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Carolina Journal Radio No. 753: N.C. DOT bets on viability of passenger-only ferry

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai
The Truth Network Radio
October 23, 2017 12:00 am

Carolina Journal Radio No. 753: N.C. DOT bets on viability of passenger-only ferry

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai

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October 23, 2017 12:00 am

The N.C. Department of Transportation believes enough people will want to pay $15 apiece for pedestrian-only access to Ocracoke Island to justify a $6 million passenger ferry program. Carolina Journal’s latest cover story examines the DOT Ferry Division’s plan. Editor-in-Chief Rick Henderson discusses the proposal and its potential impact. Like it or not, popularity plays a key role in our lives. Mitch Prinstein, professor of psychology at UNC-Chapel Hill, explores that role in the book Popular: The Power of Likability in a Status-Obsessed World. Prinstein distinguishes between two different types of popularity. He explains why it’s better for us to person one type than the other. When President Trump ended his predecessor’s immigration program targeting so-called “Dreamers,” those brought to this country illegally as children, he gave Congress time to come up with legislation that would address the same goal. U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., responded with a bill called the SUCCEED Act. In a recent news conference, Tillis explained why he believes his proposal would benefit the Dreamers without encouraging more illegal immigration in the future. Raleigh attorney Thomas Farr has been nominated to serve as a judge for the U.S. District Court. Senators from both parties questioned Farr during a recent confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill. You’ll hear questions and answers about Farr’s judicial philosophy and his approach to recent N.C. cases dealing with redistricting and voting rights. North Carolina lawmakers recently reopened the door for companies seeking state film incentives. Jon Sanders, the John Locke Foundation’s director of regulatory studies, explains why that decision means bad news for the state’s taxpayers.


From charity to Currituck from the largest city to the smallest and from the statehouse into the schoolhouse Carolina Journal radio your weekly news magazine discussing North Carolina's most public policy events and issues welcome to Carolina Journal radio I'm Ashoka during the next hour, Donna Martinez and I will explore some major issues affecting our state popularity plays an ongoing role in our lives, even beyond her high school years will chat with you and see psychology professor who's written a book about the power popularity, North Carolina's junior US Sen. has a proposal for dealing with the illegal immigrants known as dreamers learn details.

A Raleigh attorney is in line to become a new federal district court judge to hear what he had to say during his recent confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill and North Carolina re-opens the door for the states film incentives program will hear from a critic who says lawmakers made a bad decision. Those topics are just ahead. First, Donna Martinez joins us with the Carolina Journal headline North Carolina is betting on an expensive project to increase consumer spending in a small area of our state and this time it's starting with a $6 million down payment, the North Carolina Department of Transportation's very division is counting on ferrying enough travelers to Ocracoke Island, hoping they'll leave their cars in Harris to justify spending millions on a passenger only ferry vessel and related infrastructure Carolina Journal has been reporting on this. In fact, it is the cover story of the October issue of Carolina Journal also available at Carolina. Rick Anderson is editor-in-chief. He's here to explain the story Rick welcome back. If the DOT is gonna spend money that tells me they must feel that there is a problem that they're trying to solve.

So what is the problem problem. The lease they alleged exists has to do with consumer spending all Ocracoke and Hatteras area there.

So what they're trying to do is allow people to go to the north end of the island to the south of the island is easier to get their dog into the north end of through some sort of new transportation service. There actually already operate fairies that run at no cost to the user that will accommodate their vehicles. What they're going to do now is going to set up another ferry system with only one boat which will transport people who don't have cars and charters and they're assuming that they're going to drop aloft at that the Hatteras and that they're going to go there and wander around and beat your shopper whatever even though they're not going will carry stuff with them or if they have to carry their beach gear is whatever they can put their arms around. Basically it is a is a really really unusual idea how to increase consumer spending.

