Plant the seed for fruitful debate

I’m told that while there is no firmly established gift tradition for a 28th anniversary, the modern practice is to signify the event with an orchid. Well, this month marks the 28th anniversary of the birth of my syndicated column on North Carolina politics and public policy. It...

What largely explains the drop

The next time you see or hear a politician, policy analyst, activist or journalist say that North Carolina’s unemployment rate has fallen “largely” because of workers dropping out of the labor force, ask for a definition of the term. I don’t mean the term “unemployment rate.”...

Serve a different plate

As often happens at the North Carolina General Assembly, the new fiscal year has begun with the House and Senate not yet finished with a budget-adjustment bill. Medicaid funding, teacher compensation and a few other issues continue to divide the two chambers. Call me odd — it’ll...

Government spending remains high

Fiscal conservatives think government is too large, costs too much and tries to do too much. Fiscal liberals think government is too small, spends too little and doesn’t try to do enough. This is a yawning gap in philosophy. Still, if we stipulate that the two sides disagree...

North Carolina politics and the Bard

by John Hood “I am hurt,” says the dying Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet after trying to stand up for his friend Romeo and getting stabbed for it. “A plague o’ both your houses!” In popular remembrance, we actually invest the Bard’s line with even more poetic force by...