South Carolina Citizen Journal

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.

August 29, 2009

70% Consumer Spending

Filed under: Circle the Wagons, Economy, South Carolina — NotforHire @ 7:58 am

I keep reading about how 70% of our economy is based on consumer spending, and that we need to spend more to bring us out of this recession.

It needs to be pointed out that consumer spending is consumption, and that 70% consumption is, to put it mildly, unsustainable. Does that mean that only 30% of the economy is production?

A new found frugality and increased savings rate are nothing but a good things for our state.  It is time for a major restructuring in how we function in our economy.

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.

May 24, 2009

Pay Day Lending

Filed under: Bureaucracy, Economy, Ethics, legislature, South Carolina — NotforHire @ 8:05 am

Let’s get a few things straight.

The pay day lending industry in our state are bottom feeders. They charge upwards of 400% interest on their loans. They fray the base of our society and make our state weaker.

When I read that they have a strong lobby within our state’s legislature I am sickened. Any politician defending these bottom feeders should be run out of office and out of our state too, as far as I’m concerned.

Loaning money in our state should be capped at 30% above prime, a return any real investor would be more than happy to get. The present plan to unnecessarily expand government by implementing a state run pay day loan tracking database should be scrapped.

May 17, 2009

Urban Homesteading

Filed under: Circle the Wagons, Economy, Environment, South Carolina — NotforHire @ 9:52 am

Some thirteen months ago, my wife and I were lucky enough to purchase a house on a lot of about a third of an acre. It came with a mature pecan tree in the front yard, from which last summer we didn’t get any pecans, but we cleared off the many vines growing up into it and we’re hopeful that this year we will get some production out of it.

Other than the pecan tree, we have planted an apple tree(a hot weather variety), a blueberry bush, grapevines, and a 4′ by 20′ vegetable garden.

My wife is calling this our homestead year, and let me tell you we are thankful to be able to head out to the grocer, because otherwise we would be starving right now.

No but really, we are having moderate success so far, and we are looking forward to having a lot of tomatos, onions, squash and cantalopes this summer, and maybe pecans.

I am treating my urban lot as a homestead because it is the conservative thing to do. It saves my family money and saves a small percentage on produce that would otherwise be imported from out of state. Oh, I suppose I could be spending that time out water skiing, but water skiing is hardly an activity of someone calling themselves a conservative, now is it?

May 9, 2009

SC Energy

Filed under: Circle the Wagons, Economy, Energy, Environment, South Carolina — NotforHire @ 11:00 am

I read with interest that South Carolina will soon be exporting 350,00 tons of switchgrass to Europe to fuel power plants there, as they move away from coal.

With the recent downturn in energy usage across our state, and with lower projected energy use into the future coupled with technological breakthroughs in alternative fuels, it is time to abandon SC&G’s plan for a new nuclear plant and Santee-Cooper’s plan for a new coal plant. An energy independent South Carolina is a strong South Carolina and concentrating our efforts in the following areas is what will make this happen.

1. Switchgrass fueled electrical plants. Switchgrass is native to our state and is found here in abundance. The farming of switchgrass in our state is already moving forward, and we need to take advantage of this right now.

2. The development of a wind farm in the far upstate, where we have world class energy producing wind. Also offshore wind should be put to the front burner and invested in heavily.

3. We should be doing everything we can to develop our own solar industries here in the Palmetto State. It is expensive, but recent breakthroughs in the technology should make solar power a major factor in South Carolina’s push towards energy independence.

4. Conservation.  One initiative that would have a major impact is the regular publication of our energy usage as a whole- How much gasoline  we use in a quarter, as well as electricity, water and natural gas, if published and promoted, would give us solid numbers to rally around and make us more aware, and more willing to work harder to use less energy.

Again, we should be concentrating on energy sources  and strategies that will make us energy independent as soon as possible. It is absolutely critical that we do so without delay.

May 1, 2009

Megadumps

It is good to see our elected officials taking steps so that South Carolina does not become the trash dumping ground for the whole eastern seaboard.

DHEC has passed new regulations making it more difficult for these megadumps to be built here. I would like us to go further and make it absolutely impossible for them to be built here. Let’s think to the future shall we, or at the least we should have some basic self respect.

South Carolina is no dumping ground. At best these places would be a short term revenue generator for these counties, and in the long run would ruin whole areas with toxic pollution in the ground and in the ground water, making it more difficult for these areas to generate wealth for themselves in the future.

DHEC says it can’t unapprove the megadump in Marlboro County. Sure it can. Or how about the legislature pass a law that simply says we do not accept any trash from outside our borders? They could still build it and Marlboro County could be the dumping ground for our own state’s trash, but that would be it. By the way, the company wanting to build this particular dump is not even a South Carolina based company.

I’ll say it one more time: South Carolina is no trash dumping ground. Period.

March 29, 2009

State debt, Government

Filed under: Bureaucracy, Economy, Ethics, legislature, Sanford, South Carolina, Taxes — NotforHire @ 9:12 am

Well, with all the expansion of government spending and cutting of taxes over the last decade in our state, I just assumed that South Carolina had paid off any outstanding debt at the state level.

So imagine my suprise when our governor asks the federal government if we can use 700 million dollars of federal money to pay off state debt.

It is time for the South Carolina legislature and the governor, whoever maybe in office, to get better at managing our states affairs. Much better.

South Carolina citizens demand a lean yet strong state government, aimed at providing excellent services and infrastructure, with a  tax structure that does not overly burden, but that keeps us ahead of the game, meaning paying off our debt(ourselves) and eventually funding our own rainy day, or sovereign fund. Government waste and fraud have to become  things of the past by necessity.

We can neither afford a fat, bloated government loaded with pet projects and other unnecceary spending, nor a weak underfunded central government which is unable to keep its own britches from falling around its ankles. With all the push me-pull you antics going on, what we’ve ended up with is a wasteful, bloated government that still can’t keep its pants up, and that should be unacceptable- to the governor, to the legislature, and to the people.

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.

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