Friday Facts: August 30, 2013

It’s Friday!

Quotes of Note

“Workmen’s compensation, hours and conditions of labor are cold consolations, if there be no employment.” – Calvin Coolidge

“The time is always right to do what is right.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

“A talented con man, or a slick politician, does not waste his time trying to convince knowledgeable skeptics. His job is to keep the true believers believing. He is not going to convince the others anyway.” – Thomas Sowell


Mark your calendar: Georgia’s Digital Economy is the focus of a half-day event on Monday, September 16, at the Georgia Tech Global Learning Center. The discussions, hosted by the Foundation and Google, include an all-star entrepreneurship panel, a discussion of the patent troll problem and how Georgia is leading the way in digital learning. The event begins with some fun Google product demos, breakfast and networking at 8am. There is no charge for admission, but registration is required. Information and registration:

October 11: Register now for the fourth annual Georgia Legislative Policy Forum, which takes place Friday, October 11, at the Renaissance Waverly Atlanta. Last year, hundreds of Georgia’s legislators, businesspeople and interested citizens attended to hear national policy experts discuss free-market solutions to Georgia’s challenges. Information:

Energy and environment

Five myths about fracking: “It was the American senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan who once said: ‘You are entitled to your opinions, but not to your own facts,'” Matt Ridley writes in an article Britain’s Times newspaper citing some of the myths about fracking: that shale gas production has polluted aquifers; that it releases more methane than other forms of gas production that it uses a worryingly large amount of water; that it uses hundreds of toxic chemicals and that it causes damaging earthquakes.

Clean energy: Nuclear energy produces more than 25 percent of Georgia’s electricity, making it the single largest source of carbon-free energy in our state. Nuclear energy provides nearly two-thirds of the United States’ carbon-free energy, highlighting the important role that this resource plays in reducing air pollution and protecting our environment. Source: Augusta Chronicle

Your tax dollars at work: The U. S. Environmental Protection agency (EPA) announced this week it is unveiling a new online Green Sports Resource Directory “that can help teams, venues and leagues save money and reduce carbon pollution through increased energy efficiency,” a key part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan.

Scientists’ responsibilities: In her blog, Judith Curry of Georgia Tech discusses issues of “motivated reasoning” (bias) after scientists discouraged a colleague from publishing a paper that would provide fodder for global warming skeptics. “Research scientists all have the responsibilities to adhere to the principles of ethical research and professional standards as outlined in the document On being a scientist.  But what happens when other responsibilities get in the way of these professional standards?” she asks.

Health care

Coming out of the woodwork: Georgia is not participating in expanding eligibility for Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Even so, the state expects 46,000 new Medicaid enrollees in Fiscal Year 2014 and 65,000 in FY15. Known as the “woodwork effect,” these are individuals who meet current Georgia requirements for Medicaid but have not signed up. The additional state costs are estimated to be $14.3 million in FY14 and $40.9 million in FY15.

By the numbers: The total additional cost to state taxpayers of implementation of ObamaCare is more than $100 million in FY15 alone.


Results matter: After 30 years of stagnation, high school graduation rates increased by 6 percentage points between 2000 and 2010, while the black-white and Hispanic-white graduation rate gap narrowed to 8.1 percentage points and 8.5 percentage points, respectively, according to new research from Education Next. According to researchers, improved K‒8 education, decreased teen birth rates, and lower incarceration rates all may have contributed to the rise in graduation rates.

Give kids a chance: Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana is outraged by a Department of Justice lawsuit asking a judge to shut down a school choice program that allows low-income students in failing schools to receive a voucher that pays their tuition at a school of their parents’ choosing. “It’s incredible to me that the Justice Department is trying to use the same rules that were designed to protect kids –  low-income, minority kids, [rules] designed to help them go and get a better education – are trying to use those rules to trap these kids in failing schools,” Jindal said this week. The Justice Department argued in a petition filed last week that this program impedes desegregation efforts. Jindal pointed out that 90 percent of the recipients are minorities.  Source: Washington Examiner


Next steps for Georgia: At Wednesday’s Policy Briefing Luncheon, the Reason Foundation’s unveiled its newest transportation analysis, “Practical Strategies for Increasing Mobility in Atlanta.”  Reason’s Transportation analyst and study author, Baruch Feigenbaum, outlined a proposal that includes new managed lanes on regional interstates, extensive remodeling of arterial roads, a new east-west bypass in the northern suburbs, a tunnel to help redirect north-south traffic from I-675 to GA 400; and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) to connect the region. View Feigenbaum’s presentation on YouTube here. Read Foundation Editor Mike Klein’s article on the transportation proposals in The Forum. Access the full study here.

Sour grapes: Growing opposition led the Dallas City Council to set aside proposed tougher ordinances targeting Uber, which offers a ride with a few taps of an app. Uber, which operates in dozens of cities, uses your smartphone’s GPS to track you down, sends you the flat rate for getting from Point A to B and dispatches a nearby car-service driver, whose progress you can track. Cab companies complain that Uber is operating outside city regulations. The city wanted to set a limousine’s off-the-lot sticker price at more than $45,000, require “limousine service to be arranged at least 30 minutes before the service is provided” and establish “minimum limousine fares.” Source: Dallas Morning News

Social media

YouTube: Foundation panelists at the Heartland Institute’s Emerging Issues Forum in Atlanta included Senior Fellow Dr. Christine Ries and Foundation Vice President Benita Dodd. View the panel discussions and other Foundation videos on the Foundation’s YouTube channel at

Facebook: The Foundation’s Facebook page has more than 2,100 “likes.” Join us at to view daily policy news, views, updates, Quotes of Note and event photos.

About 1,030 Twitter followers get their Foundation news at Ask your high school or college student to like the Foundation’s Student Outreach Scholarship page on Facebook at

The Forum: In “Checking Up On Health,” Benita Dodd shares articles on when it is stupid for researchers to KISS, how online symptom checkers are helping parents and what’s happening to “healthy” school lunches. Find this and other recent posts in The Forum, the Foundation’s blog, at

Visit to read our latest commentary, “Acid Rain Cleans Up Its Act,” by Harold Brown.

Have a great Labor Day weekend!

Kelly McCutchen and Benita Dodd 

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