by John Hood RALEIGH — I once found a $20 bill on a sidewalk in Washington, D.C. I picked it up, thus ruining the punchline of an old joke. Two economists are walking along when one points to a $20 bill. The other shakes his head. “That’s not really there, because if it were someone…

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by John Hood RALEIGH — With negotiators for the North Carolina House and Senate confirming that they’ve agreed on the broad outlines of a state budget for next year, the prospect of ending the state’s 2.5% corporate income tax is one step closer to becoming reality. A phase-out is already in the Senate’s budget plan,…

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by John Hood RALEIGH — 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. There are unanswered questions…

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by John Hood RALEIGH — The latest estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show about 251,000 North Carolinians unemployed as of April, down about 58,000 since the beginning of 2021. Alas, the news about our labor market isn’t as good as you might think. Of those 58,000 fewer unemployed North Carolinians, some 31,000 actually…

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by John Hood RALEIGH — When it comes to our business climate and economic prospects, North Carolinians are used to receiving accolades. Let’s add another to the list. The Cato Institute just released a study of regulatory barriers facing entrepreneurs. North Carolina fared well in the analysis, ranking 12th-best in the nation. No, we weren’t…

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by John Hood   RALEIGH — President Joe Biden wants you to believe that there is no relationship between the extra $300 a week many are receiving in enhanced unemployment-insurance benefits and the shortage of workers now manifest in stores, restaurants, hotels, and other businesses here in North Carolina and across the country. But doesn’t…

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RALEIGH — 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. Based on these two facts, should we conclude that our society is pervasively biased in favor of Filipino immigrants, or…

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by John Hood  RALEIGH — 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. I heard these conspiracy theories many…

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by John Hood RALEIGH — The problem with freedom is that other people may do things that trouble, annoy, or even anger you. In a free society, you have no authority to stop them. Strictly speaking, that’s not a problem. It’s a solution. Throughout most of human history, much suffering has derived from a lack…

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by John Hood RALEIGH — If Californians want to make their government the monopoly payer of all medical bills, why should North Carolinians be able to tell them they can’t? In a federal republic populated by 330 million people spread across some 3.5 million square miles of sprawling territory, we should be asking precisely this…

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