If you go check out Forbes’ List of the Best Places for Business and Careers, what you will find will largely be a slideshow of silver skyscrapers. Four of these top twenty-five cities include Raleigh (2), Durham (14), Asheville (17), and Charlotte (18). The only state with more to boast about is Texas with five on the list. To be sure, large populations support a greater diversity of industry, but do these ranking adequately reflect the overall economic situation of the state?
Despite Forbes’ continual glowing praise of North Carolina, the state still ranked 48th in unemployment in May at a rate of 9.4 percent, the worst in the South. The national average is 8.2 percent.
Nevertheless, Governor Perdue insists on ignoring the facts and covering up the state’s harsh economic reality by persistently bragging about job growth. The Governor’s webpage would make you believe that every spurt of job creation in North Carolina in the past four years was of her own making when, in fact, most of it is the result of the One North Carolina Fund, a corporate welfare program instituted by the General Assembly in 2001 when the Democrats were still in control.
You mustn’t be fooled by Forbes or Governor Perdue. According to a previous Civitas Review Online article on the issue, many of the jobs she touts have not materialized. They are mere promissory notes by big corporations who are maneuvering to get their hands on taxpayer dollars. The fact is that the money the One N.C. Fund takes from the public and doles out to big business should be kept in consumers’ pockets. Those scarce resources should go toward making products that consumers demand, not that Governor Perdue wants just so she can abdicate the throne of worst governor in the country.
These corporate welfare schemes may very well boost up our larger cities and make them attractive to the rich investors who read Forbes, but they take money away from hard working North Carolinians from other parts of the state. The fact is, these economic policies have done more harm than good, and Forbes and Governor Perdue shouldn’t be bragging about how efficient North Carolina has been at taking money from taxpayers and giving it to big business. They need a reality check.
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