Why the Calvert Institute?
With all the recent rhetoric about devolving power to the states, now is the time for state activists to energize. In the new political paradigm, Democrat and Republican alike must at least acknowledge the Tenth Amendment. Annapolis’ impact on the lives of Marylanders will increase over the next few years. Marylanders with an interest in fiscal restraint and the principles of limited government and personal responsibility must ensure their ideals are broadcast. We have begun a new era in this country, an era in which government counts for less and the citizen counts for more.
The question: How can energized citizens and advocates of small government ensure they are heard?
The answer: By developing and sharing ideas. By getting the word out. The growth of state-based, public-policy institutions (PPIs) over the past few years has been great. From a handful of early organizations, an aggressive movement has grown. Active state PPIs have been established in over 30 states. Until now, Maryland has not been one of them.
These PPIs have become important vehicles for providing reasoned analysis of state public policy. They enable individuals to coalesce around a core set of informed beliefs. More than that, they provide ideas that are specific to the circumstances of the state. How often have state activists received some public-policy document published by a Beltway advocacy group in Washington and found it to be less than relevant to their policy circumstances? A state “think-tank” with a primary audience narrower than that of the national groups can focus on problems particular to Maryland.
Ideas – Your Ideas – Have Consequences!
Richard M. Weaver once said, “Ideas have consequences.” He was right. The regeneration of concepts of responsible government is vital. For without the ideas of informed people, there is often a tendency for government to aggrandize itself, for the voice of the citizen to be stilled.
Politicians are generally not philosophers. They usually reflect public opinion – they don’t make it. What is key is that the opinion they reflect must be the right opinion. This is why it is so important to invest in ideas as well as representation. Change public opinion, and the politicians will soon fall into line. The Calvert Institute is in the “ideas business.”
The Calvert Institute provides a forum for the exchange of ideas by means of the written word and through meetings and conferences. It furnishes up-to-date research on the important issues of the day and publishes these findings in a variety of formats for decision makers, the media, the business community and the public at large.
The institute, as a matter of policy, makes its studies available to every member of the legislature, regardless of party affiliation, including:
- The Calvert Comment series, op-ed articles.
- The Calvert Issue Brief series, in-depth analysis.
- The Calvert News series, our newsletter.
In addition to the printed word, the institute brings together opinion leaders and policy makers to discuss issues and ideas in a variety of formal and informal settings. These include luncheon lectures, conferences and debates. Topics cover a host of subjects, including reform of education, the tort system, taxation and more.
The Calvert Institute for Policy Research is an independent, non-partisan public policy research institution committed to generating new ideas based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government and personal responsibility. The institute seeks to make Maryland worthy of its fond nickname – “The Free State.”
The Status Quo: High Spending, No Results
The state’s per capita personal income taxation is the third-highest in the country. Additionally, Maryland’s per capita combined state and local taxation rose 16.4 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars from 1984 through 1992.
Yet in 1992 – the most recent figures available – we had the fourth-highest rate of violent crime in the nation. In 1992, we had the sixth-highest murder rate in the U.S. and the second-highest robbery rate. And in 1989, Maryland’s rate of illegitimate teenage births as a percentage of all its teenage births was the highest of all states.
BECAUSE the work of the Calvert Institute is funded strictly by contributions, we are seeking the support of individuals, corporations and foundations that share our goals. The commitment form on the other side of this panel explains our donor program and the benefits accrued at each level of giving. The institute is a non-profit organization, so contributions are tax-deductible.