Sunday Discussion Stuff

Sunday Discussion: 10 Reasons Why The State Of Alabama Is In Deep Trouble


Geek Alabama Discussion

Ah, Alabama.  We care about our Alabama Crimson Tide and Auburn Tigers, but when it comes to government, we could care about squat.  While the state is successful when it comes to football, we suck it when comes to education, unemployment, roads, the tax code, animal welfare, and much more.  This post could make me the most hated person in the state of Alabama.  And I guess if people consider me the worst person in Alabama, that’s okay with me.  I mean, I have already been rejected from 1,250 jobs, volunteer gigs, intern gigs, and TV shows.  It could only get better!

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So on this post, I am going to give you 10 reasons why the state of Alabama is in deep and serious trouble.  Face it Alabama, the prison system is in turmoil, our constitution is the longest and most outdated in the world, you charge people a sales tax on groceries when mostly every state does not, and our tax code is going to ruin Alabama if it’s not fixed!  Consider this post a lesson to any government if the Tax Party takes over!  Because if the Tea Party takes over any government, the government will be in big trouble!  Just ask the folks in Kansas about how the Tea Party is treating their state!

I am making this post a BuzzFeed style of post.  Because I am going to be quick, and hard hitting.  Sorry if I upset anyone, especially in government, at least my mom was honest when she filled out the disability paperwork.

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1. Alabama’s Unemployment Problems Are Getting Worse

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For two months in a row this Summer, the unemployment rate in Alabama rose.  In fact, Alabama was the only state in America to see the unemployment rate go up!  Things are not better.  Alabama was second to last for job growth in 2013, only Alaska was worse.  And things get only worse, according to this map below from Bloomberg, Alabama’s employment rate is down 4.6 percent from a pre-recession high, that’s the 2nd worst in America.

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So, what does all of this mean?  It means the government down in Montgomery is not doing enough to bring new jobs into Alabama.  Yes, the unemployment rate went down in September, but that was mostly because people have given up looking for work.  In Calhoun County, the September unemployment rate was 6.7%, but in a one year period, the county has seen a decline of 1,620 jobs, that is not good!  Alabama needs to change how jobs are recruited, and fast!

2.  Alabama’s Education Funding Is In Trouble

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Alabama’s schools have gone through a lot!  Schools have seen so much funding cut, some schools are asking the students to bring in toilet paper, yes toilet paper.  Some say the school budgets were too high, but I am here to tell you that the schools are in trouble.  And the budgets have been cut, big time!  According to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, Alabama has seen the second highest cuts to public education.  Funding has been cut 17.8% since 2008, that’s bad!

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When teachers have to spend money out of their pocket for classroom supplies, we have got a problem.  Most of the cuts to school funding is due to Alabama’s outdated and weird tax structure.  Some schools rely on the profits from high school football games to provide funding for schools.  Alabama has got a problem with public education funding, and it must be fixed!

3.  Alabama’s Prisons Are In Trouble

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Alabama’s prisons are way overcrowded!  The federal guideline for prison capacity is 130%.  In Alabama, the prison capacity is way over 130%, and if nothing is done to lower the prison population, the federal government will come in, and solve the prison overcrowding for Alabama.  Why is the prisons in Alabama overcrowed?  It comes from a variety of factors.  Most of the problems are thanks to the lawmakers in Montgomery.

People in Alabama want to be tough on crime, and lock them up and throw away the key.  But, when you don’t properly fund the prison system, you have a problem.  Some people say take away the comforts in prison and bring back chain gangs, that will not happen.  What it will take you ask?  More funding and shorter sentences.  Funding will never come, but shorter sentences might.  Either way, I think the prison system will be taken over, and Alabama is going to pay for it!

4.  Alabama’s Tax Code Is Stuck In The Early 1900’s

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When the state constitution was written back in the early 1900’s, it was written by large land owners and farmers.  The result today, people who own large tracts of land barely pay any property tax.  And people who own timber or farming plots barely pay anything in taxes.  For homeowners who sit on land, the property tax is really, really low.  If you doubled the property tax in Alabama, we would still have the lowest property taxes in America.

To make up for the extremely low property and income taxes, Alabama has a really regressive sales tax.  Many cities now charge a 10% sales tax, and it’s imposed on mostly everything, from your groceries to your clothing.  With a general fund deficit up to $250 million, you would think the legislature would look at redoing the tax code.  But they are too busy making sure the well off people keeps most of their money.  I have always said if Robin Hood arrived in Alabama, he would be beaten and kicked out of the state.

5.  Alabama Passes Laws That Costs The State To Defend

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The Alabama Legislature has been busy passing certain laws, that has to be defended.  For example, the immigration law passed by the state has been mostly gutted, thanks to the federal government.  But it did not stop the state from spending money to defend the law, but they lost.  At the same time, the state even cut back funding for the state crime labs, and now the state has to spend money from lawsuits because people can’t get a fair and speedy trial.

