The Economics Behind the Issues: The Dependency Trap

At this month’s Citizen Education Seminar on Kentucky’s economic competitiveness, jointly hosted by the Bluegrass Institute and the Mercatus Center at George Mason University,  John Garen, Ph.D., economics professor at the University of Kentucky and chair of the Bluegrass Institute’s Board of Scholars, discussed the “dependency trap” which the commonwealth has fallen so deeply into. In…

Lawmakers’ choice: Take steps to reduce public-pension benefits and beneficiaries, or watch the system collapse

Some reporters claim: “Kentucky’s choice: Have a mental health agency close or further damage the pension fund?” But a question not being asked is: Why was a nonpublic agency like Seven County Services on the taxpayer-funded public pension plan in the first place? Why are there 1,701 agencies on the commonwealth’s pension dole, including a private credit union with…

Mercatus and Bluegrass Scholars report: Kentucky is not economically competitive, Part 1 of 4

Dr. John Garren – Citizen Education Seminar from Bluegrass Institute on Vimeo. Recently the Bluegrass Institute partnered with the Mercatus Center at George Mason University to host its Citizen Education Seminar at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Lexington. The event included both Bluegrass Institute and Mercatus scholars discussing the most pertinent barriers standing in the way of…

Quote of the day: Who do we point the finger at?

This excerpt is from InsiderLouisville.com and covers Gov. Steve Beshear talking about pension reform: Kentucky got severely upside-down on the retirement funds because in good economic times, state government diverted state pension contributions to other things, he said. “You can’t point any fingers and blame any set of individuals,” he said. Well, actually you can point the finger at…

Weak attempt at reform

While state lawmakers and defenders of the status-quo pat themselves on the back for a last-minute, “successful” legislative session, the standard of living for all Kentuckians continues to be in danger. Once again, state lawmakers failed during a legislative session to enact meaningful public pension system reform. Rather than take effective action against a $34…