Friday, April 8, 2011

Radio Show Recap - 4/7/11

Tonight's show featured Geoffrey Lawrence, Deputy Policy Director for the Nevada Policy Research Institute which is a free-market think tank that seeks private solutions to public challenges facing Nevada, the West and the nation. The Institute's primary areas of focus are education and fiscal policy, with the goal of advancing free-market principles in both.

During the show Geoffrey focused on issues related to state budgets and the positive aspects of performance based budgeting which is now being used successfully in Washington and several other states. Geoffrey shared that the current budget process is bankrupting our states and that we need to be able to verify the success of government programs before we blindly continue to fund them.

Geoffrey also discussed the massive unfunded public pension liabilities across the country. He shared with us the causes of the lack of funding related to poor foreasting and assumptions made by pension managers as well as the meddling of politicians who influence the investments of the pension managers into investments which may not be financially rewarding but might provide political capital come election time.

Geoffrey wrapped up our conversation by discussing education reform and the success of certain programs across the country. Many school districts are facing massive shortfalls and Geoffrey suggested technology based education opportunities such as online charter schools which can be used to curb the costs of education. We discussed the evidence that more money doesn't fix the problems in education, providing as proof that the Disctrict of Columbia has the highest per student budget yet has some of the lowest test scores of all districts nationwide.

This was a fantastic interview. Geoffrey brought many great points to light that are important for everyone to know when they get around the water cooler tomorrow at work.

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