Friday Facts: March 23, 2018

It’s Friday! 


Georgia State Rep. Brett Harrell presents Kelly McCutchen with a copy of the House Resolution he sponsored commending Kelly for his role at the Georgia Public Policy Foundation from 1993 through 2017.  The Board of Trustees presented him with accolades from Congressman Barry Loudermilk and U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson at his farewell celebration this week. Find more photographs of the celebration at the Foundation’s Facebook page here.

TODAY IS THE REGISTRATION DEADLINE for the Foundation’s March 27 Leadership Breakfast, “Second Chances,” 8 a.m. at the Georgian Club. It marks Second Chance Month in April, which celebrates brighter futures for those who have repaid their debt to society. The panel comprises three Georgia leaders who champion “second chances:” Bill McGahan of Georgia Works!, Jay Neal, Executive Director of the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council of Georgia, and Andrea Shelton of Heartbound Ministries $30. Registration/information here.

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Quotes of note

“There is a sort of enthusiasm in all projectors, absolutely necessary for their affairs, which makes them proof against the most fatiguing delays, the most mortifying disappointments, the most shocking insults; and, what is severer than all, the presumptuous judgement of the ignorant upon their designs.” – Edmund Burke (1757) 

“I believe it may be regarded as a position warranted by the history of mankind that, in the usual progress of things, the necessities of a nation, in every stage of its existence, will be found at least equal to its resources.” – Alexander Hamilton (1787)

“He that will not apply new remedies must expect new evils; for time is the greatest innovator.” – Francis Bacon (1625)


Guy Benson and Mary Katharine Ham: End of Discussion, April 19 Policy Briefing Luncheon and Book Forum.

April 19: “End of Discussion,” a Foundation noon Policy Briefing Luncheon at the Buckhead Club in Atlanta. This book forum features conservative journalist and commentator Mary Katharine Ham and Guy Benson, Political Editor of and a Fox News contributor, discussing their (recently updated) book, “End of Discussion: How the Left’s Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free!” Registration is $60 and includes parking and the cost of the book. (Book signing) Registration/information here.


There’s gold in them thar hills: Lumpkin County (county seat, Dahlonega) went from No. 805 to No. 9 on the Census list of the nation’s Fastest-Growing Counties , based on the percentage increase of population, from 2016 to 2017. Jackson County’s city of Jefferson placed second on the list of 10 Largest-Gaining Micropolitan areas, both by percentage and numerical increase. Metro Atlanta, meanwhile, held its spot in 2017 as No. 3 in numerical gain over 2016 and the ninth most populous metropolitan area. Source: Census Bureau

Rosie the Riveter: Metro Atlanta ranks No. 9 in the nation on the number of manufacturing jobs held by women, with 73,197 women in the manufacturing sector (32 percent of the jobs), in a survey by MagnifyMoney. No. 1 is Los Angeles. Source: IndustryWeek

Health Care

Direct primary care: Applauding the Florida Legislature for passing direct primary care (DPC) legislation this month, the James Madison Institute notes, “Patients will benefit from the expansion of provider networks using DPC, doctors seeking to increase their ability to concentrate on patient care as opposed to overwhelming insurance paperwork will benefit, and lawmakers seeking to advance other elements of free-market health care policy reforms will benefit.” (In the session’s waning days, the Georgia House is still sitting on a bill the Senate passed unanimously last year.)

Painkiller I: Americans fill about 4.5 billion prescriptions each year, at a cost of more than $323 billion. In 11 states – including Georgia – the top prescriptions are opioid pain pills that are mixtures of acetaminophen and hydrocodone (Vicodin and Norco), according GoodRx, an online prescription cost service. Source: Kaiser Health News

Painkiller II: The amount of opioids prescribed per person in 2015 was three times higher than in 1999, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “The most serious problem now is physicians that are simply not prescribing narcotics to patients anymore, forcing them to resort to illegal drugs and risking overdoses,” writes Dr. Vijay Rajput in He blames the ubiquitous “pain scale,”  noting that patients’ pain tolerance varies, and argues it is time to, “instead ask patients about their abilities to function at work, home and in other daily activities. This is the best way to assess chronic pain syndrome.”

Criminal justice reform

Overcriminalization: Many states and local governments are creating new crimes at an alarming rate. Did you know that unauthorized use of Smokey the Bear’s image carries a potential prison sentence? So does the unauthorized use of the slogan, “Give a hoot, don’t pollute!” The Georgia House has voted to make it illegal for a motorist to “physically hold or support, with any part of his or her body,” their cell phone. A new paper by Ronald Lampard of the American Legislative Exchange Council discusses overcriminalization, mens rea and instances of where states and the federal government have sought to address these issues.

Pension reform

Testimony: Foundation Senior Fellow Leonard Gilroy testified at a hearing of the House Budget and Fiscal Affairs Oversight Committee Wednesday about the solvency of the Teachers Retirement System in Georgia. Gilroy, managing director of the Pension Integrity Project and Director of Government Reform at Reason Foundation, was invited to testify by the committee chairman, Rep. Chuck Martin. Visit here to view the Foundation’s February 20 event on teacher pensions with Gilroy and Chuck Martin.

Energy and environment

Human Achievement Hour: Human Achievement Hour will be marked at 8:30 p.m. Saturday and celebrates human innovation and advances in technology. Find out more at


Choice: Support for taxpayer-funded vouchers to send their children to private schools is at 76 percent of African-American and Asian-American parents and 72 percent of Hispanic-Latino American, according to 2017 Schooling in America, a scientific opinion survey by EdChoice.

Friday Flashback

This month in the archives: In March 10 years ago, the Foundation published, “Give Income Tax Cuts a Chance.” It noted, “[R]educing marginal tax rates increases people’s incentive to work, save and create new businesses. Because Georgia’s neighbors Tennessee and Florida do not have income taxes, such a move would be particularly useful.” (Reform could finally be here!)

Visit to read our latest commentary, “Rideshare can Rescue Transit, If Transit Gets on Board,” by Daniel Sperling and Steven Polzin.

Have a great weekend.

Benita Dodd

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