Quotes of Note
“It is wonderful how preposterously the affairs of the world are managed. We assemble parliaments and councils to have the benefit of collected wisdom, but we necessarily have, at the same time, the inconvenience of their collected passions, prejudices and private interests: for regulating commerce an assembly of great men is the greatest fool on earth.” – Benjamin Franklin
“There is far more danger in public than in private monopoly, for when Government goes into business it can always shift its losses to the taxpayers. Government never makes ends meet – and that is the first requisite of business.” – Thomas Edison
“As restrictions and prohibitions are multiplied the people grow poorer and poorer. When they are subjected to overmuch government, the land is thrown into confusion.” – Lao-tzu
“My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.” – Thomas Jefferson
Saturday: Americans for Prosperity Georgia Foundation holds its Georgia Freedom Conference at the Dunwoody Club. 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 Jonathan Williams (author of, “Rich States, Poor States”) and Mike Daugherty (author of, “The Devil Inside the Beltway”). Register at http://2013gafreedomconferences.eventbrite.com. (Tickets: $15 adults, $10 students, $40 family of four).
September 16: Google Glass! Now that we have your attention … Georgia’s Digital Economy is the focus of a half-day event on Monday, September 16, at the Georgia Tech Global Learning Center. The discussions, hosted by the Foundation and Google, include an all-star entrepreneurship panel, a discussion of the patent troll problem and how Georgia is leading the way in digital learning. The event begins with some fun Google product demos, breakfast and networking at 8 a.m. There is no charge for admission, but registration is required. For more information and registration, go to www.georgiapolicy.org/?p=10620.
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.
Energy and environment
Cooking the books I: Buried in Department of Energy regulations about energy efficiency standards for microwave ovens in May was an administration estimate that the cost to the country for each ton of carbon dioxide emitted was $37 in 2007 dollars. That is up from the 2010 estimate of $21 per ton. The “cost” is important: It boosts the “economic benefit” of imposing tougher environmental regulations, including President Obama’s climate plan and restrictions on new power plants. Source: Wall Street Journal
Cooking the books II: Carbon emissions are increasingly and misleadingly being called “pollution.” Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. Less than 5 percent of global CO2 emissions are caused by humans. The administration’s unwise campaign against carbon “pollution” will have minimal effect on the environment but a huge impact on utility bills and the cost of doing business. Read the Georgia magazine article on the good news about emissions reductions in Georgia.
Got insurance? Got work? Critics say the Affordable Care Act, with its employer mandate to provide health insurance, gives business an incentive to cut workers’ hours. Reports note that employers are restricting work hours to fewer than 30 per week – the point at which the mandate kicks in. Industry data also point to a shrinking workweek in low-wage industries. Investors.com compiled a list of job actions for which there is strong evidence that ObamaCare’s employer mandate is the cause. As of Sept. 3, the ObamaCare scorecard included 258 employers, including Georgia Military College.
Broadband boom: Akamai, which produces international broadband speed rankings, ranks the United States at No. 9, up from No. 22 in 2009. That’s faster than in France, Germany and Britain. A recent report by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation notes that the United States has the second-lowest entry-level broadband prices (behind Israel) in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, despite ranking No. 27 among OECD countries in population density, a key driver of cost. Also, 85 percent of U.S. households have access to wired broadband networks capable of speeds of 100 megabits per second. By contrast, just half of Europeans get service that meets or exceeds 30 Mbps. Thanks to competition, only America and South Korea have three different and fully deployed broadband technologies: telephone (both newer fiber and DSL), cable modems and mobile LTE.
EduFact: Georgia ranks eighth on the list of top 10 states with PARENT POWER in education, which means parents have access to quality educational options and are provided with good information to make smart decisions about their children’s education. Source: Center for Education Reform
Value of a degree: In Texas, new graduates from technical associate’s degree programs earned average salaries more than $11,000 higher than those for graduates with bachelor’s degrees, according to a recent survey. In Colorado, graduates with associate’s degrees in applied sciences out-earned their counterparts with bachelor’s degrees by more than $7,000. Source: USA Today
Effective mass transit: America does need mass transit, John Stossel agrees: “Three hundred million people need to go places. Roads are congested. Who will provide it when government drives transit entrepreneurs out of the business? Well, instead of building giant rail projects in the boondocks, how about letting people ride buses? Buses, privately owned buses, are now the fastest growing mass transit in America. Buses are much cheaper than trains. Amtrak charges about $150 to ride from New York to D.C. Buses charge less than $20. And buses don’t require new land seizure through eminent domain. Buses aren’t locked into straight-line routes. They go where people go. And when people move, buses, unlike trains, change routes. Let services be paid for by the people who use them and built by people who put potential profits on the line. Otherwise, politicians will take us for a ride.”
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The Forum: In “Checking Up On Health,” Benita Dodd shares articles on healing hearts, the high cost of drugs, bilharzia, biosimilars and why practices are merging. 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, “Practical Strategies Can Increase Mobility in Georgia,” by Baruch Feigenbaum.
Have a great weekend!
Kelly McCutchen and Benita Dodd
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The Georgia Public Policy Foundation has hit another homerun with its Guide to the Issues. This is must reading for anyone interested in public policy in Georgia, and it is an outstanding road map for conservative, common sense solutions to our challengers of today and tomorrow.