Just because there is congestion on the island, and there are times that there are long waits to get those vehicle fairies village at issue that time very small crowded area so I can understand that they would want to try to incensed people in some way to leave their car someplace else like and not to bring all these vehicles and on the area, especially during high tourist season, but it seems serious to me that they would go with this passenger only ferry idea and charge people when it's doesn't cost anything to take your car right that says it is in reverse.

One would think, yes, yes, is that me that's that's part of the issues that you're going to say okay you can take your car and drive around and not pay anything or you have your car and basically be stuck a mile and 1/2 on the beach when you exit the at the suppose it point that the fairies going to let you all thought out and then and then have to haul your stuff around with your minutes.

We joke about the this seems like it's a market opportunity for drivers to pick people up at the dock you drive around the wheat we jump, but it does seem like the incentives are in the wrong place. If you're trying to get people the car I think that the main audience for this will be the people who own gift shops and restaurants and all that that right at the location because they're the ones who are most likely to benefit from this.

But if you're talking about people who actually want to go to the beach, wander around the that's fine, but again you have to carry all your stuff with you. You can't you can't. There was, you have a lesser backpacking of anything there also some limitations to this particular system. We do have a fairest system that's currently operating that goes from several different areas to the island and does so at a cost to taxpayers for sure, but seems to be pleasing people pretty well.

Speaking of cost to taxpayers. Tell us what we know about this plan, whether now think the incentives sound like they're in the right place or not I what is the plan consisted well right now there's about cost about $6 million total to purchase the boat and to then build docking area for it. The plan was basically approved by NC DOT before it even had permission to build a dock. It already purchased the boat and got into the program without even having a dock because the Hatteras filing that section that they want to go to his national parkland and the National Park Service had to approve building infrastructure, the Park service dividends were after-the-fact and so it was a bit of a gamble in and of itself right there.

So the $6 million.

Is that the federal money state money local money to have any sense of yet whose pitching annulus is for $4 million came from an initial initial appropriation for the general said. I see from your initial proration of the Gen. assembly to be about 85 and 8020 cost-sharing arrangement between the federal government to taxpayers and some additional costs but still it is essentially a tax funded project and they're hoping that some of the revenues they collect from passengers are allowed to help make up some of the difference here, but as as Don Carrington who did the story found out in conversations with people, many of whom would not go on record because I might be affected by this operation where others very small community. You have a situation in which you have people who are going to be riding take a ride. I think it's about so for for our trip. I think from there a place where they leave their car to the dock and they're going to be there with essentially nothing to do that.

Time if you're on a vehicle ferry you can set your car you listen to radio so you can tailgating you also to things like that while you're on a short ride to two out roughly 2 hour ride in this case, people will be for a walk around wandering around and I'm guessing that some of the boat operators really want to have to be this to be a social chairman of enemy you have to have table games available for how are they going to keep people from getting rowdy and perhaps intoxicated and having problems like that always very very long rides Everett. We know that this is not the first time that this area has tried to figure out a way to deal with congestion issues, you know, that happens to be an area that's incredibly beautiful and if you been there is a place in Taurus want to go there a lot of people want to live there, so they do have legitimate issues, but Carolina journal has been reporting on some of these Sam efforts over the years.

This time around.

Having maybe come across a planet that is possibly workable, or is this could have just as many problems as it had in the past there was a plan that five or six and best put forth years ago, allegedly to provide ferry service from for students to go from the mainland the Outer Banks to school back and we we we called it the ferry for the children if you will that program didn't work really what it was was a disguised way to get people who were working in the hotels and the restaurants who couldn't afford to live offshore there cheaply at taxpayer expense. So that, but that systems were fell apart when it came to light. It is this is just a puzzle or simply because the market kinda tends to take care of the sort of situations if if there's too much demand for the fairies and running in Hatteras right now when their free then tourist can choose to go someplace else are a lot of lovely places along the North Carolina coast.

And if you're really trying to go to Hatteras and really determined to take your car you could do that work really determined to go to Hatteras and you and you want to just stay in camp for a few days.

