Columnist: John Hood

Mar. 05, 2015 @ 01:39 PM

We need a balanced diet of news and information

Thank you for reading this column. It’s not just that I appreciate your interest in what I have to say. I appreciate the fact that you are reading this publication at all. According to a recent set of surveys by the Pew Research Center, a distressing number of our fellow citizens rely mostly on television to inform themselves about politics and government.


Feb. 14, 2015 @ 10:35 PM

School letter grades teach many lessons

Those who care about education reform learned a lot on Feb. 5 when North Carolina released its first letter grades for public schools. The grades reflect three sets of information: average performance on end-of-year tests, the amount of annual growth in those scores, and graduation rates.


Jan. 31, 2015 @ 10:14 AM

Free speech faces threats

Freedom of speech is one of the core values of a free society. It ought to be appreciated and protected by Americans across the political spectrum. Unfortunately, it is not. And while no party or faction is immune from the temptation to silence messages or messengers they don’t like, most of the threats to free speech today come from the modern Left.


Jan. 17, 2015 @ 10:36 AM

UNC-Chapel Hill policy draws lawsuit

Another wave of bad publicity and legal questions isn’t what the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill needs. But that’s exactly what the school is getting, thanks to its longstanding and troubling use of race as a major factor in admissions.


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. 02, 2015 @ 11:22 AM

Ready or not, GOP candidates are coming

Is North Carolina ready to be an early stop on the road to the White House?


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. 20, 2014 @ 10:51 AM

Wake up with a startup

The U.S. economy continues to recover from the depths of the Great Recession, and North Carolina continues to recover at a faster rate than the national average. But few would describe the general trend as impressive by historical standards.


Dec. 13, 2014 @ 01:06 PM

Got to pick a pocket?

Did Fagin’s pickpockets stimulate the economy of London?

If you’ve read Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist or seen the musical derived from it, you’ll immediately recognize the name.


Dec. 06, 2014 @ 08:20 AM

Some reforms have bipartisan support

Although the gap between Republicans and Democrats in North Carolina is rather wide on many issues — tax policy and Medicaid expansion come to mind — there are still some prospects for bipartisan cooperation in 2015 and beyond.


Nov. 29, 2014 @ 07:48 AM

New speaker troubles eeyore caucus

When the news broke that Rep. Tim Moore would be the Republican nominee for speaker of the North Carolina House and Rep. Mike Hager would be majority leader, the usual suspects did the usual things.


Nov. 20, 2014 @ 10:16 AM

States should think long-term on spending, taxes

RALEIGH — Although I support the tax cuts and other fiscal policies adopted by the North Carolina General Assembly and Gov. Pat McCrory over the past two years, I have repeatedly urged policymakers and commentators alike to avoid making grandiose claims about those policies’ immediate effects on North Carolina’s economy.


Nov. 12, 2014 @ 12:04 AM

Best election pollster in North Carolina was…

Polling, it is said, is more of an art than a science. Pollsters are among the first to say this — particularly when the products, causes or candidates they project to succeed fall flat. When their predictions turn out to be on the mark, however, pollsters hope you picture them with pocket protectors instead of palettes.


Nov. 08, 2014 @ 08:43 AM

Let’s spend like it’s 1969

Government is far, far bigger than it used to be. Liberals generally cheer this development. Conservatives regret it. To understand the disagreement about this change, one must first understand the magnitude of the change.


Oct. 31, 2014 @ 07:47 AM

Where stand the state’s two Jims?

As the 2014 election cycle draws to a close, few states have drawn so much national attention as North Carolina, thanks to the tight Hagan-Tillis race, the dramatic turn in state government from blue to red, and our status as a presidential swing state in 2008 and 2012.

For longtime residents of the state, however, national attention is nothing new.