Category Archives: Uncategorized

Beer Tax

The Tax Foundation published a useful chart today showing how beer taxes vary from state to state. At 62 cents per gallon, North Carolina falls about midway between Wyoming’s low (2 cents/gal.) and Tennessee’s high ($1.29/gal.). Something to think about if beer will play a role in your holiday celebration!

How to Pick a President

Ray Gronberg of the Durham-Herald Sun has an insightful report on the May 20 meeting of the search committee for the next president of the University of North Carolina. The members heard from three consultants who want to be headhunters. Jerry Baker of Baker and Associates was the most inadvertently amusing competitor. He said thatContinue Reading

Academic Progress in the House Budget

The NC House budget has been roundly criticized for its large spending increase and provisions for special interests, but at least one new program in the bill will actually save the state money. The North Carolina Guaranteed Admission Program (NCGAP), which the Pope Center recommended here as a replacement for summer bridge programs, will divertContinue Reading

Saving the planet?

At, Tyler Cowen links to an unintentionally funny column in the New York Times discussing new data showing that “owners of hybrids and electric vehicles are defecting to sport utility vehicles and other conventional models powered only by gasoline.”  My favorite line is a quote from Jessica Caldwell, director of industry analysis for,  “We’d allContinue Reading

A Chance to Tell UNC What You Think

Interested in who will be the next UNC President? An article posted today on the UNC system’s website invites you to share your opinion next week at a regional forum in Asheville, Greenville, Durham, or Charlotte. If you can’t make it on such short notice, you can complete a brief electronic survey (open through FridayContinue Reading

A formerly exceptional nation

America, that is. So argues Jacob Hornberger in this piece. We used to be exceptional in freedom, the rule of law, property rights, sound money, fair administration of justice and more. Over the last century, however, the US has been rapidly losing all those advantages and Hornberger correctly observes that we’re not much different thanContinue Reading

For McCrory “moving forward” is synonymous with more corporate welfare

In this video clip Governor McCrory tells business leaders in the state that the way to keep North Carolina moving forward economically is to pass the North Carolina Competes legislation. He also claims that the leaders of both bodies of our state’s legislature agree with him. It should be noted that the word “compete” hasContinue Reading

In the digital age, why do we need more brick and mortar buildings?

In 2015, most businesses are building online platforms and digital competencies. So, why are three UNC schools seeking bond money (scroll to page 14) to build $225 million in new buildings? University facilities use is notoriously low. The Pope Center reported in this article that the UNC system had an average classroom occupancy of 44 percentContinue Reading