经济学人:肯萨斯和密苏苏里 新边境之战
日期:2016-01-29 07:56



Kansas and Missouri
The new border war
Missouri calls for an economic truce with Kansas
I hear the tax breaks are good in Kansas
MISSOURI and Kansas are old rivals. In the 1850s thousands of Missourians rode into Kansas, seized polling stations at gunpoint and fraudulently elected pro-slavery candidates. The efforts of these “border ruffians” were a prelude to the civil war.

Today the rivalry is less bloody. Both states offer tax incentives to lure in companies from elsewhere. Because they share a large metropolitan region, Kansas City, many firms qualify for such breaks simply by shifting a mile or two over the border.
Looking at the biggest type of sweetener, the Hall Family Foundation, a charity, estimates that over the past five years the two state governments have forgone $217m in taxes. Some 3,289 jobs have been tempted across the metropolitan border to Kansas; Missouri has won 2,824 jobs back. Kansas can therefore claim to be “winning”. But local reports suggest that CBIZ, a Kansan consulting firm, is considering moving to Missouri; that would erase this lead.
None of this border-ruffianry creates new jobs. Locals gripe that when, for example, AMC Theatre recently moved its headquarters out of downtown Kansas City, Missouri, its staff simply had a longer commute to work. Sly James, the mayor of Kansas City, Missouri, describes the new border war as “short-sighted”. Kevin Collison, a reporter for the Kansas City Star, calls it “cannibalistic”.
边境恶棍们并没有创造新的就业机会。当地人抱怨称,最近AMC电影院从密苏苏里肯萨斯城市中心迁走时,只不过它的员工们花费在上下班的时间更长了些。该市市长斯莱·詹姆斯认为这是一场没有远见的边境之战。肯萨斯城星光的一名记者Kevin Collision称之为自相残杀。
A few years ago local business leaders from 17 companies, including Sprint and Hallmark Cards, wrote to Jay Nixon, the governor of Missouri, and Sam Brownback, his counterpart in Kansas, to warn them that the rift was harming the area. In the past month, a truce has started to look likelier. Majorities in the Missouri House and Senate have approved versions of a bill that would bar incentives for businesses near the border to hop over it. The catch, though, is that this law will go into effect only if Kansas reciprocates. There is a two-year window for a deal to be done.
几年前,包括来自Sprint和Hallmark Cards在内的当地17家公司的总裁们向密苏苏里州长杰·尼克森联同肯萨斯州州长萨姆·布朗巴克写信警告这种裂痕正危害着这个地方。过去数月里,双方好像可以签署一份休战协定。多数密苏苏里议员同意签署一项法案旨在禁止边界贸易刺激方案。然而该方案有一缺陷,要想该法案有效,必须得到肯萨斯州同样的做法。在达成协议之前有两年的窗口期。
Missouri Senator Ryan Silvey, a Republican who is sponsoring the Senate version of the bill, says he is confident the House will soon pick up and pass his version. Over in Kansas, Mr Brownback is guardedly optimistic. He says he has thought for some time that “ceasefire negotiations” were needed, and that this bill is a “necessary condition for us to negotiate”. Mr Brownback says that ceasefire discussions ought to consider all the tools used to encourage economic development on both sides of the border. These would include income and property taxes.
It is difficult to understand why either state would want to continue throwing money at a scheme that benefits only the companies that move. Mr Silvey explains: “When people feel like they are locked in competition they just want to win, even when the competition is stupid.” Since Missouri's annual budget is $26 billion to Kansas's $14 billion, some Missourians ask why their state does not simply outspend its neighbour to win the war. Mr Silvey says that if an agreement is not reached in the next few years, his colleagues will want to “go with both barrels” and steal more business from Kansas. Move quickly Kansas, or the border ruffians may yet ride again.


1.polling station 投票站

例句:The Independent Electoral Commission, supported by MONUC, will have to recruit and train 260,000 polling station agents.


2.move to 搬到

例句:The harder change to drive is to take a successful organization and then convince them with aspirational language to move to platform C.They're on platform B and they're pretty comfortable.


3.write to 写信给

例句:If you feel you have any cause for complaint about the service you should write to the Hospital Administrator.


4.start to 开始
例句:The cells will promptly start to soak up moisture.


  • independentadj. 独立的,自主的,有主见的 n. 独立派人士,无
  • commissionn. 委员会,委托,委任,佣金,犯罪 vt. 委任,委托
  • counterpartn. 相似之物,副本,对应物
  • erasev. 抹去,擦掉 [计算机] 擦除
  • recruitv. 招募,征兵,吸收(新成员),补充 n. 新兵,新成
  • metropolitann. 大都市的居民,大主教 adj. 大都市的,大主教区
  • qualifyvt. 使合格,限定,描述 vi. 合格,取得资格
  • competitionn. 比赛,竞争,竞赛
  • claimn. 要求,要求权;主张,断言,声称;要求物 vt. 要
  • foundationn. 基础,根据,建立 n. 粉底霜,基金会