20 January 2007

economics google north-carolina

LenoirGoogle decided to plonk down a $600 million dollar data-center in Lenoir, North Carolina.

You know Lenoir, it's right north of Hickory. Oh, you don't know Lenoir? It's been in the news lately, mostly with folks whinging about how Google, with its billions of dollars in market capitalization, is getting a pretty sweet tax break.

But Lenoir was bidding on this facility, in competition with other municipalities, and apparently thought $100 million in tax breaks would be a small price to pay. The upshot is that Google will bring 200 new direct jobs, plus untold number of indirect jobs, to the area. The average salary in Lenoir is $16,000. The average Google salary will be closer to $40,000. And these folks will be spending their wealth in the community. As will the workers who build and maintain the facility. Lenoir only has 17,000 people.

While Google may have been trying to decide simply the best place to drop a data-center, they were ultimately selling prosperity to the highest bidder. Lenoir won.

Good for Lenoir!