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North Carolina, United States


This page is for issues local to the state of North Carolina in the United States.





Economic Disparity

NC's general anti-labor legislative environment make it difficult to survive economically as a blue-collar worker.

  • 2022-09-01 North Carolina: Still the Worst Place to Work in America «The minimum wage for workers who receive tips (yep, $2.13 an hour) is just one of the appalling statewide policies that remains unchanged since last year, when North Carolina was ranked dead last in a list of best and worst places to work in the nation.» «North Carolina [...] has one of the lowest minimum wages in America ($7.25 an hour), but also prohibits local governments from raising that minimum wage in their own city or town»; NC's «right-to-work law suppresses unions and unsurprisingly, the state does not provide comparable collective bargaining tools for workers.» NC «does not provide accommodations for pregnant or breastfeeding workers, paid family leave, or paid sick leave. There's not even a statewide law protecting workers from sexual harassment.»

As of 2021-04-15, Epic Games's Tim Sweeney ([W]) is North Carolina's richest resident billionaire due to a surge in Epic's stock.

Conservoid businessman Art Pope, whose local political influence has loomed large over the past few decades, is worth a mere $100m as of 2022.

Past Issues

Limits to Municipal Internet

House Bill 1587, aka "The Local Gov't Fair Competition Act" aka the bill to prevent local government from competing "unfairly" with the local internet monopolies (the people who name these things obviously have the same sense of irony as the real-estate developers). This issue appears to be dead for the moment, as the bill has gone to committee – but don't be surprised if it appears again in another form.

State-Wide Negotiation for Cable Services

The state has, after much lobbying from the cable industry, apparently passed a law which prevents local municipalities from negotiating with cable companies and instead makes it a state-wide contract. As the state is much less likely to take the time to ensure that each municipality gets what it needs from the cable (e.g. local access programming), this has been a huge victory for the cable companies and monopolistic practices in NC generally.

I have dog-eared a recent issue of the Independent with some details of the consequences, but it hasn't made its way back to my desk yet. (It's also not clear how this affects any cable company not involved with the contract, but would seem to imply that they are effectively locked out of doing business in the state -- ensuring a statewide monopoly. How is this good?) --Woozle 11:50, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

  • 2008-10-01 What if Durham told its own story? “At the beginning of 2008, the franchise agreement between Durham's government and Time Warner Cable expired. Because of a state law passed in 2006 with the heavy backing of cable industry lobbyists, Durham couldn't negotiate a new deal to preserve its local cable-access channels. .. Suddenly and without warning, people who had been producing public access TV programs for years were cut off.” (The one comment on that article is a good sample of neocon reality inversion...)





  • 2007 The NC Home Sales Tax: It's a Bad Idea
    • This appears to be a site created by the NC real estate industry. The tax was not on "equity" but on the sale of homes, paid by the seller. It's not clear how this is different from an impact fee, but the industry has certainly done its best to get rid of impact fees wherever possible (Durham recently did away with them, 2006?) in spite of the obvious need for impact fees to pay for new infrastructure (utilities, schools, roads...).
      • Where was the real estate industry when Durham raised our property valuations?? That tax hits the people who actually live here, rather than people who are moving in or out of the area. The latter group are already prepared to deal with possibly taking a financial hit as they move from one area to a possibly-more-expensive one on their way up the corporate ladder. --Woozle 10:34, 7 August 2008 (EDT), edited 2012-05-09


  • 2007-06-06 Cities fight bill to limit broadband: "House Bill 1587, "The Local Government Fair Competition Act," is supported by the telecommunications and cable industries, which say cities have unfair advantages—they don't pay taxes and can subsidize a money-losing Internet business with revenue from the city budget. The bill sets out a long list of strict financial and political requirements should a government get into the broadband business. But the N.C. League of Municipalities and a growing number of cities oppose the measure, saying it would effectively make it impossible for local governments to provide Internet service in rural and low-income areas where private industry has decided not to."
  • 2007-04-18 A ferry ride to an Orwellian future? by Peter Eichenberger: a nostalgic field trip turns into some unpleasant discoveries about the penal industry in NC: the River's Correction center run by GEO Group, formerly a subsidiary of Wackenhut; mentions Blackwater USA.
  • 2006-08-16 The Vanishing Voter by Bob Geary, The Independent: gerrymandering and other systematic political corruption in NC government


  • 2007-08-05 Campus research hits budget jackpot: "North Carolina has long been generous in its financial support of universities, and this year is no different. But another thing stands out in the new state budget approved by the legislature: big bucks for research. .. The centerpiece is a cancer research fund at UNC-Chapel Hill -- $25 million in the coming year, growing to $50 million a year starting in 2009."