Category: Commentaries

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

What It Takes to be Free, In the Long Run

By Joseph Lehman Lithuania was the first Soviet republic to declare its independence from brutal Communist overlords. Perhaps it should not be a surprise that the country also was home to the people who had the guts to establish a free-market think tank even before the Soviets left. The Lithuanian Free Market Institute was established during the last year of Soviet occupation. Given this history, I wasn’t about to refuse an invitation from those indomitable people to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the institute’s founding. LFMI asked me to briefly address “future policy challenges.” Dr. Charles Murray of the American Enterprise Institute, the only other American on the program, spoke at greater length on his pioneering social science research. I… View Article
By Kevin Glass Government Internet is coming to a city near you. The only question is if anything can be done to stop the politicians scheming to bring it. Across the country, there’s been an explosion in what are euphemistically called “municipal broadband” projects – government-funded and operated broadband services that are competing with community service providers that have been operating for years. All across the country, from Newark, Delaware, to Seattle, Washington, government officials are exploring the possibility of sinking hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars into these projects. This isn’t a new fad: Government broadband networks have been pursued by officials since the late ’90s, when smaller locales like Ashland, Ore., and Marietta, Ga., built out their own… View Article
The Hill ran an article this week criticizing Georgia’s efforts to encourage cross-state selling of health insurance. There are different forms of cross-state selling proposals. While Georgia’s single state one-way process hasn’t led to any changes in the market, it at least allows Georgia is willing to partner with other states and insurers in developing a successful cross-state program. Some reasons for Georgia’s lack of success: The bill was passed during the ObamaCare debate when insurers were focused on national health reform Insurers are not going to be responsive to a solitary state allowing plans and benefit designs from other states. It would take at least a regional coalition of states to get the attention and efforts of insurance, legal… View Article

Web-based Tool Helps Educate Parents on Great Schools

By Benita M. Dodd One of the paternalistic charges leveled by opponents of education choice is that many parents don’t have the information to make decisions about an education path or a school for their child. For parents in the five counties that hold the vast majority of metro Atlanta residents, a new interactive Web-based tool could finally squelch that argument. About 500 people watched a live demonstration of the tool, GreatSchoolsAtlanta.org, when it was officially launched September 26 at the 2015 Neighborhood Summit organized by the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta. The interactive, collaborative and mobile-friendly tool allows parents to compare up to four schools at a time – public or private – and provides parents, teacher and… View Article

Reforming Medicaid with Technology

By Merrill Matthews  Every state is looking for ways to reduce its Medicaid spending. Here’s an untested idea: Integrate existing technology to help Medicaid beneficiaries and their health care providers monitor and manage their health care. Medicaid’s Scope The federal-state Medicaid program is by far the largest health insurance plan, covering 62 million Americans, and it is the first or second biggest budget item in most states. Actually, Medicaid is three different programs. It provides health insurance for low-income children, pregnant women and some adults, covering about 40 percent of all births, and more than 50 percent in some states; It is the primary source of coverage for the disabled; and It covers certain costs for poor seniors, including nursing… View Article

Stifling Debate: Transparency vs. Privacy

By Kelly McCutchen  Would you respond honestly at a public meeting in your community if the speaker asks you to raise your hand if you support gay marriage, a ban on abortion, restrictions on gun purchases or legalization of marijuana? What if the meeting was being videotaped?  For some individuals, expressing their honest views in a public forum could threaten their friendships, their business … even their jobs.  Thankfully, citizens who feel strongly about an issue but concerned about the repercussions of speaking out personally have an option: pooling their money with others who share their views to fund organizations that can make their voices heard in the public debate.  Our long history in America of protecting the privacy of… 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

The Rule of Law and Its Equitable Application

By Brad Raffensperger America is at a crossroads. In fact, it is at the midpoint of the teeter-totter. Perhaps it has been at this point before – perhaps it has been here for a while – but since 2008 it has become glaringly evident that two oppositional forces are vying for the hearts, minds, emotions and votes of the American public. Look no further than recent Supreme Court rulings on major matters of import to the American public, recent revelations about barbaric practices at Planned Parenthood, and recent violence of a heinous nature against peaceful citizens. On one hand is the Rule of Law and on the other side is the Rule of Man. On the face of it, “rule… View Article
<img height=”1″ width=”1″ alt=”” style=”display:none” src=”https://www.facebook.com/tr?ev=6030221446672&amp;cd[value]=0.00&amp;cd[currency]=USD&amp;noscript=1″ />By Michael LaFaive and Kelly McCutchen More than a third of all conventional pubic school districts in Georgia contract out one of the three major non-instructional services, according to survey data collected this summer by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a Michigan-based research institute. The Mackinac Center survey of Georgia and four other states found that 38 percent of Georgia districts contract out for at least one of the “big three” non-instructional services: food, transportation and custodial services. Done right, contracting out can save money and relieve management headaches, too. But Mackinac found a curious pattern in Georgia: Just three districts – 1.7 percent – contract out transportation (bus) services, and only… View Article

The Foundation should take a lot of pride in your influence on Georgia governmental policy over the past several years. If you look back on several things that you were crying in the wilderness about several years ago, you will find that Governor Miller adopted them…your influence and your pressure on that process has been a major factor in governmental policy in Georgia. You should be congratulated.

Governor Sonny Perdue more quotes