Category: Issues

Resistance Grows to Civil Asset Forfeiture

By Ross Coker Ross Coker While the discussion and debate over reform for civil asset forfeiture remain ongoing, most Americans still probably do not even know what it means, much less how it is being wielded by law enforcement. Among the think tanks and policy organizations explaining the concept and grading individual states are The Heritage Foundation and The Institute for Justice. They call it “policing for profit.” In brief, the concept of civil asset forfeiture is that two different burdens are proof are used to determine if an individual is guilty of a crime and to determine if the individual’s property is “guilty” of being used for the crime. This presents the strange legal fiction where a car View Article

Checking Up On Health: September 28, 2016

Health News and Views Compiled by Benita M. Dodd BENITA DODD Get ready to see pink ribbons everywhere in October. Breast Cancer Month is October, and Breast Cancer Day is celebrated Saturday. Get ready for pink ribbons everywhere during this annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. Millions have walked and millions of dollars have been raised in campaigns to fight breast cancer, going to research, education and support efforts. Do you know how the pink ribbon came about? According to the Breast Cancer Action Network: In the early 1990s, 68-year-old Charlotte Haley began making peach ribbons by hand in her home. Her daughter, sister, and grandmother had breast cancer. She distributed thousands of ribbons at supermarkets with… View Article

Reacting to the 2015 FBI Crime Report

By Ross Coker Ross Coker Atlanta – The FBI released its comprehensive report on 2015 crime and crime rates across the nation today (September 26). The report, “Crime in the United States,” highlights some potentially troubling statistics, among them, a 3.1 percent overall increase in the relative overall comparative violent crime rate While this statistic is troubling on its face, there are several crucial points to bear in mind when interpreting the data. First, the rise in crime was relative to the year before. Violent crime has fallen steadily for decades now (and was in fact at half-century record lows) and therefore is more pronounced as an uptick simply because of the low starting point. Furthermore,… View Article

Price Gouging Laws: Good Politics, Bad Economics

Forbes Magazine published a column on September 23, 2016 by Jeffrey Dorfman, a professor of economics at the University of Georgia, “Price Gouging Laws Are Good Politics but Bad Economics.” The column is published in its entirety below; access it online here. Price Gouging Laws Are Good Politics but Bad Economics By Jeffrey Dorfman A leak in a gas pipeline in Alabama this week caused a gasoline shortage in several states in the southeastern United States, including my home state of Georgia. Both luckily and unluckily for motorists in Georgia, the state has an anti-price gouging law. These laws, commonly employed by governors to stop price increases after natural disasters, make consumers happy but also stop markets from alleviating… View Article
The Wall Street Journal edition of September 23, 2016,  published an op-ed by Tracie Sharp, head of the State Policy Network (of which the Georgia Public Policy Foundation is a member) and our Darcy Olsen, head of our sister think tank, the Goldwater Institute. It warns against donor disclosure initiatives for nonprofits. The op-ed is published below; access it online at http://www.wsj.com/articles/beware-of-anti-speech-ballot-measures-1474586180. Beware of Anti-Speech Ballot Measures Forcing nonprofits to submit donor lists to government officials is unconstitutional.  By Tracie Sharp and Darcy Olsen When voters in Missouri, South Dakota, Washington and Oregon go to the polls in November, they will vote on ballot measures that are cleverly marketed as legislation aimed at reducing “big money” and “outside influence”… View Article
The September 20, 2016, edition of U.S. News & World Report published, “More Money, Same Problems,” an article by Georgia Public Policy Foundation Senior Felow Ben Scafidi and American Enterprise Institute Resident Fellow Gerard Robinson. The article is posted in full below; the link to the article is hereMore Money, Same Problems Showering public schools with funds has been a costly failure. Why not try something new? By Gerard Robinson and Benjamin Scafidi Public education is important to the economic and social well-being of our nation, which is why it is the No. 1 line item in 41 state budgets. Today, more than 50 million students attend America’s public schools. Some students are succeeding: They graduate… View Article
A little over a year ago, Georgia Public Policy Foundation President Kelly McCutchen’s commentary, “The Dignity of Work,” shared the scope and vision of the nonprofit organization Georgia Works. In September, Ross Coker, the Foundation’s Director of Research and Outreach, visited the organization for an update. By Ross Coker Ross Coker Georgia Works and its founder Bill McGahan exude a driven sense of purpose, a Spartan outlook on why they’re there and what they do. The organization occupies an old city jail facility, nestled among other justice center buildings near downtown Atlanta. McGahan is quick to point out, “There’s nobody here, you’ll notice. That’s because they’re all out working.” This is an apt summary of the mission of… View Article

How Government Can Speed Broadband Access

By Kelly McCutchen KELLY McCUTCHEN Internet access is foundational in today’s economy. Lack of access can grind business to a halt and hobble critical services including health care, transportation and education. As a result, forward-thinking telecommunication policy is a priority in making Georgia a great place to live and economically competitive. Georgia still has work to do to increase access to broadband but the news is good: Statewide, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reports show, 87 percent of Georgians have access to wired broadband connections with speeds of 25 megabits per second (mbps) or higher and 93 percent have access to speeds of 10 mbps or higher. A whopping 99 percent of Georgia’s population has access to wireless broadband of 10… View Article

What Good is ‘Local Control’ When Kids are Failing?

By Benita M. Dodd BENITA DODD As a native of South Africa who grew up under apartheid and was handed a second-class education, I often share with friends and colleagues that I’ve succeeded in spite of my education, not because of it. I owe my success to teachers who prodded me to aim high and who accepted no excuses. Others were not as fortunate as I to have demanding teachers. That’s why I am an enthusiastic and committed supporter of school choice and empowering parents who want an option for their child other than the school in their ZIP code. Why I believe that families’ pocketbook challenges shouldn’t hold students back where innovative opportunities are available. And why I believe… View Article
By Benita M. Dodd The Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s 25th Anniversary Celebration Dinner and Freedom Award takes place on November 11 at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre and is keynoted by John Stossel. Through the years, the Georgia Public Policy Foundation has presented the prestigious Freedom Award to a notable Georgian who has exemplified the principles of private enterprise and personal integrity. Previous recipients include U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Flowers Industries chairman emeritus William Flowers, the former U.S. Attorney General Griffin Bell, Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy; Deen Day Smith, chair of the Cecil B. Day Investment Company; former Governor and United States Senator Zell Miller; former Southern Company president Bill Dahlberg, Medal of Honor recipient General Raymond… View Article

The Georgia Public Policy Foundation has forged over the years many positive changes in Georgia, in its nonpartisan but very specific way.

U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson more quotes