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Georgia Health Sciences University president Azziz suggests increased education, research spending

President encourages state to fund education

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ATLANTA — Georgia could give its economy a shot in the arm by increasing spending on education, health insurance and research, the president of the state’s medical college said Friday.

Dr. Ricardo Azziz, the president of Georgia Health Sciences University, said policymakers don’t often talk of social services as economic development programs but they should. Even Medicaid, the health insurance program for the poor, brings money to a community that circulates in that local economy, he said.

“At the end of the day, we know that if you have health insurance, your health care and your health improve,” he said. “If your workforce is healthier, then prospective employers will be hiring healthier people.”

On the other hand, the uninsured are an economic drag, he said.

“There is this fallacy that somehow the uninsured do not affect ‘my life,’” he said. “They cost money to treat. They cost five times as much as if you had provided coverage.”

His comments came at a conference on the state budget sponsored by the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute, an Atlanta think tank.

While GHSU has a greater than $2 billion impact on the state’s economy, it can’t attract more researchers, for example, without adequate taxpayer money to invest in infrastructure, Azziz said.

“You can’t get a scientist to come if you don’t have the laboratory first,” he said.

Former University Chancellor Erroll Davis stressed that tax money put into education pays long-term dividends because college graduates pay 72 percent more in taxes than workers holding just a high school diploma.

“Look at one simple fact: The more educated you are, the more taxes you pay,” said Davis, who is now the superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools.He expressed frustration with the education portion of Gov. Nathan Deal’s budget proposal for next year.

Deal is recommending increasing K-12 education spending by more than $200 million and by over $110 million for higher education for the balance of this fiscal year and all of next year. But the money only covers increased enrollment and automatic seniority pay raises for teachers and doesn’t replace funds cut from prior years.

The governor hailed his plan as the end to years of belt tightening in the state’s schools.

“One has to pause when it comes off as a positive that we’re going to sustain massive cuts that we had last year,” Davis said.

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copperhead
1035
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copperhead 01/21/12 - 06:23 am
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WHY does it cost 5 times as

WHY does it cost 5 times as much to treat an uninsured person as opposed to an insured person? Two people with the same injury(broken arm) are treated,why does the uninsured cost $2500 and the insured cost $500? This makes no sense.

agustinian
839
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agustinian 01/21/12 - 09:25 am
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Wow, that merits a headline:

Wow, that merits a headline: GHSU President recommends spending on education and health research.

What's next? Cal Ripken recommends spending on downtown stadiums; or, Augusta National recommends spending on traffic flow control, especially during the first full week of April; or Plant Vogtle recommends spending on expedited nuclear energy systems.

Little Lamb
52574
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Little Lamb 01/21/12 - 11:28 am
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Talk about self-serving,

Talk about self-serving, Ricardo Azziz said:

Georgia could give its economy a shot in the arm by increasing spending on education, health insurance and research, the president of the state’s medical college said Friday.

But he is wrong, wrong, wrong on so many counts. Dr. Azziz needs to put down his Wharton school books on managing government institutions and read some actual economics textbooks. I suggest he start with Henry Hazlitt and then move up to Frederick Bastiat. After being nourished by the milk, he can then move up to more meatier writers such as Ludwig von Mises.

You cannot create wealth by force. It, likewise, is immoral to use state force to take money from one set of people and then distribute it to another set of people. (Bastiat called it ‘legalized plunder’.) Social service programs drag the overall financial level and moral level down, not up.

Little Lamb
52574
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Little Lamb 01/21/12 - 11:35 am
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Former University Chancellor

Former University Chancellor Erroll Davis said:

“Look at one simple fact: The more educated you are, the more taxes you pay.”

Maybe, we educated taxpayers are waking up to another simple fact: We are taxed enough, already. It is time for government to get leaner through cutting programs, cutting subsidies, cutting education budgets, cutting government pensions (we read in the Chronicle the other day that Rick Perry is collecting $91,000 dollars a year in Texas state pension payments while he is collecting his salary as governor of Texas!), and cutting taxes.

Doing so would result in more liberty and more prosperity.

sand gnat
869
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sand gnat 01/21/12 - 12:18 pm
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0
Not quite sure who hired this

Not quite sure who hired this guy or where he came from, but he needs to go back to whatever part of Pelosi country he came from. If all of us were on a patient payer system, the cost of healthcare would go down faster than Wall Street.

Bizkit
42079
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Bizkit 01/21/12 - 12:35 pm
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So the moral of the story is

So the moral of the story is ....don't get an education cause the guv will take all your money????? Knowledge isn't free (unlike the idiotic Wikipedia believes) and an education is at a huge cost and sacrifice of time. So once you've neglected your family and doled out the bucks and maybe find a good paying job , the guvment will "FAIRly" take any gain. Basically punishment for your effort. What a discriminatory policy which discourages personal growth. Azziz must be believe in Keynesian economics. He has done nothing but disparage the local area. He naively ignores that geography and cultural differences are huge and just because something works great in one area doesn't mean the same everywhere. He needs to learn to think out of the box and work with what he has rather than complain about what he wants. A good leader takes what they have and makes it work while a poor one complains and blames his failues on others.

