With all the local stories about Electrolux and Mitsubishi locating in Memphis and the cost of winning these company locations, I would like to point out some facts. I am not against these taxpayer incentives as this is the game that goes on in a weak economy run by an anti business national government. Memphis has a lot going for it as far as location, transportation (trucking, river, rail and air), energy, water and infrastructure. We have good weather and business friendly state and local governments.
Manufacturing has changed dramatically due to computer operated machinery and manufacturing procedures. Our local workforce can be trained for the types of jobs required for Electrolux. The Mitsubishi work will benefit from MLGW trained workers and I bet that they will draw some retired but still young ex MLGW skilled field people. Good for them.
What disturbed me was the contrast between the average salary plus benefits of the employees of the City of Memphis and the County of Shelby. According to the budgets and financial documents, the average for the City of Memphis worker is $67,321 and $63,433 for Shelby County. Contrast this with the reported average for Electrolux at $32,000.
What we need to do is to bring down the cost of government salaries and benefits to the average of the taxpayers here locally thereby reducing property taxes and increasing our competitive position. Shelby County did a study and found that the local public sector salaries and benefits are 55% greater than the local private sector employees who collectively pay for the public sector. My own surveys confirm this discrepancy. This needs to be honestly discussed and reformed. Public sector employees should be paid well for their work but no more or less than the private sector from which the profits and the ability to pay taxes all starts.