Something like that. You have the option of leaving your vehicle at the at the with the Marine area so he people have choices right now but that the big challenger has figured out if you want to get up there and charge them and not give them as many options to take advantage of the tourist activities there seems to be a very unusual way to do what the question still about this plan we been talking with editor-in-chief Rick Henderson. Thanks very much. Thank you stay with this much more Carolina journal radio to come in just a moment.

Are you wondering where our country is headed. Well, so are two of our most revered presidents spend an evening with Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. That's right, Jefferson and Adams visit the Museum of history in Raleigh for a debate on the future of the United States by Jefferson and Adams think about national security, foreign engagement and the role of government.

While time is passed since they let our country the issues and challenges, endure its living history, living history events during two incredible actors Monday evening November 20. Brought to you by the organization dedicated to advancing freedom, the John Locke foundation find that's John Locke with an or call 866 JL FINFO Monday evening November 20 at the Museum of history and Raleigh tickets $10 per person but just five dollars for students Thomas Jefferson and John Adams live in Raleigh November 20. Hope to see you there. Welcome back Carolina journal radio why Michiko got like it or not.

Popularity carries a lot of importance in our world. Our next guest is written a book on the topic. It's titled popular the power of likability status obsessed world. He is Prof. Mitch Bernstein distinguished Prof. of psychology and director of clinical psychology at UNC Chapel Hill.

The program thanks for having me.

So what made you think that popularity would be a good topic to write about, well, you know, I've been interested in popularity since I was a kid and wondering why some kids were more popular than others, but when I was pursuing that we all what I focused on that for at least a time, but what you read school and start working on it and really was just shocked how much popularity really affects us. Decades later at 30, 40 years later, I was surprised how much the same dynamics even play out when were adults there something about the ways that we interact with others that we repeat over and over again for the rest of our lives now course, all of us who have grown up ever remember the issue popularity when were kids. But how does this help play out other points in our lives and not just on the playground well. The important thing that people sometimes don't realize is that there are two different kinds of popularity. One of those kinds is the kind that we might've forgotten about, but it played a role when we were three years old's believe it or not and it still plays a role when were adults.

And that's likability extent to which people genuinely enjoy spending time with us. They like sharing with us a enjoy your company. We make them feel good, but anyone who's been a high school probably remembers that other kind of popularity which we call status and it's those kids who are influential sometimes a little aggressive their highly visible people and emulate them in that kind of popularity used to go away and as we grew out of adolescence, not so much anymore and it turns out that it's related to pretty negative outcomes. Long-term, how does that end up being negative. Well researchers follow those kids that were the most popular in high school and they found is that when they grow up they tend to still be focused on status. They're very interested in being visible and even controversial just to get the attention of others.

Studies have found that those high in status. Grow up to have relationship problems at work and at home. They have problems with addictions there at greater risk for anxiety and depression as well. You mentioned that that was the second type of popularity and the first type is just to the likability and be like to when you're even a little kid. What about that type of popularity does that have long-term impacts will you know it does so.

Being likable is something that helped us out when we were three and it helps us all the way and sort hundred and three. Those who are the most likable actually tend to be more likely to be hired or promoted to get higher salaries to be better, team managers and leaders. They do better at home with their spouse. They have happier marriages more well-adjusted kids. Believe it or not.

If you're more likable, you're less likely to get physical illnesses and you're going right to live longer as well.

So, not just the. The aspects that we might know, but some things behind-the-scenes in our lives. This likability factor sounds like it plays a major positive role. It really does. There's something about the way that we've evolved as a species, and the way that our brains operates today that makes us remarkably attuned to our position, among others, and how much were a part of the herd. We are not and it turns out that our sales are DNA will respond within just a few minutes as soon as we feel were being excluded and we now are starting to understand how that ask our brains operate differently. Our health change, likability ends up being something that we didn't just leave back in school, but it's a powerful factor for so many aspects of our lives. We are chatting with Prof. Mitch Bernstein of UNC Chapel Hill, author of the book popular the power of likability status obsessed world how you go about the study of this.

