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Opinion Letters

Delight is had when discovering something wonderful and tremendous loss is experienced when greatness passes. Statistics came out today, based on the past year and North Carolina was nationally ranked by CNBC in third place in the Top States for Business, even during this recession. Education is one of the 43 factors that help a state to earn this ranking. Not shabby for an educational system that has been slandered for convenience this budget year.

However, our state, recently considered a leader in education, was dealt knee-buckling blows by the state budget decisions. Why was the impact felt so harshly?

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My long time friend Senator Jim Davis recently met with local citizens regarding the newly passed N.C. budget and its resulting impact upon education. Senator Davis stated:

• He strongly values and supports NC public education.

• He believes More at Four program is very effective and valuable.

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The new numbers are out. The typical American worker received a $200 raise last year, an increase of 1/2 of one percent. The Typical CEO of a Fortune 500 company enjoyed a raise of $2,000,000, an increase of 23 percent. It looks as if good times are here again.

Maybe the Republicans are right; if you sprinkle enough money and tax breaks on the wealthy and on corporate America, the economy will improve. Corporate profits are up, dividends are up and those corporate jets are getting a real work out. Since 2008 the market has come up over 52 percent, and it is expected to increase another 11 percent by the end of 2011.

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If you read the information Duke Energy is spreading throughout the news media in its vast public relations campaign, you’d be led to believe the request for a 15 percent rate increase (17 percent for residential ratepayers) is a result of meeting new environmental regulations, especially in building the new “state-of-the-art” coal unit at Cliffside.

This is a distortion of reality that should be understood by all public officials, news outlets and members of the ratepaying public. I commend the Macon County Commissioners and the Franklin Board of Alderman for being the first public officials to take a stand against this round of rate hikes. Hopefully others will follow in short order.

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