Misplaced loyalties are not a virtue

I felt a great sense of loss after separating from Sutherland Institute just over two years ago. A lot of work had been put into building its conservative brand and reputation. Furthermore, an impetuous and unceremonious firing only heightened my feelings of loss. It was stunning and it hurt. But, as with most of life’s trials, there was a silver lining, a liberation of sorts that perhaps many conservatives and Republicans should experience. Shortly after separating I received a call from the Governor’s office inviting me to stand with Governor…

Latest Bears Ears poll transmits a false sense of security

By Matthew Anderson Last week, The Salt Lake Tribune reported that a new Pew Charitable Trusts poll shows a slight majority of Utahns supports President Barack Obama in unilaterally designating the Bears Ears region as a national monument. The wording of the poll, however, is questionable. Pew asked 600 registered Utah voters the following question: “There is currently a proposal being considered to designate other public land in Utah as a national monument. This land, south of Canyonlands National Park, is commonly referred to as the Bears Ears area. As…

Unify programs to create path from poverty to prosperity

People in poverty are rarely poor because they don’t have access to money. It is usually because they don’t have access to opportunity. The war on poverty really didn’t begin with Lyndon Johnson in 1964. It began in 1776, and for almost 200 years, America was winning the war on poverty. Tragically, and ironically, we didn’t start losing the war on poverty until the federal government declared that it would handle it. In 1861, Abraham Lincoln told Congress that the “leading object” of American government was “to elevate the condition…

‘Highly resolved’: More than just giving it a try

By Boyd Matheson When we honor those who have paid the ultimate price we rightly reference the words of Abraham Lincoln, that “they gave the last full measure of devotion.” We often miss, however, Lincoln’s powerful and immediate pivot to the future, to us – “that we here highly resolve.” He recognized that that those we honor have already done their part and passed their test. Lincoln knew the real question was whether each of us would be highly resolved to do our individual duty. To be highly resolved is…

What an education savings account can do for your student

By Christine Cooke Each student has unique educational needs. Students, parents and teachers know this, but our school system doesn’t always reflect it. Wouldn’t it be nice if parents could customize education to fit the unique needs of each student? Starting in 2011, some states have implemented a funding mechanism to help customize education—these are called education savings accounts. Education savings accounts are publicly funded accounts that parents can access in order to pay for a variety of educational choices. For instance, based on the needs or interest of their…

6 myths about the proposed Bears Ears National Monument

By Matthew Anderson Misconceptions and rumors are circulating around the proposed designation of a Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah. Proponents of the monument have hurled unsubstantiated promises and propaganda at the people of Utah in an attempt to push through their agenda. The Coalition for Self-Government in the West and Sutherland Institute examine here five such claims – attempting to sort out fact from fiction. Fiction: The Utah Navajos living in San Juan County are pushing for a Bears Ears National Monument. Fact: San Juan County Navajos do…

Sutherland Institute: Facts are stubborn, statistics are pliable

By Matthew Anderson Statistics are all around us, in many forms. Sports, health care, business, and almost every facet of our society look to numbers to help sort out the world. With so much riding on the line, sound statistical methods and principled research are imperative. Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable. Numbers can be manipulated to support any number of arguments. Such is the case in Colorado College’s 2016 Conservation in the West Poll. Released a few weeks ago, this seven-state survey attempted to gauge public opinion…

Use government to silence viewpoints? Let’s not

By Dave Buer Utahns can set their watches by several worn-out themes that are repeated each and every legislative session. One such example is the influence that the state’s dominant faith, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has on public policy. Note that you will rarely, if ever, hear progressives complain about meddling from another faith, as when the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City weighs in on immigration, Medicaid, social services and so on. That’s because, critics argue, the LDS Church has an outsized influence in Utah…