Tag: Georgia Public Policy Foundation

Friday Facts: May 20, 2016

It’s Friday!  Then and Now: In 1991, when the Georgia Public Policy Foundation was established, the average fuel efficiency of a domestic passenger car was 28.4 miles per gallon. According to federal numbers, today it is 36.4 mpg, an improvement of more than 28 percent.  Guide to the Issues 2016, compiled by the Foundation, is now available online. Each Issu chapter includes principles for reform, facts on the issue, background information and, in most cases, positive solutions to the challenges facing Georgia.  Quotes of Note  “Public officers are the servants and agents of the people, to execute the laws which the people have made.” – Grover ClevelandContinued dependence upon relief induces a spiritual and moral disintegration… View Article
By Geoff Duncan For generations, government has tried to solve the issues surrounding poverty by adding new programs or growing existing ones.  Much to the surprise of bureaucrats, the outcomes from this approach are uninspiring. Michael Tanner of the Cato Institute found the federal government spent $1 trillion on 126 different anti-poverty programs in 2013 without making a dent in any of the key metrics around poverty. Government has led us to believe if we simply pay our taxes on time each year it will take care of the needy and we can move on with our busy lives. Remind me again: What is the definition of insanity? This past legislative session, Georgia launched an innovative approach to tackle issues… View Article

Friday Facts: May 13, 2016

It’s Friday!  Then and Now: In 1991, when the Georgia Public Policy Foundation was established, more than nine in 10 U.S. households had a landline (93.3 percent) for phone service. Today, 96.3 percent of households have phone service, but nearly half of those households (47 percent) have dumped their landlines for wireless service onlyHappy Birthday Hayek! Nobel economist Friedrich Hayek was born 117 years ago this week. His explanation of how “local knowledge” or decentralization is superior to central planning is relatable given our continued top-down regulatory approach in the Internet Age, where local knowledge can be shared easily (Yelp, FaceBook, etc.): If we can agree that the economic problem of society is mainly one of… View Article

Does More Money Improve Outcomes?

Fifty years ago, James S. Coleman published a groundbreaking education report that many call the fountainhead for those committed to evidence-based education policy. Among other things, Coleman found that variations in per-pupil expenditure had little correlation with student outcomes. Even to this day, there remains the simple question as to whether, other things equal, just adding more money to schools will systematically lead to higher achievement. Figure 2 shows the overall record of states during the past quarter century. Changes in real state spending per pupil are uncorrelated with changes in 4th-grade student achievement in reading. Similar results are obtained in math and in both math and reading at the 8th-grade level. Clearly, states have changed in many other ways… View Article

Do Governments Underplay Buses, Favor Rail?

In an editorial below from Transportation Reviews  that was published online in March 2016, author David A. Hensher opines on, “Why is Light Rail Starting to Dominate Bus Rapid Transit Yet Again?” Read the full text here: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01441647.2016.1155851. Below are some excerpts that are relevant to Georgia governments in making sensible choices among transit modes. This highlight sums up his viewpoint:  “The value for money proposition should deliver the best outcome for society regardless of whether it is rail or bus based, in their light and heavy configuration.” Almost weekly, we see proposals to build light rail in many cities, and Australian cities are no exception. It is also quite marked how absent any serious consideration of… View Article

Extending the REACH of Academic Achievement

By Benita M. Dodd BENITA DODD Education activists watched in dismay as education reform proposals were swept under the rug once again at the Gold Dome in 2016 before legislators rushed home to begin campaigning. Across the state, however, as graduation ceremonies approach, one reform begun in 2012 is providing hope: REACH Georgia scholarships. REACH Georgia (Realizing Educational Achievement Can Happen) was launched in 2012 by Gov. Nathan Deal as a privately funded, needs-based mentorship and scholarship program based in Georgia’s public schools. Now it’s a public-private partnership; since 2015, the Legislature has appropriated $2 million for the program; for 2017, the amount is $2.75 million. “We’re not looking for the merit scholar,” says Joy Hawkins, director of business development… View Article

Friday Facts: May 6, 2016

It’s Friday!  Then and Now: In 1991, when the Georgia Public Policy Foundation was established, dial-up Internet modem speeds were 14.4 kilobits per second. The 56KB modem went on sale in 1998, and a gigabyte of information would take about 40 hours to receive. For comparison, a gigabyte of HDTV data, delivered at 2015 speeds, amounts to seven minutes of video. The Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s Guide to the Issues 2016 is now available online. Each Issue chapter includes the Foundation’s principles for reform, facts on the issue, background information and, in most cases, specific proposals that we believe provide positive solutions to the challenges facing Georgia. Issues covered include Criminal Justice, Education, Health Care, Higher Education, Long-Term… 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

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

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

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