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Columns

  • You decide: What is causing the stock market to worry?

    By Dr. Mike Walden

    Guest Column

    I’m fond of telling this story about the late Nobel

    Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman. At one of his public lectures, Friedman was asked to give a forecast for the stock market. Before answering, the heralded economist said he had developed a model for predicting the stock market, and he had recently re-calibrated the model using the latest information; therefore, he had fresh forecasts.

  • You decide: Can we reduce invisible unemployment?

    By Dr. Mike Walden

    Guest Columnist

    We’ve seen great improvement in reducing unemployment in the nation and North Carolina in recent years. Many economists think the most frequently cited jobless rate could fall below 4 percent this year. Indeed, there is already talk of the labor market being at “full employment” and an increasing number of companies are citing problems of finding qualified workers as their biggest problem.

  • District 17 House update

    By Rep. Frank Iler

    Guest Columnist

    Last week in General Assembly, we met in committees or traveled to

    meetings almost every day and welcomed the new super cranes to the Port of Wilmington.

  • You decide: How can affordable housing be increased?

    By Dr. Mike Walden

    Guest Columnist

    Our residence really sets the stage for much of our lives. Before getting married, I lived in five different apartments in a span of five years. The year would change, and I would change apartments, always trying to move closer to work and improve the quality of my residence.

    The first home my wife and I bought was a drafty 1,000-square-foot house far from work and with limited nearby shopping. With our larger and more accessible home today, we’re much happier.

  • District 17 House update

    By Rep. Frank Iler

    Guest Columnist

    Our interim committees and select committees were in full swing again last week in the General Assembly. The first meeting of the House Select Committee on School Safety was held Wednesday, March 21. As a member of the committee, I was very interested in how we would proceed on this extremely important subject. It turned out to be a very productive all-day meeting.

  • You decide: Frequently asked national debt questions

    By Dr. Mike Walden

    Guest Columnist

    When I take questions after the scores of presentations I make across the state each year, there is one question I can always count on: What is the country going to do about the national debt? I certainly understand the concern with the national debt now more than $20 trillion, and no end in sight. Indeed, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) forecasts the national debt will rise to more than $90 trillion by 2047.

  • District 17 House update

    By Rep. Frank Iler

    Guest Columnist

    In the North Carolina General Assembly last week, committees were in full swing and some were making the news. My only committee that met in Raleigh was the Joint Legislative Task Force on Education Finance Reform.

  • District 17 House update

    By Rep. Frank Iler

    Guest Columnist

    With the North Carolina General Assembly being officially out of session, all our time is spent in committee meetings and events both in Raleigh and back in our home districts.

    Last week I attended plenty of both. We met with our transportation oversight committee in Raleigh and I had meetings with groups and individuals in all parts of our district in Brunswick County.

  • You decide: Will direct flight to China boost N.C. economy?

    By Dr. Mike Walden

    Guest Columnist

    My first long distance trip outside my hometown of Cincinnati was to West Virginia by train. Although my memory is fuzzy (this was in the 1950s) it wasn’t a luxury train. In fact, I don’t even remember a meal car. I don’t think I cared. I was mesmerized by watching the scenery go by, especially the hills and valleys of the Mountain State.

  • District 17 House update

    By Rep. Frank Iler

    Guest Columnist

    Last week in the General Assembly, we were not in session, but we had many committee meetings in Raleigh, two of which I am a member.