Friday Facts: April 30, 2021

It’s Friday! 

Memory Lane

Memory Lane: Certificate-of-Need regulations, which govern competition in the healthcare industry, have long been discarded by the federal government. Since its founding in 1991, the Georgia Public Policy Foundation has railed against the protectionist regulations, as this 1992 article (right) demonstrates. Georgia continues to enforce them, stifling much-needed competition across the state.

Quotes of note

“The First Amendment is a protection of the people against the government; it begins with the words ‘Congress shall make no law.’ That’s why the courts have consistently stated that the First Amendment only bars state action, not the decisions of private parties. It is incoherent to assert a First Amendment right to have the government force someone else to provide you with information.” – Allen Dickerson

“Whose money do the Democrats think we’re talking about? They seem to think all money is the government’s, and they’re letting you keep some of it. They clearly believe that they can spend it better than you. It doesn’t take long before that extends into other private property. Your pensions and IRAs may be next.” – Kelly D. Johnston

“There is no maxim in my opinion which is more liable to be misapplied, and which therefore needs elucidation than the current one that the interest of the majority is the political standard of right and wrong.” – James Madison

Economy

By the numbers

11: The rank Atlanta earned in a WalletHub survey of 2021’s Best Big Cities to Start a Business. No. 1 was Laredo, Texas. Just one top 10 city – Boise, Idaho – was outside the South.

$4 billion: The 10-year cost to taxpayers of a paid election holiday proposal for federal employees that is hidden in H.R. 1,  according to OpenTheBooks.com. The voting overhaul bill has passed the U.S. House and awaits Senate action. Federal workers already get 10 paid federal holidays annually, on top of vacation days and paid time off.

95: The percentage of U.S. households that had a bank or credit union account in 2019, according to a new biennial survey and report by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). It also found that a record low 5.4% (7.1 million) U.S. households were unbanked in 2019, the lowest proportion since surveys began in 2009.

$400,000: President Joe Biden’s proposal to boost the top U.S. income-tax rate could put a damper on some marriage proposals. While it will not affect individuals or joint-filing couples with incomes below $400,000, it could hurt couples whose combined income exceeds that threshold – even if their individual salaries do not, according to Accounting Today.

Housing affordability

Emerging markets: The Wall Street Journal and Realtor.com ranked 300 housing markets expected to provide both a strong return on investment and a nice place to live. Best in the nation is Coeur D’Alene, Idaho. Best in Georgia markets is Gainesville, at No. 36. Other Georgia markets ahead of Atlanta (No. 179) are Warner Robins (97) and Athens (103). Savannah is 210. Odessa, Texas, was lowest on the list (300); Albany was lowest in Georgia (273).

Blooming prices: Read Kyle Wingfield’s column on Georgia’s sellers’ market.

Education

Choice: Public education options continue to increase in Georgia. The State Charter Schools Commission this week approved five public charter schools from the Georgia Charter Schools Association Charter Incubator program: DeKalb Brilliance Academy, Liberation Academy, Miles Ahead Charter School, Peace Academy and ZEST Preparatory Academy. Altogether, six new start-up charter school petitioners were approved for the 2022-2023 school year; the sixth was Destinations Career Academy of Georgia.

Foibles of free: Ireland’s “free college” policy, in place since the 1990s, is a cautionary tale for the United States, according to an American Enterprise Institute paper. Ireland’s high college attainment rate is more about highly educated immigrants than free college policies, and the policy has exacerbated funding constraints. Students from low-income and less-educated families remain underrepresented, while student fees and concerns about educational quality have increased. Visit the Foundation’s YouTube channel to view the 2019 event on student loan debt with Jenna Robinson of the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.

Healthcare

COVID-19 update: The Georgia Department of Public Health reports COVID-19 cases, deaths and vaccination rates on its website here. Anyone over age 16 may be vaccinated. This week the state announced it is reinstating the Johnson &Johnson single-dose vaccine on May 3; it has been paused amid concerns about blood clots. Georgia’s mass vaccination sites close May 21.

Medical Mondays: In this week’s Checking Up On Health post, Benita Dodd discusses the demonizing of those resisting COVID-19 vaccination.

Friday Flashback

This month in the archives: In April 10 years ago, the Foundation published, “Six Ways to Sunday Drives in Georgia Transportation.” It noted, “Ultimately, restoring decisions to the state will allow local priorities to take precedence over projects tailored to Washington’s whims. Because until mobility drives Georgia transportation policy, Georgians will go nowhere fast.”

Visit georgiapolicy.org to read the Foundation’s latest commentary, “Quarries Hold Water for a Regional Quandary,” by Harold Brown.

Have a great weekend!

Kyle Wingfield and Benita Dodd


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