Opinion

Ten tax hikes that slammed middle-class families: courtesy of NC Democrats

The news that North Carolina’s state General Fund budget revenue is now predicted to come in $400 million above original estimates caused the Left to go into full spin mode. For months, liberal progressives were fretting about the end of Western Civilization as we know it due to earlier projections that revenue this year would come in below the amount used to set the budget. Somehow blind to the irony, first they were upset that revenue may be too low this year, now they are upset that revenue may be too high. We are used to the narrative coming from the Left that government never has enough money, but now that revenues are higher than expectations liberals suddenly find compassion for taxpayers.

Scandal reveals two cultures at Chapel Hill

Among the faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill there are two quite different views of the university’s recent athletic/academic scandal. One powerful element of the faculty, apparently including the Faculty Athletics Committee, shares the view of the administration and trustees that the university has forthrightly addressed the misdeeds of those who created this mess and has ensured that nothing similar will happen again. As the then-chair of the faculty asserted in 2013, “we have implemented policies, procedures, and safeguards that [will allow] us to move forward in our unwavering commitment to excellence.”

Student data mining system raises privacy concerns

North Carolina public schools are developing a multimillion-dollar student data mining system intended to compile and analyze reams of information to improve educational outcomes. But critics say it poses a “creepy” potential to engineer the work force and easily could fall prey to a variety of “malicious” abuses. Known as the P-20W system, the program captures student data from pre-K through graduate school and follows individuals into their work years. The Department of Public Instruction is collaborating with the UNC system, North Carolina Community Colleges System, North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, the state Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Commerce to gather, manage, and analyze the information.

Four good North Carolina books for the spring

If you are looking for an interesting book for springtime reading, I have four suggestions: A cookbook that will be fun to read. A book of stories from one of North Carolina’s rising stars. The story of a ’57 Chevy and its complicated, troubled and fascinating 13th owner who took it to Moyock in Currituck County for restoration. An award-winning story of a mother who writes letters to the son she gave up the day he was born. Here are some details.

Related:
NC Book Watch

Gene Nichol’s center had no impact on poverty

It’s the height of ivory tower elitism for professors to defend the UNC Center on Work, Poverty and Opportunity. It’s the height of absurdity to analogize closing the center with the censorship of E.E. Ericson and John Spencer Bassett, as Rob Christensen did in his Feb. 22 column. Everyone knows the center on poverty was contrived to give John Edwards a platform for the core message of his 2008 presidential campaign. The center traded on the prestige of the university for personal political gain, not for poverty.