We're Your Kind of Town

States and communities compete fiercely to lure businesses

Beggars can't be choosers. Alderman Peter Grover of Austin, Minn., was out jogging one morning last fall when over the earphones of his portable radio he heard a report that a meat-packing plant just 40 miles across the border in Mason City, Iowa, had been ordered to close down. The plant was, said a Mason City judge, a public nuisance: noisy and smelly, regularly fouling surrounding streets with blood and animal parts. Grover knew an opportunity when he heard one. Within days, Austin had presented the...

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