Friday Facts: October 19, 2012

It’s Friday! 

Quotes of Note

“There exists in the human heart a depraved taste for equality, which impels the weak to attempt to lower the powerful to their own level, and reduces men to prefer equality in slavery to inequality with freedom.” – Alexis de Tocqueville

“It is seldom that liberty of any kind is lost all at once.” – David Hume

“Tell me and I forget. Show me and I remember. Involve me and I understand.” – John Gay

“Regardless of what Congress does about the January 1 “fiscal cliff,” serious transportation analysts are coming to grips with the reality that “business as usual” will not be an option for federal transportation funding.” – Robert W. Poole, Reason Foundation 

Health care 

What happens if the federal health care is overturned? John Goodman of the National Center for Policy Analysis provides an overview of federal health care reform ideas that make sense from a health care and an economic perspective.

Georgia physician Jeff English writes in the Savannah Morning News that it’s time to fix Georgia’s medical tort system. “Thanks to the boundless ability of attorneys to sue doctors for almost any cause, physicians are escalating their practice of defensive medicine,” he writes. “I will do whatever I can to prevent a lawsuit. Unfortunately, because there is no regard for cost, our health care system is on a road to peril.” Read about the Foundation’s proposal for a patient compensation system


October 24: The Georgia Chamber’s 2012 Innovation in Education Conference takes place at the Cobb Galleria on Wednesday, October 24. Tackling what Georgia can do to bridge its education and workforce gap with competing states and nations will be speakers including Joel Klein, former NYC Schools Chancellor and CEO of Amplify, the education division of News Corp.; Boyd Craig, former righthand man to “7 Habits” creator Stephen Covey and founder of the I Am a Leader Foundation; Stephen Brereton, Consul General of Canada, and Bryan Hassell, director of Public Impact. The event includes a debate on the charter schools amendment on the November 6 ballot. For registration and the agenda, click here: 


There’s an app for that: Foojee, an Atlanta company that helps schools use technology, created a video that shows how the ability to customize the iPad is impacting education. Watch it here: 

Online resources: Some of the nation’s leading experts in transformational education agree with Education Secretary Duncan: It’s time to get rid of the textbook-filled backpacks. Numerous open online resources are available for high school students, and they share 14 highly recommended course providers. Read more here: Source: Education Week

Energy and environment 

Hot stuff: Not only were the summers of the Medieval Warm Period equal or greater than the earth’s current warmth, but the summers of the Roman Warm Period of 2,000 years ago were significantly warmer than today, according to a study of tree rings in Scandinavia. “The record provides evidence for substantial warmth during Roman and Medieval times, larger in extent and longer in duration than 20th century warmth,” the researchers write.  Source: Watts Up With That 


Surface Transportation Innovations I: Managed lanes have been implemented on expressways, but could also be applied to arterial roads to improve traffic flow. Adding grade separations at major signalized intersections on a six-lane arterial road has been shown to increase vehicle throughput significantly more than widening it to eight lanes, Robert W. Poole of the Reason Foundation notes in his Surface Transportation Innovations newsletter. Charging a modest electronic toll for each use of the overpass or underpass can help pay for this infrastructure improvement. Reason’s recent policy study, “Increasing Mobility in Southeast Florida,” proposes a network of such “managed arterials” in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties in addition to a three-county managed lanes network.  

Surface Transportation Innovations II:  Bus-rapid transit (BRT) does not necessarily need exclusive lanes or fancy stations to be successful, Poole also notes in his newsletter. BRT “heavy” uses exclusive bus lanes and tends to be used for longer trips (including regionwide express service), but a network of priced managed lanes on the freeway system provides the virtual equivalent of exclusive bus lanes. 

Taxes for transit: Next month, 19 transit-related measures will come before voters. With states crying poverty and the federal government, for the first time ever, passing a transportation bill that was no bigger than the one that preceded it, local governments are taking matters into their own hands. The only gas tax increase on the table is in Memphis, which is trying to increase the tax by one cent to raise $3 million to $6 million for the transit authority. Source:

Piling on the miles: Chicago Transit Authority has potentially inflated by up to $150 million the federal taxpayer money it received since as far back as 1982 by fraudulently over-reporting the number of miles its buses travel while in service, according to the Washington-based Cause of Action. Source: Mass Transit magazine

Social media 

This Week in The Forum: In Checking Up On Health this week, Benita Dodd shares news on corporate wellness programs’ value, the cost of ObamaCare regulations, a restaurant company’s response to ObamaCare coverage requirements and more.  Read this and other recent Foundation articles and posts on The Forum at

YouTube: View the Foundation’s latest Policy Briefing Luncheon with Thatcher advisor John Blundell on the Foundation’s YouTube channel. You can also find the sessions and speeches from the third annual Georgia Legislative Policy Forum as well as past Foundation events. 

We have nearly 1,750 Facebook “likes” at “Like” us for timely policy news, daily views, quotes and photos from recent events. Then join the 776 followers of the Foundation on Twitter at

Visit to read the Foundation’s latest commentary, “State Property Leases Could Get a New Lease on Life,” by Benita M. Dodd. 

Have a great weekend. 

Kelly McCutchen  

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