The city isn’t lacking for revenue. Its officials have a spending addiction. READ MORE
Beacon Releases New Study Showing Lack of Transparency & Accountability in State Incentive Programs
BY RON SHULTIS
The Beacon Center of Tennessee released a new report on the state of Tennessee's economic incentive programs and exposed major issues with many of the subsidies. READ MORE
Today the Beacon Center of Tennessee announced a new Vice President of Development and two new board members. READ MORE
A recent study by our friends at the Institute for Justice found that unnecessary licensing red tape keeps 46,068 Tennesseans out of work. READ MORE
Families like the Lopez family—who want and need choices for their children’s education—exist all over Tennessee. By implementing statewide ESAs, Tennessee parents will be able to decide the best course for their child’s education and dedicate the dollars that are already going toward education to their child’s specific needs. READ MORE
The Fresh Start Act was an excellent step in the right direction, but more changes need to be made to Tennessee’s harmful occupational licensing laws to lessen the burden of transitioning to life outside of incarceration for people like Taylor. READ MORE
In the 13th annual Tennessee Pork Report, the Beacon Center once again revealed millions of dollars in government waste, fraud, and abuse ranging from a new taxpayer-funded MLS soccer stadium in Nashville to a Memphis company that was given $5 million just to move across town. READ MORE
‘Twas the night before Christmas, and as is tradition,We would like to say thank you for supporting our mission.This year was successful, and we hope you’ll agree,That our policy victories have made us more free. It’s the time of the year for you to uncork,Our report that is filled with overspending and porkOur Pork Report will... READ MORE
Tennessee would be wise to start thinking proactively about a new approach to seizing criminal assets. READ MORE
The John Metros that you meet today and the man you would have met 10 years ago are two completely different people. Today, John works in prison ministry and with individuals who are coming out of prison and acclimating to that life. He knows what they need to hear, because not very long ago, he... READ MORE
All children in Tennessee should have the opportunity to pursue an educational path that best meets his or her unique needs. That is possible through education savings accounts, or ESAs. READ MORE
Education Savings Accounts as a means of school choice allows us the liberty to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and pursue the American Dream at full throttle. READ MORE
Amazon, one of the world's most valuable companies, and the government played taxpayers. READ MORE
Bill Lee’s victory is a good one for those who are fans of free enterprise and challenging the status quo. READ MORE
Knoxville residents, don’t give up your rights for chickens. You can have both. If the government can get you to give up one right, it can get you to give up others. READ MORE
At the Beacon Center, we are working to make Tennessee less scary for workers, business owners, and all taxpayers. READ MORE
Grappling with contending viewpoints is an essential part of an education. READ MORE
The city of Nashville was trying to demand a family destroy an existing sidewalk and build a new one before it would issue a permit to build a screened in deck. The city had no authority to make this demand. When pressed, Nashville couldn’t say where it had this authority, and it ultimately backed down.... READ MORE
There are two things nearly every American cares about: our children and our military. With that in mind, how can we make our children smarter and our military stronger simultaneously? Approximately 1.2 million children have an active-duty military parent, and schooling options for these children can affect whether or not a family decides to accept... READ MORE
The administrative state—the so-called “Fourth Branch of government” (so called because it is not one of the three recognized by the Constitution)—is a longstanding concern of constitutionalists. The affirmative case for it rests on assumptions that I can now say, as a survivor of the administrative process, are wrong. Under the administrative process, many decisions... READ MORE
Explanation: Burdensome government licensing laws keep thousands of Tennesseans out of good jobs, and there is very little they can do to challenge whether those laws are even necessary in the first place. The problem: State law declares that the right to earn a living free from arbitrary government interference is a fundamental right. Yet... READ MORE
Explanation: While Beacon is against giving taxpayer money to individual companies in the name of economic development, it is important that if we do give money out in the form of incentive deals to businesses, the process is transparent. We should know exactly how our tax dollars are being used and if the practice of handing... READ MORE
Explanation: Reforming or eliminating the cash bail system in Tennessee will save taxpayers money and enhance public safety. The problem: Over 40 percent of Tennesseans in jail are awaiting trial and over 700,000 people in the United States are sitting in jail awaiting trial for alleged crimes—many of them low-level, non-violent crimes, including misdemeanors. This... READ MORE
Explanation: Creating and implementing a statewide universal Education Savings Account (ESA) program will empower parents to create the custom education experience best suited for their child, improve education outcomes through enhanced competition for educational dollars, and help revitalize economically distressed areas by reducing the need to move based on school district geographies. The problem: Politicians... READ MORE
Sad news broke last week when it was announced that veteran journalist and my friend Trent Seibert had passed away in his Houston home. Despite his no-frills and down-to-earth demeanor, Trent was a giant among reporters here in Tennessee and elsewhere. He spent time at newspapers, including the Tennessean, in front of the camera at... READ MORE
In a recent 3-2 decision, the board overseeing alarm system licensing in Tennessee reversed its previous decision to classify Beacon Center client Adam Jackson's product as an alarm system READ MORE
"Does it make sense for Tennessee—the state with the highest child obesity rate in the nation and fourth highest obesity rate overall—to be taxing people for the 'amusement' of trying to live a healthier lifestyle?" READ MORE
