The big, black hole

Aug. 09, 2013 @ 04:43 AM

Black holes are defined as stars that turn their energy inward on themselves with such great force they collapse or implode resulting in mass that cannot be penetrated by light.

One can assume the North Carolina General Assembly may have set the state on the path to implosion.

Lawmakers focused considerable energy inward on the people of the state in an effort to make North Carolina into a business-friendly star among states. But, the consequences could be disastrous.

The tax code was reformed to reduce corporate taxes and personal income tax rates were reduced so the wealthiest 1 percent will see an annual savings of $2,000 meanwhile middle class families will save less than $100 and that amount will be eroded by the extension of sales tax to selected services.

Let's not forget about the classroom.

Teachers were stripped of career status and their salaries were held to the lowest among states. Public school funding was further diminished by channeling taxpayer dollars to private and religious schools in the form of vouchers which may violate the state's constitution.

Then there is the unemployed.

Those in the state who have had the misfortune of being unemployed for an extended time due to the recession had their unemployment compensation arbitrarily terminated so the state could repay a load from the federal government more quickly than required. Those unemployed for lesser time had their benefits cut nearly in half rendering them unable to provide basic necessities for their families.

For no substantial reason a requirement to produce a state-mandated photo ID was placed on those in the state who simply want to exercise their right to vote in local, state and federal elections. The requirement is particularly burdensome on elderly, disabled and student voters.

There was the roll-back of environmental regulations along with a show of force against those exercising their First Amendment right to peacefully protest these measures in the halls of the legislature.

The purpose of these measures: To make North Carolina a more business-friendly state with the intent of corporations flocking to the state to make investments and create jobs.

But, the intent could backfire.

A state that neglects its education system, pits wealthy against middle class, punishes those who suffer misfortune, exposes the environment to abuse and restricts the rights of protesters may become unattractive to corporations.

The measures enacted by the General Assembly may turn against the state imploding to snuff out any hope of the state becoming a business-friendly shining star.

Corporations may decide North Carolina is a place to avoid much like a black hole in outer space.

By Matthew Clark, for the Editorial Board

 

The Daily Courier Editorial Board consists of community members Jerry Brewer, Kyle Bingham, Tom Padgett, Dr. Shermaine Surratt and Cliff Strassenburg as well as Editor Matthew Clark