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Carolina Journal Radio No. 854: Constitution Day reminds us about the document’s importance

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai
The Truth Network Radio
September 30, 2019 8:00 am

Carolina Journal Radio No. 854: Constitution Day reminds us about the document’s importance

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai

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September 30, 2019 8:00 am

Constitution Day earlier this month reminded us of the importance of the United States’ governing document. Jon Guze, John Locke Foundation director of legal studies, emphasizes constitutional provisions that protect the nation from damaging policies put forward by elected officials. Guze touts the value of these constitutional safeguards. Jesse Helms departed the American political scene long before Donald Trump started his campaign for the White House. But at least one man who worked for Helms believes the late U.S. senator would appreciate much of what Trump is trying to accomplish in the White House. Marc Thiessen followed his work for Helms by becoming President George W. Bush’s chief speechwriter. He’s now a Washington Post columnist and American Enterprise Institute fellow. Thiessen explains how his work with Helms influences his assessment of Trump. During an ongoing state budget impasse, N.C. lawmakers nonetheless moved forward with pieces of the budget dealing with hurricane and disaster relief. You’ll hear highlights from their debate. North Carolina ranks No. 18 among the states when it comes to freedom. That’s according to a report prepared for the libertarian Cato Institute. Freedom in the 50 States co-author Jason Sorens recently shared details during the annual meeting in Winston-Salem of Classical Liberals of the Carolinas. Sorens, director of the Center for Ethics in Business and Governance at Saint Anselm College, explains what N.C. policymakers have done well, along with areas that could use improvement. From the inception of the N.C. state lottery, critics have contended that state-run gambling would thrive only by relying on money from low-income customers in low-income counties. Jon Sanders, John Locke Foundation director of regulatory studies, reviews recent data that suggest critics have been correct.


From Cherokee to current tagging from the largest city to the smallest town and from the statehouse into the schoolhouse Carolina Journal radio your weekly news magazine discussing North Carolina's most of public policy events and issues welcome Carolina Journal radio why Michiko God. During the next hour, Donna Martinez and I will explore some major issues affecting our state Washington Post columnist Mark Theissen once worked for North Carolina Sen. Jesse Helms thesis as he believes Helms would appreciate much of what Donald Trump is doing in the White House, you learn why in the middle of a state budget in past North Carolina lawmakers nonetheless voted to approve budget items linked to hurricane disaster relief to hear part of their debate will or might some lawmakers question whether state government is setting aside enough money for the next disaster. North Carolina ranks number 18 in the country in freedom, according to a recent report.

You hear the good the bad and the ugly about state government policies and their impact on freedom. What does North Carolina do well what should do better.

What should it not do at all.

Plus will review new data about the North Carolina lottery. It still relies on low income players from low income counties.

That's been consistent throughout the state lotteries nearly 15 year history. Those topics are just ahead. First, Donna Martinez joins us with the Carolina Journal headline this month our country celebrated Constitution day in honor of the day, 232 years ago that delegates to the 1787 Constitutional convention in Philadelphia signed our founding document event three N. Carolinians actually signed the Constitution over the years progressives have attempted to use a theory of law designed to undermine the Constitution's power in our next guest says that we really can't afford to be complacent about this, even today. John does a has written a really fascinating piece that you can read it.

John is the director of legal studies, and joins me now John, welcome back to the show. Can you talk first about them. Kind of. The thinking behind the foundational document and what and what people were thinking in that time about what they were trying to prevent. In terms of government power and what people today might refer to as totalitarianism well in those days. It would use the term absolutism instead. But what they were responding to in trying to move beyond was a concept of absolute power in the hands of some kind of monarch or divine ruler.

This was reported as of the time and end. Really, the Enlightenment were the great things about the allotment was the realization that not so much important to put the right person in power was ordained by God or otherwise.

What's important is to restrict the power of government so that whoever happens to find themselves in power To do much damage. That's an interesting concept because today in political terms, at least we talk about handing power to a person or group of people, but really it was the thinking was the opposite. It was a but this seems to be some of the cyclical we go through cycles where we suffer from too much government power as some people did in the 17th century there was a reaction in the 18th when people realized it was important to provide limitations to saving up in the 20th century.

This time around. It was called totalitarianism, but we have absolute rulers all over Europe who did just incredible damage and so by the end of the 20th century.

