism, and it’s not really socialism, but kind of a mongrel that has more of the worse aspects of both.

    American dogma says that capitalists, and only capitalists, have the right to economic agency (decision-making).

    If people, say through a government, wish to replicate economic agency through their taxes and ostensibly for anything other than profit, that would be considered socialism. So, we have two groups doing the same thing. The difference is that the same action is considered good and virtuous when one group does it and evil and morally toxic when another group does it.

    Yet America has a cognitive dissonance: a fear and self-loathing about socialism, and at the same time being sore losers when they fail at a zero-sum game.

    So Americans do both but don’t even know it. Economic development is a delusional form of socialism. After all, it’s a government using tax money to tamper with market forces. Only it’s spent in a way to not appear to be what it actually is.

    So the decision to lure a major employer, or offer a break to a major retail project or pro sports team, is socialist by nature but paying the capitalist a hefty premium to lift the burden of shame of committing a socialist act. And it’s paying the capitalist to do what the person or corporation was going to do anyway!

    To put it in perspective, the Missouri vs. Kansas foofaraw is the states basically giving money to those who were making money anyway to make even more money off of them.

    Those states would have been better off by just shoring up their own budgets and paying their public workers more.

    But, economic development sets a precedent. If a corporation gets a lucrative tax package once, it can expect to get it again when the benefits run out. If there’s a feeding frenzy, the corporation is going to get even more the second time around. And the taxpayers have to pay more for the privilege of getting fleeced.

    Yet if we come to see economic development for the farce that it is, the whole damn system collapses and we’ll all be much worse off. :(

  17. Chris Barnett says:

    Wad, your view ignores the potential benefits to taxpayers of a locality. And they do exist; it’s like the lottery. Some individual will win, even if the universal odds favor those running the game.

    A mathemetician might point out that incentives often produce “local optima” or “saddle points”; the term is well-applied when thinking about development competition across political jurisdiction boundaries.

    Local taxpayers are not “fleeced” by jobs new to their locality that contribute spinoff and tax effects as long as the locality insists on a reasonable return on its investment in incentives. Local taxpayers benefit when local tax collections go up (net of incentive cost), either through increased government services or reduced taxes on their property and spending.

    The “fleeced” argument was used by Republicans in Indiana when then-Gov. Bayh (a Democrat) gave big incentives to the Subaru plant in Lafayette. The criticism didn’t fly: there’s no question that the investment has been a wise one for the state. That might be why Republican Gov. Daniels (a budget hawk) gave Honda incentives soon after his election. As an Indiana taxpayer, I’d rather have those plants here than in Kentucky, Illinois, or Ohio. They solidified the state’s position as the leading manufacturing state (highest percentage of jobs in manufacturing of all states) and acted as magnets for automotive suppliers.

    I think the KCK-KCMO issue is a relatively special case of interstate competition. Nowhere else in the US are large “twin cities” separated by a state line (but otherwise pretty indistinguishable), which removes the ability of an elected governor and legislature to make both cities play nice.

    The football team/stadium issues are typically outside the realm of mathematics and economics. Those are wholly separate emotional and prestige issues, and it’s a whole lot harder to put a number on the value of a team or stadium to a city. I think that special set of situations is a lot closer to the “blackmail” you seem to think is typical of all business location situations. Because so many NFL teams have moved cities in the past 30 years (Raiders twice, Colts, Rams, Cardinals, Oilers, and Browns) and because LA is still without a team, moving is not a threat taken lightly by NFL cities when stadium leases are about to expire.

    Mark Rosentraub (formerly of IU in Indianapolis, and now of Cleveland State) has made an academic career of economic analysis of sport, and his findings typically lend some support to those doubtful of the economic value of major-league sports teams and venues. I believe that he found positive value in Indianapolis’ original team and stadium investments in the Colts and Hoosier Dome, but I think that case is an exception to his usual findings.

  18. SGS says:

    Excellent piece, but I have to agree that this is not just a MO/KAN problem (although particularly acute there–especially given the sprawling footprint of the ever expanding “Metro Area”).
    Kia just got done playing this game in Georgia/Alabama. They settled on West Point, GA., on the Georgia side but on the border. Georgia basically gave away the house, and by the time any incentive could be gained Kia will be ready to move on down the road. Sad that politicians with everything to gain in the short term get to make decisions that have such disastrous long-term consequences.

  19. Alon Levy says:

    To put this into context, under many free trade agreements it is flat out illegal to give companies such incentives; it’s considered dumping, equivalent to a tariff. In the most robust free trade zone, the EU, it’s also illegal to arrange tax or fee structures in an ostensibly neutral but realistically favoritist way. In the wake of open access laws for rail, France tried to charge for high-speed rail infrastructure per car, favoring the double-decked trains of SNCF over the single-decked trains of DB; the EU nixed this as an anti-competitive practice.

    Free trade is a good thing. The power of the US Constitution is that it enforced free trade between the states by banning tariffs, the only realistic trade barrier at the time. It’s time to adapt to a world of more complex governance and ban the remaining trade barriers.

  20. Wad says:

    @Chris, Indiana and other economic development agencies wouldn’t bet their houses if they aren’t going to get an upside in taxes. There was only one winner in the chase for the Subaru and Honda plants. It was Indiana both times.

    What about the losing competitors? They, too, offered incentives but got nothing. They’ve also shown their hands to the next potential industrial targets. The next factory is going to expect the loser to give away more.

    Then there’s the winner’s curse.

    Indiana wouldn’t have pursued incentives-for-taxes if they wouldn’t have made less than they gave away. But what is the percentage of taxes recovered for money expended?

    This is important to know when the time comes for the deal to be renegotiated.

    Also, the auto plants represent an economic imbalance in the form of transplanted work (if the Subaru and Honda plants considered multiple sites, it means the work can be done anywhere) and a supply region. The opportunities to add value to the cars are greater outside of the factory.

    Also, Subaru and Honda will have closed-loop sourcing and business networks, likely locking out new opportunities for area businesses. Successful auto plants generate capital that will be deployed elsewhere or used against you (in the form of productivity improvements that reduce jobs or an even more cost-efficient factory that is cheaper to build new rather than retrofit and retool an existing plant).

  21. Chris Barnett says:

    As time has demonstrated, Honda and Toyota and Subaru “closed-loop sourcing networks” will locate their own US plants and warehouses nearby. (I worked for one such supplier.) So in Indiana, the jobs making radios and speakers that disappeared at Delco and RCA came back at Alpine and Onkyo. If you’re an Indiana policymaker, that looked okay: if GM and its suppliers lost share, the people who were gaining it were there too.

    The “supply region” effect is positive in Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and Kentucky for those companies because there are lots of people (like me, for instance) with experience in the high-volume manufacturing world, both automotive and non-automotive. The I-65 and I-75 corridors are really the center of the US vehicle manufacturing and auto-parts industries. That’s a substantial supply-region effect that is strengthened by each subsequent location decision.

    The winner wins pretty big in the spinoff effects. And that’s enough to keep the game going for 25 years.

    With regard to productivity improvements, those are not unique to transplants or automotive factories. Substitution of capital for semi-skilled labor has been going on for at least a century in American manufacturing. And remember: Dr. Deming worked for AT&T. Even his pioneering work on building-in better quality wasn’t about quality per se but about taking cost out of the product through labor and material reductions made possible by lowering scrap and defect rates.

    Generations of manufacturing and materials management professionals have been trained to think about productivity and cost improvement. That won’t change.

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