Entries by Derek Monson

Facebook fallout is an opportunity to affirm Utah’s free market principles

With Facebook’s decision to locate its data center in New Mexico – bringing an end to the Facebook tax-break sweepstakes – the reflection (and in some cases, finger pointing) among political and economic development stakeholders has begun. No one should be celebrating the fact that a company chose not to bring new jobs to Utah, […]

What best explains today’s politics?

Last week, American Enterprise Institute published several brief, thoughtful articles getting at this question, and both are worth a read. One article, authored by Washington Examiner columnist Timothy Carney, points out that “democracy and civic engagement” are driving politics on the left, and he recommends that the right pay attention. He writes: The average conservative […]

Wise words on religious freedom

Seeking “a cease-fire in the culture wars,” Elder Dallin H. Oaks, member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and former justice on the Utah Supreme Court, gave a speech late last week on “Religious Freedom in a Pluralistic Society.” His remarks at Claremont Graduate University […]

How well did Utah taxpayers and economy do in the 2016 session?

From the Sutherland Institute perspective, the 2016 legislative session was a good one for both taxpayers and the economy. Taxpayers were spared from varied attempts to extract more money from their wallets, including a proposal from some in the business community to take 20 percent more of Utah taxpayers’ income by hiking income tax rates […]

Reflecting on conservatism as Legislature winds down

Although the 2016 Utah Legislative Session is winding down this week, two proposals – namely, legalizing medical marijuana and banning so-called “non-compete agreements” – are forcing Utahns and policymakers to re-examine their core beliefs. Because we are in Utah, that means forcing Utahns to decide what it really means to be conservative. Just this week, […]

The business of business is … raising our taxes?

What moral or ethical reasoning justifies taking hundreds of millions of dollars from the collective paychecks of Utah’s middle-income, working families and taxpayers? In the minds of part of the business community, it appears to be future economic growth and long-term government planning. These are the lead points offered in support of the proposal from […]

Nonbinding nonsense: questionable tactic for the frustrated

Groups that have had their political and ideological agendas frustrated by Utah’s constitutional order and the conservative instincts of state policymakers have recently begun pursuing a new tactic in their crusade to moderate and “sophisticate” the state’s prudent management of taxpayer resources. They have proposed statewide “nonbinding votes” of the people. The idea of the […]