3-Questions Liberals Never Ask

(Originally posted Oct 2013)

(EXTENDED VIDEO)

1) compared to what?
2) at what cost?
3) what hard-evidence do you have?

As a bonus: If you run these three questions by every one of Democratic Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s arguments, her platform immediately crumbles. (CONSERVATIVE TRIBUNE)

Blogger on Far-Left Website Thought He ‘Could Go Along’ With Obamacare – Now He Can’t Believe What’s Happening to His Health Insurance

As the realities of Obamacare continue to sink in, more and more people are getting letters from their health insurance providers telling them that their plans no longer comply with federal requirements under Obamacare. We just brought you the story of “Trick Shot Titus” and his family facing significant increases in the cost of their health care plans.

Now, a community blogger on the far-left Daily Kos website has penned a blog post complaining that both he and his wife are facing a nearly 100 percent increase in their monthly premiums. He claims he is canceling his insurance and refuses to pay any “f***ing penalty.”

Blogger “Tirge Caps” explains:

My wife and I just got our updates from Kaiser telling us what our 2014 rates will be. Her monthly has been $168 this year, mine $150. We have a high deductible. We are generally healthy people who don’t go to the doctor often. I barely ever go. The insurance is in case of a major catastrophe.

Well, now, because of Obamacare, my wife’s rate is gong to $302 per month and mine is jumping to $284.

I am canceling insurance for us and I am not paying any f***ing penalty. What the hell kind of reform is this?

The blogger also notes he and his wife may qualify for some “government assistance,” but that it’s just “another hoop” to jump through to get assistance that he may or may not be eligible for

CONSERVATIVE TRIBUNE brings it home for us:

Conversely, the right believes that, “Man is flawed from Day One, and that there are no solutions, there are only trade-offs. And whatever you do to deal with man’s flaws, it creates another problem.”

“But you try to get the best trade-off you can get. And that’s all you can hope for.”

So when presented with leftist idealism as to how to fix the world, here is the first question to ask: “Compared to what?” The leftist idea is the solution, compared to what?

Look at the argument for government healthcare. ‘Government healthcare serves the poor.’ Compared to what? Strong arguments can be made that the poor are better off in terms of care and options under a free market system.

The second question Sowell presented is: “At what price?” What price will be paid for the leftist ideal to be implemented? This leads to the discussion of if it is worth it or not … or even realistic.

For this example, consider the argument for open borders. Strong arguments based on “at what price” can be made against having open borders. There are financial costs, national security costs, personal safety costs, national identity costs, functional government costs, national economy costs, job costs, and many more.

The “feel good” concept of no borders is nothing more than a “feel good” concept. It cannot withstand close scrutiny in terms of cost and practical implementation.

The final question is: “What hard evidence do you have?” This one is a doozy, since so much virtue signalling and “feel good” ideology is part and parcel of leftist ideology.

Oftentimes, even when “evidence” is presented, it is not authoritative, hard evidence. It is opinion or cherry-picked, out-of-context, questionable or even debunked in its “facts” and sourcing.

This presents a prime opportunity to then show hard evidence for the right’s argument. It may require time and patience, but if you have a willing audience, it can be well worth the investment to lead the way to why conservatives believe their answers are better.

Sowell noted that conservative arguments tend to be able to pass all three questions because “they don’t assume there is a solution out there.”

 

The War on Poverty Starts With Marriage

UPDATED

(Originally posted in September of 2010)

The HERITAGE FOUNDATION has a great article about marriage. There points are zeroes in on marriage and its positive effects on children. They also point out that since the “War on Poverty” was implemented by President Lyndon Johnson, this single motherhood % and poverty can be seen to be the most affected. In other words, when a mother has a child out of wedlock because the man knows he doesn’t have to pay the bills, society will make up for his selfishness, that child is most affected. So, if you truly care for the child (as progressives almost always say they are), stop the “War on Poverty” as we know it, and start the “War on Broken Families.”

