May 23: Register by Monday, May 21 for “Telling the Human Story,” a Leadership Breakfast keynoted by Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute. This 8 a.m. event at the Georgian Club is co-hosted by the Georgia Public Policy Foundation and the Georgia Center for Opportunity. $30. For more information and registration, go here.
Quotes of note
“A defining characteristic of charters is that they are ‘opt-in.’ This means that all individuals in the school are there by choice: the families, teachers, administrators, board members, etc. No one is assigned to a charter school; everyone joins through voluntary association. There is no greater form of ‘local control’ than having to attract – and keep – all interested parties. If a school fails to deliver, it can be shut down by the authorizer for not meeting the contract or by parents who pull their children out of the school themselves.” – Adam Peshek
“Since new developments are the products of a creative mind, we must therefore stimulate and encourage that type of mind in every way possible.” – George Washington Carver
“The tyranny of the administrative state is real and hard to tame. Americans would be horrified if they knew how much power thousands of unelected bureaucrats employed by federal agencies wield.” – Veronique de Rugy
Taking a stand: Where does your candidate stand on school choice? The Georgia Charter Schools Association polled the candidates for governor, lieutenant governor and state school superintendent. Of the 21 candidates running, 14 completed the GCSA questionnaire, three did not respond and two chose not to participate. (Two gubernatorial candidates have since withdrawn from the race.) See the responses here.
Charter Schools Week: May 7-11 is National Charter Schools Week. At the State Capitol, Gov. Nathan Deal signed a law enhancing funding for state-authorized charter schools. Did you know? Charter schools serve just 6 percent of the nation’s 50 million public school students (3.2 million students) but 5 million more would attend charter schools if they had access. Source: National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
Taxes and spending
What budget? The Government Accountability Office released a report this week on Puerto Rico’s debt crisis, and one factor it blamed is the “persistent annual deficits, where expenses exceeded revenues. Puerto Rico’s government has borrowed money to finance its operations, rather than cutting spending, raising taxes, or both.” Sound familiar?
Expanding autonomous: While most self-driving vehicles are tested in urban areas, researchers are working on ways for these autonomous autos to navigate rural and unpaved areas without 3-D maps. One such framework is MapLite, which combines simple Google Maps-type GPS data with sensors that observe road conditions, allowing cars to reliably detect the road more than 100 feet in advance. Source: Metro Magazine
Mass transit: For transit users, convenience is the primary motivator for riding, cited by 33 percent of respondents in a 2018 survey. Price was the motivator for 24 percent of riders; travel time for 8 percent and necessity motivated just 17 percent of riders. Source: Masabi.com
Testing positive: Driven by increases in cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana drug use by the U.S. workforce remained at its highest rate in more than a decade, according to a new analysis by Quest Diagnostics, with 4.2 percent testing positive for drug use in both 2017 and 2016. It was 3.5 percent in 2012, which represented a 30-year low. Source: EHS Today
Sweet and soured: Just Born is the family-owned candy company that makes Hot Tamales, Peeps and chocolate sprinkles. It contributes to a “Multi-Employer Pension Fund” for its workers. The fund was massively underfunded; the union demanded the company fix the problem. Just Born proposed keeping existing retirees and current employees in the old plan while putting all new employees into a different plan. The union took the company to court. Just Born is considering moving manufacturing overseas. Who manages the troubled fund? The union. Source: SovereignMan.com
Dirty laundry: “It used to take you only an hour to get a full load of dishes washed and dried in your dishwasher,” says Sam Kazman, general counsel for the Competitive Enterprise Institute. “Today, thanks to federal energy efficiency standards, the average time is nearly 2.5 hours. That’s not progress; it’s bureaucracy. And for many consumers it’s a royal pain.” CEI is petitioning the Department of Energy to change the efficiency standards that slow the machines.
This month in the archives: In May 15 years ago, the Foundation published, “Hype Hazes Message During Asthma Awareness Month.” It noted, “Ozone has proven to be a profitable pollutant for the [American Lung Association], whose symbiotic relationship with the EPA has expanded the federal agency’s powers while reaping the association millions of dollars through litigation and grant applications.”
Foundation in the news: The Citizen published Kyle Wingfield’s commentary, “Hands-off Government Requires Hands-on Responsibility.”
Visit www.georgiapolicy.org to read our latest commentary, “Take a Deep Breath Before Blaming Ozone for Asthma,” by Harold Brown.
Have a great Mother’s Day weekend.
Kyle Wingfield and Benita Dodd
“Mother is the name for God in the lips and hearts of little children.” – William Makepeace Thackery
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/.. Find the Foundation on social media at Facebook, twitter.com/gppf and Instagram.
The best way to make a lasting impact on public policy is to change public opinion. When you change the beliefs of the people; the politicians and political parties change with them.