Category: Issues

Steve Langford After revelations of employees stealing money and other examples of poor management and lax control, Governor Roy Barnes has replaced the head of the Georgia Building Authority (GBA). Along with this change in leadership, there has also been plenty of talk about privatization of GBA services. My initial reaction to the idea of privatization is that it is probably a good idea. It is grossly apparent that greater efficiency and economy are needed. Had the cafeterias, in which employees stole funds, been run by a private entity with the profitability of the firm dependent upon the income of the facility, the discrepancies would have been spotted in days or weeks rather than years, and they would have been… View Article

Bury the Estate Tax for a Truly Sustainable Economy

Jefferson G. Edgens Both President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore have lambasted Congress’ $792 billion tax cut scheme as “reckless.” One should note that a section of this “reckless” bill reduces the estate tax over ten years at which time the tax is repealed. Unfortunately, President Clinton threatens to veto the measure. One element of the tax bill that should remain is the elimination of the estate tax, or death tax, as others prefer to call it. The federal “death tax” is costly to America in a number of ways: It forces taxpayers to sell businesses, land and other assets just to pay the “tax reaper.” It is immoral for citizens to forfeit their estates, which have already been… View Article

Georgia’s Economics: Right on the Money

Laura Creasy Lately, our state has been inundated with criticisms regarding air quality, education, water resources, and urban sprawl not to mention the possible government ‘solutions’ to such problems. Between the daily criticisms and the reality of long commutes and never-ending construction, one may wonder why so many people are relocating to Georgiaby choice. Well, we have the answer. A recent study by Clemson University comparing economic freedom in the fifty states ranks Georgia 12th, making it a haven for taxpayers and businesses. Moreover, seven southern states (Table 1) in addition to Georgia rank in the top third, demonstrating the South’s commitment to hospitality in more ways than one. The study examined state-level data representing 145 economic indicators… View Article

Milking the Consumer

By E. Frank Stephenson The following article originally appeared in the July 1999 issue of the Georgia Policy Review. E. Frank Stephenson is assistant professor of economics, Campbell School of Business, Berry College, Mount Berry, GA. Any opinions expressed herein are his own, and do not necessarily represent those of Berry College. In the interest of full disclosure, it should be noted that Berry College operates a small dairy. In its 1999 session, the Georgia General Assembly again passed legislation authorizing Georgia to join the proposed Southeastern Dairy Compact. Gov. Barnes, unlike his predecessor Zell Miller, signed the authorization into law thereby entering Georgia into the dairy compact. (Federal legislation is still required for the compact to become operative, but… View Article

Death Taxes Cost Us Sprawl

Jefferson G. Edgens, Ph.D. Anti-sprawl or slow-growth campaigns have erupted across the nation during this decade. Slow-growth advocates claim sprawl costs us all ¾ what they should be saying is the death tax costs us sprawl. Indeed, the loss of farmland and wildlife habitat to an ever-increasing desire to live the American Dream has become a major political battle. Ironically, as anti-growth forces argue for more governmental restrictions, the elimination of one government policy ¾ the onerous and arbitrary federal ‘death’ or estate tax ¾could correct some of our sprawl-related problems. The estate tax ¾ levied on the value of one’s assets (land, business, bank accounts, stocks, bonds, etc.) at the time of death ¾ currently encompasses a broad… View Article

The Tide is Turning

Kelly McCutchen “I think it’s so irritating that once I die, 55 percent of my money goes to the United States government. You know why that’s so irritating? Because you have already paid nearly 50 percent on that money.”  — Oprah Winfrey “…for too long the [British] tax system has undervalued entrepreneurship and investment.” — Gordon Brown, Chancellor of the Exchequer (United Kingdom) When a pop icon like Oprah Winfrey and Britain’s Labor government both call for tax cuts, it is safe to say that the idea has become mainstream. Ms. Winfrey’s comment came during the taping of her television show. The shocker from Great Britain came from a March budget address by Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown, in… View Article

The Tide is Turning

By Kelly McCutchen “I think it’s so irritating that once I die, 55 percent of my money goes to the United States government. You know why that’s so irritating? Because you have already paid nearly 50 percent on that money.”  — Oprah Winfrey “…for too long the [British] tax system has undervalued entrepreneurship and investment.” — Gordon Brown, Chancellor of the Exchequer (United Kingdom) When a pop icon like Oprah Winfrey and Britain’s Labor government both call for tax cuts, it is safe to say that the idea has become mainstream. Ms. Winfrey’s comment came during the taping of her television show. The shocker from Great Britain came from a March budget address by Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown,… View Article
By Congressman Max Cleland The following article originally appeared in the September 1998 Issue of the Georgia Policy Review. On August 2, 1998, Senator Cleland, Senator Paul Coverdell and Congressman Bob Barr, with the support of Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, joined Veterans Affairs Commissioner Pete Wheeler in launching a project that will hopefully lead to a new veterans cemetary in the metropolitan Atlanta area. One of the greatest honors our country provides for a veteran’s service is the opportunity to be buried in a national cemetery. It is logical that just like everyone else, a veteran’s family wants to have the grave site of their loved one close by. They want to be able to visit as frequently… View Article
Dudley C. Rochelle and Hans von Spakovsky1 In 1988, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Communication Workers of America v. Beck2 that workers required to pay union dues by the terms of a collective bargaining agreement were only required to pay those union dues necessary for the performance of the union’s duties in collective bargaining, contract administration, and grievance adjustment. Workers cannot be forced to pay dues used for political, social, or charitable contributions made by their union. Workers are also entitled to a financial accounting of how their union spends its funds. Unfortunately, not only are most workers unaware of their rights under Beck, but federal enforcement of Beck3 has been almost nonexistent. One of… View Article

Consumer Beware

Kelly McCutchen In her recent book, The Future and its Enemies, Virginia Postrel recounts the story of a visitor to a small Georgia town who set out to trap some wild pigs. Many others had tried to trap these pigs unsuccessfully, but this newcomer had a unique approach. First, he placed some food in a clearing near the pigs. For days the pigs ignored the food. Finally, after one pig curiously tasted the food, the others joined in. The man restocked the food every day. Before long, the pigs quit foraging and became dependent upon the food in the clearing. He slowly began erecting a fence, carefully leaving several openings for the pigs to go in and out. Several weeks… View Article

“I am here today to thank the Georgia Public Policy Foundation for your role in building a fiscally conservative, pro-growth state. Not only did you help pave the way for a new generation of leadership, you continue to provide key policy advice and to hold us accountable to the principles we ran on. In short, you have had a transforming influence on this state. We are healthier, stronger, and better managed because of your efforts.

State Senator Eric Johnson, President pro tempore, Georgia State Senate more quotes