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The Finance Ministry is right in its demand that Intel's shrinking workforce should be part of the consideration in deciding whether to give the chipmaker a grant.

All of four years since the company received $525 million for hiring 2,500 new workers, Intel threatened to fire most of them by 2016 if it doesn't receive another $400 million grant.

It's not an empty threat. Chipmakers around the world invest billions in factories to develop the most advanced computer chips, and the technology becomes antiquated within years as the next generation is developed.

Intel's initial $400 million request in 2009 came out to $1 million a worker. Its latest agreement with the Industry and Trade Ministry indicates it's willing to settle for $770,000 a worker. But in 2005, when it received the $525 million grant, Intel hired new workers for $210,000 apiece.

The government is responsible for making investments that will create the largest, most stable number of jobs. Intel simply isn't one of those places.

(Ora Coren)