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Embrace Student Loan Debt, Don’t Erase It

By Jeffrey Dorfman Jeffrey Dorfman The total of all student loan debt just hit $1.5 trillion, so prepare for a slew of stories telling you how student loan debt is out-of-control and we must reform the program to avoid a crisis. Ignore the hype. The reality is that most borrowers are using student loans responsibly, graduate with a perfectly reasonable amount of debt, and are making a smart investment. Given the excellent return on investment from college educations, why is society acting like student loan debt is a problem? Instead, we should be glad so many people are acting in a way that will make the country better off in the long run. Since the start of the 2007-2009… View Article

Friday Facts: May 18, 2018

It’s Friday! Arthur Brooks MONDAY IS THE DEADLINE: Seats are filling fast; register NOW to reserve your spot at “Telling the Human Story,” the May 23 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. The registration deadline is Monday. $30. For more information and registration, go here. Subscribe to the Friday Facts here. Support the Foundation and its mission here. Quotes of note “An election is coming. Universal peace is declared, and the foxes have a sincere interest in prolonging the lives of the poultry.” – George Eliot View Article
The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Sunday edition on May 12, 2018, quoted Foundation Vice President Benita Dodd in a feature article by Shelia M. Poole and Michael E. Kanell on a proposal to reform public housing rent. The article, “Proposed HUD rent reforms have locals worrying, wondering,” can be accessed online here and is reprinted in full below. Proposed HUD rent reforms have locals worrying, wondering By Shelia M. Poole and Michael E. Kanell As the door to his home opens, Tony Caldwell, 58, shifts his wheelchair slightly to accommodate his guests. The former delivery driver for a concession machine company lives in Westminster Apartments, a 32-unit, generic-looking, two-floor apartment complex, fenced off from the surrounding Piedmont Park area… View Article

Friday Facts: May 11, 2018

It’s Friday! Arthur Brooks 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. Subscribe to the Friday Facts here. Support the Foundation and its mission 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… View Article

Take a Deep Breath before Blaming Ozone for Asthma

By Harold Brown Harold Brown The American Lung Association emphasizes the bad news and mentions the good. Its State of the Air 2018 report (using 2014-2016 data) claims that “ozone pollution worsened significantly.” It is clear, however, that the air in Georgia has become cleaner and healthier. Atlanta had an average of 66 days per year from 2000 to 2010 that were “unhealthy for sensitive groups,” but only 21 days per year from 2011-2016 (see chart). The two pollutants most blamed for the “unhealthy” air have decreased. Ozone (4th maximum 8-hour concentration) decreased 27 percent from 2000 to 2017, while tiny particles (PM2.5) dropped by 50 percent. Respiratory disease causes, changes in the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulations and environmental advocates’… View Article

Friday Facts: May 4, 2018

It’s Friday! The Foundation’s Benita Dodd took this photograph at the Fairplay voting precinct in Fannin County this week to remind you early voting has begun, you should buckle up and, if you’re driving, you should know that Governor Nathan Deal signed hands-free driving legislation into law this week. Effective July 1, it’s hands off your cellphone for drivers in Georgia! May 23: Register by 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. Subscribe… View Article
By Martha Nesbit May 7-11 is National Charter Schools Week. This commentary, celebrating Georgia’s first start-up public charter school and the 20th anniversary of the state’s 1998 legislation, is based on remarks by Martha Nesbit at the Georgia Charter Schools Association Annual Conference on March 7, 2018. Martha Nesbit The story I will tell you sounds like it could not possibly be true, but it is, because it happened to me! From 1974 to 1986 I was food editor of The Savannah Morning News. Then I gave up my wonderful job to become a stay-at-home mom for our two little boys. But we really needed money, so I agreed to teach preschool at the church less than a mile from… View Article
By Kyle Wingfield As students know all too well, spring isn’t just the time when baseball returns and flowers bloom. ‘Tis also the season for testing. It’s important to know if students are learning as they should, and to hold schools accountable if not. But since the No Child Left Behind Act became law in 2002, ushering in an era of “high-stakes testing,” students and parents as well as teachers and administrators have wondered: Are these tests telling us anything accurate about student performance? The short answer is, yes – but it’s worth parsing the numbers to understand them better. Take the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP, dubbed the “nation’s report card.” Between 2003 (the first year the… View Article
By Kyle Wingfield Few bills gave liberty-minded folks more heartburn during this past legislative session than the so-called distracted driving bill, which would ban most motorists from holding a mobile phone while cruising down Georgia’s roads. There were many reasons for this. First, it didn’t cover all distractions: Holding a hamburger or a mascara brush would still be OK under this legislation, even though either can take a driver’s eyes off the road and at least one hand off the steering wheel. Second, not all distractions created by mobile phones are created equal: The recent spike in accidents and fatalities came well after people started phoning a friend while driving, yet the bill would outlaw holding a phone to talk… View Article

Friday Facts: April 27, 2018

It’s Friday! May 23: Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, keynotes “Telling the Human Story,” an 8 a.m. Leadership Breakfast at the Georgian Club. This event is co-hosted by the Georgia Public Policy Foundation and the Georgia Center for Opportunity. $30. For more information and registration, go here. Subscribe to the Friday Facts here. Support the Foundation and its mission here. Quotes of note “Our freedoms depended on our having independence, independence in the wage packet, and independence of the Government. … If you rely always on a Government for your wage packet, then the source of your independence to fight that Government has gone.” – Margaret Thatcher “Some writers have so confounded society with… View Article

The Georgia Public Policy Foundation has been doing important work for the free enterprise movement for the past 20 years.  I can assure you from the vantage of a non-profit think tank in Washington, D.C. with much the same principles as GPPF that the work we do simply would not be possible if it were not for the important work that GPPF does.  We see it, we understand it, it is an inspiration to us, it is the kind of thing that will translate into the important work that we can do in Washington, D.C.  We thank you very much for that.

Arthur Brooks, President, American Enterprise Institute (2011) more quotes