Remember PTR?

The Connecticut gun manufacturer made national news last summer when it left the Nutmeg State for South Carolina – bringing 150 new jobs in tow.

Or so we were told …

We supported PTR’s decision to relocate to the Palmetto State, but as free market supporters we objected to the company receiving taxpayer-funded bribes (a.k.a. “economic development” incentives) to come here.

“Obviously the move will still have economic benefits associated with it, but will those benefits outweigh the costs?” we asked at the time.  “And even if they do outweigh the costs, why should PTR Industries get incentives that aren’t available to your company? Isn’t that picking winners and losers in the marketplace – a strategy which has failed our state miserably?”

Indeed … 

Anyway … last week S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley, whose “personal touch” helped land PTR, visited its facility in Aynor, S.C.  There she received a commemorative firearm, one of many we’re told the company is doling out to state lawmakers.

Everything was upbeat, with Haley thanking the company for her new gun – which she said was “a thank you for the support they have received since coming to our state.”  Meanwhile company executives told a local news station they were pleased with where the business was headed.

Fast-forward to this week, when PTR admitted to WBTW TV 13 (CBS – Florence/ Myrtle Beach, S.C.) it was “laying off eight full-time workers” and cutting wages for other workers at its new plant.

Bear in mind this is out of a roughly 53-person workforce – nearly half of which was brought in from Connecticut.  And most of which was making $13 an hour before  the wage cuts. So much for the company’s promise to pay “significantly higher wages than the County average,” right?

And then there’s Haley … who took all the credit for bringing PTR to the Palmetto State, but was nowhere to be found when the job losses were made public.

“Love that Haley is there one week and cuts are announced the next,” one lawmaker told FITS. “(That’s) emblematic of her economic development track record.”

Indeed …

PTR claims the job losses and wage cuts are only “temporary,” and that the company is still on track to create “at least 100” new positions over the next three years.  We’re certainly willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, but even if those optimistic predictions come true the company would still be creating only two-thirds of the jobs it promised.

And even if PTR ultimately created more  jobs than it promised … again … why should one company get a tax break that’s not available to you or your business?  A tax break that you and your business ultimately must subsidize?

Exactly … it shouldn’t.

Oh well, at least “gun-lover” Nikki Haley got a shiny new firearm out of the deal …