Category: Commentaries

By Harold Brown Harold Brown, Senior Fellow, Georgia Public Policy Foundation You know poverty is losing ground when the rhetoric changes to “income inequality.” Over the past 10 years, The New York Times used this phrase as much as in its previous history. Income inequality is universal and eternal. It goes along with initiative inequality and all other sorts: educational, mental, psychological and physical. If equality were real in any social measure, the first goal would be exceptions – new classes. Humans are a classifying species; classifying people, houses, clothes, hairstyles, even physiques, and surely incomes. Classification both codifies inequality and encourages it. And governments are the primary instigators. Government needs to know how many people are in this category… View Article

Transit Tall Tales and Coping With Too Much Money

Randal O’Toole, The Antiplanner According to pro-rail transit Metro magazine, American cities face a dilemma: The demand for rail transit continues to grow, yet there is a scarcity of federal dollars to pay for it. In fact, most of the things the article says are wrong or, at least, they indicate that cities have too much money, not a shortage. If it weren’t for this surfeit of funds, cities wouldn’t plan ridiculously expensive rail lines that, in most cases, do nothing for transit riders or transportation users in general. This is shown by all of the examples in the Metro article. Los Angeles’ Westside Subway will be less than four miles long yet is expected to cost well over… View Article
(Corrected version to reflect that SPN was established in 1992 and 150 organizations attended the 2014 SPN conference.) By Benita Dodd BENITA DODD When the State Policy Network was established in 1992, the Georgia Public Policy Foundation was one of just 12 independent, free-market, state-focused think tanks around the nation. Its leaders could have met in someone’s garage. Twenty-two years later, the movement has grown and flourishes. At the SPN annual conference in Denver last week (September 23-26) 900 attendees from 150 organizations representing all 50 states met to strategize approaches on free-market, limited government solutions to public policy. If you haven’t heard of SPN, the think tanks’ “umbrella,” visit www.spn.org to find out more. You can be sure the… View Article

Lift the Offshore Drilling Moratorium

By Benita Dodd BENITA DODD President Obama’s recent move to allow seismic exploration of oil and gas reserves offshore Georgia and the Atlantic Coast has left many hopeful that the offshore drilling moratorium currently in place may soon be lifted. A new study by University of Wyoming energy economist Dr. Tim Considine indicates the degree to which such a move would benefit Georgians and our Mid-Atlantic counterparts. The study – “Economic and Environmental Impacts of Oil and Gas Development Offshore the Delmarva, Carolinas and Georgia” – was jointly released by the Georgia Public Policy Foundation and five other Mid-Atlantic think tanks. It paints a promising picture of economic development, job creation and increased tax revenues from oil and gas development.… View Article

Getting Smart on Crime Puts Georgia Ahead

By Mike Klein MIKE KLEINEditor, Georgia Public Policy Foundation Not long ago, the national philosophy behind criminal justice policy was to lock offenders away and teach them a lesson. This was popular with politicians who found that it played well before crowds and it was popular in communities where prisons and jails created jobs. Some folks even seemed to celebrate the idea that prisons were real hellholes. This philosophy worked great if you did not care about creating better citizens in people who had made a mistake but could be rehabilitated; if you did not want to think about the effect of mingling juveniles with hardened adult criminals; if you did not care about the spiraling cost to support the… View Article
For more information on the Georgia Legislative Policy Forum and to register, click here or copy this link http://bit.ly/1oJq9vN and paste in your browser window. By Benita M. Dodd BENITA DODD For the fifth year in a row, the Georgia Public Policy Foundation and the Conservative Policy Leadership Institute will bring game-changing, market-oriented, limited-government reforms ideas to the state at the Georgia Legislative Policy Forum in Atlanta on September 19. The daylong Forum, which had an attendance in 2013 of about 250 Georgians – legislators, legislative staff, grassroots activists, policy-makers and interested citizens – has been described as “the opening act of the General Assembly.” For the past four years, the theme was, “Wisdom, Justice and Innovation,” a… View Article
By Harold Brown Harold Brown, Senior Fellow, Georgia Public Policy Foundation History is fickle with heroic humans, even when they loom over their generation in service to humanity. Even presidents suffer the fickle hand of history, especially when events in their administrations overshadow them. It happened to Herbert Hoover. From the 1930s onward, most Americans associated him with a failed administration and economic deprivation that spawned terms like “Hoover buggy” (a dilapidated horse-drawn cart with an automobile axle and tires), “Hoover gravy” (without any meat flavor),” and “Hooverville.” John Steinbeck wrote in “Grapes of Wrath” about California, “there was a Hooverville on the edge of every town,” explaining, “The rag town lay close to water; and the houses were tents… View Article
(Paul S. Atkins and Peter Wallison are the speakers at the Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s August 28 Policy Briefing Luncheon, “Unaccountable Government in Action.” Find information about the luncheon here.) By Paul S. Atkins  Paul S. Atkins Even with the stock market reaching all-time highs and many Americans smiling at the look of their 401(k) valuations, storm clouds are gathering in Washington and abroad that may mean higher costs for investors, lower returns in the long run, and less freedom to cash out when that rainy day comes.  If you are trying to save for retirement, college tuition or a down payment, it is worth paying close attention to this unfolding debate on whether central planners in… View Article
By Dr. Brian E. Hill and Wayne Oliver During the next few weeks, many of Americans will receive some very bad news at work or in the mail: Health insurance premiums are expected to skyrocket for 2015 because of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The PwC Health Research Institute projects double-digit rate increases for health insurance plans in Florida, North Carolina and Iowa, for example. With health insurance becoming so unaffordable, many will be wondering why the ACA didn’t take steps to reduce health care costs. One linchpin Washington politicians skipped in addressing the health care crisis was addressing medical malpractice reform. ObamaCare did nothing to protect physicians and hospitals from frivolous lawsuits or to deter the costly practice of… View Article

Capping Scholarships, Capping Opportunity

By Mike Klein MIKE KLEINEditor, Georgia Public Policy Foundation Carlethia Ingram easily could have become one more lost teenager. Her mother died four days after the birth of her youngest sister. For 10 years, Carlethia and two sisters lived with their grandmother in Savannah public housing until Barbara Ingram passed away last year. “When their grandmother died we kept them,” said Anthony Phillips. “No court has ever said they belong to you. It just happened.” Phillips and his wife, Donna, are retired U.S. Army officers. He owns a logistics company and serves on the World Trade Center Savannah board of directors. Donna Phillips is a dentist and board member at a small Christian academy that was a large part of… View Article

The Georgia Public Policy Foundation has been doing important work for the free enterprise movement for the past 20 years.  I can assure you from the vantage of a non-profit think tank in Washington, D.C. with much the same principles as GPPF that the work we do simply would not be possible if it were not for the important work that GPPF does.  We see it, we understand it, it is an inspiration to us, it is the kind of thing that will translate into the important work that we can do in Washington, D.C.  We thank you very much for that.

Arthur Brooks, President, American Enterprise Institute (2011) more quotes