Years ago, everyone traveling along a North Carolina highway faced a regular reminder of the state’s old and venerable tradition of North Carolinians standing up for liberty. The words “First in Freedom” adorned every state license plate, highlighting the state’s early role in fighting British tyranny through such documents as the Mecklenburg and Halifax Resolves.
North Carolinians no longer see daily use of the phrase “First in Freedom” as they drive down the road. Likewise, years of government growth and liberal policymaking have shifted the Tar Heel State’s attention away from its traditional stand for personal liberty and individual responsibility.
Now the John Locke Foundation recognizes that North Carolinians are ready to reclaim their heritage and resume their leadership in the cause of liberty. Voters have placed the legislature, governor’s office, and Supreme Court in the hands of public officials more sympathetic to conservative ideas than ever before in modern history.
In 2012 JLF published President John Hood’s Our Best Foot Forward: An Investment Plan for North Carolina’s Economic Recovery. It provided historical context and set out the broad outlines of a conservative reform agenda for the state.
This book is the logical follow-up. It offers analysis and specific recommendations from the JLF Research team on the biggest fiscal and economic issues facing North Carolina in 2013.
Like that old license plate slogan, First in Freedom serves as a reminder of North Carolina’s past while motivating the push toward greater liberty in the future. It is time for our state to become First in Freedom once more.
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