I read that the Greensboro City Council and Guilford County Board of Commissioners next week will consider granting $3.6 million in economic development incentives to retain Syngenta.

When you take into account the actual amount Syngenta would have to pay to move to another city, $3.6 million is chump change. Is this simply its way of displaying the control it has over our elected leaders and our community as a whole?

For starters, were Syngenta to lay off 650 workers who make an average wage of $107,000 it would have to pay out millions upon millions of dollars in severance pay and increased unemployment insurance, no matter where it moves.

Second, laying off 650 experienced employees means Syngenta would have to spend millions upon millions hiring and training new employees.

Now let’s imagine that Syngenta were to move and take 650 employees with it. And let’s imagine that Syngenta paid each employee the absurdly low amount of $5,000 each to pull up roots and move his or her entire family. Do the math. I came up with $3.25 million.

Why, that alone is almost as much as the entire incentive package. And for what?

Billy Jones


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