Columnist: John Hood

May. 14, 2015 @ 09:50 AM

How McCrory gets judged

Pat McCrory will likely run for reelection next year as governor of North Carolina against longtime Attorney General Roy Cooper. Both men are capable candidates who will run skillful, well-funded campaigns. Given the larger political context, I see the contest as unpredictable at the moment. But there are a couple of things we can say with confidence about it.


Apr. 18, 2015 @ 12:12 PM

Freedom is a weighty issue

Have you been eating right? Getting enough exercise? How far away are you from your ideal weight?


Apr. 04, 2015 @ 11:35 PM

Georgia on my mind

According to most economic indicators, North Carolina’s economy is on the upswing. Job growth exceeds the regional and national averages. The state’s recent decline in unemployment -- even when you include discouraged workers who’ve dropped out of the labor force -- is one of the largest in the country.


Mar. 28, 2015 @ 07:31 PM

Careful about rule changes for state’s elections

To the extent that Roy Cooper has a reasonable chance of defeating Gov. Pat McCrory for reelection, it’s because many of his fellow Democrats failed in their efforts to change the electoral process in 1980s and early 1990s.


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.