Bizkit
42079
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Bizkit 01/21/12 - 12:48 pm
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Why are we listening to

Why are we listening to University Chancellor Erroll Davis. He served as the Chairman of the Board at Alliant Energy Corporation in Wisconsin and also was a former Democratic member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. He has nothing vested in Georgia and what does he know of Georgia culture and education. Augustans have made numerous contributions to science, medicine, arts, etc. Beware the carpetbaggers. hee,hee,hee.

crkgrdn
2288
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crkgrdn 01/21/12 - 01:14 pm
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If any spending needs to be

If any spending needs to be done it needs to be spent on finding a replacement for Azziz. Just amazing or maybe not that Azziz sees government as the engine for economic growth. Is he just oblivious to the national discussion?

Yep, he needs to be sent packing to California.

Sweet son
13405
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Sweet son 01/21/12 - 03:20 pm
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Incredible what he comes up

Incredible what he comes up with. The State needs to get him off of his honeymoon!!!

Chillen
17
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Chillen 01/21/12 - 03:39 pm
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More govt spending is not the

More govt spending is not the answer Mr. Azziz. You've been a bureaucrat far too long.

Conservative Man
5610
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Conservative Man 01/21/12 - 05:15 pm
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Spending money WISELY on

Spending money WISELY on education is not a bad thing, but spending to stimulate an economy doesn't work, has never worked and will not work...Never figured Azziz to be a democrat...

Bizkit
42079
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Bizkit 01/21/12 - 06:19 pm
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If Georgia were a stand-alone

If Georgia were a stand-alone country, it would be the 28th largest economy in the world. There are 15 Fortune 500 companies and 26 Fortune 1000 companies with headquarters in Georgia, including such names as Home Depot, UPS, Coca Cola, Delta Air Lines, Aflac, Southern Company, and SunTrust Banks. Georgia has over 1,700 internationally headquartered facilities representing 43 countries, employing more than 112,000 Georgians with an estimated capital investment of $22.7 billion. Georgia's agricultural outputs are poultry and eggs, pecans, peaches, peanuts, rye, cattle, hogs, dairy products, turfgrass, tobacco, and vegetables. Its industrial outputs are textiles and apparel, transportation equipment, cigarettes, food processing, paper products, chemical products, and electric equipment. Tourism also makes an important contribution to the economy. Nope don't see Health, Research, or Universities in the equation.

socks99
250
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socks99 01/21/12 - 06:44 pm
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Policy makers and political

Policy makers and political leaders are being misled by advocates in the higher education system who are, too often, themselves, self-interested and greedy; many of them have been seduced by the hubris of large pools of borrowed money and by the same financiers and money men who worked their 'magic' in the private and commercial realty markets!

In the end, a healthy and robust economy will allow higher education to advance and expand; but ONLY a healthy economy can support a system of higher education; and failing to recognize the basic facts -- perhaps deluded by promises of provincial success -- is a recipe for disaster and disappointment.

moderate321
345
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moderate321 01/21/12 - 08:33 pm
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Bizkit: Why don't we go ahead

Bizkit: Why don't we go ahead and shut down Georgia Tech? I mean none of the companies or industries you mention need their graduates. Why don't we just shut down the ag school at UGA? You are right, those industries don't need the research or graduates. Just a huge waste of money. Bizkit, you should be governor! Your brilliance is overwhelming. Those poor people of Texas. They spend more on higher Ed per capita than any other state and all they have to show for it is the lowest unemployment rate in the US. They could learn from your brilliance.

augusta citizen
10686
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augusta citizen 01/21/12 - 08:44 pm
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Dr. Azzizz, really?????

Dr. Azzizz, really?????

stanley
2
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stanley 01/21/12 - 11:24 pm
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Investment in education

Investment in education typically do result in returns for economies. Look at Singapore. In 1960, the per capita GDP was 2360 or roughly the same as Jamacia. Fifty years later Singapore's per capita GDP was $43,100, while Jamaica's is slightly above $5,000. What happened? An incredible investment in education which as transformed Singapore's economy to that as a global leader in a variety of industry. Today, Singapore is a leader in a host of knowledge-based industries, including the biomedical sciences. In just the past decade, the number of scientists has leapt from 14,500 to 26,600, a gain of more than 80 percent. In the most recent Global Competitiveness Report put out by the World Economic Forum, Singapore ranked 1st in the quality of its math and science education. Source: The Atlantic http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2011/11/the-8-best-innovation-ideas-from-around-the-world/248695/ (they are not exactly known as a liberal magazine!)

Higher education is a great investment by governments, public institutions, private interests and the individual. Otherwise, Moderate321 is right, we might as well shut down Georgia Tech!