Some of us of these realists we have to get back to the Chi idea of a limited government with constitutional checks and balances before we talk a little bit more about the whole progressive you and what's happening today tankage remind us of why there was such a debate over adding a Bill of Rights to the Constitution well even though the delegates were some of the Philadelphia probably to a man they realize it was important to limit the power government, and it provided a lot of features in the Constitution itself. It did just that when it went out to be ratified by the states.

It was still a lot of concern that it didn't go far enough to limit the power of the new government to be created so when it was ultimately ratified. It was done on the understanding that one of the first acts of the new Congress would do was it was in power was provide amendments to further restrict the power of government.

That's how that's those it does about him.

It's going to be there was a Bill of Rights and that's why that happened because everybody at every level in in the late 18th century in the United States understood it was important to limit the power government and yet in this really fascinating piece that you have written about this essay. By the late 1890s there was already a push by some to try to kind of get around the limits on power absolutely is very interested if you go back and you look at some of the speeches that people like Woodrow Wilson and Teddy Roosevelt were giving early the 20th century they were running against the Constitution. They were stating explicitly that what we needed was more government power and that it was a shame we were stuck with this obsolete document that provided all these RK limits. It made no sense in the beginning of the 20th century was that really the beginning. John then and went on a lot of people refer to today as the theory of them. The living document versus textualism are constitutionalism think absolute effect in one of the speeches he gave in that election campaign Woodrow Wilson use the term living document.

That's where we got the idea that the Constitution has to change with the times. No matter what the intention was of the people who wrote it. No matter what the words of the document actually say give us a sense, then have them since that time, of Wilson and Roosevelt. How is this manifested itself this idea that time were going to push back against limits on people and branches of government. Will these progressives including both of those gentlemen very much thought that it was important to put some technocrats in charge of everything, not just the economy.

Although they felt that strongly, but the personal peoples personal lives as well.

So what are things like prohibition which they ultimately got there. One of things like program of aggressive eugenics that would remake humanity along more rational lines and they got that too, but the process of doing that was difficult eventually under immense pressure from the roots of the Franklin Roosevelt ministration the 1930s, the Supreme Court finally throwing the town's ever going to stop trying to enforce the letter of the Constitution when it comes to people's rights and legislation that seems to abuse those rights instead were going to just assume that any legislation that comes before us is constitutional that elicits there we can find absolutely no rational basis for what your reaction to that well. On the one hand, it's a shame we have these provisions of the Constitution for reason is very important to limit government and the very fact that prohibition was such a disaster and that involuntary sterilization was in the worst disaster in this country are to be proof enough that we need those restrictions.

On the other hand though things could've been worse in Europe where at the beginning of the 20th century many of those countries had Constitution similar to ours. In fact, some of them were based on ours but all that was swept away completely in the 1930s that I ended up with real absolute dictators and things were even worse, there is much, much worse there so I think what the deposit would look at what happened here in the 1930s was it was a compromise that was about the power between the progressives of the one hand Constitution was on the other. And because we kept the Constitution as our formal law of the land that made it possible for certain things to happen. Some rights continued to be enforced like the right to freedom of speech, even after this compromise. That's because in those days. Unlike now progresses were perfectly willing for people have freedom of speech. They had decided that was one of the rights and when to get rid of, but also made it possible for the what I call constitutional revival and that's what we've seen ever since and to his career, was appointed to coordinate its continued to accelerate.

I think there's a good chance that the 21st century will see more rather than less constitutional protections. That's really interesting because we have a very public and I would say very powerful push by people on the left side of the ideological spectrum who very much believe in this sample living document theory of the Constitution, yet it sounds like you are actually helpful. Well usually write about people living the the today's progress of today's philosopher kings would like to get rid of the Constitution, they would absolute power, but Karl Popper, my hero of a philosopher used to say that institutions are like fortresses that have to be well designed and well manned. Right now I think our Supreme Court and some of our other for the course are pretty well met, and as long as they continue to be that way. I think we the Constitution still has a bright future. You mentioned on the issue of free speech and is that the biggest concern for you. John is as you see it and the attempted erosion of constitutional rights know it's just one of many. There's all kinds of provisions in the Constitution, the progressives want to tear down the second amendment is another and more generally, they simply want more federal power and more state power, for that matter than the Constitution permits, and that I think would be advisable.

