Friday Facts: December 23, 2016

It’s Friday!

In memoriam:  Our condolences to the friends, family and colleagues of Ed Noble, an Atlanta giant who passed away on Dec. 4 at age 88. A visionary who changed Atlanta retail, he developed Lenox Square, one of the first shopping malls in the United States. “Ed was a man of vision and courage,” said former Atlanta Mayor Sam Massell. Mr. Noble was a member of the original Board of Governors of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation.

Sugar and spice: The Georgian Club, where Foundation events are typically held through the year, displays a beautiful gingerbread replica of an affiliate clubs in the entrance lobby for the December holidays.
‘Tis the season: The Georgian Club, where Foundation events are typically held through the year, displays a beautiful gingerbread replica of an affiliate club in the entrance lobby this month.

In gratitude: The Georgia Public Policy Foundation depends on the support of our friends. We are grateful and frugal stewards of your contributions and cherish your trust in us to promote limited government, free enterprise and individual responsibility for 25 years in Georgia. This holiday season, we hope and your family receive the gifts of a Christmas filled with blessings and a New Year full of health and happiness. And if you need an idea for a last-minute Christmas present, give the gift of ideas with a (free) subscription to the Foundation’s Friday Facts! Just “gift” this link to our signup form:


January 26, 2017: Typically the Foundation’s first event of the year, the National School Choice Week Leadership Breakfast is keynoted by education expert Dr. Ben Scafidi. The topic is, “National School Week: Where’s The Money?” Cobb County’s Georgian Club, 8 a.m. $30. Information and registration here.

February 22, 2017: Mark your calendar! Join the Georgia Public Policy Foundation and the Institute for Justice for a Leadership Breakfast and Book Forum with Dick Carpenter, co-author of, “Bottleneckers: Gaming the Government for Power and Private Profit.” Cobb County’s Georgian Club, 8 a.m. $30. Details to follow. 

Quotes of Note

“The principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale.” – Thomas Jefferson (1816)

“The nation just experienced a raucous presidential campaign during which there was silence about the crisis of the entitlement state – an aging population’s pension and health care entitlements swallowing government resources, with alarming national security implications. But technology, pursued determinedly, has the potential to make peace through making deterrent strength less expensive.” – George Will

“Those working in an industry that requires licensing learn that they can use an occupational license to choke out the competition. They can even command higher prices without delivering improved products or services. In our forthcoming book, we describe those who use government regulations to perpetuate their own advantages in a market as ‘bottleneckers.’ – Dick Carpenter, Chip Mellor, co-authors, “Bottleneckers: Gaming the Government for Power and Private Profit 

Then and now: In 1991, when the Foundation was established, traffic fatalities totaled 1,393 in Georgia. In 2015 (latest data), traffic fatalities were 1,432 – an increase in numbers but a huge decrease in the fatality rate, considering the state’s population increase from 4.8 million to 10.2 million.  Yes, our roads are safer!


Moving along: If you want your metro Atlanta region commute to be shorter, you should move … to Athens. According to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, Athens residents reported the shortest average commute at 19.5 minutes; the worst was Lithonia, at 38.1 minutes. The average commute time in Georgia is 27 minutes. Source:

Georgia Legislature 2017 

The issues: The General Assembly will begin a new two-year session on January 9. Be prepared! Read the Foundation’s policy proposals in our Guide to the Issues, focusing on education, transportation, health care, taxes, criminal justice and more. 


Winning choice: Lake Oconee Academy, a public charter school, received an elementary score of 97.2, a middle school score of 97, and a high school score of 96 on the Georgia Department of Education’s College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI). The Foundation is proud to have helped Lake Oconee Academy develop its charter, which was approved in 2007.

Energy and environment 

No-drilling order: President Obama’s final hours in office are bringing a surge in executive orders, including unilaterally blocking the government from issuing new offshore drilling leases in large parts of the Arctic and Atlantic oceans. Media outlets have described it as a permanent ban, but Michael Batsch of CFACT notes, “It’s only ‘permanent’ if President-elect Donald Trump or Congress choose not to challenge it.” 

Health care 

Direct primary care: The Foundation has championed the direct primary care (DPC) approach to health care for low-income Georgians. This operates much like a fitness club membership for participants, with monthly premiums, unlimited use and hefty discounts on many procedures. The cost savings and quality of care have been demonstrated in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Florida and elsewhere. Source: News reports 


Cost of Christmas. Prices for items from the Christmas carol “The Twelve Days of Christmas” rose by 0.7 percent from last year, according to PNC’s tongue-in-cheek annual Christmas Price Index. That’s slightly up from the 0.6 percent pace in 2015. The biggest increase was 29.3 percent in the price of Two Turtle Doves, because of their scarcity this year. If you’re willing to settle for partridge in a pear tree, however, partridge prices dropped 20 percent and pear tree prices were stagnant. The full deal would cost $156,507.88. 

Friday Flashback 

This month in the archives: In December 10 years ago, the Foundation published, “Facts Not Fear on Air Pollution.” It noted, “The bureaucratic incentives built into air quality regulation explain why regulators and activists work so hard to make it appear that air pollution is still a serious problem, even as air pollution has reached historic lows that have, at worst, minor effects on people’s health.”


Foundation in the news: Fetchyournews published, “The Glacial Update of Georgia’s Water Plan,” by Benita Dodd. The Tifton Gazette and Dalton Daily Citizen reported on the Foundation’s recent event on Georgia Education reform. 

Social media: The Foundation has 3,102 Facebook “likes!” Our Twitter account has 1,684 followers at Follow us on Instagram, too!

Merry Christmas!

Kelly McCutchen and Benita Dodd

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