Wednesday, August 31, 2016

"Local people, along with many economists and officials, often think these data centers are a key to an industrial revival. But the reality is less impressive"

NYT:

Mecklenburg County, which received $2.1 million from the state for the project, has given Microsoft 350 acres and offset personal property taxes by 82.5 percent, according to Wayne Carter, the county administrator.

...


“I’ve worked on a lot of nuclear power plants, and these things are a lot bigger than that,” said E. W. Gregory, the head of the local electrical workers’ union. But “the first thing they put in was a guard shack and a fence. I’ve filled rooms with people looking for entry-level work. None of it lasts.”

The companies come to places like Boydton for basics like land, water and electricity. Even with low local wages, people are a high-cost item. As small as the staffs at these mammoth facilities are, companies say, perhaps a third of the company jobs will eventually be filled by robots.