Friday Facts: September 22, 2023

As populist voices become louder, what does it mean for the future of the conservative movement in America?

The Georgia Public Policy Foundation recently hosted author and historian Matthew Continetti for a discussion on American political history, particularly the 20th-century Republican Party and the conservative movement.

Continetti emphasized how American conservatism has continually grappled with the tension between “elite intellectual ideas” and “populist grassroots mobilization,” striving to bridge the gap between the elites and the common people. There is a delicate balance between elite intellectual ideas and populist movements within American conservatism, he explained. 

From immigration reform backlash in the early 2000s to the rise of Donald Trump, Continetti argued that conservatives should return to the wisdom of figures like William F. Buckley, emphasizing the rediscovery of America’s founding principles and documents, particularly the Constitution.

I hope you will check out this week’s commentary on Continetti’s speech and the future of the conservative movement. We also have the latest news and analysis from the last week, including:

  • How the Braves’ postseason trip will help area businesses
  • Gwinnett County’s latest transportation plans, and how they will be funded
  • The Fed holds interest rates steady for just the second time this year
  • Why California is no longer the land of golden opportunity

Have a great weekend,

– Kyle Wingfield

The 2023 Georgia Housing Summit is coming soon

The Georgia Housing Summit will be here in just a few weeks! Get your tickets today for the October 12 event where experts will explore new approaches to harness innovation and entrepreneurship, and ensure housing is attainable for all Georgians. This is a half-day event, filled with practical information on a variety of topics from experts in the field.

Friday’s Freshest

Imposing limits on housing supply

Enforcing minimum requirements on lot and home sizes is necessarily a limit on housing supply. Limiting supply increases housing costs in high-demand areas. A challenge for effective city planning is creating districts that do not stress public infrastructure or negatively impact the environment while also avoiding unnecessary or arbitrary limits on housing supply.

🗒️ Report: A Review of Lot and Home Size Minimums in Georgia

It’s time for lasting, transformative changes

The gas tax suspension will again provide immediate, short-term relief for Georgians. But the plan should be for a bolder approach, with a shot at some lasting, transformative changes such as permanent cuts to the income-tax rate.

Georgia civil servants were dishonest, vindictive and hid facts from the public

An audit of the Georgia Department of Education’s gifted program said certain Georgia schools are not following important requirements. Nevertheless, they still receive funding. This story, and more, is in our monthly compilation of alleged or documented stories about waste, fraud or abuse.

Atlanta rejects high-quality charter school for students with special needs

This is a statewide problem. The public education establishment in Georgia consistently places adult needs over student needs. As long as the rest of us let them get away with it, kids will continue to suffer.

In The News

Georgia Public Broadcasting: Georgia cities and towns may need to adjust zoning for greater housing density

Georgia’s population is growing, and that growing population needs housing. As builders look for places to build homes, they’ll have to consider zoning laws that mandate a minimum lot size and a minimum size of the house, which could impact how many houses they can build. A new study by the Georgia Public Policy Foundation looked at lot-minimums in counties, cities and towns across Georgia and concluded some might need to change their zoning to allow for greater density.

Group calls Atlanta’s charter school denial ‘disheartening’

“It has been a decade since Atlanta Public Schools last approved a charter school, and the Atlanta school board’s recent decision to deny a charter school for children with special needs is another disheartening setback,” Kyle Wingfield, president and CEO of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, told The Center Square in a statement.  

Continetti says Georgia could be ‘most important state’ in 2024

Continetti, and author and the director of domestic policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, shared his thoughts exclusively with The Center Square following his remarks to the Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s Georgia Freedom Series luncheon last week.

The Latest


Businesses get boosted benefit as Braves head into postseason

As the Braves locked in their sixth consecutive division title, local businesses are planning for the postseason. They say the better the Braves do, the better for business. Businesses at The Battery hope it’s a deep postseason run because every game played means more potential sales.

Nearly four in 10 Georgians out of the workforce

While state officials continue to tout the state’s low unemployment, numbers show nearly 39% of Georgia’s working-age population isn’t participating in the workforce. Georgia’s labor participation rate stands at 61.4%, below the national rate of 62.8%.


Augusta University launches AU Online with three graduate programs

Augusta University announced the launch of three new master’s degree programs during a celebration event this week. The programs includes three graduate degrees: a Master of Education in instruction, a Master of Public Health, and a Master of Science in information security management

Mt. Bethel Christian Academy navigates future independent of church

In the wake of Mt. Bethel Church leaving the United Methodist Church, East Cobb’s Mt. Bethel Christian Academy may need to find a new home for its lower and middle school students. As it stands, the academy has five years to vacate its lower and middle school campus. That’s because the leaders of Mt. Bethel Church voted to terminate the academy’s lease.

Government accountability

Gwinnett County may seek tax increase for buses

Officials in Georgia’s second-largest county could ask voters in 2024 to approve a tax increase for transit, but won’t seek to join MARTA. County officials say the 1% sales tax would generate $17 billion over time.

Environmentalists are destroying your kitchen

Environmentalists pick a product to ban, use questionable evidence to justify their onslaught or misunderstand how people’s behavior will shift if their tools are made worse, and leave the rest of us to suffer the consequences—peppering our lives with additional low-grade annoyances. 


Fed pauses rate hikes for second time this year

The Federal Reserve held interest rates steady for the second time this year, pausing its tightening campaign to assess how the economy is faring in the face of higher borrowing costs. But policymakers also left the door open to an additional increase before the end of the year.

Habitat for Humanity revitalizes homes in Macon neighborhood

There will be some new homeowners moving into the Napier Heights community soon. The Macon Area’s Habitat For Humanity has helped revitalize three houses in Napier Heights and they’re almost complete.


Former Gov. Nathan Deal and the late Sandra Deal honored at ‘Heroes, Saints & Legends’

Former Gov. Nathan Deal and the late Sandra Deal were honored at the 34th annual Heroes, Saints & Legends Gala benefiting the Foundation of Wesley Woods this week. The program honors extraordinary individuals who have shaped our community through a lifetime commitment to leadership, service and philanthropy.

California was once a land of boundless opportunity. That’s no longer true.

Sadly, this trend is entirely self-imposed. It’s not that California leaders don’t love California, too, but their zeal for expanding government, quashing entrepreneurship, and their focus on social engineering at the expense of basic governance has taken its toll.

McDonald’s sued as hot coffee leaves woman with ‘severe burns’ 

Thirty years after a similar lawsuit made national headlines, an elderly woman is suing McDonald’s after her hot coffee allegedly spilled in her lap through an unsecured lid.

Quotes of the Week

“You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.” – Johnny Cash

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” – Winston Churchill

“There is a difference between happiness and wisdom: he who thinks himself the happiest man is really so; but he that thinks himself the wisest is generally the greatest fool.” – Francis Bacon

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