The WASHINGTON EXAMINER notes this economic factor:

  • ….“Over a third of single-parent families with children are poor, compared to only 7 percent of married families. Overall, children in married families are 82 percent less likely to be poor than are children of single parents.”

Robert Rector’s study, “Marriage: America’s Greatest Weapon Against Child Poverty,” detailed the problem in each state and he concluded that the Feds need to focus on marriage more.

“Policymakers on the state and national levels recognize that education reduces poverty, but they’re largely unaware that marriage is an equally strong anti-poverty weapon,” said Rector, a nationally recognized authority on the U.S. welfare system.

Heritage said that “while more Americans grow dependent on welfare, government fails to communicate the benefits of marriage even as it warns young people not to smoke, do drugs, have “unsafe” sex, or drop out of school.” Rector calls this “tragic.”

Is this “new dynamic” good for the continued health of the American way, or will it push us further towards a European way of viewing society? Two Books I highly recommend will be after the video:

Via NewsBusters:

Although Kay wasn’t necessarily advocating for single parents, the statistics concerning that are scary (via SingleParentSuccess.org):

  • In 1995, nearly six of 10 children living with mothers only were near the poverty line. About 45 percent of children raised by divorced mothers and 69 percent by never-married mothers lived in or near poverty, which was $13,003 for a family of three in 1998.
  • 75% of children/adolescents in chemical dependency hospitals are from single-parent families.
  • More than one half of all youths incarcerated for criminal acts lived in one-parent families when they were children.
  • 63% of suicides are individuals from single parent families.
  • 75% of teenage pregnancies are adolescents from single parent homes.

There’s no question that children growing up with both of their parents fare far better in life than any other domestic arrangement.

With such statistics readily available, it’s sad to see a member of the media call it old fashioned to marry before having kids.

Affirmative Actions Unequal Consequences

UPDATE!!

The trial itself began October 15th in a federal court with Harvard as the accused (HOT AIR). FOX NEWS reports on the trial’s revelations so far:

Harvard University’s dean of admissions has testified the Ivy League school applies different SAT score standards to prospective students based on factors such as race, but insisted the practice is not discriminatory.

Students for Fair Admissions, a group headed by legal strategist Edward Blum, sued Harvard in 2014 claiming Asian-Americans, who have the highest academic records, unfairly receive the lowest admission rate at the elite school.

Regardless of the outcome of the three-week, non-jury trial in Boston that began Monday, the lawsuit involving affirmative action and backed by the Trump administration is expected to reach the Supreme Court.

William Fitzsimmons, the 30-year dean of admissions, who oversees the screening process of about 40,000 applicants and narrows them down to 2,000 acceptance letters that are handed out each year, testified that African-Americans, Native Americans, and Hispanic high schoolers with mid-range SAT scores out of a possible 1600 combined math and verbal, are sent recruitment letters with a score as low as 1100, whereas Asian-Americans need to score at least 250 points higher – 1350 for women and 1380 for men.

“That’s race discrimination, plain and simple,” argued John Hughes, a lawyer for SFFA.

“It is not,” Fitzsimmons shot back, adding that the school targets certain groups to “break the cycle” and convince students who normally wouldn’t consider applying to the Ivy League school.

[….]

Chinese-American Harvard graduate Lee Cheng, a lawyer for the Asian-American Legal Foundation, supports the lawsuit as a simple and straightforward case for the right not to be discriminated against based on race.

“It’s about saying Harvard cannot set different and more difficult standards for admitting Asian students relative to students of any other ethnic group,” Cheng said. “It’s that simple – and it’s undeniable that Harvard has.”

Blum told Fox News he’s confident after four years of evidence gathering that Harvard’s race-conscious admissions policies are “unconstitutional.”….

