North Carolina has spent the better part of a year suffering the consequences of its decision to enshrine LGBTQ discrimination into law, but the state's commerce secretary is sitting in the burning living room, drinking coffee and saying, "This is fine."
During a visit to Charlotte, Commerce Secretary John Skvarla told the Charlotte Observer that the state's infamous "bathroom bill," HB 2, has not had any impact on the state's economy.
“It hasn’t moved the needle one iota,” Skvarla said.
He went on to specifically dismiss the impact of tech company PayPal canceling plans to open a call center in the state after it passed its transphobic law.
“PayPal wasn’t even a grain of sand on the beach,” Skvarla told the Observer. “It was 400 call center jobs over five years. Much too much is being made of PayPal.”
Here's a picture of Skvarla, Gov. Pat McCrory. and PayPal execs celebrating that grain of sand last March.
The McCrory administration was apparently so excited to get PayPal to come to the state, they made them a carved wooden bowl out of oak trees on the state capitol grounds. Skvarla confirmed on Monday that the state reached out to PayPal and told them to give them the bowl back.
So I guess it does balance out economically: a wooden bowl on one side, and 400 jobs on the other…
Unfortunately for Skvarla, there are a lot more examples of how HB 2 has hurt the North Carolina economy, including:
- The withdrawal of the NCAA basketball championship from the state.
- The NBA's decision to relocate the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte.
- The ACC removing its league championship match from North Carolina.
- A report by UCLA's Williams Institute that the bill could cost the state as much as $5 billion a year.
- Gov. Pat McCrory telling the Charlotte Business Journal economic losses were at $300 million. McCrory was trying to downplay the impact, but I think most people would classify $300 million as greater than an iota.
- Calls from a group of investment managers who manage more than $2.1 trillion in funds to overturn the bill.
- Efforts by business groups such as the North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association and the Charlotte Chamber efforts to get the law removed.
How's that needle looking, Skvarla?