With complete control in Raleigh since January of this year, the Radical Republicans are marching forward. What is the end game?
It is telling that the budget contains a little-publicized provision that would impose a special registration fee on all-electric vehicles of $100/year, and on hybrid gas-electric vehicles of $50/year. There have been proposals this year and even before this year to ignore established and widely-accepted projections of sea level rise, to roll back the internationally accepted Energy Conservation Code, to prevent counties and municipalities to establish environmental rules adapted to local conditions, and in general to dismiss, and in the case of hybrid and electric cars, punish, technological advances in transportation, energy efficiency and conservation, and alternative energy.
At the same time, the budget continues to slash education spending at all levels, from pre-K right on through our university system.
We keep hearing rhetoric from our elected representatives and the Governor about positioning North Carolina for the jobs of the 21st century. Yet the proposals outlined above say loudly and clearly that we don’t want none of that new-fangled technology stuff here in our state. We certainly don’t want to be a leader in alternative energy jobs, or anything else that requires a highly-educated and skilled workforce. And they certainly don’t want every NC citizen to participate in government of, by, and for the people.
Growing tobacco behind a mule-driven plow, going to town in a horse-drawn buggy, reading by oil lamp, and studying in a one-room schoolhouse using a slate and abacus seem to be the life the “conservatives” want to return us to. And those “good ole days” also meant segregation, Jim Crow, bread lines, and hobos riding the railcars.
How long under the current regime before the Research Triangle Park becomes a ghost town? Because that, surely, is the end game.