Friday Facts: September 7, 2012

 September 7, 2012

It’s Friday!

Register now! The third annual Georgia Legislative Policy Forum takes place on Friday, September 21, at the W Hotel in Midtown Atlanta. This year’s event includes Lawrence Reed, President of the Foundation for Economic Education, Carpe Diem Schools Founder Rick Ogston, Texas Public Policy Foundation President Brooke Rollins, Galen Institute President Grace-Marie Turner and former Florida Commissioner of Education Gerard Robinson. Registration for this daylong event, which includes breakfast and lunch, is $100. Register at See the agenda at

Quotes of Note

“Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.” – Daniel Webster

“The people cannot look to legislation generally for success. Industry, thrift, character, are not conferred by act or resolve. Government cannot relieve from toil. It can provide no substitute for the rewards of service. It can, of course, care for the defective and recognize distinguished merit. The normal must care for themselves. Self-government means self-support.” – Calvin Coolidge

“In 2012, Americans want from government not … flights of fancy but sobriety; not ecstatic evocations of dreamlike tomorrows but a tolerably functioning today; not fantasies about a world without scarcities and therefore without choices among our desires and appetites but a mature understanding of the limits to government’s proper scope and actual competence.” – George Will


Money-saving school choice: More than 10,000 students applied to attend private schools this fall under Louisiana’s statewide voucher program, five times more than anticipated. In April, Gov. Bobby Jindal signed a law expanding New Orleans vouchers statewide. Under the expansion, low-income students attending Louisiana public schools rated C, D, or F by the Louisiana Department of Education may apply for scholarships to 125 participating private schools. In these schools, tuition averages $6,100. Louisiana spends an average of $10,600 for each public-schooled child. Source: Heartland Institute

About charter schools: In November, Georgia voters will decide whether the state will share the responsibility of charter school authorization. The Foundation has published a series of short educational articles focusing on voters’ questions: The Financial Impact of Charter Schools. What Are Charter Schools? Charter Schools and Local ControlHow do Charter Schools Impact Minorities?


October 16: Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher turns 87 on October 13. The Foundation marks the birthday of this remarkable leader with a Policy Briefing Luncheon and Book Forum with Thatcher advisor and longtime friend John Blundell, who is author of, “Margaret Thatcher: A Portrait of The Iron Lady.” This event is at the Georgian Club. Registration is $60 and includes a copy of Blundell’s book. Register by Friday, October 12, at Seating is limited; register early!

Health care

John Goodman likens the U.S. health care system to the Soviet economy: “Should we train one more doctor? Or would our money be better spent training a nurse or two? If we choose the doctor, should she be a primary care physician? Or an internist? Or some other specialist? How on earth would anybody ever know? No one in health care ever sees a real price. No patient. No doctor. No employee. No employer. In the absence of real prices, we have no way of knowing the marginal value of one more doctor, one more nurse, one more technician or one more anything.” Read Goodman’s “Health Care Without Prices.” Source:


Costly consequences of CAFE: Hybrids make up 2 percent of the market today, and consumers are even less interested in plug-in cars, Investor’s Business Daily notes in an editorial questioning the new fuel efficiency (CAFE) standards announced by the Obama Administration. It points out that Chevy Volt sales were 23 percent below what GM expected last year, and falling well short of this year’s goal. Leaf sales are down 26 percent, despite an electric-car rebate, a $7,500 tax credit. “On top of this, all the fuel-saving technologies mandated by Obama’s CAFE rule will boost car costs by around $3,000, according to the National Automobile Dealers Association, pricing 7 million people out of the market.”

Megabus, small businesses: The motorcoach industry provided 694 million passenger trips and 76.1 billion passenger miles in 2010, according to the annual Motorcoach Census, a benchmark study to measure the size and scope of the industry in North America. For comparison: Domestic airlines saw 717 million enplanements (international and domestic) and Amtrak had 28 million passengers. The majority (93 percent) of operators were small, with fewer than 25 motorcoaches. Source: Metro Magazine

Social media 

This Week in The Forum: When Rick Ogston realized that students were powered up at home but powered down in the classroom the Carpe Diem Schools founder decided to shake things up. Ogston will discuss education innovation on September 21 Georgia Legislative Policy Forum. Read about dramatic changes Ogston brought to the Yuma, Arizona school. Galen Institute President Grace-Marie Turner discusses what Democratic speakers did not say about the federal health care law at their national convention. Turner is also a featured speaker at the Legislative Policy Forum. Benita Dodd discusses current and projected physician shortages, taking telemedicine to the next level, and technology in Checking Up on Health. Read these and other recent Foundation articles and posts on The Forum at

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Foundation in the news: Foundation Senior Fellow Ross Mason is profiled in the September edition of Georgia Magazine. Mason is chair of the state Department of Community Health board and is heavily involved in projects to benefit U.S. military veterans and their families.

Visit to read the Foundation’s latest commentary, ‘Plan T:’ For Georgia Traffic and So Much More,” by Michael Dziak.

Have a great weekend.

Kelly McCutchen 

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