I've often criticized the Newspaper of Record's propagandizing, so I want to congratulate it for some good reporting on Saturday.
The New York Times sent reporter Kim Severson to Gaffney, S.C., a small town known to travelers along I-85 for its peach-shaped water tower. Over the past week, Gaffney became famous as the locus of Mitt Romney's purported "vulture capitalism." This is where Bain Capital closed a factory that produced photo scrapbooks and supposedly threw 150 workers on the scrap heap.
I expected the Times to pile on, but I was wrong. Severson reported that in Gaffney, "Few remember the Holson Burnes photo album plant, let alone the devastation its closing is alleged to have caused back in 1992."
She added that neither the local newspaper publisher nor the head of the chamber of commerce said the closing was a big deal. That's because "The photo album plant that was abandoned by Bain soon became home to a Bic pen factory that employs 80 people."
Other companies also have done lots of hiring, which is the way a free enterprise system works: A company may go belly up, but "Nestlé has a large factory here, where a thousand workers make frozen dinners and other packaged food. The Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation, with 500 employees, fashions chassis for school buses and mobile homes. About 700 people work at Timken producing steel roller bearings."
By the way, a story that needs more reporting across the country is our equivalent of 1970s stagflation, which combined economic stagnation and inflation. Today, we oddly combine both joblessness and difficulty in filling jobs. One Gaffney employer, Hamrick Mills, "has jobs that can be hard to fill. … It sometimes takes 100 interviews to find 10 workers to hire. People either are not qualified or cannot pass drug tests."
Good for the Times to be, this one time, fair and balanced.