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Entries in Josiah Bartlett Center (163)

Saturday
May302015

Josiah Bartlett Center - Libertas Dinner and Charter School Funding 

The Busy Month of June

 
There is a lot going on in the world of politics and policy right now. In this weekly update I want to make sure you know some of what’s going on inside the Bartlett center and state government. The state budget is coming to a head just as we are unfolding our annual Libertas dinner (June 17).

The dinner is of course a celebration of economic opportunity and freedom, this year honoring Steve Forbes who reminds us that “free people and free markets are the best answer in today’s economy.” But as our beloved Granite State finds itself at a crossroads, these are more than just words, they are a guide to the policy solutions we face. Too often politicians even here get caught up and decide that competition and supply and demand are outdated concepts. We’re on the other side whether it be alternatives in education or using competition and market forces to better your health care.

If you care to join us June 17 we will celebrate the Bartlett Center itself and our role reminding policy makers of time honored truths. And of course it is our annual fundraiser which helps one check at a time to provide us with the resources to simply exist and do the work that so many count on. Without an endowment or a government sponsor or a large benefactor, we count proving our worth to individuals, one at a time, each and every year – the market forces we extol in so many other areas. Consider joining us. It is in fact the most enjoyable event of the year. To buy your tickets online, click on the invite below. 
 
In the meantime, feel free to peruse information on the funding crisis facing charter schools and their students as well as our continuing efforts to sound the alarm about a very mediocre economy.  
Hope to see you soon,                                            
 
Charlie            

                                 

 


Senate's Charter School Funding would be Devastating

Oddly, State Senators who claim to be supportive of charter schools are doing their best to destroy them. Perhaps charter schools would have been better off to have outright enemies in charge rather than pretend supporters whose token gestures will do more to close these alternative schools than active opposition would.

After years of apathy toward charter schools, the state Senate has signaled its intention to out-mediocre the House and offer these schools the most nominal of Band-Aids that will help the schools almost not at all but create the tiniest of fig leafs for a handful of politicians.
Click here to keep reading.

Sunday
May172015

Josiah Bartlett Center - Have Dedicated Funds Become a Fiction No One Believes? 

Weekly Update from the Josiah Bartlett Center

Keeping you up to date on our latest research
on the issues impacting New Hampshire

Have Dedicated Funds Become a Fiction No One Believes?

It has become trite to say in budget debates (as I did this week to a friend) that “I am generally opposed to dedicating revenue sources but believe that, once dedicated, that arrangement should be honored.” It sounds good but none of us really mean it.

The state’s budget can be divided into two pieces: That part paid with federal funds and that paid with state taxes and fees. The state portion includes the general fund — the regular state operating budget in which every program and department are competing priorities for state taxes and fees. But some portion of state spending is set aside or “dedicated.”  Click here to keep reading.


 

Don't Forget to Mark Your Calender!

Our Annual Libertas Dinner is on June 17th

Honoring Steve Forbes

Watch Your Inbox for more Details
Like us on Facebook
Saturday
May092015

Josiah Bartlett Center - New Commuter Rail Study and BANANAS 

Weekly Update from the Josiah Bartlett Center

Keeping you up to date on our latest research
on the issues impacting New Hampshire

New JBC Study: Does Commuter Rail Create Jobs?

Supporters of bringing commuter rail north from Lowell into New Hampshire have been touting the economic development potential of the project. But does rail in and of itself, construction and operation aside, create jobs? While studies of proposed passenger commuter rail lines often predict job creation, studies of lines that have been built and operating have found that these projects do not create jobs by themselves, but they can influence where already planned investments will happen. 

The Downeaster, provides an excellent case study to gauge the impact of rail here in the state. According to US Census data, after more than ten years of passenger rail service, the number of jobs increased in Dover, remained virtually unchanged in Durham, and fell in Exeter. Click here to keep reading.


Too Many BANANAs are Ruining Our State

Are you a Banana? New Hampshire has too many bananas and is suffering because of it. The world is populated with millions of us who seek to live in the modern world when we want to enjoy its conveniences and then turn on our back on that same world and hope that someone else with pay attention to the details that make that convenience possible.

There is a common aspect of human nature that infects so many decisions about the infrastructure that surrounds us. Most of us are familiar with the acronym NIMBY — an abbreviation for Not In My Back Yard. You picture someone saying “that’s a great idea, we should have one of those but not in my back yard. It would better in yours. Big giant compost heap in your yard and we can use mine to sip lemonade. 
Click here to keep reading.


Don't Forget to Mark Your Calender!

Our Annual Libertas Dinner is on June 17th

Honoring Steve Forbes

Watch Your Inbox for more Details
Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Saturday
May022015

Josiah Bartlett Center - In Budget Debates, Ignore Anecdotes and Check the Data 

How are they spending your tax dollars?
Be sure to check out our government transparency database to keep an eye on state spending.

Click on the coin to get started.
Weekly Update from the Josiah Bartlett Center

Keeping you up to date on our latest research
on the issues impacting New Hampshire

In Budget Debates, Ignore Anecdotes and Check the Data

Much of the work of state government is in a holding pattern until the state Senate finishes its work on a draft of the budget. This is probably a useful time to remind you that so much of what we think we know isn’t true. It would be helpful to check your data ask your correspondent (the fellow bending your ear and complaining incessantly) if he’s checked his data. If nothing else, it will make his complaints about whatever happens in the budget more compelling.

New Hampshire’s fiscal policy is often subject to competing claims about tax burdens. Usually pontificators on both the right and left are guilty of exaggerating some claims, relying too heavily on anecdotes and adjectives, and rarely checking their facts to see if what someone once told them is still true (well, not me, obviously I’m talking about everyone else).


Describing a proposal as draconian or profligate is often determined by our pre-existing mindset. Adjectives are determined by philosophy rather than facts. Click here to keep reading.

Wednesday
Apr292015

Josiah Bartlett Center - Save the Date: June 17, 4th Annual Libertas Dinner 

Save the Date!
Annual Libertas Dinner: June 17th

Honoring Steve Forbes


Please both circle and underline June 17 on your calendar. we are now locked in on that date for the annual extravaganza we call our Libertas Dinner. This annual event is a celebration of public policy, the Josiah Bartlett Center itself, and the virtues of markets.
 
This year, the timing of the event and the honoree come together perfectly. Steve Forbes is a man who underscores more than most public figures the notion that elections should be less about the superficial and more about ideas. Just as important, much of his public life mirrors that of our organization, but at a national level. He talks about ideas, insists that criticisms be based on policy not personality, and is one of the foremost defenders of the system we might call capitalism or free market economics.
 
This is a man who responded to the late fiscal crisis narcissistically called the Great Recession by issuing a spirited, articulate, and readable book called How Capitalism Will Save Us: Why Free People and Free Markets Are the Best Answer in Today’s Economy. That short phrase could well be a summary for our organization, its philosophy, and our mission.
 
As world leaders and professional pontificators on the right and left were busily equivocating and feeling ashamed of market support, Forbes issued a full-throated defense of the sort to make Adam Smith proud.
 
I think you can probably tell how excited I am about this year's dinner. We are excited to tell Steve's story partly because he is such a role model for the organization and the role we think we need to play.
 
I'll have much more to tell you about the event in the weeks ahead. For now, put June 17th on your calendar and start looking forward to a great event.

And keep an eye on your inbox, dinner tickets will be available online soon.