• Research Report

    Trust But Verify: Open government is better government

    posted December 16, 2009 by Joseph Coletti
    Governments have been seeking ways to adopt or advertise their efforts at open government, sunshine, and transparency. Recent history is rife, however, with examples of how they have failed - such as Gov. Mike Easley's financial dealings and the hole in the state health plan.
  • Research Report

    Why Transparency? Creating trust in government

    posted December 16, 2009 by Joseph Coletti
    Open government is just as important in a modern republic as it was two centuries ago. Larger bureaucratic states threatened to overwhelm the ability of citizens and their representatives to keep track of government.
  • Research Report

    Parent-Friendly Schools, 2009: How ‘parent-friendly’ are school districts in North Carolina?

    posted November 29, 2009 by Dr. Terry Stoops
    North Carolina’s school districts are not parent-friendly organizations. While a handful of school districts fare reasonably well in the final ranking, the highest score was a 3.4, or a B+. School districts in western North Carolina generally fared very well in the ranking, while the Triad, Triangle, Charlotte, and northeastern regions fared poorly. Seven of the top ten school districts are located in western North Carolina.
  • Research Report

    Crucial Questions: A Checklist for City Council Candidates and Citizens

    posted August 9, 2009 by Dr. Michael Sanera
    City council members hold the reins of the first level of government that affects most North Carolinians. With a proper perspective on the uses and limits of government, these leaders can foster prosperity in their communities through free individuals pursuing their own dreams without fear of the city arbitrarily curtailing their activities or usurping their property or wealth.
  • Research Report

    Why North Carolina Should Not Build High-Speed Rail

    posted June 24, 2009 by Randal O’Toole
    Because of their high costs, tiny benefits, and interference with property rights, North Carolina should not attempt to provide high-speed rail service. Instead, it should use its share of the $8 billion stimulus funds solely for incremental upgrades, such as safer grade crossings and signaling systems, that do not obligate state taxpayers to pay future operations and maintenance costs.
  • Research Report

    The Can-Do Budget: The impossible takes a little longer

    posted June 11, 2009 by Joseph Coletti
    The original House budget proposal for fiscal year (FY) 2009-10 used $1.5 billion in Federal bailout funds to craft a budget that spent $19.3 billion. Although it is nearly $3 billion less than the original $22 billion request, the original House plan would have been just $1 billion less than actual appropriations in FY2008-09.
  • Research Report

    Salisbury’s Fiber-Optic Cable System: Another corporate welfare project paid for by average taxpayers

    posted May 6, 2009 by Katie Bethune, Dr. Michael Sanera
    The City of Salisbury recently decided to build a $30 million fiber-optic cable system that will offer Internet, phone, and television service to Salisbury residents and businesses. The city is paying for this system with 20-year bonds.If the system cannot attract enough subscribers, city officials have stated that they will use an increase in property taxes of 9.5 cents per $100 valuation to fund the project.
  • Research Report

    The Smoking Ban Bill: Make no mistake; it’s an attack on property rights

    posted May 4, 2009 by Daren Bakst
    Either version (House or Senate) of the smoking ban bill is a major threat to personal freedom and property rights. The Senate is considering a bill that would prohibit smoking in “public places” and “places of employment,” such as restaurants. The House version has the same general prohibition, but it also would include a very narrow exception for businesses that do not serve or allow entry to minors.
  • Research Report

    City and County Issue Guide 2009

    posted April 7, 2009 by Dr. Michael Sanera, Daren Bakst, Dr. Roy Cordato
    Policymakers in the many local governments of North Carolina face a host of important challenges. This issue guide offers solutions to problems that confront North Carolinians at municipal and county levels. The common thread in these recommendations is freedom. By increasing individual freedom, local governments can foster the prosperity of all North Carolinians and keep open avenues to innovative solutions from enterprising citizens.
  • Research Report

    Dropout Prevention Grants: Legislators need to rethink their approach to the dropout problem

    posted March 23, 2009 by Dr. Terry Stoops
    Only 14 of the 100 schools that received services from dropout prevention grant recipients had substantially lower dropout rates and higher graduation rates from the 2006-07 to the 2007-08 school year. Of the five types of recipients awarded grants, grants to non-profit organizations appeared to have the most success.

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