Wednesday, January 30, 2013

GOVERNOR JUMPS INTO THE FIRE OF ACADEMIA...


If you discount 10 governors from 1802 to 1835 who were members of the DEMOCRATIC-REPUBLICAN party, North Carolina has had only SEVEN Republican governors in the state’s history:  1868, 1870, 1877, 1897, 1973, 1985 and January 5, 2013, when Pat McCrory was inaugurated.


In the election of 2010, the Republicans took control of BOTH HOUSES of the legislature for the first time in over a century.  The last time the Republicans controlled the State Senate was 1898.

So we arrive at the end of January, 2013, with Republicans running the state.  O    M    G!

Former Charlotte mayor and now governor, Pat McCrory ran on three main policy initiatives:  revamp the tax code, step up energy exploration and foster job creation.  He has initiated a study on eliminating the state corporate income tax as part of his jobs package.  The state is also looking at eliminating personal income taxes and instituting a sales tax.  This is one I like, because – even if low income folks get some form of partial rebate for taxes paid at the end of the year, EVERYONE will have skin in the game, which SHOULD mean everyone will care about how the government spends the revenue collected.  This is the biggest problem we have at the federal level.  Far too many people pay no taxes, so they don’t give a rap how the money is wasted.

Now, in today’s N&O, McCrory has stepped on a land mine right out of the gate.  He had the audacity to say he “wants to change the way higher education is funded in North Carolina, focusing more on careers for graduates and away from academic pursuits “that have no chance of getting people jobs.” 

WHAT A CONCEPT!

The remarks came in a national radio interview with conservative talk show host Bill Bennett, former President Reagan’s education secretary. The breezy, 10-minute interview, in which the Republican governor touched on hot-button issues, elicited a swift, angry response Tuesday from faculty and others.

On the show, McCrory said “educational elite” had taken over, offering courses that have no path to jobs. He said he instructed his staff Monday to draft legislation that could alter the state money that universities and community colleges receive “not based on how many butts in seats but how many of those butts can get jobs.”

There’s an old saying:  ‘Hit dog always hollers loudest’.  Sorta means, if you throw something out there, the dog you hit will be the one doing the yelping.  Well in this case, the pointy-headed academics at the University of North Carolina are screaming foul play! UNC system faculty argued that higher education is about more than job skills.  Oh, really?  I would suggest that the faculty ask those parents who are writing the checks for their kids’ education what THEY think of higher education.

In the past year, the unemployment rate for college graduates has averaged 8.5% for the age 25 and under demographic, compared with 21% for high school graduates.  So a college diploma DOES increase your job chances but it's not a guarantee. (NYT,, 6/4/2012)

I would like to see an annual survey of who IS getting hired, based on their education.  Anyone about to enter the higher education system – whether it be the 4-year route or the 2-year community college path, incoming freshmen need to be made aware of the fields where they are most likely to get a job.  While a degree in Prehistoric Art History might be interesting, a diploma in supply chain management will get you hired.

The next four years will be interesting in North Carolina government.  I hope McCrory will be able to make some headway in making the state more attractive to business (and NOT by giving them tax-free inducements, as THAT policy went down in flames, taking millions of tax dollars with it - thank you DELL [1]) but by providing lower taxes for job creators as well as a public educated to FILL those jobs.  Only time will tell.

Here’s an interesting link about the labor market for young workers nationwide...





1 comment:

  1. I am glad to see your Governor is doing what he promised

    ReplyDelete