Category: Commentaries

Education and Innovation in New Orleans

(Below are excerpts from an article published on April 8, 2014 by Tom Vander Ark’s on the blog, Getting Smart. The educational success story of New Orleans is the subject of our upcoming Leadership Breakfast on April 24 featuring native Atlantan, Matt Candler, CEO of 4.0 Schools. Matt and his organization are referenced several times in the article.) The first Maker Faire in New Orleans was held over the weekend. It was hosted by a new school incubated by 4.0 Schools and New Schools New Orleans (NSNO)– Bricolage Academy. Matt Candler, founder of 4.0 Schools, said the event represents an important proof point that the New Orleans education story is about much more than recovery or making… View Article

Thinking Outside the ObamaCare Box

By Kelly McCutchen Health care costs threaten to bankrupt our country. Debates over Medicaid expansion, the Medicare “doc fix,” the State of Georgia’s health plan, coverage of autism and so many other health care issues merely shift these costs from one party to another. The time has come for a “let’s go to the moon” challenge that truly addresses the underlying problems. Higher education costs are on a similar trajectory. A few years ago, governors Rick Perry of Texas and Rick Scott of Florida challenged their higher education institutions to design a four-year bachelor’s degree program for $10,000 or less. Not $10,000 a year but $10,000 for all four years. Many schools rose to the challenge, met it and now… View Article
There are many downsides to adding even more people into an expensive, over-regulated Medicaid program,[1] but that doesn’t mean Georgia shouldn’t try to propose a better option. This is an opportunity to create a less expensive, more effective plan.   Goals of Expanded Access: Insure for unexpected, expensive health care outcomes to protect individuals and taxpayers Improve health outcomes by improving access to primary care Discourage expensive trips to emergency rooms for routine care Discourage crowding out private insurance coverage Called “the most innovative and successful reform of Medicaid in the history of the program” by Forbes magazine’s Avik Roy, Indiana’s expansion of health insurance to low-income citizens is a good model to analyze. Healthy Indiana[2] The Hoosier State’s… View Article
  BENITA DODD By Benita M. Dodd March was eventful at the Georgia Public Policy Foundation. More than 200 supporters attended the Annual Reception and Dinner to celebrate 23 years of promoting free markets, limited government and individual responsibility in Georgia. If you were a liberal looking for fault, you could have a field day alleging “right-wing tokenism” on this red-letter day for the Foundation. What does that mean? Several years ago, a local resident newsperson and his guest made a visit to the Foundation offices to seek advice on how to start a think tank – a liberal think tank. The staff assembled and gave advice freely, believing Georgia has room for all viewpoints and may common sense win.… View Article

Education Choice Issues Meet Silence of the Left

By John Goodman The topic du jour on the left these days is inequality. But why does the left care about inequality? Do they really want to lift those at the bottom of the income ladder? Or are they just looking for one more reason to increase the power of government? If you care about those at the bottom then you are wasting your time and everyone else’s time unless you focus on one and only one phenomenon: the inequality of educational opportunity. Poor kids are almost always enrolled in bad schools. Rich kids are almost always in good schools. So what does the left have to say about the public school system? Almost nothing. I can’t remember ever seeing… View Article

Hispanics Understand Free-Market Principles

Excerpt from the keynote address by Daniel Garza, executive director of The LIBRE Initiative, at the Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s 2014 Annual Dinner on March 5, 2014. Garza’s family immigrated to the United States from Mexico. Garza, who as a child worked alongside his father and brother in farm fields, became an elected official, a White House staffer and now is executive director of The LIBRE Initiative. By Daniel Garza  My parents saw America, I think, like a lot of immigrants did before them: as the Promised Land. I like to quote a song by Woody Guthrie that he wrote about the Joad family in the novel, “The Grapes of Wrath.” He’s talking about the family coming to California and… View Article

Concierge Care for the Little Guy

By Jordan Bruneau Imagine filing a home insurance claim every time the neighbor’s kid cut your lawn. That’s how physician Lee Gross sees the U.S. health care system: We use insurance for basic maintenance. Filing claims for a stubbed toe or cold has driven up the cost of health insurance in much the same way that filing claims for a fresh coat of paint or carpet cleaning would drive up the cost of home insurance. “We are taking affordable primary care,” Gross says, “and bundling it together with a health insurance program that has to cover hospitalizations, chemotherapy, expensive surgeries and end-of-life care.” The key to bringing down health insurance costs, he claims, is to divorce basic maintenance from insurance-based… View Article

Don’t Let the Law Get Away With Georgians’ Goods

By Benita M. Dodd BENITA DODD There’s no doubt that Georgia’s law enforcement officials dislike strings that restrict civil asset forfeiture, which is the power of law enforcement to seize and keep property suspected of being involved in criminal activity. They’ve told legislators that … time and again. For the rest of Georgia, however, it’s a problem. Unlike with criminal asset forfeiture, under civil forfeiture the owner of the property being seized does not have to be charged with a crime. Cash, cars, homes and other property can be taken without even filing charges, let alone convicting the property’s owner of a crime. It’s a cash cow and an incentive for excessive enthusiasm, even abuse, on the part of law… View Article
By Ben Scafidi BENJAMIN SCAFIDI Cuts to family budgets have been significant since the Great Recession began in late 2007. Likewise, cuts to public school budgets in Georgia – and nationally – have been significant as well. That said, the economic challenges facing public schools during the Great Recession need to be put in historical context. A recent Georgia State University policy brief reported an 18.9 percent increase in the state’s public school teachers between 2001 and 2012, and a 28 percent increase in school-based administrators.  The report did not mention the increase in students during that same period: 16.6 percent. Thus, in 2012 public school students in Georgia had proportionately more staffing than students had in 2001. Put differently,… View Article

With Health IT, Familiarity Breeds Content

By Greg Scandlen Health Affairs recently announced its top 15 articles for 2013, and has made them available to nonsubscribers. The top article was by a pair of RAND researchers updating what is known about the health information technology (HIT) roll out from the 2009 HITECH law, appropriating $20 billion to upgrade information technology throughout the health care system. It doesn’t take long ― like just the abstract ― to figure out that people haven’t learned a blessed thing from flushing $20 billion down the toilet.  A team of RAND Corporation researchers projected in 2005 that rapid adoption of health information technology (IT) could save the United States more than $81 billion annually. This original “study” was horrendously flawed. They… View Article

The Georgia Public Policy Foundation is the best source of the rarest and most valuable commodity in public policy debate: facts.

State Representative Bob Irvin more quotes