Leaders try to find common ground in North Carolina

March 9, 2016

From the News & Observer BY ROB CHRISTENSEN It was a simple idea, but a surprising one in this age of political polarization, which now includes innuendo about one’s manhood. Why not get North Carolinians of all political stripes together to have conversations, to better understand one another’s point of view, and see whether there is any common ground about how to make life better in the state? The result was the first of a series of meetings last week at Duke University involving conservatives such as Raleigh businessman Art Pope, former state GOP Chairman Robin Hayes and former gubernatorial candidate Chuck Neely, and liberals such as MaryBe McMillan of the state AFL-CIO, former Charlotte Mayor Dan Clodfelter, and former state Rep. Rick Glazier, head of the North Carolina Justice Center. It all started when John Hood, president of the conservative John Pope Foundation, wrote a column about a year ago about how liberals and conservatives rarely talk...

White Oak School gymnasium effort receives $5,000 grant

July 24, 2015

July 24, 2015 RALEIGH – The John William Pope Foundation recently announced the award of a $5,000 grant to the White Oak School gymnasium revitalization project in Elizabethtown. “Buildings like the White Oak gymnasium are the backbone of many small communities,” said Art Pope, chairman of the John William Pope Foundation. “The Pope Foundation is proud to support a project that the people of Bladen County will find useful and important for years to come.” The Pope Foundation receives its support from the family of Art Pope and from Variety Wholesales, Inc., owner and operator the North Carolina based Roses and Maxway stores. The White Oak school doors were shuttered years ago, and all that remains on the property is a gymnasium built in the 1940s. The property was donated to White Oak Baptist Church about a year ago and the White Oak School Reunion Committee began the process of renovating the building into a community center. The grant from the Pope Foundation...

Want to be happy? Participating in a vibrant civil society is key

October 9, 2013

Who doesn't want to be happy? But often, the pursuits and pleasures we assume will bring happiness never do in the end. Writing in Philanthropy Daily, middle-school teacher Abigail Clevenger suggests that participating in a vibrant civil society — family, church, and local community — is a key ingredient for achieving personal and national happiness. She launches her argument off a recent speech by the American Enterprise Institute's Arthur Brooks on "the secret of happiness": The problem is that we try to measure happiness, both personally and nationally, with what is easily measured: money and material goods. So we quickly become a nation primed for consumption and the never-ending quest to satiate unlimited desires. The government ends up encouraging materialism and the assumption that money (or entitlements) can buy happiness. Alas, time and again, the stats clearly demonstrate that money just doesn’t buy elusive happiness. Again, for an individual or society to be...

Columnist: Millennials must embrace ‘creative destruction’

June 24, 2013

Writing in Forbes magazine, Maura Pennington argues that Millennials (roughly those born between 1980 and 2000) must embrace Joseph Schumpeter's concept of "creative destruction" in order to thrive in hard economic times: How can a philosophy of creative destruction help [Millennials] find their way? To answer that, I offer advice from my grandfather. He would give me the greatest, pithiest piece of wisdom whenever I came home crying, inflexible in the face of opposition. He’d look me directly in the eyes and say simply, “Adjust.” It was infuriating to hear at the age of twelve, but it’s the word I now live by: Adjust. We have to adapt.  So we majored in the Humanities and companies only want engineers. Embrace the message of Hermann Hesse’s Demian: “Nothing new can arrive unless an old thing dies.” Keep reading novels, but start learning a new skill. It is never too late to course correct. It is certainly not too late when in one’s twenties. Creative...

[VIDEO] The economic consequences of changing family structure

May 29, 2013

Values & Capitalism, an initiative of the American Enterprise Institute, has released a new book discussing the economic consequences of breakdown in family structure in the United States: Since the 1950s, divorces and out-of-wedlock births in America have risen dramatically. This has significantly affected the economic well-being of the country’s most vulnerable populations. In "Home Economics: The Consequences of Changing Family Structure, Nick Schulz argues that serious consideration of the consequences of changing family structure is sorely missing from conversations about American economic policy and politics. Apprehending a complete picture of this country’s economic condition will be impossible if poverty, income inequality, wealth disparities, and unemployment alone are taken into consideration, claims Schulz. Click here to purchase the book, or watch the video below. Here is an excerpt from the first chapter, available in PDF download: This project was...