Daily Archives: December 17, 2012


Those who read history or, for that matter, novels set in pre-Victorian times, know what highwaymen are. For others, let this definition found on the Internet suffice: The idea of robbing people while they travel along roads is a very old one. In the Middle Ages there were plenty of outlaws ready to rob travellers.Continue Reading

And now it’s official – the Electoral College has met

I was honored to attend the 56th meeting of North Carolina’s Electoral College today. Here are some things I learned: 1. North Carolina did not participate in the first Electoral College. Our state constitution was not ratified until 10 months after George Washington was elected. 2. There are 15 electors for North Carolina – oneContinue Reading

JLF’s Hood details North Carolina’s early 19th-century gold rush

Long before people flocked to California in search of gold, North Carolina experienced the nation’s first “gold rush.” John Hood detailed this little-told piece of Tar Heel history during a presentation today for the John Locke Foundation’s Shaftesbury Society. In the video clip below, Hood discusses some of the long-term impacts of North Carolina’s goldContinue Reading

Tax Exiles

In May, Eduardo Saverin, a co-founder of Facebook, attracted a lot of attention for renouncing his US citizenship and moving to Singapore in order to avoid US taxes.  I was reminded of that story this morning when I saw that Gerard Depardieu, a French actor (who I think you’ll recognize even if, like me, youContinue Reading

Teacher quality and cognitive and non-cognitive factors

Northwestern University professor C. Kirabo Jackson’s new National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) study used data from North Carolina to evaluate a model that assessed teacher quality based on both cognitive (test scores) and non-cognitive (absences, suspensions, grades, and grade progression) factors. In “Non-Cognitive Ability, Test Scores, and Teacher Quality: Evidence from 9th Grade Teachers inContinue Reading

Key books to read

Tom Woods provides here a good list of the books you need to read if you want to understand economics and the impact of government intervention.

What do Erskine Bowles and James Dean have in common?

You’re right — not much. That didn’t stop Bloomberg Businessweek from making the comparison. Simpson-Bowles is the James Dean of deficit-reduction plans: more popular in death than life. Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona calls it “an excellent blueprint.” Democratic Representative Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, the ranking minority member on the House Budget Committee,Continue Reading

Governors key to a GOP resurgence?

An article in the latest Bloomberg Businessweek suggests state executives might play the key role in helping Republicans rebound from a disappointing 2012 election. If the think tanks are indeed past their prime, it’s the nation’s GOP governors who are most likely to lead a revival of Republican ideas. Republicans now hold 30 statehouses, andContinue Reading