TheNerve.org

Is there a shortage of solid, well-written investigative news in South Carolina? Sadly, yes. If you want to know what politicians are doing with your money, THE NERVE is your source.

Freest State in the Nation?

Ever wonder why free-market reforms are virtually impossible to pass in a state as “conservative” as South Carolina? There is a reason – and there is a way forward.

Membership

Making South Carolina the freest state in the nation won’t happen overnight, and it won’t happen easily. It’s taking long hours, hard work, and help from our friends, too.

About Us

Who Are We?

The South Carolina Policy Council was founded in 1986 by the late Thomas Roe of Greenville as a traditional think tank. The organization’s purpose was – and still is – to publish research and analysis showing the relevance of the American republic’s founding principles: limited government, free enterprise, and individual liberty and responsibility.

But while our principles haven’t changed – nor will they ever – the times have. The internet allows groups like ours to publish new analysis immediately, and social media enable us to reach a wide audience of citizens and public officials as events are happening. Gone are the days when a research organization could publish the occasional lengthy white paper full of dense analysis and remain effective. Read More

Commentary

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    Roads: Is Raising Taxes Really the Only Option?

    LAWMAKERS SEEM TO THINK SO. A LITTLE EFFORT MIGHT BE IN ORDER. Tax hikes are on the mind of legislators. At least that’s what the October 30 meeting of the Ad Hoc Transportation Committee would lead any observer to believe. The first half of the committee meeting was taken up by presentations from representatives of […]

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    How “Restructuring” Gave the Legislature More Power

      NEW POWERS FOR LAWMAKERS? Much has been made of the restructuring of state government through the Department of Administration bill passed in January. Proponents of the bill have labeled it historic reform and said it would move South Carolina away from unresponsive government. But analysis of the bill by the Policy Council showed that the […]

  • Does the Education Superintendent Matter?

    NOT AS MUCH AS IT SHOULD A recent debate between the two major party candidates vying to become South Carolina’s next Superintendent of Education failed to reveal many substantive policy differences. Both candidates agreed the state’s educational funding system was “outdated,” both expressed support for a limited level of “public school choice,” and neither candidate […]

  • Why Raising the Fuel Tax Is a Terrible Idea

    MONEY’S NOT THE PROBLEM. PRIORITIES ARE. The issue of road funding – or, to put it slightly differently, the question of how South Carolina should fix its broken road system – is now a constant topic in politics and the media. A fair number of state lawmakers have therefore begun to advocate what politicians always advocate […]

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    Getting Politics out of Money

    WHAT THE McDONNELL CASE TELLS US ABOUT GOVERNMENT ‘DEVELOPING’ THE ECONOMY Last week former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell was convicted of 11 counts of corruption related to his acceptance of personal gifts in exchange for using gubernatorial power to promote a company named Star Scientific. The story of McDonnell’s downfall will no doubt be used […]

  • Why “Publicly Owned” Resources Get Neglected

    IS YOUR LOCAL GOVERNMENT DOING A GREAT JOB OF MAINTAINING PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURE? IF NOT . . .  The Nerve recently reported on a lawyer who is simultaneously serving as a board member of the environmental group Congaree Riverkeeper and defending the City of Columbia against a lawsuit alleging neglect and improper diversion of funds from […]

  • How S.C.’s Legislature Bullies Local Governments

    WHEN WILL LOCAL GOVERNMENTS PUSH BACK AGAINST ALL THIS MEDDLING? The House of Representatives returned for a special one day session on August 27 to address a mere two bills that had been vetoed by the Governor. The first, a bill to allow a form of banishment from public libraries, passed easily with not a […]

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    What Will the State Do with the Surplus?

    PROBABLY NOT WHAT CHESTER ARTHUR WOULD HAVE DONE You might have recently heard that South Carolina ended the fiscal year with a higher-than-expected surplus – a surplus big enough to cover the entire list of items on lawmakers’ $235 million surplus priority (a.k.a. “pork”) list and still give them an extra $32 million to “distribute” […]

  • Why Another Earned Income Credit Won’t Help

    MORE LAYERS OF GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS WON’T ADDRESS THE PROBLEM OF POVERTY. BUT SOMETHING ELSE WILL. South Carolina is among the poorest states in the nation. That’s no secret. But with a comparatively high sales tax and personal income tax, South Carolinians also endure some of the highest taxes in the nation. The state’s top marginal tax […]

  • Common Core: It’s Bigger Than You Think

    COMMON CORE IS EVERYWHERE – BY DESIGN. REJECTING IT WILL TAKE MORE THAN A BILL. Across the country, parents and teachers are waking up and forcing their states to reject the nationalized standards system, Common Core. This year in South Carolina, a large grassroots effort forced the General Assembly to pass legislation forcing new standards to […]