Readers Write - August 2008
In the Spirit
G.D. Gearino’s article on Spirit AeroSystem’s coming to the Global TransPark (Fine Print, July) was a sobering reminder of the millions of tax dollars flushed during the past two decades into this money pit in Jim Hunt’s backyard. There is no cause for celebration when a company is bribed into a deal with funds confiscated from taxpayers and smokers, but it is par for the course for the twisted Keynesian logic of people in Raleigh.
Just like HondaJet, Spirit played one community against another, and N.C. taxpayers are again the losers. It will be interesting to see how Spirit finds the 1,000 certified mechanics to build Airbus fuselages in a county (Lenoir) where the high-school graduation rate in 2006 was only 52%. Don’t bother looking in our community colleges, which have long since been morphed into miniature UNCs for dummies and illegal aliens, far from their original intent as two-year vocational-training schools.
Spirit does have capacity problems as sole supplier of fuselages for the perennial Boeing favorite, the B-737. If the state really wants to attract aerospace, or any other technology-intensive business, it should work harder to reduce personal-income-tax rates, eliminate corporate taxes altogether, stop subsidizing companies like Spirit (and HondaJet, and Dell, and Google, and, and, and ... ) and just get out of the way. Entrepreneurs will come out of the woodwork, and within a decade we might have half a dozen homegrown companies like Spirit, with deep roots.
Kent Misegades President, AeroSouth, Cary
It's too much
In “Tall Order” in your July issue, Sam Neill was quoted as saying Outside magazine rated Asheville the top place in the United States to live. That is wrong, wrong, wrong! In the 2007 August issue of that magazine, Asheville was voted the top outdoor city in the Southeast. While we love our city and would like to think it’s the best city in the U.S.A., it’s polls like these that are bringing too many people to the area and destroying our mountains with housing development.
The rest of the state groups the mountain region with Asheville, but we are worlds apart. Murphy, for example, is almost three hours away from Asheville. Our economies are so different. Though included in your Regional Report, we are lucky if there is one page devoted to the mountains, and usually only Asheville is highlighted. We are not all hillbillies here; there is a definite diversity in careers. Many professionals teleconference to companies in the larger metropolitan areas. Though we may not be able to charge big-city fees, the sunrises and sunsets are payment enough. The point is, why not get your feet wet, come visit us and stay awhile, y’hear?
Big on small biz
I believe every issue of BNC should provide one or more stories on small-business topics. Perhaps you could establish a new department. This would provide a valuable stimulus to the creation and nurturing of North Carolina small business, which is the constant savior of our economy and the hope of the future.
Each big business seems to go through a sort of evolution, ending with stagnation, selling off its manufacturing capability, failure, merger, or sale offshore, and then they fade away. They become dinosaurs. Most large firms are only interesting on the way up. On the other hand, small business is being created every day. That’s where the business passion is! Many fail, but many others move on to provide technical breakthroughs, good products, employment, tax revenue and so on. There are certainly lessons to be learned, even in the failures. It is exciting stuff!
Making it better
I would be interested in more articles related to technology and manufacturing companies. I recently attended a meeting of the North Carolina Military Business Alliance in Morganton and felt that there was a lot of potential for this organization to bring more/new jobs to N.C. I was also very impressed to learn about the technology and engineering training that is being brought into place at the community colleges and universities.
Send your letters to firstname.lastname@example.org or to Editor, BNC, 5435 77 Center Drive, Suite 50, Charlotte, N.C. 28217.