Category: The Forum

Friday Facts: June 28, 2013

June 28, 2013  It’s Friday!  Quotes of Note “High standards should be used to hold tax-funded schools accountable for delivering educational opportunities to students. This is a worthy goal. But it’s more easily achieved by creating a marketplace of educational services where those who know and care the most about the best interests of children – parents – are the ultimate arbiters of quality. This decentralized and apolitical accountability beats any top-down dictate from the state.” – Michael Van Beek “Tuesday’s [U.S. Supreme Court decision on the Voting Rights Act] came eight months after a presidential election in which African Americans voted at a higher rate than whites. It came when in a majority of the nine states… View Article
By Benita M. Dodd On the heels of President Obama’s announcement this week that he would focus more sharply on a climate change agenda, the American Legislative Exchange Council released a report today highlighting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ongoing usurpation of regulatory control from the states. ALEC Report http://alec.org/docs/EPA_Assault_State_Sovereignty In The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Assault on State Sovereignty, ALEC highlights the most recent examples of how the EPA has consolidated and centralized environmental regulation and implemented especially onerous regulations that have placed undue burdens on states. Remember Obama’s remarks in his inaugural address this year? “We, the people, still believe that our obligations as Americans are not just to ourselves, but to all posterity. We will… View Article

Checking Up On Health: June 25, 2013

Health Policy News and Views Compiled by Benita M. Dodd A long way from home: With less than 100 days to go before the main provisions of ObamaCare take effect, there are at least 99 things still outstanding, according to Sarah Kliff of The Washington Post. Among them: opening massive call centers big enough to handle 42 million calls by the end of this year. And training those call center agents on the Affordable Care Act. “You can bet there will be lots of calls: As of November, the vast majority of Americans expected to be eligible for benefits had no idea that they would become available,” Kliff points out. Read her list here. It’s called choice? A… View Article
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Sunday editorial on June 23, 2013, mentioned the Foundation’s proposed alternative to Medicaid expansion: “This spring, the pro-free market Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s Kelly McCutchen wrote that public hospitals are required to care for anyone who shows up in their emergency rooms, ‘regardless of their ability to pay. So even if Medicaid did not exist, taxpayers and citizens would be paying for health care for the poor and uninsured.’ McCutchen suggests that a more efficient alternative is to grant state credits to low-income people that would go toward costs of private health insurance. If people didn’t use the credits, the allocated money would then go to safety-net health care providers. “Ideas like these show that states and View Article
Georgia Public Policy Foundation President and CEO Kelly McCutchen wrote a letter to the editor that was published in the June 23, 2013 issue of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in response to an editorial on civil asset forfeiture in Georgia: Innocent parties lose under current laws “Court of public opinion” (Opinion, June 16) highlights the questionable  spending of forfeiture funds but ignores the larger issue: Innocent property owners are losing their property. Your property can be seized in Georgia even if you have not been convicted or even accused of a crime. Even worse, the burden of proof is on y0u — not on the state — to prove your innocence and you must sue to retrieve your property. Questionable spending… View Article
  This commentary was first published by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a research and educational institute headquartered in Midland, Mich., and a sister think tank to the Georgia Public Policy Foundation.  By Audrey Spalding Though property vacancy is a pressing problem in some areas of Michigan, the government land banks created to address it may be doing more harm than good. Some land banks have actually blocked private buyers from purchasing vacant property, and others have discriminatory sales policies.  In the western part of the state, the Kent County Land Bank caused a stir last summer when it snapped up more than 40 vacant properties before tax auction. By doing so, the land bank blocked would-be buyers from… View Article

Friday Facts: June 21, 2013

June 21, 2013  It’s Friday!  Quotes of Note “Sincerity of purpose is not the same as honesty of procedure.” – Thomas Sowell “The North and South have come to resemble a couple who, although married, dream very different dreams. The South, along with the Plains, is focused on growing its economy, getting rich, and catching up with the North’s cultural and financial hegemons. The Yankee nation, by contrast, is largely concerned with preserving its privileged economic and cultural position – with its elites pulling up the ladder behind themselves.” – Joel Kotkin “There’s a lot to be said when … kids have friends in prison who are receiving a far better education than they are outside of prison. What View Article
By Harold Brown Hurricane Sandy has been described as a harbinger of what comes with rising seas: the inundation of coastal cities, devastating storm surges, destruction of coastal wetlands and abandonment of land. The story is simple: Glaciers melt and oceans warm, causing seas to rise. The reality, however, is anything but simple. The sea has been rising since the last ice age, but at a variable and poorly known rate. Long-term measurements are necessary to establish an accurate trend, but measurements were few in the 19th and early 20th centuries, especially in the Southern Hemisphere. More than two thirds of the 322 world sea level records listed on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Web site are 50… View Article

Georgia Tech and Udacity Cross the Rubicon

By Michael Horn and Gunnar Counselman “There are a few moments in my life I will never forget. Like the moment I proposed to my wife, Petra. … Today is one of those moments.” Michael HornCo-FounderClayton Christensen Institute So wrote Udacity founder and CEO Sebastian Thrun upon announcing a new $6,600 master’s in computer science degree in partnership with Georgia Tech. Georgia Tech’s dean of computing Zvi Galil expressed similar glee when he said in an interview, “You know there is a revolution going on, right?” Hyperbole about disruptive innovation in higher education is rampant. Starting as a trickle of conversation a decade back and turning into a torrent today, innovation now dominates the ecosystem’s collective mindshare. Any… View Article

Some Cool Ideas to Combat Hot Air

By Benita M. Dodd The National Center for Policy Analysis has just reissued a “cool” 2009 paper in which Iain Murray and H. Sterling Burnett outlined 10 policies to reduce carbon emissions. I have an issue with the first sentence of their paper: “Global warming is a reality. But whether it is a serious problem — and whether emis­sions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases from human fossil fuel use are the principal cause — are uncertain. The current debate over the U.S. response to climate change centers on greenhouse gas emissions reduction policies, which are likely to impose substantially higher costs to society than global warming might.” My issue is that I don’t believe that opening… View Article

The Foundation should take a lot of pride in your influence on Georgia governmental policy over the past several years. If you look back on several things that you were crying in the wilderness about several years ago, you will find that Governor Miller adopted them…your influence and your pressure on that process has been a major factor in governmental policy in Georgia. You should be congratulated.

Governor Sonny Perdue more quotes