THAT is the headline screaming at you from the website of NC Policy Watch — the leftist Raleigh-based drum circle headed by North Carolina’s very own real-life Bert & Ernie, Rob Schofield and Chris Fitzsimon. (You might as well refer to NCPW as WRAL — it is mostly funded by WRAL boss and Frank Daniels / George Soros wannabe Jim Goodmon. Chris used to report on-air for WRAL and still does “commentary” for them.)
Over at McClatchy’s failing Raleigh-based newspaper, they’re also giddy:
[…] N.C. State University economist Michael Walden’s biannual economic diagnosis for the state warns that much of North Carolina’s post-recession growth is bypassing the so-called “routine” middle-income vocations and exacerbating the state’s growing regional gap and income inequality. […]
Here’s more from Rob Schofield — in case you were actually yearning for MORE:
[…] The bottom line: Despite some good news in some areas, North Carolina is increasingly a state of “haves” and “have nots.” And while this trend is clearly influenced greatly by global economic trends, it’s also clear that we need much more from state leaders than the laissez faire/anti-government policies of the past six years that have bestowed ever greater benefits on people at the top and left everyone else to contend with the “genius” of the “free market.” […]
WHAT LAISSEZ-FAIRE POLICIES ??? It’s been a looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong time since we saw true free market economics on display, um, anywhere. The General Assembly packed up and went home without addressing some important regulatory reform legislation. We already told you that North Carolina sees some of the more negative impact of federal regulation when compared with the rest of the nation.
These folks are babbling about NC State economist Michael Walden’s regular annual report on the state economy. Here are some of the “headlines” of this year’s report from Walden:
1. After improving slowly in the years immediately following the Great Recession, North Carolina’s economic growth rate has recently accelerated, posting the 10th fastest output gain among states in 2015. This is the same pattern the state followed after the 2001 recession.
2. However, just as at the national level, the state’s economic growth rate has been low by historical standards as well as compared to the economic expansion of the early 2000s. Part of the reason is a reduction in population growth in the state.
3. The state’s labor market has also recently improved, with increases in employment, an increase in the labor force participation rate, and reductions in each of the alternative measures of the unemployment rate.
4. Yet a worrisome trend is a drop in the productivity of the state’s workers relative to national worker productivity. Also, jobs in the state have expanded the most at the two ends of the wage scale – higher-paying jobs and lower-paying jobs – with the slowest growth being in middle-paying jobs.
Employees are an employer’s biggest costs. Contrary to what some politicians tell you, businesses are not job-creating charities. Their aim is to keep costs down while meeting the demands of their customers and making as much money as possible. The regulation crush we discussed earlier does not help in that endeavor. Neither does ObamaCare — which adds all kinds of new mandates according to the number of full-time employees. Thanks to that monstrosity, for most businesses the most affordable options are to (1) hire part-timers or temps or (2) do no hiring. MORE:
5. Regional differences in economic improvement have continued – and actually accelerated – during the current economic expansion. Charlotte and Raleigh have expanded their job bases by an astonishing 20% since the end of the Great Recession, while several regions have seen little or negative job growth.
Most of those problem areas are in poor, rural areas that HAD been dependent on textile production. NAFTA and its ilk sent those jobs over the border and across the ocean — leaving little to nothing for that less-educated, lower-income workforce to fall back on. Thanks to agreements like NAFTA and the burgeoning regulatory state, we don’t make much of anything anymore. Farming has been all but-stomped out by bureaucrats and other statists.
Our economy is more brain-powered, more service-oriented than ever before. Yet, we’ve got an education system still stuck in the 1960s — an assembly line moving students through to keep the government dollars flowing. Nothing has been done to move people away from the mindset of coasting through school and then heading to work at the local mill. (Those local mills are no longer here to catch you after you’ve coasted through 12 years — or less — of school.)
Capitalism is all about survival of the fittest. Wild animals, if they can’t find food or water, move on to somewhere that has it. Survive and adapt. Statists have been busy training whole new generations of humans to sit around and wait for sustenance to be BROUGHT TO THEM.
Carthage, here in Moore County, was once one of the national centers for buggy (as in horse-and-buggy) production. With the arrival of the automobile, that business died off. It happens. It would have made no sense to prop up the buggy business well into the automotive age. Times changed. People adapted. The local economy in Carthage took a hit, but the people adapted and kept moving forward.
6. In line with national projections, economic growth in the state should continue for the remainder of 2016 and for 2017. A total of 86,000 payroll jobs will be added in 2016, with 90,000 forecasted for 2017.
7. Still, economic growth in the state will be uneven, with several regions registering unemployment rates under 4% in 2017, while others will have rates of 6% or higher.
It happens. Just like some members of your family will go on to get married, have kids, and pull in six figures a year. And others will be childless, divorced, and living in mom and dad’s basement. The world is always changing. Government cannot adequately cushion you — protect you — from those changes. We, as a people, need to do a better job of recognizing change and adapting to it.
Continuing to bleed the producers to keep those who are not producing afloat is not the answer, and will likely drag us ALL down. Want dynamic economic growth? Loosen the shackles of government and red tape from our people.