Pay-to-play politics via the NC Chamber

And the unemployed are paying the price for that un-Democratic process:

the Chamber, and now some Republican lawmakers, propose to cut unemployment benefits to those out of work: The maximum benefit would go from $506 weekly to $350. And just to add to the burden of joblessness a little more, the maximum number of weeks for benefits, 26, would be cut on a sliding scale to between 12 and 20 weeks.

Soon to be followed by this headline: "Home Foreclosures in North Carolina rise by 40%". It's no mystery how this travesty came about, though. All you have to do is walk this vicious dog backwards to see who set him on the already suffering unemployed:

The N.C. Chamber and Americans for Prosperity also are spending hundreds of thousands to support mostly Republican candidates.

Nathan Babcock, an N.C. Chamber political strategist, said he expects all outside spending in key legislative races to top $1 million. “What we are hoping to accomplish is a legislature that is more pro-business,” he said.

A mailer from the N.C. Chamber sent in multiple legislative districts across the state promotes the Republican candidates’ plan “to create 10,000 jobs.”

Is that what this attack on the unemployed is about? Creating jobs? I don't think so. I think it's about paving the way for companies to destroy jobs and not have to worry about their profit margins being thinned.

Walking this dog backwards a little further, we find a hefty chunk of money going into the political coffers of the NC Chamber:

09/17/2012

REYNOLDS AMERICAN
POST OFFICE BOX 2959
WINSTON-SALEM, NC 27102

check $25000.00

And you'd be hard-pressed to find a company in the Triad who has added more bodies to the unemployment lines than RJR:

Reynolds American Inc. (NYSE: RAI) reported a 7.4 percent growth in profits during 2011 though net sales and market share for the tobacco company dropped slightly for most of its brands.

Maura Payne, vice president of communications for Reynolds American, confirmed that a number of production employees at the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. plant in Tobaccoville have been let go, but said the company won't be commenting on the specific number or nature of the positions that are being eliminated.

An internal memo obtained by The Business Journal that was sent to RJR employees Wednesday explained that the key components of a restructuring of RJR's manufacturing operations include "eliminating current surplus staffing in some areas of manufacturing" and outsourcing some "non-core activities."

The company employs about 2,500 workers in the Triad, down from about 15,000 during the 1980s.

Profits are rolling in, and the ranks of the unemployed are growing, yet they push (via the Chamber) for massive benefit cuts to their former employees and future victims of "strategic restructuring".

Comments

Legislators should be ashamed

These massive cuts are going to have a profound impact on the ability of laid-off workers to care for their families. I hope they remember that when they sit down to a juicy steak at Fleming's or Sully's.

Shame

are you kidding? These clowns don't know the meaning of the word.

If you really want to understand the Republican-led General Assembly, just swing by any local frat house on the weekend and take a look at a bunch of privileged assholes drunk on power.

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We are not amused.