Civil Discourse Now

Where the far left and far right overlap for fun and enlightenment

South Carolina seeks to unseat Mississippi in others' lists of thanks; and tomorrow's Show is at The Varsity Lounge.

   In Panama City Beach, Florida, years ago, a waitress who served a nearby table said, "Our State motto is, 'At Least We Ain't Mississippi.'" Mississippi seems to be 49th or 50th---or, if "worst" is the gauge---1st or 2nd of our 46 commonwealths and four States in various categories that relate to quality of life.

   Governor Nikki Haley of South Carolina seems bent on grabbing the Palmetto State in a plunge to the bottom. Her efforts may result in South Carolina---where political leaders sought to secede from the Union in the 1830s, before the Civil War; where Bob Jones University is located; where the first shots of the Civil War were fired---shoving aside Mississippi. Governor Haley has announced South Carolina does not want union companies to locate in South Carolina.

   If one believes in free markets, her comments violate the notion that government should leave businesses alone. If one believes the powers of a governor are limited by checks and balances, her comments could be seen as an over-reach for power. If one is a resident of South Carolina, one should be upset.

   Stephen Henderson, of The Detroit Free Press, notes South Carolina "touts its virtually tax-free, incentive-laden environment" on its Department of Commerce website. Nonetheless, South Carolina is amongst the bottom 10 in the country for median income and for overall poverty, children in poverty and people without health insurance. In case you wondered, South Carolina took a "pass" on Medicaid expansion the ACA---a/k/a Obamacare---would provide.

   If Haley wants to attract business, she should look to enhancement of education, highways, and other elements of infrastructure businesses want for new locations. Instead, her course looks to unseat Mississippi as a perennial doormat of economic and educational statistics and the butt of diner waitress jokes.

   Then again, Indiana seems on a course similar to that of South Carolina. "Right to Work" was enacted here to attract jobs---that have been attracted here if one relies upon the ginned-up numbers Indiana uses. Our embrace of vouchers for education should put more heavy stones in the pockets of a metaphorical Hoosier who seeks to commit suicide in the stream of commerce.

   As a native-born and spent-most-of-my-life (all but two years in Chicago and three weeks in Madison, Wisconsin) as a resident of Indiana, I have heard my fair share of Kentucky jokes. ("Did you hear the Governor of Kentucky resigned? He was called back to Detroit Diesel Allison.")  If South Carolina is unsuccessful in its quest for Nation's Doormat, the reason might be Indiana has beaten the Palmetto State to that goal.

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