Obviously, we all know what it's like to be popular or unpopular as kids. The little kids and then also in high school she was discussing, but obviously there was some some research, some scientific research that went into your find. There's been so much research on this topic and a lot of it involves working with young children and asking them to tell us who in their classrooms are the most and least well lights, who are the most and least popular.

The way we sometimes define it as status and then following those kids over years there's been some research that's valid. Kids all the way until their middle-aged adults to really look at what the impacts are in our lab. We also look at how kids with different levels of popularity have different responses to stress by measuring their heart rate and or hormones in their DNA. We mentioned the positive impact of likability throughout our lives. What about the ones who are identified fairly early on is being unpopular doesn't have lifelong negative impacts. Well it depends. There are plenty of ways to change your popularity and make sure that you're not falling into the same trap over and over again and it's remarkably easy to kind of repeat your experiences decade after decade interaction after interaction for those who unfortunately don't it's true. Those who are rejected and are pretty unpopular tend to have a hard time there a greater risk for a long list of negative outcomes and that's pretty concerning. It's where I hope that the book will help people to understand how to break those patterns.

If not for themselves than for their children because there are a lot of ways to tune into some very simple things to succeed a little bit more in this domain you just alluded to this. But what are some of the implications that you see from this work about how people can make their lives better by being more attuned to this popularity factor. You know it's really amazing how much we tend to contribute to the experiences that we have day in day out.

If we walk into a room with our arms folded and were not making eye contact.

People will actually experience sadness at a greater level than if you say the same things and you're the same person but you simply act in a way that expects people to like you. Little things like that all the way to the ways that we interpret the world around us. There's no research that suggests that if we were unpopular and we look at a crowd are more likely to attuned to those people who are giving us negative signals if we are popular, looking at that exact same crowd.

We spend more time looking at positive feedback.

You can imagine how that unpopular fields are that we might be wearing all day is literally changing the world. We think we are surrounded by, and how that can have cascade effects and such important ways. You also earlier talked about kids making changes that perhaps would help our own children.

Are there some some lessons that can be learned about how to deal with this issue in ways that are beneficial for your children, absolutely. And I think that issue is more important now than it has ever been in the history of our species. Believe it or not, and there are a few reasons for that with social media being one used to be that we would grow out of this concern for status and who is most popular and we would go back to valuing likability affect our whole society really cared about real connections and community. That's not the society we live in anymore.

You know our kids are really getting explicit messages in high school. Now that their value can be measured by the number of their Instagram followers and adults to sometimes fall prey to that desire to really get lots of retweets. So are you know likes on their profiles. We kind of become a world that has an interminable high school now or we've all held onto that most popular kind of status in a way that we should think it's really important that parents give kids the message that there are two forms of popularity one leads to good outcomes and one not so much in helping kids remember which is which and to learn more about this topic. You can read the book. It is titled popular the power of likability in the status obsessed world. The author is our guest investor Mitch Bernstein of UNC Chapel Hill back so much for joining. Yeah, thanks for having me here on Carolina journal radio. Are you wondering where our country is headed while so are two of our most revered presidents spend an evening with Thomas Jefferson and John Adams.

That's right, Jefferson and Adams visit the Museum of history in Raleigh for a debate on the future of the United States by Jefferson and Adams think about national security, foreign engagement and the role of government. While time is passed since they let our country the issues and challenges, endure its living history, living history events during two incredible actors Monday evening November 20. Brought to you by the organization dedicated to advancing freedom, the John Locke foundation find that's John Locke with an or call 866 JL FINFO Monday evening November 20 at the Museum of history and Raleigh tickets $10 per person but just five dollars for students Thomas Jefferson and John Adams live in Raleigh November 20. Hope to see you there. North Carolina is changing not just day-to-day but outward to our minute to minute and 2nd to 2nd, how can you keep up with the changes, especially the ones that affect you, your family, your home, your job, make the John lock foundation and Carolina journal part of your social media diet on Facebook like the John lock foundation like Carolina.

