Commentary

Editorial: No “Carolina Comeback” here

The lead editorial in this morning’s edition of the Fayetteville Observer does a great job of highlighting the failure of the so-called “Carolina Comeback” touted by the state’s conservative political leaders to reach vast swaths of the state. Here’s the the conclusion to the editorial:

“The growing revenue and jobs produce great numbers for a political campaign, but for many residents, that’s not enough. The money isn’t landing anywhere near them. We’re trailing our neighbor states in personal income growth. We rank 22nd in the nation. We’re also in the middle of the pack in the measures of unemployment that factor in the underemployed and those who have just given up looking for work.

The people with stagnant pay or no job prospects are more inclined to believe Donald Trump’s assertions that our economy is a disaster, not a miracle. And with McCrory tying his campaign to Trump’s coattails, the contrast in economic viewpoints isn’t helping the governor.

Nor is the message playing well in some of the regions outside the booming Triangle and Charlotte. There are other pockets of economic resurgence, like Asheville, but more often, the state’s rural counties – Robeson or Scotland, for example – are the home of economic despair, places that last saw prosperity when the mills were hiring and tobacco was king.

The economies of our cities that are home to high-tech and financial services businesses have revived nicely and appear to be on course for even greater growth. If the General Assembly fixes some of the overreach it made in House Bill 2, the growth will accelerate.

But for the most part, high-paying businesses are landing where their peers are already located. Getting them to move to places like Laurinburg, Lumberton and Fayetteville will require a bigger effort from the state, in marketing, incentives and workforce training. That’s the stump talk – and commitment – we’d like to hear from candidates for statewide office.”

Click here to read the entire editorial.

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