Barnett: State leaders governing by illusion in NC – News & Observer


The Political Agitator response: Very good article! Enough said!

The political contest in North Carolina is no longer between Democrats and Republicans. The Democrats have been vanquished, undone by their disorganization and lack of conviction and gerrymandered into irrelevance.

Now the contest is between Republicans and reality. And, for now, reality is losing.

That doesn’t mean reality will be overcome. It means an illusion is prevailing while the state’s true condition deteriorates.

The central illusion is that cutting taxes and state government spending will spur the economy and improve the lives of North Carolinians of all incomes. GOP leaders trumpet the state’s job growth and shrinking unemployment rate as indicators of how their policies are having an effect.

The economy is improving, yes, but it is being lifted by a national recovery, not by cutting off unemployment benefits or lowering taxes on the wealthy and profitable corporations.

And the unemployment rate is going down. But there’s more to it than one number. The reality is that the percentage of working-age North Carolinians who are participating in the labor force (59.8 percent) is at its lowest since January 1976. In 2014, the labor force actually contracted by 42,245 workers and is now smaller than it was in any month since January 2010. (Source: Read more)

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