I gave it several hours in case someone pranked the poor guys, but it appears that the editors of The News & Observer actually editorialized against using state incentives to save or create jobs.

shocked moriarty

No, really. I know, it sounds as unthinkable as if someone said Chip Gaines punched Joanna. What, oh what, could have led to this?

Trump did save some 800 jobs that Carrier was planning to send to Mexico, but it came at the cost of $7 million in tax breaks granted by the Carrier plant’s home state, Indiana.

“But”? “BUT”?! Oh, wait — see, Donald Trump did it. The drive to negate Trump must have caused the editors’ unexpected and no doubt highly uncomfortable divergence from cronyism. (It’s reminiscent of when media finally had to tell the truth about violent crime — it’s at historic lows, not highs; very inconvenient to anti-gun editorializing, you know — in order to negate candidate Trump.)

Now, you see, $7 million is a big “but” to the presumed pro-Trump positive of saving 800 jobs. A principled liberal would have the same reservations.

A principled liberal would not, however, be capable of holding both these positions simultaneously:

  • $7 million in state incentives negates the gain of some 800 jobs
  • $122.1 million in state incentives is pricy but worth it for the gain of 149 jobs.

That must require an absurd amount of doublethink. The N&O editors wrote this on July 20 of this year:

The location of a CSX container hub, the Carolina Connector, in Rocky Mount means 149 more jobs for an area of North Carolina desperately in need of them. …

CSX is getting a generous incentive package from the state, worth $122.1 million, but such incentives do require certain things of recipients, such as job creation goals that must be met, and also requirements that companies invest in the property themselves.

For the people of this part of North Carolina, where economic recovery has been slow, the coming of the CSX hub is a burst of good news.

And of course there’s no amount too pricy to give the editors pause about tax breaks and other incentives for renewable energy.