Saturday, February 4, 2017

Playschool took Chicago help but destroyed 1150 jobs instead of creating 446

Lost Illinois Manufacturing has a nice summary of the issue:
" In 1980, the company received a $1 million IRB through the city. It used the money to buy new equipment. In return, Playskool said it would add 446 new jobs at the Chicago plant.
The bank-financed bond helped Playskool. It had a low interest rate. And because it passed through the city's hands, the money came tax-free. Unfortunately, the new jobs never materialized. In fact, the number of workers dwindled from 1,150 to 700. Then, last January, the mayor's office received an anonymous letter, apparently from an employee, who said the plant would close. This was denied by Playskool's then president, who reportedly said the plant was profitable. But in September, Hasbro Industries Inc. bought Playskool's parent company, Milton Bradley Company. Twelve days later, the company announced the Chicago factory would close.
Evidently the "new equipment" was more automated than the old equipment so they flat out lied to Chicago about creating jobs. This deceit was significant enough that it got quite a bit of press: Christian Science Monitor and Chicago TribuneReference for Business describes Playschool's history.

I noticed that was in 1985. But politicians still get suckered by the siren song of "more jobs." The Mitsubishi's plant in Normal, IL got money with the promise of creating jobs, but they ended up closing the plant. I read that Volkswagen may use the auto loading ramps and parking lots to store all of the cars they have to buy back as part of the settlement for cheating on their diesel emission tests. According to Google Map, Ameren Illinois now uses the building. I wonder what an electric utility does with a factory building.

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