Great But Not Good Enough: Hampton Dellinger on NC's New #1 Biz Ranking

For the sixth time in seven years, North Carolina has been named the "Top Business Climate" in the country by Site Selection magazine. North Carolinians should be proud of this achievement, but we should not be satisfied until our success as a business climate is matched in other areas.

We must commit ourselves to discrimination-free workplaces, well-funded and effective schools, safe and sustainable communities, healthy children and a healthy environment, and honest and responsive government. Today I am releasing a short video where I comment on our top business ranking and emphasize the need for North Carolina to lead on other issues—including addressing continuing racial inequalities and freeing public health from right wing politics—in order to justify our reputation not just as a great place to do business, but as a great place to live, work, and raise a family.

Success in these other areas will make future business success possible. More importantly, they will make it meaningful. And while we've made progress on social justice and quality of life issues during the past forty years—my lifetime—there is more— much more—we need to do.

I hope you will take a minute to watch my new video and encourage others to do so as well. I'm running for Lt. Governor because I believe that North Carolina should be number one, not just in one thing that matters a lot—being a great state in which to do business — but in all the things that matter most.


Thanks, Mr. Dellinger

I hope this gets wide play . . . and thank you for breaking it here at BlueNC. I'm happy to front-page this because the message is really important. It seems like North Carolina has the "business friendly" thing down pretty well. I appreciate you turning some attention to all the other things that matter.

Let's see if I can find that table....

Category Ranking
Business Climate Ranking (Site Selection)1
The Best States For Business (Forbes) 3
Best Places for Business and Careers (Forbes) 1
Total Tobacco 1
Flue-Cured Tobacco 1
Pig Crop 1
Sweetpotatoes 1
Hogs & Pigs 2
Christmas Trees Cash Receipts 2
Cucumbers for Pickles 2
Turkeys Raised2
Net Farm Income 3
Trout Sold 3
Poultry & Egg Products Cash Receipts 3
State Cigarette Tax Rank44

Category Ranking
Per Capita Personal Income 38
Per Capita Disposable Income 38
Median Houseld Money Income 40
United Health Rankings 36
Uninsured Women of Childbearing Age 32
Uninsured Children 40
Infant Mortality 38
Number Served By National School Lunch Program 41
Pct of Pop 25 & Over, High Sch Grad or More 47
Dropout Rate for Grades 9-12 39
Prisoners Executed 5

One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Wow, Robert

You've nailed what has always astounded me about NC. So much wealth, so little general welfare. Development and business is king. Education and health, workers and tenants rights are unimportant. Such poor consumer advocacy, unions, education, health care . . . considering the state is number one in foundation money.

But, what the chart indicates is that business acumen and agricultural output doesn't translate into welfare of the people. Or the people making money in business and agriculture make damn sure that their advantages don't trickle down.

Your chart is embarrassing in it's stark contrasts. (Plus I'm jealous. How do you do a chart in html?)
News of the 10th district: See Pat Go Bye Bye,


I really liked the video, however, you should really get it up on YouTube so people can spread it virally if they want.

One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

brilliant and sad

The dropout and school lunch rankings say it all. Thanks for the table.

Folks should read this article, from the Christian Science Monitor:

South's public school children are now mainly low income

The plight of the South's school-reform movement now hangs on kids from families that make less than $36,000 a year.

For the first time in 40 years, two new studies show, more than half of public school students in the South are eligible for free or reduced lunch – a watershed moment in a 15-year wealth slide that comes amid resurging racial and economic inequalities in the former Confederacy. The rise is part of a nationwide surge: Low-income students now represent 12 percentage points more of the student body than in 1990.

...Nationwide, two overarching factors seem to be driving public-school woes, experts say: In recent years, the erosion of middle-class, blue-collar jobs has led to more people working for lower wages, and many parents who can afford private school have taken their children out of public schools altogether. This skews the average income of remaining families lower. The South in particular has been hard hit by the closing of textile plants in South Carolina and the changing coal economy of the Appalachian highlands. Another reason for the shift, some experts note, is the influx of poorer Latinos at least into the Carolinas and Georgia.

