Friday Facts: June 15, 2012

It’s Friday! 

– Register by Monday, June 25, for the Foundation’s noon Policy Briefing Luncheon and Book Forum on Wednesday, June 27. The event, “The Road to Freedom,” takes place at Cobb County’s Georgian Club with keynote speaker Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute. Sponsored by Ray Padron, president of Brightworth Private Wealth Management, the event focuses on Brooks’ 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

- "Are you willing to spend time studying the issues, making yourself aware, and then conveying that information to family and friends? Will you resist the temptation to get a government handout for your community? Realize that the doctor's fight against socialized medicine is your fight. We can't socialize the doctors without socializing the patients. Recognize that government invasion of public power is eventually an assault upon your own business. If some among you fear taking a stand because you are afraid of reprisals from customers, clients, or even government, recognize that you are just feeding the crocodile hoping he'll eat you last." – Ronald Reagan
- "The more the state 'plans' the more difficult planning becomes for the individual." – Friedrich A. von Hayek

Taxes and Regulation

– Too much of a good thing? Based on a ranking of regulations, it’s now easier to start a business in Slovenia, Estonia and Hungary – three former Iron Curtain countries – than in the United States. Canada, our liberal northern neighbor, is now head and shoulders above America in entrepreneurial friendliness. It requires the least number of procedures to start a business of any of the developed nations. Source: Investor’s Business Daily

- Recipe for success: States with highly progressive income-based tax systems tend to experience more volatility and should therefore have larger reserves to weather economic downturns. States that rely more on consumption taxes, which tend to be more stable, need not have as much in reserves to smooth over revenue declines. Source: Tax Foundation



– The end of the lecture hall? Stanford University President John Hennessy says the lecture hall’s significance is fading as university education moves online. This past fall, more than 100,000 students around the world took three engineering classes online through Stanford. “I’m a believer in online technology in education,” Hennessy said. “I think we have learned enough about this to understand that it will be transformative.”  Instead of lectures, “this generation is completely comfortable watching a video online; for them, it’s not markedly different than having a person up at the front of the classroom. They are happy using technology.”

– Edufact: Young people can virtually assure that they and their families will avoid poverty if they follow three elementary rules for success, according to Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Ron Haskins: Complete at least a high school education, work full time and wait until age 21 and get married before having a baby. Census data show that people who followed all three rules had only a 2 percent chance of being in poverty and a 72 percent chance of joining the middle class (defined as above $55,000 in 2010). These numbers were almost precisely reversed for people who violated all three rules, elevating their chance of being poor to 77 percent and reducing their chance of making the middle class to 4 percent. Source: Wall Street Journal


–  Where transit goes: Workers use transit to get to jobs in a multitude of locations that do not possess the built environment characteristics long thought to be important by most scholars in determining transit ridership, according to a new study by Florida State University researchers Jeffrey Brown and Gregory Thompson. A destination can be pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use and aesthetically pleasing, but if there aren’t the right kinds of jobs in these places, hoped-for ridership will not materialize, they conclude. “Before we try to change the built environment, we need to make sure transit takes riders where they need to go. The emphasis on making transit trips direct and linking riders to employment centers, which tend to be located in suburban locations, are two important lessons for agencies seeking to increase ridership.” Source: Surface Transportation Innovations

– T-SPLOST update: The debate over the upcoming vote on a regional penny sales tax for transportation is heating up as July 31 approaches  If you missed coverage of the study the Foundation released analyzing the July 31 referendum, find the commentary and study at and view the event video here:



– 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 were held 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.

Health care

- Wrong for women: As Americans await the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on whether President Obama’s signature health-care overhaul will pass muster, Grace-Marie Turner of the Galen institute calls the law "an assault on women’s freedom."  Writing in National Review Online, Turner gives 10 reasons that the law will drive up women's health-care costs, deprive them of choices, and make it harder for them to find doctors for their families. Read more here: 

Social media
– This week in The Forum: In her Checking Up On Health blog post in The Forum, the Foundation’s Benita Dodd writes that the rate of Medicaid spending growth is outpacing education spending, but Georgia is benefiting from the efficiencies of Georgia’s Medicaid Care Management Organizations. Forum Editor Mike Klein writes about Kaiser Permanente four-year-long journey to reinvent its business and medical practice models in Georgia. Read these 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 1,592 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, “No Reason to Panic Over Supreme Court Decision.”

Have a great weekend.


Kelly McCutchen

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