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Friday Facts: June 18, 2021

It’s Friday!  Memory Lane The more things change … As Georgia prepares for reapportionment again after the 2020 Census, this 1992 Georgia Public Policy Foundation commentary reveals what was on the table then: Democrats were in the majority under the Gold Dome, tackling school choice, taxes, healthcare and ballot access. In 2021, as the Foundation celebrates its 30th anniversary and Republicans are in the majority in the Legislature, we’re reminded how much the issues affecting Georgians remain the same. Quotes of note “It is a general popular error to suppose … Continue Reading →

Inflation Fears on the Rise

By Kyle Wingfield Inflation fears are making headlines, and rightly so. The U.S. Labor Department reports year-over-year consumer prices rose 5% in May, the fastest rate in almost 13 years. This is the clear result of government policy that, rather than the proverbial helicopters shoveling money out their doors, more closely resembles a never-ending stream of C-130s dumping huge payloads of dollars onto the masses below. Political liberals developed a belief after the last recession that the culprit for the stagnant recovery was too little stimulus – and not, you … Continue Reading →

A Waste of Money: Why are Atlanta Residents Trashing Garbage Pickup?

Many municipalities are struggling to keep up with waste management. We asked what’s happening and why residents are paying the price.

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Friday Facts: June 11, 2021

It’s Friday!  Memory Lane Federalism, a state of independence: The Georgia Public Policy Foundation has a history of defending the ability of Georgia to solve its own problems instead of being handed top-down, one-size-fits-all mandates from the federal government. In 2021, as the Foundation celebrates 30 years of “Changing Georgia Policy, Changing Georgians’ Lives,” this 1995 Letter to the Editor of the Quitman Free Press shows the challenge is far from over. Quotes of note “In March, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm announced $30 million in grants for research to ‘ensure American … Continue Reading →

The Wavering Waver

By Kyle Wingfield For a group that says it wants to increase healthcare access for all, the Biden administration has spent much of its early months in office trying to stymie reforms in Georgia. Now, I’m sure that isn’t how the feds would describe their actions. But it’s the practical effect of working to block changes today, in hopes the state might do tomorrow what it declined to do yesterday. I refer to the Biden administration’s twin moves – the most recent of which came this past Thursday – to … Continue Reading →

Two Different Last Days of School

As classes wound down for summer break, I noticed two types of “school’s out!” posts from my friends on social media. The first type was from people whose children didn’t miss extended periods of time in a classroom. They didn’t settle for remote learning. Their year-end posts looked a lot like those from the end of every school year through 2019 in the age of social media: first day/last day pictures, smiling faces. They are sprinting toward the lazy freedom of summer. The second type was from people whose children … Continue Reading →

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Friday Facts: May 28, 2021

It’s Friday!  Memory Lane Outsource resource: As far back as 1996, the Georgia Public Policy Foundation maintained that for the city of Atlanta to prosper, “it must privatize, consolidate city and county services, and improve employee accountability.” The Foundation, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, continues to champion managed competition and outsourcing of services to improve efficiency of government services and give taxpayers bang for their buck. Investigative Journalism CON Game: Read the fourth article in the Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Initiative, in which Matt Bolch examines what Certificate of … Continue Reading →

Tricky Tax Competitiveness

By Kyle Wingfield Along with the gusher of spending from Washington, D.C., has come a debate about how to pay for it all. State lawmakers should listen carefully and act accordingly. Some harmful proposals to raise tax rates could be implemented, depending on how willing Senate Democrats are to pass bills via the “reconciliation” process and a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Kamala Harris. As federal taxes rise, states will have even more reason to cut their rates to remain competitive – not only with one another, but internationally. Foreign … Continue Reading →

CON Game

Certificate of Need Laws Hurt GA Healthcare Costs, Choice

Checking Up On Health: May 24, 2021

Medical Monday: A weekly post of healthcare- and technology-related policy news, views and commentaries. A mantra you’ll hear from policy research groups is that healthcare reform in Georgia and many other states can’t take place without Certificate of Need reform. And  just as certain as that is true is that the average Georgian has no idea what they’re talking about. What’s a Certificate of Need? To personalize it: Imagine, if you will, a subdivision in which you want to buy a fancy new grill for the patio in your backyard. You … Continue Reading →

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Friday Facts: May 21, 2021

It’s Friday!  Memory Lane Civil Discourse: For years, the Georgia Public Policy Foundation sponsored debates among Georgia’s political candidates, and – as this 1994 article on tax reform demonstrates – encouraged voters to seek out sound policy platforms. Founded in 1991, the Foundation celebrates its 30th anniversary this year!  Quotes of note “America has a record 8.1 million job openings. The media call it a ‘labor shortage.’ But it’s not a labor shortage; it’s an incentive shortage.” – John Stossel “Will people want more telehealth in the future? We can … Continue Reading →

