First-time readers, this blog is set in the future (sometime after the year 2020). Most entries assume there has been a 5th revolution in the US — the Revenge Revolution. More about Revenge Revolution and author, Entry #1. List and general description of entries to date. Annual assessment whether Revolution plausible.
Note: most entries are constructed as a dialogue between the main character, Jordan Abel, and variety of colleagues, friends and random acquaintances. Characters appear in a number of entries, with many entries building on previous conversations. Profile of characters. You’ll catch on quickly. Thanks for your time and interest…and comments.
This entry breaks with the traditional format. Regular readers might be wondering why all the entries about NC legislators. I’d like to let go and move on to another topic. However, just when I think the legislators are beginning to act rationally, they manage to continue to do something potentially harmful to the state.
The actions in Raleigh seem to be a microcosm of what’s happening in Washington. Two sides seemingly unwilling to compromise, even if one of the positions is considered so extreme that no compromise is possible. Further, the irrational actions often continue even when continuing could cause consider harm to a wide swatch of society.
For NC legislators, the most recent action is a threat to withhold a limitation on the amount of sales tax on jet fuel paid by American Airlines. While I believe that incentives are not the most effective way to attract and grow businesses, incentives do seem appropriate in some cases…and this is one.
Charlotte is a major airline hub (Initially USAir which was acquired by American). The airport itself is not a major economic driver, but having a major airline hub is a major economic driver. Numerous companies, especially companies with HQ outside the US, have cited an important reason for locating in and around Charlotte is easy access to international flights.
So why does the legislature want to eliminate the incentives? Not because of opposition to incentives. But because American Airlines supported repealing HB2 (the bill that among other things forces transgenders to use the bathroom of the sex listed on their birth certificate). And American is not alone is supporting repeal of HB2. Many large employers in North Carolina have urged the governor and legislators to repeal of the law.
So, how do the governor and legislators respond? Like 2-year olds. The legislator and the governor appear willing to bring economic harm to many citizens in NC because someone told them their legislation was stupid. And, like a whiny 2-year old, the legislators and the governor blamed someone else – in this case the mayor of Charlotte.
What did the Charlotte mayor do? Lead the effort to pass the ordinance allowing transgenders to select their restroom. The ordinance, which applies only in the City of Charlotte, is admittedly controversial. However, before the ordinance took effect and before the residents of Charlotte had an opportunity to overturn the ordinance – city-wide referendum, recalling the mayor and council, etc. – the state legislators stepped in to “save Charlotte from itself.”
So here we have legislators from throughout the state, many of whom probably have never been in Charlotte, telling the residents of Charlotte what’s good for them. And oh, yes, Charlotte residents, we’re going to take away your right to address issues that affect only your city. Why? Because, we, the Republicans in Raleigh, know best. A little bit of overreach here?
Then what happens? With the overreach the NC legislators poked the big dog in Washington…and, oops, the dog bit back. Department of Justice filed a suit against the state. Then the Department of Education issued a directive mandating that schools comply with regulations that are similar to the Charlotte ordinance.
The NC 2-year olds claimed overreach by the Federal government and harden their stance. The result was to inflict more economic damage on the state as companies began to drop NC from consideration for relocating or expanding operations. The economic damage affected Charlotte, even though the City has made considerable effort to attract a more diverse workforce and attract more high-tech industries.
The legislators apparently offered to repeal HB2 if Charlotte repealed its ordinance. The Charlotte mayor and some council members…and many citizens…responded by asking “‘why agree to something the other side had no business getting involved in the first place?” The current resolution of the issue is weaving its way through the courts, which could take years.
A better step, I think, is let the people of Charlotte decide if they want to support the ordinance. Let residents debate the plusses and minuses, possibly reach a reasonably palatable solution to all sides.
Voters in the City of Houston rejected a similar ordinance. Other cities have ordinances similar to the one passed by Charlotte. But let the residents of the area affected decide. If Charlotte wants to be labeled as “too liberal” by some others in NC, so be it. Those same people will likely not go to New York, San Francisco or many other locations.
The irony, from my perspective, is transgenders have been using the bathroom of choice for many years with no apparent incidents. Now that the City of Charlotte formalizes the choice, Republicans in Raleigh believe there is an issue. Uh, your reaction couldn’t be merely political could it?
And thus, the suggestion that NC is a microcosm of the US. Every decision in Raleigh and Washington seems to have become so politicized that compromise and reasonable solutions are impossible. Further the seeming insistence on seeking revenge and inflicting pain on those who have a different view reinforces my concern the US is headed for a 5th revolution, the Revenge Revolution.
The next few entries will center on NC HB2 bill. Then we’ll move on. Jordan Abel