Friday Facts: October 24, 2014

It’s Friday! 

Quotes of Note

“The next time you hear an alarming speech about ‘global warming’ on Earth Day, just remember that the first Earth Day featured alarms about the danger of a new ice age.” – Thomas Sowell

“It is important not to allow the lure of federal grant dollars to define our state’s mission and programs. More federal dollars do not necessarily equal success, especially when those dollars come with requirements and conditions that will not help – and may even hinder – running a successful program of our own making.” – Mike Pence, Indiana governor

Events

October 28: The Atlanta Jewish Academy hosts a free panel discussion by the Jewish Policy Center, “The Middle East Erupts: What Does It Mean and What is Our Strategy?” 7 p.m. Speakers are Jonathan Schanzer, Michael Eisenstadt and Lee Smith. More information at info@jewishpolicycenter.org.

Government

Overcriminalization: All Jack Barron and his wife, Jill, wanted was to buy a retirement home near their children. The good news: They won their legal fight with the Environmental Protection Agency over whether their property was a protected wetland. The bad news: In the process of fighting Big Government, they lost their savings. Their story serves as a warning.

Underestimation: The Environmental Protection Agency claimed that its proposed Mercury and Air Toxics Standards would retire just 4.7 gigawatts of power, but energy officials say 54 gigawatts of generating capacity – 10 times more than EPA’s projections – will close by the compliance deadline. EPA projected rate increases of 1.3-6.3 percent; but this year, impacted utilities forecast that plant closures would result in 21 percent rate increases over the summer. (Read about the Foundation’s comments to the EPA on the standards here.) Source: Texas Congressman Lamar Smith

Transportation

Boomer-cool: How often have you said, “We’re not the people our parents used to be?” Over the next 18 years, roughly 8,000 people a day will join the ranks of the over-65 population, changing the definition of “old” and transforming transportation. Engineering for them will require “stealth design.” As one person puts it, “You can’t design an old-person’s car.” Look for driverless – autonomous – car technology to surge, along with rent-on-demand services. Source: HPMatter.com

Economy

The War on Poverty: Last year, 126 federal anti-poverty programs spent an average of $21,000 on every person below the poverty line. Is it making a difference? “The War on Poverty Turns 50: Are We Winning Yet?” from the Cato Institute takes a look at this difficult issue. Read the Foundation’s recent commentary, “America’s Longest War.”

Doing business: Georgia tied with North Carolina for having the third-best business climate (behind Texas and Florida), according to a new survey of U.S. corporate executives released this week. In addition, the Georgia Department of Economic Development was ranked No.1 “best in class” state-level economic development agency. Source: Atlanta Business Chronicle

Canning growth: Georgia’s brewing industry generated $3.5 billion in direct economic impact in 2012. That number includes breweries, distributors and retail sales; $1.9 billion was generated by breweries alone. But compared to other states, some of which have three times as many breweries, Georgia’s craft brew industry has numerous barriers to growth, Georgia Trend magazine reports.

Health care

Transparency: The Washington Post joins the call for more price transparency in health care in, “The incredible cost savings that are possible when patients can actually shop around.” It’s an approach policy experts have been proposing for years.

Friday Flashback

October 22, 2004: The Foundation published,Storm Drain,” by Justin Marshall. He wrote, “It would indeed be a wondrous thing if we could destroy our way to economic success. Imagine: Each town could have its own rogue band of ‘economic stimulants.’ These individuals could engage in vandalism, arson and theft. No matter the activity, as long as it harmed and destroyed, there would be a need to treat, repair and rebuild, and the economy would be better off because of it.” (Then came “Cash for Clunkers.”)

Media

Web site of the Week: Perc.org is the Web site of the Property and Environment Research Center. Founded 30 years ago in Bozeman, Mont., it’s dedicated to improving environmental quality through property rights and markets. With federal encroachment on property rights, PERC’s research is crucial.

Social media: Have you “liked” the Foundation’s Facebook page yet? More than 2,360 of our friends get daily updates on news and policy views as well as event alerts; nearly 1,300 follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/gppf!

The Forum: Read recent posts at georgiapolicy.org/category/the-forum/.

Visit www.georgiapolicy.org to read the latest commentary, Making Sense of Georgia’s Labor Market,” by E. Frank Stephenson.

Have a great weekend! 

Kelly McCutchen and Benita Dodd  

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