For the week of
January 09, 2009
Reaction of the Week
RALEIGH — In an economy that depends more on
consumerism than on production, the credit crisis means debt-burdened
Americans are finding it harder to extract cash out of their homes or
credit cards to finance their spending, writes Karen McMahan for Carolina Journal.
The services sector accounts not only for the largest share of Gross
Domestic Product but also nonfarm employment in the United States —
nearly 80 percent — according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Retail, one component of the services sector, is the second largest
industry in the United States in both number of businesses and
employees, generating annually about $11,690 per capita. Small
businesses, or single-store retailers, comprise 95 percent of all U.S.
In North Carolina, retail is a $90 billion industry and is the second
largest employer with more than 650,000 jobs, according to the North
Carolina Retail Merchants Association. In 2007, retailers paid more
than $5.5 billion in sales and use tax, the second largest and
fastest-growing revenue source in the state.
Sharp declines in consumer spending have sparked a rise in retail
bankruptcies and store closings and a decline in retail employment.
Even though Black Friday sales were stronger than last year’s sales,
same-store sales in November fell by 2.7 percent from last year, the
largest drop in 39 years, according to the International Council of
CJ: Streamlined Sales Tax continues to float
CHARLOTTE — Thanks to the shaky economy and the fact that many states
face budget shortfalls this year, some experts think the streamlined
sales tax movement may gain some ground in 2009. The issue, a perennial
favorite for cash-strapped governors and state legislators, might find
a friendlier Congress than in previous years.
CJ: Wake parents, students condemn diversity policy
APEX — Parents, students, and elected officials used a Wake County
School Board public hearing this week at Apex High School to criticize
the district’s reassignment policy that often shuffles students from
school to school in the name of diversity.
Jobless rates rise in all N.C. counties
FAYETTEVILLE — The November unemployment rate jumped in every North
Carolina county, according to seasonally unadjusted estimates released
Tuesday by the state Employment Security Commission. Economists from
across the state said they expected some increase in the
county-by-county numbers, given that the statewide rate, released
recently, jumped 1 percent to 7.8 percent.
Perdue: Economy will block free tuition in '09
RALEIGH — Gov.-elect Beverly Perdue is dialing down some expectations
for her first year in office due to the economy and the Legislature. In
an interview three days before her swearing-in, Perdue said Wednesday
she knows the state’s bad fiscal picture means her 2008 campaign
platform of free community college tuition won’t happen in 2009.
Black charters at risk of closure
RALEIGH — In a scene that’s becoming frustratingly familiar to
supporters of predominantly black charter schools, two Raleigh charters
are in danger of being closed by the state. State education officials
say they are simply holding PreEminent Charter and Torchlight Academy
accountable for low test scores and other concerns by not recommending
renewal of their charters when they expire in June.
Monday, January 12, 2009 at 12:00 PM
Shaftesbury Society Luncheon
with our special guest Michael Lowrey
NASA at 50: Can Private Business Help Save Manned Space Flight?
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 at 6:30 p.m. General Reception-Cash Bar
7:15 p.m. Dinner
19th Annual Anniversary Dinner in the Triangle
with our special guest The Honorable Bobby Jindal
America: An Agenda for the Future
Friday, February 20, 2009 at 6:30 p.m. General Reception-Cash Bar
7:15 p.m. Dinner
19th Anniversary Celebration in the Charlotte Area
with our special guest Winston Churchill III
“If you don’t have a job, you don’t care whether you're building a prison, a university building or a polar bear exhibit. You need that job and you need that income.”
— Gov. Mike Easley, as quoted by the Associated Press, justifying moving up $740 million in capital projects by borrowing money sooner to pay for them. Among the items in the package of projects is a $2.7 million renovation of the North Carolina Zoo’s polar bear exhibit.
“Twenty years from now he will be remembered simply as the governor between Jim Hunt and the state’s first woman governor.”
— Joe Sinsheimer, a former Democratic consultant in Raleigh, describing Mike Easley’s legacy to the Charlotte Observer.
“We feel comfortable saying that this is a change in behavior, not just restrictions.”
— Maeneen Klein, conservation manager for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities, describing reductions in water consumption to the Charlotte Observer. Single-family residential use has declined in the city by 32 percent since 2002.
“When you add 15 percent to somebody’s water bill, that’s a tax, too.”
— Raleigh Councilman Thomas Crowder, as quoted by the Raleigh News & Observer, proposing that certain pricey planned water and sewer upgrades that would be paid for through higher fees be postponed.
On The Air This Week…
This week on C J Radio…
JLF’s Terry Stoops discusses push for pre-K programs, JLF’s Joe Coletti reacts to N.C.’s ideas to keep companies from dodging taxes, Sen. Dan Clodfelter questions Governor’s Crime Commission about grants to fight street gangs, the Pope Center for Higher Education Policy’s Jane Shaw explains the “Spirit of Inquiry” award and winner Bart Ehrman of UNC-Chapel Hill accepts, and JLF’s Daren Bakst discusses meaningful reform of forced annexation law.
This week on NC Spin…
Join moderator Tom Campbell
for another week of political discussion and debate on the most
intelligent television talk show in the state. Topic this week: The team that Perdue has put in place; whether or not to scrap vehicle inspections; and the road war going on between Charlotte and Fayetteville. This week’s panelists: John Hood, president of the John Locke Foundation; Chris Fitzsimon of NC Policy Watch; Charlotte Observer Associate Editor Jack Betts; and columnist Cash Michaels.
This week on At Issue…
Watch At Issue, hosted by Kim Genardo, Sunday at 9:00 a.m. Also available on the web at www.nbc17.com.