Friday Facts: February 27, 2015

It’s Friday!


March 18: “Federalism, The Rule of Law and Regulatory Excess,” is the topic of the Foundation’s Leadership Breakfast with Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens. $30. Find out more here. Register online by Monday, March 16, here.

Quotes of Note

“If you look at the Akamai State of the Internet report … or other objective data, there’s no question that America is better off, especially considering our relatively lower population density – in terms of deployment, speeds, prices, whatever metric you choose. Moreover, if you look at investment, in the U.S. it’s $562 per household. In Europe, it’s only $244.” – Ajit Pai, Federal Communications Commissioner, on “net neutrality”

“I’m not interested in getting rid of the safety net; I’m interested in getting rid of dependency.” – Dr. Ben Carson

“When government determines what public services are to be provided, and families cannot make choices that best suit their circumstances, it breeds a sense of helplessness. Parental choice and control over children’s education – in preschool, kindergarten, high school and beyond – foster the parental engagement and self-reliance that children require.” – Prof. Paul E. Peterson

Pension reform

Modernizing pensions: Legislation introduced this month in the Georgia General Assembly would modernize teachers’ pensions to be more in line with private-sector retirement plans. The proposal is modeled after the successful reform of Georgia’s pension plan for new state employees seven years ago.


A quick trip: Don’t have enough time to read the Foundation’s 109-page plan for transportation improvements? Watch the three-minute video summary here.

Transportation funding still matters: The legislation is taking detours, but the Foundation’s February 18 Leadership Breakfast, focusing on transportation funding for Georgia, highlights the state’s needs. Click on the links to view or review remarks by Kelly McCutchen and Baruch Feigenbaum as well as the questions and answers. Baruch’s PowerPoint presentation can be accessed here.

The Internet of Things: It’s worth reinforcing that technology has a massive role in the future of transportation. Government Technology shares how the Internet will ease the lives of American commuters in the future, including “smarter” alarm clocks that will factor in traffic, traffic control devices and automobiles. Meanwhile, do you Waze?


The case for choice: “Black Men and the Struggle to Find Work,” an article in Education Next, cites a downward spiral. “When they enter primary school, low-income, inner-city black youth are clustered in failing schools. They are more likely to be suspended or enrolled in special education classes, less likely to graduate from high school on time, and, indeed, more likely to drop out of school altogether.” Kyle Wingfield’s column in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution highlighted this. These students deserve an opportunity to succeed.

Land use

Gentrification’s cost: Atlanta ranks fifth in gentrification, in which affluent residents move into once underinvested and predominantly poor communities. Development follows, typically accompanied by sharp increases in housing prices that can displace a neighborhood’s longtime residents. Portland, Ore., leads the nation. Source: Governing magazine

Friday Flashback

This month in the archives: In February 2005, the Foundation published, “Safeguarding Political Choice Benefits Members and Labor Unions.” It noted, “These workers, including state and municipal employees as well as agricultural workers and domestic service employees, may wish to bargain collectively with their employers. At the same time, however, they may prefer not to support a union’s political agenda.”


Web site of the Week: Project 21 is an initiative of The National Center for Public Policy Research to promote the views of African-Americans reflecting an entrepreneurial spirit, dedication to family and commitment to individual responsibility.

The Forum: In, “Checking Up On Health,” Benita Dodd opines on insurers overruling physicians, ObamaCare in the Supreme Court and why your doctor’s late.

Social media: Please “like” us (Facebook), join us ( and share us (Friday Facts)!

Visit to read our latest commentary, “A Primer on the Case for the Future of Choice in Health Care,” by Benita Dodd.

Have a great weekend! 

Kelly McCutchen and Benita Dodd  

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