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« Love that dare not speak its name | Main | Commentary »

Jul 22, 2011


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Projects like HondaJet create demand for the products my company makes. We don't have college graduates making them. So Mr. Yow, please don't screw around and lose this one.


"Net job creation at small businesses is zero this year."

If that is the case, the Birth/Death small business hiring assumption the BLS uses is a fraud.

Is Robbie's Gunter Crossing a small business?




Which is worse?

What if Skip Alston got incentive money from the City Council
without anyone knowing?

What if Danny Thomson got money from Guilford County like that?


"Projects like HondaJet create demand for the products my company makes."

Thomas, should Robbie Perkins have ask for and recieved money from Guilford County for a shopping center project already underway?

Andrew Brod

Net job creation at small businesses is zero this year.

I'd like to see the data on that, because neither of the linked articles cites any data (unless I missed it). They talk about small-business lending and small-business formation, and those are disturbing stats. But employment data? I know BLS collects such data by size of business, but I don't see them cited here.

But beyond that, George, why does that statement lead you to believe the BLS methodology is "a fraud." It might make sense and it might not. But that doesn't make it fraudulent, a word that after all implies dishonesty. And besides, why do you think it's wrong?

You're a very rash person, chaver. It's too hot for this.


Mr Brod,

I am sure you realize that there are some folks in this world that if you dare disagree with them then your are stupid or evil or both or a commie or a "usual suspect" or a blah blah blah.

It is just that simple.


For a project already underway? No and no.

Andrew Brod

I've noticed that too, Mick. But George is a good guy. He's just excitable at times.


George uses certain terms too easily sometimes.


But, to each his
I suppose

Billy Jones

I don't know if Yow is correct or not but I do know people who already working for major airplane builders on the left coast who are hoping to land at Hondajet.

I'm no lawyer but I doubt it would be legal for Guilford County to require any employer to hire only from within the county.

Most of the jobs created by Hondajet vendors will be for large corporations. Many of the parts will come from around the world with only the largest pieces built locally.

It might mean more work for my brother who is already working 70 plus hours per week making replacement parts for Trident Submarines, M-1 Abrams Tanks and F-16 Fighter Jets. But alas, his multinational employer is building multiple plants in China as we speak. And continues to cut his benefits.

Patrick Eakes

You don't have to make parts for planes to benefit from the presence of airplane builders and refurbishers. 20% of my company's sales this year are in support of local aviation and aerospace operations, and we have made no parts that will lift off the ground.

Billy Jones

You're right, of course, but the fact still remains that most of HondaJet's vendors-- especially long term vendors-- will not be small businesses. Hondajet will have hundreds of different kinds of vendors selling them everything from structural steel (your gig) to grade 8 bolts to soft drinks but the bolts won't come via the local hardware store or even the locally owned, Automotive Fasteners Inc. where I bought bolts today. And we all know the local drug store won't be selling the soft drinks and locally owned catering companies won't be staffing the company lunch rooms.

Yes, some local businesses will grow because of HondaJet but the numbers are never as big as local politricksters predict.


"....but I do know people who already working for major airplane builders on the left coast who are hoping to land at Hondajet."

That will depend on how many HJ can recruit from local aerospace concerns, as discussed previously.


"Ahh Bach.."

Radar O'Reilly
I apoligize to Mick for any past indiscretion
in which he may have been personaly offended.


Animosity breeds nothing but inefficiency.

Please accept my apology.

It's not personal Mick.

That being said,
I will almost always oppose stances
pro aqua aquarium at my taxable expense.

Most of my current objections are accounting related.


But in my view, when thinking about it,
for good reason.

I truly believe
in having the most fun, in the shortest amount of time,
with the least risk, for as long as possible.


David Hoggard

Don't you ever
of hitting
return key,

Patrick Eakes

I only wish HondaJet could use grade 8 bolts. They will be NAS grade and cost 10-20 times what grade 8 costs.



