Cultural Indicators 2014 for Alabama and the United States tracks various Alabama-specific and national measures of societal well-being dating back to 1960, as statistics are available. Chapters are devoted to vital statistics; crime; education; family; health; poverty and welfare; and business and government.

 


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Legislative Session: Week 5 Review

It was a slower week, so before you kick off your weekend, check out what happened in Montgomery during week five of the 2018 legislative session! By the way, if you want to receive daily news hits from across the state and nation straight to your inbox each morning, click here to subscribe to API’s Daily […]

Using our tax breaks and bonuses for things that matter

“Crumbs”. That’s how House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi characterized the thousand-dollar bonuses and wage increases that companies are offering employees in the wake of federal tax reform. This description has, appropriately, come under attack. Walmart, Alabama’s largest employer, is spending around $400 million on employee bonuses. In fact, according to Americans for Tax Reform, over […]

Calling All Candidates: Let’s Talk Education

You spoke, Alabama. We asked, what issues are important to you and what questions would you ask of your candidates to answer?  Since last week was National School Choice Week, let’s explore questions on promoting education and supporting Alabama’s school children. And it probably won’t come as much of a surprise—Alabamians are very vocal on these […]

MORE ON Civil and Criminal Justice

Juvenile Justice: A Broken System with Harmful Effects on Alabama’s Youth

A fourteen year old shoplifts cologne from a local Macy’s with hopes to impress his crush. Lacking the skills of an experienced criminal, he gets caught easily. Although perhaps warranting a fine and community service, he is instead processed as a criminal defendant and placed in a juvenile detention center. Here, he crosses paths daily […]

Here in Alabama, the government can legally take your stuff (AND NOT GIVE IT BACK)

Along Highway 31 in Conecuh County, Alabama, lies a small town called Castleberry. Although the city boasts a population of less than 600 and a single caution light, it has its own police department. To fund itself, the Castleberry Police Department takes advantage of speeding passers-by and writes them tickets. Nothing to see here. In […]

Nexus of Cultural Trends and Alabama’s Prison Problems

In 2012, one of every 148 persons in the State of Alabama was behind bars, compared to one of every 200 persons nationwide.  Miscalculations in policy and in funding over the last three decades lead us to where we are today, at nearly double our prisons’ capacity. At the same time, save some rare instances, […]

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Using our tax breaks and bonuses for things that matter

“Crumbs”. That’s how House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi characterized the thousand-dollar bonuses and wage increases that companies are offering employees in the wake of federal tax reform. This description has, appropriately, come under attack. Walmart, Alabama’s largest employer, is spending around $400 million on employee bonuses. In fact, according to Americans for Tax Reform, over […]

Pro-Life Values Should Go Beyond the Ballot Box

By Brooke Bacak Voters in Alabama have great concern for the unborn. After Tuesday’s special election, many feel anguish over the loss of a reliably pro-life Senate seat, which could affect federal judicial appointments over the next several years. Without judges who respect the right of states to regulate abortion, pro-life voters feel especially helpless […]

Is the American dream alive and well in Alabama?

A recent Pew Research study found that over 80% of U.S. citizens believe they’ve achieved the American dream, or at least that they’re on the way to doing so. Only 17% of those surveyed said the American dream is “out of reach” for their family. But what about Alabamians? This high level of satisfaction seems […]

MORE ON Fiscal Policy

Tax Incentives: Not Always the Answer for Alabama’s Economic Struggles

Last month, the state rejoiced with news that Alabama would be the home of a new Toyota-Mazda plant. The plant is expected to bring over 4,000 jobs and billions of dollars in net revenue to the state. With the execution of this deal, known as Project New World, state and local governments will give the two companies […]

API Joins 36 Conservative Groups and Activists: Congress Must Stop New Obamacare Taxes

Lawmakers must act to prevent Obamacare taxes from going into effect next year, 36 conservative groups and activists wrote in a letter addressed to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). Absent Congressional action, the Obamacare health insurance tax and medical device tax will both go into effect in 2018. […]

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API Joins 36 Conservative Groups and Activists: Congress Must Stop New Obamacare Taxes

Lawmakers must act to prevent Obamacare taxes from going into effect next year, 36 conservative groups and activists wrote in a letter addressed to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). Absent Congressional action, the Obamacare health insurance tax and medical device tax will both go into effect in 2018. […]

Obamacare Repeal Must Roll Back the Medicaid Expansion

A version of this op-ed originally appeared in the National Review Online on January 19, 2017. By Ellen Weaver and Caleb Crosby As the 115th Congress convenes and President-elect Trump prepares to take office tomorrow, our nation faces incredible challenges and opportunities. On health care in particular, the stakes couldn’t be higher, nor the path […]

Obamacare Repeal Must Roll Back the Medicaid Expansion

A version of this op-ed originally appeared in the National Review Online on January 19, 2017. By Ellen Weaver and Caleb Crosby As the 115th Congress convenes and President-elect Trump prepares to take office tomorrow, our nation faces incredible challenges and opportunities. On health care in particular, the stakes couldn’t be higher, nor the path […]

MORE FROM John Hill, Ph.D.

New NAEP Scores Show No Link Between Education Spending and Academic Outcomes

In the Alabama State House, the familiar refrain surrounding public education is that the legislature has failed to ever “fully fund” it. The implication, of course, is that we cannot and should not expect positive outcomes from our public schools. This philosophy has been refuted by an enormous body of academic research and, last week, […]

The Coming Storm in ACA Implementation

Had the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the poorly-named Affordable Care Act in King v. Burwell, almost 500,000 Alabamians could have been spared the cost of the program’s individual mandate.  Premiums for a healthy 21-year-old would have dropped by almost seven hundred dollars a year, and by more than two thousand dollars annually for a […]

Governor is Right to Take Gambling off the Table

Supporters of expanding gambling in Alabama often hype the opportunities missed by our state to “keep Alabama gambling dollars in Alabama.”  Given the economic and social damage that would come with establishing a compact with the Poarch Creek Indians, our state government—especially under conservative leadership—should not be involved in this sordid business. The only reason […]