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Everyone knows this is a time in which jobs are at a premium and in which politicians and developers are happy to welcome just about any new business to their communities.

But, isn’t somebody going to mention the fact that Charlotte’s new big, new soon-to-be resident, Chiquita Brands International (aka United Fruit), is a corporation with a well-earned reputation as one of the most notorious and rapacious corporate exploiters in modern history?

Add to this the fact that to land the company, state and local officials had to ply it with public funds and lure it away from another American “Queen City” in need of jobs and it’s enough to make the whole thing feel extremely dirty and distasteful.

Maybe “Chiquita” has mended some of its ways since the days in which its bosses were treating entire nations as play things, but if its most recently displayed willingness to extort public funds is any indication, it still has a long way to go.

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You simply can’t read the details of the story (and associated documents and statements) of the failed “Project Soccer” negotiations in which the Perdue administration and Republican legislative leaders attempted to coax (i.e. bribe) Continental Tire to locate a plant in Wilmington without wanting to throw your hands up in disgust.

The only thing that’s worse than the record of the whole sodid process is the absurd blame game that the parties are now playing. Especially high on the unctuousness meter: the holier-than-thou claims of Senate leader Phil Berger (who jetted off to China on a so-called trade mission in the midst of the negotiations) that he was shocked (shocked!) to learn that powerful insiders stood to gain from the deal. Read More

 

On Wednesday August 31, business subsidies expert and author, Professor Kenneth Thomas will be in Raleigh to headline an N.C. Policy Watch Crucial Conversation luncheon.

Thomas’ most recent book is Investment Incentives and the Global Competition for Capital. Don’t miss this chance to hear from one of the leading experts on this most challenging topic.

Click here for more information.

Professor Kenneth Thomas of the University of Missouri at St. Louis, an expert on public subsidies for private business will be in Raleigh on August 31 to headline a special NC Policy Watch Crucial Conversation luncheon.

Thomas’ most recent book is entitled “Investment Incentives and the Global Competition for Capital.” Don’t miss this opportunity to hear from one of the most knowledgeable folks around about this vexing and controversial subect.

Click here for more information about the event.