Friday Facts: December 4, 2015

It’s Friday!


Today’s the deadline! Register TODAY to attend, “The Case for K-12 Student-Based Budgeting in Georgia,” a summit and luncheon on Tuesday, December 8 hosted by the Georgia Public Policy Foundation and featuring experts from the Reason Foundation and Allovue. The keynote speaker is Lisa Snell, Director of Education Reason. Open to the public. 10:30-1:30 p.m. at The Gallery, Cobb Galleria Centre. $30. Registration and information here.

Quotes of Note

“One of the standard pieces of Econ 101 that we try manfully to get across to people is that if you raise the price of something then people will buy less of it. … And this is important about the minimum wage debate. If you insist that people raise the wages they pay their employees then, other things being equal, they will employ fewer people.” – Tim Worstall

 [G]iving credit to the federal government for improving health care is akin to calling someone a hero for setting a city on fire and then suppressing the flames in one building.” – Justin Haskins

“Research shows that the political process encourages a systematic tendency to overestimate the benefit and underestimate the cost of infrastructure projects. In other words, it’s not the best projects that get implemented but the ones that look the best on paper.” – Veronique de Rugy 


Backpack’ funding: Student-based budgeting “empowers principals to fully align their school’s resources and strategic priorities without significant technical expertise,” according to Aaron Smith of the Reason Foundation. “Research has shown that effective principals can raise a student’s achievement level by between two and seven months of learning in just one academic year. And student-based budgeting can help principals maximize this impact.” Hear Aaron at our December 8 event on Student-Based Budgeting for Georgia.

School choice I: Enrollment in charter schools has grown by 62 percent in the past five years, according to the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools’ 10th annual report. More than 2.9 million students in 43 states and the District of Columbia attend charter schools, 6 percent of the total national public school enrollment.  

School choice II: Calling school choice a moral imperative, Shavar Jeffries, national president of Democrats for Education Reform, writes in Huffington Post: “Too many parents, particularly parents of color, have seen the systemic inequities in our country reinforced by schools that replicate and solidify socio-economic and racial segregation. In fact, for this reason, Black and Brown parents throughout the country favor parental choice.”

Health care

Top hospitals: Kudos to Piedmont Henry Hospital, the only Georgia hospital to make the Leapfrog Group’s 2015 list of 98 Top Hospitals nationwide. The list recognizes organizations that performed at the highest national levels in quality and safety.

ObamaCare’s fault: Consumers who choose high deductibles in a market-based system save money on premiums, leaving more to pay their out-of-pocket expenses, the Cato Institute’s Michael Cannon points out in Forbes. Under ObamaCare, however, “community-rating price controls and other regulations jack up people’s premiums considerably. Those folks then gravitate to high-deductible plans because buying less insurance helps them minimize those hidden taxes. ObamaCare often leaves those people worse off: They face either higher premiums, or higher deductibles, or both.”

Gaming the system: Many Americans are buying insurance during the ObamaCare special enrollment period – outside the open enrollment period – and staying only for a few months then dropping coverage. It’s hurting providers and insurance companies. Aetna’s chief finance officer told investors these insured are “obviously getting service along the way, is really part of what’s straining this picture. … All that in and out obviously is not real conducive to having a good balanced risk pool for the long term.”


Rail and TODs: While MARTA pushes to expand rail service in metro Atlanta, a new study published in Access magazine notes that the key to reducing driving and car ownership at transit-oriented developments is not rail, “but other factors like higher density, greater walkability, and less parking.”

Friday Flashback 

This month in the archives: In December 2005, the Foundation published, “Road to Congestion Relief Paved with Common Sense.” It noted, “[W]hen transportation dollars are being diverted to projects with minimal impact instead of targeting required road improvements and flexible, cost-effective transit options that actually help those who need them – or relieve congestion – air quality and quality of life are impacted, too.”


Foundation in the news The Columbia News-Times and The Citizen published Benita Dodd’s Thanksgiving commentary on think tanks championing liberty.

Social media: The Foundation has more than 2,700 Facebook “likes” and more than 1,500 Twitter followers at Follow us on Instagram, too!

Visit to read our latest commentary, “Moving Toward Transparent and Student-based Funding Reform in Georgia,” by Aaron Smith and Benita M. Dodd.

Have a great weekend and a Happy Hanukkah!

Kelly McCutchen and Benita Dodd

P.S. Dec. 1 was Giving Tuesday. Visit our Facebook page for our 30 tongue-in-cheek reasons you should not contribute to the Foundation. Remember also to choose us as your beneficiary when you shop While all contributions to the Foundation are tax-deductible, the Amazon donation benefits us and costs you nothing!

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