Letter: Arguments against Raytheon plant fall flat

Graphic by Lori Deaton

How far must one live from Gaffney, S.C., in order to avoid culpability for spelling and grammatical errors committed by Bic pens? 500 yards? A mile? Or is anybody within the city limits able to be ridiculed for the ink that flows from an errant ballpoint? Gaffney is, as you know, a manufacturing site for the ubiquitous Bic pen brand.

This seems silly because the whole notion of proximate geographical liability is absurd. Having a Raytheon plant in Asheville will not bring culpability to our area for the actions of our politicians and military.

The cost of the podium from which the morally indignant denounce industry suitors is tremendous. The proposed factory is a $650 million investment in Buncombe County, which will provide approximately 800 new jobs. The average annual salary is slated to be roughly $68,000, significantly higher than the area’s current salary of $45,000. This is a critical municipal tax revenue diversification for a city comically dependent on tourism, overpriced meals and cutesy shops.

There is also no environmental argument that holds water. The plant is going to be built somewhere. Whether it is here or in the Outer Banks, the same state and federal manufacturing and pollutant regulations would apply. The same amount of environmental damage will be wrought. Only a selfish, small-thinking interest would make such a fuss about the thought of local contamination, other areas be damned. If plant pollution is truly the issue at hand, then go and fix that.

Nobody is going to think we are a warmongering city. Step down from the lectern of moral indignation. It is costing Asheville dearly. Accept the change that is coming and the colossal windfall it bestows upon Buncombe County.

— Derek Husar


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6 thoughts on “Letter: Arguments against Raytheon plant fall flat

  1. Voirdire

    “Gaffney is, as you know, a manufacturing site for the ubiquitous Bic pen brand.” Well, gosh, “as you know…” …..hummm, how did I get left out of this apparently universally well known factoid? And, who knew that ludicrous now passes for logic?

    • Lou

      Voirdire: Only a selfish, small-thinking interest would object to concerned citizens who are objecting to increased production of weapons of mass destruction.
      Look at that, only required one sentence to get my point across. Ever hear of brevity?

  2. North Asheville

    Mr. Husar makes a persuasive case, although his Bic pen analogy is not convincing.

  3. NFB

    “Yes, as through this world I’ve wandered
    I’ve seen lots of funny men
    Some will rob you with a six-gun
    And some with a fountain pen”

    — Woody Guthrie

  4. Enlightened Enigma

    Great letter of truth! They also make peaches in Gaffney and have the cheapest gas at I-85 Exit 90!

  5. Bruce Carruthers

    The real question is not if the plant will be built somewhere anyway, but whether or not it should be built at all. Aren’t we already spending more than enough to pursue our endless wars? Including the VA, the budget for the military is one-trillion plus. Shouldn’t we be encouraging things like sustainable energy production instead of yet more instruments of war?

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