On That Big Crony Capitalist Announcement

GAUNTLET DROPPED … AND PICKED UP We got called out this week by a reader for failing to cover a “big” economic development announcement in the South Carolina Upstate. That announcement? A $1 billion capital investment by Tokyo-based Toray Industries, Inc. on a Spartanburg, S.C. manufacturing facility for composite fibers…


We got called out this week by a reader for failing to cover a “big” economic development announcement in the South Carolina Upstate.

That announcement? A $1 billion capital investment by Tokyo-based Toray Industries, Inc. on a Spartanburg, S.C. manufacturing facility for composite fibers that Palmetto government officials claim will create 500 jobs.

“I doubt we read anything from FitzNews regarding a $1 billion dollar plant in the Upstate,” the reader wrote. “It might be hard for you to find a way to take a dig at (Nikki) Haley, while making the report which we all knows goes against your agenda.”

“So man up and print the news that is fit to print,” the reader added.

Okay …

First of all we know not to take such announcements at face value because the promised jobs routinely fail to match expectations … or even materialize. Then there’s the matter of how much taxpayer money is shelled out to secure such announcements … irrespective of whether they “hit” or “miss.”

In this case, we’re looking at $10 million in direct borrowing to purchase land and infrastructure for the company – and that’s before we even get to the massive tax breaks the company will receive.

How much will those amount to? Good question …

Two separate studies in the last three years (here and here) rank the Palmetto State among the very least transparent states in America with respect to disclosing details of “economic development” incentive packages.

And that’s before we get to the matter of these incentives shifting (and raising) the tax burden on existing individuals and small businesses – who account for the vast majority of jobs yet receive no such preferential treatment.

Our reader has heard these arguments before, though, and isn’t buying …

“I know you are not a fan of these packages, but in today’s world it is the only way to compete, and make no mistake South Carolina is finally starting to compete,” they wrote.

Maybe that’s true … but that could be

After all, let’s not forget that our neighboring states are much more cognizant of the down side to government-subsidized “economic development” than South Carolina (not to mention much more receptive to policies that have been proven to create jobs).

As opposed to policies that produce more lost decades …

Maybe our reader is right, though. And maybe we’re dead wrong. But so far the numbers bear out our view … and even if they didn’t, forcing one group of businesses and taxpayers to shell out their hard-earned money on handouts for other businesses is a flagrant violation of equal protection.

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Bleh! February 20, 2014 at 2:51 pm

“I know you are not a fan of these packages, but in today’s world it is the only way to compete”

Utter bullshit. If you cut taxes and take money from no one(gov’t doesn’t count because it’s not their money to start) then you can compete. If you need to subsidize the business then it’s not worth it.

Taking from the little people/businesses to fund big ones is obviously immoral and not convincingly effective. Even if you have no morals and approach it from a utilitarian perspective there’s not enough data to determine if your redistribution actually works, as the people in charge of such data have conflicts of interest in how the data is gathered, distributed, & perceived.

How about we simply stick to the logical & moral argument that we shouldn’t be stealing & redistributing money from the little people/businesses to the big ones?

Frank Pytel February 20, 2014 at 3:29 pm


David W Koch February 20, 2014 at 3:44 pm

I disagree.

William Frost February 21, 2014 at 12:08 am

Fugg off

George Soros February 21, 2014 at 9:43 am

Me too.

Warren Buffet February 21, 2014 at 9:44 am

Don’t forget me.

Mark Zukerberg February 21, 2014 at 9:47 am

Wassup bitches?

Warren Buffet February 21, 2014 at 9:47 am

This party is only for old money-get lost. Don’t you an NSA meeting to attend or something?

Sergey & Larry February 21, 2014 at 9:49 am

That was us Warren. Don’t get all high & might just because your meetings involve the Treasury department and bailouts to save your investments.

Jeffrey Immelt February 21, 2014 at 9:45 am

Or me.

Ludwig Von Mises February 20, 2014 at 3:31 pm

What’s referred to here as “crony capitalism” is in actualty what “capitalism” has become.Oh not the “capitalism” you might read about in an economics text or what our libertarian minded friends might be talking about ,but, in todays world?

This IS “capitalism.”

Why fight it?

Bleh! February 20, 2014 at 3:56 pm

Because fascism and redistribution is always worth fighting.

Been there done that February 20, 2014 at 3:46 pm

Nikki Haley loves economic development because:

1. As a Tea Party Governor she can spend tax dollars to get publicity, power and donors while convincing the public it is in thier interest.

2 Before the deal is even signed she has solicited for donations the affected local business and suppliers that stand to gain, land owners, and other hoping to profit. IE,

3. Since Commerce Department is completely opaque no one knows how much money she spends and haw many or few jobs actually show up in SC.

