by John Hood RALEIGH — North Carolina’s state and local governments will likely overspend their projected revenue this year by billions of dollars. So far, few public officials seem panicked about the prospect. Gov. Roy Cooper’s administration ordered some modest cost-saving measures but hasn’t moved nearly as aggressively as previous governors did during past recessions.…

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by John Hood As if the COVID crisis and economic recession weren’t bad enough, here’s some more bad news to process: homicide rates are spiking in many North Carolina communities. Through the end of July, 32 people in Greensboro have been the victims of homicide so far this year, up 52% from the count during…

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by John Hood If you’ve lived in North Carolina for even a few years, you’ve probably formed an opinion about whether statues and monuments honoring Confederate leaders and soldiers ought to remain in or near courthouses, town halls, state buildings, and other public property throughout the state. Whatever your opinion on the issue, you can…

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by John Hood One morning in late March, I drove from my home in Southern Wake County to my office in North Raleigh to pick up some files so I could work from home. As I exited the Beltline onto Six Forks Road, I noticed a deer lying beneath the overpass, the apparent victim of…

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by John Hood For inveterate optimists, the past several months have been excruciating. A global pandemic has produced great suffering and death. A protest movement that began with righteous anger about the death of George Floyd has devolved in all too many locations into vandalism, looting, and violence. Reeling from these blows, economies sank into…

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by John Hood You may recall that back in early April, a panel of health analysts presented Gov. Roy Cooper with two forecasts: 250,000 COVID infections by June 1, if Cooper’s initial lockdown orders were kept in place, or 750,000 infections by June 1 if the orders were lifted. As of July 19, however, there…

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by John Hood RALEIGH — The proposed natural-gas pipeline through Eastern North Carolina is dead. Long live natural gas! Admittedly, there won’t be a coronation ceremony like there would be if a living monarch were replacing a deceased one. But when it comes to reliable, affordable, and environmentally friendly ways to power a 21st-century economy,…

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by John Hood North Carolina’s “headline” unemployment rate in May was 12.9%. That’s the highest monthly rate since the Great Depression. But on a number of occasions during the month, I talked with North Carolina restauranteurs and other business owners who were struggling to fill vacancies as they reopened. Can you have a labor shortage…

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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…

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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…

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