I'm still bitter about Governor Easley getting down on his knees and begging Michael Dell to open a plant in Winston-Salem. I'm not against business, we need it, I love it, and I'm glad every time a new job is created here. However, the deal with Michael Dell was a deal from hell.
On the one side we saw billionaire Michael Dell, who heads up the WalMart of computer manufacturing, and is a non-stop money machine for the Republican Party, twist the arm of Gov. Easley with the promise of 1,500 jobs for a part of the state that was relatively prosperous. On the other side we saw Governor Easley give the billionaire from Austin $240mm in tax breaks with the promise that Dell could fire up to 40% of the people he hired and still get the payola.
The whole deal left a bad taste in my mouth.
However, I'm in support of Gov. Easley's courtship with Google, and let me tell you why.
* The tax breaks being offered are $4.7mm for 210 new jobs which works out to $22,380 per job, as opposed to the obscene $160,000 per job given to Michael Dell (if he hired and retained all 1,500 people.)
* The site being proposed in Caldwell County is hurting economically and has been heavily impacted by the closure of two textile plants.
* Sergey Brin and Larry Page founded a company world famous for treating its workers well, and Google gives generously to the Democratic Party (See the Republicans whine here.)
With all of that said, it's far from a sure thing that Google will come to North Carolina, and for those that are interested there's a blog at Daily Tech with plenty of insight on the issue.
However, let's assume for a moment that Google does open up a server farm in Caldwell County. Then let's hope that the governor does one additional good thing with the $137,620 per job we will have saved compared to the mugging we took from Michael Dell. It would be nice if some of that capital could be used to retrain many of those textile workers who are now jobless in Caldwell County. As much as I love Google, I'd hate to see their facility become nothing more than a magnet for workers living elsewhere who would follow Google where ever it might go.