No apology required. But again, for the umpteenth time, analyze the Parks and Rec budgets, deficits, etc and get back to me on your complaints of GAC. I dont get why a pool that not everyone will use is singled out by you vs other "parks" that not everyone uses. Please explain. Picking and choosing leads to hypocrisy.

Hey how about that charity kids triathalon! Good news huh. Or senior champs, or age group sectionals, or Y nationals, or Masters nationals or any of the smaller meets that local clubs are already scheduled to host at GAC? Any other "park" hosting multiple events with hundreds of kids and their families for 2-4 days? And the thing isnt even open yet! So far (and I mean that) GAC has indeed lived up to expectations of supporters.

Taxes paid by out of towners has value. Locals and out of towners eating, buying gas, buying gatorade, goggles, swim suits, waters, etc in town has value. Quality of life has value!


It seems to me we are a bunch of shmucks if we cheer for these incentives without answers to these two questions first:

1. How has Honda Jet performed related to their promises made in procuring the previous round of incentives. Have they kept their promises of $100M in capital improvements? Guilford county property records show the assessed value of the facility as $28M.

2. What is the money they are requesting for?


The apparent disparity is large but tax assments do not always reflect market value especially 8 yeras out from the last reval.

Andrew Brod

1. From the N&R editorial the other day:

HondaJet... was required under the terms of the first incentives package to create at least 300 jobs that pay above-average wages. It now employs between 550 and 650, with as many as 300 more to be added once production begins on the $4.5 million HondaJet.

The 2007 incentives guidelines also called for capital investments of at least $100 million by this year. Honda Aircraft so far has invested $170 million in its headquarters and production facility on 83 acres off Ballinger Road.

Keep in mind that assessed value generally doesn't include M&E, which is usually personal property.

2. The BizJ reports that HJ is requesting $775K from the county and $520K from the city.

Joe Killian


Keep an eye on next week's N&R for a more in-depth look at both of those questions.


N&R editorial, via Andy's comment above: "Honda Aircraft so far has invested $170 million in its headquarters and production facility on 83 acres off Ballinger Road."

Interesting that you should hit upon this claim. You'll find this first reported here, where the number is attributed to unnamed "city officials." My understanding is that it is from a single source of conflicting origins and has not been substantiated...

Which illustrates howwe are shucks on things like this. It works the same every time: The N&R will report some official, often identified, making some claim about great progress or expectations; it will not be corroborated or it will be reported as corroborated because two people say it. While the information goes unchecked against documentable sources, like property records or other public records, opinion page editors pick up on the rumor, repeat it as fact and in the blink of an eye, people come to think that their righteous questions have been answered; their civic-minded curiosity addressed.

"They've already invested $170 million," say smart people. Maybe. But I'd like to know who says it and what informs their conclusion. Who are they and can they back it up? We have no source on record for this claim and no public record in support of it (yet) -- I think we should before we put on our shiteatin' grins, wet our socks and announce, "Okee doke, good enough for me."


Correction. Above should read: "The N&R will report some official, often unidentified"


Are they being taxed on $170 million?


Don't you ever
of hitting
return key,

"I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding
because I think, well, if they attack one personally
it means they have not a single political argument left"

Margaret Thatcher
"The 2007 incentives guidelines also called for capital investments of at least $100 million by this year. Honda Aircraft so far has invested $170 million in its headquarters and production facility on 83 acres off Ballinger Road."

If those who asked for Guilford County money
for Gunter Crossing said the project would bring in
164 full time jobs,
and there are less than 25,
should the County ask for its money back?

A little moral relativity anyone?

If Hondajet wants $775,000 from Guilford County
for more than 400 high paying jobs
how did Robbie Perkins get $124,000
for less than 30?

