Category: Government Reform

Municipal Broadband Puts Taxpayers’ Wallets at Risk

By Kelly McCutchen For centuries, too-good-to-be-true deals have snagged investors with promises that they can ignore past failures because “this time it will be different.” Peachtree City’s leaders appear to have been told a similar story. The Peachtree City city council approved a resolution last month to build out a government-owned broadband Internet network for municipal buildings and local businesses. The project will require a 10-year, $3.2 million bond issue to pay for the cost of laying fiber optic lines along the right-of-way of the city’s many golf cart paths. For those who don’t know their Georgia geography, Peachtree City is not a small, rural hamlet in the-middle-of-nowhere Georgia with limited broadband Internet access. It is located just 30 miles… View Article

How I Grew to Appreciate Entrepreneurs: I Met Some

By Jim Walker Oxford, Michigan, was a small farming community when I lived there during my childhood. After a Burger King arrived and we got our second stoplight, I thought we had hit the big time. My stay-at-home mom and schoolteacher dad had seven children; I was the third oldest. Our family had an abundance of love, and enough money to not be poor. But our finances were limited, and that created some stress. My dad scrounged for wood to heat the home, and drove used cars that were always in need of repair from the abuse they received on our dirt road. We bought bread from a bulk clearinghouse. The bread was past its expiration date, but it cost… View Article
By Benita M. Dodd The average Joe’s eyes tend to glaze over when I share that I work at a state-focused free-market think tank. I try again, telling them it’s a public policy research organization. What finally resonates is when I say, as I did this week at the sushi restaurant I frequent, “I work to keep government out of your business: lower taxes and stop interfering in how you run your business.” When that dawned on the server at the restaurant, whose first language clearly isn’t English, a huge smile lit up her face. As I left, she said to me, laughing, “Now, go do your work!” I love my work. It may sound like a highfalutin profession, but… 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

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 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
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 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) edge. It isn’t as if we (they) don’t… 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

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U.S. Representative Johnny Isakson more quotes