The Follies

The Follies

- in Fitzsimon File

No longer free as practicable

If you want a preview of one of the many things that could happen next year when the state will almost certainly face a massive budget shortfall that could reach $3 billion when federal money dries up, look no further than Wilmington.

The ink had barely dried on the state budget passed last week when officials at UNC-Wilmington proposed raising tuition 19 percent next year.  Other campuses will likely follow suit and nobody will be happier about it than the folks on the Right, who constantly complain about the low tuition at UNC schools, calling it an inappropriate subsidy of higher education.

It is not a subsidy at all of course.  The state provides public education for its residents. The North Carolina Constitution requires it and says it must be provided as "free as practicable."  A 19 percent increase doesn't seem so practicable for families who are already struggling to make ends meet.

All hail the holy market

Like many on the Right, Locker Mitch Kokai is upset about legislation calling for nutrition standards at child care centers.  He wonders "why government has any business caring about whether people are overweight or obese."

Good point, why should we care if kids start out life obese and headed for years of health problems?  If children want to suffer, we should let them.

In the Right's world view, virtually any standard or regulation are radical intrusions on their holy free market. Why should we care if day care centers are safe or sanitary or structurally sound? 

The market will sort everything out. If a two year-old is electrocuted or falls off a roof at a day care center, parents will stop taking their kids there.

There's no end to where that logic takes you. Stop requiring inspections of planes.

If a few have mechanical failures and crash and hundreds of people die, consumers will stop using that airline. See how easy that is.

Pining for the sexist past

The folks over at Civitas are angry that lawmakers are considering legislation to make the language in state laws more gender neutral. It somehow offends them that everyone in state law will not be referred to as "he" or that the head of every committee will not be called chairman. 

Come to think of it, that is pretty radical of legislators, to realize that women run committees too..

From the Fringe

The folks on the Right have been busy ranting and raving and tea partying since the Fourth of July holiday, making this a crowded From the Fringe report.

Jeff Taylor, who runs the Locker's Charlotte outpost, is back to his offensive name-calling ways.  Taylor who once wrote that he wished a public official and his wife would die in a fire, this week proclaimed that  "…the herd of mental defectives collectively known as the North Carolina General Assembly shambles on."

That's lovely. Then there's the always understated Jon Ham on the Lockers Triangle blog with the usual Obama bashing included in a tribute to Calvin Coolidge of all people. Ham quotes some comments by Coolidge and sums up with this.

"Coolidge had big-state liberals pegged even then. His comments seem to anticipate the country-destroying policies of the Obama administration and its henchmen in appointed office."

Ham also wants to make sure that we saw what Rush Limbaugh's brother David said about White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.  Limbaugh called him "a little smarmy nerd-thug."  Ham says "you don't get much better convergence of description and reality than that."

Another Locker, Rick Henderson, weighs in, calling lawmakers "not just tyrants, but incompetent tyrants."

If you are keeping score at home, in the last few days, the scribes on Right Wing Avenue have called public officials mental defectives, henchmen, and incompetent nerd-thugs who want to destroy the country.  

Thank goodness we having such a civil debate filled with respect for the people that voters elected to serve.

About the author

Chris Fitzsimon, Founder and Executive Director of N.C. Policy Watch, writes the Fitzsimon File, delivers a radio commentary broadcast on WRAL-FM and hosts "News and Views," a weekly radio news magazine that airs on multiple stations across North Carolina.