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Support the John Locke foundation will go back to Carolina journal radio I Mitch coca North Carolina's junior US Sen. has a proposal to deal with the so-called dreamers.

Tom Tillis recently unveiled the succeed act succeed believe is a fair compassionate merit-based solution to the challenge that we have with children who came here through no fault of their own and now find themselves uncertain about their future in this country there resolves that uncertainty surrounding the legal status for children. This act is about the children is completely merit-based.

If you were car if you follow the law and you pay your taxes, you can stay here permanently ensures fairness.

There is no skipping online. We think it's very important that any person coming to this country that was already going through the process that we not implement a policy that would actually allow that line to be skipped, but also provide certainty and prevents chain migration for future illegal immigration that covers undocumented minors so that would be someone who was who came to this country under the age of 16 that it really tracks to the dock administrative actions. There will be certain requirements after anyone applying for protected status would have to undergo a criminal background check. That includes our consultation with Interpol or country of origin so that we can check the criminal past of the of the person applying for relief they have to pay off any existing federal tax liabilities back to sign an acknowledgment that they will not be eligible for any immigration benefit that that if they are convicted of a crime while in the protected status. So another words the requirements for getting a protected status would continue to be held and that could actually require that would result in the protected status being declined at some point in the future. What these dreamers have to do to stay in the United States want to maintain gainful employment. That's 48/60 months earn a post secondary vocational degree or serve honorably in the military after five years if they met their merit-based obligations and I maintain a clean criminal record and they pay their taxes they would become eligible for a second five-year protected status and wants to protest an offensive maintain CPR for over 10 years and are proven they are productive, law-abiding members of society. They would be eligible to apply for a green card. This bill, I believe is a fair and orderly method for providing a permanent solution for the doctor children.

We got to set a high bar and send a very clear message that people want to come to this country should consider doing it legally and that includes people who come here on visas and overstay their visas. We got to do everything we can to prevent this from being another crisis that we have to deal with 10 to 15 years. No, that's Republican US Sen. Tom Tillis of North Carolina. He spelling out details of his succeed act a proposal to deal with the group of young illegal immigrants known as dreamers will return with more Carolina journal radio in a moment real influence. You either have it or you don't and at the John lock foundation.

We do, and that's not bluster in a private survey of more than 250 North Carolina political insiders 87% said we influence them either a great deal or a good amount. So while others talk and complain. We get to work providing research solutions and help 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. Our goal is to transform North Carolina into a growing, thriving economic powerhouse that is the envy of every other state.

Our research is actually help policymakers make decisions that ensure you keep more of what you earn.

Expand your choice of schools for your kids. Widen your job opportunities and improve your access to doctors. The recipe for stability and a bright future. The John lock foundation were dedicated to making North Carolina first and freedom were dedicated to you will Qubec Carolina journal radio I Mitch coca Raleigh attorney Thomas Pharr is in line for a job as a federal district court judge headed to Capitol Hill. Recently for questioning from US senators, North Carolina's Republican Tom Tillis pursued a friendly line of questions you practice law for a long been in front of a number of different judges can give me your idea of what you think makes a good judge of what you believe you would be a good judge.