John does a is the director of legal studies for the John Mott foundation and he's written this piece that is really a great read. I would encourage all of you to go to the John Locke foundation website that is John also Carolina and you can find it there. The Constitution and its enemies. Great analysis of where we have come from and where we are today John, thank you so much for joining us. Like you say with as much for Carolina Journal.

Many of them come in just a moment tired of fake names tired of reporters with political axes to grind. What you need to be reading Carolina Journal honest, uncompromising, old-school journalism, you expect and you need even better, the monthly Carolina Journal is free to subscribers sign up at Carolina. You'll receive Carolina Journal newspaper in your mailbox each month. Investigations into government spending revelations about boondoggles who the powerful leaders are and what they're doing in your name and with your money. We shine a light on it all with the stories and angles. Other outlets barely cover but there's a bonus print newspapers published monthly by our daily news site gives you the latest news each and every day lot onto Carolina once, twice, even three times a day. You won't be disappointed.

It's fresh news if you'd like a heads up on the daily news sign up for our daily email do that Carolina Carolina Journal, rigorous, unrelenting, old-school journalism, we hold government accountable for you. Welcome back to Carolina Journal radio why Michiko got before Mark Deason started writing for the Washington Post, he served as chief speechwriter for Pres. George W. Bush. Earlier in his career.

The some work for North Carolina Sen. Jesse Helms.

These recalls one of his earliest memories of helped. I went out and knocked on the Senators Doris and Sunder's documents and so did you see with the New York Times wrote about you today they said no. Well written this letter to the editor. Would you take a look at it and so he he smiled and he took it in his hand and he looked out at me marked it up a little bit and is it okay you know you you go ahead and set it off and I was walking out the door. Really proud of myself and my first first first is on the job and he's and he's stopping his son just so you understand I don't care what the New York Times says about me and nobody I care about. Here is what the New York Times is, but I did send a letter and I would call the New York Times and call them out when they said bad things about Jesse Helms but Jesse Helms was probably the only politician in Washington who literally did not care what the New York Times said about the Meet the Press, even with the big show was Tim Russert made the prospect that everybody in Every prosecutor in Capitol Hill was trying to get their boss on Meet the Press Tim Russert call me once a month and my job was still no Sen. Helms is want to be on Meet the Press because he just didn't care and so that was why he was able to do so.

Many of the things that he was able to do and withstand all the pressure because he literally they they were powerless against them because they he literally didn't care what they thought he knew his convictions. He knew what what what he thought was right. He hired a lot of smart people smarter than me and of experts and in different areas of foreign policy in and given their marching orders and empowered us and so we loved working for him because he would never cut your feet out from under you.

He would always stand by his or if he made a decision.

If he said we cannot hold the line here. That's where the line was to be held at the Jesse Helms accomplish, not caring what the New York Times thought he did an enormous amount them in the Helms was the man who brought the first round of NATO expansion bringing former Warsaw Pact countries into the NATO alliance: hunger in the Czech Republic when they turned out to be some of the best allies. The United States had one after September 11, 2001. They were the first ones to offer up troops when all the Europeans were ringing there noted in old Europe is done on so the caller was wringing its hands new Europe, though those countries were so saying, tell us where the sender troops were with the so you know that was I think visionary. He reformed the United Nations he got them to a reduced said their bureaucracy by over thousand people in The cut the US arrears and he became the first chairman assent for Sen. in American history ever to address the UN Security Council. He performed State Department Ronald Reagan used to say there's nothing nothing so near eternal life is up for a temporary government agency will help shut down to government agencies, which was unprecedented at the time the arms control and disarmament agency in the US information agency informed the State Department and he he he he killed the conference of testamentary.

He stopped the Clinton administration. From my joy from negotiating a new ABM treaty, which would've prevented us from having a ballistic missile defenses can imagine with North Korea now on the verge of having a missile that can hit the United States. If we didn't have any kind of missile defense. So Helms is a visionary. There I he stopped us from joining the international criminal court. So he accomplished a lot of things and he stopped a lot of bad things from happening as well.

