Friday Facts: October 15th, 2010

Friday Facts
October 15th, 2010 by Leave a Comment

It’s Friday! 

Quotable

– “In an open economy, you will never know what is out there on the leading developmental edge of this or that industry. But the reality behind the miracles is the same: Someone innovates something useful, makes money from it, and re-innovates, or someone else trumps their innovation. Most of the time, no one notices. All it does is create jobs, wealth and well-being. But without this system running in the background, without the year-over-year progress embedded in these capitalist innovations, those trapped miners [in Chile] would be dead.” – Daniel Henninger, Wall Street Journal

 

Great Georgia!

– Congratulations to Oscar Poole, whose famous Poole’s Bar-B-Q restaurant in Ellijay just set a 21-year record for sales last week. A federal stimulus success story? No, just the old-fashioned stimulus of hard work. Poole, a retired minister, and his wife, Edna, started the restaurant in a roadside shack in 1989 with $35,000 in borrowed capital.

– Kudos to Atlanta-based UPS, which played a huge role in the rescue of the 33 miners trapped at San Jose Mine near Copiapo, Chile. UPS shipped more than 50,000 pounds of drilling equipment used to extract the miners in a humanitarian mission, as an in-kind charitable gift funded by the UPS Foundation.

 

What’s happening at the Foundation

– Register now: Saturday, Nov. 13, is the Georgia Legislative Policy Briefing, a daylong event featuring national and statewide experts on the top issues facing the state’s elected officials. Don’t miss a day of dynamic speakers and innovative ideas, sponsored by the Georgia Public Policy Foundation and the Conservative Policy Leadership Institute. Reserve your spot now to get the early registration discount. Keynote speakers include former West Virginia Governor Bob Wise on, “The Power of Digital Learning for Georgia and the Country” and the Wall Street Journal’s Stephen Moore on, “How to Make Georgia the Most Economically Competitive State in the Nation.” Panelists include A.D. Frazier, chairman of the Special Council on Tax Fairness for Georgians that will be making recommendations to the Legislature in January; Scott Hodge, president of the Tax Foundation; Dr. William Sanders, “father” of the Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System, who maintains teacher effectiveness dwarfs all other factors as a predictor of student academic growth, and Robert Poole, director of Transportation Studies at the Reason Foundation.

– It’s good, it’s fresh, it’s free! Have you joined the Foundation’s new Forum yet? Join a community of Georgians discussing the issues of greatest concern with the Foundation’s experts, register at http://forum.georgiapolicy.org/.

 

Transportation

– Capacity enhancement for freight transportation is crucial to Georgia’s economic progress. Congestion is hurting West Coast ports. Inbound Logistics magazine reports in its September 2010 issue: “U.S. consignees are increasingly receptive to all-water routings from Asia to the eastern United States, bypassing latent congestion and capacityconstraints on the West Coast – and East Coast ports are benefiting.” This week, the Georgia Ports Authority reported that Georgia ports are seeing record freight traffic. ThePort of Savannah, the nation’s fourth-largest and fastest-growing container port, set a new record for containers moved in the first quarter of fiscal year 2011, according to the Savannah Morning News.

– Florida’s Turnpike made the first step toward implementation of all-electronic toll operations this week with the beginning of toll-by-plate (scanning vehicles’ tags) on the southern 47-mile stretch of the Turnpike in the Miami-Dade area. (Read Benita Dodd’s commentary on toll roads for Georgia at http://tinyurl.com/2ffetcq.) Source: Tollroadsnews.com

 

Environment

– Climate change skeptics are likely to be given greater prominence in BBC documentaries and news bulletins now that new editorial guidelines call for impartiality in the British corporation’s science coverage. The guidelines, published this week after an extensive consultation that considered more than 1,600 submissions by members of the public, specify that scientific issues fall within the corporation’s obligation to be impartial. Last year, BBC reporter Paul Hudson was criticized for not reporting on some of the highly controversial “Climategate” leaked emails from the University of East Anglia, even though he had been in possession of them for some time. Source: The Daily Telegraph

 

Government

– Stamp of disapproval: Postal operations have become more automated but labor still accounts for 80 percent of the U.S. Postal Service’s costs, Cato Institute budget analyst Tad DeHaven writes in the Daily Caller. With 85 percent of the USPS workforce protected by collective bargaining agreements, unions have become a giant anchor on an already sinking ship. Thousands of jobs have been eliminated through attrition, but the USPS still possesses the second-largest civilian workforce in the country, behind only Wal-Mart. In 2009, the average postal employee received about $79,000 in total compensation, compared to $61,000 in wages and benefits received by the average private sector worker. Source: Cato Institute

– There oughtta be a law: Congress passed and the President signed 125 bills into law in 2009. Your tireless federal regulatory agencies were even busier: They issued 3,503 rules and regulations, according to Wayne Crews of the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Research conducted for the Small Business Administration found annual off-budget regulatory costs in excess of $1.7 trillion, an amount equivalent to more than half the level of the federal budget itself and on a par with the annual deficit. Some in Congress are demanding greater accountability. Source: Washington Times

 

Agenda 2011

– For facts, principles, innovative ideas and background on the issues, read our candidate briefing books on Taxes and Transportation.

 

– Visit www.gppf.org to read the Foundation’s latest commentary, “Legislative Policy Briefing Brings Free-Market Experts to Georgia,” by Benita M. Dodd.

 

Have a great weekend.

 

Kelly McCutchen

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