Laced with a good dose of humor, it was a rather sobering look at how history repeats itself in the constant political tug-o-war between the left and right. Starting with a description of an economy and policies in 1937 that sounded eerily like today's, Hood then outlined the response from a conservative North Carolina senator of the period that could have been coming from the John Locke Foundation itself. Mr Hood painted a picture of a nation and state in need of some serious recalibration.
Here are some of the low-lights he covered from at state economy point of view...
- North Carolina used to be called the "Dixie Dynamo" now the state sits at the very bottom of the recent Bloomberg BEES Index which measures economic health.
- At the end of 2011, North Carolina was 300,000 jobs below the peak reached in 2007. This year the estimates are for 40,000 to be created - leaving a steep hill to climb just to get back to even.
- Nationally, only 20% of lost jobs from the Great Recession have been recovered. In North Carolina, it's only 8% - putting the state "behind a slow moving tortoise" and saddled with 17% underemployment.
So you would think that with those kind of numbers we would be looking another wholesale change at the ballot box this November. Right? Not so, says Hood. Describing the '06 and '08 cycles as Democratic wave elections and 2010 as a Repbulican counter wave, he sees 2012 as "tubulence". Instead of a sweeping victory one way or the other, it will be a series of hard-fought contests up and down the ballot.
Here are some of the specifics at this early stage. Check out www.electionprojection.com for more details.
- President - Obama beats Romney by 1.4% (Yes, this includes the projection that Romney is the Republican nominee.)
- US Senate - Republicans net 3-4 with Scott Brown in Massachusettes being the decisive 4th seat if the Republicans are to take back control of the Senate even with a Democratic Vice President who would break any tie votes.
- US House - It's a wash with some wins and losses for both parties, but NC moves to a 10-3 Republican majority delegation from the current 7-6 majority Democrat delegation.
- Republicans net 4 new governorships including North Carolina.
- At the NC Legislature, the Republicans are unlikely to lose either chamber, but if one was to switch, the House would be more likely.
He closed with the statement "competition is good".
With races as big and as important as this year's, we are in for a good dose of that it would seem.