NYT sees Columbia as microcosm of economic decline

Don't know how I missed the story in yesterday's New York Times about the job fair in Columbia — headlined "Reeling South Carolina City Is a Snapshot of Economic Woes" — but in case you did, too, here it is. And here's an excerpt:

    As the American economy sinks deeper into one of the more punishing recessions since the Depression, frustration and fear color the national conversation.
    This city in the center of South Carolina is an ideal listening post. According to a range of indicators assembled by Moody’s Economy.com — from job growth to change in household worth — this metropolitan area came closer than any other to being a microcosm of the nation over the last decade.
    This is now an unfortunate distinction. Some 533,000 jobs disappeared from the economy in November, the worst month since 1974. In South Carolina, a government panel is predicting that the state’s unemployment rate could reach 14 percent by the middle of next year….

18 thoughts on “NYT sees Columbia as microcosm of economic decline

  1. Ralph Hightower

    It has been a force of habit for me since the first Bush recession in 1991 to look in The State’s Sunday edition of employment ads (whether I have a job or not; currently, I have a job).
    For the past several weeks, the Sunday employment ads have fit on two pages. Healthcare, which normally occupies more than two pages, has occupied two columns for the past few weeks.
    There is only one word that I can think of.

  2. Lee Muller

    Columbia, like most centers of government, is insulated from the real world and from economic reality.
    When the economy is booming, government rakes in unexpected windfall revenues and spends every bit.
    When the economy slows down, politicians and bureaucrats resist cutting back at anything near the same rate as the decline in revenues, arguing that their so-called “services” are more necessary in hard times, and more important than private sector spending.
    The South Carolina Constitution forbids deficit spending, yet every county, every school district, every college, industrial park, and the state, all are heavily in debt through bonds – all illegal. If they paid cash, they could save all that interest, or have the money to actually do work, instead of enriching the bondholders through tax-free dividends.

  3. Rich

    The S.C. Constitution, Lee, is one of the most undemocratic governing documents ever devised! We need a constitutional convention to rid us of this incubus of hate, racism, and the kind of political and economic IGNORANCE that you and your conservative allies so frequently evince on this blog.
    I am quite certain, Lee Muller, that you and your conservative ilk would gladly step over a family dying of hunger in the street. Oh, wait a minute!! You might refer them to some faith-based charity where they would get some of your SUPERSITITION with their gruel!!
    You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch!!

  4. Bart

    When you’re hungry, gruel might sound appetizing. Considering the fact that I have been involved with some faith based charities, not once can I recall anyone being subjected to or required to listen to a sermon, take a pamplet, be witnessed to, or have any other demand placed on them other than sitting through, God forbid, the blessing of the food. I am sure there are a few who require more but definitely not the majority.
    Most of the extremely generous people who give time and money to charities are generally the “faith based conservative” ilk you so lovingly refer to Rich. Two of my close friends who are very conservative and have a strong faith were the ones who were the most instrumental in my city starting the funding, finding suitable housing, donating and raising money for a women’s shelter. My wife and I deliver food quite often and contribute to many charities, secular and faith based.
    I get so damned tired of liberals continually attacking people of faith as if they are the devil’s minions instead of good, decent people the majority of them are. While it is accurate that some historical atrocities have been committed in the name of religion, there have been just as many committed outside any religious influence. I think the purge in Russia and China might just equal those committed by religious people. Even the slaughter of hundreds of thousands in Cambodia could qualify.
    If you believe my religion is SUPERSTITION, that is your right but it is also my right to consider your secularism intolerant and almost always less forgiving of others mistakes or shorcomings. A closed mind is another attribute liberals share with some on the “religious right” so in some aspects, where is the difference?
    It is the Christmas season when we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. In that spirit, Merry Christmas.

  5. jfx

    Interesting article.
    The profiles of Raymond Vaughan, Mary Bamou, and Frank Kelly fit the general tenor of the piece.
    Unfortunately, those came AFTER the profile of Lori Harris, who seemed out of place in the story, not so much a profile in courage as a profile in gullibility. She apparently consigned herself, in middle age, to thousands of dollars in student loan debt, on a whim, after seeing a television commercial pitching a degree.
    I note, cynically, that she has applied for food stamps, but still smokes. I’d be willing to bet she smokes at least one pack a day. For the cost of one pack of cigarettes, she and her boyfriend could dine on nutritious, filling brown rice for a week.
    I also note, cynically, that she has no health insurance. But still smokes. HELLO? IMMUNE SYSTEM? CANCER?

