Category: Government Reform

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

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Robert M. “Bob” Weekley, who died of pancreatic cancer in February 2015 at age 72, was an enthusiastic champion of the benefits of freedom to human flourishing. In 2010, he wrote, I personally give to a variety of causes … but I think my giving to free-market groups is the most important because it preserves the very foundation upon which all wealth is created, which in turn enables all the other philanthropies to continue to exist.  Here’s why he wrote that check: Reprinted from SPN News May/June 2010 issue By Robert M. Weekley If someone else is willing to do all the work, I should be willing to write the check. If the people who have benefited from this marvelous… View Article
By Benita M. Dodd BENITA 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… View Article
By Jon Sanders The rhetorical case for renewable energy seems, at its core, to be this: Why rely on traditional sources that burn expensive energy and emit carbon dioxide when you can replace them with energy freely provided by nature that emits nothing? Seems like a slam-dunk. If that were truly the choice, no doubt it would be. But unfortunately, it isn’t. Not even close. Industry advocates know that, which is why they work in concert with friendly politicians and media true believers to make the choice seem that way. Nature, economics, and simple math are their biggest obstacles. Not politics, not irrational hatred of renewable energy, not even donations from bugbear philanthropists. The renewable energy sources (wind and solar) … View Article

The Assault on Free Speech

By Michael J. Reitz We Americans have long enjoyed the right to financially support our favored causes. Whether our favorite voluntary association is a food bank, church or public policy organization, we value their work to build social capital. Concomitant with the ability to donate one’s resources is the right to do so privately, without the scrutiny of government regulators. A loud and insistent movement seeks to force all private giving into the public eye. Complaints about “dark money” and the “undue influence of money” inflame concern, but these attacks are designed to squash thoughtful debate about how we should govern ourselves. The enemies of debate would require individuals report charitable giving: personal information, donation amounts and the names of… View Article
By Harold Brown Harold Brown, Senior Fellow, Georgia Public Policy Foundation Charity is from the noblest of impulses. But it must come from the heart; governments can’t do it. Most democratic governments have representatives who feel it, but charity can’t be built on taxes. Charity is not giving away someone else’s goods. The two main problems with the government urge to care for the needs of its citizens are making it fair and knowing when to quit. It is bad enough to pay taxes to the federal government to fix roads, airports, foreign dictators and commerce. The ever-increasing use of tax dollars to give as cash or benefits to individuals is enough to push us over the psychological (and fiscal)… View Article
This commentary is excerpted from testimony before the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services. By Todd Zywicki An animating premise of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank) was the belief that a primary source of financial instability was an inadequate consumer financial protection regime at the federal level.  Dodd-Frank sought to address those perceived deficiencies by creating the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (CFPB) and vesting that new super-bureaucracy wielding an unprecedented combination of vast, vaguely defined substantive powers with no democratic accountability.  At the outset, allow me to stress that I personally agreed with the proposal to combine the administration of federal consumer financial protection laws under one agency’s roof. The preexisting system was too… View Article

Dodd-Frank’s Dire Legacy: Durbin Amendment

By Iain Murray This week was the fifth anniversary of the passage of the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, better known as Dodd-Frank. As the Mercatus Center revealed this week, it may be the biggest law ever written, because it gives the administration so much discretionary power to make secondary law. It has harmed consumers by reducing choice in financial services and failed to solve the problems it was purported to solve, as I outline in my new paper, How Dodd Frank Harms Main Street. One of the worst examples of this stems from the Durbin Amendment, a last minute addition to the bill that gives the Federal Reserve the power to cap interchange fees charged… View Article

The Dignity of Work

By Kelly McCutchen KELLY McCUTCHENPresident, Georgia Public Policy Foundation For most people, chronic homelessness among men would not be the first choice among problems to tackle in inner-city Atlanta. Millions of dollars in government and charitable programs give some of these men a warm bed at night, but that hasn’t changed the underlying challenges that keep them on the streets. Yet that’s exactly where Bill McGahan started. McGahan had an audacious idea: Create a program where “upon graduation the goal is a permanent job and permanent housing for each man.” “When men enter the program they are typically dependent on drugs and handouts. When they leave, the goal is to never be dependent again.” In 2013, he created Georgia Works,… View Article
By Benita M. Dodd BENITA DODD Susette Kelo was minding her own business when the city of New London, Conn., set its sights on her home. The city wanted to take the property and demolish the home, along with her neighbors’ homes, to make way for private economic development. Kelo decided to fight back. The Institute for Justice led her fight, joined by think tanks around the country, including the Georgia Public Policy Foundation. Remember the shocked property owners around the nation when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on June 10, 2005, that the city could take Kelo’s home and land against her will? The Court said it was the states’ responsibility to toughen the laws on eminent domain that… View Article

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