It's nothing to do with liberal or conservative. It's just silliness. Maybe North Carolina or the town could have asked for free WiFi and an iPad for everyone like the Cupertino council did... (which they later clarified as "a softball question" yada yada yada)
The thing to look at is:
1. How many jobs were expected to be directly created? It is a server farm, after all. 50 sounds small. I mean, the cleaning and security alone would be 10 to 15 people. That's not a small facility. But, what were the expectations? As posters mention is a lot of stuff done through "dat Internetz things we all here aboutz"?
2. Is a lot of the work outsourced eg. to cleaning, electrical, solar, security, etc. companies? That would make sense since 50 would be about the core full-time Apple-direct-employed permanent staff. Again, perhaps it does sound small relative to one of the USA's biggest server farms. But who are the contractors working on the project? Who the heck built the whole thing and moved all the equipment in? Surely more than 50 people... What was the company that help set up the place? What state were they from?
3. How many staff from other states and countries were relocated to work on this North Carolina facility? Are they buying and renting housing in the area, and eating locally?
4. What were the projected tax revenues for the state? How was this supposed to flow on to the residents?
5. I agree that councils have to run without excessive bloat and also cater appropriately for the residents preferably with the help of the companies. But Steve did say that they do pay their local, state and federal taxes, so I don't expect Apple to go overboard for the town/state, though of course if the town/state wanted specific things in return they could/should have negotiated it prior to setting up.
Let's not get sidetracked thinking that socialism means shoving common sense where the sun don't shine. Heck yeah I want a safety net and councils to provide appropriate services but due diligence, community engagement, and again, common sense should be applied throughout.
The problem in the UK and Greece is when corruption and poor enforcement creeps in. It distorts socialism, just as bailouts distorts capitalism.
Long story short Apple wasn't setting up a big factory to employ 5,000 people. If the state and local government was giving this impression to state and town residents then said state and local government behaved fraudulently.
I don't even know what the staffing is like for data centres. Does the state and town know?
Liberal doesn't mean turning off your brain.
Originally Posted by Oflife
It is that attitude which is why the West is in the mess it is. Liberal thinking that says a) Employ people, even if you do not need or cannot afford them. b) Loan people money for items or property they havn't a hope in hell of repaying.
Further down the road, the wheels then start to fall off. As is happening now as overpaid council staff (here in UK anyway) are sapping up money that could otherwise pay for actual services.
Apple can do what they like, they are a private company. All that matters is they are environmentally responsible & treat their workers well, not to mention, help in the community. Perhaps by funding a local bus service for the elderly or similar.
Originally Posted by Blastdoor
The real issue here has nothing to do with apple. The real issue is that state and local governments fall all over themselves to give tax breaks to companies without really thinking about whether the benefits outweigh the costs. Another example is how cities fall all over themselves to build stadiums for sports franchises. I think it's largely a case of little people trying to feel big.
I don't know enough about the details here to know whether the NC folks made a mistake or not, but those sound like some pretty big tax cuts for a very small number of jobs. Again -- not apples fault -- they were honest about the number of jobs. The problem is a culture where everyone reflexively rolls over for big business.