The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Handing Public Money over to GM

Jan 31, 2022

The media and politicians in Michigan are making a big deal about GM’s announcement that it is planning to spend 7 billion dollars across four Michigan facilities to manufacture electric vehicles and that its investment will create 4,000 jobs and retain 1,000 jobs in the state.

GM’s investment is getting a lot of play. But how about the huge investment the State of Michigan is giving to GM? For these four new projects, GM is set to get $824.1 million in state incentives from the State’s General Fund. The proposed battery plant in Lansing is also set to be property-tax-free for 18 years, and the electric vehicle plant in Orion Township is set to obtain a 12-year tax abatement.

The State handing over public money in the form of tax incentives and tax breaks in exchange for promises of investments and good paying jobs? It’s an old story when it comes to the likes of multi-billion dollar corporations, like GM. But if you want to know the story’s outcome, you only have to ask the thousands of workers from Flint, Pontiac, Warren, Detroit, Hamtramck, and Lansing, who USED TO BE GM workers and they will tell you that over the years, grand promises were made, public money was handed over, and then plants were downsized or shut, with massive numbers of jobs cut, and good paying jobs replaced by two tier and temp jobs. You can also ask the GM workers who used to work at Lordstown in Ohio about GM’s promises. Some of them were forced to relocate to Michigan, and now find themselves wondering if the jobs they came to in Flint are also in jeopardy with this new round of promises from GM, that does not include Flint plants.

In this latest round of announcements, the public is led to believe that General Motors is “Generous Motors.” But the reality is, if anybody has been generous, it has been the State of Michigan, through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, that has essentially been the cash cow, with OUR money from the General Fund, for the likes of GM.