John Hood

John Hood

When it comes to public affairs, bad news is good and good news is bad. That is, political speeches and media pieces that describe a problem as big and getting worse tend to attract more attention, so more are produced. That, in turns, fuels more public disaffection. It’s a vicious cycle.

Gov. Roy Cooper says he won’t sign a new state budget unless the North Carolina General Assembly says yes to Medicaid expansion. The Republican-majority legislature has said no to Medicaid expansion. So far, now weeks into the new fiscal year, neither side has budged.

North Carolina Democrats held the General Assembly after the 2000 elections, as they had for nearly all of the state’s history. During the ensuing 2001 session, top lawmakers, Democratic consultants, and progressive activists devised a set of gerrymanders that would have guaranteed Democratic control of both legislative chambers for years to come, even if most North Carolinians voted for GOP candidates.

Many political and education leaders in North Carolina say that our economy would be better off if our level of educational attainment was higher. They’re probably right about that, as long as their definition of “educational attainment” is sufficiently broad.

What do North Carolina voters think of the job Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper has done over his first two and a half years in the office? The signals are mixed at the moment.

RALEIGH — To the ears of politically engaged North Carolinians, it may sound strange to hear claims that changes in partisan control don’t yield significant changes in state policy. But among scholars, this has been a widespread view for many decades.

Although policymakers sometimes portray increasing access and reducing cost as separate objectives for health care reform, the two are closely related. When North Carolinians lack immediate access to primary care or mental health services, they bear the cost either of waiting for an appointment or of traveling long distances to get the care they need.

In 1940, some 3.6 million people lived in North Carolina, ranking the state 11th in the nation in population and first in the Southeast. Across the South as a whole, only Texas (6.4 million) was more populous.

In an act of integrity that also proved to be politically shrewd, future President John Adams served as defense counsel for British redcoats involved in the Boston Massacre of 1770.

 

We all want North Carolina to be an attractive place to live, work, create jobs, rear families, and build communities. When we move from ends to means, the level of disagreement moves from low to high.

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