“The U.S. Postal Service reported a $3.5 billion loss in the last quarter, which established it as the federal government’s most successful enterprise.” – Jay Leno
– From the outrageous regulations department: In Florida, it is illegal to work as an interior designer without proper government licensing; even if the designer has a college degree in the field, performing interior design services without a license is punishable by up to a year in jail or $1,000 in fines. In Texas, every computer repair technician must obtain a degree in criminal justice or have a three-year apprenticeship under a licensed private investigator to legally fix computers. On July 29, 7-year-old Julie Murphy committed the “crime” of selling lemonade for 50 cents a cup at an arts fair in Portland because she didn’t have a temporary restaurant license costing $120. County officials shut down her lemonade stand, but eventually backed off on issuing a fine.
– Big Cause Of Factory Job Losses? Efficiency. Despite job losses, the United States still remains a manufacturing powerhouse, says William A. Strauss, a senior economist for the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. For example, 184 workers in 2009 produced as much as 1,000 workers did in 1950.
– Foundation unveils new health care tool: If you’re wondering what the new federal health care law has in store for you or your employees, you are not alone. Few have read the 2,700-page Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and even fewer are able to absorb its full implications. Get a leg up on the legislation with the GPPF Health Reform Navigator, an inexpensive tool with easy point-and-click researching for insurance and tax/penalty topics.
Taxes and spending
– According to the latest figures released by the Georgia Department of Revenue, the top 10 percent of Georgians filing tax returns in 2007 had incomes over $100,000 and paid 57 percent of all income taxes, up from 40 percent in 1997. Those in the bottom 53 percent (incomes less than $25,000) paid 9 percent of the total in 2007, down from 10 percent in 1997.
– Make a difference: Tech High, the math-, science- and technology-oriented charter high school that the Georgia Public Policy Foundation helped establish in the Atlanta Public Schools system, needs your help. The school needs books for the library and new principal Dr. Graysen Walles has created a wish list at Amazon.com. Help this remarkable school: Buy a book (or two) at this link: http://tinyurl.com/3ywxo6g. Find out more about Tech High at http://www.techhighschool.org/.
– “In 1996, Sound Transit [Seattle, Washington] officials promised voters they would build 25 miles of light rail for a total cost of about $1.8 billion, and they would be finished by 2006. … Fourteen years later, Sound Transit officials have reduced the planned line to 21 miles, and have only delivered about 17 miles for about $2.6 billion.” That’s more than $150 million per mile. While less than MARTA’s last heavy rail expansion cost of more than $200 million per mile, it is in line with Cobb County’s projected light rail line costs of $2 billion for 14 miles, or $142 million per mile. To put that in perspective, $2 billion could fund the completion of a statewide freight network that could divert up to 60 percent of the trucks away from metro Atlanta highways.
– Visit www.gppf.org to read the Foundation’s latest commentary, “Scientists, the downside of science,” by Harold Brown.
Have a great weekend.
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