Quotes of Note
“Government has three primary functions. It should provide for military defense of the nation. It should enforce contracts between individuals. It should protect citizens from crimes against themselves or their property. When government – in pursuit of good intentions tries to rearrange the economy, legislate morality, or help special interests, the cost come in inefficiency, lack of motivation, and loss of freedom. Government should be a referee, not an active player.” – Milton Friedman
“The problem with government regulation of the Internet is that by the time the government studies how it works and what is needed, technology has moved on.” – Jeffrey Dorfman
There’s intelligent life down here: This week we landed a spaceship on a comet in real life, not just a movie. After a 10-year journey of more than 4 billion miles, the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft, more 300 million miles away from Earth, landed the Philae probe on Comet 67P, which is traveling up to 85,000 miles per hour. Just stop and think about that … for a second. A NASA official described it: “It’s like hitting a golf ball and landing it on the moon.” Follow the probe’s humorous updates at https://twitter.com/Philae2014.
Revised Common Core Standards: Last year, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal instructed the State Board of Education to conduct a formal evaluation of the new Georgia math and English standards to make sure they align with Georgia’s previous standards, recommend any necessary changes and develop a new recommended reading list. Those recommendations are now available for public comment for 60 days and can be found here.
It all depends on the mode. The Foundation is frequently questioned about its preference for buses over rail as metro Atlanta’s public transit. It’s because the region lacks the density to justify the cost. According to Demographia, of the 922 largest urban areas in the world, metro Atlanta’s population density of 1,800 people per square mile ranks 912th. Dhaka, Bangladesh, comes in first with 114,000 people per square mile and Knoxville, Tenn., is last, with 1,300 people per square mile.
Transit and autonomous cars: Transit takes twice as long as driving, but that delay is not an issue to some transit users, Randal O’Toole writes in his Antiplanner blog. In that case, O’Toole suggests, self-driving cars will completely alter people’s perceptions of travel time. “If people who own self-driving cars are willing to travel 50 minutes to work, instead of just 25, it will quadruple their housing choices and completely change the shape of urban areas.”
Easy ride: The State Road and Toll Authority announced this week that Georgia drivers can now use their Peach Pass cards in North Carolina and Florida. This does not apply to Pay n Go cards – the toll cards introduced in July that can be charged and recharged at participating stores – because driver’s license information is needed for interstate use.
Top of the heap: Just two countries have corporate income tax rates higher than the United States, according to the Tax Foundation’s Business in America Illustrated. They are Chad and the United Arab Emirates.
Getting ahead: Curious about our opposition to progressive income tax rates? This short movie about three brothers explains how that punishes hard work.
This month in the archives: On November 23, 1994, the Foundation published, “What Ever Happened to the Tenth Amendment?” by Kelly McCutchen: “Unfunded mandates represent a grave threat to taxpayers because they allow Congress to silently spread the reach of government and shift the cost of federal priorities onto state and local taxpayers.” Twenty years later, that has not changed.
Foundation in the news: WXIA 11Alive news interviewed Benita Dodd about proposals that Georgia increase the state gas tax. Watch it here.
Social media:Have you “liked” the Foundation’s Facebook page yet? We’re closing in on 2,400 “likes,” and these supporters get the Foundation’s news first! “Like” us for daily updates on news and policy views as well as event alerts. Join our 1,300-plus follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/gppf!
The Forum: In her, “Checking Up On Health,” Benita Dodd shares ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber’s comments on how they relied on obfuscation and the “stupidity” of American voters for passage of the Affordable Act. Read this and other recent posts at georgiapolicy.org/category/the-forum/.
Have a great weekend!
Kelly McCutchen and Benita Dodd
FRIDAY FACTS is made possible by the generosity of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s donors. If you enjoy the FRIDAY FACTS, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to help advance our important mission by clicking here. Visit our Web site at www.georgiapolicy.org. Join The Forum at http://forum.georgiapolicy.org/. Become a fan of the Foundation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/gppf.