Opinion & Commentary

Opinion: Choice Should Guide School Reopening

July 6, 2020

by John Hood If you are among the minority of North Carolinians who haven’t supported the expansion of parental choice in education over the past two decades — in the form of charter schools, open enrollment among district schools, and aid to private-school students who have special needs or modest household incomes — the challenge of COVID-19 presents you with an excellent opportunity to reconsider your position. School choice isn’t some scary conspiracy or ideological scheme. It is a basic tool for addressing a practical reality: people are different. One size does not fit all. Gov. Roy Cooper and his…

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State Shouldn’t Play Favorites

July 1, 2020

by John Hood With hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians out of work and millions fearful about their futures, state and local policymakers are about to encounter a parade of companies, industries, and special-interest groups asking for targeted tax breaks and other handouts. They should say no. Making North Carolina a more attractive place to live, work, shop, invest, and create businesses must be a high priority. But secret deals and preferential treatment are the wrong tools for the job. While they butt heads on other issues, conservatives and progressives ought to agree on this. Company A ought not to…

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EO 147’s Facemask Enforcement: Practical Problems and Legal Concerns

June 29, 2020

by Jeanette Doran The Governor issued yet another order on June 24. This one imposing a statewide “face covering” requirement. In Executive Order 147, Cooper ordered the use of face coverings by most North Carolinians whether they are inside or outside, unless an exception applies. While there is some debate about the efficacy of face coverings and government guidance on their use has changed, let’s just assume for the sake of discussion that face coverings work to stem the spread of coronavirus. Let’s also assume for the sake of argument that the Governor has the authority to impose upon individuals a statewide face covering mandate. Now…

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Progressive Politicians Hurt Downtowns

June 29, 2020

by John Hood Conventional wisdom has it that progressives champion urbanity and conservatives disdain it. There’s some truth to that. Progressives are far more likely than conservatives to prefer walkable, high-density communities over auto-dependent, detached-dwelling neighborhoods. Urban areas tend to vote heavily Democratic and rural areas Republican. Even in the more-competitive suburbs, those closest to downtowns tilt blue while outer-ring suburbs and exurbs are red. But in day-to-day life, the polarities aren’t so stark. For example, plenty of both conservatives and progressives work in downtown offices, dine or go to shows downtown, and then spend most nights and weekends elsewhere.…

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Cooper Commits Monumental Error

June 27, 2020

by John Hood As soon as he heard the news that a mob had torn down statues on the grounds of North Carolina’s State Capitol on the evening of June 19, Gov. Roy Cooper realized his mistake. He had not been clear enough in instructing his aides, including Secretary of Public Safety Eric Hooks. He knew he’d have to take decisive action. Hours before, the State Capitol Police and other law enforcement had already effectively diverted and defeated an earlier attempt to pull down statues honoring Confederate soldiers and their families. But a new mob was gathering, intent on criminal…

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