Helms of accomplished any of these things if you paid attention to the Washington establishment of a new year. It help you. How can you be against the international criminal court men there. There they just want to try. They just want to try dictators who commit genocide or you for genocide. No Louis with what he will put objected to was the idea that you and in the international criminal court could try American soldiers in American public so-called public servants for carrying out American foreign policy, and he didn't want to submit them to United Nations international criminal court and he's been proven right on that.

The ABM treaty will my gosh, there's been a be alarm system in arms race with the road with Russia. If we pull out of the ABM treaty will you be Bush ended up pulling out of the ABM treaty and guess what, there was no arms race we were to have historic reductions in nuclear weapons. So in of the elite. What what he used to call the straight pants crowd likes to set his hair on fire a lot and that he didn't care what strep instrument to say that's the voice of Mark Theissen, Washington Post columnist, former chief speechwriter for George W. Bush and former Press Secretary for North Carolina Sen. Jesse Helms would Helms think about Pres. Trump Donald Trump was elected because he he was fighting for the forgotten Americans who both establishments of both political parties had overlooked and were ignoring and they wanted they wanted to get their voices heard Jesse Helms fighting for the forgotten Americans long before Donald Trump even thought about running for office admin. You know he was.

He was fine for the people I never had time telling us a story on one of his campaigns prohibit at least North Carolina and he had said something that caused like the media swarmed out on some rally he was having a farm somewhere and he said if you want to who the reporters are the ones with shoes on. Maybe was fighting for the forgotten Americans who were overlooked by the political elites in Washington long before Donald Trump came along and so he be very proud of the fact that the prison Trump is fighting for those people you know in in the Republican Party. The orthodoxy was free-trade. We had a from a more free trade agreements and all the rest of been Helms of the one saying what about manufacturing workers here North Carolina are losing their jobs because of these bad trade agreements and now Donald Trump is renegotiated. NAFTA he's tracking down on China Jesse Helms was the was the lonely voice in the Senate fighting against China getting mostly permanent most favored nation status and entry in the WTO it's turned out to be a disaster. China is an economic predator that is stealing our intellectual property and forcing American businesses to add to hand over proprietary information and and and closing its markets off to us in dozens of sectors and so Trump is pushing back and said no you know when over to put tariffs on you unless you open up your markets to American manufacturing goods and Trump and the Jesse Helms will be cheering for him because he was Santa 20 years ago so there's so many areas and then you know there's out, there's other areas of foreign policy. I think he would be very happy with. He would be thrilled that Donald Trump is cracking down on the on the socialist dictatorship in Venezuela the way he has in supporting the Democratic opposition he be thrilled that he was reversing Obama's disastrous opening to Cuba and the Castro that had the Castro regime over there he be thrilled that there were cracking down on the international criminal court is the international criminal court which Helms predicted his opening an investigation into US war crimes in Afghanistan so they kept saying were never to prosecute Americans were not intruders want to go after the dictators. They want to start investigating us for war crimes and Jesse Helms warned about it and Donald Trump is basically declared war on the international criminal courts and you get to do that. So there's so many areas where were Jesse Helms would be enormously pleased with the way things are going on form policy would Jesse Helms give Donald Trump advice.

The most important piece of advice is to empower it to set clear goals and empower your people and give them the freedom to to to act in your name. You have them in Jesse at Jesse Helms and Bud Nance put together an amazing team of people and given the freedom to carry out their orders and back them to the health when they Dennis the Menace the most important piece of advice, and the other thing that's really important is not so much for your Trump and his team, but just generally for people in Washington some Bud Nance was an incredibly he with them and this is a guy who he was a Navy test pilot with Alan Shepard and John Glenn. You know he was he was doing rocket sleds in the Mojave Desert and some of them it he was in one unit five of the half. The unit died in in crashes.

He was a pilot and he was a sailor after graduating from the Naval Academy on the USS North Carolina survived 162 kamikaze attacks is a he skipper of the USS Forrestal. One of the great aircraft carriers during the Cold War, so he had a lot to get a lot to be proud of his career he was not at all concerned with titles not at all concerned with with with riches. He is doing with people coming to Bud's office and that say they wanted a new title. We worked in a place called the Dirksen Senate office building and he said it was. If you want on your business card. You can go ahead and call yourself the Duke of Dirksen for all I care.

He said that and he would always tell us that a man brings honor on the title a title does not bring honor on the man, and I think that's an important lesson as well. You referenced Bud Nance, the retired admiral who ran Jesse Helms foreign policy operation.

