Category: General

Health Care: Another Foundation Frontier

By Benita M. Dodd This month, as the Georgia Public Policy Foundation celebrates 25 years of policy over politics, many Georgians are getting ready for a 25 percent increase in health insurance premiums. It’s a clear case of politics trumping policy; a congressional sledgehammer was taken to a problem needing precision surgery. The Foundation has worked for a quarter-century to bring incremental improvements that facilitate individual opportunity instead of socially engineering Georgians’ options. It takes time to turn the tanker of state government, but the timeline demonstrates how ideas planted by this state-focused free-market think tank have taken root and flourished. Some examples: Education choice: When the Foundation was established in 1991, public school choice was nonexistent; children from… View Article
Twenty-five years. A quarter of a century. It’s hard to believe the Georgia Public Policy Foundation has been around that long. In exactly one month – November 11 – we’re having a birthday celebration, keynoted by John Stossel of Fox Business Network. I hope you’ve received our invitation and plan to join us. I took a stroll down Memory Lane today and visited our Friday Fax archives, reading some from back when we faxed them to donors on a weekly basis. (Now they’re the “Friday Facts,” and if you’re reading this, you’re on the list already!) One Friday Fax, January 22, 1999, we devoted entirely to President Bill Clinton’s budget. We reminded our readers how he said,… View Article
By Benita Dodd The media hype surrounding the political parties’ national conventions spotlights the enormous discord created by personalities and politics as the presidential election approaches. Getting short shrift amid slogans and the scramble for dollars and votes are the policy proposals that will affect the lives of Americans — and Georgians — long after November 8. Many citizens dismiss the states’ impact on issues at the national level — federal taxes, immigration, the military and education policy, for example. Too many believe the answers depend on who is elected president and to Congress. It’s not always so. It behooves Georgians to pay close attention to innovative ideas closer to home. States are often incubators, testing life-enhancing policies that can… View Article
By Benita M. Dodd Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday in May. Most Americans take a moment from picnics on the unofficial start of the summer to honor those in the armed forces who have died. Some families grieve every day for those lost in action; some return and grieve for fallen comrades they couldn’t save. For others, it’s even more personal: They return from military action alive but with lasting physical and emotional scars. That’s where Scott Rigsby comes in. Rigsby was 18 and about to start college in 1986 when he was in a wreck involving a tractor-trailer. Both legs were amputated and his struggle to recovery, physical and psychological, was long, difficult and painful. Yet… View Article

Foundation Results

This post was sent to readers of the Friday Facts on December 4, 2015, by Foundation President Kelly McCutchen. Nine months ago, Foundation Vice President Benita Dodd headed down the road for a fact-finding day trip to Dublin, Ga., to research an article marking the one-year anniversary of Dublin City Schools’ solar energy project. “What started out as a commentary on Sunshine Week and the solar project’s anniversary led to a trail of lofty projections, broken promises, unpaid bills, questionable math and taxpayers left on the hook,” we noted back in March. Nobody had reported yet on the financial mess involving the solar industry in Dublin. “The financial fallout is likely to grow, but a cloud of hush surrounding the… View Article

This Thanksgiving, Call Us ‘Thank Tanks’

By Benita M. Dodd As terrorists were detonating deadly bombs in Beirut, hundreds of liberty-minded activists from around the world were gathered in New York City for the annual Atlas Network’s Liberty Forum. There were hijabs, gaucho hats and more as representatives of  465 free-market organizations from more than 80 countries mingled with policy leaders and representatives from America’s state-based free-market think tanks. As terrorists were detonating deadly bombs in Paris, hundreds of liberty-minded activists were heading home, strengthened with the intellectual armor to champion liberty. They returned home to take on misguided progressives in some cases and brutal oppression in other cases. In New York, the organizations shared ideas and a unity of purpose reflecting optimism and promise for… View Article

What It Takes to be Free, In the Long Run

By Joseph Lehman Lithuania was the first Soviet republic to declare its independence from brutal Communist overlords. Perhaps it should not be a surprise that the country also was home to the people who had the guts to establish a free-market think tank even before the Soviets left. The Lithuanian Free Market Institute was established during the last year of Soviet occupation. Given this history, I wasn’t about to refuse an invitation from those indomitable people to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the institute’s founding. LFMI asked me to briefly address “future policy challenges.” Dr. Charles Murray of the American Enterprise Institute, the only other American on the program, spoke at greater length on his pioneering social science research. I… View Article

What’s A Market-Oriented Think Tank?

Alejandro Chafuen writes in, “Thinking About Think Tanks: Which Ones Are The Best?” in Forbes magazine A “market-oriented” think tank is grounded on the reality that respect for private property within a context of rule of law with limited government has been the path for  the wealth of nations. Think tanks that are not market-oriented study how to redistribute wealth, how to increase taxation, or  the optimum rate of monetary debasement. Governments have typically relied on their own internal think tanks for that research, and complemented it by research from state-subsidized universities. Market-oriented think tanks focus on finding private solutions to public problems. Read more here.… View Article

Stifling Debate: Transparency vs. Privacy

By Kelly McCutchen  Would you respond honestly at a public meeting in your community if the speaker asks you to raise your hand if you support gay marriage, a ban on abortion, restrictions on gun purchases or legalization of marijuana? What if the meeting was being videotaped?  For some individuals, expressing their honest views in a public forum could threaten their friendships, their business … even their jobs.  Thankfully, citizens who feel strongly about an issue but concerned about the repercussions of speaking out personally have an option: pooling their money with others who share their views to fund organizations that can make their voices heard in the public debate.  Our long history in America of protecting the privacy of… View Article
By Benita M. Dodd The lineup is complete for the Sixth Annual Georgia Legislative Policy Forum on Thursday, October 15, with a theme and speakers that live up to its description as “the opening shot” to the Georgia legislative session. Hundreds of attendees, from interested citizens to legislators and their staff, attend the daylong forum each year. Why? Because organizers invite outstanding state and national experts to outline limited-government policy proposals that can be applied in Georgia. This year, the goal is to advance opportunities in health care, education and work across the state. To that end, three sessions and two breakout sessions reflect the event theme, “Wisdom, Justice and Opportunity,” a take on the state motto of “Wisdom, Justice,… View Article

The Georgia Public Policy Foundation has been a catalyst for common sense proposals—and elected officials are listening and reacting.

U.S. Senator Bill Frist more quotes