Some critics of Governor Walker have claimed that he is trying to balance the budget on the backs of the workers while providing tax giveaways to corporations. This raises an old issue of whether states should provide companies with special incentives in the hopes of attracting business.
When times are good, this might be seen as quite sensible. After all, if the state coffers are well packed, the state can afford to be generous in the hopes of luring in companies that will (in theory) create new jobs. Of course, when times are good folks tend to see little reason to lure in more companies.
When times are not so good, this is often presented as a good idea. In theory, offering companies tax breaks and other incentives will lure them to a state, thus creating jobs and leading to more revenue for the state.
This becomes somewhat controversial when the state is offering these breaks while also cutting budgets, typically those for social programs. This could be seen as balancing the budget by taking from the poor and giving to the rich. After all, the corporations generally do not need the breaks and incentives. Rather, they are offered in the hopes of luring companies away from setting up shop in other states. This is, not surprisingly, a matter that generates some controversy.
On the face of it, it does make sense for states to try to appear attractive to business. To use an analogy, it is a lot like dating and relationships. Corporations are analogous to the prize catches in the dating world and to land such a fish, a person needs to provide incentives. After all, someone who is handsome, rich and charming is not going to settle for someone who has little to offer. The person who can offer the most is, in general, the one who gets the prize catch.So, just as a hot young babe (or dude) might be willing to marry an old man (or woman) who is ugly but rich, a corporation would be wiling to go to a state that forks over plenty of incentives
Just like in dating and relationships, there is also competition. If a man wants to keep that hot babe or a woman wants to keep her sugar daddy (or vice versa) then s/he has to keep providing a reason for that person to stick around and not go off with someone else. Likewise for keeping corporations. If a state wants a corporation to stay and not pack up for Mexico or China, the state needs to put out for the corporation.
Of course, these sort of relationships do raise moral questions. One of the most important is the matter of how far a person (or state) should go in order to get and keep that other person (or corporation). On one hand, it could be argued that what matters is getting that prize (hot babe or hot corporation) and sacrificing other things is thus justified. After all, unless that hot babe (or hot corporation) is properly appeased, she (it) will just move on to another source of incentives. On the other hand, it could be argued that people (and corporations) that are willing to simply go wherever they can get the most or wherever they can get away with whatever they want are not the best people (or corporations) to have around. To use the analogy, if a guy tells his wife that she must allow him to have threesomes while he smokes crack or he will dump her for someone who will, then she should probably divorce him rather than giving in (assuming, of course, she does not want that as well).
This is not to say that people (or states and corporations) should not take into account the benefits of a relationship. However, it should be asked if it is worth it to provide such incentives and whether or not doing so is a moral compromise or not.