Will Phillips: Summer Internship at the Texas Public Policy Foundation

I’m  halfway through my internship at the Texas Public Policy Foundation—a conservative think tank based in Austin—and I only wish that time would not fly away on me!

Capitol Building in Austin

The Texas Public Policy Foundation has offered a great educational opportunity for its interns this summer.  Bill Peacock, the Vice President of Research and Planning, created a program with the help of a world-renowned economist, Dr. Arthur B. Laffer, called Thinking Economically.  Through this program, we (the interns) enjoy a two-hour weekly seminar led by Mr. Peacock and covering the major aspects of our economy.

We also have the opportunity to hear various speakers.  For instance, Scott Brister, a former Justice on the Texas Supreme Court, recently spoke to us about his view of the Courts and the economy.  Similarly, Ross Ramsey, the Executive Editor of the Texas Tribune, stopped by to talk to us about his career as a political reporter.  (Interestingly, Ramsey visited with us the day before he was to head to Dallas, where he served as a panelist in the Dewhurst-Cruz Senate debate.)  With just a small number of interns (10), we have a unique opportunity to have great discussions, ask questions, and learn more about the political and economic realms.

The Texas Public Policy Foundation also hosts events for the general public.  Recently, for example, we had the pleasure of hosting Arthur C. Brooks, the President of the American Enterprise Institute, at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, to discuss new book, The Road to Freedom.  TPPF also marked the anniversary of President Reagan’s famous “Tear Down This Wall” speech.  Reagan’s speechwriter, Peter Robinson, was a featured speaker, and he discussed his efforts to keep that line in the speech.  The event was educational and a joy, and I am very happy I had the opportunity to assist TPPF in setting up this event.

Last week, TPPF hosted a discussion on Home-Rule Districts—districts with some autonomy from state requirements—where a group of experts discussed the pros and cons of Charter Schools and Home-Rule Schools.

It’s a great education, and I am looking forward to my last month at the internship!


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