South Carolina Citizen Journal

January 29, 2009

Port Authority

Filed under: Economy, legislature, Ports Authority, South Carolina, Transportation — NotforHire @ 11:54 am

Senator Robert Ford is back in the news today, introducing a senate bill to “recognize the port’s economic impact”.

I think we all already recognize the port’s economic impact, and it does not need to be codified.

What we need at the Port of Charleston to remain competitive is SHARED ACCESS RAIL LINES INTO EACH TERMINAL. If we can’t get that, we might as well start drawing up plans for condos.

January 27, 2009

Pay Day Lending Bill

Filed under: Bureaucracy, legislature, South Carolina — NotforHire @ 9:53 am

Well, instead of simply putting a limit on the interest that pay day lenders can charge in our state, Bobby Harrell, Harry Cato and Bill Sandifer are set to increase our state’s bureaucracy by setting up a state run database to track who has loans with the companies, in order to limit customers to one loan at a time. Increasing the size of government to monitor who has a cash advance loan seems, oh, I don’t know, wrong?

One lender based in South Carolina currently charges interest of 391.07% APR for a two week loan, in case you want to know the kind of numbers that are used in the industry. Perhaps capping the rate they charge, with due allowance for the capital risk involved, would be a far simpler solution.

January 26, 2009

Gresham Barrett editorial

Filed under: Economy, South Carolina, U.S. Congress — NotforHire @ 2:39 pm

Rep. Barrett’s editorial today states that the economy is now stabilized.

The Financial Times reports today that Caterpillar will lay off 20,000, Sprint/Nextel 8,000, Home Depot 7,000, and General Motors 2,000. Pfizer(after acquiring Wyeth) will lay off 19,000, 15% of the combined workforce.

I suggest to Rep. Gresham Barrett, of the 3rd congressional district of South Carolina, that he could be slightly off base in his analysis of our current economic situation.

January 24, 2009

The Fourth Estate

Filed under: Education, Ethics, South Carolina — NotforHire @ 12:45 pm

It’s a funny thing about internet news outlets, how easily they can be filtered. It would be much easier to deny access to an internet site than newspaper that goes out to homes on paper.

This is why I lament the trouble that the newspaper industry finds itself in.

The term “fourth estate” was coined by Edmund Burke, who looked up at the Press Gallery of the House of Commons and said, ‘Yonder sits the Fourth Estate, and they are more important than them all.’”

The press is critically important to a  free society, and while the internet is currently a gushing tap(at least in this country, it is very much controlled in others), it would be very easy to shut the spigot off.

This is one of the reasons I keep the subscription to my local newspaper. Other reasons include that it’s good for starting fires and it cleans glass without leaving lint.

January 22, 2009

State pay for County Treasurers and Auditors

Filed under: Bureaucracy, Economy, South Carolina, Taxes — NotforHire @ 8:44 am

I read today that the state has cut a pay supplement for county treasurers and auditors from $19,395 to $13,783 a year. Well, I guess I’m wondering why the state pays any part of salaries for county held offices. Shouldn’t counties pay for their own office’s salaries?

If the state were not paying any supplement, the savings would be $1,268,036, plus any overhead in the management of the program.

January 16, 2009

Senator Robert Ford Proposals

Filed under: legislature, South Carolina — NotforHire @ 10:02 am

I see Senator Ford is in the news today, introducing bills to legislate a dress code and music lyrics.

If he has his way South Carolina will have the best dressed video poker players in the world, all listening to Perry Como.

I’m sure our esteemed legislative bodies need to be focusing on real legislative and government issues on right now.

January 13, 2009

Sanford and the bailout

Filed under: Economy, Federal, Sanford — NotforHire @ 1:04 pm

Wait, somethings up with the economy? Really? I’m pretty sure, if we keep it quiet, no one will notice that the U.S. economy has been completely run into the ground.

Governor Sanford seems, with his recent statements against the huge federal bailouts, to perhaps be positioning himself for a run at the presidency. Well that is all fine and well for him as a citizen, but as Governor of our state what he needs to be doing is positioning us to get a good share of what will be coming down the pipeline from Washington. I’m not saying that I wholly disagree with his position- you can’t solve a debt problem with more debt, but the Democrats and the Republicans, who have shared power in this country for decades, and are both culpable¬† in creating this disaster, will certainly do their best to spend there way out of it.

So what the Governor(and the legislature) should be doing, instead of posturing against the inevitable, is coming up with a plan to use this money to transform our infrastructure to prepare us for what will surely be a tumultuous and challenging 21st century.

Hey, that, or we could just use all the money to repave all our roads a couple of times.

Sanford and the Unemployment Commission

Filed under: Bureaucracy, Federal, legislature, Sanford, South Carolina, Taxes — NotforHire @ 1:02 pm

Well, I have to hand it to our Governor. It was a joke, saying he would not request the federal money to fund our states unemployment commission, but it looks like he might be successful in getting the four person board eliminated and the director put directly under the executive branch. That’s not bad.

What needs to be looked at though is why the fund was losing money in 2007, and a proper funding formula put in place for the future.

South Carolina Gasoline Tax

Filed under: Uncategorized — NotforHire @ 10:36 am

I’m reading a lot about the upcoming budget and the Governor’s plan for a new tax structure, and I am wondering why raising our state’s gasoline tax has not come up.

We are currently ten cents lower than our neighboring states of Georgia and North Carolina, and raising this tax has such positive implications, I do not understand why it is not on the table.

Are there some narrow interests at work here, to the detriment of our state as a whole?

Raising the South Carolina gas tax is a no brainer proposition, and a hard look needs to be taken at why it is not being brought to the fore.

January 7, 2009

Value of a Dollar

Filed under: Economy, Federal — NotforHire @ 10:44 am

Dollars. Greenbacks, Benjamins, bacon, bread, bucks, clams, smackers, simoleans, moolah, cold hard cash.

According to Niall Ferguson’s ‘The Ascent of Money’, since 1957, ‘the purchasing power of the dollar, relative to the consumer price index, has declined by a staggering 87 percent’.

Ah, holiday reading.

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