While Michiganders moan about how horrible the economy is and Ohioans shriek that free trade is a bad thing we sometimes feel that we live in a completely different country. Every direction I drive I see construction here. Homes, businesses, a huge new school-- all of those things within a mile of our abode. Of course, the reply comes back from my former homeland, MichOhio, that their hardships are mainly because the US auto industry is in a horrible state. OK.
Well, building cars in our quarter of the nation is a booming business. In fact, the nearby BMW factory in Greer, SC hosted our Governor Mark Sanford just today to make a big announcement. Building cars in South Carolina and shipping them around the world is such a good business for BMW that they are expanding the state-of-the-art Greer facility to the tune of $750 Million. That expansion will require 500 additional direct hires. Of course those 500 jobs will be multiplied many times over in our Upstate economy.
There are lessons to be learned here but politicians like Granholm, Levin, Strickland and Sherrod Brown will never, ever learn them. Which means we'll need to keep building hereabouts as more and more people from the Northeast and Upper Midwest flee to our far greener pastures. Just so they learn to eat grits (properly) and pulled pork barbecue with slaw.
The local Greenville, SC paper reports here: http://greenvilleonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080310/BUSINESS/803100309