Descending into the Third World: The Preferred Direction of the North Carolina General Assembly
The North Carolina General Assembly is on the verge of passing the State Budget. Among other things, the budget will eliminate teacher tenure, once again fail to increase teacher salaries, and increase incentives for private schooling. Last week, the General Assembly cobbled together a tax bill that favors the rich in our state over the poor. Taken together, the budget and tax bill spell out the regressive values that have become official policy of the state of North Carolina.
And where is that policy leading us? Take a look at the map, which is the by-product of a study on upward mobility reported in today’s newspapers. The lowest levels of upward mobility are found in the southeastern United States, including North Carolina. While many countries strive to move from the developing world into the ranks of the first world nations, North Carolina is intent on moving in the opposite direction. Emerging from the third world is an extremely painful process in which one or more generations suffer from enormous deprivation and exploitation, so that future generations can live better. Our legislature is moving us back into the third world. However, the suffering will not serve any higher purpose in the future. Rather, our state budget and new tax regime are designed to reward a narrow elite of rich folks and turn the map an even darker shade of red.
The American border will no longer stop at the edge of Mexico or Canada. Our General Assembly is redrawing the map. On their map North Carolina sits beyond American ideals and principles.