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upstate29650, December 29, 2005
Posted December 29, 2005
This is the most telling tale from that article.
"Today the state stands weakened by the hemorrhage of 80,000 manufacturing jobs in the past five years. Unemployment rose last month to 7.1 percent, the third worst in the nation. Joblessness is worse only in the two states ravaged by hurricanes this year, Louisiana and Mississippi."
I think I rest my case that was argued elsewhere in this forum that global outsourcing is bad for the USA and SC. The only thing that puzzles me is way do the people in SC continue to vote for national politicians, which continue to pass laws that make it easy for companies here to source work in $1/day countries. Other industrialized countries protect their industries and as a result their citizens have a fairly high standard of living. In SC and the USA we let the countries profiteer at everyone's expense and as a result we have people living in SC that some would consider 3rd world conditions.
I think it's safe to say that the majority of the job losses relate to downsizing in textiles. Regardless of who's in power, state government cannot force a company to stay in SC.
and as a result we have people living in SC that some would consider 3rd world conditions.
i think thats taking things a bit too far.....
Posted December 30, 2005
I'm really trying to understand where a lot of this criticizing of Sanford comes from. If anything, we need to blame previous administrations for a lack of foresight and ingenuity in shifting the state's economy away from an agricultural/manufacturing one to one with a global/R&D emaphasis. Although places in NC have been hit particularly hard by the loss of manufacturing jobs, particularly in textiles (Kannapolis and Lenoir come to mind), as a state it laid the groundwork YEARS ago for their major cities to be successful by loosening annexation laws (allowing their cities to expand their tax bases), loosening the banking laws (which Hugh McConnell took advantage of), and the establishment of RTP (which employs more people than the population of Spartanburg). What Sanford is attempting to do now, in part, is to get to the root of the problem (changing some things in our antiquated Reconstruction-era state constitution) and run this state like a business. This state doesn't just need companies to expand here--we need to CREATE JOBS HERE. But all most of the "good ol' boys" in the Statehouse care about is their prestige at the expense of the welfare of their constituents and the state as a whole. They need to wake up and realize that SC, along with the rest of the Confederacy, lost the war and we cannot afford to be a renegade state anymore.
Posted January 3, 2006
I think that the main reason people criticize Sanford is simple... he is in office now. Honestly, I agree with you that he is trying to run our state more like a business and to advance our state. I would dare to say that we between 30-50 years behind GA and NC as far as development and planning goes. Its extremely dissappointing.
That said, the groundwork is being laid now for future jobs with ICAR, Innovista, the expansion of the Port of Charleston, and the SRNL. 30 years may indeed be an accurate estimate, but I think it is important to recognize that the situation is not as dire as some make it out to be, and there are some people in this state that are trying to work for a better future.
Another interesting point from the article was the venture capital investment numbers:
"Venture capital investment in South Carolina was about $4 million, compared to $175 million in North Carolina and $114 million in Georgia, said Fields."
I think venture capital is important in building new businesses, especially in sectors of the future so to speak. SC will need more venture capital money if Innovista and other efforts are to be success stories since public funding alone will not bring the economic development goals to fruition.
I think it is important to note as a resident of Atlanta that in both NC and GA, the more positive numbers are not spread evenly across these states. Atlanta is very different from Albany in terms of economic development and growth and the Triangle is very different from Hickory as well. The difference with SC is that NC and GA are helped by their booming major metropolitan engines, something that SC does not have at the same level. It was the public and private investments made over the past several decades that helped build up these metropolitan areas (building near top tier universities and putting in place other infrastructure). But remember that the prosperity is not spread evenly across these other states. There are areas in NC and GA that are struggling as well.
One point of the article is somewhat accurate I think, and that is that many SC economic development officials still think in terms of providing cheap labor, cheap land, and subsidy to land a factory. Perhaps for many rural communities, that is about all they can do. But I think that is a better economic development strategy for a community in Mexico or China given the direction that we have embarked on with globablization (for better or for worse). Like it or not, our economy has become more complicated. SC has to develoment something to sell besides cheap labor and land since it will always be beat on those terms by developing economies elsewhere in the world. That is why I agree with Spartan that ICAR and Innovista are so vital and long overdue. They are not a sure thing by any means, but they are the best bet the state has to move forward.
It is kind of ironic that the competitive economic factors (cheap labor and land) that brought so many companies to SC and other southern states from northern states and later Europe from the 1950s to the 1980s are now the very factors that are driving them from SC to cheaper places in other countries. We can have economic and political debates on the wisdom of embracing globalization as a country, but the reality is that both of our major political parties have embraced it with few reservations as far as I can tell. In that reality, NC and GA have done a better job preparing for achieving prosperity without much manufacturing.
In that reality, NC and GA have done a better job preparing for achieving prosperity without much manufacturing.
I don't think manufacturing in this country is doomed. There are as many manufacturing jobs in the Charlotte area as there are finance (banking) jobs. Another interesting statistic. While there is no signiture automobile assembly plant in NC (al la BMW) NC never the less has 148,000 people working in the automobile manufacturing business vs just 34,000 in SC. The difference is that NC has invested in the public infrastructure and eduction to make it attractive for businesses, even ones based in manufacturing to locate here.
Its one thing to create a factory in China to sew up clothes. It's quite another to create a manufacturing process that builds complicated automobile parts. The difference is that you have to have the educated population to support these processes and this is one of the areas where NC differs greatly from that in SC.
I also think that SC politics is still mired down in racial and religious issues more so than NC and when politicians focus on these divisive issues to get elected, little else gets done in the state that is truely meaningful. Like mentioned above, it is easy to trade off cheap land, cheap labor (because govt refuses to protect employee rights), and few business requirements for jobs. The down side of this is that decent jobs are never created and in the end, they end up leaving for greaner pastures. In this case Mexico and China.
Posted January 4, 2006
OK, am I missing something in this opinion piece in The State? Is this guy trying to paint this rosy picture when the reality is nothing like it?
Posted January 8, 2006
No, I think that he is saying that we are already well positioned in the global economy, not that the economy is booming.
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