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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Jim Goodnight, July 22, 1999. Interview I-0073. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Politicians won't develop infrastructure to match growth

Goodnight sees Research Triangle Park as a significant driver of growth in North Carolina, and he likes the pace of growth in the state. He worries, however, that infrastructure is not keeping pace and that Democrats, in their efforts to transfer money from the rich to the poor, are ignoring the need for roads.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Jim Goodnight, July 22, 1999. Interview I-0073. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

JM: What factors do you think -- if you look at the economic transition that's under way in North Carolina right now -- what factors are most responsible? Why has this happened in North Carolina? It's happening elsewhere too, certainly. JG: I think if you go back to the foundation of the Research Triangle Park, as far as this area is concern, that had a huge impact. It took a while to get going, but the last ten years we've seen quadrupling of the number of companies that are out there. The state just needs now to make the commitment to get the roads and the infrastructure up to date to see that people can get to and from the Triangle to go to work. This is a strange area. People leave town to go to work. In most other cities, people are trying to get into town to go to work. Here, people are trying to leave town. It's a different phenomenon. JM: Across these years, have you been uniformly comfortable with the pattern and style of growth in North Carolina? JG: Yes. I think it's been slow and steady. We just need to find the resources to take care of the infrastructure. Schools and roads are the two things that I look at, over the next few years, that we need to try to put a lot of emphasis on as far as spending money. I guess, to that extent, one of my real concerns about the country as a whole is the fact that our entire tax system is so upside down. It should be the local government that collects the most money, the state the second most, and the federal the least. I think that the most money should stay closest to home, and the least money should go furthest from home. Unfortunately, our entire system has been turned upside down by the federal government wanting to collect money from people that have it and give it to people that don't have it. It's just a system of buying votes, where the Democrats especially will find a group that they can give money to or give benefits [to] that will vote for them. They've just been buying votes like that for years. In the meantime, the infrastructure needs of the communities are going unanswered.