Editorial: We're Number 2! Unfortunately, little to cheer about

Posted November 21, 2016

Sanderson High School Career Fair

A CBC Editorial: Monday, Nov.21, 2016; Editorial# 8084
The following is the opinion of Capitol Broadcasting Company

Forbes Magazine says North Carolina is the 2nd “Best State for Business” again. Big whoop!

Been there (in the top five since 2006). Done that. Gov. Pat McCrory’s Commerce Department probably has printed the T-shirts – if they haven’t used up the ones left over from the Mike Easley and Bev Perdue administrations.

What is noteworthy about the listing this year is what Forbes Magazine said about North Carolina’s business climate. Not much. And it is not the stuff for a braggadocious advertising campaign.

-- “Labor costs … are 11% below the national average—fourth lowest in the country.”

The rest of the Forbes’ write-up is about the economic development problems and set-backs over the last year, particularly related to the disastrous misadventure with House Bill 2. A reader could be excused for wondering how our state rated the lofty ranking.

“The measure has already cost the state an estimated $630 million in economic activity. The NBA, ACC and NCAA pulled sporting events from the state and Deutsche Bank and PayPal halted expansions. ‘Some clients are actively staying away from North Carolina because of (HB2),’ says Jeff Lessard, who works with clients on their occupancy and location strategies at Cushman & Wakefield,” according to the magazine.

If damning with faint praise needs a definition, Forbes’ ranking is it.

Rather than self-congratulatory news releases, this ranking should come as a warning to North Carolina’s brand managers. It is another clear sign of how broken our brand is.

A low-skill, low-wage labor force is not the stuff of economic dynamos. The Forbes’ listing didn’t mention a significant economic development win for North Carolina.

The state needs the high-wage jobs of the future and shouldn’t be settling merely for minimum-wage jobs that don’t grow the state’s economy or our middle class.

Funding best-in the nation public schools, restoring support to the state’s world-class research universities, providing an infrastructure that eases commerce and enhances our quality of life. Those are the ingredients for a Number 1 Business Climate ranking. That should be North Carolina’s agenda and goal.


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  • Sean Chen Nov 21, 2016
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    Easley & Perdue? What a crock!

  • Ken Ackerman Nov 21, 2016
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    View quoted thread

    That's because Republicans are much better and making workers powerless than Democrats.

    The dingbats running NC love to talk about "new jobs". What about the old jobs? We lose jobs paying $35/hr (an R&D job) and get back jobs at $7.25/hr (McDonald's). That's what a Republican establishment does for you.

    For those that don't like Republican controlled NC badmouthed, here's me exercising my right to free speech. Thanks to Republicans NC has become an armpit. Before you say it, I would have moved in 2013 but I have responsibilities that I cannot abandon.

    As for those ignorant enough to believe that our elected Republicans care about your daughters, you need to open your eyes. After all, the United States has just elected a sexual predator as President.

  • Grant Howard Nov 21, 2016
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    I'm sure cooper has plans that will move us out of the top 10. But at least men will be in the bathroom with your daughters. Luckily he'll have to get legislation passed through republicans to do much real damage.

  • Steven Brown Nov 21, 2016
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    Never mind the fact that the states that most likely align with the authors political views are no where near #2... in fact, 7 of the top ten are republican leaning states.

  • Byrd Ferguson Nov 21, 2016
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    A liberal editorial from an extremely liberal company. It is what it is.

  • Johnathan Doe Nov 21, 2016
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    how many trannys are in management at these companies and when will we have a newscaster that is a trans?

  • John Thompson Nov 21, 2016
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    I'll stand with Gov McCrory on keeping our woman a children safe! Thanks for showing your true colors.

  • Teddy Fowler Nov 21, 2016
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    The most possible negative spin that you could put on a #2 ranking in the country

  • Edward Tilley Nov 21, 2016
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    Capitol Broadcasting seems to be quite disillusioned with North Carolina these days. Maybe they could get federal approval while Obama is still in charge, and move their operation to Virginia. I don't believe there is a station in South Hill. Crabtree, Leslie and the rest of the uber liberals might find that their thinking matches that audience a little more than it does here...although, I doubt it.
    Mr. Goodmon, your grandfather would be very disappointed in your constant bashing of this state!

  • Paul Maxwell Nov 21, 2016
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    View quoted thread

    Whatever Mr. Cooper's plans might be, they will go nowhere when up against the NCGA. The GA bears the ultimate responsibility for what becomes of North Carolina's reputation, and by extension, it's future. God help us.