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When then-Congressman Jim Martin ran for governor in 1984, he sought to combine Reagan-era thinking about free markets with the practical approach to government he’d learned two decades earlier as commission chairman of North Carolina’s most-populous county, Mecklenburg.

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On Sept. 15, I wrote a column responding to President Joe Biden’s announcement of a new federal mandate that large employers, federal contractors, and certain other business establishments require their employees either to be vaccinated or to undergo frequent COVID-19 testing.

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The $1 trillion infrastructure bill President Joe Biden signed into law on Nov. 15 attracted the votes of both Republican and Democratic lawmakers in Washington and has attracted praise from many North Carolina leaders, as well — once more illustrating the fact that bad ideas can also be pop…

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When Carolina Journal first reported first-term U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn’s intention to abandon his current district next year to run in an adjacent one, CJ quoted Cawthorn as saying his decision was part of “a strategy to increase conservativism in North Carolina.”

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The COVID-19 crisis had enormous and destructive consequences for our health, our economy, our education systems, and the quality of our social and family lives. Now, just imagine how much worse the consequences would have been in the absence of modern information and computer technology (ICT).

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A year ago, would you have correctly guessed that meetings of local school boards would be among the most politically charged events of 2021, and that school board races would be among the most contested of the next election cycle? If so, more power to you. I would have gotten those question…

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Closing down school buildings for many months last year — and offering poorly planned and executed virtual schooling as an inadequate substitute — proved to be a disaster for North Carolina children, families, and the education system itself.

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In the England of the early 20th century, there were no two writers more dissimilar than G.K. Chesterton and George Bernard Shaw. Chesterton was a conservative who wrote literary essays, a long-running newspaper column, and the popular Father Brown series of detective stories. Shaw was a soc…

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The latest news about North Carolina transportation was no surprise. In a pattern all too familiar, our leaders have planned for and promised more highway projects than can be financed with current revenue sources.

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According to the most recent ranking I can find, North Carolina requires state-approved licenses in more occupations (nearly 200) than most other states do. North Carolina licenses twice as many occupations as Virginia does, and three times as many as South Carolina.

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When demand exceeds supply, prices rise. While the problem of housing affordability has many facets and effects, that inescapable fact explains a lot about why so many North Carolinians struggle to afford the homes they’d like to buy or rent.

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Because political behavior is a rich and fascinating field of study, you can find many valid and useful theories to explain why conservatives and progressives disagree about the proper role of government. Here’s one with salience right now: the Right and Left disagree about personal agency.

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North Carolinians disagree about a great deal. But here’s a proposition virtually all of us endorse: the future of our state is closely tied to the amount and quality of education our people receive.

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Here are three true statements, as best I can determine. First, Americans of all backgrounds have experienced gigantic declines in poverty over the past two generations. Second, most diversity training is worse than a waste of time. Third, police officers are no more likely to kill minoritie…

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Plenty of politicians, planners and business folks think they know what North Carolina’s post-pandemic economy will look like. But few seem entirely sure. They are noticeably hedging their predictions, which I consider to be a wise precaution. They ought to be hedging their bets, as well.

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In a few weeks, New York Times reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones will join the faculty of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media, as the Knight Chair in Race and Investigative Journalism. She accepted a five-year contract as a professor of the pra…

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According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Americans of Filipino descent had a median household income of just over $100,000 in 2019. The median household income of white Americans that year was about $66,000.

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For weeks after the ballots were counted, supporters of the defeated presidential candidate insisted the election had been stolen. Some alleged a shadowy conspiracy to rig vote-counting machines, throwing out just enough legal votes and manufacturing just enough illegal ones to decide the outcome.

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Now that Democrats control the White House and both chambers of Congress (however narrowly), they will probably approve a new round of federal borrowing to bail out state and local governments with shaky finances.

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The COVID-19 crisis has brought death, economic destruction, and wrenching social change. As a combination of post-illness immunity and rising vaccinations begins to suppress the pandemic, we’re going to feel a powerful impulse to put as much of this horrendous experience as possible behind us.

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Among the many reasons the political discourse in Washington has gotten so toxic, and at the same time so unproductive, is that the legislative branch of our federal government has allowed itself to become increasingly irrelevant.

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When Democrats attack pro-growth tax reform as “trickle-down economics,” I can understand their rhetorical intent. But the charge is silly on multiple levels — including the fact that every Democrat whoever serves in state or local office spends great time and effort to try to recruit busine…

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After getting many political predictions wrong in 2016, including but not limited to the results of the presidential election, I threw my long-cherished crystal ball out and started building a new one.

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As of November, North Carolina’s state government has some $4 billion in unreserved cash in its General Fund, plus well north of $1 billion in its rainy-day account and other reserves.

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Despite the current spike in COVID-19 infections and deaths, there is good news on the not-so-distant horizon. Three effective vaccines are in the pipeline. Some North Carolinians — those battling coronavirus on the frontlines as well as those put at greatest risk by infection — will be vacc…