I have had the privilege of clerking for a burger judge if confirmed by one of the honor of replacing a burger judge. The judge -like performance. Frank Bullock judge I would replace Mr. George named Mark Howard. These two gentlemen I think represent role models for anyone who wants to know what it takes to be good judge from what I would say about those two gentlemen is that they are in for a unfailingly time to everyone who comes into the courtroom with respect on all parties to respect all witnesses their very deliberate in their thinking, and they are absolutely committed to following the rule of law and decide cases based upon the facts and the wall to the best of their understanding and that and so those two gentlemen Sen. Tilson about to come anywhere close to being as good a judge loose judge Milliken judge Howard would be Howard the 500 judge Minnesota Democrat Amy Clover car wanted to ask Thomas Pharr about his work as an attorney representing North Carolina's Republican legislators think we all know you previously represented the North Carolina legislature in several cases involving voting rights and then out of that. The Fourth Circuit later found that North Carolina's voter ID law intentionally discriminated and describing the law as discriminating with surgical precision and what I specifically when I asked Brian understand we all have clients and we do work but I understand that the North Carolina legislature has requested data regarding the racial breakdown of had requested during this time the racial breakdown of how frequently several of these voting Kate access tools we use before drafting the law, and despite this information, you argued that the law was not acted with a discriminatory purpose, discriminatory purpose. How would you explain the legislature's request for this information. If not for the purpose of drafting allowed to target groups and can you tell us about why you argued that the law which was struck down by the Fourth Circuit was not intended to discriminate during the course of the trial judge Schroeder asked the attorney for the Justice Department. What would've been better for North Carolina. Given the fact that they had consider impact of the law and that bore the burden of proof to show it was. Not purposely discriminatory under section 5 what would been better from withdrawn should they have asked for the racial better or should they not have after liberation. Since the don't have to explain how the law could not have the spiritual impact returns for the Justice Department at the falsehood drawer we can answer the question survey was. It was a prudent funding from the legislature to transfer that information in essentially under section 5. It would be all but asked for such information regarding purposeful discrimination. Sen. is the second part.

Yes ma'am. Thank you for asking the question Fourth Circuit decision is binding on everyone as a judge.

I will have to follow them. I will follow, but at the time our clients connect with those laws.

I do not believe that they thought they were purposely discriminating against African-Americans not to tell you that the practices that were adopted by the city North Carolina which were subsequently struck down by the Fourth Circuit or majority rule practices throughout the rest of the country. For example, most states don't have same-day registration part of voting most states don't have 17 days of early voting. Most states don't have our present voting, which is a practice would allow someone to go for outside of the preselection and another important point I would make is that judge Schroeder who's the trial judge McCoy since all the witnesses and made findings of fact after forward trial. He made a finding that none of these laws that eventually were struck down had a discriminatory impact on African-Americans. In fact, center of the African-American turnout 2014 went up during an election where some of these practices were in place and judge for the respondent of the laws had no despair or discomfort impact was nonreturnable for sure certain people say these things differently. I'm actually bound by the decision of the Fourth Circuit have the greatest respect for the judge's resettlement panel. They saw things differently to my clients with our our city her to bury them absently convinced the Mark Lawrence did not intend discriminating intentionally discriminated against African-Americans Fourth Circuit saw the other way is a pretty aggressive opinion I would say the words that they used came from your Sen. and I do I have the greatest respect for the judges on the panel and I know that they based their decision based upon the facts and law understood that Raleigh attorney Thomas Pharr answering questions from US senators during his bid to become a new federal district court judge Democratic Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware wanted to know Pharr's thoughts about court rulings involving election redistricting there been a number of very strong opinions by both federal district courts in the Fourth Circuit effect. If I understand yesterday of the Fourth Circuit.

I think in Covington versus North Carolina concluded that this is one of the most widespread serious and long-standing constitutional violations in terms of racial gerrymandering. You pointed earlier to the tension between compliance with section 5 of the voting rights act and meeting other constitutional protections, is it permissible in your view, under federal law for state legislature to engage in gerrymandering that takes race into account how would you suggest we move forward to a place where district lines are drawn in a way that respects the fundamental rights of of all Americans think that's an evolving area of law that is taken different terms over the last 30 years. The marshaling of law. Today is the courts have pretty much said that anytime a state districts. There is a consciousness of writers, but based upon the most recent decisions the legislature cannot take race into account until they have essentially the same type of evidence that the plaintiff would have to have in a section 2 choice to show the remedial districts were necessary and so the legislature would have to have evidence that the minority group was politically cohesive and was geographically compact to constitute the majority in a single-member district and then you have to have evidence of, was called right politically significant racially polarized voting that was what was at issue in the in all cases of North Carolina we have tons of evidence of racially polarized voting. In fact, I don't think anyone disputes the North Carolina there's racially polarized voting.

