NC GOP and ALEC Legislation

Conservatives, especially the true believers that now populate the NC General Assembly, are fond of quoting Adam Smith, the 18th century Scottish moral philosopher and political economist. They love the quotes, but the content escapes them.

Smith wrote in "An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations",
"People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices." Smith went on to observe, "But though the law cannot hinder people of the same trade from sometimes assembling together, it ought to do nothing to facilitate such assemblies, much less render them necessary."

Every time one of our Republican legislators goes to an ALEC seminar or meets behind closed doors with ALEC representatives to write laws, they are conspiring against the public ... and corporations are always the direct beneficiaries.

When DAG McCrory announces with glee that the NC GOP had successfully gutted unemployment insurance and undermined thousands of NC families, where did he do it? Not at a press conference, but at a Chamber of Commerce meeting behind closed doors.

Before they bring legislation to cut taxes on the wealthy and corporations - and raise taxes on the lower and middle classes - they bring in hired propagandist Arthur Laffer to spread his baseless drivel about the advantages of eliminating state income taxes. This despite evidence that states with no income tax have the slowest growth.

As David Cay Johnston observed, "It is a universal truth that it is easier to mine gold from the government treasury than the side of a mountain."

Right now as we speak, GOP legislators are conspiring with lobbyists to write laws designed to do exactly that. While income inequality is at an all-time high, and access to a quality education is at a premium, conservatives in the NCGA are plotting a massive redistribution of wealth upwards, and a massive shift of tax burden downwards.

They are planning to hand over millions of tax dollars to companies and non-profits running private and charter schools, while at the same time making it more difficult for lower income people to access higher education.

Because the people of this state elected to put incompetent greedy people in charge of the government, we will see our children's education sold out from under them and schools being privatized for profit. We will see teacher's salaries cut, their jobs and the jobs of law enforcement, DOT, fire, forestry, and environment eliminated for profit.

Every single piece of legislation to come out of the General Assembly has been designed to make education a private commodity and rewrite the laws that protect our rights, our communities, schools,and environment.

This is the moral hazard we face every time we vote. In 2010, the majority of us chose very poorly.


In 2012

We did even worse.

I think

I think in 2010 too many abstained from making a choice, and by so doing with redistricting have committed themselves to no choice for a decade.

They skipped this one too.

No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable.
Adam Smith


Every Republican budget or economic theory reminds me of Swift's "A Modest Proposal".

Adam Smith and "poor and miserable"

We have an enormous number of people in our country that are, indeed, "poor and miserable". That being said, the question is what should be done to correct that. Should the government make the poor and miserable prosperous and happy? And, if that is so, what should the government do to accomplish that? This is the what the argument of the day is all about. Should government make sure all people have everything they want and need or should the government ask the people to get that for themselves unless they cannot achieve that for themselves? Of course, there are those that are just totally unable to take care of themselves. But, like it or not, there will forever be people that are in the lower classes and in the middle classes and in the upper classes in America. To believe that everyone should have what everyone else has is not our culture and not what America is all about.

We, as a country, should make sure that those that can't take care of themselves should be provided for. We can't afford to make sure everyone has what everyone else has. That's not what our founding fathers ever believed and that's not what we should be doing today.

It shouldn't be the

It shouldn't be the government making people poor and miserable either...

That's not what the argument is about

We can't afford to make sure everyone has what everyone else has.

Over the last few decades, and especially since this current recession began, there has been a steady migration of the middle class into the lower class, and the lower class even lower. At the same time, the wealth of those at the top has steadily increased. That's more like a Third-World economy than an American one, and it's definitely not what the Founding Fathers envisioned.

In the midst of this, Republicans in our state have decided to exacerbate the situation by cutting unemployment benefits drastically, cutting funding for various programs and services designed to help those struggling financially, and massively revamping the tax code to squeeze more blood out of the bloodless while allowing the wealthy to retain even more of their already rising profits.

And just to say it, your efforts to redefine people's opinions here into something more radical are starting to carry the aroma of a troll. Arguments are fine, but strawmen and puppetshows are only entertaining to those who have yet to matriculate to the 4th Grade.

I'll just end my conversation here then

I thought this was a blog that would accept my views.


If I "ended" my participation here

every time someone disagreed with me, I would have ended it at least six thousand times.

Our goal isn't to assure agreement, but rather to explore and understand complex issues ... and also to refine how we communicate.

Hang in there.

Accept your views?


If this crowd accepts your views then you are a certified whacko like them. Be thankful they do not agree with you. I make a comment once in a while just to get their blood pressure up. In the past they have called me so many names I thought I was having a fight with my wife. Bad thing about it is that I am too old for make-up sex. Some days I am convinced I am the only sane one on here. Other days I am convinced they are the sane ones and I have finally gone over the edge.

Trolls travel in pairs... appears

Not for long


I just took the regrettable action of banning "Reasonably Honest" from BlueNC. His/her announcement that "I make a comment once in a while just to get their blood pressure up" is clear evidence of bad faith, and certainly violates our community standard by being "intolerably obnoxious."

@Reasonably Honest: if I misread you, or if you were just joking, place let me know and I will reinstate your account. Otherwise, enjoy your early retirement and take note: If you indeed spend your time with the sole purpose of offending others, it's a safe bet you have indeed "gone over the edge."

You can reach me at james at jamesprotzman dot com.

Regrettable but sometimes necessary

An exchange of ideas really only has one critical aspect, that of "good faith". As in, whatever arguments (or agreements) you have with another should be your true feelings, and not a fabrication to help establish a reputation.

I have to say this

I got the Bluenc link from my pops and he suggested I post here. I now have learned that this is a solid progressive blogsite and should be respected as such. I agree with disabling access for "Reasonably Honest" because he/she has been disengenuous. In addition, posts that go against the norm here are mostly seen as coming from a "troll" or otherwise ill-informed person from the majority's viewpoint. I saw that I fell into that category.

I came here with my perspective and saw immediately that it isn't what the blog speaks to. So, I chose not to participate. It's just a choice. Nothing against the site or the people here that post comments.


Thank you for participating

I may have overreacted, but parts of your comment seemed to echo a meme that's been circulating in right-wing circles: that progressives are nothing more than socialists. Which is not even close to the truth. There's a huge difference between equal opportunity and equal wealth distribution, and it irritates the hell out of me when we're depicted as supporting the latter.

I understand, sharrison

Yes, there is a difference in what you are saying and seem to believe. Equal opportunity and wealth distribution are world's apart. I don't see progressive thought as honestly seeing that difference, so therein lies our differences. It is definately the difference between conservatives and liberals today in our country, I think. If you don't see a difference in that, then I can't stand with you, of course.