Home Virginia Politics IKEA, Stihl, Others Staying Without Handouts

IKEA, Stihl, Others Staying Without Handouts

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Without gifts from the Governor or a phone call while he was in town, they’re still here. McDonnell’s European itinerary ignored business partners. Apparently his concept of trade is soybeans, timber, and wine in exchange for German autos. Potentially a long-term barter arrangement is in the cards; never industrial expansion.

Bent on turning Virginia into an agrarian backwater where oversimplified mantras can survive in the protective bubble of isolation, Governor McDonnell continues to push products for which there is plenty of demand and very little justification or opportunity for increased production. And even if the demand justifies expansion, the number of middle class jobs that could be created remains at the margin. Raw materials rather than manufactured goods seem to be the order of the day…skipping the entrepreneur and any hope of value added. See McAuliffe’s efforts to turn raw timber into finished, high demand wood pellets.

Of course, McDonnell might be unhappy with one of those he cold-shouldered. Despite Virginia’s status as a right-to-work-for-less state and his leadership, employees at the Danville IKEA plant elected to join the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers last year. Obviously the free market would treat Virginia better if unfinished lumber were sold to an offshore manufacturer to supply products to the store in Woodbridge.

And, with UVA’s future teetering, McDonnell is off fishing for another job. Poorly choreographed dog and pony shows are the feature of this administration. Obviously a cameo appearance in Utah is much more important than any leadership role in his own state. McDonnell’s statement on the turmoil is an indictment; he is trying to wash his hands. Just how does the board’s resignation resolve the situation?

Maybe he’ll offer UVA $6 million to remain in Charlottesville.