Friday Facts: April 1, 2016

It’s Friday!

Then and Now: In 1991, the year the Georgia Public Policy Foundation was established, the city of Atlanta’s population was about 393,000. Today, that population is 456,000, according to Census Bureau estimates. (At its peak, around 1970, the population of the city was about 496,000.) 

Quotes of Note 

“Professor Salvador Vidal-Ortiz of American University told his students that capitalism dehumanizes brown people and black people. If his students had one iota of brains, they might ask him why it is that brown and black people all over the world are seeking to flee to countries toward the capitalist end of the economic spectrum rather than the communist end.” – Walter Williams

“The next time you worry about the high cost of health care, consider how many different groups and organizations have lobbyists working to kill competition and stop the technological progress that could help bring costs down.” – Newt Gingrich

“I’m a huge believer in business over bullets, and if we’re going to have any impact on the rest of the world, we’ve got to export the American Dream.” – Mark Cuban


Suburbanization: Americans have strongly returned to their decades-long pattern of greater suburbanization and migration to lower-density, lower-cost metropolitan areas, largely in the South. Eighty percent of counties with the fastest domestic migration rates were in the South, according to the Census Bureau population estimates. Gwinnett County was No. 15 among the fastest-growing counties; DeKalb (34), Fulton (39) and Cobb (40) counties also made the top 100. Source: 

Millennials: As millennials get older, many will follow a familiar path: They’ll partner up, have kids and move to the suburbs, according to a report on the real estate Web site Trulia. Urban living starts to decline after ages 25-29 and drops to its lowest level at ages 65-69.

Criminal justice reform 

Sharing ill-gotten gains: The Department of Justice announced this week that it will immediately resume payouts to local law enforcement departments under the Equitable Sharing program. Last year, Congress passed budget legislation that sliced the funds in the Asset Forfeiture program – which funded the sharing program – by $1.2 billion. In response, DOJ deferred the payments through the program on Dec. 21, 2015, until now. (A Georgia bill to require a conviction before property is seized failed in the Legislature.)

Energy and environment

Concrete solutions: Lab researchers have figured out a practical option for carbon dioxide emissions. CO2 from power plant smokestacks would be captured and used to create a new building material – CO2NCRETE – fabricated using 3D printers, to replace cement. The next step is to commercialize the process. Source:

Consensus or crime? Attorney General Loretta Lynch admitted this month that she asked the FBI to look into investigating “climate deniers.” This week, Vice President Al Gore and several state Attorneys General announced a coalition “committed to aggressively protecting and building upon the recent progress the United States has made in combatting climate change.” If only scientists were as convinced as AGs.


Changing technology: Twenty of the world’s largest automakers are joining forces to voluntarily make life-saving automatic emergency braking (AEB) technology standard on all new passenger cars by September 1, 2022. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety believes the move could reduce the number of rear-end collisions in the United States by 40 percent.

Health care 

Cost of care: A new study finds individuals who enrolled in Blue Cross and Blue Shield health plans after the Affordable Care Act took effect are sicker, “received significantly more medical services” and cost more on average, than individuals enrolled before 2014. Their average medical costs were 19 percent higher than employer-based group members in 2014 and 22 percent higher in 2015. Source:

Friday Flashback 

This month in the archives: In April 1996, the Foundation published, “Term Limits: The Louisiana Experience.” It noted, “The imminence of an election works wonders in affecting legislators’ attitudes, especially when they know there will be those who will be ready and willing to remind their constituents of the error of their ways. In this case many (not all) voted to limit their own terms only because the alternative appeared to be even more distasteful.” 

The Forum: In her latest, “Checking Up On Health,” Benita Dodd discusses recent Georgia legislation, health care innovation and hand washing.


Foundation in the News: The Citizen published Kelly McCutchen’s commentary on tax reform. The Rome News-Tribune and The Citizen published Benita Dodd’s article on the Georgia Senate and Sunshine Week. Kelly McCutchen was quoted in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on the Georgia House of Representatives’ failure to approve tax reform. published a commentary by Logan Pike and John Nothdurft on welfare reform in Georgia. WABE-FM aired an interview with Dr. Matt Ladner conducted at the Foundation’s March Leadership Breakfast.

Social media: This week, the Foundation has 2,881 Facebook “likes” and 1,583 Twitter followers at Follow us on Instagram, too!

Visit to read our latest commentary, “Few Bright Spots under The Gold Dome,” by Kelly McCutchen. 

Have a great weekend!

Kelly McCutchen and Benita Dodd

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