UK IT Journal Disses on NC's Desperate Measures to Attract Business

How embarrassing! We've been pointing out the sometimes grotesque measures taken to attract businesses to our fair state, but we're now getting international attention for it and it isn't pretty. It's downright embarrassing.

Here are the first two paragraphs from the post in The Register:

North Carolina will do just about anything to keep technology companies happy, including offering IBM up to $750,000 to bring just 10 jobs to the state.

IBM has revealed plans to construct a $362m so-called "leadership data center" in either North Carolina, New York or Colorado. Hoping to secure this center, Durham County officials in North Carolina have just committed to a seven-year, $750,000 incentive package for IBM. That's just chump change in the big scheme of things, but we're sure IBM appreciates the effort.

Durham county officials have countered that the visiting executives to the center will drop a load of coin in their fair city giving them an estimated $150,000 in tax revenue each year. IBM should be around in five+ years, so this little venture should pay off for Durham County.

That wasn't exactly the embarrassing part of the post, though. This was:

Over the years, North Carolina has offered up all kinds of incentives to keep and attract technology companies. It's not a bad strategy given that the state's once-prized tobacco, furniture and textile industries are all under assault.

But the incentive packages do have a tendency to make North Carolina look rather desperate. For example, the state went so far as to build roads, hire cops and send Dell employees' children to school to secure a new PC factory. ®

Yikes, desperate? Is that really the message we're sending?

I'm not against competing to attract new business to North Carolina, but when we start getting international attention because some of the deals being struck look a little bone-headed, maybe it's time to take a step back and regroup.


Bone-headed indeed