Here is Mark Levin reading about this discrimination from August of last year:

Continuing with older post (from February 2017)

Here is part of a LOS ANGELES TIMES article regarding the above (hat-tip, CONSERVATIVE TREE HOUSE):

“Let’s talk about Asians,” she says.

Lee’s next slide shows three columns of numbers from a Princeton University study that tried to measure how race and ethnicity affect admissions by using SAT scores as a benchmark. It uses the term “bonus” to describe how many extra SAT points an applicant’s race is worth. She points to the first column.

African Americans received a “bonus” of 230 points, Lee says.

She points to the second column.

“Hispanics received a bonus of 185 points.”

The last column draws gasps.

Asian Americans, Lee says, are penalized by 50 points — in other words, they had to do that much better to win admission.

On Puerto Rico, Trump Is Right (UPDATED)

This is all POWERLINE, but soo important for the “Mantra Busting” that …. here ya go:

…This is what is going on: Some “scientists”–read anti-Trump Democratic Party activists–constructed a theoretical baseline of how many deaths would be expected to occur in Puerto Rico during the months after Hurricane Maria. They then compared this baseline to the actual number of deaths, and voila! The actual number was higher than their hypothetical guess by 3,000. So all of those deaths–whether caused by cancer, car accidents, or whatever–are attributed to the hurricane. These activists have not made any attempt to count the actual number of hurricane-related deaths.

No one would use such a foolish methodology except for political reasons. This is more fake news propagated by anti-Trump activists. The fake news media, like CNN, have attacked President Trump for disputing the “scientists” who came up with the 3,000 number. Sadly, some Republicans have joined them, probably because they are ignorant about what is actually going on here.

For what it is worth, Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico in September 2017, and Puerto Rico’s death rate declined in 2017, after years of increases:

(click to enlarge)

So, following the logic of the Left and the #NeverTrumpers, MORE hurricanes should hit Puerto Rico. Just sayin’ — I love the holes dug by these early reactors to the MSM. Some article to preserve:

Excess mortality studies have been used to measure everything from the life expectancy of smokers to “temperature-related stress” in the Netherlands. The problem is that such studies are inherently reliant on conjecture. There can be other problems as well, namely politics, as I learned a decade ago while poking holes in an excess mortality study in Iraq published by the Lancet.

An article in the British medical journal estimated some 650,000 “excess” Iraqi deaths in the 40 months following the U.S. invasion. This figure was seven times higher than the toll based on body counts. It was based on field surveys supposedly done by a former health official in Saddam Hussein’s government and was authored by outspoken critics of the Iraq war — and of George W. Bush. It was also timed to come out just before the 2006 midterm elections.

To some neutral observers, the controversy underscored the importance of actually documenting wartime casualties. I don’t know how much Donald Trump knows about this topic. But he apparently is aware that “excess mortality” is not how U.S. authorities have previously tallied storm deaths. The National Hurricane Center, for example, estimated that 1,833 people died in Hurricane Katrina, most from drowning.

In Puerto Rico, there were myriad problems getting accurate data, the biggest being that electricity was knocked out for so long. This inhibited the reporting ability of island health officials. It also led to deprivations that killed health-impaired residents months after the hurricane season ended. In that environment, excess mortality studies made sense. Inevitably, they would be imprecise, and perhaps just wrong. The first such study, by researchers at Penn State University, estimated the number of deaths at 1,085 – when the government in San Juan was still listing the official toll as 64. Days later, the New York Times, using island death certificates, produced an estimate of 1,052.

Harvard went next. Its study, trumpeted uncritically around the world, had problems. For one thing, its range of 793 to 8,498 excess deaths was unhelpful. So the media settled on the median figure, 4,645, which was little more than a guess. The bigger problem is that the methodology was a mish-mash. Harvard’s researchers compared actual deaths in 2016 to estimates based on interviews – polling surveys – in 2017. “The big thing is the methodology is so completely different, you don’t now what you’re dealing with,” said University of Texas biostatistics professor Donald Berry. “What you end up with is garbage.”

