Category: The Forum

What Economics Can Teach Us about Ebola

By John C. Goodman John C. Goodman There are two fundamentally different ways of thinking about complex social systems: the economic approach and the engineering approach. The thinking about Ebola at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reflects the engineering approach. The behavior of everyone else reflects the economic approach. Social engineers see society as disorganized, unplanned and inefficient. The solution? Let experts take over. Social engineers inevitably believe that a plan can work even though everyone who is expected to carry it out has a self-interest in defeating it. Implicitly they assume that incentives don’t matter. Or if they do matter, they don’t matter very much. Economics is the science of incentives. Almost everything interesting that economists… View Article

Friday Facts: October 31, 2014

It’s Friday! Quotes of Note “Elections should be held on April 16 – the day after we pay our income taxes. That is one of the few things that might discourage politicians from being big spenders.” – Thomas Sowell “Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.” – Abraham Lincoln Government Trick or treat: How about this Halloween scare? Seventeen states have imposed higher taxes on candy and 26 have enacted tax hikes on sugary beverages. The nanny government claim is usually “reducing unhealthy eating.” But don’t be tricked: The mission creep evidence suggests that… View Article

Never Underestimate the Power of a Field Trip

By Benita M. Dodd  BENITA DODD Growing up in a dreary, low-income community where even restaurants were nonexistent – Wentworth, South Africa – there were few tools to power my imagination as a child. It was the days before television (introduced in 1976 to South Africa). It was the era of oppression under apartheid, where everything was choreographed by race and we were second-class citizens without a vote. We didn’t own our home. We traveled by bus; we had no car. To support my family, my dad – a carpenter by trade – worked out of town, coming home for the weekend every two weeks. Today, when I remember how my wardrobe largely comprised my mother’s hit-and-miss sewing attempts and… View Article

Checking Up On Health: October 28, 2014

Health Policy News and Views Compiled by Benita M. Dodd If you missed the Georgia Legislative Policy Forum on September 19, you missed a great discussion on health care and alternatives to Medicaid expansion for Georgia’s uninsured. Watch streaming video of the event online at www.georgiapolicy.org/?p=14456. I know you’re worried the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is botching its handling of Ebola, but never fear! The CDC has Halloween covered for you! In fact, the agency even paid someone to write advice for each letter in SAFE HALLOWEEN. As in, “Hold a flashlight” for “H'” and, “Look both ways,” for “L.” The CDC has Halloween tips for you at www.cdc.gov/family/halloween/. Have you ever heard the term “veterinary View Article

Friday Facts: October 24, 2014

It’s Friday!  Quotes of Note “The next time you hear an alarming speech about ‘global warming’ on Earth Day, just remember that the first Earth Day featured alarms about the danger of a new ice age.” – Thomas Sowell “It is important not to allow the lure of federal grant dollars to define our state’s mission and programs. More federal dollars do not necessarily equal success, especially when those dollars come with requirements and conditions that will not help – and may even hinder – running a successful program of our own making.” – Mike Pence, Indiana governor Events October 28: The Atlanta Jewish Academy hosts a free panel discussion by the Jewish Policy Center, “The Middle View Article

Making Sense of Georgia’s Labor Market

By E. Frank Stephenson  E. Frank Stephenson Georgians with the misfortune of turning on their televisions confront a barrage of conflicting ads about the state’s labor market. One side would have Georgians believe that labor market conditions are peachy; the other would have us believe the job market is the pits.  Nor are Georgians reading their newspapers immune from the mudslinging. A local columnist recently asked breathlessly, “What has caused our great state to lose more jobs than all other states to the result we now trail all other states in job growth?” He added, “There has not been a time in the history of the state when the job report has been worse, save that of the Great Depression.” … View Article
By Harold Brown Harold Brown, Senior Fellow, Georgia Public Policy Foundation You know poverty is losing ground when the rhetoric changes to “income inequality.” Over the past 10 years, The New York Times used this phrase as much as in its previous history. Income inequality is universal and eternal. It goes along with initiative inequality and all other sorts: educational, mental, psychological and physical. If equality were real in any social measure, the first goal would be exceptions – new classes. Humans are a classifying species; classifying people, houses, clothes, hairstyles, even physiques, and surely incomes. Classification both codifies inequality and encourages it. And governments are the primary instigators. Government needs to know how many people are in this category… View Article

Friday Facts: October 17, 2014

It’s Friday! Quotes of Note “Bigotry is the disease of ignorance, of morbid minds; enthusiasm of the free and buoyant. Education and free discussion are the antidotes of both.” – Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams, 1816 “[O]zone levels are getting so low that a rapidly growing share of even urban areas’ ozone concentration now comes from either naturally occurring ozone or from ozone that has been transported from other states or countries. We have reached the point at which significant further reductions simply cannot be accomplished in any cost-effective manner. Absent recognition of this fact from the EPA, it is time for Congress to modernize the Clean Air Act.” – National Association of Manufacturers “This Ebola situation frightens… View Article

Friday Facts: October 10, 2013

It’s Friday!  Kudos Rogers Wade, Chairman of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees and former president of the Foundation, was presented with the University of Georgia Blue Key Service Award on October 3 in Athens. Eric Wearne, Senior Fellow at the Foundation and an assistant professor at the Gwinnett College School of Education, was honored as one of UGA’s 2014 40 Under 40 at a September 18 banquet at the Georgia Aquarium. Quotes of Note “When wealthy liberals attempt to demonstrate their own charita­ble bona fides by insisting that taxes should be raised, conservatives seethe. It is easy to be generous with other people’s money, and the idea that support for higher taxes is a mark of good… View Article

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U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson more quotes