At the end of the day “economic development” means power and prestige, and tons of money, for the Governor and her cronies.

Sam February 20, 2014 at 3:49 pm

Who doesn’t like to spend other people’s money for their own benefit? Especially millions and million of it.

GrandTango February 21, 2014 at 8:41 am

You ever had a job Dumb@$$???…That’sconomic Development. And even if you are a lazy-@$$ getting a Gov’t check, or a Gov’t worker corporations pay for your sloth and greed…

Medicaid February 21, 2014 at 10:36 am

Checks in the mail, BigT.

SlapMyAssbaby February 21, 2014 at 6:19 pm

funny how all those white sloths getting a check vote Republican because they look down on blacks…

GrandTango February 20, 2014 at 4:08 pm

Capitalist are responsible for EVERY good thing that has ever happened in this country…Capitalist financed the war….to end slavery….Capitalist ended Hitler’s reign of terror….

On the other side: Obama, Sanford and FITS have done NOTHING but BLEED the taxpayers. You produce NOTHING but hate for the people who Build this country…and Secure its FREEDOM….


Pharma for a better life February 20, 2014 at 5:18 pm

*This message is brought to you by Paxil*

Koch Brother From Another Mofo February 20, 2014 at 9:01 pm

Coal ash in rivers, smog, mercury poisioning, brown lung, asbestos….

GrandTango February 21, 2014 at 8:40 am

I go into the Saluda and Congaree rivers all summer long. I’ve NEVER had any of those pollutants manifest. I’ve been in many other bodies of water, and NEVER experienced them. And the air is CLEANER now that it was 40 years ago….because CAPITALISTS cleaned it up, once we realized there was a problem.

You are a lair and a myth-monger. And your fables are never challenged.

The ailments you charge us for are much more prevalent in the type of countries you praise as being so advanced. Liberals are STUPID and you actually promote the diseases you rail against. That is the height of ignorance.

Koch Brotha February 21, 2014 at 10:19 am

In a 1998 study, the Savannah River was ranked seventh among the top ten polluted rivers. Go swiming in the Dan River, Lake Erie, oh, more recently, the Elk River chemical spill.

Frm the sound of most of your posts, I’m going with mercury…

GrandTango February 21, 2014 at 12:29 pm

You ever study the level of pollution in the Tiber River 2,000 years ago.

Living can pollute. Americans have done more to clean up inevitable pollution than any other civilization in the history of man…

You Dumb@$$#$ are delusional, and only see something at its worst. We FIX the messes…I cannot say that for the Disaster Obama has made of my country…or any other mess you liberals have made…

Koch Brotha February 21, 2014 at 1:06 pm

Cuyahoga River CAUGHT FIRE due to INDUSTRIAL WASTE! …not from people living. Damn, you’re so fucking dumb…

GrandTango February 21, 2014 at 4:08 pm

And the capitalists CLEANED it up…after the gov’t FAILED to protect it…Dumb@$$…

Why is it all your causes must call on ancient history…????

SparkleCity February 22, 2014 at 7:25 am

They were cleaned up due to the FEDERAL MANDATED Clean Water Act dipshit

But yes, AMERICAN Manufactures of the machinery/equipment gained good profits due to the Clean Water Act and the CREATION of the EPA under the Nixon Administration who was what???????

A conservative that’s fucking what

I’ve been making shitty stuff fit to reuse (and a good living I might add…) for 40 years now due to such “bullshit/unnecessary” regulations as the Clean Water Act, The Clean Air Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act

GT is so full of shit that even with 2 degrees in Environmental Science and Technology and 40 years of work experience I don’t think even I can make a dent in cleaning out the shit in his/her skull!!!!!

John Boy February 20, 2014 at 9:36 pm

Love it when you defend your hero…BTW, I called it: Haley, yet again, causing taxpayers of SC more misery…200,000 buckaroos for denying First Admendment rights paid by the denizens of said SC…

Bryan Wqsc Crabtree February 20, 2014 at 4:11 pm

Why did we lose the $1bil Toray plant in CHS to Greenville when they make “stuff” for Boeing? Anti-development, anti-business, lack of skilled workforce(re: schools), anti-growth, liberal-leaning, & a pro-union debate already occurring in Charleston Boeing plant. In other words, Charleston frequently stares a “gift horse in the mouth!” Stop focusing on stupid bike paths, cruise terminals and trees and let’s help people get to work here with good paying jobs! Then we can afford to pay for that stuff!!!

vicupstate February 20, 2014 at 4:49 pm

I don’t have any inside information, but they probably didn’t want to compete in the same labor market. Too much demand for workers would raise wages.

