Friday Facts: January 3, 2014

Friday Facts
January 3rd, 2014 by Leave a Comment

It’s Friday!

Quotes of Note

“Hope Smiles from the threshold of the year to come, Whispering ‘it will be happier.’” – Alfred Lord Tennyson

“Sometimes we are content to try to change ourselves with New Year’s resolutions to do better in some respect. Changing ourselves is a much more reasonable undertaking than trying to change other people. It may or may not succeed, but it seldom creates the disasters that trying to change others can produce.” – Thomas Sowell

“Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” — Henry Ford


January 28, 2014: The deadline is Friday, January 24, to register to attend, “School Choice and Georgia: An Update,” an 8 a.m. Georgia Public Policy Foundation Leadership Breakfast on January 28 in celebration of National School Choice Week. The panel discussion at Cobb County’s Georgian Club features three of Georgia’s leading education experts: Eric Wearne, Jim Kelly and Ben Scafidi. The first 50 people to register for this event will receive their very own school choice woobie – and you can wear it to the School Choice Rally at the Capitol that day! This event is $25 to attend. Register online at (Call Benita Dodd at 404-256-4050 if you have problems registering.)

Health care

Will ObamaCare – federal health insurance – reduce ER visits?  Oregon’s health study that found Medicaid coverage had no effect on patients’ health outcomes has also released findings that Medicaid increased the probability of using the emergency room by 20 percent and the number of ER visits over the 18-month period by about 40 percent. Source: Oregon Health Insurance Experiment

Energy and environment

Has the lightbulb come on yet? January 1 signaled the dawn of a new era, one in which tougher efficiency standards render 40- and 60-watt incandescent light bulbs obsolete. The new standards put an end to the Edison creation’s century-long run as America’s favorite light and, as stock runs out, will force consumers to turn to newer, more efficient technologies when replacing a burnt-out bulb. “Energy efficient” is not necessarily “cost-effective,” as Paul Chesser pointed out in a recent commentary.

Research on the rocks: The aim of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition was to prove the East Antarctic ice sheet is melting. Its Web site spoke alarmingly of “an increasing body of evidence” showing “melting and collapse from ocean warming.” Instead, rescue ships and a helicopter, all belching substantial carbon emissions, have had to be mobilized to pluck the 74 aboard the Russian icebreaker MV Akademik Schokalskiy from their plight, stuck in what appears to be, ironically, record amounts of ice for this time of year. Source: The Australian

Drill here, drill now: Sixty-seven percent of registered voters support more offshore drilling for oil and 77 percent support more domestic production, according to a Harris Interactive poll conducted for the American Petroleum Institute. Moreover, out of 1,002 respondents, 89 percent said that expanded on and offshore oil and gas natural gas production “could help strengthen America’s energy security” while 87 percent believe increased production “could lower energy costs for consumers.” For these reasons, nearly 90 percent of Americans said, more oil and natural gas production would help our economy. Source:

Restricting renewables: Hydropower has a conversation rate of 90 percent, compared to an average of 50 percent for other forms of electricity generation. But federal regulations are making it difficult for cities to take advantage of small-scale hydropower, according to a Mercatus Center report. Small-scale hydropower differs from large-scale hydropower: River water is diverted into a pipeline and carried through a turbine, which powers a generator and produces electricity. These small systems have big potential, but license-seekers sometimes have to obtain permits from up to 25 different agencies.


In defense of free markets: A disappointed John Goodman of the National Center for Policy Analysis responds to the pope’s criticism of “unfettered capitalism,” noting: “Although ‘unfettered capitalism’ doesn’t really exist in the world today, the closest thing to it would probably be Hong Kong. … The success of Hong Kong fits a pattern. In general, countries with more economic freedom have higher standards of living, longer life expectancies and more prosperous lives by almost any measure. Further, the greater the degree of economic freedom, the higher the standard of living of those at the bottom of the income ladder. Economic freedom is also associated with more equality of income.”


Or you could call it reducing a subsidy: One of the many items that Congress neglected to address before wrapping up its year was the tax benefit for millions of commuters who use mass transit. Starting Jan. 1, the monthly amount that commuters can set aside before taxes to spend on mass transit dropped from $245 to $130, which for some heavy users could mean several hundred dollars in higher costs in 2014. Source: Washington Post

Media and social media

YouTube: We have more than 35,000 views on our YouTube channel already. View Foundation events at

Facebook: The Foundation’s Facebook page just six shy of 2,200 “likes.” Join us at to view daily policy news, views, updates, Quotes of Note and event photos. Ask your high school or college student to like the Foundation’s Student Outreach Scholarship page on Facebook at

The Foundation’s Twitter account has more than 1,100 followers! Get your Foundation news at

The Forum:
Find the latest blog posts at

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 Join The Forum at Become a fan of the Foundation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The Georgia Public Policy Foundation is our state’s leading organization promoting government transparency. The Secretary of State’s office shares the Foundation’s commitment to transparency and responsible stewardship of taxpayer dollars, which is why our agency was the first in Georgia to publish its budget and spending data on a public transparency website.

Karen Handel, Georgia Secretary of State more quotes