This is the 33rd and final research newsletter of 2018.  What a year it has been!

Publishing a hardcore policy newsletter every week would not be possible without a team of brilliant and hard-working colleagues.  The Research Division includes Joseph Coletti (Senior Fellow), Roy Cordato (Senior Economist & Resident Scholar), Jon Guze (Director of Legal Studies), Jordan Roberts (Health Care Policy Analyst), Jon Sanders (Director of Regulatory Studies), and Donald R. van der Vaart (Senior Fellow).  Former colleagues Katherine Restrepo and Julie Tisdale published a handful of newsletter items earlier this year. The Locke Foundation’s marketing and communications whizzes Donna Martinez and Anna Manning work behind the scenes to edit, format, and disseminate the newsletters and articles written for the newsletter.

The 33 newsletters published this year included over 175 articles, videos, podcasts, and publication links on topics too numerous to list.  But I have my favorites.

Joe Coletti’s “Incentives for Apple Inc. and the Chocolate Cake Theory of Public Policy” is a fabulous explanation of the nuts and bolts of government incentives to for-profit enterprises.  Plus, I welcome discussions that reference the universe of chocolate desserts and confectioneries.  Roy Cordato’s “Who Should Get the Credit for the Booming Economy: Trump or Obama?” answers the hotly debated question better than any pundit or talking head could.  (Spoiler alert: The answer is Trump.)  “The Ongoing Crisis in Forensic Science” by Jon Guze addresses an under-the-radar issue that should be near the top of any list of criminal justice reforms.  One would think that that it would be, considering the number of television shows and documentaries that feature a team of smart, articulate, and attractive forensic scientists and investigators.

In “Telemedicine Reforms Can Improve Health Care Access For Rural North Carolina,” Katherine Restrepo examines one way that technology can address inadequate access to health care in rural communities, at least until someone invents medical tricorders or medical droids. Jordan Roberts’ “Fighting North Carolina’s CON” updates readers on efforts to overturn certificate of need laws, which restrict the supply of certain health care facilities for no good reason whatsoever.  Although his usual focus is government regulation, “Emotion is a Poor Guide When a Civil Right is at Stake” is Jon Sanders’ perceptive take on the debate over the Second Amendment in the wake of the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida.  In “Even Good Corporate Citizens Shouldn’t Receive Incentives,” Julie Tisdale writes about a government incentive effort in Alamance County that would have yielded no new jobs but plenty of self-congratulations.  Finally, Donald van der Vaart’s interview about the Russian infiltration of environmental groups on the Spectrum News program “Capital Tonight” shows what happens when good sense and fashion sense meet.

Our November 16 newsletter was one of our most popular.  In anticipation of Thanksgiving Day, we published four articles related to the holiday.  Roy Cordato asks, “Why Are We Running Out of Tuna, But Not Turkeys?”  Joe Coletti explains why we are “Thankful for North Carolina Farmers.”  Jon Sanders tells the story of “How Early American Socialism Nearly Starved Thanksgiving.”  Finally, the weak link in the series is my “Thanksgiving in the Public Schools.”  Wait until you see how we celebrate Step In A Puddle And Splash Your Friends Day on January 11, 2019!

Speaking of 2019, we welcome your suggestions for improving the content, style, or distribution of the newsletter.  Do we fail to write about the policy issues that you care about? Do you prefer fewer articles and more graphics, audio, and video? Would you like us to pair research articles with relevant content from Carolina Journal, outreach, and events? Should members of the Research Division share their favorite recipes and decorating tips? I invite you to share your thoughts with me via email ([email protected]) or phone (919-828-3876).