Should Economic Incentives Be Evaluated?

THE SHORT ANSWER: YES, BUT . . . This week on the Senate floor, a member recited two familiar – but no less remarkable – facts: In 2000, South Carolina ranked 38th in the nation in per capita income. In 2012, we’d fallen to 48th. All, unfortunately, true. But the conclusions drawn from this and […]


Top Ten Bills to Watch

KEEP AN EYE ON THESE Throughout December, lawmakers pre-filed their bills for the 2014 legislative session – 102 in the Senate and 83 in the House. It’s extremely difficult to predict which bills will be taken up and debated, and many excellent bills are unfortunately ignored. Some bills deserve attention on their merits, though – […]

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Why Raising the Minimum Wage Raises Unemployment, Too

WHAT SOUNDS LIKE A GOOD IDEA, ISN’T Minimum wage workers around the country, including workers in South Carolina, made headlines recently when they protested in favor of higher wages. “America can’t survive on $7.25,” many of the signs read. The signs were of course in reference to America’s federally mandated minimum wage. While many states have […]

What You’ll Be Spending in 2014, Part II

MORE MONEY FOR K-12 AND HIGHER EDUCATION: A GOOD IDEA? State agencies virtually always ask for more money than they had last year. That’s what they do – even, or especially, when their purported functions are producing lackluster results or failing altogether. Consider South Carolina’s public and higher education system. K-12 Education In total, the Department […]

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A New Approach to Unemployment?

SOUTH CAROLINIANS ARE PAYING BILLIONS FOR UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE. IS THERE AN ALTERNATIVE? On Wednesday, the Senate Committee on Labor, Commerce, and Industry met to discuss a massive debt owed by the state unemployment trust fund to the federal government. Like many programs imposed on the states by the federal government, unemployment insurance, with its ever-expanding […]


South Carolina’s Uncompetitive Income Tax

 HERE’S WHY WE’RE LOSING: OUR TAXES ARE HIGHER We’ve leveled a lot of criticisms at the South Carolina Department of Commerce over the last several years, and will no doubt level more in the future. Presently, however, an excellent report the agency put together in 2010 deserves for more attention than it ever got when […]


S.C. Politicians’ Talking Points: Myths vs. Facts

NOTHING WRONG WITH MYTHS … JUST DON’T REPEAT THEM AS FACT Since the conclusion of the 2013 legislative session, lawmakers have been blasting out emails that boast of the year’s accomplishments. Even allowing for politicians’ customary boasts, some of these claims are either misleading or flatly untrue. Here are a few: Taxes and Size of […]

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Damaged Crops: What’s Government’s Role?

GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIES FOR THE STATE’S BIGGEST FARMS ARE MORE LAVISH THAN YOU MAY REALIZE South Carolina received quite a bit of rain recently, causing damage to, and a loss of yield for, several crops produced by South Carolina farms. Does government have a responsibility to recoup farmers for part of their losses – a responsibility […]


Tax Collection: Law Enforcement’s New Role?

TO PROTECT, TO COLLECT, AND TO SERVE You know the feeling – the feeling you get when you return to your parked car and see the dreaded neon-colored slip of paper tucked under your windshield-wiper. The following analysis was prompted by that feeling. One of SCPC’s policy analysts received a ticket from the Folly Beach […]


Beware the Multiplier Effect

  THEORIES ARE DEBATABLE. REALITY? NOT SO MUCH. When a public official wants to sell a big spending increase, he’ll almost inevitably justify it by claiming that it won’t just create the benefit for which it’s intended; it will also have a “ripple effect” that will accelerate economic growth even more. This is the case […]