Press "Enter" to skip to content

France Evidently More Open for Business Than South Dakota

French President Emmanuel Macron apparently thinks South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem’s focus on attracting businesses is good leadership. He’s making his own “Open for Business” pitch:

Emmanuel Macron used the splendor of the Palace of Versailles to woo international business leaders on Monday, insisting that his reforms are attracting investors despite six weeks of crippling protests and walkouts over his plan to overhaul the retirement system.

…Macron hosted 180 international business leaders, including top executives from Google, Netflix, Coca-Cola, Toyota, Samsung and General Electric. Many executives were stopping en route to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland [Sylvie Corbet, “France’s Macron Tells Global CEOs: We’re Open for Business,” AP, 2020.01.20].

With all the labor turmoil and the rampant socialism about which Trumpistani Republicans like Noem always warn us about, you’d think France would never get visits, let alone investments from big capitalists. But there they are—

Coca-Cola said it would invest 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) over the next five years in France, including in its Dunkirk plant.

Japanese automaker Toyota said last week it will build a new car model at its plant in Valenciennes, northern France, which represents 400 jobs and 100 million euros ($110 million) in investments [Corbet, 2020.01.20].

Gee whiz: South Dakota offers those giant corporations low taxes, low regulation, and low wages, and all we get are giant feedlots. Those CEOs must be blind to choose the merits of a socialist country like France where workers vigorously exercise their rights over South Dakota’s ever-pliant workforce and government.


  1. Dave Baumeister 2020-01-21 18:11

    They have the Palace of Versailles… The best we can do is the Corn Palace!!!

  2. mike from iowa 2020-01-21 18:20

    Corn on the cob can feed the world and the cob can help clean up after the corn is digested, plus you can use it for heating, as well. Let’s see a Versailles do that much.

  3. Debbo 2020-01-21 18:20

    It’s almost as if SD essentially advertising itself as the bottom of the barrel isn’t attractive to investors. Weird. It always worked so well before. Right???

  4. Porter Lansing 2020-01-21 19:23

    Investors drool at setting up shop in a state which ranks 43rd in new idea skills. (Industry cluster strength is worse at 48th.)
    Why would anyone expect legislators to have any bright ideas worth pursuing?
    ~ CO is fifth so new ideas are just laying around on the street corners here for anyone to use.
    – Gifting a free one for the Pierre Deer …
    “Children whose parents have unpaid school lunch bills won’t be denied access to at least an alternate meal selection, and can’t be shamed or treated differently than other students.”

  5. Debbo 2020-01-21 22:04

    Here’s some Chinese business news that will likely affect SD:

    Chinese criminals have been exploiting the country’s African swine fever crisis by intentionally spreading the disease to force farmers to sell their pigs for a low price before smuggling the meat and selling it on as healthy stock, state media has reported.
    Sometimes the gangs spread rumours about the virus, which is fatal to pigs, but in more extreme cases they are using drones to drop infected items into farms, according to an investigation by the magazine China Comment, which is affiliated to state news agency Xinhua.
    South China News

    Politico is among those investigating this story. SCN says the gangs want to corner the pork market. So will or have they brought these infection tactics to the USA?

  6. Debbo 2020-01-21 22:26

    Minnesota is 13th in innovation. (Thanks for the link, Porter.) I thought it would be higher.

    Those of you who’ve always lived in SouDakota need to spend a few years habitating in a blue state. It’s so different, the atmosphere, the energy, the deserved pride in real accomplishments, the support for differentness, ……

    You have to live there for some time and pay attention. Yes, we have our naysayers, curmudgeons, anti-change fear mongers too. But we have more brave people who are willing to take risks on new and different things, hoping for good outcomes. There is much more focus on what can be done, rather than what cannot.

    It’s often exciting, sometimes scary, once in awhile it blows up in our faces, but we get up, reassess and go again. SD and several other of the reddest states seem to lack that energy, determination and fearlessness.

    How often do Klueless Kristi and the SDGOP tell South Dakotans “we can’t…..?” In Minnesota it seems like the most frequent complaint is “Wait! Slow down! That’s too much!” When was the last time the SDGOP tried to do too much for citizens and to make SD better?

    That’s why I left, why the Brain Drain more and more resembles a gusher and why businesses won’t come to SD, except a few with highly questionable ethics that want to exploit the decency of you folks providing their labor.

  7. Porter Lansing 2020-01-21 22:32

    Perfect, Debbo. (I was thinking how to express your last line but you did it better than me. I’d just say, “Beware any business moving to South Dakota. They’re coming to steal and cheat you. History shows the only real innovation in SD is SD people devising ways to run a scam.”)

  8. Buckobear 2020-01-22 18:16

    Mississippi is closer to Louisiana … and they have better food.
    Here at least we can go to Chadron for a Runza !!

  9. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-01-22 19:41

    We compare ourselves to Mars when we should be trying to outdo France.

  10. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-01-22 19:43

    Debbo and Porter both note an important factor in our brain drain. We advertise ourselves to a clear subset of corporate exploiters, the ones willing to go anywhere just to save a buck. We are the cheap whore.

  11. Porter Lansing 2020-01-22 20:10

    Cheap whore! Comparisons to Mars are better directed toward Uranus.

  12. jerry 2020-01-22 22:29

    Real business does not want to locate in South Dakota because we suck. Simple as that. Employers would have to tell their employees that they were coming to a $h:+ hole to make their homes and that South Dakota hates everything and everyone who is not white, straight and church going and do not mind the smell of a CAFO or toxic water. Nope, this place is just for us locals that pass the time away as we watch the youngsters leave the place in droves. Man, when colleges are emptying in the state, that should tell employers something. Instead, legislators (joke here) align themselves with this nonsense.

    “A proposal to ban doctors from prescribing hormones or performing sex-reassignment surgery for transgender youth in South Dakota cleared a committee vote on Wednesday, the first state to take action on a wave of bills that restrict medical interventions affecting young people’s gender expression.” Washington Post 1.22.20

    We have hit the bottom and we’re still digging.

  13. Adam 2020-01-23 00:50

    I just don’t know how any of you can handle living anywhere in SD but the BH. I really don’t know how you wonderful peeps do it!

    I am continually relieved that my business is geared around buyers/sellers/consumers on the coast lines and even sometimes in Europe.

    Not to toot my own horn, here, but I employ local people (only the best) with revenue originating from outside of SD. For more than a decade and a half, my business has uniquely transferred a good amount of money INTO the BH Area from outside the state.

    I’m just saying, it’s NOT a bizarre or impossible concept to figure out. In fact, SD could even build some new public policies which encourage more businesses like mine to move here, but they don’t – because country people have crosseyed vision, awful business sense and their mostly just too feral to do much more than be a very low level employee for someone else.

    People are so much better off financially outside of the state. They buy a lot more of ALL KINDS of stuff. Go figure.

  14. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-01-24 06:53

    Adam makes a good point: we need to get beyond Mark Mickelson’s myopia, which thinks that rural South Dakota is good for just one thing, CAFOs, and broaden our economic development portfolio by seeing ourselves as more than farmers and factory workers. We need to connect with the world… and most of the world is urban, with needs that don’t align with our vestigial bucolic self-image.

Comments are closed.