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Scotland County remains mired in a Deep Depression. We’re the most economically depressed county in all North Carolina.
Mill and manufacturing operations fled heavily unionized, high tax, highly regulated northern states during the 1940’s and 50’s. Later, when those same companies discovered that NAFTA made it even cheaper to move operations to Mexico, they once again skedaddled.
Many with marketable skills left Scotland County seeking employment elsewhere. Others stayed, hunkering down, hoping for a comeback. Still others attached themselves to County, School District and City of Laurinburg governments. This may have been a good move from an individual perspective, but it’s been a disaster for our economy.
Today, Government Employment stands as the cornerstone of Scotland County’s economy. This would be fantastic except that government doesn’t actually produce anything; rather it consumes (through the miracle of taxation and fees) that which others have toiled to produce.
Sure, government provides some vital services, but the fact is its inefficiency and corruption places a parasitic drag on otherwise productive economic activity. For the most part, government is a conduit via which the fruits of others’ labor gets redistributed to favored friends, political cronies and valuable vote generating demographic constituencies. This time tested model has been with mankind throughout history.
Government employee pensions deserve special mention. When employees become ‘vested’, they often earn the right to move to new government positions where they begin qualifying for yet more pensions. ‘Rinse and repeat’ several times, and you can see that by the time actual retirement age is reached, many government workers retire with two, three or even four pension checks coming in each month. Talk about striking gold!
It gets even better (except for taxpayers), as today’s liberal policies encourage the use of ‘disability’ as a means of further enrichment. How many able bodied ex-military and government workers do you know who receive disability checks each month?
Government also sees to it that everything you’ve worked and saved for is slowly and systematically stolen through inflation. This, like other scams, works so well that most folks aren’t even aware a thief in the night is robbing them little by little.
Politicians feverishly maintain that there is a ‘free lunch’ and we can continue spending money we don’t have without consequences, by creating endless deficits and outright money printing. The facts show otherwise, as inflation has destroyed purchasing power to the point where some can only afford to buy toilet paper in single rolls, one at a time. How many ever expected that wiping their butts would become such a cause for concern?
Government workers don’t share inflation’s burden, as they receive regular pay increases and ‘cost of living adjustments’ (COLAs) regardless of performance or economic circumstances. The rest of us get to pay for problems they’ve created.
This sweet deal for some has unfortunately destroyed public finances, as skyrocketing salary, pension, benefit and disability costs now eat up an enormous share of public budgets. Is it any wonder County, Municipal and School coffers are running on empty?
As dire as the situation is, it’s ‘baked into the cake’ that things will get demonstrably worse unless we radically change course.
BLUEPRINT for PROSPERITY
Fortunately, the key to success is in our pocket. It’s up to us to reach in, grab it and turn the lock that opens the door.
- Dramatically reduce expenditures of Scotland County Government, Laurinburg City Government and Scotland County Schools.
- Organically grow ‘real’ 21st century employment opportunities that provide living wage, family friendly jobs. We have the ability, but do we have the will?
- Deliver ‘cutting edge’ public education, freeing our children from the shackles imposed by today’s burdensome rules, regulations, curriculum’s, policies and politically driven agendas.
- Banish slavery once and for all, ridding ourselves from cruel and unjust dependence on ‘institutionalized poverty’ designed to ensure that we and future generations remain in bondage.
- Eliminate the County’s regressive, corrosive, business killing ‘Personal Property Tax’. Until this is done, there will be no economic rebirth.
- Get government out of the way, allow ‘market forces’ to re-balance. The effects won’t be immediately apparent, and many currently feeding at the taxpayer’s trough will surely have their feathers ruffled, but we either implement positive, rational, logical and necessary change in an orderly, planned manner while we still have options, or risk waiting until financial crisis overtakes us, guaranteeing extreme pain and an unpredictable outcome.
Here’s what we don’t need:
- More taxpayer funded grants, commissions, boards, blue ribbon panels, study groups, pedigreed intellectuals, bureaucrats, seminars or retreats.
- More highly compensated Economic Development gurus trying to bring back the ‘good ole days’ by taking money from one taxpayer’s pocket and putting it in another, calling it ‘job creation’.
- More nonsense like our ‘Certified Retirement Community’ program.
- More commercial properties bulldozed to make way for additional taxpayer funded ‘sculpture’ parks.
- More multi-million dollar boondoggles like Laurinburg City Council’s new ‘Colonial Williamsburg’ City Hall/Police Department.
- More arrests of potheads (following ‘months long’ intensive, expensive investigations) so we can build and fill yet more prisons, jails and lockups.
Rebuilding prosperity will be challenging, but it’s fully achievable if we want it bad enough.
Carolina Crossroads News understands the mission, knows what it takes to reach the goal and is willing to carry its share of the water. What we can’t do is carry your share too.
Your future is up to YOU!
“Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act” Dietrich Bonhoeffer
You reach Carolina Crossroads News at (888) 472-7555 or send us an email. Related Articles: Scotland County Mired in Depression (Part 1) ‘Lack of Decorum’ at Laurinburg City Council Meeting Ward Named Economic Development Director
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