I think she went back and studied the traces and prior redistricting efforts by North Carolina. The racially polarized voting will sufficient at least in the minds of the legislature to support these remedial districts. The Supreme Court has never clarified that the standard is much higher in that you have to have evidence that the white majority votes in a block typically to defeat the ability of marked minority groups electrically under their chores.

So I think the Supreme Court very healthily clarify the standard that legislatures ma'am have followed for the take race new account and I think absent that type of evidence that should not take race new account going to church that's Raleigh attorney Thomas Pharr answering questions on Capitol Hill from US senators, Pharr is in line to become a new federal district court judge will return with more Carolina journal radio in a moment. Are you wondering where our country is headed. Well, so are two of our most revered presidents spend an evening with Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. That's right, Jefferson and Adams visit the Museum of history in Raleigh for a debate on the future of the United States by Jefferson and Adams think about national security, foreign engagement and the role of government. While time is passed since they let our country the issues and challenges, endure its living history, living history events during two incredible actors Monday evening November 20. Brought to you by the organization dedicated to advancing freedom, the John Locke foundation find that's John Locke with an or call 866 JL FINFO Monday evening November 20 at the Museum of history and Raleigh tickets $10 per person but just five dollars for students Thomas Jefferson and John Adams live in Raleigh November 20. Hope to see you there.

Welcome back to Carolina journal radio I'm Donna Martina's North Carolina is one of many states that tries to lure television and film productions to the state in 2014. In fact, North Carolina gave out about $80 million in tax incentives. The program was then changed and pared back after 2014, but now there appears to be a push underway in the legislature to increase the amount that we dedicate to attracting this industry. Our next guest says that the big mistake John Sanders is director of regulatory studies for the John Locke foundation. He joins us now John, welcome back. Thanks to me.

So you say bad idea you been writing a lot about this recently why people might be single.

Don't you want television and film folks coming to the state certainly do want television film folks along all kinds of folks coming Tuesday. What I object to is that is a targeted incentive for a specific industry. Same with the other incentives that we've criticized at the John Locke foundation. We simply don't need to play favorites within with industries when in the last few years are legislature in an governors have passed significant reductions in our tax rates across the board in spending rate of growth and and regulations that have turned the state into an economic dynamo.

We we are now known as one of the places doing it right as far as policy and we are bringing in people from all over investments, incentives and all that were bringing from all over us.

We don't need these targeted incentives. John, many states are engaging in this and will talk a little bit more about what other states are doing right. Just recently we have heard some state legislators and their support for this kind of thing on both sides of the political aisle, Republicans and Democrats.

In some cases supporting this and they say, look, we simply can't compete, because other states are doing this when you say back to them.

I don't think that we should. I think that we should, for example, Georgia wants to bet the pharmacist on film incentives and forget the rest of their industries wish to stand back and let them we are doing quite well mean we're pretty much a full employment.

The news came out today that our wages grew in late in 2016.

At the fourth highest in the United States. We don't need these sorts of targeted incentives. You mentioned the state of Georgia. I have to tell you that as I watch television and in movies and and things. It's pretty frequent now that at the end of it you're going to see a quick little kind of picture on the screen and in usually a little kind of jingle. The says made in Georgia what's going on with Georgia.

Why are they making so many of these commercials and and television shows for several years, Georgia, North Carolina, kind of engaged in a war of incentives and when our incentives were paired, way back in 2014.

