Friday Facts: June 27, 2014

Friday Facts
June 27th, 2014 by 1 Comment

It’s Friday! 

Quotes of Note 

“The appropriation of public money always is perfectly lovely until some one is asked to pay the bill.” – Calvin Coolidge

“[T]hinking that more federal aid will make college affordable is like believing that a dog can catch its tail if it goes faster. One reason colleges charge so much more today is that federal aid makes it easier for students to cover the bill. The more the government does, the less reason students have to demand cost control, and the higher tuition will climb.” – Steve Chapman 

“For what avail the plough or sail, or land or life, if freedom fail?” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Events

Today: Dinesh D’Souza’s latest movie, “America … Imagine the World Without Her,” makes its debut today in two cities: Atlanta and Houston. Watch it at Atlanta’s AMC North Point Mall 12. Find out more at www.americathemovie.com.

July 10: The deadline is July 8 to register to attend the Foundation’s Friedman Legacy for Freedom Day event at Macon’s Idle Hour Country Club. The annual international celebration marks the birthday of the late Milton Friedman, winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics and a champion of free market causes and school choice. The noon event, keynoted by Dr. Ben Scafidi, is open to the public. $30 registration fee includes lunch; register online at http://bit.ly/1hGJkJX.

September 19: Mark your calendar for the 2014 Georgia Legislative Policy Forum. The theme this year is, “Tearing Down Walls,” in recognition of this year’s 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Sept. 22: Mark your calendar for the showing of “Rockin’ The Wall” – about the impact of music on the fall of the Berlin Wall – sponsored by the Foundation at the Earl Strand Theatre in Marietta.

Government reform

Sandy Springs, a shining example: The best way to save Detroit is to free it from liberal economic policies, an article in Godfather Politics proposes: “It’s been done before. Consider the city of Sandy Springs, Georgia. Sandy Springs was once part of the city of Atlanta. Atlanta was using its northern neighbor as a cash cow for its own bloated government.” Sandy Springs privatized operations. Today, “Cities around the world are looking to Sandy Springs as a model for city government reform.” Read Benita Dodd’s 2013 article on Sandy Springs, “A New Model for Local Governance.”

Economy

Kudos to Georgia: CNBC released its 2014 ranking of America’s Top States for Business, and Georgia topped the list! The leap was phenomenal, with Georgia going from No. 8 in 2013 to No. 1 this year. Last year’s top state, Texas, is in second place this year. Texas also has no personal income tax. The Peach State could leave the Lone Star State in the dust if only it would lower – and eventually eliminate – income taxes. See the rankings here.

Education

School choice: More than six in 10 Americans (63 percent) support vouchers compared with 33 percent opposed, according to the 2014 Schooling in America survey released Thursday by the Friedman Foundation. In 2012, 56 percent favored vouchers. Among parents, voucher support was 69 percent compared with 27 percent opposed. In 2012, 59 percent of parents supported and 25 percent opposed vouchers. Greatest support for school vouchers was among African Americans (74 percent), Hispanics (72 percent), young adults (69 percent), and Republicans (69 percent).

Failing: Of the 52 “great public universities” evaluated by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, not one requires a course in basic economics, and less than 10 percent require a course in U.S. history or government. “This is simply jaw-dropping,” ACTA declares. “America’s great public universities were founded with an eye toward creating an informed citizenry, but it is clear that most are doing no such thing.” The report, “Getting What you Pay for?” looks at curricula, speech codes, tuition, graduation rates, athletic spending and more “to find out if student, parent, and taxpayer dollars are being well spent.”

Transportation

Sustainable transit: Current strategies have not placed mass transit on a financially sustainable path, writes David Levinson in CityLab. “It is time to recognize this as a chronic condition rather than a temporary event.”Beneficiaries do not pay in proportion to the benefit, “because of the misperception that mass transit is a public good.” Among the solutions he proposes is to shut down unsustainable routes, raise fares, require smart cards and engage the private sector.

The tell-tale pink mustache marks a Lyft ridesharing car in Atlanta
The tell-tale pink mustache marks a Lyft ridesharing car in Atlanta.

Digital disruption: Taxi drivers in the District of Columbia caused traffic gridlock Wednesday in a protest against the innovative digitally dispatched ride-sharing services Uber, Lyft and Sidecar. The cab drivers have been at odds with the services, saying they have an unfair advantage over regular cabs since they don’t have to follow the same rules and pay the same fees, The Washington Post reported.

Media

Web site of the Week: Visit Townhall.com, a one-stop “shop” for political commentary and analysis from more than 100 leading columnists and opinion leaders, research from 100 partner organizations, conservative talk-radio and grassroots conservatives.

Social media: Have you “liked” the Foundation’s Facebook page yet? Get up-to-date news and policy views and follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/gppf!

The Forum: Benita Dodd’s Checking Up On Health shares a doctor’s explanation of when it’s acceptable to keep a patient waiting, the top 10 vaccines of 2013, and the shifting costs and enrollment numbers of the Affordable Care Act. Foundation Editor Mike Klein says the state’s foster care privatization pilot project could become operational late this year, staged in northwest and east central Georgia. Georgia had almost 8,300 children in foster care in March. Read these and other recent posts at georgiapolicy.org/category/the-forum/.

YouTube: The Foundation’s YouTube channel has passed 50,000 views!

Visit www.georgiapolicy.org to read the latest commentary, “More Families Benefiting from Innovative Education Policy,” by Lindsey Burke.

Have a great weekend and a wonderful Independence Day!

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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Thank you for the great work that the Public Policy Foundation is doing across our state setting a wonderful example. I first ran for the Senate in 1994, and the Foundation was that resource I called upon to be a great help to me as we were articulating positions and formulating public policy initiatives. We appreciate very much your leadership and all that you stand for.

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle more quotes