Author Archives: Matthew Piccolo

Budget deal: Utah still addicted to the federal trough

  A year and a half ago I wrote an article for the Standard-Examiner about how Utah is addicted to federal dollars. Since then, nothing has changed. The federal budget deal has again brought this issue to our attention. A … Continue reading

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Relief from federal education mandates may be in sight

  We have some good news out of Washington. Utah’s own Rep. Rob Bishop, an educator in Utah’s public schools for 28 years, has introduced a bill in Congress that could exempt Utah and other states from burdensome federal education … Continue reading

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Will the economics of nuclear energy work for Utah?

  This morning, during part three of Sutherland’s series of policy forums called “Is Utah Ready for Nuclear Energy?” a panel of experts discussed the economics of nuclear power generation. A Utah company is currently working to build a nuclear … Continue reading

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Faith, family, free markets: fertile ground for happiness

  America’s founders believed that God endowed us with “certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” and “that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men.” Let’s focus on the third unalienable … Continue reading

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Ogden rally raw footage, empowering parents, NCLB

  Today in Ogden, an estimated 400 people protested the Ogden School District’s decision to forgo collective bargaining in favor of a contract made on its own terms. You can see footage of the protest here, taken by Alexis Young, … Continue reading

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Ogden School District: a radical approach to teacher pay?

  The Ogden School District is offering its teachers a take-it-or-leave-it employment contract (including a 1.6 percent raise) which each teacher must sign individually by July 20 or risk becoming unemployed. The district decided to act on its own after an impasse … Continue reading

Posted in Collective Bargaining, Education, Free market, Labor | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Don’t mind the Joneses; do what’s best for Utah

  Trying to keep up with the Joneses can be damaging to one’s home environment – and to a state. Oft-expressed concerns about Utah’s public education funding highlight what I mean. According to a new Utah Foundation report, Utah continues … Continue reading

Posted in Budget, Education | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Economic gardening: helping entrepreneurs grow Utah’s economy

  Last night, Ernst & Young presented Entrepreneur of the Year awards to nine Utah entrepreneurs who were recognized as being innovative and influential. This recognition is important because entrepreneurs are the engine of Utah’s economic prosperity. Entrepreneurs are creative, … Continue reading

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Teaching children in schools: a sacred trust that demands scrutiny

  As I recently gave a presentation to a class of fifth-graders, I was reminded of the sacred trust we place in schoolteachers. When parents send their children off to school, perhaps sometimes reluctantly, they leave their little ones under … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Family | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Run away from ‘Race to the Top’

President Barack Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan are offering states $500 million more in the third round of its “Race to the Top” competition. This round, called the “Early Learning Challenge,” aims to standardize early childhood education nationwide. … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Federalism, Limited Government | 4 Comments

Sundance Film Festival brings much more than money to Utah — and you may not like it

  The Sundance Film Festival brings a lot of economic activity to Utah, but is the festival something the state should endorse using tax dollars and legislation? A recent report estimates that the 2011 Sundance Film Festival produced $70.9 million … Continue reading

Posted in Drugs, Economic Development, Family | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

GOED board meeting: 2 new subsidies, bratwurst and ‘economic gardening’

At this month’s meeting for the Board of the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED), the board approved two new corporate tax subsidies and discussed efforts to grow businesses in rural Utah through an approach called “economic gardening.” The … Continue reading

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Public employee unions: a ‘50-year mistake’?

Recent events in Wisconsin have caused many people to consider what role, if any, public employee unions should play in negotiations over salaries and working conditions. Though on a smaller scale, events this week in Sandy and Salt Lake City … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Labor | Tagged , , , , | 13 Comments

Want to fix illegal immigration? Fix ourselves first

During Utah’s immigration debate this year, some people argued that tightening controls on America’s southern border and strictly enforcing immigration laws in Utah would solve our problems associated with illegal immigration. In a fascinating article in the newest edition of … Continue reading

Posted in Drugs, Immigration, Welfare | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development gets a D+ for transparency

This morning, I arrived at the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) to attend a GOED board meeting at 10 a.m. No one was there. Apparently, the meeting had been postponed until May 26. The funny thing is that I … Continue reading

Posted in Economic Development, Transparency | Tagged , , | 1 Comment