South Carolina Citizen Journal

December 17, 2007

South Carolina Powerball is economic “Powerdrain”

Filed under: Economy, legislature, Sanford, South Carolina — Tags: , , , , , — NotforHire @ 2:47 pm

There was a well balanced article in The State Sunday about the South Carolina Education Lottery. I for one see both the pros and cons of a state run lottery, but I don’t have a particular ethical dilemma with the system. I have even been known to play the lottery from time to time, it being my little donation to our state school system.

One area the article did not address is, what is the net effect of the multistate powerball game on the wealth of our state? It seems that while good for increased funding of education, it is in fact a net loss of wealth to our state. I mean, if we’re watching $50 million flow out of the state for every $10 million going to education, then that hardly seems like a lottery structure that is good for the state of South Carolina.

I put in a call to SC Education Lottery to get the specific dollar figures and was referred to the Multistate Lottery Association, which runs Powerball. This was disappointing because I’d like to think that the people running things on our end would know the answer to a question directly concerning the financial health of our own state. Apparently that is not the case.

I called the Multistate Lottery Association but was also unable to get an answer to my question.

I think it’s time for the Governor’s office and perhaps the legislature to look into this matter and expose SC Education Lottery’s involvement in Powerball for what it really is, a huge “Powerdrain” on our economy and the wealth of our state.

December 14, 2007

Governor Sanford hits home run with land conservation proposal

Filed under: Economy, Environment, legislature, Sanford, South Carolina, Uncategorized — NotforHire @ 2:06 pm

Governor Sanford’s proposal to budget an additional $50 million for land conservation is an outstanding move. He is correct when he says, “If you develop every square inch around each one of the metropolitan areas of this state, one of the inevitable byproducts is a deterioration of the quality of life that people experience in this state.”(Post&Courier, 12.11.07)

But it is not just for quality of life, but for the long term economic health of the state that makes this proposal imperative. Politicians in this state need to start asking themselves what needs to be done to make the 21st century South Carolina’s century. What needs to be done to ensure that South Carolina continues to improve economically and continues to build the wealth and increase the well being of its citizens, not just in the short term but in the long term as well.

Mark Sanford, in this proposal, embodies these ideals and is taking the long view as to what is best for our state.

Dan Cooper, House Ways and Means committee Chairman says of the proposal, “If we have $50 million, I’d rather we invest it in something that is going to produce jobs for the state.’’ (The State, 12.11.07) Dan Cooper, in this instance, does not seem to have his eyes on the prize, which is knowing that fully funding the Conservation Land Bank will create jobs. Developers and investors will want to build and invest in areas that have a higher incidence of preserved land, and the quality of development and investment will be higher as well.

As our population continues to rise, nothing is going to pay dividends to the citizens of our state in increased wealth and well being like the proposed increase in funding of the Conservation Land Bank. Open land is and should continue to be one of our states greatest resources, and the time to preserve it is now, before it is too late. Remember, wealth goes to where the quality of life is good, and doesn’t stick around when it turns bad. One simple key to keeping it good is the full funding of the Conservation Land Bank.

December 10, 2007

S.C. Supreme Court okay with legal beagles, not legal eagles

Filed under: South Carolina — NotforHire @ 12:45 pm

There seems to be a bit of controversy surrounding the South Carolina Supreme Court’s decision to let 20 people who failed the bar exam become lawyers in our state.

Passing the bar is hard in this state, because we want the best practicing law here, and of course there were people who took the bar in July that did not pass. Well, there were a few squeaky wheels who didn’t want to take their medicine and take the bar again, if in fact they would have been able to pass it then. A couple of those in question happened to be daughters of two very legally connected individuals, Rep. Jim Harrison, Chairman of the South Carolina House Judiciary Committee, and circuit judge Paul Birch.

According to the Post & Courier(Nov. 10th 2007) when Harrison learned his daughter failed, he put in a couple of calls, one to Daniel Shearouse, clerk of the Supreme Court, and one to attorney George Hearn, who is chairman of the Board of Law Examiners, which administers the test. Hearn is married to Appeals Court Chief Judge Kaye G. Hearn of Conway, who is up for a seat on the state Supreme Court.

Flash forward to a ‘scrivener’s error’ , a bar examiner erroneously passed an individual on the wills, trusts and estates section even though they had failed the section. ONE PERSON was given a passing grade when they didn’t earn it. Hmm, the Supreme Court says to itself, what to do, what to do. Should we change the one person’s grade to fail, or should we let the one person pass the bar unearned? Suddenly, in a collective moment of brilliance they decide to throw out the exam section entirely, allowing an additional 19 people who did not earn a passing grade to pass the bar. This is our states top legal minds at work?

Apparently to the court, this one person’s situation brought up what was “fair and equitable for those examinees” who also failed the section. Since their circumstances were not “equal” in the least, obviously the “fair” thing to do was let the failing grades of the students who did not pass the test stand.

Maybe we could suggest this kind of reasoning to all of our teachers in South Carolina- make a grading mistake on one paper and pass the whole class.

What an absolute embarrassment for our state and our entire legal community. I’d like the names please, of all 20 people passed, so that I don’t inadvertently hire one of South Carolina’s new ‘legal beagles’.

December 3, 2007

State tax incentive for Cabela’s step in the wrong direction

Filed under: legislature, Sanford — Tags: , , , , — NotforHire @ 3:43 pm

Governor Sanford is right to oppose tax incentives for sporting goods retailer, Cabela’s. The creation of a few service sector jobs and a very minor tourist ‘destination’ is not nearly enough to validate the tax incentive plan passed by the South Carolina legislature.

It would be a different matter if state and local officials were wooing Cabela’s to move their corporate headquarters to South Carolina. That would have a definite positive impact on South Carolina’s economy. But that is not the case here. What we have here is our own state legislature offering state money to a company based in Nebraska so that they can come here, open a large retail outlet stocked with goods mainly imported from outside South Carolina, and take the profits to a state far from our own.

This is hardly good business and far from good governing.

Now I have never been inside a Cabela’s, though I have driven by a few, and they certainly are a spectacle to the eye from the freeway. As a sportsman I’m sure I would welcome a sporting goods store of that caliber to the state. But I am just as sure that offering tax incentives to a box retailer whose corporate offices are in another state is a step in the wrong direction. The legislation should be immediately repealed and Cabela’s executives politely told that we welcome them to the state if they want to do business here, but that South Carolinians are not interested in paying a company based in Nebraska to open a retail outlet here.

I look forward to shopping at the new Cabela’s after they look at the numbers and see that they will be profitable here without taking a handout from our state.

December 2, 2007


Filed under: Uncategorized — NotforHire @ 4:34 pm

Just a few comments from the ledge.

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