The Fraser Institute of Canada has just released its Index of Economic Freedom of North America and Canada continues to have a freer economy than the US with the gap widening. When broken down by province and state North Carolina is 17th with Alberta Canada having the freest economy in North America. Here’s the entire study.
My colleague Katherine Restrepo published a very revealing map in her Healthcare Update this week. In North Carolina there are only two companies offering plans on the Obamacare exchange and that’s only in 39 counties. In the other 61 counties customers basically face the same level of competition, or should I say monopoly, as they do when purchasing electricity, cable TV, or water and sewer service. They have one choice of provider and only one choice–Blue Cross and Blue Shield. In the counties that are shaded in yellow the only choice that consumers face is the choice among plans offered by the same company. That’s what’s called consumer choice under Obamacare.
The Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council does an annual ranking of the states, measuring how friendly each one is with regard to small business. The 2013 index has just been released and North Carolina doesn’t look very appealing — number 31. A lot of room for improvement.
I am not an attorney. I don’t play one on TV. I didn’t stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. I didn’t fight the law, only to see it win. You get the idea.
Burton Craige, a lawyer representing the plaintiffs, said similar lawsuits against voucher programs have been successful in some states and unsuccessful in others. But, he said, the language in North Carolina’s constitution is clear that public funds “are to be used exclusively for establishing and maintaining a uniform system of free public schools.”
The word “exclusively” is very unusual in a state constitution, Craige said. “We’re going to ask [the court] to declare that ‘exclusively’ means exclusively.”
The word “exclusively” is used three times in the education section (Article IX) of the state constitution. It is used once in Section 6: State school fund and twice in Section 7: County school fund; State fund for certain moneys. My non-lawyer interpretation is that “exclusively” refers to money deposited into state and county school funds. Neither type of school fund receives money earmarked for the state’s voucher programs.
Interestingly, state money is used to employ private providers of driver education. Chapter 115C-215 of the NC General Statutes states, “The State Board of Education shall adopt rules to permit local boards of education to enter contracts with public or private entities to provide a program of driver education at public high schools.” And if I am not mistaken, some private schools receive state funds to support driver education programs.
In addition, state law allows school districts to use public money to “place a child in a private school that is approved to provide special education and that can provide the child an appropriate education.” (Chapter § 115C-109.9). Moreover, state law directs districts to provide transportation to students placed in a private school by the district (See Chapter 115C-242).
Again, my knowledge of North Carolina education law is limited, so do not consider these musings to be a definitive defense of the voucher law. I’ll leave that to the professionals.
My newsletter discusses the Obama administration’s approach to eagle preservation, summing it up with a conclusion that is so confusing on its own as to prompt interest, I hope, in reading the whole thing:
once the federally protected eagle is federally allowed to be smashed by federally subsidized inefficient energy sources, only federally approved tribe members may collect any unspoiled feathers from the federally protected corpse.
In 2010, accrediting group AdvancED, the parent organization of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, initiated a review of Wake County Board of Education policies. The NC chapter of the NAACP complained that the center-right board majority wanted to resegregate Wake County’s public schools, which was enough to prompt an investigation by AdvancED.
Now, a center-left majority board tossed out its African-American chairman, Keith Sutton, in a vote that went along racial lines. Many African-American leaders in Wake County are angered by the decision.
Has Mark Elgart, President and CEO, AdvancED, deployed a Special Review Team yet? If not, I would like to know when he plans to do so.
AEI’s Peter Wallison makes a great case here for getting the government entirely out of the housing market. It politicizes and thereby destabilizes that market. Government intervention does no good and a lot of harm.
Incidentally, the president who first got us into this mess was Herbert Hoover, who was full of bad ideas on ways the federal government could improve the country.
The evidence is in, and it’s irrefutable. Is global free trade a good thing? Take a look at this map of the locations of suppliers, factories, and sales offices that come together to bring us Nutella.
The accompanying post explains:
Even though Ferrero International, which makes the stuff, is headquartered in Italy, it has factories in Europe, Russia, North America and South America. And while certain inputs are supplied locally—like, say, the plastic for the bottles or milk—many others are shipped from all over the world. The hazelnuts are from Turkey; the palm oil is from Malaysia; the cocoa is from Nigeria; the sugar is from either Brazil or Europe; and the vanilla flavoring is from France.
So global trade = Nutella. And, presumably, the freer that trade, the easier it will be for me to actually get the Nutella and the less it will cost me. I’m sold. Global free trade is a wonderful thing. You can’t argue with the chocolatey hazelnut goodness.
Not to mention all the jobs that are created in all of those countries by sourcing cocoa and hazelnuts and vanilla, processing it, and distributing it worldwide. It really is a remarkable, almost magical, thing. And I can’t see any government making that work quite so well as Ferrero does.