Friday Facts: December 4 2020

It’s Friday! 

Thanks to the generosity of supporters, the Foundation’s Giving Tuesday campaign raised more than $10,000 this week! Your contributions are “Changing Georgia Policy, Changing Georgians’ Lives!”

Quotes of Note

“Here’s Williams’ roadmap out of poverty: Complete high school; get a job, any kind of a job; get married before having children; and be a law-abiding citizen. Among both black and white Americans so described, the poverty rate is in the single digits.” – Walter Williams, economist and columnist, who died December 2, 2020, at the age of 84

“If we are not as far down the road to serfdom as he feared, it’s in good part due to his voluminous writings and appearances which were by turns impassioned, funny, insightful, and memorable as hell. Walter E. Williams, rest in peace.” – Nick Gillespie

“Despite his opposition to the welfare state, as something doing more harm than good, Walter was privately very generous with both his money and his time in helping others. He figured he had a right to do whatever he wanted to with his own money, but that politicians had no right to take his money to give away, in order to get votes.” – Thomas Sowell


Opening schools: White House COVID-19 Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci has reversed himself and now recommends that schools remain open. As a commentary by the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) points out, two international studies have found no relationship between in-person K-12 learning and the spread of COVID-19. Another study found that childcare workers have experienced no greater risk of infection, either. In July, at the Foundation’s 2020 Georgia Legislative Policy Forum, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos insisted that COVID-19 should not disrupt in-person learning.

Tax credit scholarships: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution published an op-ed by Foundation Senior Fellow Ben Scafidi and Heidi Holmes Erickson that highlighted the benefits of Georgia’s tax credit scholarship program. They cited “significant cost savings to state and local taxpayers, and scholarship students have higher educational attainment than students in Georgia public schools, a win-win for Georgia students and taxpayers.” Read the Foundation’s news release here; read the full study here.

Read Kyle Wingfield’s latest column, “The Classroom is a Marketplace, Too.”


Transportation Tuesday: Dave Emanuel’s commentary, “Gwinnett Transit Referendum Postmortem,” takes a look at why voters once again rejected the county’s plan to expand public transportation.

State of the highways: Reason Foundation’s 25th Annual Highway Report, which evaluates the conditions and cost-effectiveness of state highway systems, ranks North Dakota the top-performing state for the third year in a row. Missouri ranks second overall. The worst-performing state is once again New Jersey. Georgia ranked 26th, unchanged from last year. “To improve in the rankings, Georgia needs to improve its urbanized area congestion. Georgia is in the bottom 10 of all states for congestion and has three of the most congested Interstate corridors in the country,” writes Baruch Feigenbaum, lead author, senior managing director of transportation policy at Reason and a Senior Fellow at the Georgia Public Policy Foundation.


12 Days of Christmas: The true cost of Christmas decreased 58.5 % in 2020, as this year’s index accounts for cancellations of many live performances, according to the 37th annual PNC calculation of the prices of the 12 gifts from the classic holiday song, “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” The PNC Christmas Price Index included adjustments for the pandemic’s impact on the cost of purchasing the presents. This year’s cost: $16,168.14.


Registration: With runoff elections set for January 5, 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 is December 7.


COVID-19 status update: As of Thursday afternoon, the Georgia Department of Public Health reports 8,879 COVID-19 deaths and 433,353 confirmed cases in the state since the pandemic’s start. The department updates the information daily at 3 p.m. Visit the website here.

Medical Monday: In this week’s edition of Checking Up On Health, read about COVID-19 vaccines, states’ accountability for Medicaid eligibility, and a cautionary tale on “Medicare for All.”

Friday Flashback

This month in the archives: In December five years ago, the Foundation published, “Education Savings Accounts: Getting ‘More’ for Georgia Students.” It noted,

It noted, “ESAs offer parents ‘more’ – more flexibility, more control and more opportunity to ensure that every education dollar is targeted at their child’s individual needs.”

Visit to read the Foundation’s latest commentary, “Montana’s Rescue of State Health Plan Holds Lessons,” by Marilyn Bartlett.

Have a great weekend!

Kyle Wingfield and Benita Dodd

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