Yes! We have NO Bananas …

download (48)Once again, the people of North Carolina are getting stuck with the check by a corporate welfare recipient.  In 2011, the state of North Carolina crowed about luring Chiquita Bananas and its corporate headquarters to Charlotte.   The banana company was approved for $22.7 million in incentives from the state AND from the City of Charlotte.

Three years later, Chiquita has announced a merger with an Irish firm that will mean – among other things — the departure of Chiquita’s corporate HQ from The Queen City.

This may spark memories by some folks of the Dell fiasco of 2004.  The state, the city of Winston-Salem, and Forsyth County kicked in $280 million in incentives for Dell computer to build a plant in the Winston-Salem area. In 2009, Dell shuttered that plant and laid off 905 workers.

Albert Einstein is credited with defining insanity as doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result. How smart is it to keep ponying up big bucks to major out-of-state corporations who will leave us at the drop of a hat for ONE MORE DOLLAR? 

Why can’t our politicians start focusing more on improving the business climate for existing employers?  Why not craft policies — (deregulation?  tax cuts?) — that encourage further expansion and investment by businesses with roots here who have proven their commitment to North Carolina?

Politicians get lots of sexy headlines when they manage to persuade a big name to abandon one ship and board OURS.  They tend to forget that, if we’re working hard to take an employer from somebody else, somebody is working hard to take one from us.  Instead of gambling like this with other people’s money, why not just concentrate on making things better for the people who are already here and committed? 

4 thoughts on “Yes! We have NO Bananas …

  1. And let us not forget the greatest of them all………….the Global Transpark. It was to create 50,000 jobs by 2000 and 100,000 jobs by 2010. I think they are somewhere in the range of 95,500 short.

    Spirit Aero got an estimated $240,000,000 to locate at the GTP with the Golden Leaf Slush Fund throwing in the first $100,000,000.

    Recently about $13,000,000 was spent to add a rail line connector so that Spirit could ship their products down to the coast for transport to France. However, once the railroad spur was complete they discovered it was too expensive to use the train. So they stuck with the trucks.

    Gov. Perdue got the $65,000,000 parkway connector going which will connect Hwy 70 with the Felix Harvey Parkway. Once completed it is estimated that 8 cars a day will use it.

    Of course the GTP does not have passenger air service because there are only several hundred Lenoir County residents who can afford to fly and many of them have their own planes.

    One of the prime movers for building the GTP was the scheme that GTP cargo planes would fly hogs to China. However, this plan was scuttled when some idiot found out that China had more hogs than North Carolina. Plus the fact that we could not hire one stewardess who would agree to serve hogs on that long a flight. Think of the line of hogs waiting to use that little toilet.

    Every politician of every stripe makes a journey down to the GTP each election cycle to pay homage. And to pledge to support the state budget allocation that keeps the doors open.

    But the GTP is noted for one thing. Web surfing and Facebook posting. But then again what else would they do all day?

  2. I was in Raleigh “politicking” in the late 80’s and early 90’s listening to all the hyperbole about the GTP.I couldn’t understand how this would work but the powers that be in the gov’s and DOT rebutted my arguments.Now on my way to the coast I drop by and pay homage to my foresight and those pols who so steadfastly supported this disaster that are still on this side of the earth I take every opportunity to tell them with a hearty.”I told you so.”However in politics history does repeat itself.
    A quick nugget most don’t know is the State of NC has in its portfolio more than $1 billion in excess property and buildings that it does not use and should sell.It has at least that much property in serious disrepair that cannot be inhabited that should be sold.Another item that needs attention.When the legislature approves a new building be built for one of the agencies why not move it out of Raleigh to say Graham or Hickory or Waynesville.The agencies don’t need to be in Raleigh.

  3. Several years ago, Google data center – something like 30 million in incentives to come to Lenoir, NC in order to hire about 25 people to do lawn maintenance & security work. It’s my understanding that most of the center’s on-site engineers are folks who relocated to the area for the job. 30 million in incentive for a bunch of hard drives to sit there & store all of our web browsing information. Aren’t we special?

  4. Corporate welfare in all its forms should be something the GOP stands against. The problem is all the states competing for new industry, and the industry playing them against each other. The way to solve that is to establish a federal tax charged to corporations of 99.9% of the amounts received in state and local incentive payments.

    Here is a good article on how corporate welfare can be made a campaign issue:

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