I’m no clairvoyant; I’ve just seen this game played too often. This was a lamentably easy call:

Local media would be and no doubt are expected to seize upon such a report as if it were hard economic fact, and one would be hard-pressed to imagine any “financial impact” figure that would strike them as too large to be believable. HB2 will cost the state millions? Tens of millions? Hundreds of millions? Something in the billions?

There’s no figure too large. Media economists really are prepared to believe that not changing whether a male can walk unquestioned into women’s showers, changing rooms, and bathrooms from March to April is going to produce economic calamity in North Carolina.


The North Carolina Justice Center estimated HB2 could cost this state 53,000 jobs or $2.4 billion in wages. The center looked at potential federal funding cuts in education, job training, and public safety.

At this point, with the election so important, media are like auctioneers hectoring leftists to “bid” bigger and bigger “economic impact” figures to report.

Perhaps they’ll drown out what the North Carolina economy is actually doing following historic tax reforms and regulatory reforms in 2013 and other reforms. Reforms which, you’ll recall, the same media and leftists vehemently opposed:

  • North Carolina’s GDP growth is fastest in the nation in current dollars since 2013, and in dollars adjusted for purchasing power is first in the region and ninth overall
  • North Carolina’s growth rate in per-person incomes (3.6 percent) also bested national and regional averages
  • North Carolina progressed from 44th on the Tax Foundation’s business tax climate rankings (better than only six other states) in 2013 up to 16th in 2015