That’s the background when the governor of Puerto Rico tapped George Washington University’s school of public health to do another excess mortality survey. Like all such studies, it’s based on assumptions and guesswork – in this case assumptions complicated by the outward migration of tens of thousands of Puerto Ricans to the mainland after the hurricane. That said, I know of no evidence that would undermine its estimate of 2,975 excess deaths

(REAL CLEAR POLITICS)

Self Reporting is the worst!


The difference between survey results and demonstrable realities was also pointed out by the author of Hillbilly Elegy: “In a recent Gallup poll, Southerners and Midwesterners reported the highest rates of church attendance in the country. Yet actual church attendance is much lower in the South.”

Thomas Sowell, Discrimination and Disparities (New York, NY: Basic Books, 2018), 23-25 (added references).


As Twitchy reported, the media went wild last week when a report from Harvard University estimated that nearly 5,000 people in Puerto Rico had died from Hurricane Maria.

The Washington Post’s Fact Checker blog, though, took a look at how Harvard, whose researchers admitted they conducted “a quick study on a limited budget,” came up with that number and found that the methodology was ridiculously flawed:

In effect, the researchers took one number — 15 deaths identified from a survey of 3,299 households — and extrapolated that to come up with 4,645 deaths across the island. That number came with a very large caveat, clearly identified in the report, but few news media accounts bothered to explain the nuances….

(TWITCHY)

Flashback: Puerto Rican Gov. admitted higher ‘death toll is only an approximation, not a concrete list of names’

The death toll is ‘a very broad estimate for the number of people who died above what you’d expect to see in a normal year’ – ‘But that number is not a count of the death toll in Puerto Rico caused by Hurricane Maria. Instead, it’s just the midpoint of a wide-ranging estimate of the possible number of deaths’

(CLIMATE DEPOT)

It turns out there is no list of names.   There is no accounting of what causes of death were attributable to the aftermath of the devastating storm.  In fact, having now scanned the George Washington University report at the heart of this all, I have an itching feeling they missed a big statistical point.

The bottom line is that the researchers developed a model and made a projected estimate of the number of deaths to be expected on the island during the six months following the storm, based on previous year’s death numbers.   They then factored in the fact that a full 8 percent of the population, 280,000 people roughly, left the island following the storm.

With that population change factored in, the “expected” number of deaths was about 3,000 fewer than the 16,000 deaths which were recorded September through February.  Those 3,000 “excess” deaths above the projection are the one’s being attributed to the effects of the storm.  I’m rounding because their report admits the projection is not exact.  The chart I included above notes the higher death rate per 10,000 people.

There are not 3,000 death certificates noting hurricane-related causes (loss of electricity, stress, poor transportation response) and the authors chide the local medical community for not being sufficiently exact in filling out their death certificates.  So they are left with models and projections and estimates, which have translated into MSM-accepted Truth.

Here’s my question, the itch not addressed in the report, that I saw:   Who left?  Who departed following the storm?  Would the elderly, infirm and impoverished have been the ones to decamp to the mainland?  Or would they have been the one’s left behind?  Doesn’t the shift in the baseline also at least in part explain this?  The death rate really only jumped dramatically when you reduce the baseline population

(BACON’S REBELLION)

One Simple Test Whether Marxism is True |Thomas Sowell|

Thomas Sowell is an American economist, turned social theorist, political philosopher, and author. He is currently Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. In this talk from May 2018, he explains one simple test to decide whether Marxism is true.

Check out the full interview via the Hoover Institute:

How The Left Discriminates Against Those It Professes To Champion

I thought of the following Thomas Sowell excerpt via a Facebook discussion regarding illegal immigrants/immigration. Stephanie C. said the following:

  • Does anyone here know how many undocumented people live in SCV? [JUMP TO MORE DIRECT ANSWER] Seems like many people are assuming that if your Hispanic they must be undocumented. I hope people know that’s not the case.

