When the General Assembly passed special legislation giving $20 million to Goodyear (and $40 million to others) to upgrade its plant in Fayetteville we were told it was necessary in order to keep the jobs and avoid layoffs.
So when Gold Toe Moretz announced today that it was laying off 430 workers in Alamance County, why was there no legislative effort to save those jobs?
What makes jobs in Cumberland County apparently more important and more valuable to the taxpayers of North Carolina than jobs in Alamance County? If a legislative leader was from Alamance County or if the plant was unionized (like in the case of Goodyear in the district of Sen. Tony Rand (D-Cumberland) and workers were represented by the United Steelworkers) would the General Assembly have stepped in then?
If you take the words of Rep. Pryor Gibson (D-Anson) who recently declared, "I’m positive it’s in our best interest to keep XYZ company with 1,000 jobs, even if they’re making buggy whips" then shouldn’t the state have stepped in with a big check to keep the manufacturing plant open regardless of whether it was in its best interest to close or not?
How can legislators and the Governor look those laid off workers in the eye and tell them that they weren’t as important as people in Fayetteville?
This is the problem with having government pick winners and losers. There are actually winners and losers. The people of Alamance County lost today. Not only did many lose their jobs, but the lawmakers of this state just told them that they aren’t as important as the people and jobs of Cumberland County. And that is wrong. Dead wrong.
Government’s right and legitimate role is to make an even playing field for all companies to succeed. Giving $20 million to Goodyear puts them at a competitive advantage and elevates that one firm to a position of prominence at the expense of all other companies in North Carolina. Stop the incentives, lower the corporate tax rate and get government out of the jobs market.