Quotes of Note
“There’s something that stinks to high heaven about a government racket in which businesses profit from government subsidies, and then turn around and employ lobbying organizations to lobby for more tax dollars.” – Stephen Moore
“Transit today is, in almost all U.S. markets, slower than driving. People who depend on transit can reach fewer jobs than those who have automobiles available. Some people use transit by choice, for instance to save money (if they need to pay for parking), and the rest without choice. In my opinion, it is more important to spend scarce public dollars to improve options for those without choices than to improve the choices for those who already have alternatives. Perhaps ideally we could do both; in practice, one comes at the expense of other.” – David Matthew Levinson
July 29: Mark your calendar! The Foundation takes the annual Friedman Legacy for Freedom Day event to Savannah for a Policy Briefing Luncheon. Details soon!
October 15: Registration is open for the sixth annual Georgia Legislative Policy Forum, 7:30 am.-3:30 p.m. Thursday, October 15, at the Renaissance Waverly Atlanta. The theme is, “Wisdom, Justice and Opportunity.” Review the 2014 Forum here. Registration is $125 per person; an Early Bird rate ($100) applies until Friday, September 4. Register here. Sponsorships are available; contact Benita Dodd.
Water rules: Despite massive opposition and concern about private property rights, the Environmental Protection Agency released its finalized, 297-page “Clean Water Rule” this week. The EPA maintains it expands the agency’s authority only by 3 percent and, “does not protect any new types of waters … or address land use or private property rights.” The Farm Bureau has already responded, “[W]e do not anticipate that our members’ concerns have been addressed in any meaningful way.”
Cost of government: Federal regulation and intervention cost American consumers and businesses an estimated $1.88 trillion in 2014 in lost economic productivity and higher prices, according to “Ten Thousand Commandments,” by the Competitive Enterprise Institute. If U.S. federal regulation was a country, it would be the world’s 10th largest economy, ranking behind Russia and ahead of India.
Choice and freedom: The Foundation invited Clint Bolick in 2014 to talk to Georgians about the Education Savings Accounts Arizona’s Goldwater Institute pioneered, and published an analysis of ESAs’ benefits. Writing in American Spectator this month, Glenn Delk agrees: “Atlanta can once again become the civil rights capital of the country by pulling together a coalition of the willing – conservative, liberal, Republican, Democrat, Independent, rich, middle-class, poor, white, black, and Hispanic – to develop and operate a campaign … to pass an unlimited Education Savings Account.”
Lake Woebegon: Georgia’s state tests continue to make us feel better about ourselves than we should, according to the latest study in Education Next, where Georgia ranks 48th in terms of state proficiency standards. Perhaps Georgia’s new Milestones test (implemented this year) will be more accurate.
Letter from the past: Andy Smarick is wondering whether Delaware Gov. Jack Markell’s letter published recently in Education Week was written around 2001 because it repeats so many already-debunked accusations against school choice.
Paving the way: Starting July 1, up to 5,000 volunteers in Oregon can sign up to drive with devices that collect data on how much they have driven and where. The volunteers will agree to pay 1.5 cents for each vehicle mile traveled (VMT) on public roads within Oregon, instead of the tax now added when filling up at the pump. Source: Associated Press
Debunking rail claims: Writing in The Washington Post about Maryland’s Purple Line rail route, the Cato Institute’s Randal O’Toole debunks five claims by rail proponents, including that it spurs economic development. Importantly, he notes, “Transit riders care more about frequencies than whether their vehicle is a bus or railcar.”
Alternatives: The Empowering Patients First Act, authored by U.S. Rep. Tom Price of Georgia, has 63 co-sponsors and “shows there is a lot of serious work being done by many in Congress to replace Obamacare with a reform that works for patients,” says John R. Graham, a Senior Fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis.
This month in the archives: In May 1996, the Foundation published, “A Free Market Solution to Groundwater Allocation In Georgia.” It noted, “Overdraft caused by the tragedy of the commons begs for government intervention in the form of command and control regulation. But privatization offers an alternative means of reducing overdraft by promoting efficiency in groundwater use and removing incentives that cause waste.”
Foundation in the media: AM 750 aired an interview Sunday with Benita Dodd about, “A Streetcar Named Denial,” and the op-ed was highlighted by host Dick Williams of “The Georgia Gang” on WAGA-FOX TV; The Marietta Daily Journal and Bryan County News published, “Making Military Lives Matter. “The Marietta Daily Journal (May 23) and Michael Graham Show (May 27) interviewed Benita about Cobb County’s plans to build a $388,000 fitness center for county employees.
Visit www.georgiapolicy.org to read our latest commentary, “Trade Promotion Authority Deserves Americans’ Support,” by Brandon Arnold and Benita M. Dodd.
Have a great weekend!
Kelly McCutchen and Benita Dodd
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