California has the highest illegal immigrant population comparing states. And so the assumption of calling into question one’s “status” may be a logical leap in assumption. Which is why I thought of this Sowell portion of a book I just finished. Here is my Facebook response, followed by an excerpt from the aforementioned book (with a quick set-up for it):

I guess that would be another side-effect [harm] done by the open-borders people. Small companies wanting to hire legal aliens but not having the training or knowledge to know the difference, and so they stay away from them entirely. I just finished a Thomas Sowell book entitled, “Discrimination and Disparities,” and this short/concise book really opened up the consequences of actions.

For instance, businesses is black communities are apprehensive in hiring young black men. Businesses that do background checks hire more young black men than the national average. Businesses that do not do background checks stay away from this demographic.

The Democrats in many of these impoverished areas start campaigns or the largely Democrat city council say that doing background checks is bigoted and targets black workers. Racist in other words, the card overused as of late.

So they force these companies to cease-and-desist. And so these companies offering work experience, communication skills, a sense of pride in ones work, etc., are all thrown to the wayside….. these companies that would and did hire large quantities of young black men stay away from the demographic.

I will forego the posting of what Discrimination 1 and Discrimination 2 are, but the main point easily extracted herein is that Leftist Democrats (“Progressives”) stop background checks in employment due to a [wrongly] perceived targeting of black youth. And so this is yet another example of a problem CREATED through Leftist legislation and then used (black unemployment) to keep said demographic in a state of anger and voting for who will give hand-out and not who will allow the market to create opportunity. I believe the leadership of the Democrat Party has this in mind when doing stuff like this, the general Left leaning population just wants to feel good about their position (SEE QUOTE A).


Another example of a problem CREATED by Democrats and then used in a political manner to rile up it’s base against Trump and the GOP is the immigration battle in sanctuary states is this:


Here is the Sowell excerpt as promised…. FINALLY:

To take an extreme example of Discrimination 1b, for the sake of illustration, if 40 percent of the people in Group X are alcoholics and 1 percent of the people in Group Y are alcoholics, an employer may well prefer to hire only people from Group Y for work where an alcoholic would be not only ineffective but dangerous. This would mean that a majority of the people in Group X— 60 percent in this case— would be denied employment, even though they are not alcoholics.

What matters, crucially, to the employer is the cost of determining which individual is or is not an alcoholic, when job applicants all show up sober on the day when they are seeking employment.

This also matters to the customers who buy the employer’s products and to society as a whole. If alcoholics produce a higher proportion of products that turn out to be defective, that is a cost to customers, and that cost may take different forms. For example, the customer could buy the product and then discover that it is defective. Alternatively, defects in the product might be discovered at the factory and discarded. In this case, the customers will be charged higher prices for the products that are sold, since the costs of defective products that are discovered and discarded at the factory must be covered by the prices charged for the reliable products that pass the screening test and are sold.

To the extent that alcoholics are not only less competent but dangerous, the costs of those dangers are paid by either fellow employees who face those dangers on the job or by customers who buy dangerously defective products, or both. In short, there are serious costs inherent in the situation, so that either 60 percent of the people in Group X or employers or customers— or all three groups— end up paying the costs of the alcoholism of 40 percent of the people in Group X

This is certainly not judging each job applicant as an individual, so it is not Discrimination I in the purest sense of Discrimination Ia. On the other hand, it is also not Discrimination II, in the sense of decisions based on a personal bias or antipathy toward that group. The employer might well have personal friends from Group X, based on far more knowledge of those particular individuals than it is possible to get about job applicants, without prohibitive costs.

The point here is neither to justify nor condemn the employer but to classify different decision-making processes, so that their implications and consequences can be analyzed separately. If judging each person as an individual is Discrimination 1a, we can classify as Discrimination 1b basing decisions about groups on information that is correct for that group, though not necessarily correct for every individual in that group, nor necessarily even correct for a majority of the individuals in that group.

