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June 19, 2013
Reason Foundation will award a total of $16,000 in prizes to the writers that best highlight the importance of freedom
Journalists, bloggers and other writers are invited to enter their work in the 2013 Bastiat Prize for Journalism, which celebrates writers who explain the importance of freedom with originality, wit, and eloquence. "By honoring journalists, bloggers and other commentators who oppose authoritarianism and support freedom, the Bastiat Prize recognizes the crucial role these writers play in advancing liberty around the world", said Julian Morris, co-developer of the prize and vice president at Reason Foundation. Entries must be submitted using this online entry form.
Do commmunity development subsidies actually result in community development? Or have they been captured by vested interests?
Every year, the federal government’s budget is loaded with hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayer-funded subsidies. A little known piece of that pile of taxpayer cash giveaways is the nearly $20 billion spent each year on “community development” subsidies. While not as well known as farm subsidies or the special benefits of the mortgage interest deduction, the money spent on community development programs surpasses the $15 billion in subsidies the Department of Transportation uses to subsidize Amtrak and air traffic controllers, and equals the $20 billion in renewable energy subsidies from the Department of Energy. But do commmunity development subsidies actually result in community development? And to what extent have such subsidies been captured by vested interests?
Three Reasons Governor Brown’s School Funding Plan is Better than the Status Quo and Three Big Ideas to Make the Plan Even Better
Governor Brown’s school finance plan for California is a step in the right direction: it simplifies school funding, gives school districts more autonomy, and focuses new resources on disadvantaged students. But the plan would be even better if it distributed weighted funding for disadvantaged students directly to schools on a per pupil basis, authorized school principals to spend that money as they saw fit, and introduced a modern school-level financial reporting system to ensure transparency and accountability.
A Primer on Recent Developments in State and Federal School Voucher Litigation
In May, the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled 6–1, in Louisiana Federation of Teachers v. Louisiana, that a statewide school voucher plan was unconstitutional. The opinion offers a fascinating glimpse into the developing field of non-religious state challenges to school voucher programs. The moral is that, while vouchers are on solid legal ground at the federal level, they can face barriers based on language in state constitutions, sometimes because of the inclusion of religious schools but sometimes for reasons entirely unrelated to religion.
As Fresno navigates budget challenges, privatization can lower costs and put performance, results first
Like their peers in many municipalities across the country, Fresno policymakers are currently considering what role privatization should play in addressing their current and future fiscal challenges. However, privatization is a complex subject and takes many forms, so it is helpful to have an overview of the subject in deciding how to use privatization moving forward.
The evidence suggests that high-speed rail’s limited success in Europe and Asia is not transferrable to the U.S.
The prospect of building a high-speed rail network in the U.S. has received a great deal of attention. However, different patterns of passenger travel, goods movement, car ownership and spatial structure mean that even the limited success high-speed rail has had in Europe and Asia will be difficult to replicate here. As a result, high-speed rail is best regarded as a luxury this country cannot afford. For far less money, the U.S. could create a world-class highway and aviation system with first-rate bus and airplane service. Now is not the time to experiment with more expensive modes of transportation.
Reviewing the First Six Years Under Private Operation
In recent years, some state and local governments have taken steps to turn over the operation of public sector toll roads to private sector investor-operator teams, in order to improve their financial and operational performance and stretch traditional transportation dollars further. To help policymakers elsewhere understand the opportunity leasing public sector toll roads could offer to their jurisdictions, this policy brief examines the results from the Indiana Toll Road lease thus far.
Antiquated, top-down management model is unsustainable; private sector can play major role
The century-old, top-down model of state parks operated and managed by state parks agencies is not sustainable and needs to be replaced by an approach in which the parks agency sets the mission for the parks system and then serves as a coordinator to arrange the right blend of public and private sector operators on a park-by-park basis.
- Throwing Money at Bridges Will Not Fix the Problem (6/17)
- High-Speed Rail is a Luxury the U.S. Cannot Afford (6/11)
- A Labor Market Mired in Historical Lows is an Unhealthy Labor Market (6/7)
- Sasha Volokh on the Implications of the Louisiana Supreme Court Voucher Ruling (6/5)
- 77 percent of Californians Support Jerry Brown's School Funding Plan: Here Are Three Big Ideas to Make it Better (6/4)
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5 Alarming Things We Should Have Already Known About the NSA, Surveillance, and Privacy Before Ed Snowden
A few reminders about the general state of surveillance and privacy in the U.S.A.