Quotes of note
– “It does not take much strength to do things, but it requires a great deal of strength to decide what to do.” – Elbert Hubbard
– “It is one of the saddest spectacles of our time to see a great democratic movement support a policy which must lead to the destruction of democracy and which meanwhile can benefit only a minority of the masses who support it. Yet it is this support from the Left of the tendencies toward monopoly which make them so irresistible and the prospects of the future so dark.” – Friedrich von Hayek
– September 21: Save the date! The Foundation’s third annual Georgia Legislative Policy Briefing will be held in Atlanta on Friday, September 21. Please note that the event venue has changed to the Atlanta Hilton/Marietta Conference Center. Details to follow. Past events have featured Wall Street Journal editorial board member Steve Moore, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus.
– Haste makes waste: Mercer, an employer consultant company, surveyed 4,000 employers after the Supreme Court’s health law decision and found that one in six will not prepare for big changes set to take effect in 2014, preferring to wait until after the November election to make plans. Source: Kaiser Health News
Criminal justice reform
– Crime down: For the second year in a row, the crime rate in Texas dropped “significantly,” according to a report from the Texas Department of Public Safety. The crime rate in Texas fell 8.3 percent in 2011 – a year when the incarceration rate dropped 1.45 percent as well. This demonstrates that the crime rate can be sharply lowered while reducing the share of people who are locked up and validates the smart approach to cutting crime that Georgia embraced last year.
– More reforms ahead: Georgia’s Special Council on Criminal Justice Reform will reconvene on Monday at the State Capitol and is expected to consider juvenile justice code reforms that would be presented to the General Assembly.
– Choice remarks: Facing an onslaught of lawsuits this year against Louisiana’s expanded school voucher program, Louisiana Superintendent of Education John C. White commented, “It’s sad that people would want to get in the way of choosing what’s right for their kids.”
– Saying goodbye to success: Officials at Tech High, the successful charter school that GPPF helped establish in 2004, announced with sadness last week that the already cash-strapped school must shut its doors after the Atlanta Public Schools’ system unexpectedly cut funding by about $360,000. Source: Saporta Report
– Related Edufact: Census Bureau data shows that the school district of Washington, D.C., spends a total of $29,409 per pupil, according to Andrew Coulson of the Cato Institute. The same data shows the Atlanta Public Schools system spends a total of $18,447 per pupil. (Tech High School, if it could have remained open, would have received less than $7,500 per pupil.)
– Ne’er a truer word: “It is pretty clear now that giving schools independence – so long as it is done in the right way, with the right monitoring, regulation and safeguards from the state – works,” notes an editorial in The Economist. “Yet it remains politically difficult to implement. That is why it needs a strong push from national governments. Britain is giving school independence the shove it needs. In America, artificial limits on the number of charter schools must be ended, and they must get the same levels of funding as other schools.”
Taxes and regulation
– America’s Top States for Business: Texas was ranked No. 1 for business in a CNBC study released this week, while Georgia dropped from fifth place to ninth in the nation, largely because of a drop in its rankings on education and access to capital. Among the various categories, the Peach State finished third for infrastructure and transportation and No. 1 for its workforce. Ahead of Georgia in the Southeast is North Carolina, at No. 4. Trailing Georgia were Tennessee (16), Florida (29), South Carolina (42) and Alabama (38). Rhode Island finished dead last. Read more at http://www.cnbc.com/id/46414199/.
– Foundation TV: Watch Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, discuss “The Road to Freedom,” during the Foundation’s June 27 Book Forum and Policy Briefing Luncheon, athttp://youtu.be/QPTcx-4-8IY. Watch Kelly McCutchen discuss how federal banking laws threaten Georgia’s economic recovery at http://youtu.be/3JXO47Kydtg.
– Facebook: The Georgia Public Policy Foundation reached 1,607 “likes” this week! Join us, “like” us and support us at www.facebook.com/GeorgiaPolicy.
– Twitter: Nearly 700 follow the Foundation tweets. Follow us, too, at www.twitter.com/gppf.
– This week in The Forum: Read recent Foundation articles and posts on The Forum at http://forum.georgiapolicy.org/.
– On a special note: Thank you for the huge outpouring of support and sympathy for the closing of Tech High School. The Foundation, the Technology Association of Georgia, the Atlanta business community, Georgia Tech, the Technical College System of Georgia and many other dedicated business and community leaders all made great contributions to this worthy cause. It has been the most frustrating and the most rewarding thing I have ever been involved in. Tech High brought together rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black and white like nothing I have ever witnessed. This motivates us to fight even harder for better opportunities for our children.
– Visit www.georgiapolicy.org to read the Foundation’s latest commentary, “Health Law Taxes, Penalties and Games Politicians Play,” by Ronald Bachman.
Have a great weekend.
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