Announceth the Mountaineer:

Carolina Readiness Supply is sponsoring a Heritage Life Skills program at the Haywood County Fairgrounds Sept. 28, 29 and 30. There will be classes throughout each day on edible and medicinal plants, fruit, vegetable, and meat canning, fire making, blacksmithing, and more to help people use the items they have for survival during disasters [e.g., “the economy”].

The weekend started well, but went afoul. I was interviewing people running for office in the eastern part of the state. They assured me North Carolina needed to continue offering economic development incentives because everybody else was doing it. Some still think we need more regulations. Driving around, though, I passed rows of vacated buildings. Gas stations, Subways, dollar stores, pawn and resale shops, and a few gold buyers were the only business that seemed to be doing well.

Coming home, normal business resumed in the Charlotte area, but squalor returned by the time I was in Gastonia. It reminded me of chancing upon Carmel, Indiana amidst a sea of abandoned strip malls. Carmel thrives on the insurance industry as Charlotte is supported by banking. Both businesses pass paper around, a practice that in and of itself cannot support life. Thriving economies have been linked to resources put into production, energy available to improve the standard of living, and freedom to take advantage of both situations.

Well, you know it’s a meaningless question to ask* what policies preserved life in still-thriving communities. Dream-big, over-extend, build it and they will come, and especially gratify me in the here and now policies continue to capture the imagination of mandating voters. The only difference is that the wealthy communities have more to fool around with in their rainy-day funds. It’s sort of like why the rich, suburban drug addicts don’t get into as much trouble as their low-income, inner-city counterparts.

*This is an intentional allusion to lyrics from Fleetwood Mac’s “Hypnotized:”

Well, you know it’s a meaningless question
To ask if those stories are right
‘Cause what matters most is the feeling
You get when you’re hypnotized.