  6. Lee Muller

    Rich’s fantasies of hate can only be possible through a profound ignorance of how charity really works.
    It is especially grating to hear self-labeled “liberals” prattling on about charity, when they don’t believe in it or practice it. Their idea of charity is to use other people’s money, usually taxpayers’ money, to hand out so they can play act at charity.

  7. david

    I depend upon the NYT for NOTHING. What a joke this liberal rag is!
    New York state in general and New York City in particular would be way better served if the NYT would simply tell the truth about the destructive and corrosive effects that liberalism has had and continues to have there, rather than doing ridiculous and meaningless pieces like the one Brad cites.
    The liberal hack mayor of NYC and the liberal hack governor of New York intend to meet the challenges of the economy with a raft of new taxes, fees and charges to be levied on their citizens.
    Where is the NYT piece about the tremendously destructive impacts these policies will have on New Yorkers?
    Hooray for a governor like Mark Sanford who is determined not to do what these liberal politicians are doing!

  8. Herb Brasher

    You got it, Bart. Rich sees everyone’s “religion” except his own. I like ours much better–much better grounded in reality than his. (Well, I don’t like to call it a “religion” — the early disciples of Christ called it “the Way.”) But he still talks about “the spirit of the season” – go figure.
    What’s neat is to have kids and grandkids who actively help out where its needed–all because they love Christ. I don’t think atheists have really helped the world all that much.
    Merry Christmas, everybody. Get well, Brad! I prayed for you today.
    And a special thanks to Karen, whose thoughts on politics influenced me in many ways this past year.

  9. Bart

    Thanks for the kind words Herb. And, I am in total agreement with you about Karen. I want to express my sincere appreciation for her comments and obviously well thought out positions on various issues. We need more like her, you, and many others who continue to post here.
    In addition to a personal greeting to Karen, I would like to also send one to Capital A. I may not agree with Capital A but I do appreciate and respect what A has to say. A’s posts are generally tied to some historical significance whether it be Greek philosophers or even more modern thinkers. A reminds me of the past and the unique history of our planet and how even today, some of the historical influences are still relevant.
    And last but not least. Lee Muller – you da man!
    Merry Christmas everyone.

  10. York "Budd" Durden

    Thanks to Bart, p.m., Lee Mueler, “David”, et al, Brad’s blog stands tall as a microcosm of idiocy and anti-intellectualism.
    That’s, like, my Saturnalia message to you boys, and all. Cheers.

  11. Bart

    Mr. Durden, I sincerely appreciate the kind words and compliment. To be included in such an outstanding group of intelligent people is an honor.
    I surmise from your paganistic reference to the Saturn festival that preceeded the celebration of Christmas, you and Rich share the same secularist views and beliefs therefore your opinion that this august group is a representation of idiocy and anti-intellectualism.
    You see Mr. Durden, even the idiots are well read and are capable of participating in true intellectual pursuits. Based on your previous comments about 9/11 and some other tin foil hat conspiracy theories you espouse, I would exercise some caution when trying to sound as if you are an intellectual. I think you missed the mark by a wide margin especially when you closed by even daring to use the word “like”. Are you a Valley Boy? Dude!
    Anyway, like, Merry Christmas and God bless.

  12. david

    York, I note with great satisfaction that my name is the only one in quotation marks in your last post. I presume the quotes mean you have some pin-headed problem or other with me…to which I simply respond as Bart did so eloquently: Being in a group that you don’t like is a very good thing, and I count it an honor.
    And by the way Yorky….Saturnalia?
    For Petes’ sake! What happened…you found a thesaurus or something? Talk about anti-intellectualism.
    You are the poster child for snotty liberal hacks everywhere.
    But Merry Christmas anyway Yorky.
    Dave FAUST
    (happy now?)

  13. David

    should have said:
    “snotty, self important liberal hacks everywhere.”
    Want to make sure your snottiness AND huge ego are recognized.

  14. tom

    the new york times is a failing newspaper that just mortgaged its headquarters building in order to pay current operating expenses.
    they have no credibility.
    merry christmas to brad and all you bloggers, and best wishes for the new year.

  15. Lee Muller

    The NY Times is a microcosm of Old Journalism going bankrupt due to arrogance, dishonesty, and disrespect for their customers.


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