Sunday thinking: Bargaintown

In the wake of Governor Pope's inauguration yesterday, editorial writers across the state are wondering aloud just what we can expect from the new regime. Readers of BlueNC don't need to wonder at all. We know exactly what North Carolina can expect. Our state is being methodically recrafted into a wholly owned subsidiary of the Mr. Pope's sprawling retail empire: Variety Wholesalers.

It doesn't take much intellect to understand the principles of slum merchandising. One need only look at Pope's proven business model.

Site Criteria
  • We look primarily for locations in second and third generation shopping centers. In addition, we will consider free-standing sites, and store front locations in large urban cities. Site criteria include:Grocery anchored shopping center preferred.
  • Minimum population of 2,500 within 1 mile of the site.
  • Minimum 25% African-American population within 5 miles.
  • Median household income of $40,000 or less.

The same operating model applies to Mr. Pope's mighty opinion-manufacturing machine, a collection of tax-dodging non-profits filled with "experts" working for chump-change to create a Libertarian utopia.

So what does this mean for the Old North State? Over the next four years, North Carolina will:

  • Fall from the nation's top-ranked place to do business to 10th place, at best
  • Have the most over-crowded public schools in the nation
  • Give a higher percent of tax dollars to subsidize private schools than any other state
  • Pollute the ground water in seven counties through fracking
  • Privatize more than a county and municipal water authorities
  • See the University of North Carolina decline in rankings across the board
  • Be rated third worst in the nation in terms of mental health care

If you want to know what that looks like on the ground, think run-down strip mall. And in case you're still confused, consider these posts by two of Mr. Pope's former employees:

Because of the recent economy I took a job with Maxway out of desperation. I never even shopped in the store. I have worked retail in the past and was flabbergasted when I started work with this company. The store is gross. Dusty products, nasty bathrooms, faulty shelving, maggots in the employees break room. The first day I was there I started cleaning the register I was working on, simply to feel happier in my environment. I was told that was not important and to stock shelves while being the only one running register. As for price checks and refunds, unlike most stores Maxway forces MOD to be at the register for that process. They also cut hours to the point that employees are in the store alone. They start you off at lowest wage possible, not a huge problem, however one employee has been with this company over 4 years and still makes under 8 dollars an hour. Not to mention I worked 13 hours one day without even a 15 minute break. So before you start hating on the cashiers realize this all could be better if the Man who owned this company cared more for his employees. If employees are happy so will be the customer ...


Yep, I worked for maxway, and i agree the management at these stores and how they all run SUCKS.they have a policy that sucks too.They are the lowest paying crapbags in the country

As a businessman, Art Pope is a slumlord for whom "the everyday low price" is always more important than excellence, vision, or creating a sustainable future. Now that he's calling the shots in every branch of North Carolina government, there is no reason to expect anything different for our state.

In 2016, candidates will be asking voters if they are better off than they were in 2012. Unless your vision of excellence and progress looks like this, the answer will most assuredly be "no."


Faux-Libertarian nonsense

Power has always been concentrated in the hands of the wealthy. And from where I'm standing, groups like Americans for the Prosperous, Civitas Action, American Crossroads, Heritage, etc., have merely exacerbated that decidedly un-Democratic formula, by serving as a handy conduit for billionaires to manipulate the political process under the guise of grass roots organizing.

And the Tea Party faithful have aided and abetted that concentration of power, by not asking the hard questions of their own leadership. Where is the money coming from? What is it for? Questions like that spoil the fantasy. And make no mistake, it is a fantasy to believe giving the wealthy even more control over our political process will somehow strengthen our rights and liberty.

Destruction of NC

With representative like Foxx,Holding and the other 2 who voted against the Sandy Relief, we can expect retaliation when our coast gets hit. ALEC will control our legislature devastating our schools,government and environment controls.