At the end of 2014. Georgia took off another state that does quite a bit is Louisiana. The interesting thing to me is a Louisiana and Georgia are different in that Louisiana and has made on the studies of their film incentives and found that their money losers, but have decided we just think it's an important state policy were going to it regardless. Where is Georgia takes more than approach like our people here have and just used motion picture studies now are Commerce Department in the study of our film incentives back in 2014 and found that we were only making about $0.19 on the dollar, whereas the, the industry study was saying it was returning about eight dollars for everyone.

John North Carolina has been engaging in film incentives in one form or another for a number of years now. I'm help us understand exactly how this kind of started out and then what happened during that era of quote pairing them back and then brings up to date to today. We got into it in 2005 really, but in 2002. There was only about four states that were doing and by 2009, only six states weren't doing and since then the states began to study Michael like ours did and found that they were returning consistently just pennies on the dollar estate started getting out of the 10 states who dropped out by 2016 that were doing. Now we talk about the legislature here in in 2014 what happened and what what was that kind of the dynamic that that made this program be pared back there was a sunset in place and the legislature decided to allow it to to sunset, but at the last minute they they changed it to a film, grant it was of a tax credit which allowed it to be fully refundable on. There were some questions about whether that was even constitutional because it basically was a on it was a draw on the state treasury. That wasn't allocated in the state budget. So now it's a set amount is a film grant and just this past week, the legislature has removed the sunset that would've had it in by 2020.

Or at least that they would have to read.

Take a look at it.

What's the significance of the difference between a refundable credit and a grant type program. While the refundable credit is it if and this was a frequent occurrence. The total tax liability of the film production company from out of state was less than the film credit than the state of North Carolina would end up cutting them a check so we were actually writing checks to Hollywood production companies.

Yes, not only giving them a break, but we were paying them money essentially us okay and then when it changed to a grant program then was essentially capped at a certain amount, yet was, was Milked the tax credit was To but at a much higher month 20 million John this actually work. Let's say I'm a production company and I find out that in a Durham North Carolina is the place I want to make my commercial for my car company client so I come to Durham and I make the commercial what happens next in order to get me into this program.

There's a lot of hoops that they have to jump through. They have to meet certain criteria. I can't remember all of them at the top of my head, but they do have to they have to work through the film office and do they have to agree to create a certain number of jobs or is it a certain amount of spending that they have to do.

There's a certain amount of spending the jobs are pretty much sui generis to the project as soon as the project is over, the jobs are gone. So unlike a lot of state incentives programs. There are no there are no long-term jobs and an infrastructure that they have to create an get credit for John, where do you see this program going across the country.

We talked about Georgia and there they are all in and so they got a lot of production coming to that statement in general. What's the trendline here people getting in are they getting out the trendline lately has been people getting out. I don't know how long that trend will last. I'm hopeful that maybe it will continue as other states start to see that this there basically being bid against each other by these film production companies, North Carolina's bid helps Georges Georges bid helps in the pressure each other and the only one is making out his the film production companies and when you think about it. John if you put yourself in the shoes of these production companies can't really blame them. Frankly, I mean they're looking at all these different states who are offering them all these different things and so from their business perspective, I can understand why they would say hey North Carolina were looking to Georgia what you got for us right away the states of set up on a blend of either, but that doesn't mean it's the right thing for the state to do what we know.

Recently, there does seem to be this pressure in the legislature to ramp this program up versus ramp it down so what is it that legislators should remind themselves that is a start thinking about where they can take this program they need to just trust in the effects of good policy changes that I mentioned earlier and allow for the state to grow in ways that they aren't necessarily directing themselves. Thank you very much that's all the time we have for the program this week.

Thank you for listening come back again next week for more Carolina journal radio Carolina journal radio is a program of the John Locke to learn more about the John Locke foundation, including donations that support programs like Carolina journal radio send email to development John Locke call 166 GLM info 166-553-4636 Carolina journal radio nation airline is running unions expressed in this program nearly mentioned about Michelle or other foundation is three airline sponsored Carolina radio again

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