Friday Facts: October 10, 2013

It’s Friday! 


Rogers Wade, Chairman of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees and former president of the Foundation, was presented with the University of Georgia Blue Key Service Award on October 3 in Athens. Eric Wearne, Senior Fellow at the Foundation and an assistant professor at the Gwinnett College School of Education, was honored as one of UGA’s 2014 40 Under 40 at a September 18 banquet at the Georgia Aquarium.

Quotes of Note

“When wealthy liberals attempt to demonstrate their own charita­ble bona fides by insisting that taxes should be raised, conservatives seethe. It is easy to be generous with other people’s money, and the idea that support for higher taxes is a mark of good character badly confuses intentions for effective action. This is a moral framework built not around altruism, but sanctimoniousness.” – Arthur Brooks

“The great virtue of a free market system is that it does not care what color people are; it does not care what their religion is; it only cares whether they can produce something you want to buy. It is the most effective system we have discovered to enable people who hate one another to deal with one another and help one another.” – Milton Friedman


Power to the parents: Georgia ranks fifth in the nation in the latest Parent Power Index published last week by the Center for Education Reform in Washington, D.C.

Up, up and away: Last week, President Obama said, “We’ve helped more students afford college with grants, tax credits and loans, and today, more young people are graduating than ever.” But college students loans are growing for ever-more expensive college educations that students hope will deliver enough income to let them pay off the debt, according to the Reason Foundation. Unfortunately, student loan defaults are increasing, too.


What about the children? A foster care outsourcing pilot program announced in April has been placed on indefinite hold for Athens-Clarke County and surrounding areas so that the Division of Family and Children Services can, “review the scope of the project,” according to the Georgia Department of Human Services. Unfortunately, according to an article in The Athens Banner-Herald, Athens has just 20 foster families and at least 150 children in need of placement. Read the joint commentary by Tarren Bragdon’s and Benita Dodd, “Fostering Better Care of Georgia’s Children.”


Welcome to Georgia: The 2014 edition of, “Rich States, Poor States,” ranks Georgia ninth in economic competitiveness and fifth in net domestic migration nationally.

The price of progress: Wealth creation in the digital era has so far generated few jobs, an Economist report notes. Entrepreneurs can turn their ideas into firms with huge valuations and hardly any staff. For example, with fewer than 50,000 workers each, giants such as Google and Facebook are a small fraction of the size of the 20th century’s industrial behemoths.

Critical-need careers: Governor Deal has proposed expanding Georgia’s Strategic Industries Workforce Grants (SIWG) with four additional areas of study in high demand: computer programming, certified engineering technician, film/set design, and precision manufacturing. This builds on an earlier initiative that provides full technical college tuition for students in seven critical-need fields of study.


Technology-driven: What if you could eliminate 90 percent of road vehicles? New technologies could make this possible, according to researchers at the University of Texas. Ride-sharing and rental services like Uber and Car2Go could achieve maximum potential when combined with self-driving vehicle technology. Among the benefits: less parking space needed.

Good highways: A new Reason Foundation review of the condition of state highways (which includes interstates) finds that, in general, they are improving. Highways are doing particularly well in Georgia, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, and Texas. Highways in Alaska, California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, and New Jersey are faring poorly.

Dynamic fares: The Uber ride-share service has come under fire for its “surge pricing,” writes Mark Perry of the American Enterprise Institute. Yet Washington, DC’s, Metro transit uses surge pricing as an efficient way to allocate scarce resources during peak demand periods. Atlanta’s MARTA still lags, however, and has yet to implement distance-based fares, let alone time-based fares.

Health care

Monster deficit lurks: Between 2001 and 2010, Medicare’s cumulative cash flow deficits totaled more than $1.5 trillion, or 28 percent of the total federal debt over the past decade. By 2020, as Baby Boomers continue to age into Medicare at the rate of more than 10,000 a day, Medicare’s cumulative $6.2 trillion in cash flow deficits will constitute 35 percent of total debt accumulation. Source: Galen Institute

Friday Flashback

October 8, 2004: Kelly McCutchen and Geoff Segal wrote, “More Competition in Corrections Department Will Lead to Additional Savings.” Today, a state report shows that not only is the cost to taxpayers of private state prison operations lower than government-run prisons, it is exhibiting a downward trend.


November 18: Mark your calendar for a Leadership Breakfast with Chris Barbic, superintendent of the Tennessee Achievement School District, who will share how that state gets the bottom 5 percent of low-performing schools out of the doldrums. Details coming soon!


Web site of the Week: Randal O’Toole is the Antiplanner at, “dedicated to ending government land-use regulation, comprehensive planning and transportation boondoggles.”

YouTube: If you missed the 2014 Georgia Legislative Policy Forum, find video of sessions and speakers here on our YouTube channel. See the latest new event photos on our newest Facebook page dedicated to the Forum:

The Forum: Benita Dodd’s, “Checking Up On Health,” is back, writing about how to prevent Ebola spreading in the United States, what inspires doctors a new MS treatment and more. Read this and recent posts at

Visit to read the latest commentary, Coping With Too Much Money,” by Randal O’Toole.

Have a great weekend! 

Kelly McCutchen and Benita Dodd  

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