Friday Facts: August 9, 2013

August 9, 2013 

It’s Friday!

Congratulations to the winners of tickets to the Heartland Institute’s Emerging Forum: Lynda Whitt Chapman, Jeffrey Cole Copeland and Heather Moody Breeden. 


August 15: Just 25 seats remain for the Heartland Institute’s Emerging Issues Forum, the national organization’s annual daylong event for elected officials, policy analysts and government affairs professionals to confer and strategize about the top public policy issues of the day. It’s in Atlanta this year! Among the topics: Health Care, Education, Tax Reform and Energy. The Foundation will participate in an energy roundtable discussion. Find out more and register at

August 28: Register now for “Georgia Transportation: The Next Frontier,” a noon Policy Briefing Luncheon at the Georgian Club with Senior Fellow Baruch Feigenbaum, who is a Reason Foundation transportation analyst. $30. Information: 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:

August 25: Will you volunteer for Liberty? Volunteers needed to help staff a booth at the Peachtree Latino Festival in Piedmont Park on Sunday, August 25, for the LIBRE Initiative, a non-profit grassroots organization that advances the principles and values of economic freedom among the Hispanic community. To offer your time for this worthy effort, please e-mail .

Quotes of Note

“I should warn you that things in this city aren’t often the way they seem. Where but in Washington would they call the department that’s in charge of everything outdoors the Department of the Interior?” – Ronald Reagan

“The fact that the market is not doing what we wish it would do is no reason to automatically assume that the government would do better.” – Thomas Sowell

“The world runs on individuals pursuing their separate interests. The great achievements of civilization have not come from government bureaus. Einstein didn’t construct his theory under order from a bureaucrat. Henry Ford didn’t revolutionize the automobile industry that way. In the only cases in which the masses have escaped from the kind of grinding poverty you’re talking about, the only cases in recorded history, are where they have had capitalism and largely free trade. If you want to know where the masses are worse off, worst off, it’s exactly in the kinds of societies that depart from that. So that the record of history is absolutely crystal clear, that there is no alternative way so far discovered of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by the free-enterprise system.” – Milton Friedman

Energy and environment

Unintended consequences: The Clean Air Act, which targets the nation’s air quality, may have worsened the weather in some places. New climate simulations suggest that reducing the level of atmospheric aerosol particles produced by human activity might have been the main cause of a recent increase in tropical storm frequency in the North Atlantic, according to an article in Science News.

Taxes and economy

Cost vs. price: The current price of gasoline has caused many critics to point fingers at oil companies and accuse them of “greedy profiteering,” Ken Braun points out in an op-ed on “But consider this: If the price of gasoline since 1981 had shot up as fast as the price of the federal government, we’d all be paying $5.52 per gallon. If it had increased at the price of K-12 public education, the price would be pushing $7.00 a gallon.”


Off track: Next week, an appeals court will hold an expedited hearing in a federal lawsuit holding up construction on a 20-mile, $5.3 billion light rail project in Honolulu. The plaintiffs, including former Hawaii Gov. Ben Cayetano, argue the city misled the public about the total cost of the project and didn’t deliver fully on a required review of alternative solutions to a rail line. Panos Prevedouros, one of Hawaii’s leading transportation experts, says the rail plan that the feds approved will siphon off state funding for the area’s bus system. The project’s own report, which Prevedouros says is filled with overly optimistic estimates of rail ridership, still shows that Honolulu’s congestion will be worse in the future with rail. Source: Reason Foundation


Kudos to Lake Oconee Academy: Established in 2007, the Greensboro charter school’s Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT) scores rank it as the state’s top-performing public charter school and Georgia’s third highest performing public elementary school. Source: Georgia Charter Schools Association

Do the math: Computer and IT degrees completed in the United States have declined 11 percent since 2003 while the number of related computer and IT jobs grew 13 percent nationally. Meanwhile, while the number of degrees in other major fields – health, business, liberal arts and humanities, and engineering – has soared. Of the 15 metro areas with the most computer and IT degrees in 2012, 10 saw decreases from their 2003 totals. That includes New York City (a 52 percent drop), San Francisco (55 percent), Atlanta (33 percent), Miami (32 percent), and Los Angeles (31 percent). Source: NewGeography

Social media

YouTube: This week the Foundation covered the Governor’s Digital Learning Task Force meeting at Kennesaw State University. New YouTube videos from the event include presentations on system-wide strategies to better prepare the next generation of teachers; how Kennesaw State integrates teacher education programs with Cobb County public schools, and the overall value of online learning. From the archives: View Jack Kemp’s address to the Foundation in October 1993, less than one year after conservatives lost the White House. Subscribe to the Foundation’s YouTube channel to make the best use of our resources:

Facebook: More than 2,100 friends “like” the Foundation’s Facebook page; join us at to view daily policy news, views, updates, Quotes of Note and event photos.

More than 1,000 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 writes about the increase in prostate cancer radiation therapy, who’s in, who’s out, who’s paying more and who isn’t when it comes to ObamaCare. John Watson writes about Georgia’s rise as a Tech Powerhouse and why it’s happening. These and other recent posts in The Forum, the Foundation’s blog, are at

Visit to read our latest commentary, “Don’t Let Scare Tactics Scuttle Pro-Growth Tax Reform,” by Kelly McCutchen. 

Have a great weekend.

Kelly McCutchen and Benita Dodd 

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