John Hood

John Hood

Monday, 20 September 2021 11:11

OPINION: Income and poverty facts matter

The income of the median American household fell by nearly 3% last year as the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent regulations shuttered many businesses for months, closed others for good, and forced still other employers to cut back on hours and wages for the people they still employed.

Do the ends justify the means? This familiar question produces strong feelings precisely because its answer is necessarily complicated. Just about all of us admit to a scenario, such as the proverbial ticking time-bomb, in which we would countenance unsavory means if required to save lives. In general, however, most religious and ethical traditions teach that we are not permitted to use injurious or unethical means to accomplish even noble ends.

Monday, 06 September 2021 12:48

OPINION: Make licensing reform a priority

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.

Monday, 30 August 2021 12:31

OPINION: Families are swinging suburban

 It’s my go-to slide. I’ve shown it to all the classes I teach at Duke University. The slide is striking. It’s revealing.

And now it’s out of date.

Wednesday, 25 August 2021 12:15

OPINION: CON laws are too risky

I’ve long thought the North Carolina General Assembly should reform our state’s archaic and anti-competitive requirement for certificates-of-need. In the post-COVID world we are entering, however, CON reform is no longer just a good idea. It’s an imperative.

In a nationwide Reuters/Ipsos poll taken on Aug. 11 and 12, approximately 51% of Americans approved of President Joe Biden’s job performance, while 43% disapproved. Just one week later, the same pollster found a strikingly different result: 46% approval, 49% disapproval.

Why won’t North Carolina Democrats accept the results of an election? Don’t they believe in democracy?


Just about everyone has an opinion about how to improve education, and it’s usually an opinion passionately held and forcefully argued. It’s not hard to see why. After all, schools are the single-largest expenditure of state taxpayers’ funds. Educational mediocrity is the common denominator of many other social maladies. Most folks have spouses, siblings, parents, or other family members in the teaching profession. And everyone has been a student.

Monday, 02 August 2021 10:47

OPINION: Merit pay boosts student success

How much say should the public have about public education? Parental revolts against “wokeness” fads in the classroom are all the rage right now, but gaps between public preferences and the practice of public education didn’t suddenly begin a few months ago. They’ve been around for decades.

Most students attend colleges or universities primarily to acquire the knowledge, skills, and credentials required to get a rewarding job.

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