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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Nunquam Fidelis*

Deval Patrick certainly has some bubble and squeak on his face, coming home empty handed from an overseas trade mission days after one of the state's largest employers blindsided him with an announcement that it was moving 1,100 jobs across state lines.

By providing less than 24 hours notice before the announcement -- and with Patrick out of the country -- Fidelity Investments was acting deliberately to ensure no one would be able to stop a process that clearly involved lengthy planning.

If the company had been looking for additional tax breaks, the time for that would have been as company president Abigail Johnson sat with him in the Corner Office recently.
“Massachusetts has been good to Fidelity, just as Fidelity has been good to Massachusetts, and I don’t think I’m alone in this frustration,’’ he said. “Their leadership was in my office frequently, and is in regular touch . . . and yet they gave us little notice of this decision and no opportunity to compete for these jobs.’’
The sneak across the border is especially galling because the privately held Fidelity was the recipient of tax break estimated to be worth $70 million to the mutual fund industry, based on the premise it would increase jobs in Massachusetts.

Instead, Fidelity has reduced its Bay State workforce by nearly 50 percent -- without sacrificing the tax break offered by the hard working people of Massachusetts, many of whom invest their retirement savings with the company.

Jamie Eldridge, the state senator whose district includes Marlboro where many of the jobs currently are, says it maybe time to eliminate the tax break that is based on growing jobs by 5 percent annually over five years.

And it's certainly time for Edward C. “Ned’’ Johnson III, the company’s chairman and chief executive, to explain himself, as Senate Post Audit and Oversight Committee Chairman Mark Montigny suggests:
“I believe that one or both of the Johnsons should come and defend the company, defend the policy, and how they spent taxpayer money,’’ Montigny said. “When a company takes advantage of a taxpayer initiative, they have the responsibility to hold up their side of the bargain.’’
*By the way, the headline is Latin for "Never faithful."

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Blogger JoeD said...


March 17, 2011 8:58 PM  

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