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Friday Facts: January 15, 2021

It’s Friday!  As the Georgia Public Policy Foundation celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2021, each Friday Facts will include a little trip down Memory Lane from our three decades of “Changing Georgia Policy, Changing Georgians’ Lives.” It’s a testament to this policy research organization’s credibility and integrity that the media have quoted, interviewed, cited and published the Foundation thousands of times across Georgia through the years. Here’s one from 1991. We’re hiring! The Foundation is adding an external affairs manager to the team. Find out more and apply here. Quotes … Continue Reading →

A Purple State Under the Gold Dome

Georgia may be a purple state now in national politics, or even a blue one given the trifecta Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock completed in this past week’s U.S. Senate runoffs. But it remains solidly red under the Gold Dome in Atlanta. As members of the General Assembly return to the state Capitol this week to begin their annual legislative session, it bears watching how the still-in-charge Republicans react to their sudden political mortality – and how they signal their intentions to stave it off. The events since the … Continue Reading →

Checking Up On Health: January 11, 2021

Medical Monday: A weekly post of healthcare- and technology-related policy news, views and commentaries. Mutating virus: The first case of the U.K. coronavirus variant has been reported in Georgia, an 18-year-old man with no travel history, the Georgia Department of Public Health reported January 5. The state became the fifth to report a case of the variant, following New York, California, Florida and Colorado.   Resistant COVID-19: The lead researcher in Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine trials in South Africa told CBS that country has seen more than 13 coronavirus variants since the start of the … Continue Reading →

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Friday Facts: January 08, 2021

It’s Friday!  Happy New Year! Welcome to the first issue of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s Friday Facts for 2021. This is a special year for the Foundation: We’re celebrating our 30th anniversary!  Through the years of ‘policy over politics’ the Foundation has published hundreds of commentaries, scores of Issue Analyses and thousands of Friday Facts. Did you know? The Friday Facts started out as the Friday Fax, a weekly, members-only newsletter of tidbits shared exclusively via fax machine. This year, each Friday Facts will include a little trip down … Continue Reading →

The Changing Terrain of Electoral Votes

By Kyle Wingfield Demography isn’t destiny, no matter how many people insist otherwise. Two recent reports underscored that reality. First let’s look at the big picture. This past week, the U.S. Census Bureau released its annual population estimates. These estimates aren’t the same as the actual census, on which such important – and, to today’s exercise, relevant – decisions as reapportionment are based. But they are a pretty good preview of the real thing. A quick refresher: Reapportionment is how the U.S. House of Representatives’ 435 members are reallocated every … Continue Reading →

New Year’s Resolutions and Priorities for Georgia

By Kyle Wingfield Has there ever been a year that better informed what the next year’s work ought to be? Perhaps, but the to-do list for Georgia in 2021 clearly takes its cues from the mercifully ending 2020. Our students should be first in line to have this year’s wrongs set right. Too many education leaders waited too long to recognize that the dangers of keeping schools closed outweighed the dangers of reopening them with proper precautions. Still more sought to use the pandemic as an excuse to shirk accountability … Continue Reading →

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

By Kyle Wingfield This looks to be a different kind of Christmas. Many will carry on as before, but some will choose a socially distanced Yule. Some will be forced to keep away from family or friends who have fallen ill, and others will spend their first Christmas since losing a loved one. Even the usual heart-tugging holiday ads on TV have caught on, some of them depicting a Christmas morning video call instead of a Christmas Eve embrace. Traveling recently with one of those 24/7 Christmas-song stations on the … Continue Reading →

12 Good Tidings from the Georgia Public Policy Foundation!

Count down to Christmas 2020, Georgia Public Policy Foundation style! 12 Months of Insightful Commentary  We’re committed to bringing you the best, most thought-provoking commentary on the issues affecting Georgians. Read through 2020’s publications here. 11 Committed Board Members 2020 saw the Foundation add two new, valued members to our Board of Trustees. Welcome, Jay Neely and Jeb Stewart! Learn more here. 10 million (plus!) Georgians Georgia’s population is on the rise! We added lots of new friends and neighbors this year. 9th Most Populated Metro Area Atlanta is growing … Continue Reading →

Foundation Adds 2 New Board Members

Atlanta –  The Georgia Public Policy Foundation is pleased to announce the addition of Jay Neely and Jeb Stewart to the Board of Trustees, bringing the total number of board members to 11. John J. “Jay” Neely III is vice president for Law & Public Affairs at Gulfstream Aerospace Corp., where he manages the company’s Legal Department, state and local government affairs, and community relations. Before joining Gulfstream in 1999, Neely was an attorney in the Atlanta office of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker, LLP. Neely is chairman of the … Continue Reading →

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Friday Facts: December 18, 2020

It’s Friday!  Quotes of Note “The Founders believed, and the Conservative agrees, in the dignity of the individual; that we, as human beings, have a right to live, live freely, and pursue that which motivates us not because man or some government says so, but because these are God-given natural rights.” – Mark R. Levin “It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in … Continue Reading →

