Friday Facts: September 25, 2015

Friday Facts
September 25th, 2015 by 2 Comments

It’s Friday!

Events

October 15: Just 19 days left to register for the Sixth Annual Georgia Legislative Policy Forum at the Renaissance Atlanta Waverly on Thursday, October 15! Join legislators, government affairs representatives and other interested Georgians to learn from national experts how “Opportunity” knocks at this daylong event with the theme of “Wisdom, Justice and Opportunity.” Details here. Registration is $125 per person and includes breakfast and lunch. Register here. Sponsorships are available; contact Benita Dodd.

December 8: Mark your calendar! The Foundation hosts, “The Case for K-12 Student-Based Budgeting in Georgia,” a panel discussion at The Cobb Galleria. Details to follow.

Quotes of Note

Gettysburg lectern
During a conference that took her to Philadelphia this past weekend, the Foundation’s Benita Dodd had a chance to view the famed Gettysburg lectern, used by President Lincoln in 1863, that will be used by Pope Francis to deliver his September 26 address in Philadelphia.

“The greatest good we can do our country is to heal its party divisions and make them one people.” – Thomas Jefferson

“Any serious look at the history of human beings over the millennia shows that the species began in poverty. It is not poverty, but prosperity, that needs explaining. Poverty is automatic, but prosperity requires many things – none of which is equally distributed around the world or even within a given society.” – Thomas Sowell

“As we look around the world, it is inarguable that socialistic economic models – from [Pope] Francis’ native Argentina to Greece – are crumbling right before our eyes and making people poorer. A recent Heritage Foundation study finds that free markets are by far the best tools to reduce poverty. High taxes, trade barriers and big welfare states may be well intentioned, but they make the poor poorer.” – Stephen Moore

Technology

Municipal broadband: The Peachtree City Council has unanimously approved spending $3.2 million in taxpayer money for broadband it will sell to businesses, despite the financial risks and residents’ trepidation, according to a Watchdog article. City Finance Director Paul Salvatore said this approach failed in other municipalities because they “failed to partner with the right people.” Way back in 1998, this Foundation warned of the dangers of government competing with private enterprise.

Education

School choice tool: GreatSchools, a national nonprofit helping over 50 million parents nationally find high-quality schools and resources, along with The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, is announcing a new, mobile-friendly Web tool for parents. GreatSchoolsAtlanta.org will help parents in the Atlanta metro area understand their K-12 school options and access resources to help support their child’s education. GreatSchools will be at the 2015 Atlanta Neighborhood Summit Saturday, September 26, to demonstrate the tool.

Misinformed: Two recent articles have taken issue with school choice, one in Nonprofit Quarterly focusing on Wisconsin and Arizona and another in The Washington Post criticizing former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush for championing charter schools. In fact, school choice does indeed have financial and academic achievement benefits, Martin Lueken writes in EducationNext.

Latinos and school choice: Latinos believe strongly in school choice, a new Friedman Foundation poll shows. About 62 percent of Latinos support charter schools and 71 percent favor education vouchers. Nearly 73 percent support an education savings account program (ESA) and 76 percent said they support a tax-credit scholarship program.

Economy

Business leader: For the second year in a row, Area Development Magazine has named Georgia the top state for doing business. Other states in the top 10 include Texas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, Indiana, North Carolina, Louisiana, Ohio and Kentucky. Georgia was No.1 for labor climate; No. 2 for overall infrastructure and global access, behind Tennessee; and No. 3 for business climate, behind Texas and South Carolina. 

Health care

Troubled waters: Premiums for job-based medical insurance rose a modest 4 percent in 2015 but plan deductibles rose at a substantially higher rate than total health costs, according to a new Kaiser Family Foundation survey. While premiums rose 24 percent since 2010, the average dollar amount of deductibles for individual plans has risen 67 percent.

Criminal justice reform  

Unintended consequences: Should ignorance of the law still be no excuse when laws have exploded in both number and complexity? Heritage Scholar and former Foundation Board member John Malcolm argues that holding everyday citizens criminally liable for conduct that no reasonable person would know is unlawful is not only unfair; it is immoral. Reform is needed at both the state and federal level. 

Friday Flashback 

This month in the archives: In September 2003, the Foundation published, “State Needs to Come Around to Roundabouts.” It noted: “The savings in gasoline, construction costs, lost time and electricity are really astronomical money bonuses over and above the lives and injuries saved by roundabouts.” Today, the state has about 145 built and more than 100 in various stages of design and construction!

Media  

Foundation in the media: The Columbia County News-Times published Kelly McCutchen’s commentary on freedom of speech.

The Forum: Read, “The Gift That Keeps On Giving,” by Robert M. Weekley, on why to support free-market think tanks; Alejandro Chafuen explains think tanks.

Social media: Join the Foundation’s 2,640 Facebook “likes” and nearly 1,500 Twitter followers at twitter.com/gppf. Now you can follow us on Instagram, too!

Visit www.georgiapolicy.org to read our latest commentary, “Reforming Medicaid with Technology,” by Merrill Matthews.

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 www.georgiapolicy.org. Join The Forum at http://forum.georgiapolicy.org/. Become a fan of the Foundation on Facebook and follow us at twitter.com/gppf and Instagram.

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