To the Editor:
The 2013 North Carolina legislature has enacted numerous measures to benefit corporations and attract new business to our state. Tax reform is reducing corporate income tax and the state excise tax is being repealed. Middle- and lower-income earners will experience increased taxes, a necessary sacrifice to attract new business and jobs. Unemployment in North Carolina remains at one of the highest rates in the nation. The legislature did not create programs for workers since prosperity will trickle down as new businesses create jobs. Trickle down policy in the “good old days” of the 1920s contributing to the stock market crash in 1929. A Pope (Art Pope) presides over state economic policy and plans a different outcome for us.
A major factor in attracting new business is the quality of a state’s education system. Public school teachers’ pay in North Carolina has dropped to 46th among the 50 states. Many public school teachers are leaving our state for better jobs elsewhere. Factoring in inflation and student population growth, North Carolina is spending less on public education than in previous years. The legislature has provided millions of dollars in scholarships so students can attend private schools. We are returning to the “good old days” of the 19th century when private schools dominated education unrestricted by 20th century state regulations.
Teaching jobs in private schools will be easily filled since state certification and special training are not required. They are exempt from providing for special needs students and any state curriculum requirements. Private schools may teach students that global warming does not exist; religion may be a required subject and evolution an unproven theory. They may learn poverty stems from people grown dependent of living on government handouts. Private schools might adopt textbooks similar to those in Texas, which eliminate Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin from U.S. history. This education uniquely prepares private school graduates for 21st centaury jobs in science, technology and humanities.
The voter reform law enacted by the legislature returns us to “the good old days” of voting restrictions. This law will eliminate the less than 1 percent of illegal voters in North Carolina while leveling the voting field for all white voters under age 65. Elderly voters, college students and minorities may confront major obstacles to voting. Those who can’t overcome restrictive voting requirements have only themselves to blame. They’re probably too naive, ignorant or senile to vote right anyway.
The legislature is eliminating many environmental protection regulations, saving businesses money. Fracking may now occur on private land without owner’s permission. Funding for the unemployed is cut or eliminated along with other social programs. These reforms fund tax cuts for wealthy job creators. People on welfare must live within the means of those poor paying jobs available to them. They are probably drug addicts. Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin, sponsored the new law requiring welfare recipients pass drug testing to receive state food assistance. He suggests this law will teach their children a lesson.
North Carolina’s legislative actions have been in the spotlight of the national news media. Our state was also mentioned by several speakers at the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. We were featured in a Rachael Maddow show broadcast live from North Carolina. With this national publicity just imagine which corporations will wish to relocate here! N.C. voters preferring 21st century values over “the good old days” must overcome voter restrictions and elect new legislators in 2014.