In 1989, Mississippi was the only state with a majority of students who needed free or reduced lunch, according to the SEF study. In 2006, 13 states had a majority of low-income students, 11 of them in the South. The only states in the South unlikely to hit the tipping point are Virginia, with 33 percent, and Maryland, at 31 percent. (North Carolina hovered at 49 percent last year.)

Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend

Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend

The drop out rate will never change

until we change how we approach education in the early years. Until the politicos understand this, you're just going to see more bandaids slapped on the problem, wasting money, time and people.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

The drop-out/graduation rate

The drop-out/graduation rate is a disaster anyway because everyone throws around numbers and nobody knows what they really mean. We "lose" people all the time who switch schools, are educated under special education, get GEDs, move, go the adult education route at community colleges, graduate in 5/6 or dropout briefly and go back to school. And when we get numbers we can't really tell if we're improving or falling behind because it's hard to compare the constantly-changing metrics in our own state, much less to other states.

I think some of the fixes are simultaneous with early childhood, elementary school education and middle/high school reform. I do think that the shifts we've seen in redefining high school over the last 10 years have really started to result in real options. I was able to enter college with 60 credits just from high school while some of my classmates were able to start careers with experience or get associates' degrees faster.

I absolutely agree.

My point was that if you try to fix the "dropout rate" by only concentrating on high schools, you'll fail.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Top in business

Good to see a slice of what Dellinger's going to work on as Lieutenant Governor. Good to be #1 and lets stay there -- but businesses and Chamber of Commerce have clearly done well pressing their case and they'll keep doing that -- the LG can provide leadership on the issues that dont get pushed by the insiders.

Robert P, your stats nail it

Robert P, your stats nail it on the head. Our economic success was not a given -- to go from a state uniquely dependent on a single crop (tobacco) for both our agricultural and manufacturing sectors to a much more diversified economy is an incredible achievement -- and should not be lightly acknowledged nor taken for granted. But we have major challenges that need to come immediately to the forefront of the public sector agenda. I think all the time of the searing line by Robet F. Kennedy uttered nearly 40 years ago about how the Gross National Product "does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play....the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials....It can tell us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans." We need more courage and conviction and resources to make our state great across the board. Thanks for the info.

I'm glad to see you checking in and thanks for that quote.

I'm going to have to look it up and bookmark it.

One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Thanks, Hamp

good post, and video.

i think some on here might like to know what you will do when this wonderfully progressive agenda meets up with Senator Basnight.

I think you can take him.

"85% of Republicans are Democrats who don't know what's going on." -Robert Kennedy, Jr.

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." -Voltaire

I dont get it

Why try to paint this as some sort of fight between the next LG and Basnight?

#1 How many people even know who Basnight is? and #2 I didnt see Basnight's fingerprints on the newest Senate budget(maybe that was part of the problem).

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

My comment was mostly in jest

A strong progressive LG would definitely cross swords with the Senate leadership which has been consistently pro-business (tax cuts for rich, corporate incentive giveaways) . . .

. . . but I have a feeling HD could work with just about anyone.

For what it's worth, I mostly like Basnight. He's a surprisingly strong environmentalist - and he's done a great job pushing back against the Navy.

Mr. Dellinger, I really appreciate the message you put forth on

the video you posted here. You covered a lot of the bases that truly need attention and I applaude you for your insight as to the major issues that we need to tackle here in North Carolina.

We are blessed here in North Carolina with a wonderful climate, good and hard working people, and a new business model that is replacing the previous manufacturing and agriculture model from the past.

One main issue is, even with this new business model, many of our workers have been displaced from the furniture manufacturers, mills and other related businesses that until recently were the backbone of our state's economy. These people, especially in the more rural area's where tobacco was once king will need training and local opportunities to keep pace with our current and future economy.
What are your thoughts regarding these issues, especially considering most of the jobs that are being created are within the Triad and Triangle spheres of influence?

