John Locke Update / Research Newsletter

JLF Research This Week: March 3-7, 2014

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Education Policy

This week, Terry Stoops, Director of Education Studies, clarified in his newsletter just who is responsible for bringing Common Core State Standards to North Carolina, a subject about which there has been some confusion.  On the Locker Room blog, Terry also brought attention to a lesson plan developed by the NC Department of Public Instruction about the Wake County busing issue.  While the busing policy has been controversial, this particular lesson plan only gives voice to one side, and Terry thinks that is a problem.

Economics and Environmental Policy



This week, Roy Cordato, Vice President for Research and resident scholar, wrote about the minimum wage and its particular impact on teen employment.  He examined some historical data showing that, for decades, the impact has been the same – increases in the minimum wage hurt teen employment.  He also shared a graph showing that this has been the second coldest winter in the US in 25 years.

Fiscal Policy



Sarah Curry, Director of Fiscal Policy Studies, wrote an interesting newsletter this week about ABC stores in North Carolina and where their revenue goes.  Most goes to the state’s general fund, but distribution of the rest is important. Sarah argues that the system could be better.  On the blog, she talked about the history of the ABC Commission as well as the impact of trade with Russia and Ukraine.  Sarah also wrote about NC Senator Martin Nesbitt, who died this week at 67.

Health Care Policy



As promised last week, Katherine Restrepo, Health Care Policy Analyst, wrote about Obamacare alternatives this week in her newsletter. While we hear a lot about the Affordable Care Act and its effects, we hear less about alternatives that offer better solutions.  Katherine talks about a few of them here.  On the blog, she highlights another unilateral change to Obamacare made by the administration and shares a helpful article from Forbes on Obamacare alternatives.

Legal Policy

Our new Legal Policy Analyst Tyler Younts has been busy this week with his inaugural newsletter on the difference between the judicial restraint for which conservatives usually advocate, and "real judging," which he argues would create a more effective check on executive and judicial power.  He also published a Spotlight report on North Carolina’s Map Act, and the ways in which it compromises property rights.  Finally, he blogged about state attorneys general and their responsibility to zealously defend the interests of the states they represent, regardless of political affiliation.

Regulatory Policy

Jon Sanders, Director of Regulatory Policy Studies, wrote a newsletter this week about the actual consensus around light rail for the Triangle.  Hint: It’s nothing at all like what you’d think if you read the News and Observer.  Over on the blog, Jon also wrote about film incentives, an issue that should be of concern to all North Carolina taxpayers.

As always, there is plenty more on the John Locke Foundation’s Locker Room blog.

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