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Saturday, April 22, 2006

Local Officials Scared By Toyota

We first brought you news that Toyota was considering a plant in our region before you heard about it in the local news media. Now the News and Advance is reporting mixed and negative reactions by local officials.

Why? Because Toyota may not not be the "right kind" of industry that our area should have. There may be another consideration in the negativity towards Toyota that local officials are not espousing. Toyota may very well, offer a competition for our low paid blue collar workers to make higher wages. This could lead to the need to offer higher pay from other local companies to stay competitive. Many local officials have vested interests in local businesses.

According to The News and Advance:

Appomattox mayor Ronnie Spiggle said the area needs to keep a close eye on what officials think communities need, which tends to be young professionals,
and not recruit jobs that would come from Toyota plants and Wal-Mart. “I think
the Toyota plant is the wrong type of growth,” said Tom Messier, Bedford City

...Bedford County Board of Supervisors member John Sharp said considering the large number of retired workers moving into the Lynchburg area, officials should look at industries that will attract workers to help carry the tax burden.

It is interesting to see this point of view, it shows an entrenchment aligned with keeping blue collar wages low. Heaven help us if that apple cart was overturned.


At 6:17 PM, Blogger Rebecca said...

Something is very wrong with this thinking. We are building on every square inch of dirt to be had in central Virginia, hardly a tree left. But please make sure it's just strip malls and coffee shops where teens and college students can work for minimum wage! We want growth, then we need something like Toyota. I could, however, live without seeing another walmart. :)
Professional workers at toyota would make more and inevitably be taxed at a higher rate. And it's not families' fault that retirees have for some reason chosen our area to plant themselves. After all the rude elderly we have been dealing with, that I have had to protect my kids from, I have had it with sympathy pangs for their overmedicated selves.
The area cannot be considered viable for long if it's only populated by elderly, and the few that cannot escape to work where their is more opportunity.

At 5:24 AM, Blogger B O B said...

You are absolutely right Rebecca, there is something seriously wrong, when local officials claim to be in favor of industries that offer better opportunies for our residents, but then back track when the opportunity comes across the horizion.


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