As far as good paying jobs, no one has announced what the wages at this plant will be. Plus Charleston County is already pulling away from the state on per capita income.

Plus the Inland harbor at GSP might have been a factor in some way.

Norma Scok February 20, 2014 at 7:47 pm

There’s no way Charleston (or more effectively the surrounding counties of Berkeley and Dorchester) have a higher per capita income than Greenville and its surrounding areas.

People in Charleston like to think we’re the center of the universe, but we all the money is in Greenville. Always has been.

Just because we have a lot of sellouts from Ohio paying big money for our tract homes, doesn’t mean much.

vicupstate February 21, 2014 at 8:02 am

The Median Household Income in Charleston County is nearly $2,000 higher than Greenville County and the Per Capita Income is more than $3,000 higher.

The Upstate is one economic engine of the state but Charleston is quickly becoming the second. IT is growing there and that doesn’t come in on a container.

Inciteful February 21, 2014 at 7:01 am

BWC is a typical, holy city centered, all civilization is east of Broad bigot. He doen’t get the realities (or the geography, for that matter) of South Carolina. 60% of what flows through the port of Charleston is sent from and goes to the Upstate. Charleston is a cul-de sac, the Upstate is our state’s economic engine. Get over it. And BTW, the carbon fiber plant will be in Moore, Spartanburg County, not Greenville.

????????? February 20, 2014 at 4:43 pm

How about covering the fact that the latest Haley screw-up has cost the taxpayers 192K + attorney fees?

euwe max February 20, 2014 at 4:44 pm

I wonder if she got to keep the goggles and hard hat.

WTF February 20, 2014 at 7:17 pm

God, when I see her; I’m the one who needs the safety goggles, preferrably blacked out!

9" February 20, 2014 at 4:59 pm

Alice Cooper is really looking awful,these days

Cold Ethyl February 20, 2014 at 8:55 pm

No doubt…He looks like a foreman that could break ground by casting spells.

Limbaughsaphatkhunt February 20, 2014 at 9:43 pm

Nicely played Sir.

Limbaughsaphatkhunt February 20, 2014 at 5:20 pm

Never thought I’d see the day where I’d agree with a Fits News article…let alone 100%… but this is certainly one of them!!! Well done.

idcydm February 20, 2014 at 6:32 pm

Go north young man, go north.

Hi, I'm Nikki February 20, 2014 at 7:56 pm

You want fries with that?

Centrist View February 20, 2014 at 8:08 pm

“A Tokyo-based supplier to Boeing’s 787 aircraft manufacturing plant in North Charleston said it will invest $1 billion and create 500 jobs over the next decade at a new global facility in Spartanburg County.”

(500 jobs) X (1 decade/10 years) = 50 jobs/year

Scooter February 20, 2014 at 10:14 pm

You have to hand it to the old girl. She is getting the job done. Libs can’t get anything to work.

Mike at the Beach February 20, 2014 at 10:33 pm

Holy shit! is it just me, or the old gal look just like John Kerry in that pic?!

shifty henry February 21, 2014 at 6:19 am

Mike, it’s not you —- you’re still sane!

Mike at the Beach February 21, 2014 at 4:22 pm

I’ve never claimed to be TOTALLY sane.

SparkleCity February 20, 2014 at 10:52 pm

5-10 years there WAS a carbon-fiber plant in Grrrrr. Lots of fanfare when it started up.

The plant went belly up without ANY fanfare……….

Maybe it was ahead of its time or maybe carbon fiber material for airplanes has a nasty habit of delaminating.

The carbon fiber props on C-130J models have a hard go of it in the desert.s

Bryan Wqsc Crabtree February 21, 2014 at 7:39 am

Typical comment by insiteful that instead of making a point, results to labels and name calling which renders his/her point completely irrelevant. And, if you’re trying to use a term that describes Charleston Snobs, it’s “South of Broad” as East of Broad is the Charleston Harbor. Get your facts straight.

inciteful February 21, 2014 at 7:51 am

I yield to your expertise on irrelavance.

anon. February 21, 2014 at 11:35 am


WhatWouldJesusSayToNikki February 21, 2014 at 6:17 pm

We are whores for business. SC will give its pussy away for free to get companies to relocate here. And then we hate unions so that we stay on the race to the bottom. If people want to unionize, let them. If companies want to pay 18 an hour, let em. I pay my secretary without any experience $14 an hour because it is the right thing to do. I give bonuses when she does a terrific job which is frequent.

dwb619 February 22, 2014 at 10:11 pm

How about some coverage on NIMRATA’s speech in Greenville to the automotive associations.
She told GM, Ford, and Chrysler to stay the hell out South Carolina, with their good paying UNION jobs.


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