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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Robert Sidney Smith, January 25, 1999. Interview I-0081. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Intrusive state government annoys Smith

Smith is annoyed that the state government, while responsive to industry needs, has grown increasingly intrusive. He sees "a whole lot of big brothers at the state level."

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Robert Sidney Smith, January 25, 1999. Interview I-0081. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

JM: Let me ask you this: In the business [community] here, in the Association's work, would you have said there was any significant change, in your feeling, about the responsiveness of government -- of state government -- the quality, the contact with state government between, say, the first Hunt administration, the transition to Jim Martin administration and the transition back to Hunt's? Is that a roller coaster in terms of the business climate, the business issues, or is that essentially a story of continuity across those administrations? SS: I think our state government has been very responsive, both at the legislative and regulatory level. However, I think state government--. As I said, more is being given to them [state government] authority-wise. We've got a new big brother now. Instead of having one big brother in Washington overseeing all of us, you're now getting a whole lot of big brothers at the state level. I think you're finding state government -- whether it be North Carolina, South Carolina or any other state -- you're finding a bigger role, more intrusiveness, more of a heavy hand by state government, now that they've kind of gotten some of it back from Washington. I feel that from our state government. [I feel] that they're getting more heavy handed and more intrusive. [State government is] trying to make a name, trying to be the best state of all the states. We're going to have our environmental laws better than anyone else's environmental laws. We're going to be the toughest on consumer protection. We're going to be the toughest on insurance rates. [There is] a one-upsmanship and kind of a competition. I feel that arising. I don’t relate that to any administration. I think that is a natural evolution of the role of government. Now, I'm sure certain degrees of that would apply from one administration to another, but not the overall trend line.