Also, the namesake of the new lecture series from the Jesse Helms center first lecture are guest these merger with North Carolina journal radio in a moment.

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The only piece of this bill. The primary pieces.

Bill relates to future is in section 1.4 and you'll see again were putting money in a pot administration can pull down for future disasters. I will say my expectation based on on talking to colleagues in leadership is that there will be another disaster relief bill at some point in the future.

So if those of you on the coast to start with Dorian have specific issues that are going to come up with just way too early to assess the damages that have occurred in Matthew.

For example, we went very quickly, more quickly than I've ever seen that occurred in October we passed a bill in December and we still were ready so a week after hurricane were were not were not going to be there either Democratic state representative Zach Hawkins asked McGrady about the money set aside for future disasters is our funding dollars for future events.

Do you think given that we've had almost 100 year storm. Do you think that's enough of North Carolina moving pool.

That's not a number that I I know you know there's some years we would use that much money and their other years we've far exceeded wheat week traditionally in the budget though.

Put money in to allow the administration to have money to spend on projects at this you know suddenly come up North Carolina emergency management director Mike spray Barry offered his assessment of the budget funding for future disasters $5 million as a place marker. It's very difficult to determine what would be needed in the in the future.

We currently have just experienced a another hurricane we have more room and out of the Atlantic. So I think that's my guess is it will probably be coming back to the Gen. assembly for more funding in the future, but $5 million will give us an estimate estimated amount so that we can take care of things. Right now it's pretty difficult to really come up with a very very granular estimate on what is going on were needing for the future you been listening to debate about disaster relief in the North Carolina state budget term with more Carolina journal radio where dabbling down on freedom at Carolina journal radio were proud to bring you stories that impact your life and your wallet.

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He was speaking to the group.

Classical liberals in the Carolinas. Sorensen started by answering a basic question why measure freedom of the social science purpose. We want to look on some of the causes and consequences of freedom want to see whether this has impact on growth and things like that is also tool for citizens and journalists to hold politicians accountable and a useful tool of comparison for businesses that are figuring out what investor people are figuring out where to live. Sorensen is assessed the good the bad and the ugly of North Carolina policies when it comes to freedom. What is North Carolina doing well well what area has done well is actually trimming repeatedly income taxes is gone from a pretty high tax state, especially in income taxes to a sort of average state when we come to the income taxes and in particular and were going to see further improve in the next edition of the index because as some further cuts in 2017 government debt consumption. Employment also fallen and so forth. Dylan's gradually improving on fiscal policy. Affordable housing is not generally a big problem. North Carolina zoning rules by national standards are pretty relaxed, which is allowed a lot of people to move into the state formal housing helps with no minimum wage to work. Blacks workers comp rules the labor market regime is also fairly pro employment telecom deregulation, we estimate does benefit North Carolina Carolinians about $200 million annually so nontrivial.

Some civil liability systems improved over time.

This is something along the southern states with observed work towards Michigan's out-of-state defendants and that is now on the state level civil asset forfeiture is one of two states do not have any civil has to return all this criminal forfeiture criminal court system actually crime adjusted incarceration and victimless crime arrest rates are below average. So unlike most southern states this is one where the criminal justice regime is been fairly light compared to some other states and school choices been gradually expanded and there is mother states that are still doing better here, but there is some further improvement since the closing date of the last edition is additional see North Carolina improve further on educational freedom. That's the voice of Jason Soren's and author of the freedom in the 50 states report for the libertarian Cato Institute. He told us what's good about North Carolina policy that leaves the bad and the ugly will start with the bad stuff where North Donegan could certainly do better in innovative use of their having heard the lease, not significantly. Unlike South Carolina's state that action here significant action.

There is E-Verify mandate in 2011.

This is a labor market regulation. A lot of conservative states enacted. Is there an immigration push nurse practitioner dental hygienist practice freedom is highly restricted. Again, something, for whatever reason we see a lot of southern states there tend to be very attentive to the physicians lobbying their desire to keep nurse practitioners from practicing independent while the state doesn't have civil asset forfeiture doesn't. So what we've seen is that local law enforcement agencies in North Carolina.

