The bitter, continuing struggle for business between Kansas and Missouri often goes uncovered in national media organizations. But while going under the radar, both of these states are burning through millions of wasted dollars every tax year. There's nothing new about this dispute, but with enough national coverage you would hope that someone, on some side of the aisle, could come to their senses and pull the plug on this Seussian scenario.
Kansas City is, of course, directly over the state line, so issues which apply in Kansas may not apply to a Missouri neighborhood one block away. Along these same lines, the number of jobs being gained or lost in each state can be impacted by a business relocating the same minor distance. In an effort to boost a statistical bottom line, an economic border war has been raging, where each state is offering corporations unreasonable benefits to move their facilities.
The end result is burning through taxpayer money with only perceived gains to show for all this wheeling and dealing. We’d call it a zero-sum game but at least a zero-sum game breaks even. This is merely the pettiest form of economic backstabbing, with the city taking the loss.
It is best illustrated in this two minute video clip, which we worry we will be inserting into articles for years to come.
Yeah. It’s pretty stupid. Like impossibly stupid. And you would think, like we do, that national spotlights shining on this would push someone into backing down, being the bigger man, or whatever version this has to take to stop a senseless back-and-forth.
But Kansas/Missouri politicians keep acting as if their hands are somehow tied on this issue. Last October, Missouri’s Economic Development Department said Swiss Re, a reinsurance provider, would move 400 jobs from its Overland Park offices to downtown Kansas City.
“My job is to fight for jobs,” Greitens said in a statement.