Atlanta Forward Blog 

Discussion on Atlanta's economy, schools, transportation, leadership, quality of life

Domestic oil drilling: Time to open the spigot?

  • 10:41 am Wednesday, October 29th, 2014 by rbadie

Moderated by Rick Badie

Today’s topic: domestic oil drilling. A policy analyst suggests that domestic drilling could lower consumer gasoline prices and advocates for its expansion. Meanwhile, a Georgia environmentalist says offshore development would endanger our coasts and sensitive protected areas. The third column deals with anonymous spending in political campaigns.

Protect nature, fill gas tanks

By Anastasia Swearingen

For decades, a key argument against the energy industry was that domestic drilling doesn’t affect gas prices. Oil is sold on a world market, the logic went, and the U.S. doesn’t produce enough to move the needle.

Anastasia Swearingen is a senior research analyst at [More]

New clean water rules: Clarity or hardship?

  • 10:04 am Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 by rbadie

Moderated by Rick Badie

Today, we offer polar views of the Environmental Protection Agency’s rule the government says clarifies which streams and waterways are shielded from development under the Clean Water Act. A Georgia environmentalist says the rule defines what bodies of water already are under federal jurisdiction in the Clean Water Act without restricting farmers and others. Our state agriculture commissioner, meanwhile, worries about the potential impact to Georgia’s leading industry.

EPA rule key to quality of life

By David Kyler

Effective enforcement of environmental laws that protect the public depends on clear, well-understood rules. In the absence of coherent standards, legal controversies [More]

Will photo IDs for food stamps prevent fraud?

  • 5:10 pm Wednesday, October 15th, 2014 by rbadie

Moderated by Rick Badie

Georgia officials say it will cost nearly $8 million to create food stamp cards that include recipients’ photographs. A state lawmaker who co-sponsored legislation to allow the IDs says it would be well spent money to curb the resell of benefits meant to help feed families. But a policy analyst contends such fraud is minuscule and calls food stamp photos an “untested hypothesis.”

IDs fight food stamp fraud

By Don Balfour

Full speed ahead, to the future

  • 1:50 pm Wednesday, October 8th, 2014 by rbadie

Moderated by Rick Badie

Georgia’s maritime leader says the Port of Savannah is poised to surpass New York as the busiest seaport on the East Coast. Today, our top port executive outlines what’s being done to ensure the port — which is experiencing record-setting growth in container movement — does just that in the coming years. In the other essays, read about a series of regional “Community Conversations” taking place to address the area’s growing older adult population; and society’s challenges of dealing with trash.

Savannah port can pass N.Y.

By Curtis Foltz

Improving community health, job opportunities

  • 10:29 am Wednesday, October 1st, 2014 by rbadie

Moderated by Rick Badie

Too often, health and wellness issues fall below the radar as they relate to metro Atlanta’s burgeoning South Asian communities. One of today’s writers advocates for the creation of holistic health programs that can combat illnesses as well as treatment costs. Elsewhere, an official with the Rainbow PUSH Coalition previews a local economic summit to feature U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx.

South Asian health dialogue needed

By Nazeera Dawood

For example, the total estimated cost of diagnosed diabetes in 2012 was $245 billion, including $176 billion in direct medical costs and $69 billion in decreased productivity. There is [More]

How to keep a kid in school: Give him a job

  • 11:42 am Wednesday, September 24th, 2014 by rbadie

Moderated by Rick Badie

We devote today’s discussion to a Carroll County cable manufacturer that has opened a factory for troubled teens. The youths spend eight hours a day in company classrooms and work four hours a day, earning above minimum wage. Read how this novel concept produces high school graduates with workforce skills, and how it’s spread statewide.

Help profits by helping others

By Stu Thorn

DeKalb works through a rough spot

  • 9:46 am Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 by rbadie

Moderated by Rick Badie

Recent woes in DeKalb County government compel us to ask: What’s the business climate like in the state’s third-largest county? And where does it go from here as it relates to better governance and economic progress? Today’s guest writers dissect the issue.

Money plays central role in scandal

By William Perry

Women-owned businesses fuel Georgia’s growth

  • 10:01 am Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 by rbadie

Moderated by Rick Badie

Three essays, three subjects. First, a female entrepreneur writes about the growth of women business owners in Georgia, a sector leader. In the second essay, a corporate executive notes a rise in “global engagement” — the region’s growth in international trade, investment and collaboration. Finally, a nonprofit founder trumpets the importance of building relationships with local hospitals, research institutions and various organizations devoted to health care.

Ga. female-owned businesses lead nation

By Jill Peck

Fight for $15

  • 9:48 am Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 by rbadie

Moderated by Rick Badie

A recent federal ruling regarding the franchiser-franchisee relationship may lead to higher minimum wages and a unionized workforce if allowed to stand. Today, an organizer for a nonprofit that advocates a fast-food wage increase trumpets the ruling, while the head of the Georgia Restaurant Association warns the decision would put a “chilling effect” on regional job growth.

Fight for $15

By Neil Sardana

Last month, the National Labor Relations Board general counsel found McDonald’s Corp. to be a “joint-employer” alongside its franchisees. This legal decision could allow the corporation to be held responsible for the treatment and conditions of its [More]

Who’s to say what’s fair pay for work?

  • 1:14 pm Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 by rbadie

Moderated by Rick Badie

Recently, Atlanta was one of five cities U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez visited on a pre-Labor Day tour to promote collaboration between business and labor. Today, he reiterates that message and calls for a minimum wage increase that he says would benefit all aspects of the economy. The Georgia director of a small business advocacy group begs to differ, however, and calls a wage hike — as well as a recent ruling by the National Labor Relations Board — attempts to bolster unions. The third column deals with the importance of hiring and training young talent.

Higher [More]