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Friday Facts: May 14, 2021

It’s Friday!  Memory Lane Through the years, the Georgia Public Policy Foundation has presented the Freedom Award to  Georgians who have exemplified the principles of private enterprise and personal integrity. The photograph shows the 1995 recipient, Griffin Bell. The first recipient was U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in 1993, two years after the Foundation was established. The most recent was Georgia businessman, philanthropist and motivational speaker Sunny K. Park, in 2020. This year the Foundation celebrates 30 years of Changing Georgia Policy, Changing Georgians’ Lives. Quotes of note “Too … Continue Reading →

A Post-COVID Return to Normal

By Kyle Wingfield The calendar flipped to May and, in my world at least, folks began to party like it’s 2019. In the past week, I’ve been to a restaurant where the waiters didn’t wear masks, a 40th birthday party with people who (gasp!) I didn’t even know, and a dinner event with a few dozen people. All credit to the warp-speed vaccines and the companies that developed them. Now, if you live in many parts of Georgia not called Atlanta, you may wonder what took so long. I have … Continue Reading →

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Friday Facts: May 07, 2021

It’s Friday!  Memory Lane The Friday Facts traces its beginnings to the days of the facsimile machine, or fax. As shown in this 2004 edition, it was initially called the Friday Fax and sent only to Foundation members. Thanks to the internet, today the Friday Facts is accessible to anyone with a computer or smartphone, and is archived on the Foundation website. Sign up here today to get the Friday Facts in your mailbox. Founded in 1991, the Foundation celebrates its 30th anniversary this year! Quotes of note “Note, besides, … Continue Reading →

Education Options Move Forward Around the Nation

By Kyle Wingfield Being focused primarily on what happens in Georgia, it can be easy to miss important developments elsewhere. But when it comes to expanding educational options, other states keep rubbing it in my face. Our General Assembly did pass some modest improvements to school-choice programs this year, expanding the Special Needs Scholarship to additional students and moving public charter schools closer to funding parity with other public schools. But the largest proposed expansion, a bill to create education scholarship accounts, advanced out of the House Education Committee but … Continue Reading →

Georgia’s Spring Real Estate Boom

By Kyle Wingfield The spring real-estate season is upon us, and prices are blooming – er, booming. The Georgia Association of Realtors reported the state’s median home selling price in March was $260,000, almost 12% higher than a year earlier. For single-family homes, the figures were slightly higher. Within metro Atlanta, the real-estate firm Re/Max reported March figures of just over $309,000 for the median home selling price, up a whopping one-sixth from a year ago. The explanation across the board is fairly simple: too little supply. Listings of existing … Continue Reading →

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Friday Facts: April 23, 2021

It’s Friday! Get the facts: Friday’s Freshest: In the latest Georgia Policy commentary, Senior Fellow Ron Bachman proposes that a potential roadmap for health reform can be found right in your garage: “Auto insurance has paved the way for health reform to follow. Nobody has suggested auto insurance is liberal or conservative, Republican or Democrat. Auto insurance is bipartisan and non-partisan, universally available and mandatory in all but two states (Virginia and New Hampshire). … “The basic principles everybody accepts and welcomes in auto insurance, then, are choice, rewards and … Continue Reading →

Tallying the Cost of the Student Debt Narrative

By Kyle Wingfield College students in Georgia got good news this past week, as the Board of Regents froze tuition and fees at the state’s public colleges and universities for the second year in a row. The news also helps explain why a popular national narrative about college costs and student debt is so wrong-headed. The regents’ decision means in-state tuition and fees for a semester at the state’s most expensive public college, Georgia Tech, will remain $6,426. That’s just under $13,000 for a traditional, two-semester academic year, or about … Continue Reading →

Education Information: Useful Data or Data Overload?

By Cindy Morley Investigative Journalist for the Georgia Public Policy Foundation Many agree that parents make the best decisions about their child’s education when they have reliable data: information they can use to compare the quality of school instruction, school climate, class sizes and more. So what do parents really need to know about school performance to make the right decisions? While education experts disagree on exactly what information to make available to parents and family members, they all agree the key to making the right decisions for their children … Continue Reading →

Checking Up On Health: April 19, 2021

Medical Monday: A weekly post of healthcare- and technology-related policy news, views and commentaries. Cat Stevens first sang, “The First Cut is the Deepest.” But last week’s second COVID-19 vaccination suggested the first shot’s not the hardest. In fact, as it did many other Americans, the second Moderna shot knocked me for a loop. It’s not just Moderna that has such an effect, of course. Others have been hit hard by the Pfizer vaccine. Both shots, as I have mentioned in an earlier post, are messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines. A Sacramento … Continue Reading →