From David Frum’s “When did the GOP lose touch with reality?“:
Some of the smartest and most sophisticated people I know—canny investors, erudite authors—sincerely and passionately believe that President Barack Obama has gone far beyond conventional American liberalism and is willfully and relentlessly driving the United States down the road to socialism. No counterevidence will dissuade them from this belief: not record-high corporate profits, not almost 500,000 job losses in the public sector, not the lowest tax rates since the Truman administration. It is not easy to fit this belief alongside the equally strongly held belief that the president is a pitiful, bumbling amateur, dazed and overwhelmed by a job too big for him—and yet that is done too.
We spend millions in Alabama in a desperate attempt to attract industry. Our lawmakers routinely remind us that the recruitment of large industry is intensely competitive. It’s worth spending our tax dollars, they promise, to help Alabama stand out.
Worry not. Alabama now stands out from the competition.
Our Legislature separated us from the pack by passing an immigration law so punitive that it caught worldwide media attention.
We have firm evidence that the immigration law prompted a Chinese copper-tube manufacturer to rethink a plan to build a $100 million plant in Thomasville. Less certain, but believable, is that Spanish-owned BBVA Compass’s decision to forego building an $80 million tower in Birmingham was prompted by the immigration law.
The potential costs to the state, and the willingness of other states to use the law against us, are made clear in this St. Louis editorial:
Editorial: Hey, Mercedes, time to move to a more welcoming state
A state without Alabama’s unfortunate history of intolerance might not suffer so much economic damage from passage of a harsh immigration law. What our Legislature has done is provided foreign companies with an excellent reason to avoid Alabama. As the editorial linked above makes clear, other states are thrilled.