John Hood

John Hood

North Carolina’s economy is opening up after nearly two months of lockdown. I wish the reopening was faster, broader, and more reflective of the varying conditions across the state. I recognize others strongly disagree. But at least the question of whether to begin rebuilding our businesses and restoring our freedoms has now been answered in the affirmative.

Monday, 04 May 2020 12:43

COLUMN: Debt only delays what is due

Set aside for the moment how quickly and to what extent North Carolina and other states should reopen our economies. Set aside partisan wrangling ahead of the 2020 elections. Set aside the sweeping ideological claims about how COVID-19 “proves” everyone’s preexisting beliefs about the proper size and scope of government.

Wednesday, 29 April 2020 10:34

COLUMN: Radical takes on pandemic are faulty

Are societies with higher levels of public spending and larger, more centralized governments better prepared to deal with crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic?

Monday, 27 April 2020 10:32

COLUMN: Cooper's plan reopens to slowly

At an April 23 press conference, Gov. Roy Cooper gave a reasonable explanation of what led him to institute North Carolina’s statewide stay-at-home order nearly a month earlier. His secretary of health and human services, Dr. Mandy Cohen, gave a reasonable explanation of the metrics the administration is tracking — and why a decline in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases is not necessary to begin a phased reopening of North Carolina’s battered economy.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a column arguing that while a stay-at-home order might be justified as an initial response to an immediate and poorly understood public-health threat, it wasn’t “sustainable” for more than a few weeks.

Monday, 13 April 2020 15:16

COLUMN: The Great Suppression may linger

The 1930s had the Great Depression. The early 21st century had the Great Recession. Now, in the 2020s, we are suffering a Great Suppression.

Monday, 06 April 2020 09:03

COLUMN: Look before you leap on prisons

 Does North Carolina lock up too many people? I’ve long thought so.

 As painful as it is to live under North Carolina’s partial lockdown, just imagine how much worse it would be if the COVID-19 outbreak were happening before the advent of the Internet.

Over the past two weeks, Gov. Roy Cooper and local officials have imposed a regulatory regime of increasing severity on North Carolinians. Their stated goal is to slow the spread of COVID-19 so the number of cases requiring hospitalization won’t shoot far above the maximum capacity of hospitals and other health providers.

As North Carolina and other states inch towards increasingly draconian measures in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, we are all weighing the potential costs of both underreaction and overreaction.

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