Sunday, January 29, 2012

Now That's an Idea!

Now That's an Idea!
by David Trumbull
January 27, 2012

Every year since 1991 the Pioneer Institute has conducted a "citizens' idea contest" that seeks out and rewards the most innovative public policy ideas. The 2012 competition will focus on federal programs that can be devolved to the states - with benefits like cost savings, more effective delivery of services, or innovation as a result.

Sample topics include:

Regulations - Are there federal regulations that can be devolved to the states, resulting in job creation or increased economic vitality?

Urban Redevelopment - Are there federal programs aimed at helping revive older, industrial cities that would be better provided by state and/or local governments?

Transportation - Currently the federal government collects taxes and redistributes transportation funding back to the states with strict limitations on expenditures. Is there a better way?

Interstate Commerce - Are there federal restrictions on interstate commerce that harm job creation?

Banking and Finance - The Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank laws aimed to address failings in the banking and financial services industries. Could a state-based approach be more effective?

Health Care and Insurance - Since World War II, the federal government has expanded its role in financing and regulating health care delivery and insurance. Are there more effective ways to insure and care for Americans through state policy?

Education - Since its establishment in 1979, the U.S. Department of Education has gained control over reporting, spending, behavior, academic content, testing, special education, and more. Are there better ways to achieve common goals at the state and local level?

The Competition grand prize is $10,000; three runners-up receive $1,000 each. The contest is open to all people and organizations-academics, non-profits, entrepreneurs, government officials, and all concerned citizens. Entrants from outside Massachusetts are eligible. Ordinary citizens will not be at a disadvantage, because Pioneer Institute will work to provide quality entrants with the resources to develop their ideas.

All applications must be postmarked or e-mailed by Monday, April 9th, contact the Pioneer Institute for details.

Got an idea for better government? Here's your chance to promote it, and maybe even win ten grand!

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