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Economic Development

New Report: The Failed Southern Economic Development Model

Many states across the Southern United States employ an economic model that prioritizes business interests and the wealthy over ordinary citizens. This model—which we refer to in this report as the “Southern economic development model”—is characterized by low wages, low taxes, few regulations on businesses, few labor protections, a weak safety net, and vicious opposition to unions. The model is marketed as the way to attract businesses into Southern states, with the implicit promise that this will lead to an abundance of jobs and shared economic prosperity for all Southerners. The reality is this economic development model is fundamentally flawed as a strategy for improving living conditions for most Southerners.
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