Friday Facts: September 13, 2013

Friday Facts
September 13th, 2013 by Leave a Comment

It’s Friday!

Google Glass: Now that we have your attention … Due to high demand, the Foundation is moving to a bigger room for the event, “Georgia’s Digital Economy,” we’re hosting with Google on Monday at the Georgia Tech Global Learning Center. Thanks to the bigger room, registration will be open through today. And yes, you can try out the Google Glass at the event! It’s free, but registration is required. Find information and registration at http://tinyurl.com/qzt6tzq.

Quotes of Note

“Milton Friedman said, ‘Only a crisis … produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around.’ The free-market movement lost the narrative war in 2008 because we didn’t make our ideas the ones ‘lying around.’ The Mackinac Center won’t let that happen now with Detroit.” – Joseph Lehman, president, Mackinac Center for Public Policy

“When the eagles are silent, the parrots begin to jabber.” Winston Churchill

“Things in our country run in spite of government, not by the aid of it.” – Will Rogers

Events

Saturday: Americans for Prosperity Georgia Foundation holds its East Georgia Freedom Conference at Be My Guest Catering, 4216 Washington Rd, Evans, Ga., 30809. Join grassroots leaders and policy experts – including the Foundation’s Benita Dodd – for a half-day conference full of brainstorming, expert panels and strategy sessions for promoting economic and educational freedom! Speakers include ALEC’s William Freeland and Mike Daugherty, author of, “The Devil Inside the Beltway.” Register at https://2013augustafreedomconference.eventbrite.com  (Tickets: $15 adults, $10 students, $40 family of four).

October 11: Register now for the fourth annual Georgia Legislative Policy Forum, which takes place Friday, October 11, at the Renaissance Waverly Atlanta. Last year, hundreds of Georgia’s legislators, businesspeople and interested citizens attended to hear national policy experts discuss free-market solutions to Georgia’s challenges. Information: http://tinyurl.com/lma9kpt.

Government

No incentive to excel: The lack of price signals and connection to consumers are why government falls short compared to the private sector, University of Georgia Professor Jeffrey Dorfman writes in Forbes magazine. “If a public school performs poorly, the government cannot lower the price because it is already free. If a public park is fabulous and becomes jammed with families enjoying themselves to the point their enjoyment is diminished by the congestion, government usually will not start charging an admission fee in order to alleviate the overcrowding. … Also, the government does not automatically adjust its supply of goods and services to conditions of shortage or surplus, because it is not in business to earn a profit. Good schools do not get expanded; bad schools do not get closed.”

Tough to find a job: So much for federal stimulus funds. The U.S. Labor Department’s monthly report for July shows the number of open jobs falling to its lowest level in six months. Worse, a review of the data show the ratio of openings to jobseekers reached a disturbing level. In 2007, before the recession began, there were 1.8 people seeking work for every opening. By July 2013, that number had climbed dramatically to over three people seeking work for each available opening. In other words, even as the economy entered into its fourth year of recovery, unemployed workers are still likely to have a far harder time finding a job than they did just a few years ago. Source: Bloomberg News

Bad policies: It long has been evident that nations are poor because of bad policies, not inadequate cash balances. Economic reform, not foreign aid is the key to growth. Yet politicians continue to take money from poor people in rich countries and give it to rich people in poor countries in the name of development. Writing in Forbes magazine, Cato Institute Senior Fellow Doug Bandow points out that a new study has found that the celebrated U.N. Millennium Development Goals have no effect on economic development. “If they served any purpose, it was as a political tool to loosen purse strings in industrialized states.”

Education

Nothing gained: Current expenditures per pupil, adjusted for inflation, are 2-1/2 times what they were in 1970 and class sizes have fallen by a third. Yet there have been no noticeable gains, according to a new book on the long-term cost of education, “Endangering Prosperity: A Global View of the American School.”

A debit card for schooling: Some people worry that school vouchers would only create a larger lobby for greater education spending. Education Savings Accounts are the only education choice policy to date that affords consideration of “opportunity costs,” which encourages families to pursue the best education for the best value to maximize their ESA dollars, according to Lindsey Burke, a Will Skillman fellow at the Heritage Foundation.

Transportation

Technology triumphs: Atlanta Traffic reporter Mark Arum bemoans the imminent end of his career in a recent column in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “My career will end not because of traffic apps on your phone, the expansion of HOT-Express lanes or a majority of the population finally deciding to car pool. My career will end because of the car you drive. Not the car you have now, but the car you will have in 10 years. In fact, it’s a car that you will own, but not drive. My career will close out with the eventual proliferation of the ‘driver-less’ car.”

LA streetcar costs soar: Building a proposed streetcar line in downtown Los Angeles may cost more than twice the original estimate, the Los Angeles Times reports. The original estimate to build the 10-block Broadway streetcar line did not include the cost of utility work, such as moving power lines. (Sound familiar, Atlanta?)That could add up to $166 million, according to a recent city report, and other costs could rise by $28 million to $37 million. In December, downtown voters, who were told the project would cost $125 million, approved a special taxing district that will bring in an estimated $62.5 million.

Social media

Facebook: The Foundation’s Facebook page has 2,125 “likes.” Join us at facebook.com/GeorgiaPolicy to view daily policy news, views, updates, Quotes of Note and event photos. More than 1,030 Twitter followers get their Foundation news at twitter.com/gppf. Ask your high school or college student to like the Foundation’s Student Outreach Scholarship page on Facebook at facebook.com/GeorgiaPolicySOSProgram. The Forum: In “Checking Up On Health,” this week, Benita Dodd shares what clinical apps, happiness and Obamaphones have to do with health. Find this and other recent posts in The Forum, the Foundation’s blog, at georgiapolicy.org/category/the-forum/.

Visit www.georgiapolicy.org to read our latest commentary, “Finding Young Blood to Fund ObamaCare,” by Trent Leonard.

Have a great weekend!

Kelly McCutchen and Benita Dodd 

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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I wanted to publicly say how much I appreciate Georgia Public Policy Foundation.  For those of you that will be entering the Legislature or are relatively new you may not quite yet appreciate how much we rely on Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s research and work.  As you know we’re a citizen’s legislature.  We have very little staff. They have been an invaluable, invaluable resource to us.  To put this [Forum] on and the regular programs that they do throughout the year make us better at what we do. (At the 2012 Georgia Legislative Policy Forum.)

Speaker Pro Tem Jan Jones more quotes