Category: The Forum

Flint’s Water Crisis Hides the Blessing

By Harold Brown Harold Brown President Obama has announced he is heading to Flint, Mich., on May 4th, another sign the Flint Water Crisis is the latest example of protesting too much. The good news is hidden; the crisis is being shouted. The Detroit Free Press announced, “President Obama declares emergency in Flint” and called it “a manmade catastrophe.” The Guardian newspaper headlined it, “Flint water crisis was ‘environmental injustice,’ governor’s taskforce finds.” The Flint waterworks switched its intake from the Detroit water system to the Flint River April 30, 2014. After the switch, Flint didn’t use a corrosion-control treatment to help prevent lead and copper from leaching from water lines. In February 2015, the city of Flint tested tap… View Article

Friday Facts: April 29, 2016

It’s Friday! Then and Now: In 1991, when the Georgia Public Policy Foundation was established, state government operated a tourist train, hotels, conference centers, golf courses and water parks, which caused us to ask in a commentary, “Can Russia Teach Georgia About Free Enterprise?” Quotes of Note “I applaud Georgia, and Governor Nathan Deal, for demonstrating that making our criminal justice system more fair is a bipartisan idea. Georgia’s latest reform bill touches on school discipline, correctional education for youth, the accuracy of criminal records, fees and fines, and occupational licensing. From the community to the cell block to the courtroom, this bill will both enhance justice and promote safety, serving as an example for the nation.” – President View Article

It’s Earth Day: Hold On to Your Wallets!

By Benita M. Dodd BENITA DODD Before and since the first Earth Day in April 1970, this nation has made awe-inspiring improvements in its quality of air, water and life. Still, the eco-activists’ to-do list just gets longer. Expect more announcements of environmental “crises” today from agency officials and environmental groups as they once again try to justify their existence and your donations, voluntary or not. Once, your parents told you to clean your plate and, “Think of the starving children in India.” This Earth Day, “nanny government” gets literal at the Environmental Protection Agency, which takes on “food recovery” with tools for assessing wasted food. For the Department of Energy, the issue is climate change. The… View Article

Friday Facts: April 22, 2016

It’s Friday! Then and Now: In 1991, when the Georgia Public Policy Foundation was established, 62.1 percent of Georgia high school students graduated on time. In 2015, even as standards toughened, it was 78.8 percent. Source: Georgia Department of Education Quotes of Note “The consequences of an unbridled regulatory regime are not always obvious. There is no ‘regulation compliance’ item on your dinner bill or supermarket receipt. However, the compliance costs of federal regulations totaled nearly $2 trillion in 2012, according to a study commissioned by National Association of Manufacturers. These regulations and the compliance required are not simply the expected costs of doing business. They are passed on to people who struggle to pay their electric bill, to… View Article

Friday Facts: April 15, 2016

It’s Friday! Then and now: Savannah’s iconic Talmadge Bridge was opened in 1991, the year the Foundation was established. Then and Now: In 1991, the year the Georgia Public Policy Foundation was established, Savannah’s new Talmadge Bridge opened to traffic, with a vertical clearance of 185 feet at high tide. The Savannah harbor deepening project under way will increase the channel’s depth from 42 feet to 47 feet to accommodate larger ships at what is now the nation’s fourth-busiest container port. Quotes of Note  “It is not and cannot become a crime to disagree with a government official. Somewhere along the line, dissent from orthodoxy has transformed from a uniquely American virtue to a crime.” – Kent Lassman “When… View Article

Transit’s Future is in Innovation, Not in Trains

By Benita Dodd Rail transit as a mass transportation mode is one of the least effective, most expensive options for metro Atlanta, whose reputation as the poster child for sprawl has been earned. The region’s low density makes the mode supremely inefficient and the innovations in transportation make it archaic. Yet rail proponents barely bat an eye at these realities as they continue the campaign to expand MARTA rail. The Georgia Public Policy Foundation, as it observes the rail discussion, has long held that one of the least objectionable rail corridors would be the Clifton corridor. The corridor is one of the metro area’s most congested commutes, with major employers such as Emory University and Hospital, the Centers for Disease… View Article

Financial Technology Continues to Grow in Georgia

This article appeared in Insider Advantage on April 8, 2016 and is reprinted with permission. Financial Technology Continues to Grow in Georgia By Bill Armistead  While most Georgians are familiar with industry leaders like Coca Cola, UPS, Delta, Home Depot, Aflac and Southern Company, the rapid-growth sector to watch is financial technology — with names like First Data, NCR, Elavon, TSYS, SunTrust, and WorldPay. Every year, Georgia’s growing Financial Technology (FinTech) industry is moving closer to surpassing New York and California as the nation’s most active tech centers for electronic transactions. The Technology Association of Georgia cites the independent Nilson Report showing that there were over 135 billion payment card transactions in 2011, representing about $2.3 trillion in total consumer… View Article

Friday Facts: April 8, 2016

It’s Friday!  Then and Now: In 1991, the year the Georgia Public Policy Foundation was established, metro Atlanta’s peak-hour congestion delays averaged 35 hours per commuter and the cost averaged $725. By 2014 (latest data) the cost was $1,130 per commuter for 52 hours of delay annually. The good news? The number of commuters increased 66 percent, the cost of delay grew 55 percent but congestion increased “only” 49 percent. We’re making a dent! Source: Texas Transportation Institute  Quotes of Note  “The property which every man has in his own labor, as it is the original foundation of all other property, so it is the most sacred and inviolable. The patrimony of a poor man lies in the strength… View Article
By Kelly McCutchen KELLY McCUTCHEN Georgia and the rest of the country are experiencing a significant demographic change: We’re seeing more grandparents and children, with fewer folks in between. The Census Bureau projects that Georgia’s elderly population will nearly double between 2010 and 2030. Meanwhile, the number of children ages 5-17 is predicted to rise by 26 percent. This shift will place a serious strain on a decreasing percentage of working-age adults. Georgia has one of the most generous retirement exclusions for income tax purposes in the nation ($130,000 per couple) and, in many counties, those over 65 are exempted from school taxes. So Georgia’s anticipated 1 million-plus increase of retirement-age residents will be particularly significant as state and local… View Article

Friday Facts: April 1, 2016

It’s Friday! Then and Now: In 1991, the year the Georgia Public Policy Foundation was established, the city of Atlanta’s population was about 393,000. Today, that population is 456,000, according to Census Bureau estimates. (At its peak, around 1970, the population of the city was about 496,000.)  Quotes of Note  “Professor Salvador Vidal-Ortiz of American University told his students that capitalism dehumanizes brown people and black people. If his students had one iota of brains, they might ask him why it is that brown and black people all over the world are seeking to flee to countries toward the capitalist end of the economic spectrum rather than the communist end.” – Walter Williams “The next time you worry about… View Article

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.

Senator Herman E. Talmadge more quotes