Apple incentive a smart step for Iowa

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Youth Coding Center at new Apple Iowa Complex?
With education and social programs being underfunded (Iowa is dead last in the country when it comes to beds for mental health patients, for example) it’s hard to justify corporate giveaways, but I believe the recently approved tax incentive program to bring Apple’s new data center to Waukee is a smart step that will help make Iowa a magnet for entrepreneurs and tech professionals.  Every state competes for business, using the tools they have to bring people in. Iowa needs new business – and not just in the agriculture sector – to continue to grow the tax base and bring in newcomers (all the new condos in Des Moines aren’t going to lease themselves). Less than half of the graduates from Iowa State and the University of Iowa stay in the state after they get their degree. We’ve lost 7 seats in the US House of Representatives in the last 80 years and the state just came up $300 million short against estimated revenues. The deal could have been better, but bringing a world-class brand like Apple to Iowa can bring good things for the future and, eventually, help fund education, social programs, tech entrepreneur think-tanks and more. Speaking of which, here’s a question for Tim Cook and Governor Reynolds: could a non-profit that teaches kids how to code be based at the new complex? It is, after all, going to be ‘400,000 square feet once complete’. Let’s carve out 10k and get young people coding.

Quad City Times: Brent Roske, an independent candidate for governor who was born in Minnesota, touted his family’s labor credentials and noted other Democrats like Tom Vilsack and Jack Hatch were not native Iowans. “I believe right now government doesn’t work as well as it should,” he said, telling the group the quickest way to get back on track would be to put policy over process and put an independent in the governor’s office.

Roske, 42, said he would work to reinstate Iowa’s collective bargaining law and encourage workers who were not in a labor union to join one. “Those not yet in a union should be,” he said.

He advocated increased funding for education — “it has to be done” — and he spoke in favor of the state’s effort to bring Apple Inc.’s data center to Iowa as “a step in the right direction.”

“We have to start looking at new sectors,” he said.

Related coverage: Radio Iowa Quad City Times


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