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Small Businessman Boasts 19 State Licenses

May 3, 2016


  “It’s eating all my time. And a good bit of my money, too” Last week we had a visit from Jack. He’s from McCormick County, and stopped in while in town on a job. Jack (and that really is his name) is a self-employed structural engineer. He’s followed the stories we’ve occasionally posted on […]

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The Fees Are Killing Us!

April 5, 2016


SC budget process

From covering costs to gouging Here’s a question worth pondering: When should government charge a fee for a service? The answer, of course, depends on how you define “service.” If the service truly is a service, and if only a select segment of the population has any use for the service, it may make some […]

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State House Logic: All Criticisms Are Invalid

March 22, 2016


Groups critical of legislation ‘exist for the purpose of getting people ginned up so they will send them money’ We don’t know how it is in other states, but South Carolina lawmakers have an inelegant way of dealing with constituents by phone and email. We hear about their dismissive responses and curt emails all the […]

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DSS Mandates Pointless Alarm, Pranks Ensue

March 15, 2016


Money spent. Alarm installed. Happy now? Last summer we heard from an Upstate preschool teacher who complained about a Department of Social Services officer who seemed to thriving on finding petty infractions. In that case, the DSS minder reprimanded the preschool because it had failed to keep records proving that one of its teachers had […]

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Are Hospitals Bloated?

March 3, 2016


By THE EDITORS How many health care professional does it take to screw in a light bulb? Answer: A lot. Two years ago, at the height of controversy over whether South Carolina would expand Medicaid per the Affordable Care Act, we read a lot of arguments about federal dependency and borrowed money, about the folly […]

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Contractor: Local Governments Are Robbing Us

February 23, 2016


‘It’s getting out of hand lately’ Last week’s story about John Dalen, the guy who refuses to pay for a business license, generated a number of responses like the one below. A large number of people, it would seem, have begun to feel that local governments are robbing contractors and other small businesses by imposing […]

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Update: Guy Still Won’t Pay Biz License

February 16, 2016


code enforcement

Is he actually winning? Readers may remember John Dalen, the Westminster native and contractor who won’t pay for a business license on the grounds that government can’t force you to pay money to exercise guaranteed right. Last we heard of him, he won his  case at LLR by default. But it’s not over. Below is […]

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Why’d DOT Put a Roundabout Here?

January 6, 2016

1 Comment

DOT Roundabout

Unfortunately, you’ll have to ask your lawmaker. And good luck with that. South Carolina’s Department of Transportation, as readers of this website know, is neither run by nor accountable to the state’s chief executive – the governor. Instead, priorities are set by the Department of Transportation (DOT) Commission, an eight-member board consisting almost entirely of […]

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From the Mailbag: Smooth Roads ‘Round the State House?

December 1, 2015


Columbia Roads

Well, at least ISIS can’t infiltrate it . . . We receive emails from State House address from time to time, and we thought this one – which comes to us anonymously – was pretty entertaining. The road referred to here runs past our address, and the State House garage entrance is one block away; […]

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Who Owns This Road Anyway?

November 3, 2015


Road Pothole

Either the city or the county or the state. Or no one. Of all the tips and anecdotes we receive, probably the majority have to do with the Department of Transportation. Whether that’s because roads affect our lives more directly than, say, tourism or social welfare, or because DOT is a rambling wreck of a […]

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