Friday Facts: June 21, 2019

If it’s interns, it must be the summer! Foundation President Kyle Wingfield (center) will be sharing his policy expertise with interns Jared Cooper of Georgia State University and Morgan Worthy of Vanderbilt University.

It’s Friday! 

Quotes of note 

“Men between the ages of 25 and 54 make up over 70 percent of the federal prison population, meaning those people are taken out of the workforce in their prime earning years right off the bat. This effect does not end at release. … A record of a felony conviction reduces the likelihood of an employer calling the applicant back by about 50 percent.” – Wharton Public Policy Initiative

“The real problem with industrial policy, economic development strategy, central planning or whatever you want to call these interventions is that government officials are inescapably plagued by ignorance of localized knowledge. Government officials cannot outperform the wisdom of the market at picking winners.” – Veronique de Rugy 


Mark your calendar! The 2019 Georgia Legislative Policy Forum takes place Friday, November 15, at the Renaissance Atlanta Waverly. The theme is “Wisdom, Justice, Mobility,” a play on Georgia’s motto: “Wisdom, Justice, Moderation.” Early Bird Registration opens next week! Click here to view video coverage of previous events.


Kudos: On Thursday, President Trump awarded the Medal of Freedom to economist Arthur Laffer, known as the “Father of Supply-Side Economics” and co-author of “Rich States, Poor States,” the American Legislative Exchange Council’s annual economic outlook that ranks states. “Dr. Laffer’s work has brought millions out of poverty and on track toward a better life,” a White House news release noted. Laffer’s “Laffer Curve” premise that lower tax rates change people’s behavior and stimulate economic growth has influenced the economic policy of leaders around the world.

Fowl fare: Atlanta-based Chick fil-A, founded in 1967, has been the top-rated fast-food restaurant on the American Customer Satisfaction Index every year since 2015. The Wall Street Journal reports this year Chick-fil-A is poised to become the third-biggest U.S. restaurant chain by sales, behind McDonald’s and Starbucks.

Energy and environment

Oh, deer: It’s not just urban sprawl encroaching on wildlife habitat, Jim Sterca writes in an article on white-tailed deer for the Property and Environment Research Council. It’s wildlife encroaching right back. “The reason is simple: Our habitat is often better than theirs. We offer up plenty of food and water. We plant grass, trees, shrubs, and gardens. We put in ponds and put out birdseed, mulch and garbage. We fill up dumpsters. All of this amounts to a giant buffet for all sorts of critters.”

Criminal Justice Reform

Correctional supervision: Nearly a third of the roughly 2.3 million people who exit probation or parole annually fail to successfully complete their supervision. Reasons range from committing new crimes to violating the rules and absconding, according to research from the Pew Charitable Trusts.

Recidivism: Nearly three in 10 former felons in Georgia are convicted of a felony again within three years of being released, according to the Georgia Department of Corrections. A guide by the RED Program proposes ways to improve the odds of landing a job and reduce recidivism for those who have paid their debt to society.

Incarceration: In 2018, there were 53,467 inmates in Georgia facilities, the highest since 2012 (54,281), when Georgia began to implement its criminal justice reforms. The rate of incarceration has actually declined, however, when Georgia’s 10% population increase since 2010 is taken into account.


Transit tech: Digital signage providing real-time updates and powered by solar panels and cellular networks is enhancing the experience of transit riders even at remote locations off the regular power grid, according to Metro Magazine. Updates include rider alerts, next bus information and route maps.

Pothole posse: Cities and online services once provided static street map information that lacked updates such as streets closed for road repairs and available parking locations. Maintenance crews would have to perform manual inspections to assess repair needs. Now, it’s crowdsourced: supplemented by real-time or near real-time information from city planners, operations superiors and residents reporting on mobile apps. Source:

Customer first: Uber and Lyft hold lessons as transit agencies work to reverse their ridership declines, Matt Fleck writes in Metro Magazine. “The ‘secret sauce’ of Uber and Lyft’s wild growth is an unflinching devotion to the customer experience. From their applications’ user experience, to their arrival predictions’ accuracy, Uber and Lyft maintain a laser-focus on driving customer satisfaction.”


Social media? Our Facebook page has 3,502 “likes.” Our Twitter account has 1,906 followers. Click on the links and join Foundation followers in staying abreast of policy news and views!

Foundation in the media: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution quoted Kyle Wingfield in an article about the Kemp administration’s work on federal healthcare waivers. The Marietta Daily Journal and Neighbor Newspapers quoted Benita Dodd in response to a Georgia Supreme Court ruling that allowed the Cobb County Development Authority to issue $35 million in revenue bonds for a new Kroger in east Cobb.

Friday Flashback 

Every week, the Foundation visits the archives to share a post from the past.

This month in the archives: In June 10 years ago, the Foundation published, “Removing the Political Shortage of Water.” It noted, “Instead of serving as an example of why not to privatize, Atlanta should serve as an example of how not to privatize. As Geoff Segal concluded in a 2003 Reason Foundation analysis of Atlanta’s agreement with United Water, ‘It’s important to note that even after some additional payments the city will still be saving a tremendous amount of money when compared to previous in-house operation.’”

Visit to read the Foundation’s latest commentary, “Healthcare Works When the Price is Right,” by John C. Goodman.

Have a great weekend!

Kyle Wingfield and Benita Dodd

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