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National Gypsum Moves To Dallas

Editorial Buffalo Evening News – January 28, 1976

Mixed News for Area Economy

The Buffalo area has had precious little good economic news of late, so word that the Linde Division of Union Carbide Corp, in the Town of Tonawanda expects to create 400 new jobs this year is especially welcome.

With a jobless rate exceeding 12 percent, this region obviously can use the added jobs and expanded payrolls. It also can stand an occasional reminder that it still has some very basic industrial strengths, in spite of the handicap of an atrocious state business climate.

Yet even the good news from Linde was soured by the simultaneous decision of the National Gypsum Co., the largest industrial corporation headquartered in Buffalo, to move its corporate offices to Dallas, Tex. All the rest of the National Gypsum Buffalo area operations will fortunately remain here, but the loss of even 60 headquarters jobs is a sad blow. So is the psychological damage inflected by loss of the prestige associated with being the home of one of the nation's major corporations, one, incidentally, which was founded in Buffalo.

National Gypsum did not explain its announced headquarters transfer, except to say that it is "in the best interests of the corporation's future." But part of the explanation may lie in a Wall Street Journal article on Texas' economic boom, an article which appeared, by coincidence, on the same day as the National Gypsum announcement. In accounting for Texas' surging growth, the Journal reported that a recent study by a unit of Dun & Bradstreet Inc., found that Texas "has the best business climate in the 48 contiguous states" as measured by such


things as state regulation of labor unions, state business taxes, and governmental efficiency.

Texas' social programs may leave much to be desired and would hardly set a model for New York to emulate. Nevertheless, Texas competes with New York for jobs and business, and New York's economic outlook will remain seriously overcast until it finds ways of checking its prodigal spending habits and bringing the cost of doing business here more into line with the rest of the nation.