Republicans harmed our growth; Apple could start to fix it

by | May 23, 2018 | Economic Development, Editor's Blog | 3 comments

There’s more evidence that Republicans are bad for North Carolina. Since they’ve taken control, our growth rate has slowed from 18.5% in the first decade of this century to 11.4% projected for this decade. While some of the slow down might be blamed on the Great Recession, the negative publicity from Republican policies like HB2, Amendment One, voter suppression laws and extreme gerrymandering make the state less welcoming. Other fast growing states didn’t see their growth rates decrease as much as ours.

The best way to change that perception is to change leadership. Restoring our reputation as a moderately progressive state that’s open to everyone will take time. Bringing companies like Apple to North Carolina will go a long way toward reversing the negative impressions of the state.

Unfortunately, some Democratic allies are hoping that the legislature’s support of HB2 will keep Apple and Amazon out of North Carolina. They want the state to feel the pain of bad policies, but clearly, that’s already happened. The best way to reverse the attitudes that lead to reactionary and discriminatory legislation is to increase the influence of people and voters who want change.

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook is a graduate of Duke University and gay. He’s also looking to bring about 10,000 jobs to some state. It might as well be ours. Apple’s economic footprint would be far larger than just the number of jobs. It would change the face of the state and give Apple political influence. A guy like Cook could have far more impact in reversing or preventing discriminatory policies if he’s in the state instead of out.

Republican policies have certainly made businesses skittish about moving here, but boycotts that keep progressive companies out of North Carolina will prevent the state from evolving into a more welcoming place. We need more people like Tim Cook exerting influence, not fewer. We need the high-paying jobs, that in turn bring an educated workforce, to build the critical mass necessary to combat discriminatory policies.


  1. Russell Scott Day

    If Tim Cook knows North Carolina he knows it is the best or equal to the best real estate in the world. Long as the Gopsay is in charge the first thing they do is promise to not tax the corporation when the corporation has been right successful at avoiding taxes as it is. In fact the State of NC needs and deserves tax revenue. It’s treasury is finite. The US Treasury is elastic. If the Federal government wants to give the corporation tax breaks, fine, they can print money or add & subtract it from electronic ledgers all day long. However the State of NC has to act responsibly & collect taxes. The Gopsay wants to tax as if we are all transients as they tax & fee in Florida. NC is so perfect that it could have the highest taxes in the whole world and people would want to come and live here. Hell, look at SAS. If the State doesn’t get Amazon or Apple there is SAS where coders and IT engineers can go find some work. Since our banking system has degenerated into an ignorant lazy bunch, creating dollars from real estate loans and with no idea at all of how to lend to advance industry we must demand utility banking such as exists in the Bank of North Dakota.

  2. Lee Nackman

    Not only is Apple likely to want strong protections against discrimination in state law, but it will also likely want a strong public education system so that the skilled employees they need will be eager to move here. How are we going to convince Apple that we’re not going to continue to destroy our public education system?

    • Troy

      Let me put the cap on that Lee with this. Phil Shepard, (R-03) has just introduced HB-965. Seems he wants to put “In God We Trust” and “To Be Rather Than To Seem” (Esse Quam Videri) on every school K-12 and Charter in NC. I don’t really have a problem with either phrase. The State motto should be in Latin as it appears on the State Seal and other official documents. Except that is probably a bit too Roman for Shepard who is a Baptist Minister.

      Makes me wonder though if Shepard’s real motive is to turn public schools into currency. Since that slogan appears predominately on our money, is that Shepard’s motive? He and others of his party are already trying to cut public schools to the point of failure so they can privatize. How better than to attach a currency moniker to the package.

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