High Taxes, Low Growth: What Maryland Hasn\’t Learned from Others

Governor Glendening has reneged on his pledge to cut taxes. This is a political mistake as well as an economic one for the state. While he may pay the political price that befell George Bush in 1992 and the Democrats in 1994 after they broke their promises on taxes, it is Maryland residents who will […]

No U-Turns: Why Welfare Reform Must Not Be Undone

With Bill Clinton’s reelection to the White House, doubtless there will be intensified talk of “revisiting” welfare reform – largely with a view to gutting it. Likewise, at the state level, this reporter recently participated in a public debate on welfare reform at Loyola College in Baltimore. A well meaning opponent earnestly defended the old […]

Are You Afraid of the Religious Right ?

Evil, like beauty, is often in the eye of the beholder, and the religious right serves as a good case in point. Some Americans, mostly liberal and secular, believe the religious right poses the greatest threat to American democracy since the country’s founding. Others, mostly conservative and religious, believe it represents God’s last battalion in […]

David Hoffman of Baltimore: A Profile in Courage

Our Constitution guarantees a “republican form of government.” Alas, from my experience as a law professor, the meaning of “republican” appears opaque to most law students. To early generations of Americans, republicanism conveyed two clear and important concepts: one of “rights,” through popular sovereignty and governments of limited powers; the other of “responsibilities,” expressed through […]

Civility: Key to Genuine School Reform

When they met last spring for the “Education Summit II,” the nation’s governors and several prominent corporate executives hoped to light a fire under American education. It needs it. The meeting’s co-chairmen, IBM chief executive Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. and Wisconsin Governor Tommy G. Thompson (R), started out under no illusions. Gerstner pointed out that […]

Saving the City Through Private Activity

This issue focuses largely on the related topics of government efficiency and private-sector activity in areas traditionally ceded to government. Let us be honest: Government provision of services is often inefficient provision of services. As David Muhlhausen notes in his page 8 article on privatized juvenile-corrections facilities, Ronald Reagan’s Grace commission long ago found that […]

Reform Schools Reformed: How Competitive Tendering Saves Your Money

With surging juvenile crime rates and limited budgets, state governments have been hard pressed to handle the increasing demands on the juvenile-justice system. This strain has led to increased privatization of juvenile-corrections services. Once found only on the outer fringes of libertarianism, advocates of privatized corrections are new viewed as being well within the mainstream. […]

Benchmarking: Taking Local Government into the 21st Century

The economic uncertainty of our tomorrows necessitates a commitment to preparedness on the part of county and municipal governments successfully to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Sluggish economic growth and reduced federal and state financial assistance, coupled with increased demands for services and public intolerance for additional taxes/fees, underscore the importance and timeliness […]

Montgomery Innovations: Lessons for Baltimore?

One of the education establishment’s defenses of its poor performance (in relation to private and parochial schools) is that non-public schools are selective. That is, private and parochial schools may choose their own students, leaving the most difficult students for the public schools to deal with. This is used as a rationale to justify annual […]

Taking Charge: How Citizens Can Help Kids when Government Won’t

At the same time that Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke (D) was announcing plans to appoint a task force to explore different options for providing school choice for parents, a new group was being chartered in Maryland – a Baltimore version of the Children’s Educational Opportunity Foundation (known as CEO America). Like the original group, […]