Tag: Harold Brown

Which Way Employment?

By Harold Brown                                             Harold Brown A person who wants a job and doesn’t have one knows exactly what unemployment means. Sadly, most of us who depend on the media to tell us about the nation’s unemployment don’t quite know. The “unemployment rate” supposedly tells us the proportion of people unemployed, and is often presented as the whole story.  But there is much more to it: The official “unemployment rate” is the percentage of people in the labor force who don’t have a job and are seeking one. What about changes in the size of the labor force? The labor force is not a fixed group. The focus may on the unemployment rate, but changing demographics affect the labor force as… View Article

The Great EPA Ozone-Asthma Caper

By Harold Brown Harold Brown, Senior Fellow, Georgia Public Policy Foundation The first ozone alert of 2015 was issued Wednesday (June 17) amid 90-degree temperatures in metro Atlanta, a “Code Orange” warning children and “sensitive” individuals to “limit prolonged outdoor exertion.” A new proposal by the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would once again lower the ozone level allowable under the Clean Air Act. Unfortunately, the EPA is ignoring the failure of an experiment it has conducted for 40 years: Whils it has ordered reductions in the amount of ozone allowable in the air in order to reduce asthma, asthma has increased. From 1979 to 1997, the maximum allowable level for ozone was set at 120 parts per billion (ppb),… View Article

The Ethanol Scramble

By Harold Brown Harold Brown, Senior Fellow, Georgia Public Policy Foundation The Renewable Fuels Standards (RFS) were enacted to solve perceived problems with energy independence, carbon footprints, job creation and the farm economy, among others. They are proof positive that government solutions are always complicated, especially with mandates that address future, undefined problems. The legislation mandated fuel uses that were not yet developed and of questionable benefit. Proposed rules in the Federal Register announced in 2006 that, “Under the Clean Air Act … the Environmental Protection Agency is required to promulgate regulations implementing a renewable fuel program.” The most controversial mandate was for the use of ethanol as a fuel. The main goal was to replace petroleum fuels with renewable… View Article

Deepwater Horizon: Drawn-Out Tempest in a Teacup

By Harold Brown Harold Brown, Senior Fellow, Georgia Public Policy Foundation The April 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was called catastrophic by many. President Obama declared, “This oil spill is the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced;” the National Resource Defense Council said, two years later, “a people wronged and a region scarred remains.” Five years later, what remains of this “worst environmental disaster” and “scarred” region? There were many projections, estimates and guesses – before and after the well was finally capped – about how many millions of barrels of crude spilled into the Gulf. Photos of pelicans slimed in oil, dolphins smothered, beaches covered in black, and tar-balls strewn like rocks on… View Article
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
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

Some Organic Food for Thought

By Harold Brown Harold Brown, Senior Fellow, Georgia Public Policy Foundation Despite the claims that organic food is safer and more nutritious, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) simply won’t say so. And it’s not alone. On its National Organic Program Web site, the agency remarks, “USDA makes no claims that organically produced food is safer or more nutritious than conventionally produced food.” Congress passed the Organic Foods Production Act in 1990, requiring the USDA to develop national standards for organic products. Yet, 23 years later, the USDA still will not validate the organic ads. Then there’s the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Asked on its Web site, “Are foods made with ‘organic’ ingredients safer than those made with… View Article

Acid Rain Cleans Up Its Act

By Harold Brown Harold Brown, Senior Fellow, Georgia Public Policy Foundation Over the decades it’s become clear that an environmental crisis is the media’s baby; environmental progress is an orphan. Acid rain was an environmental calamity in the 1980s, claiming much media and public attention. The New York Times printed 338 articles with “acid rain” in the headline from 1975 to 2009; 85 percent were in the 1980s, an average of 29 per year. Some congressmen were up in arms about the “crisis.” U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman of California wrote in the Baltimore Sun in 1983 that rain as acid as vinegar was falling in virtually every state, “corrupting our natural resources” and “eating away at our buildings, automobiles and… View Article
By Harold Brown Hurricane Sandy has been described as a harbinger of what comes with rising seas: the inundation of coastal cities, devastating storm surges, destruction of coastal wetlands and abandonment of land. The story is simple: Glaciers melt and oceans warm, causing seas to rise. The reality, however, is anything but simple. The sea has been rising since the last ice age, but at a variable and poorly known rate. Long-term measurements are necessary to establish an accurate trend, but measurements were few in the 19th and early 20th centuries, especially in the Southern Hemisphere. More than two thirds of the 322 world sea level records listed on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Web site are 50… View Article

Biofuels, Ethanol Give Food for Thought

By Harold Brown Harold Brown, Senior Fellow, Georgia Public Policy Foundation A lawsuit filed this week against the federal Environmental Protection Agency accuses the agency of penalizing refiners for failing to meet “unattainable and absurd” cellulosic biofuels quotas outlined in EPA’s renewable fuels standard. The EPA mandates the purchase of biofuels formulated in part from biological materials including switchgrass, wood chips and agricultural waste. But the oil and gas industry trade association, the American Petroleum Institute, argues that the quotas set an unrealistic goal because no such cellulosic biofuels are produced on a commercial scale in the nation. Refiners unable to meet the cellulosic biofuels mandate represent just the tip of the iceberg. Biofuels, mainly ethanol, are booming in the… View Article

Thank you for the great work that the Public Policy Foundation is doing across our state setting a wonderful example. I first ran for the Senate in 1994, and the Foundation was that resource I called upon to be a great help to me as we were articulating positions and formulating public policy initiatives. We appreciate very much your leadership and all that you stand for.

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle more quotes