I started out this post with the intention of lambasting the NC state government for ending the extended benefits program. But as I was writing, I managed to “talk” myself out of it because the reason behind it is probably not one anyone ever wanted to face.
The truth is that, despite my earlier speculation about how long people can be angry, I am still pretty angry about the entire ordeal of the Great Recession, whether it is useful or not. It’s not the hot kind of anger, but the very cold kind that can occasionally ignite into periods of being quite counterproductive; and I caught myself at it. I lost more than my career. I lost my naiveté. I lost my old political friends over some pretty hefty policy differences. And I have to admit that I had a mind to attack them with little care about putting a spin the data to make them look like they care not whether formerly productive people, involuntarily made former taxpayers, starve in an alley. While I question whether some really do care enough to consider that outcome, what I had set out to do was particularly unfair.
As I see it, the cutting off of extended UI benefits is an admission of epic fail in economic policy management at nearly all levels of government, from the management of monetary policy on down to state houses and locales. It was an acceptance of fact – the jobs are gone – and they are not coming back. And my guess is that no one really wanted to do it (although there are likely one or two exceptions).
It is a very sad state of affairs for an entire state to just throw in the towel on jobs without doing everything possible to avoid it. But I don’t recall having read anything about North Carolina governmental officials making a stink about tight money. I likely have never read anything about it because it never happened. Nor did any kind of serious nullification effort ever take flight in the NC legislature. Nor was any kind of litigation taken up to the Supreme Court against the Federal Reserve for dereliction of duty. It is a state government’s constitutional duty to ensure that the agencies of the Federal government follow the law – and the Federal Reserve has violated it for the last five years resulting in immeasurable economic misery. North Carolina’s government failed in that duty, choosing instead to throw in the towel while its citizens are hurting economically.
If I were a citizen of North Carolina, I would attempt to start an incumbent cleanup effort because there really is nothing worse than government officials who roll over and play dead while getting paid for it – deciding that the situation is completely out of their hands. That simply is not so, and the citizens of North Carolina deserve much better government than they have gotten.