Self-identified as a born and bred S.C. Southerner, Reid Johnson's expansive critique of S.C. Republicans ("Conservatives haven't given results," June 21 letter) suggests he has never lived, for an extended period, in any of the other 49 states. So, one must wonder, relative to elsewhere, what marvelous state locale he would prefer S.C. government emulate?
California? This wonderfully run Democratic enclave is currently $22 billion in debt with the tab continuing to grow by the day. The state is bankrupt in all but filing Chapter 11. State bondholders are fidgety and businesses are fleeing as fast as they can to set up headquarters in neighboring states like Nevada and Arizona. Unemployment is third highest in the nation. Only New Jersey ranks lower as the worst state in the U.S. in which to do business.
How about New Jersey? This bastion of Democratic government efficiency is home to the highest average property taxes in the nation - $6,700 a year. State and municipal employees, for minuscule pension and health care contributions, receive such huge benefit windfalls that a corporate CEO would be envious. Add to this a cost of living so high that people of average means are fleeing in such numbers that the state's net population has declined over the past two years. New Jerseyites are voting the only way that really gets results - with their feet.
Or, perhaps Democratic-run Michigan is more his paradigm? Unemployment there is even higher than in California. Like California, the state debt is so huge that it is bankrupt in all but a formal filing. Worker flight, as with New Jersey, has resulted in a net decrease in population. And state government's solution for its declining revenue? Increased taxes and fees - exactly what it takes to attract new businesses and workers.
Talk about responsible "gooberment." These examples of progressivism run amok are just the kind of Pied Piper South Carolina needs to start following. Gomer Pyle, as governor of any of these states, might actually be an improvement - at least he'd bring some humor to their ludicrous situations.
To paraphrase a famous quote of William F. Buckley, "I'd rather be governed by any one of the first thousand names in the local phone book, than by a Pawleys Island intellectual."
The writer lives in Conway.