I have a feeling the legislature will pass more laws that the state will have to eventually defend, and cost money.  Who cares about our schools, we have to make sure we can gut parts of the civil rights act, or make sure we chase out anyone who is not legal in America.  It keeps getting better and better in Alabama.  Hey, we cut back and closed down certain agencies, and use part of that money to defend lawsuits, Alabama is funny sometimes.

6.  Alabama’s Roads Are In Trouble

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The funding for roads and highways are in the toilet.  Many bridges in Alabama are too weak school buses can’t go across.  Many roads in Alabama needs to be widen, but that won’t happen because of lack of funding.  And many roads in Alabama feature bad asphalt, and some cities are so broke they are repaving their roads with tar and gravel.  Yes, some major road networks are being redone with tar and gravel, it makes our state look really bad!

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The state is having to borrow money to repave roads, and the state is hoping the federal laws will change so we can toll the entire interstate system.  There is a website called the US Tolling Coalition, and Alabama is the only state in America that has the DOT, and the major road building association both supporting tolling roads to pay for road upkeep.  Now ask me, who would pay a toll for traveling on freeways, most people would not!

7.  Alabama’s Animal Welfare Is Messed Up

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Alabama has some of the worst animal welfare laws in America.  Alabama recently was in the news for the largest busted dog fighting ring ever found.  Alabama has numerous stray dogs running around, since some governments can’t fund animal control, and animal shelters.  And Alabama has a board that is trying to shut down low-cost spay and neuter clinics across the state, only because vets can’t make big money.

Yep, greed has an impact on the health and impact of animals in Alabama.  While the human beings make big money, so they can have more power, the animals have to suffer.  Alabama has some of the weakest cockfighting laws in America, and some adults actually take their children to chicken or dog fights, that does happen!  Unless Alabama decides to strengthen animal welfare laws, we will continue to be laughed at!

8.  Alabama’s Government Is Corrupt

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Alabama is sadly known for its corruption.  We have watched legislators, mayors, councilmen, commissioners, and even governors get convicted of corruption and go to prison.  When money gets involved, people in power mostly goes to the dark side of the force.  People in power needs all the money they can get, since in Alabama, money equals your power rank.  Plus, there are plenty of back room deals still being made in Montgomery, our people at work!

The legislature has passed laws to try to limit the corruption, but even today, more people in power are being charged with corruption.  To stop the corruption, Alabama needs to impose term limits on the legislature, extremely limit the power of lobbyists, and cut the pay of the legislature, who has one of the highest pay scales of any legislature in America.  Will you see this happen, probably not!

9.  Alabama Would Rather Cut Safety Nets

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Alabama thinks making safety net programs like food stamps and welfare harder to get will make lazy people get off their butts and work, boy are they wrong!  People are getting government assistance because the jobs are not there!  Instead of the legislature working to bring more jobs to Alabama, they would rather require people to work to get SNAP benefits.  Here is something you need to know, Alabama re-instated work requirements to get food stamps.  Sorry mom if you have to start paying for my groceries as well.

Here is another fact to consider.  If Paul Ryan got his away, and transformed all welfare programs into “opportunity grants”, Alabama would screw the funding up big time.  People would starve, suffer, and struggle, because the people in power in Montgomery values people with money more than people without money.  Who cares if poor people starve or are homeless, they have to make sure the well off people gets more well off.

10.  Alabama’s Constitution Needs To Be Re-Written

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Alabama’s budgets are so bad, people wait up to 8 hours for a driver’s license, crime labs takes years to process crime scenes, gas pumps have not been inspected for years, court fees have risen big time for small crimes, and so on.  A lot of this is due to Alabama’s outdated and long constitution.  Yes, the state has tried to re-write articles in the constitution, but the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that unconstitutional.

The only way the economy and education in Alabama will improve is with a new constitution.  But the lawmakers are too busy doing other things, and are afraid the tax code could be altered.  The constitution is so outdated, voters get to vote on amendments in other counties, that should not apply to them.  The only way Alabama improves, is by holding a constitutional convention, but sadly you won’t see that happening anytime soon.

Other bad things about Alabama, the state has the worst economy in the southeast.  The state has one of the worst average credit rankings.  The state has one of the worst qualities of life in America.  Alabama’s economy is the sixth slowest in the U.S.  Alabama is one of the least happiest states in America.  And of course, Alabama has some of the highest income inequality in America.  I could go on and on, but you should know the story already, the state of Alabama is in serious trouble, thanks Tea Party!  As Del Marsh would say on his flyer, vote like your job depends on it, I know how I will be voting!

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I have watched several people around this area leave Alabama in the last few months, I guess it won’t be long now until I am next!  I wanted to end this post with an update on my disability process.  These three pictures below explains what a psychologist said at an appointment.  To sum things up, I don’t think I will be getting approved for disability, and I won’t be finding any jobs in Alabama as well, what does a person do?  Voc Rehab is not an option, since the state has cut that back too.

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