Entries by Derek Monson

Survey: Most of us millennials do take moral stances

I often find myself scratching my head at the narrow focus of many quantitative researchers and the news media that cover their work. Sometimes, they zoom in like a laser on one particularly interesting statistical outcome or finding, which in fact only represents only a fraction of their results, while ignoring the more representative findings […]

Strategy vs. principle

The various approaches to creating additional legal protections for religious liberty is a particularly relevant issue this week, given the passage of Indiana’s new religious freedom law, the subsequent protests of that law by the left, and Utah’s own unique approach to the issue. But before getting there, it’s important to understand why religious freedom […]

Research: Consumer-driven health plans help ‘bend the cost curve’

How do we reduce unnecessary or wasteful health care spending so that we can increase health care access and reduce the cost of health care? This is a policy question that has vexed policymakers for many years. But new research suggests that market innovations such as health savings accounts paired with high-deductible insurance coverage (collectively […]

Research: Public health policies work – and probably help the economy too

Newly published research about the effects of anti-smoking policies have found such policies effectively incentivize the desired social behaviors, and it also suggests that they create more benefits than costs for society. While this study focused only on anti-smoking policies, the results are relevant to ongoing debates in Utah about loosening state alcohol control laws […]

King v. Burwell and Healthy Utah – Sutherland Soapbox, 3/3/15

This post is a transcript of a 4-minute weekly radio commentary aired on several Utah radio stations. The podcast can be found at the bottom of this post. Tomorrow [March 4], a case will be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court that may impact or even derail the viability of Obamacare and Governor Herbert’s proposed […]

Support religious liberty: stand up to the ‘no compromise’ approach to nondiscrimination

Supporters of a “no compromise” approach to LGBT nondiscrimination argue that we already have sufficient protections for religious liberty. They cite the First Amendment and Utah’s majority-Mormon population to bolster their case. Unfortunately, their argument is undermined by the realities of “no compromise” approaches to nondiscrimination law. The facts and details of the experience of […]

Why we cheer National School Choice Week

This week is National School Choice Week. School choice – the freedom of parents to move their child from a system of learning that is failing them to one that better meets their individual needs – has reaped many benefits for children and families across the state and the nation. This is especially true for […]

Fundamental reform must precede increases in generally applicable taxes

Some Utah policymakers are proposing legislation this year that would increase generally applicable taxes on income and gasoline. Not surprisingly, these proposals have drawn the attention of the media and Utah pollsters, who have found that Utahns oppose raising income taxes for education. Utahns’ hesitancy regarding tax increases is well founded. Government has a history […]