Friday Facts: October 12, 2012

Friday Facts
October 12th, 2012 by Leave a Comment

It’s Friday! 

Events 

Last chance! Today is the deadline to register for “A Portrait of The Iron Lady,” the Foundation’s noon Policy Briefing Luncheon and Book Forum on Tuesday, October 16. The event is keynoted by author John Blundell, policy and advisor and longtime friend of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. She turns 87 on October 13. Join the Foundation and mark her birthday. Blundell, a free-market leader, is author of, “Margaret Thatcher: A Portrait of The Iron Lady.” Lady Thatcher said of him, “John Blundell has been one of the most effective champions of the free enterprise economic model which has delivered progress and prosperity around the world. Therefore he is very well placed to explain to Americans the beliefs and principles which underpinned what became known as ‘Thatcherism.'”

This event is at Cobb County’s Georgian Club. Registration is $60 and includes a copy of Blundell’s book. Register at http://tinyurl.com/7ldaqnk 

Quotes of Note 

“An economy hampered by restrictive tax rates will never produce enough revenue to balance our budget, just as it will never produce enough jobs or enough profits.” – President John F. Kennedy 

“The whole issue comes down to whether or not you’re afraid of choice. If you’re part of the establishment that likes the comfort of a protected, non-competitive, tax-funded environment, you’d be an exceptional person of high character and courage if you wanted to give your customers lots of choice. Most will take the easy way out and stand pat for the status quo.” – Lawrence Reed, president of the Foundation for Economic Education 

“Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclination, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” – John Adams 

Economy 

Greater productivity, fewer jobs: As more than 200 firms celebrated the first national Manufacturing Day on October 5, David Chavern of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce noted, “Though profits and output have surged, the same can’t be said of factory jobs. U.S. manufacturing jobs peaked at 19.5 million in 1979. But by 2010, the number of Americans employed in manufacturing fell to a new low of 11.4 million. Where have the lost manufacturing jobs gone? Not to Mexico or China. Survey data consistently show that less than 1 percent of layoffs can be attributed to offshoring. In reality, most of these jobs have been lost to a country called ‘productivity.’ Technological change, automation and widespread use of information technologies have enabled firms to boost output even as some have cut payrolls.”  Source: IndustryWeek 

Taxes and Regulation

If you build it they will come: The news is that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is investigating Google’s search business, apparently because when Google displays the result of a search, it gives priority to results that relate to its own services. The Public Interest Institute points out the problem: “Unless Google can attract lots of searchers, it can’t charge its advertisers fees. If the Internet searcher doesn’t like the service Google provides, she can, with the effort of only a single click, try a different search engine. That is power, and it is a power that drives Google – and all the other search engines as well – to provide the best answer they can to the searcher’s question.”  

Education

Skills required: As part of Manufacturing Day, the National Association of Manufacturers pointed out that a recent study shows that 600,000 manufacturing jobs are unfilled in the United States due to a gap in the job requirements and the skills within the workforce.

Energy and environment 

Fired up about coal: Europe is seeing a “golden age of coal” thanks to cheap U.S. exports, said a senior gas analyst at the International Energy Agency (IEA), which last year proclaimed the world was heading for a “golden age of gas.” Anne-Sophie Corbeau said gas is losing the battle in Europe’s power plants against cheap coal coming from the United States, where the discovery of shale gas has produced a huge oversupply in unwanted coal. Source: Reuters 

Not all it’s stoked up to be: The United States holds 27.6 percent of the world’s proven coal reserves. Russia holds 18.2 percent and China 13.3 percent. In Canada’s Financial Post, Terence Corcoran notes that the idea that coal is dying is largely wishful thinking. “Ontario aims to end dirty coal-fired power generation, at great cost to consumers who are now paying high prices for the putative clean alternatives, wind and solar. The United States, via regulation from the Environmental Protection Agency, has established rules that are said to present the coal-power industry with a ‘dead end.’ Meanwhile, back in the real world, global consumption of coal grew by 5.4 percent in 2011.” 

Agenda 21 was in the news this week. Whether you believe this is a conspiracy or not, we addressed development issues twelve years ago. The Foundation is a signatory to the Lone Mountain Compact, the product of a conference of scholars and writers gathered at Lone Mountain Ranch in Big Sky, Montana, in 2000 by the Political Economy Research Center (PERC). The compact rejects centralized planning and supports market-based solutions to ease traffic congestion and preserve open space. You can read it here: www.perc.org/articles/article402.php.

Transportation 

This week, Atlanta Journal-Constitution writer Kyle Wingfield’s column supporting the Foundation’s “Plan B” for transportation was published online. Sunday’s edition of the AJC also published our op-ed on Plan B as well as an editorial in support. Go to this link to find out for yourself what we said about a framework for Getting Georgia Moving.

Social media  

This Week in The Forum: In Checking Up On Health this week, Benita Dodd focuses on advances in science, fraud in health programs, the Georgia “bed tax,” and what happens to the under-26 lot when Mommy moves to Medicare.  Read this and other recent Foundation articles and posts on The Forum at http://forum.georgiapolicy.org/category/the-forum/

YouTube: View sessions and speeches from the third annual Georgia Legislative Policy Forum on the Foundation’s YouTube channel 

We have nearly 1,750 Facebook “likes” at www.facebook.com/GeorgiaPolicy. “Like” us for timely policy news, daily views, quotes and photos from recent events. And join more than 770 followers of the Foundation on Twitter at twitter.com/gppf.

Visit www.georgiapolicy.org to read the Foundation’s latest commentary, “Health Care Reform Must Be Patient-Focused,” by Don M. Printz. 

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 twitter.com/gppf.

 

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