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Beacon Center: August 2012 Policy Snapshot

Newsletter from the Beacon Center of Tennessee; August 30, 2012: 

Happy Capital Day?

Have you ever wondered why we have a special holiday to celebrate labor but not the capital creation that makes labor possible? From the Foundation for Economic Education’s Lawrence Reed: “[T]his year on Labor Day weekend, I’ll also be thinking about the remarkable achievements of inventors of labor-saving devices, the risk-taking venture capitalists who put their own money (not your tax money) on the line and the fact that nobody in America has to dig a ditch with a spoon or cut his lawn with a knife…Labor Day and Capital Day. I know of no good reason why we should have just one and not the other.” Read his entire article here.

TN Watchdog attracts national attention

Last month, Chris Butler, our director of government accountability and editor of Tennessee Watchdog, published an attention-grabbing story about how Memphis welfare recipients were using their taxpayer money to make purchases in liquor stores and buy tickets to tour Graceland. Television stations as far away as San Francisco covered the story, and radio shows from Ohio to New Hampshire picked it up as well. Even the national Washington Examiner made mention of our story, which you can read here. For the original investigative report, visit

School choice debate heating up

The Beacon Center has made enacting a school choice program a top priority for the 2013 legislative session of the General Assembly. But we’re not waiting on lawmakers to return to Nashville to start the discussion. As Channel 4 News notes in an interview with Beacon CEO Justin Owen, the governor has appointed a task force to study the matter, which will report to him this November. It is widely expected that this will be the hottest topic next session, and Beacon will play a crucial role educating our fellow Tennesseans about the benefits of school choice. Watch the Channel 4 News interview here.

Car bailouts, bank bailouts…state bailouts?

The federal government has gone on a bailout spree, giving banks and car companies a handout. Could some states be next? In an op-ed that appeared in the Tennessean earlier this week, Beacon CEO Justin Owen joined the Illinois Policy Institute’s Ted Dabrowski in warning against a federal bailout of the states. Owen and Dabrowski explain why this would be devastating for Tennessee taxpayers and call on Congress to swiftly refuse any bailout of irresponsible states. Read the entire article at


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