Reads of the Week: America’s Rail Network, School Choice, and Sales Tax Holiday - America's Future

August 27, 2021

AF CommunityProfessional Development

Reads of the Week: America’s Rail Network, School Choice, and Sales Tax Holiday

By: AF Editors

Each week, we’ll be featuring opinion pieces from the alumni and current participants of AF’s Writing Fellows Program. A few highlights from the past week are below. Do you dream of having bylines like these? Learn more about how the Writing Fellows Program can help boost your writing career!

Back to the Past for America’s Freight? by Edward Longe (Summer 2021) in Townhall

In a typical year, freight trains in the United States move about 1.7 billion tons on over 140,000 miles of track. The massive tonnage hauled by freight rail every year means that most American consumers own goods transported on freight trains. Yet, despite the importance of freight rail to American consumers and the broader economy, the Biden administration has proposed several potential changes that could undermine the profitability of freight rail companies and enhance government control of the industry.

Given the importance of freight rail, any government intervention could have catastrophic effects for consumers. Policymakers only need to look at the history of freight rail in the United States to understand why increasing government control of freight rail could be profoundly damaging…

School Choice Should Be More Than an Escape Hatch from Failing Public Schools. Here’s a Way to Make it Available to All Families by Christian Barnard (Spring 2019) in The 74

So far this year, 18 states have passed legislation to allow families more choices and customization for their student’s K-12 education. From Pennsylvania to Montana, states have increased access to school choice by creating education savings accounts and expanding voucher and tax-credit scholarship programs. This wave of legislation has recently led a growing number of education reformers, including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, to dub 2021 “The Year of School Choice.”

Reformers have long argued that education choice should be for everyone. But when looking at the current geographic distribution of charter school and private school scholarship-eligible students, it becomes clear that the target audience for these programs is largely kids in urban centers who are most likely to be attending “failing” public schools…

Sales Tax Holidays Are Just a Bait and Switch Gimmick by Lindsey Stroud (Spring 2019) in the American Spectator

Students across the country are heading back to school. That means it’s also the time when politicians tout sales tax holidays as a gift from government to consumers and parents. In reality, sales tax holidays are just a showy ruse that doesn’t lead to real savings. If lawmakers truly wanted to give a gift to taxpayers, they would reform complicated tax systems, or better yet, eliminate sales taxes…