• John Locke Update

    A Toast to Expanding Alcohol Freedom in North Carolina

    posted October 22, 2021 by Jon Sanders
    With House Bill 890 becoming law, the General Assembly continues its good work in recent years expanding alcohol freedom in North Carolina. More freedoms for North Carolina's distilleries are especially welcome because nearly all distilleries are small, local businesses, doing most of their sales to home-state customers. While North Carolina remains in the minority of control states for liquor, legislators can continue removing legal and regulatory impediments to the state's alcohol industry.
  • John Locke Update

    Widespread Natural Immunity Underscores Why Vaccine Mandates Must End, Now

    posted October 7, 2021 by Jon Sanders
    While natural immunity is stronger than vaccine-induced immunity, proving natural immunity is difficult because fewer than one-fourth of infections are documented and antibodies testing is hit-or-miss. Vaccine mandates would affect more people with natural immunity (the stronger immunity) than those without any immunity, which would not justify the ostensible public-health case for such mandates. If the vaccines are effective as we know them to be, there's no need to deprive other people of their livelihoods for not being vaccinated, especially given the better-than-even odds that their immunity is better.
  • John Locke Update

    DHHS Data Show Strength of Natural Immunity in North Carolina

    posted October 6, 2021 by Jon Sanders
    DHHS data show that North Carolinians with natural immunity are much less likely to contract Covid than even vaccinated individuals. Data show the reinfection rate (a measure of the strength of natural immunity) is lower than the post-vaccination infection rate (strength of vaccination). The reinfection rate was likely less (possibly much less) than 0.8% while the post-vaccination infection rate was at least 1.3% (and possibly much greater).
  • John Locke Update

    Energy Crossroads, Part 2: Reliable, Cost-Effective Alternatives to Cooper’s Disastrous Plan

    posted September 22, 2021 by Jon Sanders
    By favoring wind and solar generation with battery storage to the exclusion of viable, dependable sources, Gov. Cooper's "Clean Energy Plan" would be extremely expensive, costing consumers an average of $411 per year more for electricity. It would cost $123.86 per metric ton of CO2 emissions reduced and take up more land than the state's three largest counties combined. Alternatives provided for Locke by energy researcher Jordan McGillis showed that emissions reductions could be achieved via more natural gas or nuclear facilities at much less expense to consumers and with a miniscule environmental footprint.
  • John Locke Update

    Energy Crossroads, Part 1: Cooper’s Plan Is Unnecessary and Fraught with Costs to Consumers and the Environment

    posted September 21, 2021 by Jon Sanders
    Cooper's "Clean Energy Plan" has a very definite preference for extremely expensive, intermittent, and unreliable electricity resources, to the exclusion of viable, dependable resources. A report for Locke by energy researcher Jordan McGillis showed that Duke Energy's scenario most closely aligned with Cooper's plan would level enormous costs to consumers. Such reliance on wind and solar generation and battery storage carries many hidden and unconsidered environmental, supply-chain, ecological, and land-use costs.
  • John Locke Update

    What Are School Mask Mandates Doing to Children?

    posted September 7, 2021 by Jon Sanders
    Nearly every public school district in North Carolina is forcing face masks on students. Researchers are sounding the alarm about the psychological, physical, social, developmental, and academic harms of masks on young schoolchildren. With the benefits so uncertain and the potential costs so large, we must be asking whether these mandates are really worth it.
  • John Locke Update

    The House Budget Had Good Ideas for Opticians, and the Final Budget Can, Too

    posted August 17, 2021 by Jon Sanders
    An earlier version of the House budget would have relaxed some of the restrictions North Carolina places on its licensed opticians. Those reforms would have followed some of the John Locke Foundation's principles for reforming occupational licensing, including universal license recognition as well as moving the state in the right direction toward a least-cost-state standard. The reforms were not in the final House budget, but they could be restored in the final conference report.
  • John Locke Update

    North Carolina: No Excess Deaths From Covid Since Mid-March

    posted July 29, 2021 by Jon Sanders
    Data from the CDC and state DHHS show that North Carolina has not been suffering excess deaths from Covid-19 since mid-March 2021. While Covid-19 is still out there, its effect on North Carolina is no longer causing a statistical anomaly in terms of deaths, meaning it is behaving more and more like an endemic virus, such as a flu, not a pandemic. If North Carolina is no longer witnessing excess deaths owing to Covid-19, then why does Gov. Cooper still keep the state in the minority of U.S. states still under a "State of Emergency"?
  • John Locke Update

    Progressive Recommendations Would Harm, Not Help, Hourly Workers

    posted July 22, 2021 by Brian Balfour
    A new report published by a left-wing group included policy recommendations they claim will help hourly workers. The recommendations, however, largely introduce more restrictions, costs, and burdens to hiring hourly workers, which leads to less hiring. A better recipe to help hourly workers would be to peel back layers of government meddling in the labor market, not introduce more layers.
  • John Locke Update

    How an Overzealous Licensing Board’s Threat Shows the Need for Structural Licensing Reform

    posted July 16, 2021 by Jon Sanders
    The state licensing board for massage and bodywork said reflexologists didn't practice massage and bodywork — then they changed their mind. House Bill 434 would ward off this licensing threat by creating a state healing arts commission to oversee reflexologists and music therapists, with other practices sure to be added. North Carolina needs structural overhaul of its occupational regulation, especially a careful, thoughtful approach in law to make sure any future regulation of a practice is the "least restrictive regulation necessary to protect consumers" and "demonstrably necessary and narrowly tailored to legitimate health, safety, and welfare objectives."

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