A Big Dose of Optimism for Christmas

 By Kyle Wingfield I don’t know what you’ve asked of Santa Claus for Christmas, but one thing ought to be on everyone’s wish list: a big dose of optimism. After the year we’ve had, a belief that brighter days lie ahead would be welcome for all. Fortunately, we needn’t wait for Dec. 25 – or for a COVID-19 vaccine. I see three big reasons to believe 2021 will be a more prosperous year for all Georgians. 1. More and more Georgians are back to work: As recently as four years … Continue Reading →

Tax and Spend Tuesday: December 15, 2020

Tax and Spend Tuesday, a roundup of news, views and policy proposals affecting your paycheck and pocketbook! Change we don’t need: It’s not the first time we’ve noticed that some recent immigrants to Georgia are refugees from high-tax, high-regulation states who start off happy but inexplicably start working to turn our well-run state into the mess they left. In his recent column, Thomas Gallatin discusses the continuing exodus of businesses from California. Two of the destination states are Texas and Georgia, and Gallatin warns: “The problem for Texas and Georgia … Continue Reading →

Checking Up On Health: December 14, 2020

Medical Monday: A weekly post of healthcare- and technology-related policy news, views and commentaries. COVID-19 vaccine arrives: Frontline healthcare workers in New York became the first to receive Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine today, just a day after Pfizer began shipping the first doses to hospitals December 13, The New York Times reported.The first vaccines arrived in Atlanta today but, according to 11Alive TV news, it was not clear whether Atlanta was a destination or distribution point for the vaccines. View Georgia’s official COVID-19 status report here. According to the draft plan … Continue Reading →

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Friday Facts: December 11, 2020

It’s Friday!  Quotes of Note “Give up money, give up fame, give up science, give the earth itself and all it contains rather than do an immoral act. And never suppose that in any possible situation, or under any circumstances, it is best for you to do a dishonorable thing, however slightly so it may appear to you.” – Thomas Jefferson (1785) “My country owes me no debt. It gave me, as it gives every boy and girl, a chance. It gave me schooling, independence of action, opportunity for service … Continue Reading →

Taking Stock of Georgia’s Economic Ranking

By Kyle Wingfield Americans love rankings, love to see where we stand compared to our rivals. The AP college football poll, to name one famous ranking, exists ostensibly to determine the best team – but also to sell newspapers, because Americans eat that kind of thing up. There are all kinds of rankings. But what could be more important to rank than our freedom? There are a variety of indices for that, and one of them recently showed Georgians are experiencing a golden age of economic freedom. The Fraser Institute … Continue Reading →

Transportation Tuesday: December 8, 2020

Transportation Tuesday is the newest in a series of  Georgia Public Policy Foundation policy briefs. Others are Medical Monday’s Checking Up On Health and Tax and Spend Tuesday.  The Transportation Tuesday post of October 27, 2020, shared an article from Cato Institute’s Regulation magazine that discussed an alternate – and, we thought, intriguing – approach to transportation public-private partnerships (P3s). You can read our post here.  It elicited a response from our friend and Senior Fellow Bob Poole, Director of Transportation Policy at Reason Foundation. The response, published in full below, first appeared … Continue Reading →

Checking Up On Health: December 7, 2020

Medical Monday: A weekly post of healthcare- and technology-related policy news, views and commentaries. The holiday season is upon us. It’s true that “Seasonal Affective Disorder” – appropriately, SAD – may have been somewhat debunked, but the fact is that depression and sadness will be especially widespread over Christmas as COVID-19 surges anew. Nursing home residents and rehab center patients must endure the holidays without family visits, in most cases, as must many hospital patients. Stressed-out medical professionals will be overwhelmed by patients and, perhaps, short on patience, short on … Continue Reading →

Friday Facts: December 4 2020

It’s Friday!  Thanks to the generosity of supporters, the Foundation’s Giving Tuesday campaign raised more than $10,000 this week! Your contributions are “Changing Georgia Policy, Changing Georgians’ Lives!” Quotes of Note “Here’s Williams’ roadmap out of poverty: Complete high school; get a job, any kind of a job; get married before having children; and be a law-abiding citizen. Among both black and white Americans so described, the poverty rate is in the single digits.” – Walter Williams, economist and columnist, who died December 2, 2020, at the age of 84 … Continue Reading →

AJC Publishes Senior Fellow Ben Scafidi’s Study Citing Benefits of Ga. Tax Credit Scholarships

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s November 30, 2020, edition published an op-ed by Georgia Public Policy Foundation Senior Fellow Ben Scafidi and Heidi Holmes Erickson that highlighted the benefits of Georgia’s Tax Credit Scholarship program to taxpayers and students. The op-ed can be read in its entirety below; access it on the newspaper’s website here. OPINION: Private school scholarships are win for students and taxpayers By Heidi Holmes Erickson and Benjamin Scafidi Georgia’s tax credit scholarship program provides substantial net savings to Georgia taxpayers as well as higher educational attainment among scholarship … Continue Reading →

The Classroom is a Marketplace, too.

By: Kyle Wingfield The recent news that fall enrollment in Georgia’s public schools was down more than 2% this year was a reminder that markets exist everywhere, even where you least expect them. The October student count was the first done since the pandemic hit. Schoolhouses across the state were shuttered in March and in some places have yet to reopen. The traditional model of education was replaced by an emergency, remote learning model that most districts were poorly equipped to run. It didn’t take families long to figure out … Continue Reading →