As we continue to follow the story of the bidding for tax handouts for NetJets, WRAL runs this story (originally printed in Columbus, OH) trying to understand the psyche behind the NetJets need for incentives.
Apparently, they just want some attention. “They want to be embraced,” said Milbourne, whose organization, the Columbus Partnership, is composed of the city’s most powerful business and civic leaders. “For whatever reason, NetJets hasn’t really felt like Columbus has embraced them, loved them, as a major employer in the community.”
Ah, unrequited love. Flashback to high school…
The popular girl in school has been dating her steady boyfriend for a few years. He’s good looking, clean cut, but pretty much an average working guy. Over time, she begins to feel that he doesn’t appreciate her or pay as much attention to her as he used to.
Then one day this new kid shows up at school — driving a fancy sports car, looking all sharp and cool and sexy. Thinking this is her opportunity to make her boyfriend notice her more, the girlfriend runs off after school and gets the cool guy to drive her home, knowing that her boyfriend will notice and it will make him jealous.
Well, that’s all it seems North Carolina is in this equation. We’re the bargaining chip to make the steady boyfriend jealous. NetJets knows that NC is good state to use — given our proclivity to throw cash around (Dell, Google, Goodyear, etc.) and they know we’re throwing mad cash at the aerospace industry (SkyBus, HondaJet, etc) so we’re a good foil in this scenario.
NetJets just wants a little lovin’. Whether they get it from their steady boyfriend or the flashy new stud on the block, they’re going to get it somewhere.
What happens 10 years from now when NC is that old steady boyfriend and the next flavor of the month comes along? Will we be the ones being blackmailed for more cash just like Ohio is now?