John Hood

John Hood

Monday, 14 January 2019 12:57

COLUMN: State regulatory reform is working

Milton Friedman once observed that “nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program.” To be sure, spending bills or regulations initially sold as limited responses to specific conditions often take on a life of their own. They create constituencies that receive funds or protection from the program and thus have a strong interest in converting the temporary into the permanent.

 The average public-school district in the United States enrolls about 3,700 students, according to a recent Governing magazine analysis. In North Carolina, the average school district enrolls more than 12,500 students. Only six other states in the nation exceed North Carolina in this regard (including Hawaii, where all 187,000 students are in a single district).

Monday, 31 December 2018 13:51

COLUMN: Evidence ought to shape policy

As dysfunctional as Congress has become, it does manage to enact some useful bills. One of them, the Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018, was championed by outgoing Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Washington). It promotes data-sharing and policy evaluation throughout the federal government.

Wednesday, 26 December 2018 13:37

COLUMN: Do politicians really want to lead?

As another year draws to a close, a year of Democratic resurgence in both national and local politics, I offer this challenge to incumbent and newly elected lawmakers alike. Do you really want to be leaders? Or do you just want to be politicians?

While the term “whataboutism” may be relatively new — coined within the last few decades, and newly prominent in the age of Donald Trump — the logical fallacy it denotes is as ancient as politics itself.

Monday, 10 December 2018 13:51

COLUMN: Take time to broaden the mind

In the January 1953 edition of the magazine If: Worlds of Science Fiction, a fan of the genre from Texas, Marilyn Venable, made her debut as an author. “Time Enough at Last,” Venable’s story of a bookish man who survives a nuclear holocaust, made such an impression that Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling chose it as the first story not written by himself to be adapted for the initial season of his pioneering television series. 

Wednesday, 05 December 2018 13:14

COLUMN: Silent Sam to get a fort

In response to the toppling in August of the Confederate Monument at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chancellor Carol Folt and other UNC leaders have proposed a controversial solution: a new $5.3 million building on campus that will cost $800,000 a year to operate.

Some are outraged that Silent Sam will be returning to UNC at all, as one of the exhibits in the new University History and Education Center. Others, inclined to defend the state’s Civil War heritage, dislike the idea of relocating the monument to a less-traveled corner of the campus. And taxpayers across the political spectrum are aghast at the multi-million-dollar cost.

Wednesday, 28 November 2018 15:15

COLUMN: Redistributing income isn't investment

Whether your frame of reference is a country, a government, a business, or your own household, being better off in the long run requires patience and discipline in the short run. To have more income tomorrow, you must deny some immediate gratification today. You must save and invest.

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