"This would never fly in the private sector, but it’s a lot easier to spend other people’s money" READ MORE
But with all of this good news, our labor force is still struggling. READ MORE
This hospital is an albatross around the neck of Nashville taxpayers and there is no reason to keep funding it. READ MORE
The freedom of someone accused of a crime should never be dependent on their wealth, but on whether their release would be a safety risk to the community. READ MORE
AllianceBernstein definitely didn’t pick Nashville because of taxpayer handouts. READ MORE
It is a perpetual ongoing never-ending loop. Please let us off the ride. READ MORE
Nearly 70 business, community, and nonprofit leaders came together to discuss ways to help the chronically under- and unemployed find work. READ MORE
We have to get out of our social bubbles to affect real change. READ MORE
Given that it is far more dangerous—to Nashvillians’ freedom at least—to be a Metro Council member than it is to ride a scooter, I propose some regulations on serving in our city’s esteemed legislative body. READ MORE
We still have much to do to truly address employability issues in our state. READ MORE
While it is unlikely Tennessee will legalize sports betting in the next five years, this is a big issue that will keep coming up as more and more states legalize it. READ MORE
Just because an elected official believes something “ought to be” or “should be done” does not mean it’s good policy to enact. READ MORE
If we need the government to prevent us from avoiding falling over things in plain view, a sensible citywide transit plan is the least of our worries. READ MORE
Jobs that do not require a high school degree include “elected official,” otherwise known as the people who write the laws including this one. READ MORE
"The Beacon Center is formally calling on the state and local government to not to offer any taxpayer dollars to the company in their relocation." READ MORE
Let’s look at Beacon’s policy issues and draft our successes from the 2018 legislative session. READ MORE
Tennessee reduced the breadth and burden of its licensing by a whopping 5 percent. READ MORE
When light rail systems are introduced it is only a matter of time before bus services get cut. READ MORE
Unfortunately, we have a regulatory board more interested in protecting entrenched industries from emergent technology using archaic and poorly fitting regulations than protecting the public. READ MORE
Adam Jackson knows security. He is a highly trained former soldier. He helped to provide electronic security for a U.S embassy, and installed systems on overseas military bases. Adam (now a civilian) and his partners developed groundbreaking facial recognition software that can instantly scan the face of someone appearing on security cameras and match it... READ MORE
If the city can tell you who you can and can't feed in your home, it should be pretty obvious the law has gone too far. READ MORE
"This plan is just really phat, and we are excited for all the citizens of Nashville to see how cutting edge we are." READ MORE
A few local government officials have recently decided to impose a personal property tax on barrels for the first time. READ MORE
It sure is refreshing when a government embraces technology and allows it to develop. READ MORE
Many barriers exist that keep the revolving door of the system spinning. READ MORE
Thanks to the support and donations from many of you, Elias Zarate paid off the fines Tennessee served him for cutting hair without a license. READ MORE
When affordable alternatives to hotels exist that benefit the city, the people providing the space, and the individuals who want to travel here, it is simply irresponsible and honestly just mean-spirited to ban these businesses. This model of governing doesn’t fit in with the Nashville I know. READ MORE
Nashvillians who are smitten by the idea of riding a train to work might want to think twice about what this plan is really all about. READ MORE
"One mayor's misdeeds do not define this incredible city." READ MORE
Detractors have come out against our messaging about the Nashville transit plan. We want to set the record straight and address a few key concerns that have come up. READ MORE
Tennessee should take into consideration the harm our occupational licensing laws cause our military and seek to do better by them. READ MORE
Nashville bans homesharing going back on a decision to allow homesharing in the city and going against the wishes of the legislature. Now it is the responsibility of the legislature to stop this serious infringement on property rights. READ MORE
The letter asks the Board to join the Beacon Center in working to eliminate high school degree requirement to become a barber. READ MORE
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MORE FROM BEACON CENTER
Beacon Releases New Study Showing Lack of Transparency & Accountability in State Incentive Programs
Today, the Beacon Center of Tennessee released a new report on the state of Tennessee’s economic incentive programs and exposed major...
Beacon Study Demonstrates Benefits of Statewide ESAs
Every child is unique, and allowing parents to customize the education best tailored for their child not only benefits that child but societ...
Beacon’s New Study Shows Problems with Education Spending
This brief shows that, despite calls from some for more education spending, our current priorities are completely out of line.
Consultant might fleece Johnson City out of millions
"There is obviously a conflict of interest when you’re a consultant and you say there is a need for something and that we can do it."
Answers uncertain on whether taxpayers bail out BrightRidge (Part 2)
Also, depending upon whom you ask, if this Internet venture loses money, city officials will call upon taxpayers to make up that shortfall.
Government wants to compete against business in Johnson City (Part 1)
The people who head up your city’s municipal electric company, BrightRidge, want to use government resources to compete against you.
Beacon Center Releases Report Blasting Tennessee Film Incentives
On the eve of the series finale of the show Nashville, which has been canceled twice in three years and cost taxpayers tens of millions of d...
Beacon Releases Alternate Nashville Transit Plan
Today, the Beacon Center of Tennessee released its long-awaited alternate transit plan for Nashville.
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The Beacon Center of Tennessee empowers Tennesseans to reclaim control of their lives, so that they can freely pursue their version of the American Dream.