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 and honor. In no other land could a boy from a country village, without inheritance or influential friends, look forward with unbounded hope. My whole life has taught me what America means. I am indebted to my country beyond any human power to repay”. – Herbert Hoover


Paycheck protection I: “More than 190,000 American workers have been laid off since March across 1,900 companies that received loans through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP),” according to a report by Good Jobs First. It found the companies intended to support 251,000 workers but laid off 76%; about one in eight of those workers lost their jobs permanently. “Indeed, four out of five of the PPP loans were approved after layoffs had already occurred.”

Paycheck Protection II: The Paycheck Protection Program had a small effect on employment, at a cost of $120,000 per job saved, according to findings by University of Chicago economists. They found much of the money that went to small businesses was used to build up savings buffers and make nonpayroll fixed payments, and it was not clear whether some of the companies that received the money would have laid off employees without it.

Doing well: Georgians are experiencing a golden age of economic freedom, Kyle Wingfield writes in his latest column, “Taking Stock of Georgia’s Economic Ranking.”

Energy and environment

Milestone: Georgia Power announced this week it has received the first shipment of nuclear fuel for the new reactor at Plant Vogtle near Augusta, representing the first nuclear fuel shipment for an AP1000 reactor in the United States. One nuclear fuel pellet, roughly the size of a pencil eraser, provides as much energy as one ton of coal or nearly 150 gallons of oil.


Off track: The city of Honolulu has now officially admitted that completing its rail transit project will cost more than $10 billion and will not be done until 2033. When first proposed back in 2006, it was supposed to cost less than $3 billion. When construction began in 2013, it was supposed to begin operations early this year. Source: The AntiPlanner   

Transportation Tuesday: Reason Foundation Director of Transportation Policy Bob Poole responded to an item in the October 27 Transportation Tuesday post that discussed alternative approaches to public-private partnerships. Read Poole’s response here.


Elective wait: Canadian patients waited longer than ever for elective medical treatment this year: a median wait time of 22.6 weeks. That’s 143% higher than the 9.3 weeks they waited in 1993, when national estimates of the wait for medically necessary elective treatments were first calculated. The 2019 wait, specialists reported, was 20.9 weeks; this year’s may have been influenced by COVID-19 but “historical data suggest they are also the result of decades of policy inertia,” according to the Fraser Institute.

An app for that: Citing the challenge of recruiting volunteers for research, Google has unveiled a Health Studies app that lets Android users participate in health studies by answering questions and contributing data. The first study focuses on respiratory illness.

Medical Monday: In this week’s edition of Checking Up On Health, learn how to help combat the COVID-19 depression and sadness likely to put a damper on the holidays; find out about the work being done to catch kids up on their vaccinations.

COVID-19 status update: COVID-19 vaccines are expected to begin arriving in Georgia within the next 10 days, according to public health officials, with frontline workers and the state’s most vulnerable receiving priority. Georgia’s state of public health emergency continues through January 8, 2021. As of Thursday afternoon, the Georgia Department of Public Health reports 9,123 COVID-19 deaths and 462,175 confirmed cases in the state since the pandemic’s start. The department updates the information daily at 3 p.m. Visit the website here.


Runoffs: Advanced in-person voting begins December 14 for the January 5 runoff elections. It ends December 31. Georgians can check their voter registration and absentee ballot status on the Secretary of State’s “My Voter Page” and request an absentee ballot for the runoffs here. The deadline to register or update a voter registration was December 7.

Candidates: In addition to the two U.S. Senate runoff elections on January 5, Georgia voters will also decide the race for Public Service Commissioner between Incumbent Lauren Bubba McDonald and Daniel Blackman.

Friday Flashback

This month in the archives: In December 10 years ago, the Foundation published, “Joel Klein on Education Lessons Learned.” It noted, “The people with the loudest and best-funded voices are committed to maintaining a status quo that protects their needs even if it doesn’t work for children. They want to keep their jobs by preserving a guaranteed customer base (a fixed number of students), regardless of performance.”

Visit to read the Foundation’s latest commentary, Evidence Shows Benefits of Ga. Tax Credit Scholarship Program,” by Heidi Holmes Erickson and Ben Scafidi.

Have a great weekend!

Kyle Wingfield and Benita Dodd

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