Is the economy recession prone?

Most of us focus on decisions affecting our daily lives — earning an income, spending, investing and looking ahead to our retirement. Businesses face similar choices about production, advertising, workers and pricing. Economists call these types of choices microeconomic...

Licensing boards protect businesses, not consumers

Professional licensing boards are prevalent in states across the country and pretend to be consumer protection agencies. But in reality, such boards were established as — and continue to be — political tools to protect the current class of professionals and businesses from...

There has to be a better way to run a state

Exhausted legislators finally saw the closing gavel and heard the fat lady sing the “sine die,” followed quickly by the Hallelujah chorus striking up the perennial tune, “There has to be a better way to run a state.” Republicans sang that song when Democrats ran things. Now the...

Incumbents squash challengers in fundraising

Chalk it up as another way that incumbent legislators in general have a distinct advantage over challengers in N.C. General Assembly races this and every other election year. Besides the name recognition and the drawing of legislative districts to favor one political party over...

From poet to potter, and that’s OK

The recent flap about Gov. McCrory’s probably well-meaning, but totally clueless appointment of a new North Carolina poet laureate (who later resigned) sent me for a look back at my own skimpy collection of published poems. It’s been years since I’ve written any poetry other than...