Thank you for stopping by, and I look forward to your thoughts on this subject.

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

Good question

Here's mine:
Can you elaborate on sustainability issues for NC and how that could drive a plan that focuses on green business initiatives?


Thanks for the question

Thanks for the question Fredly - The way I see it, the question is not whether business and sustainability can go hand-in-hand -- they must -- but how we can all help it/make it happen. I firmly believe that sustainability is, in and of itself, good business. I look forward to pursuing initiatives that bring together business, the environment, and our state's incredible access to the kind of technology that enhances both.

Funluvn, you've also identified a key issue, which is what the state can do to help everyone contribute to - and benefit from - the state's changing and growing economy. As you'll see in my video, I think that the best place to start is by living up to our commitments to basic building blocks like education and equal opportunity. Those are the foundation of any successful economy, and we need to make sure that our foundation is firm from Murphy to Manteo. New Renewable Energy/Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard is a start but only that, and there are important implementation issues to be dealt with. Look forward to talking more details soon.

I hope you'll both visit my website - - for more information, and thanks again.

Thanks Hampton

It's good to see you here. :)

And the powers that be need to understand that if we don't fix these other areas soon,

Success in these other areas will make future business success possible.

our business ranking will inevitably drop, and maybe a long way.

Good video, Rbt: great chart

Can we get Hampton to address the underlying fault lines, not just the symptoms:
-repealing right to work laws
-repealing employment at will laws
-increased taxes for wealthy and corporations
-reductions of sales taxes to near nothing
-adoption of antiusury laws and fight to keep them despite the SC
-protections against loss of homes due to housing downturn which
leaves people with more in home than its worth, and property
taxes against the higher values
-1999 MSA on tobacco was given to farmers and to absentee
landlords, whilst other of it was put in the Gold Leaf Foundation
as a political slush fund - turn all of the remainder to health care
-kill COP, TIF and Amendment One as unconstitutional means of
generating capital funds without a vote on it

And that is just a start - lets talk about the hard stuff, not the fluff. Cite the ratings for what they are: buzzard bait for corporations that like to get free stuff and abuse workers, and not be good citizens.

Tell it like it is: NC is thought good for business since all the metrics are ones which work directly against citizens and particularly working folks. I take it that all the corporations coming here are anticipating whupping workers and stuffing it to them. That means we attract the worse of the lot. All this other highflown stuff means nothing if we cannot change some of the problems cited above.

Oh, and how about abolishing the NCCBI or by whatever name it may now go. And, conduct investigations into the corporate status of all Pope's nonprofits and clunk tanks--forensic investigations. Make them prove they operate for the public good or make him/them pay taxes.



Like the message

I like the message but you gotta lose the hands. Visually they are more dominant than the face because they are closer to the camera, there are two of them, they move most of the time and they draw attention to what's not in the frame because they are gesturing away.

I really didn't hear everything that was said because I was distracted. I hate to sound harsh but it's a first and lasting impression.

As long as we're being honest....

I noticed it to, but I come from a long line of hand-talkers. So, it didn't bother me as much.

One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

He's not talking with his hands

It's a nervous gesture. Cropping should fix it. Relax, Hampton, imagine that you're talking to a friend or a group of close friends (even have a friend behind the camera to talk to).

Move your hands only when you want to emphasize something, rather than all the time (and almost always the same gesture). Or just don't have your hands in the picture . . . If you believe strongly in what you're saying and imagine vividly that it's a friend who hasn't heard this before to whom you are speaking, the rest will fall into place.
News of the 10th district: See Pat Go Bye Bye,

Good point.

Tight cropping should do it.

I am not from a family of hand talkers, but thought ......

I am not from a family of hand talkers, but thought the message was clear, and to the point.

I feel like this guy is one of the strongest speakers that I have seen in NC politics. And from what I understand from others who have worked with him, he just "works smart, works hard, works together, and gets the job done"