South Carolina Citizen Journal

October 1, 2009

Energy Taxes

Filed under: Circle the Wagons, Economy, Energy, Environment, South Carolina, Taxes, Transportation — NotforHire @ 8:29 am

Forget “Cap and Trade” and “Climate Change Legislation”. What we are really talking about are taxes on fossil fuel energy consumption. And taxes on fossil fuel consumption are exactly what we need  in order for our state to prosper in the coming decades.

South Carolina currently imports $14 billion in oil and $10 billion in coal a year. That, my friends, is a chunk of change. It is a huge drag on our economy and a problem that will only get worse. The time has long past for action on this issue.

What our primary focus should be is how to get those numbers down. The sooner we start thinking about energy independence as a  state, and actually implementing a plan, the better off we will be. The state that produces all of its own energy is going to be the state that is strongest and most competitive in the global marketplace.

Higher taxes on imported fossil fuels are necessary to fund our transition to in-state produced sources of energy. To all of you short term thinkers out there,  get out of the way.

August 31, 2009

Gubernatorial Candidates

I have looked at the websites for all of the candidates for our next governor and so far I see no one who wants to lead this state.

What will it take for someone to put their mouth where their money is and tell us what they will do to lead our state? We are nine years into the 21st century, but we pretend like it is 1952.

Someone please step up.

June 14, 2009

Air Industry News

Filed under: Economy, South Carolina, Transportation, Uncategorized — NotforHire @ 10:27 am

The recent news that the global air industry faces a 9 billion dollar loss for 2009 tells us that the air industry will be going through massive changes in the coming years and a comprehensive plan to position our state to handle this change needs to be dealt with sooner rather than later.

I have already outlined a plan for a centralized airport hub in our state in a post dated 12/13/08, with the rest of the state being connected with high speed rail lines.

We can’t get direct flights from our three airports and it is killing us with bringing prospective business to the region.

It’s either get on such a plan soon or have Charlotte and Atlanta split the state for our air travel business, crippling South Carolina commerce and tourism.

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.

December 16, 2008

Hypermiling

Filed under: Circle the Wagons, Economy, Energy, Environment, Transportation — NotforHire @ 8:32 am

Hypermiling is the simple concept of driving as efficiently as possible.

With South Carolina importing 100% of its gasoline, it is an idea that should be actively promoted. Perhaps a public service campaign by our department of transportation would be a good idea. The less fuel we import, the more wealth we retain in our state.

For more information please visit hypermiling.com.

December 13, 2008

South Carolina Transportation

Filed under: Economy, South Carolina, Transportation — NotforHire @ 9:11 am

With the federal government poised to dole out billions in new public works funding, it is a good time to take a look at what type of projects might benefit our state.

We could of course do the usual and spend the money on automobile infrastructure- roads, bridges and the like. Money definitely needs to be put into this, but we also need to look into the future and think big. It is time to start thinking world class for our state.

Now would be a good time to take a look at building a large, state-of-the-art airport, centrally located in the state, perhaps around the intersection of I-95 and I-26. Call it South Carolina National, if you will. This central hub to be connected to the rest of the state with five high speed passenger rail lines to Florence/Myrtle Beach, Columbia/Greenville/Spartenburg, Aiken/North Augusta, Rock Hill, and Charleston.

Such an infrastructure would be attractive to global business and would do a lot towards making South Carolina into a world class state.

December 3, 2008

Gasoline Tax

Filed under: Economy, Energy, Environment, South Carolina, Taxes, Transportation — NotforHire @ 9:27 am

South Carolina’s tax on gasoline currently stands at 35.2 cpg. In comparison, our neighboring states of Georgia and North Carolina have gas tax rates of 44.4 and 48.6 cpg, respectively, according to southcarolinagastaxes.com. Figures include 18.4 cpg federal tax.

With gas prices plummeting and South Carolina tax revenues in freefall, it would be a good time to raise South Carolina’s gas tax by 10 cpg, to be more in line with our neighboring states.

With gas prices so low, an additional floating tax of 10 cpg should be enacted, to be removed when gas prices again reach 2.50 dpg, because you know they will be going back up.

Raising the gas tax would provide the state with much needed revenue, hopefully to be earmarked for transportation infrastructure improvements. It would also help encourage conservation of something that we import 100% of. The less gasoline we import, the more wealth remains in our state.

To those that say it would hurt businesses that depend on gasoline, I would like to point out that just a few months ago fuel prices in our state were pushing four dollars a gallon, and if both of these proposals were enacted now, the price of gasoline in South Carolina would still be around two dollars a gallon.

The time is right for this, with no hesitation or delay.

December 2, 2008

Are You a S.C. Patriot?

Filed under: Economy, Energy, Environment, South Carolina, Transportation — NotforHire @ 9:47 am

What constitutes a Patriot? One who loves his country and supports its interests. I put forth the following that true patriots can embark upon to make our state better.

1. Be as energy efficient as possible. South Carolina imports close to 100% of its energy, and we can go a long way to increasing our wealth base merely by reducing the amount of energy we consume.

2. Produce more than you consume. Avoid debt except for a mortgage and an automobile.

3. Volunteer your time or give to local charity, or both.

4. Compost, whether you have a garden or not, thus reducing the waste stream and enriching the soil on your property naturally.

5. Plant a vegetable garden.

6. Plant a fruit or nut tree on your property. Or both.

7. Buy locally when possible. Support local artisans and craftspeople when shopping for gifts.

8. Commit 80% of charitable donations to within the state.

9. Invest in, and buy from, companies that have their corporate offices in the state.

10. Bank at a South Carolina based bank.

11. Recycle everything.

Where are you on this list right now? I myself have 6 of 11, which is okay, but I will try to do better. Anything I’ve left off?

November 22, 2008

Economy

Filed under: Economy, Education, Energy, Environment, Transportation, Water policy — NotforHire @ 5:30 pm

My kitchen is not my dream kitchen, but it certainly is nothing to complain about, most of the modern conveniences being included. My favorite thing in the place is not the food processor, which is used sparingly, or the blender, or even the coffee maker, which I do rely on quite heavily.

My favorite thing in the place is a wooden spoon from my grandmother’s kitchen. It doesn’t just hang on the wall either, I use it almost every time I cook. I love it first because it reminds me of my grandmother, of the times we had in her kitchen, baking or cooking for the family, the holidays, and all the good times.

I love it foremost though for the economy that it represents.

To explain what I mean we must go first to the definition of economy. The way the word is most used now, as defined in Webster’s online dictionary is actually the forth definition of the word, “The structure or conditions of economic life in a country”. The first two definitions of the word are what need to be brought back into common usage:

1. The management of household or private affairs and especially expenses.
2. a: thrifty and efficient use of material resources : frugality in expenditures  ; also : an instance or a means of economizing : saving b: efficient and concise use of nonmaterial resources.

Economy is something we experience in every action that we take in life, whether we are being economical or uneconomical. My grandmother’s wooden spoon that I use, so worn and beloved, is an example of good economy. We used to teach personal economy to our citizens, in our churches and in our schools, but we have gotten away from that. Way away.

It is time, as I think we can all see, for real economy to be dusted off and brought back into use. It won’t be an easy road, but it is a necessary road, and our future depends upon it.

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