Daily Journal: Legislature Gets A- on Growth
Legislature Gets A- on Growth
By John Hood
Aug. 12th, 2013
RALEIGH — When it comes to addressing North Carolina’s most-pressing challenge, our lackluster economic recovery, the state legislature deserves a grade of A- for its 2013 session. Here’s how I computed the grade.
Last year I wrote and published Our Best Foot Forward: An Investment Plan for North Carolina’s Economic Recovery. The book explored the recent political and economic history of the state, analyzed 20 years of empirical research on state economic development, and offered a 10-point plan, a Carolina Manifesto for Growth, to boost employment and incomes in the state.
The recommendations contained in Our Best Foot Forward were hardly novel ideas. They were based on the practical experience of other states and countries. They were also familiar ideas to longtime readers of Carolina Journal and the research output of the John Locke Foundation, the think tank I have been privileged to lead for nearly two decades.
During 2012, JLF distributed the book widely to lawmakers, candidates, business executives, journalists, community leaders, and other readers. I wrote extensively about the Carolina Manifesto in the pages of CJ and in dozens of newspapers across the state. I made numerous speeches at civic clubs, chambers of commerce, and other venues. In addition, my JLF colleagues discussed each of the plan’s 10 elements in a follow-up book, First in Freedom, as well as in their articles, blog posts, and meetings with policymakers during the 2012 campaign cycle and the 2013 legislative session.
A few weeks ago, as the session was drawing to a close, I took a copy of the Carolina Manifesto and matched it up against enacted legislation. For each item, I awarded 10 points if the General Assembly took major action, half credit for some action, and zero points for no action. Here’s what my grading sheet looked like: Read more…