Billing to turn cases over to the Department of Justice to get a share of the spoils from the very relaxed federal gun laws are you here if you're a gun person you know this is been the case for long time state liquor stores all know, pretty high Mark Dobbs. We have state liquor stores in New Hampshire.

Essentially, very, very long. Essentially zero taxation want to stock up on Hennessey's recently where the New Yorker was smuggling Hennessey from New Hampshire to New York and they went to jail in New York that we don't have any medical marijuana herein is Soren's didn't stop with the bad North Carolina policies that limit freedom of the ugly is the stuff that new North Carolina should really really be improving well managed care regulations were a big thing in the early 2000 Z don't hear them talk about months recently putting Congress of studying this and found that I'm essentially prohibiting the classic HMO model. Some states have driven healthcare costs.

So by mandating that insurers provide standing referral is a known you don't need. They can require you to go back and get additional referrals for for specialist care by mandating direct access to specialists by prohibiting insurers from giving physicians financial incentives for limiting care. I know this stuff is popular there is evidence in the late 90s and early 2000's on these things in place.

They did actually limit the overutilization of the healthcare system on strict auto and homeowners insurance price controls. You might not notice this if your good driver because insurers are willing to ensure you accident or to is very difficult to get insured in North Carolina because the price controls. That's not all that's ugly about North Carolina policies. This action minimum marketable gasoline so gas stations are not allowed to charge too little price gouging will serve as a disaster than a lot of charging too much if you want to open a hospital or medical facility of various kinds are going to have to get a certificate of need those boards tend to be dominated by incumbent providers know about this and it limits competition in healthcare also moving companies North going for the states where Panini certificate of public necessity. I believe it's called and set limits injury so entry price regulations are and North Carolina, and in fact being created in the index create a separate index of cronyism based on price and entry regulations because we think these are generally for the interest of incumbent providers and fairly poorly on the index of cronyism which seems to correlate with state corruption levels and seems to correlate as well with lobbyist for legislator ratios which way the conversation goes. But there is something going on regulations. That's the good the bad and the ugly when it comes to North Carolina government policies and freedom. Do any of these policies really matter. Jason Sorensen says yes he has data to back them up for your states had more migration, and migration from other states less restraint using migration and what is interesting is continue to see this continue to see this in subsequent years made predictions that have held that for your states more people. When we look at the individual dimensions. All of them seem to difference and this. When we control for all sorts of other things. That's Jason Soren's discussing North Carolina's performance in the freedom in the 50 states rankings from the libertarian Cato Institute. Soren's delivered this assessment. During the annual meeting of the group. Classical liberals in the Carolinas will return with North Carolina journal radio and about really influence you either have it or you don't and at the John Mott foundation we have it, you'll find our guiding principles in many of the freedom forward reforms of the past decade here in North Carolina.

So while others talk or complaint or name call. We provide research solutions and hope our team analyzes the pressing issues of the day jobs, healthcare, education, and more. We look for effective ways to give you more freedom, more options, more control over your life. Our goal is to transform North Carolina into a growing, thriving economic powerhouse, the envy of every other state.

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Widen your job opportunities improve your access to doctors. The recipe for stability and a bright future for truth for freedom for the future of North Carolina. We are the John Locke foundation. Welcome back to Carolina journal radio Martinez.

An analysis of sales data from the North Carolina education lottery shows that counties with the highest lottery ticket sales per adult also tend to be the poorest and most economically distressed counties in our state. John Sanders is director of regulatory studies for the John Locke foundation. He joins us now to talk about his latest look into the lottery. John welcome back to the program.

Thanks, no critics tend to say that the state lottery preys on the poor and I know that you are not an emotion-based person you are researchers you looked at the data based on what you found are the critics right that we've been looking at these data. Basically since the lottery was passed and what we have seen consistently is that counties with low part with with high poverty rates, high unemployment, high property taxes low personal incomes always have the highest sales per individual in the lottery. Could it be is Sam is simple as people who are more strapped for money are maybe looking for that big win something to help lift them out of that situation. I think that has to be at play because it's it's more of a linear thing in the it's not just that the the poor counties have greater sales per adult, but the lesser poor have not quite as many sales per adult, and then the welfare counties have the fewest give us a sense if you could have found, is there a regional trend and I are talking about poor counties and things like that but are there regions in the state that you're seeing this, Sam, is it more rural areas is in urban areas, give us a little bit of a profile tried to look at it.

