How Wonderful is a Cracker?

The Royal Dutch Shell plant will bring somewhere between 400 jobs and 40 times that many, according to best information available to the Trib’s Eric Heyl — counting projections of “indirect” and “induced” jobs.

Interestingly enough, we’re still on track to lose almost 300 teaching jobs in Pittsburgh due to budget cuts. Has any institute conducted research on how many jobs (held by future high school graduates, chalk supply companies, and everything in between) will “indirectly” be eliminated or be “induced” to evaporate due to this? Somebody should ask the American Chemistry Council to examine it.

Perhaps the state can get away with giving Shell $1.25 billion in tax credits. Or a meager three quarters of a billion. Do you suppose anybody is negotiating, or is it a binary “yes” or “no”? Maybe it would be to Governor Corbett’s immense advantage were he able to turn convincingly now to Shell and say, “Aw, man, those Democrats and moderate Republicans, I’m trying my best, but they keep whining about my righteously aggressive cuts — can we make it work for less than the full $1.65 billion? You know how people are. We’re so close, can’t you taste it?”

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