First of all, before any Politicians’ lies are repeated, consider this. DSS has reported for years that over 20,000 people in Cleveland County are on Food Stamps. How do I know? I asked DSS and they provided the information through County Attorney Tim Moore.
20,000 plus people in Cleveland County represent over 20% of our total population.
and 50% of our total workforce. To qualify for FoodStamps personal income must be below certain minimum amounts. There are various reasons but mainly because the recipients are unemployed or underemployed. Other reasons are FoodStamps are the desired currency of the drug trade. Drug Dealers can sell a $25 rock of “crack” cocaine for a $100 FoodStamp. Then the Drug Dealer takes the $100 FoodStamp to a middleman who gives the Drug Dealer $50, doubling his money. Then the middleman redeems the $100 FoodStamp for $100, doubling his money too. Now, they do the same thing with the EBT Cards that are supposed to be foolproof, but they are far from foolproof as everybody in the drug trade knows. DSS records also show ZERO prosecutions for FoodStamp Fraud. It’s a perfect crime.
Lying by Politicians appears to be a perfect crime too. Let’s examine the record of Commissioner Chairman “Massa Eddie” Holbrook. And I am not just picking on Massa Eddie because every vote by the Commissioners for years has been unanimous. All the commissioners vote like Massa Eddie tells them–so one example fits all.
Massa Eddie repeatedly and falsely claims that he has brought in so many $Billions in Tax Base and 8,000 new jobs. The truth is the coal fired Duke Power Expansion Project at Cliffside and the natural gas fired NTE Energy plant near Kings Mountain are combined multi-billion dollar projects with ZERO involvement from Massa Eddie and the other commissioners. When construction is over the vast majority of those construction jobs will go somewhere else besides Cleveland County. Massa Eddie never accounts for the jobs that are lost from his phony brags. Figure in Indian Motor Cycles, Bayliner Boats, etc. And Schletter who just got here and have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Massa Eddie’s 8,000 jobs get whittled down quite a bit but he will never tell.
Now, looking at the Economy.
Since Donald Trump was Elected President in 2016 the National Economy is booming:
The economy in Cleveland County is booming too. Massa Eddie takes credit, claiming our county unemployment rate is 4.1%. Never attempting to explain the over 20,000 on FoodStamps.
But the National Average unemployment rate is 3.9%. Cleveland County’s rate is 5% higher than the national average.
Now, lets look at Catawba County (without Massa Eddie) with an unemployment rate of only 3.5%. Cleveland County’s rate is almost 20% higher than next door Catawba County.
Lincoln County unemployment rate is 3.7%, Burke County unemployment rate is 4.0%, Rutherford County unemployment rate is 5.8%. So Cleveland County is worse than Lincoln, Burke and Catawba Counties and only better than Rutherford County. Not much to brag about for Massa Eddie amongst those that pay attention.
But Massa Eddie never talks about how Cleveland County went so high in unemployment about 8-10 years ago after the housing bust. Records show that Cleveland County Unemployment rates soared past 15% plus. The record high for the whole state of North Carolina was 11.3% in January 2010. (The record low for NC was 3.1% in March 1999.) The record high for all of the USA was 10.8% during the past 8-10 years.
So, there you have it. During Massa Eddie Holbrook’s 12 years as a Cleveland County Commissioner Unemployment rates were always higher than those around us, the State of North Carolina and the whole of the USA during good economic times as well as bad economic times. Only foolish people believe Massa Eddie has done such a good job with Economic Development as Massa Eddie says he has done.
The bad news is Cleveland County is losing population. Not by so many dying early but because workers “are getting the heck out of Dodge” per Commissioner Susan Allen’s description at a recent Commissioner’s meeting. Workers are leaving for better jobs elsewhere and taking their families too. Massa Eddie’s own words were Cleveland County Schools as well as Cleveland Community College had failed our students. As a Commissioner Massa Eddie has funded both CCS, CCC and DSS (which is a WorkFirst Agency-they claim), but provided no oversight, no guidance and no direction. Now Massa Eddie is blaming CCS and CCC for what he had a big part of causing. Especially since Massa Eddie is a Senior Dean for Development and Government Relations at CCC at a pay of around $125,000 last time I looked.