Friday Facts: November 19th, 2010

It’s Friday! 


– “The several states composing the United States of America are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their general government; but by a compact under the style and title of a Constitution for the United States, and of amendments thereto, they constituted a general government for special purposes [and] delegated to that government certain definite powers and whensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force. … The government created by this compact was not made the exclusive or final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to itself, since that would have made its discretion, and not the Constitution the measure of its powers.”  – Thomas Jefferson 

– “Imagine that I break my arm, but instead of getting a cast I take a big shot of morphine. The drug will make me feel better, but it won’t fix my arm. When the effect wears off, the pain will come back. And instead of being restored to their proper position, my bones will remain out of place, perhaps solidifying there, which will surely mean chronic pain in the long run. Stimulus spending is like morphine. It might feel good in the short term for the beneficiaries of the money, but it doesn’t help repair the economy. And it causes more damage if it gets in the way of a proper recovery.” – Veronique de Rugy

What’s happening at the Foundation

– Highlighting the fine print: Every week, the Friday Facts closes with this statement: “FRIDAY FACTS is made possible by the generosity of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s donors. If you enjoy the FRIDAY FACTS, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to help advance our important mission by clicking here. Visit our Web site at Become a fan of the Foundation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter at” Become part of the solution: Please give generously to support Georgia’s premier public policy research group and its unique mission of limited government, individual responsibility and economic freedom.

– Were you at the Foundation’s Inaugural Legislative Policy Briefing? Click on the Foundation’s Facebook page photo album to see who was there:http:/ Video will be posted soon; for background materials from the presentations, go here:

– The Georgia Public Policy Foundation and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce will co-sponsor the second annual Education Reform Conference on December 3 at theMarriott City Center Hotel & Centreplex in Macon. This year’s conference focuses on K-12 accountability and features nationally acclaimed speakers and groundbreaking education research. For more information and to register, go to

– Register now for, ABCs+D = The Virtual Success of Digital Learning, a Georgia Public Policy Foundation Policy Briefing Luncheon at noon on Tuesday, December 7, at the Georgian Club in Cobb County. The event will be keynoted by Majority Leader Chip Rogers, recently named to the Digital Learning Council. The cost to attend is $35. For information and to register, click on this link:

– Join The Forum, an interactive community of Georgians discussing the issues of greatest concern with the Foundation’s experts. Register and start the discussion at


– Livability I: Atlanta’s success is in its market reach, writes transportation expert Alan Pisarski, in “Livability and All That.” Pisarski predicts work trip lengths will grow and not become walking trips. “It won’t be inner-city oriented, either. The metropolis of today is of immense size because many employers need a market of hundreds of thousands of potential workers to reach the ones they need. The Atlanta region with 26 counties is not a great economic engine because it is 26 charming adjacent hamlets, but rather because the market reach of employers, suppliers, customers and job seekers spreads over several million residents. In this environment it takes massive transportation capability to assure that market shed. … In the future, more of us will be free to live where we want and work where we want. Most will not be willing to trade living floor space for a close-by sidewalk café. Americans will drive to where they want to walk.”

– Livability II: Many local governments, including Atlanta, emphasize economic development rather than transportation benefits as they seek federal transportation fundingfor streetcar projects. The Reason Foundation’s Bob Poole cites a study of the literature and 13 specific streetcar projects for the Federal Transit Administration by BAE Urban Economics that notes: “The literature regarding empirical measurement of actual changes in economic activity, such as changes in retail sales, visitors, or job growth, is almost nonexistent for streetcars.” Also, few of the systems studied “had identified measurable objectives that were documented, and almost no objective has been evaluated or benchmarked, other than ridership projections in some cases.”


– Edufact I: Nowhere in the Constitution is there mention of education; it is a matter reserved for the states. Source: The History of the Formation of the Union under the Constitution (1943)

– Edufact II: The U.S. Department of Education has an annual budget of $63.7 billion and 4,200 employees. 

Health care

– The value of competition: Since 1992, medical care prices have increased an average of 98 percent, the price of physician services rose by 74 percent and the increase in the price of all goods, as measured by the consumer price index (CPI), was 53 percent. Yet an index of cosmetic surgery prices only rose only about 21 percent. Thus, while the price of medical care generally rose almost twice as fast as the CPI, the price of cosmetic surgery went up less than half as much. The contrast between cosmetic surgery and other medical services is important, says Devon Herrick of the National Center for Policy Analysis:  One sector has a competitive marketplace and stable prices; the other does not.

– Cutting to the chase: The bottom line is medical care, but the rhetoric and the talking points are about insurance, syndicated columnist Thomas Sowell reminds in, “Words vs. Realities.” Sowell notes that Americans tend to be more obese, consume more drugs and have more homicides, and none of that is going to change with “universal health care” because it isn’t health care. “It is medical care. When it comes to things where medical care itself makes the biggest difference – cancer survival rates, for example – Americans do much better than people in most other countries.” Source: 


– Economic progress vilified: Asked whether there is “a conflict between economic growth and environmental protection,” 44 percent of Americans say yes, according to to a Rasmussen poll released this week. Twenty-nine percent disagree and 26 percent say they are not sure, according to the poll results. In its 2010 Index of Economic Freedom, the Heritage Foundation  found “strong evidence” that “Economic freedom improves the overall quality of life, promotes political and social progress and supports environmental protection. … Economic freedom correlates with poverty reduction, a variety of desirable social indicators, democratic governance and environmental sustainability.”

– Visit to read the Foundation’s latest Issue Analysis, “New Deal for Georgia Criminal Justice,” by Marc A. Levin.

Have a great weekend.

Kelly McCutchen

FRIDAY FACTS is made possible by the generosity of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s donors. If you enjoy the FRIDAY FACTS, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to help advance our important mission by clicking here. Visit our Web site at Become a fan of the Foundation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter at

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