Opinion: Guest Columnists

Jan. 10, 2015 @ 11:20 PM

Building infrastructure – pay me now or pay me later?

My wife recently bought a new car. Well, not exactly “new new,” but “newly used.”  Some experts say this is the best way to purchase vehicles because you get an almost-new car without paying for the excessive depreciation that occurs when a brand-new car is driven off the lot.

Jan. 10, 2015 @ 10:55 PM

School woes aren’t werewolves

Because of the tremendous benefits conferred by better education, it would be great if policymakers knew precisely what silver bullets to fire to eliminate obstacles to higher achievement.

Jan. 07, 2015 @ 10:41 PM

Boehner and the palace coup

This ain't your father's speakership of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Jan. 06, 2015 @ 03:10 PM

Is now a great time to jack up federal gas tax?

It's morning in gas-guzzling America again.

The news stories are full of happy talk about how plunging prices at the pump are tantamount to a raise for everyone who drives.


Jan. 05, 2015 @ 12:44 PM

Black men: Beware of police officers

It's one of the best-known lines of any English-language poet -- Robert Burns' reflection on the upper-class church lady who doesn't realize there's a louse crawling around on her bonnet. "O wad some Pow'r the giftie gie us, To see oursels as ithers see us!"

Jan. 03, 2015 @ 11:23 PM

What will 2015’s economy look like?

Economists receive much attention at the beginning of a new year. Understandably, people want some insight into how the economy will perform. Of course, no economist can predict every individual’s economic outlook. Instead, what we do is try to forecast the general trends in the economy so that households and businesses can make more informed decisions about their personal situations.

Jan. 03, 2015 @ 12:26 AM

What Ferguson tells us about ourselves

How is it that an officer comes to feel threatened enough to reach for a gun more often when confronted with an African-American man or youth than with a white one?  The difference is evident enough in the U.S. National Violent Death Reporting System.

Jan. 01, 2015 @ 12:00 PM

A victory for land preservation

The North Carolina chapter of the Nature Conservancy announced another victory earlier this month with the acquisition of 800 acres in Ashe County. Efforts like this are more important than ever in preserving the natural beauty that makes our state special and keeps tourism dollars flowing.

Dec. 31, 2014 @ 08:47 AM

Court ruling: Advantage, GOP

The N.C. Supreme Court split along partisan lines in a Dec. 19 ruling that will lock in place the state's gerrymandered legislative and congressional districts for the rest of the decade.

Dec. 29, 2014 @ 12:58 PM

State’s fast growth is good, but challenging

Neither of these mottoes is likely to adorn North Carolina license plates anytime soon:

We're No. 9

Bigger than Michigan

Dec. 29, 2014 @ 12:29 PM

Pragmatism, not emotion, must guide Cuba policy

"With all due respect." That's a fitting sentiment to express to Cuban-Americans angered by President Obama's decision to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba.

Dec. 28, 2014 @ 09:47 AM

The next division – over sales tax distribution

Republican state legislators who enacted a major tax overhaul last year aren't done. Not by a long shot.

The first round of tax reform was opposed by Democrats. It included steep cuts in the corporate income tax and at the highest personal income-tax rate, plus a broadening of the sales-tax base. The next round may pit poor rural counties against wealthier urban counties

Dec. 27, 2014 @ 11:42 PM

Region no longer sets pace

When the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released its latest jobs report on Dec, 19, most North Carolina politicians, journalists, economists, and policy analysts immediately zeroed in on the state’s recent performance. It’s easy to understand why — and the news for North Carolina was mostly good. But there’s a larger story worth telling, too.

Dec. 27, 2014 @ 11:15 PM

InterNeighborhood Council looking for neighborhood heroes

Communities have their quaint, quirky and just plain weird traditions.  This is certainly true of Durham, and its InterNeighborhood Council.  After all, a collection of neighborhoods, some formally organized as neighborhood associations, others as homeowners associations, and, at least one, as a deliberately chaotic nonorganization probably has quaint, quirky and weird carefully crafted into its bylaws.

Dec. 27, 2014 @ 10:59 AM

While we nap, the money flows

This is the point to which America has evolved:

Congress -- or a handful of congressional leaders, at least -- wants to let the very richest Americans contribute mind-bending sums of money to political parties, far more than they've ever been allowed to give. They know such a proposal could never withstand a vigorous debate and an up-or-down vote.