Getting to the Root of Joblessness and True Recovery

Assigned Reading: In South Carolina Town, Economic Calamity Since Obama’s Inauguration
(FROM: Washington Post)

I read this while taking a break from studying estate and gift taxes, and after reading some of the comments following the article, I felt compelled to take a few minutes and put my thoughts down.

I’ve been through Greenwood, South Carolina. I was there for some sort of historical function while working for a daily newspaper in [somewhat] nearby Oconee County. It’s a nice town. Beautiful area. And, reading the article in the Washington Post, I feel for the people there. I really do. I know what it’s like to be forced to choose between utility bills based upon what can be done without, because something is going to get disconnected that month.

Not to mention that, also, I too have been trying for a few months now to get a job in that depressed Palmetto State economy for this time next year, when my wife and I move to Charleston following my graduation from law school.

I couldn’t help but notice that, in the comments following the piece, some folks are blaming South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford for refusing funds from Barack Obama’s so-called “stimulus” package. Even when I was down in Charleston last month, talking with contacts about the dried-up state of the job market, I heard more than a few people criticize Sanford for trying to turn away money that could provide more in terms of unemployment benefits for South Carolina’s rising number of jobless citizens.

But the people across South Carolina, including the people in Greenwood, do not need further unemployment benefits — they need jobs. And when the federal stimulus money ran out, it would be the businesses and people in South Carolina who would be on the hook for making up the difference through a much higher tax burden. And higher taxes, as we all know, don’t exactly encourage the expansion of business and industry.

If he was going to take the federal money, Sanford wanted to use the federal stimulus funds to pay down the state’s debt. People from the Lowcountry to the Golden Corner obviously failed to understand why, saying that paying down the state’s debt should hardly be a priority compared with propping up those who have lost their jobs in this economic downturn. I beg to differ — a fiscally conservative act which would beget more fiscal conservatism, paying down the state’s debt would have provided Sanford with wiggle room essential to the implementation of policies that would encourage business to set up shop in towns like Greenwood rather than turn tail and run for greener pastures with less of a tax burden, like Delaware, or Texas, or points overseas.

I really do feel for the people of Greenwood, just as I feel for the people through that state and throughout all the others. I’ll feel for them even more when our federal government passes confiscatory taxes such as the pending cap-and-trade plan, an ill-conceived proposal which will shutter factories and companies from coast to coast.

When it comes to those in Greenwood and beyond, the only way that we will see true, lasting change is by reducing the tax and regulatory burden on American business and industry, thus making the United States a friendly environment that fosters success rather than stifles it in the name of social justice, perceived fairness, or global warming.

Rather than deriding the Tax Day Tea Party, perhaps Edith Childs–seen in the photo above with Barack Obama–should have stuck around for a few minutes and, instead of focusing on the signs she saw, truly listened to the words being spoken.



  1. Anonymous says:

    a must read
    security before politics
    wash post
    april 27
    by porter j goss

  2. Gail B says:

    This is sad, but even sadder is the fact that Greenwood, SC, is not the only place this is happening.

    This afternoon at the grocery store, a Girl Scout troop was handing out fliers asking for donations to the food bank after having shopped. There is not enough food to feed all the people who are broke from having lost their jobs.

    This is sad. Worse yet, the EXTREME spending forced by the liberal Democrats is only deepening the recession. The government has no PRODUCT, so the only way it can pay its way is to TAKE money from the people who need it for food and utilities. How smart is that?! How long before the people realize it?

    The government has run businesses out of the country, so there’s not going to be any wealth to spread. Then what?

  3. tm says:

    Maybe people will finally realize elections have consequences –
    In this article, funny the words “scammed by the man” comes to mind.
    Anybody, like me even remember the Carter years and how ridiculous it was? Obambi = Carter II
    The best way to get our economy moving is to cut corporate and individual taxes, and to eliminate the corporate taxes. The Government should have minimum regulation and get out of the way.
    Anything else holds for us disastrous consequences.
    Makes 2010 look even more important to us.

  4. CAL says:

    The article is very touching and Edith Childs does have a very large heart, but city council should work on creating a business friendly environment in Greenwood. The article does not mention anything about what the local taxes and regulations are like. Is city council part of the problem??
    Throwing money at a problem is never the solution. The money stream eventually runs out.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Since Lyndon Johnson figured out that democrats could buy votes with his Great-giveaway Society, certain constituencies have been taught over and over that their own success is not their responsibility and that their failures are the fault of “the man.” There are a lot of Edith-type thinkers that are glued to the democrat party. But I have some questions – if the man has been keeping all these minorities down, why is it that the asians that came to the US in the 1970′s and 1980′s are running businesses and driving luxury vehicles; why it is that middle easterners are the predominate proprietors of convenience stores in Edith-type parts of town? The sad problems that the Edith-types are experiencing started in 1964.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Bill Moyers Interviews William Black on Causes and Solutions to the Financial Crisis
    This is one of the best interviews I have ever seen that lays out the problem and solution in simple terms. He shows clearly how the bankers committed fraud and are now covering up their sins. The problem is that these same criminals are the ones that have been appointed to solve the problem. But they have no intention of solving the problem, because that would expose their own fraudulent practices. They are there to cover up their crimres, not to identify the problem and fix it.
    This is a 28-minute video. It’s worth every minute of your time.

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