Job creation, much ballyhooed by candidate Pat McCrory when he was seeking the governorship, has been decidedly underwhelming since he and fellow Republicans took control of the legislative and executive branches of state government in 2013. (The GOP gained legislative control two years earlier.)
The problem has been that Republicans didn’t have any job creation plan except for tax cuts for the wealthy and businesses, a flashback to the failed trickle-down economics of the Reagan era. As witnessed by their debate over building an incentives package for business recruiting and extending tax breaks for specific businesses, Republicans can’t even agree on whether incentives work.
Instead, North Carolina could put money into an entrepreneurial fund to encourage professors and others with ideas for innovation to start businesses. The state could build up a rural economic development center like the one Republicans gutted. And the Commerce Department, which under the governor was supposed to form some whiz-bang, public-private business recruiting organization, could take that stalled effort and try to reorganize.
What the state is doing, or isn’t doing, will not bring businesses and jobs without those in charge having an idea about how to start the engine of job creation, and the Republican leadership doesn’t seem to have a clue. Their promises about job creation that would keep up or exceed population growth haven’t been kept.
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