Posted by: r.m. | April 10, 2009

Carolinas… and unemployment

I leave to NC tonight – to see my family.  (I lived in NC from 1986 to 2005, and a part of me will always be there, and not only because my family lives there.) I have been joking that I’m taking 12 kg of bread and another 15 kg of food (jams and sweets) with me because of the dire economic situation in the US.  … But it is not a joke.

Here, a good friend and my former boss (I used to work at the Institute for Southern Studies), speaks about the unemployment in both South and North Carolina.  It is these two states that have the highest unemployment in the United States.

Chris explains:

The fact is the Carolinas and the South have been absolutely devastated. We’ve seen the labor market absolutely collapse. Every day in North Carolina, 600 people are losing their jobs, a net loss of jobs. And what you’re finding—now, remember, these are communities that, for ten years, they’ve been hammered in manufacturing, the furniture industry based in North Carolina completely lost.

[O]utside of Wall Street, North Carolina is the second-biggest banking center in the country and one of the biggest in the world.

Chris explains how North Carolina and South Carolina are notoriously anti-union, have low taxes, have some of the worst schools in the country, present themselves as “business friendly,” and, particularly for North Carolina, are military friendly with numerous large military bases that are actually a strain on the economy.  All in all, people who have lost their jobs (actually, a job isn’t “lost” – it is taken or stolen) lack the safety nets to protect them in this time of crisis.

Add to that all that North Carolina is one of the communities that *lost* due to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Many companies moved south (to Mexico) while the workers were left unemployed.  See what happened in the US/Canada/and Mexico due to NAFTA, and realize one of the consequences of “free trade” – which is basically free movement of capital while labor is trapped immobile.



  1. Hello Doctor. I am interseted to know more about the facts the resulted in this depretiation in the USA and other countries. But i think that this “free trade” is the main reason and the only one responsible is the US and its laws.

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