I mean, it does seem to be more of an Eastern thing then then some of the western counties lease for them. The mountain counties the lottery officials will point out that some of this has to do with interstate and I can see some of that coming in the play, you can look at I-95 that the I-95 corridor. Lauren and the like. 64 Highway 64 but that's not enough to explain these wide disparities that we keep finding and that's an important point. You say that we keep finding the lottery is somewhat time couple decades old something like that on those that figure and you been looking at this since the very beginning. Have you noticed any changes in this at all. No, not in terms of me that if we found consistently that the poor counties have much noticeably different higher sales. John, have you noticed any concerns about this type of data from policymakers over the years. I'm certainly there are some advocates who simply don't like the idea of gambling a particularly a state sponsored gambling but are there lawmakers who are saying, you know, maybe this isn't a good idea based on what were seeing in the sales certainly seen some on left and right who have concerns about it, but not not anything approaching a movement and we know also within the lottery that a component of of the state lottery is an addiction hotline right which should tell you right off the bat that perhaps some, you know, that's an acknowledgment upfront that this could be a problem, at least for some be right. We know we're kind of playing with fire. Politically speaking, will John M. The whole adoption of the state lottery in North Carolina is kind of wrapped in controversy over how it was done, etc. but I know that that you have written a lot about the connection between state government and gambling. Give us a sense of your view about estate operating and endorsing gambling, will we have in North Carolina is a government blessed monopoly on gambling.

No, it's illegal unless it's done by a state lottery which has some other implications of the lottery is pretty much the worst form of gambling you can engage in the house. Our lowest winning percentages say you want to talk about August. We have you know we have casinos also saw was forgetting But even those are on reservations for the most part but yet gambling on sports on on outcomes and sporting outcomes, card games, casinos, and there's so many different forms of gambling with with no better chances of winning. You'll get these one in 10 million chances of winning, you know your your life savings for the gastronomic height on the times that that I have about lottery tickets. I never think about the fact that the likelihood of winning and winning anything really is so incredibly low, but I'm in some people will push back against the type of thing that you get your saying to hate this is just for fun. It's just entertainment and you folks to look at the data are making too much of this. How do you respond to people who say this is just like you are buying a ticket for a movie I can get that and if we want to have that is fine and there are ways for the state to continue to make money on that if we remade it well for sales taxes of some sort of tax like that without having the additional problem of of the state monopoly over what many people consider, revise, and what some other people think is just exploiting the poor.

It's been interesting over the years to watch the discussion in the policy decisions on gambling activities in the state. I can recall being to do over the issue of video poker, leading some people to say why is it okay for the state to be running the lottery, but other types of gambling are deemed illegal help us understand kind of the conversations about that.

I think with that it's it's so they they worry about it competing against the lottery thoughts about the money. Yes, interesting. Same thing with Naga snouts fish tables, which is another sort of market workaround the problem of gambling being outlaw. I'm not even sure what that is sick that's that's a long want to try to explain on the policymakers are probably going to take take those off the market as well. I think is North Carolina unique or unusual in any way in terms of them. The state endorsement state operation of lottery know it. In fact, is one the reasons why policymakers were inclined to get involved was because other states were doing it and we are worried about losing whatever market there could be for lottery tickets to the buying over the borders.

That's called the North Carolina education lottery so some proceeds to go to public schools.

Yet that's the that's what it's all about supposedly. And I have argued since the beginning that that's a policy question. Money is fungible lottery money goes into a flow.

Basically, in the general assembly. If we want to fund education, then we need to prioritize it even greater and we've seen the general assembly do it in the last few years where they've made a point we want to raise teacher salaries to a certain level by 2020 and they have deliberately done so in repeating years, which means they can do it with or without lottery money so John if you had the ear of state policymakers and hopefully some of them are listening to this program right now. What would you offer as recommendations for a path forward when it comes to the state lottery, I think we should get rid of the state lottery, and then returned to an open budgeting process for education where we debate about it and talk about it in public. Instead of acting as if a certain portion is going education and then everything else is up for debate. John Sanders is the director of regulatory studies for the John Locke foundation. He writes frequently about the issue of the state lottery can read his latest work lottery sales still depend on economic desperation to find John, thanks much for joining us think that's all the time we have for the program this week.

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