Friday Facts: December 13, 2013

It’s Friday!

It’s nearing year’s end, and we’d like to remind you: The Georgia Public Policy Foundation and the Friday Facts, our most popular product, exist thanks to your support and contributions. Please help us continue “Changing Georgia Policy, Changing Georgians’ Lives,” with your tax-deductible end-of-year contribution at A gift of $10, $25, $50 or $100 will help us promote our message of liberty and opportunity. If you have already given, thank you!

Quotes of Note

“Where-ever law ends, tyranny begins, if the law be transgressed to another’s harm; and whosoever in authority exceeds the power given him by the law, and makes use of the force he has under his command, to compass that upon the subject, which the law allows not, ceases in that to be a magistrate; and, acting without authority, may be opposed, as any other man, who by force invades the right of another.” – John Locke

“In a market economy a process of redistribution of wealth is taking place all the time before which those outwardly similar processes which modern politicians are in the habit of instituting, pale into comparative insignificance, if for no other reason than that the market gives wealth to those who can hold it, while politicians give it to their constituents who, as a rule, cannot.” – Ludwig Lachmann

“The Xmas holidays have this high value: that they remind Forgetters of the Forgotten, & repair damaged relationships.” –  Mark Twain, letter to Carlotte Welles, 30 December 1907


January 28, 2014: Join the Georgia Public Policy Foundation and education experts Eric Wearne, Jim Kelly and Ben Scafidi at Cobb County’s Georgian Club for an 8 a.m. Leadership Breakfast and panel discussion celebrating National School Choice Week: “School Choice and Georgia: An Update.” The first 50 people to register for this event will receive their very own school choice woobie – and you can wear it to the School Choice Rally at the Capitol that day! This event is $25 to attend. Register by Friday, January 24, 2014, online at

Economic Freedom

Georgia ranked 12th overall and 8th in the United States in the the ninth annual Economic Freedom of North America report. The study examines key indicators of economic freedom based on the size of government, taxation, regulation, rule of law and property rights and other relevant factors in 50 states and 10 Canadian provinces.

IRS Backs Down: The feds have agreed to return the bank accounts of two Michigan small businesses taken through civil forfeiture. The case continues in order to end the IRS’s practices of seizing bank accounts because they don’t like how cash is deposited and denying property owners a prompt hearing before a judge to contest the seizure. (An effort to reform civil asset forfeiture in Georgia is on next year’s legislative agenda.)


New evidence indicates that universal preschool is ineffective, says Russ Whitehurst, director of the Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution. The Vanderbilt University study is the first large-scale random trial of a state pre-kindergarten program.

Energy and environment

High energy: The United States will surpass Russia and Saudi Arabia as the world’s top oil producer by 2015, and be close to energy self-sufficiency in the next two decades, amid booming output from shale formations, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said recently. Source:

Health care

Is this the future of affordable, market-oriented, cash-basis health care? Dr. Keith Smith, founder of the Surgery Center of Oklahoma (SCO) in Oklahoma City, is bringing market forces to health care by posting his prices online.


“Federal money is in many ways ‘tainting’ many of our projects, as when you accept federal dollars you must accept federal rules as well. For example, we had a project in Virginia Beach we recently completed at 60% of the original estimate, and part of the reason we saved 40% is that no federal funding was involved. We got it done cheaper and faster without it.”  – Sean Connaughton, Virginia Secretary of Transportation Source: Reason Foundation Transportation Newsletter

Media and social media

YouTube: We have more than 35,000 views on our YouTube channel already. View our latest videos on foster care reform and other issues at

Facebook: The Foundation’s Facebook page is nearing 2,200 “likes.” Join us at to view daily policy news, views, updates, Quotes of Note and event photos. Ask your high school or college student to like the Foundation’s Student Outreach Scholarship page on Facebook at

The Foundation’s Twitter account is closing in on 1,100 followers! Get your Foundation news at

The Forum:
 Mike Klein was in Forsyth, GA for the Georgia Council on Criminal Justice Reform’s latest meeting. Read his account of the ideas discussed on prisoner re-entry and other posts at

Visit to read our latest commentary, “Alternative Bulbs: Another Phony Market Propped Up by Government,” by Paul Chesser.

Have a great weekend!

Kelly McCutchen and Benita Dodd

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