Is anyone here going to address this?


on small business Birth/Death adjustments





Andrew Brod

Roch, your statement about the $170 million figure in that N&R article is accurate but misleading. I'm not saying you're wrong, but you sure haven't made your case. Yes, the figure is attributed to unnamed "city officials," but the more important claim that HondaJet kept its promises the first time around is made by a named city official, Nancy Vaughan.

Now, that's only one named city official. And maybe she's wrong. But to counter that report, all you can say is that you "understand" the figure hasn't been substantiated.

Focus on the precise number if you wish, but as it stands, your apparent doubt that HondaJet met its previous targets is the view without substantiation.

As for me, all I know is what I read in the papers. If that's wrong, perhaps you can enlighten me with something more than innuendo.

Andrew Brod

Now, having said that, there's no reason not to try to source that number. There are other city officials named in various stories on the HondaJet request, most notably Andy Scott. One could ask him.

More importantly, because incentives-receiving companies around here have to prove they met their performance targets, there has to be a government document somewhere with the information. Maybe it's shielded from public scrutiny, but maybe it's a public record.

Without that document (and given that I've spent a few minutes trying unsuccessfully to find relevant data on HJ), most likely all that can be done is for you (and Joe, for his N&R piece) to ask officials, and then we can decide whether we buy it or not.


What do you think of Robbie Perkins' tax break,

Andrew Brod

George, I tend not to opine about things I don't know about. What's your policy?


Well said.


"Roch, your statement about the $170 million figure in that N&R article is accurate but misleading. I'm not saying you're wrong, but you sure haven't made your case."

Sure I have. My case was that the N&R opinion editor and you are asserting as a premise in favor of supporting these incentives a figure that comes from unnamed sources with no, as yet, corroborating documentation. There is no "innuendo" in recognizing the facts.

"All you can say is that you "understand" the figure hasn't been substantiated."

My understanding comes from the reporter and her editor.


"Are they being taxed on $170 million?"

I have not seen that reported.

Andrew Brod

Roch, I have neither taken a stand in favor of nor against these incentives. I realize that in not always viewing incentives as bad policy, or at least in choosing not to embrace your moral opprobrium of them (because economics is not a morality play), I appear to be opposing you in this debate.

I am not "asserting as a premise" that the $170 million figure is accurate. You asked a question and I answered using a source at hand. Frankly, even though I knew I was using the hated N&R, I thought I was being helpful. I'll try to leave your questions unanswered next time. In response, you expressed doubt about the source, and I said okay, then let's try to substantiate it. Thinking that this marks me as some kind of shill for incentives is kinda weird.

If the reporter and her editor said the figure was unsubstantiated, then fine. Precisely what did they say? In precisely what way was it not substantiated? Even without that additional information, your comment about the reporter and editor adds a little meat to your innuendo. But the fact remains that on one hand we have a named city official stating that HondaJet met its target the first time around, and you stating that you believe otherwise. Until you find something like, you know, evidence to support your distrust of city officials, I don't know what to say.

Andrew Brod

Actually, I take that back. You haven't said you believe otherwise, just that you don't trust their number.

For what it's worth, you keep talking about the number and I keep talking about whether the number was above the target. If the target investment was $100 million (was that what it was?), then I don't really care whether HJ's investment was $120 million or $150 million or $170 million. Of course, knowing the right number will obviously tell us whether it's bigger than the target, but it's the "bigger" part that matters.

In any case, if HJ didn't meet its targets the first time around, I sure would like to know.


"You asked a question and I answered using a source at hand."

Right, which I found interesting because of its conformity with the patters of the Ol' Greensboro Okee Doke. Our answers to these kinds of questions in general, and yours specifically in this instance, too often come from vague, secret and undocumented sources. Has Honda Jet kept its promises? "Sure have. I done read it in the nuuuspaper."


"just that you don't trust their number."

I haven't said that at all.

Andrew Brod

So basically everyone's a hick except Roch. Good to know.


Everyone isn't offering up rumors as answers to legitimate questions.

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