Abstract and Keywords
The brief survey of American political development presented in this chapter reveals that state economic development has always been a dominant feature of our politics and economics. Interstate economic competition dates to the Colonies. And throughout our history states have pursued opportunities to use their powers to secure public and private economic advantage, all the while constrained by national government policies and interventions. This chapter considers these developments and current issues in state economic development, which are nested within stable and unstable features of American federalism. The chapter makes it clear that there are opportunities for subnational governments to adopt policies to limit firm and investor tax exposure to attract or nurture coveted economic enterprises. These opportunities can be attractive to voters as well as the demands of powerful and well-organized economic interests seeking private benefit where costs can be socialized. The author makes clear throughout the chapter that economic development efforts have promised broad benefits but in practice they have produced unbalanced rewards and costs.
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