Commentary

Your Sunday “must read” debunks myths about NC’s economic recovery

Be sure to check out the Sunday edition of Raleigh’s News & Observer for an excellent column by NC Budget and Tax Center economist Patrick McHugh: “Hold the applause for NC’s sputtering economic recovery.” As Patrick notes:

“The worst of the Great Recession is in the rearview mirror, but the recovery has left far too many people, families and communities worse off. When you take a sober look at North Carolina’s economic reality, the breathless self-congratulations ring a bit hollow. An alarming pattern has emerged: Economic growth is not producing broad prosperity, which is trouble for everyone….

We’ve also replaced a lot of middle-class careers with low-paying, dead-end jobs. Thousands of jobs have been lost in industries that were the bedrock of middle-class North Carolina for generations, particularly manufacturing and construction. These were jobs where hard work brought livable wages and opportunities for advancement, jobs that could support a family, and jobs that offered a piece of the American Dream.

At the same time, we’ve seen an explosion in low-wage service jobs with few opportunities to move up. The average wage in industries that have grown since 2007 – like hotels and restaurants – is almost $10,000 less than in industries that have declined. When growth doesn’t create good-paying jobs, the lack of prosperity reverberates through the entire economy as people stop going out to eat, buying houses, getting new cars and scale back in a host of other ways….

Leaders in Raleigh need to be constantly reminded that we cannot accept growth without broad prosperity. Too many people are out of work, too many paychecks are coming up short and too many communities are being left out of the recovery.

We have neglected the investments needed to provide our children a 21st century education and our working men and women skills training; to build a transportation system that can move at the speed of business; to help small businesses withstand the competitive pressure of the modern market. This lack of investment has blunted the recovery and left the deepest problems with North Carolina’s economy unaddressed.

Instead of taking pride in finally escaping the recession, we should be focused on building a future that North Carolina can really be proud of.”

Read the entire op-ed by clicking here.

4 Comments


  1. Alex

    March 29, 2015 at 8:35 am

    Looks like Debbie Downer is back in town ! Doom and gloom is the buzzword here. What is being discussed is a national not a state problem. Obama’s economic policies are designed to bring down the middle class and make the poor even worse off. Getting more people on the government dole insures more votes at election time. It is not a difficult concept folks to understand.

  2. Arthur

    March 30, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    Alex, you are wrong. The Republican’s theory of trickle down economics has never worked!

  3. LayintheSmakDown

    March 30, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    I don’t know why Rob is so gloomy. This is the progressive nirvana, suppress business and the free market until the government has to come in to “help”. Make everyone dependent on the government from cradle to grave….come on, those are crocodile tears for sure!

  4. Alan

    March 30, 2015 at 6:42 pm

    Isn’t it cute when the interns have to converse here?

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