Friday Facts: October 21st, 2011

Friday Facts
October 21st, 2011 by Leave a Comment

It’s Friday!


– Deadline: Reserve your seat by noon today for the Foundation’s 20th Anniversary Celebration and Freedom Award dinner. The event begins at 6 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 24, at the Renaissance Waverly Atlanta with a reception. Joining the event to honor the Freedom Award recipient, Rogers Wade, are Georgia Governor Nathan Deal and U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson of Georgia. Tickets to the reception and dinner are $150 per person; tables and sponsorships are also available. Show your support for the Foundation and share in this milestone celebration. Go tohttp://tinyurl.com/3kwyxf6.

 

Economy

– Need some good news? Four encouraging developments: 1) Last week, U.S. lawmakers approved the long-awaited free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea. They will take effect in early 2012 and are expected to increase the U.S. GDP by $12 billion. 2) The U.S. Freight Index jumped to its highest level in more than three years in September, up 7.5 percent over the same month a year ago. 3) North American railcar owners put 11,087 more units (previously in storage) “back to work” in September, the largest reduction of the idled fleet since March. 4) In Fiscal Year 2011 the Port of Savannah became the second-biggest container export port in the United States on a tonnage basis.  Savannah, now second only to the Port of Los Angeles, handled 6.84 million tons of containerized export cargo, according to Page Siplon at the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics. Watch Siplon’s presentation at last month’s Policy Legislative Briefing at http://tinyurl.com/5tlang7.

 

Quotations

- "The sober people of America are weary of the fluctuating policy which has directed the public councils. They have seen with regret and indignation that sudden changes and legislative interferences, in cases 
affecting personal rights, become jobs in the hands of enterprising and influential speculators, and snares to the more-industrious and less informed part of the community. They have seen, too, that one legislative 
interference is but the first link of a long chain of repetitions, every subsequent interference being naturally produced by the effects of the preceding." – James Madison
- "Warren Buffett's company reportedly owes the IRS a billion dollars in back taxes. When he said he wasn't paying enough taxes, he wasn't kidding." – Jay Leno

– “The trouble with quotes on the Internet is that it’s difficult to determine whether or not they are genuine.” – Abraham Lincoln

 

Events

– If you weren’t able to attend the Foundation’s second annual Legislative Policy Briefing, missed one of the presentations or you just want to hear Bernie Marcus again, the video of every speaker and copies of every PowerPoint presentation are now available at http://tinyurl.com/3n43d8p.

– Americans For Prosperity Foundation holds its fifth Annual Defending the American Dream Summit in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 4 and Nov. 5. Speakers at this national gathering of grassroots activists include Herman Cain, Mark Levin, Andrew Breitbart, Ken Cucinelli, Grover Norquist, John Fund, Jonah Goldberg, Phil Kerpen and Tim Phillips, with dozens of strategic training sessions. Discounts are available for groups, couples and students. Find out more and register at www.DefendingTheDream.org.

 

Education

– Are we throwing too much money at technology in education? Yes and no. Education expert Michael Horn explained the difference at the Georgia Legislative Policy Briefing. Watch his explanation at http://tinyurl.com/3h32llc.

– The Day the Lights Went Out in Georgia: Choice Media has released a great segment on the tremendous human impact of the Georgia Supreme Court’s recent anti-charter school ruling. You can view it here: http://tinyurl.com/6hvbedj.

– Private sector participation lags in education, the American Enterprise Institute reports.  Government officials see as taboo the possibility of entrenched, for-profit involvement in the education system and block market entrance.  Even initiatives that seek to bring about innovativeness and experimentation within schools, such as the $650 million i3 fund from stimulus funds, are almost completely unavailable to for-profit entities.  This overly restrictive market structure perpetuates the status quo – at which only .03 percent of the public education budget is spent on research and development –  instead of allowing the entrance of private-sector firms that average 100 times that percentage.

 

Transportation

– The new high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes on I-85 in Atlanta have sparked complaints from some motorists, but Baruch Feigenbaum of the Reason Foundation urges drivers to give them a chance: Drivers have just begun to experiment with when to use the toll lane and pay for the value of time savings it can deliver. The HOT lane was 33 minutes faster than the regular lanes during the worst congestion recently. In other cities with HOV-to-HOT lane conversions, traffic speed has increased. In Seattle, total traffic volume remained constant, but speeds in the free lanes increased 3 percent to 19 percent. Over time, HOT lanes in other cities became popular with drivers.  In Denver, usage has grown 35 percent since the HOT lanes opened. After the I-15 express lanes in San Diego were switched from HOV to HOT lanes, traffic in them increased by 143 percent. Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

 

Health care

– ObamaCare has three principal goals: Control costs, raise quality and increase access to care. Yet there is no model that allows us to predict that any of the three objectives will be even partially achieved, according to John Goodman of the National Center for Policy Analysis. The problem: “We can actually spend a trillion dollars, create 159 new regulatory agencies, force almost everyone into a  new health plan and – at the end of the day – end up with higher costs, lower quality and less access to care,” Goodman notes in his health care blogView his remarks on federal health care at the Foundation’s Legislative Policy Briefing here: http://tinyurl.com/3bxueot.

 

Visit www.georgiapolicy.org to read the Foundation’s latest commentary, “20 Years of ‘Policy over Politics’ in Georgia Builds a Strong Foundation.”


Have a great weekend.


Kelly McCutchen

 

FRIDAY FACTS is made possible by the generosity of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s donors. If you enjoy the FRIDAY FACTS, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to help advance our important mission by clicking here. Visit our Web site at www.georgiapolicy.org/. Join The Forum at http://forum.georgiapolicy.org/. Become a fan of the Foundation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/gppf.

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