Friday Facts: June 1, 2012

It’s Friday! 
– June 27 Policy Briefing Luncheon: Register now for “The Road to Freedom,”  a noon Policy Briefing Luncheon at Cobb County’s Georgian Club with Arthur Brooks,president of the American Enterprise Institute, focusing on his new book, “The Road to Freedom: How to Win the Fight for Free Enterprise.” The registration fee of $50 includes a copy of the book. For information and to register, go to

Quotes of note
– “When I work harder or longer hours in the free-enterprise system, I am generally paid more than if I work less in the same job. Investments in my education translate into market rewards. Clever ideas usually garner more rewards than bad ones, as judged not by a politburo, but by citizens in the marketplace. True fairness makes free enterprise not just an economic alternative. It makes it a moral imperative.” – Arthur Brooks, “The Road to Freedom”
– “Intellect is not wisdom.” – Thomas Sowell
– “The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government – lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.”– Patrick Henry
– Edufact: Did you know that about 10 percent of the nation’s public high schools produce 40 percent of the nation’s dropouts? That is, 1,617 of the nation’s 16,077 high schools are such “dropout factories.” The picture is far worse in Georgia: 110 of the state’s 383 high schools are “dropout factories.” That’s 29 percent – or more than one in four Georgia high schools! Source: Alliance for Excellent Education
– Education makes economic sense: In 2010, young adults ages 25–34 with a bachelor’s degree earned 114 percent more than young adults without a high school diploma or its equivalent, 50 percent more than young adult high school completers, and 22 percent more than young adults with an associate’s degree. Source: The Condition of Education 2012
 Solutions for HOPE: Scholarship reductions, means testing, gambling, etc. … Instead of focusing on more revenue for HOPE, Georgia should focus on how to lower tuition costs and enhance access to higher education. Higher Education’s “online revolution,” described in this week’s Wall Street Journal, offers great opportunities, and Georgia’s technical colleges and the University System are making progress already. Other cost-effective solutions include the Move On When Ready concept, about which the Foundation published a commentary in 2011, and early college programs for high school students, such as Dougherty County’s.

 T-SPLOST reminder: If you missed coverage of the study the Foundation released last week analyzing the July 31 Transportation sales tax referendum, you can view the event video
– Government oversight: In its largest single crackdown, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on Thursday announced the shutdown of 26 bus operations as “imminent hazards to public safety” and ordered 10 individual bus company owners, managers and employees to cease operations. American Bus Association President/CEO Peter Pantuso praised the move, which followed a yearlong investigation after several bus wrecks.

– July 12: Mark your calendar for the Friedman Legacy for Freedom Luncheon, an event in Gainesville, Ga., that will feature school choice expert Jay Greene. Last year, 85 events spanning six countries, 45 states and the District of Columbia held and event to mark the birthday of the late Milton Friedman.
 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.

 Good government: Kudos to Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens, who has issued an administrative order establishing rules for considering and retaining outside counsel on a contingency fee basis. Outside counsel for the state has never been paid on a contingency fee basis other than in routine collection matters. “Our goal is to serve as good stewards of taxpayers’ money and always employ outside counsel on the most economical terms possible,” Olens said. For transparency, contracts and payments will be posted online. 

Health care
– Fat tax? “There may be an argument for taxing fat; but there is no argument for taxing foods that fat people might eat,” says John Goodman of the National Center for Policy Analysis. He makes an excellent case for appropriate policies to address obesity in his most recent blog entry. “For one thing, such a tax is unfair. My secretary eats junk food and wears size zero dresses. Why should she have to pay more for lunch, because an obese person might eat the same type of food?” Read more at
– High cost of regulation: Insurance regulations in the federal health care reform law will raise premiums, as demonstrated in several states, including Maine, that have already implemented similar regulations. Maine gives a good picture of how much the regulations arbitrarily raised the cost of health insurance: After it recently repealed these regulations, premiums declined as much as 69 percent! Source: Wall Street Journal

Social media
– This week in The Forum: Read Benita Dodd’s Checking Up On Health blog post to find out what will happen after the U.S. Supreme Court rules on the health care law, how cost-effective HSAs are and what breakthrough has taken place in stem cell cultivation. Read this and other recent Foundation articles and posts on The Forum at
– Twitter: The Foundation has nearly 700 Twitter followers. Get your daily Foundation Fix by following us at!
– Facebook: The Foundation’s Facebook page has daily policy updates and event photo albums. We’re at 1,583 friends of freedom on Help us reach 2,000: Join us, “like” us and invite your friends to “like” us, too!

– Visit to read the Foundation’s latest commentary, Competitive Cross-State Selling of Individual Policies a Healthy Practice,” by Ronald E. Bachman.

Have a great weekend.

Kelly McCutchen

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