Meg Scott Phipps: We're smart enough

September 6, 2013 

Smart enough

Regarding John Drescher’s Aug. 31 column “McCrory says we’re dumb”: I would be the first to say journalists don’t always get the facts right, whether it is because their perception is wrong or their sources were feeding them calculated rumors.

But I would caution Gov. Pat McCrory never to think that journalists are dumb or incapable of comprehending his “complex” economic plan.

The journalists I know are hard-working and do their homework.

If the governor believes journalists can’t grasp his economic plan, then he must believe North Carolinians can’t, either.

He should know that they get it. Just ask the mechanic who works over at the state car lot, the lady who makes doughnuts down at the Krispy Kreme, the waitress at the Mecca Restaurant, a Saturday morning guide over at one of the state museums or the people waiting for the bus down at Moore Square. They are all his neighbors.

Just listen to the 20-year veteran teacher who makes $36,000 and who, as a single parent, is putting her children through school and just had her dream of getting her master’s degree taken away.

Listen to the young people who’ve had the steam taken out of their creative dreams because of STEM. They are smart enough to know that the STEM jobs for which they will be trained can be done by robots in the future. Then where will they be?

These are real people who understand that government is not a business. Government requires an ethic of care.

So as the governor sits behind the guarded and gated walls of the Governor’s Mansion, he should lean over and ask the inmate who just served him breakfast how that “complex” economic plan is going to help him when he gets out of prison. He gets it, too.

Hopefully, North Carolina common sense will prevail. Not one step back.

Meg Scott Phipps

Haw River

The writer, a Democrat, was the N.C. commissioner of Agriculture from 2001 to 2003, when she resigned before being found guilty of perjury and obstruction of justice charges. The length limit was waived.

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