The governor called me a few minutes ago to belatedly take issue, in his mild way, with a short editorial we ran last Saturday. I drew a blank at first on the subject, since it had been over a week since I had read it, but it came back to me when I called up a PDF of that day’s page as we were talking.
The only thing that seemed to bother him was the word "setback."
"I don’t think it was a ‘setback,’" he said. "Some things are possible, some things are probable, and some things are impossible."
He said Gov. Bob Riley had told him he had thought Alabama had it sewn up from the start, and Gov. Sanford was not inclined to disagree.
He said Alabama had already shown Airbus they could take a wing off a ship and swing it into its destination inside of an hour. In South Carolina, that would have been a six-hour process, necessitating traveling a much greater distance. "We just didn’t have the infrastructure."
Still, he thought it was worth taking a shot at it. "We had a good site, but… we didn’t have anything right there at dockside."
And he didn’t consider it worthwhile to try to compensate for that (even assuming it would be possible) by offering a bigger incentive package than Alabama.
"We ain’t gonna do what, in all due respect, the last administration did, which was buy jobs."
I think the aerospace “cluster” is a good one. Additionally, Phase I of the USC Research Campus with the Horizon Building and our South Carolina Next Energy Initiative, will create a “hydrogen energy cluster” in South Carolina when combined with the SRS Site in Aiken and ICAR in Clemson.
When the state is serious about job development try this idea:
Fund a major medical center/training school in poor region like Williamsburg County. Make it a public/private partnership. Subsidize the training of doctors, dentists, nurses, nurse practictioners and medical technology specialists. Make practicing in SC a five year requirement.
Think big and different. Make county health clinics free to poor people without health insurance and staff them with intern doctors, dentists, nurses and staff to train them etc. Have the state self-insure for malpractice or innovate in other ways to cut insurance costs.
The demand for physician training is great and the supply is limited. The demand for trained physicians is great and the supply is limited— especially outside the urban areas.
Open the school to all U.S. citizens.
The medical center would jumpstart economic development in the immediate region. The health and wellbeing of South Carolinians would benefit measurably. We’d recruit many well-educated people from outside SC. Many would probably stay to become outstanding citizens.
I get so tired of hearing how we lost this company and that company because we didn’t give them enough tax breaks and handouts.
That ought to be a clue that South Carolina has an unfriendly business climate.
As someone who has worked in aerospace and automotible manufacturing for 20 years, I would have to think twice about locating in a state where the colleges don’t even teach a course in aerospace engineering. I can go to a Barnes & Noble or Borders in Atlanta and see dozens of books on the subject, from classics in paperback to current texts for $168.00.