I have to admit, I enjoy reading the opinion pages in our state’s regional rags. There isn’t an Observer in North Carolina that doesn’t reek of progressivism. But hey, these people are objective professionals looking after the best interest of the citizens of North Carolina. Yeah, right.
I especially get a kick when these rags quote studies from nonprofit organizations and try to pass it off as nonpartisan, as though we’re incapable of looking up these organizations on the internet and see who is running them. What is surprising is how many progressive nonprofits there are in this state. I believe the Civitas Institute mapped around 170 at last count. I only know of two conservative think tanks in North Carolina and I just cited one of them.
Think First NC is a new progressive organization. I’m not exactly sure who is funding them, but we shouldn’t be surprised if Z Smith Reynolds Foundation and George Soros’s Open Society is involved along with a few other suspects. Money is fungible when it comes to these organizations. Only the mob is more creative.
Think First NC sponsored a study that was presented by one of their minions in the News and Observer entitled, What Carolina Comeback? NC a Poorer, More Unequal State. Here is an excerpt:
Take what should be the central feature of any recovery: widespread improvements in the income levels and living standards of ordinary households. In 2014, the last year with data, the typical (median) household in the state had an inflation-adjusted annual income that was significantly lower than when the recession started in 2007. Over that period, inflation-adjusted median household income fell by $4,449, dropping from $51,005 to $46,556. The income of the typical household fell by $2,814 during the recession and then dropped another $1,635 during the recovery. In short, the typical household lost ground during the recession and then kept losing ground even after the recovery took hold.
The fall in median household income levels has affected every major racial and ethnic group, all of which were, at a minimum, no better off in 2014 than in 2007. Specifically, the typical non-Hispanic white, African-American and Hispanic households all saw their incomes fall significantly over that period. And place has provided no protection against falling median household income levels, which currently are statistically unchanged or lower than their pre-recessionary values in 98 of 100 counties.
This is supposed to be an indictment on Gov. Pat McCrory’s administration and the republican General Assembly. However, one cannot separate the policies of the Obama administration with the economy in general. No state has escaped the machinations of Washington D.C. As a matter fact, North Carolina has improved its economic standing in spite of Barack Obama and the Democratic Party’s power grab.
The decisions Gov. McCrory and the republicans in the General Assembly made improved the state’s fiscal solvency. The Mercatus Institute noted the only state in the Union to improve its service-solvency ranking was North Carolina. We were also ranked 8th in budget solvency and trust fund solvency. That wouldn’t have happened under a Democratic administration. Had they taken over we would’ve ended up like Puerto Rico.
Progressives love to talk about median income while failing to discuss the purchasing power in individual states. The Tax Foundation mapped the price levels of goods and services throughout the United State and contrasted that with per capita-income, adjusted for taxes and prices. As of 2015, North Carolina had a 35th ranking a 4+ improvement in ranking.
Another factor progressives don’t consider is state to state migration. North Carolina always ranks in the top 5 as we did in 2015. If North Carolina is a poorer and unequal state maybe somebody should tell all these people who are moving here.