Uncategorized

John Hood Inadvertently Indicts “You’re On Your Own” Economics

In a recent opinion piece, the John Locke Foundation’s John Hood criticized the economic policies of North Carolina’s previous state policymakers for delivering “substandard” economic gains since the late 1990s.

As evidence, Hood cites the fact that North Carolina’s economy produced lower gains in real GDP per capita than the national economy from 1997 to 2007 (or 2010).

Hood’s analysis is correct: North Carolina’s economy did deliver lower per capita economic growth than the national average. But Hood neglects to mention which states’ economies performed better than North Carolina’s in his chosen time periods. Tennessee? Nope. South Carolina and Georgia? Not even close. Even the “Texas Miracle” didn’t match North Carolina’s economic performance from 1997 through the start of the recession.  In fact, North Carolina’s economy has delivered greater per capita gains than the southeast as a whole since 1997. (See data here.)

Even though North Carolina’s economy outperformed the average of the southeast since the late 1990s, Hood’s column implies that North Carolina’s economic policy environment did not adequately promote economic growth in recent years.

But which state economies did deliver higher per capita growth than North Carolina? In addition to some resource-rich states like Idaho and the Dakotas, states with stronger economic performance than North Carolina since 1997 include Vermont, Minnesota, Oregon, and Massachusetts. Even much-maligned California and New York delivered higher per capita growth than North Carolina and the rest of the southeast.

Hood closes with a call to restore North Carolina’s economic competitiveness. What Hood’s own evidence indicates, however, is that the “you’re on you’re own” brand of economic policies pursued by many of our southern neighbors has failed to deliver the promised economic benefits. What the evidence shows has worked is working together to make the sound public investments necessary to rebuild a strong middle class and deliver a future of shared prosperity for all North Carolinians.

One Comment


  1. Jack

    January 24, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    Republicans Party members are always on the look out for something that works so they can fix it.

Check Also

Some of Obama Administration’s Proposed Tax Changes Lay Groundwork for Federal, State Reform

This blog post is one in a series ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

Weeks after the top school board member in Robeson County predicted the southeastern North Carolina [...]

A pivotal legislative task force may be just beginning its dive into North Carolina’s school funding [...]

The controversy over “Silent Sam,” the Confederate monument on UNC’s Chapel Hill campus, has been ra [...]

North Carolina tries to mine its swine and deal with a poop problem that keeps piling up A blanket o [...]

With Republicans on Capitol Hill and in the White House desperate to post a big legislative win, the [...]

Latest court system mess is directly linked to the Right’s ideological war on public structures Some [...]

Republicans in Congress are rushing to advance a tax reform bill that balloons the federal deficit s [...]

The post Charitable donations and the GOP’s chopping block appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]

Spotlight on Journalism

We invite you to join a special celebration of investigative journalism! The evening will feature Mike Rezendes, a member of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe Spotlight Team known for their coverage of the cover-up of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

Tickets available NOW!

Spotlight On Journalism

This event will benefit NC Policy Watch, a project of the North Carolina Justice Center. Sponsorship opportunities available now!

Featured | Special Projects

NC Budget 2017
The maze of the NC Budget is complex. Follow the stories to follow the money.
Read more


NC Redistricting 2017
New map, new districts, new lawmakers. Here’s what you need to know about gerrymandering in NC.
Read more