Category: General

Atlanta’s Great Strides as a World Class IT Capital

Reprinted from the September 18 Atlanta Journal-Constitution By David Cummings The digital economy is changing the world, and we’re just getting started.  Companies are launched every day with just an idea and an Internet connection.  Technology has affected nearly every area of business, and Georgia’s growth trajectory within the digital economy is very promising. Georgia’s strong information security cluster has stood out for years.  Our state continues to be among the top three in the U.S. for information security technology and is home to hundreds of such companies.  More than 25 percent of the worldwide security revenue market share is generated by companies right here in our home state, according to the Metro Chamber of Commerce. Yet Georgia’s success is… View Article
  By Benita M. Dodd This Foundation’s weekly commentaries usually focus on Georgia-specific issues, but May has been a month for wake-up calls from Washington to all liberty-minded Americans. Government employees testified they were punished for speaking out about the U.S. Embassy attack in Benghazi, Libya. The Internal Revenue Service admitted unfairly targeting conservative groups. The FBI is investigating the Justice Department’s unorthodox seizure of Associated Press phone records. Latest out of the gate, and perhaps the least surprising of all, is that the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been giving preferential treatment to liberal and green organizations. Research by the Washington-based Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) reveals the EPA happily waived fees for Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)… View Article
By Mike Klein Georgia’s ability to continue slow but steady economic growth might depend on factors beyond its control, including a “heroic assumption” that the federal government will somehow get its fiscal house in order.  “If we can just solve things in Washington I think we will be ready to go,” state fiscal economist Kenneth Heaghney said Tuesday morning at the State Capitol. Heaghney was largely upbeat and cautiously optimistic when he addressed House and Senate joint appropriations committee legislators.  Slow growth is possible through 2017.  Year-to-date year total tax revenue for six months ending in December was 4.9 percent, less than forecast.  “Our revenue stream tends to be very volatile,” Heaghney said. “Individual income tax is trending in the… View Article
By Mike Klein Governor Nathan Deal has proposed a $19.864 billion state dollars budget for the new fiscal year that starts in July, up about 2.7 percent from this year’s $19.341 billion budget.  The Fiscal 2014 proposed budget was released on the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget website while Deal delivered his State of the State address at the Capitol.   Total state spending next year would be about $40.837 billion with the other $21 billion being anticipated federal funding. The trend line here continues to be fiscal savings and a big emphasis on health care cost strategy. Governor Deal devoted the bulk of his address to four policy areas – public safety, education, health care and economic development –… View Article
By Mike Klein Georgia has tens of thousands of non-director-level day care staff that work in thousands of facilities. Stronger laws could improve what we know about most of them, including whether they were charged with sex abuse or felony crimes in other states.  This would ensure a more complete picture about whether the youngest small fry in the state are in good hands or not. “It’s the caretakers oftentimes that present the biggest danger to children,” says Bobby Cagle, commissioner at the Department of Early Care and Learning.  As the General Assembly opens Monday, Cagle is pushing for legislation that would require FBI fingerprint-based criminal background checks that would ensure access to databases in all states.  DECAL oversees Bright… View Article

Funding Dearth Opens Opportunity Under the Gold Dome

By Kelly McCutchen Not everything is off limits to Georgia’s government in an economic recession. On the contrary, the challenge forces Georgia to explore opportunities for fundamental reforms that improve efficiency and effectiveness in the long run. Below are ideas that, if implemented, could help position the state ideally for the future. First, the state can enhance bipartisan criminal justice reforms enacted in 2012 by reforming the juvenile justice system and by protecting innocent owners and their property rights through a reform of civil asset forfeiture law. Then, there’s an ideal opportunity to improve access to justice for victims of medical negligence with patient-centered tort reform. The medical malpractice system works well for trial lawyers and insurance companies but barely… View Article
  By Kelly McCutchen  When we wake up on Wednesday after Election Day, there will be less uncertainty in America. But will there be greater confidence? The election will not solve fundamental issues such as transportation, education and health care. In fact, it will create new questions. Successfully addressing these challenges will require strong leadership at the state and national level.  Leadership is not just about ideas and policy. It’s about taking the initiative to bring people together for a common goal. This is important: America appears more politically polarized than ever. Imagine if this nation could function consistently at the level of unity shown after tragic events. There was no Republican versus Democrat in the wake of 9-11. Do… View Article

Happy Capital Day?

By  Any good economist will tell you that as complementary factors of production, labor and capital are not only indispensable but hugely dependent upon each other as well.  Capital without labor means machines with no operators, or financial resources without the manpower to invest in. Labor without capital looks like Haiti or North Korea: plenty of people working but doing it with sticks instead of bulldozers, or starting a small enterprise with pocket change instead of a bank loan. Capital can refer to either the tools of production or the funds that finance them. There may be no place in the world where there’s a shortage of labor but every inch of the planet is short of… View Article
By Benita M. Dodd One of the major missions in establishing the Georgia Public Policy Foundation in 1991 was to provide a “resource bank” for elected officials, policy-makers and citizens interested in implementing commonsense policy in a limited-government environment to facilitate a thriving state economy. Understanding the limited research staff that lawmakers can access regarding Georgia-focused issues, the third annual Georgia Legislative Policy Forum on Friday, September 21, brings experts and analysts from across the nation to Atlanta.  At this nonpartisan event, co-sponsored by the Georgia Public Policy Foundation and the Conservative Policy Leadership Institute, attendees will hear views on moving the state past “the recent unpleasantness” that has roiled the economy. This year, as in the past two years,… View Article

Seven Principles of Sound Public Policy

By Lawrence W. Reed The following contains excerpts from a speech given by Larry Reed, an adjunct scholar with the Georgia Public Policy Foundation and president of the Midland, Michigan-based Mackinac Center for Public Policy, to the Economic Club of Detroit in 2001.The speech outlines key principles that should provide valuable guidance to all current and future policymakers. …I know that this Club has heard many policy addresses by many leaders in government, business and academia-policy addresses that dealt in some detail with specific pressing issues of the day, from transportation to education to health care and countless other important topics. At the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, our specialty is researching and recommending detailed prescriptions for today’s policy questions,… View Article

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