Bizkit
42079
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Bizkit 01/22/12 - 08:33 am
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moderator123 you missed the

moderator123 you missed the point!!! I was talking about the direct economy-and that it has historically been agricultural. We need education but once they build the labs and bring in the researchers who is going to fill the lab assistant jobs??? A major problem is finding local help with lab skills.The cancer building isn't filled with Americans is it! Georgia Tech and Emory bring in more dollars in research and have more international recognition than any other institutions in Georgia. Azziz is about building a university when his first job should be addressing the lack of physicians in the state. Did tax payers build Emory or Georgia tech-NO!!!!!!! Your brilliance is stunning. Thanks for recognizing mine-I guess the school in question does a good job eh. .

Riverman1
106998
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Riverman1 01/22/12 - 08:54 am
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Georgia Tech is a state

Georgia Tech is a state school. Or did you mean something else?

moderate321
345
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moderate321 01/22/12 - 12:52 pm
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I still don't understand what

I still don't understand what you are talking about. I guess that what you are saying is that President Azziz shouldn't try to do more than one thing at a time. Second, I guess that what you are saying is that we should not spend any additional money in Augusta, but rather spend it in Atlanta at GA Tech or Emory. That makes a lot of sense!

My point was that higher education investment, whether it comes from private or public sources, does spur economic activity. All of these companies and industries that you cited could not exist in Atlanta or in the state without a qulaified labor source OR without continual innovation which is spurred, in part, by University research.

But, then you are right, we certainly wouldn't want to try to compete in Augusta for any of the economic pie. Let's just deed it over to Atlanta and Athens and watch ourselves shrink from economic prosperity. Those 11.00/hour call center jobs are great!

Also, the taxpayers DID build Georgia Tech. They are a public school. So, did you go to Emory, or Ga Tech, or UGA? Either way, I am sure that they are proud of you as an alumni!

Bizkit
42079
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Bizkit 01/22/12 - 01:28 pm
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NO, moderate you need to read

NO, moderate you need to read more carefully rather than the ad hominem remarks which can get you banned and your comments removed. I've been flagged for less than your first statement. I never said or implied anything you seem to gather from the posts. I said Ga tech didn't ask for state money not that we should send money to them (jeez). My point is Azziz doesn't work with the assets he has. Georgia tech is an excellent example they built the school and are still building it performing biological research and developing an undergrad Biology department. Azziz has done nothing but complain about the culture and a lack of funds. Paine college is building their school off the indirect costs from faculty grants-they aren't asking the state for money. I support education and agree we need an educated workforce-because as I said all those PhDs at GHS can't find qualified technicians here (so these local jobs are going to other ethnicities from other countries). I guess it still brings money to the area but it doesn't serve the locality in jobs. The school has invested millions in research (first with the IMMAG ) and I would wager the investment didn't pay off as expected since most of them have reaped the benefits and moved on to other places. Most PhDs are looking at housing and schools for their kids-not whether it is a cultural paradise.

Riverman1
106998
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Riverman1 01/22/12 - 01:38 pm
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Bizkit, no big deal, but I

Bizkit, no big deal, but I still don't get the Ga Tech thing. We send lots of money there. It is a state public college. But you are right, it is an excellent school. If you look at their football players, they come from all over the country and are all real students. A degree from there means something.

Bizkit
42079
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Bizkit 01/22/12 - 01:49 pm
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Here is the bottom line. GHS

Here is the bottom line. GHS use to be MCG with a main goal of educating physicians and dentist (the only dental school) to serve Georgia which is under served in both cases. Now the goal is changing to build a univerisity, which the area already has universities. The joining of GHS with ASU will create a student population over 8,000. The medical and dental school will become minor components, which likely is the strategy so that the medical school can be moved to Athens. Second it use to be that 35-45% of high school grads went on to college-now over 70%. Is it paying off??? The job market for highly educated folks is poorer than blue color jobs. We don't have the jobs for all these educated people so making more isn't the answer.

Bizkit
42079
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Bizkit 01/22/12 - 02:15 pm
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I agree Riverman. I guess I

I agree Riverman. I guess I was comparing apples and oranges with Emory and Ga tech-and rambling a bit. Long night. I just don't understand the strategy that GHS or whatever it is going to be called is following. It would behoove them to communicate with the community to try to get everyone on board-leave a vacuum and people will fill it with something. I don't see savings with the joining and I definitely don't approve of increasing the unemployment statistic which you know is going to happen-and will it fair to both institutions.

Bizkit
42079
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Bizkit 01/22/12 - 02:26 pm
0
0
Oh, Riverman, I really enjoy

Oh, Riverman, I really enjoy your post. Very Bizarro-esque!! Ah I use to really enjoy reading the online opinions back in those days.

Riverman1
106998
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Riverman1 01/22/12 - 02:34 pm
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Bizkit, I lub you, too. Heh.

Bizkit, I lub you, too. Heh.

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