Opinion (572)

I’ve written volumes over the past few years about the way North Carolina controls distilled spirits.

There’s little need to recount the many problems here, other than to say the coronavirus and the ensuing consumer panic has exposed the N.C. Alcoholic Beverage Control system for what is.

It’s draconian and harsh. Arcane and unfriendly to small producers and consumers.

All of that.

Friday, 20 March 2020 18:40

COLUMN: Flattening the economy 'because virus'

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I write this on March 18, now having watched a 180-degree reversal of how we think about contagious disease. Formerly, we would put sick people in quarantine and respect the right of healthy people to go about their lives. Now we are on the brink of martial law. In our zeal to fight the coronavirus, we are shutting down travel, public gatherings, restaurants, etc.

Friday, 20 March 2020 18:25

COLUMN: Don't panic. We've got this

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There are a lot of you out there that could use some levity. The events of the last week or so have whipped this country into a frenzy not seen in a very long time. Some folks believe it will blow over in a few weeks and others think it is the apocalypse. 

As both former N.C. Insurance Commissioner and a fellow citizen looking for solutions, here's a reasonable proposal for N.C. I've been considering for the last several weeks as we fight the coronavirus pandemic.

I want to share this announcement with you about the status of Richmond Community College as we face the corona virus together. I have just updated our employees and informed them on recent developments and the next steps in our response to this virus. As the virus spreads and touches us all in new and unexpected ways, our college and each of us individually, we have to continue to adapt and be resilient. 

Most of us can’t remember a time of such widespread disruption. The spread of coronavirus has wreaked havoc on the economy, on families, on how and where we work, on how we live and communicate. Our health care system is fragile and stretched.    

Wednesday, 18 March 2020 18:16

COLUMN: Pandemic tests our institutions

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The COVID-19 outbreak has already taken lives, disrupted families and communities, and inflicted significant damage on our economy. Will it also inflict significant damage on the core institutions of our free society?

On March 12, the New York Federal Reserve announced a $1.5 trillion injection of money into the U.S. financial system. Three days later, it cut its benchmark interest rate to zero and announced it would be buying at least $500 billion in government bonds and another $200 billion in mortgage securities.

Want to know how much your police chief and school principal are paid? How about a full rundown of your city council’s spending during that out-of-state conference? The information’s yours for the asking.

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