A real-life example of the effect of the cost of knowledge in this context is a study which showed that, despite the reluctance of many employers to hire young black males, because a significant proportion of them have criminal records (Discrimination 1b), those particular employers who automatically did criminal background checks on all their employees (Discrimination 1a) tended to hire more young black males than did other employers.1

In other words, where the nature of the work made criminal background checks worth the cost for all employees, it was no longer necessary to use group information to assess whether individual young black job applicants had a criminal background. This made young black job applicants without a criminal background more employable than before.

More is involved here than simply a question of nomenclature. It has implications for practical policies in the real world. Many observers, hoping to help young black males have more employment opportunities, have advocated prohibiting employers from asking job applicants questions about a criminal record. Moreover, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has sued employers who do criminal background checks on job applicants, on grounds that this was racial discrimination, even when it was applied to all job applicants, regardless of race.2 Empirically, however, criminal background checks provided more employment opportunities for young black males.

[1] Harry J. Holzer, Steven Raphael, and Michael A. Stoll, “Perceived Criminality, Criminal Background Checks, and the Racial Hiring Practices of Employers,” Journal of Law and Economics, Vol. 49, No. 2 (October 2006), pp. 452, 473.

[2] Jason L. Riley, “Jobless Blacks Should Cheer Background Checks,” Wall Street Journal, August 23, 2013, p. All; Paul Sperry, “Background Checks Are Racist?Investor’s Business Daily, March 28, 2014, p. Al.

Thomas Sowell, Discrimination and Disparities (New York, NY: Basic Books, 2018), 23-25 (added references).

Here is an excerpt from Jason Riley’s piece mentioned in footnote #2 above, via HOT AIR:

On the contrary, an October 2006 study in the Journal of Law and Economics, “Perceived Criminality, Criminal Background Checks, and the Racial Hiring Practices of Employers,” found that “employers that check criminal backgrounds are in general more likely to hire African Americans,” according to Harry Holzer of Georgetown University and his two co-authors. “[T]he adverse consequence of employer-initiated background checks on the likelihood of hiring African Americans is more than offset by the positive effect of eliminating statistical discrimination.” These researchers surmise that employers who can screen for prison records are less likely to rely on prejudice when hiring.

Blacks aren’t the only beneficiaries. Analyzing “employer willingness to hire other stigmatized groups of workers (such as workers with gaps in their employment history),” they found the same pattern. The results, they wrote, “suggest that in the absence of background checks, employers use race, gaps in employment history, and other perceived correlates of criminal activity to assess the likelihood of an applicant’s previous felony convictions and factor such assessments into the hiring decision.”

Watch Jason Riley  discuss one of his books on C-SPAN’s Book TV interview.


CALIFORNIA UNDOCUMENTED POPULATION


This is with thanks to BLACK PIGEON SPEAKS! Using the numbers below and the idea (fact really) that the largest population of illegal immigrants live in California, I would say California illegal population is at least 13% of Cali’s population. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to say, then, that it could be as high as 20% (so 2-of-every-10 residents). Here are some other factoids:

  • Most undocumented immigrants are from Latin America. Nationwide, 78% of undocumented immigrants are from Latin America—a slight majority (52%) come from Mexico alone. Most of the others (13%) are from Asia, although Africa and Europe also account for hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the US. The Pew Research Center (PRC) estimates that as of 2014, 71% of California’s undocumented population was Mexican-born.

Yale Professor: There Are “22.8 Million Undocumented Immigrants” In America, Double Official Estimates

A working paper by Dr. Mohammad Fazel Zarandi from the Yale School of Management, coauthored by two other Yale professors, estimates that there are 22.8 million illegal immigrants in the United States.

This is over double estimates compiled by the Department of Homeland Security, which claims 11.1 million illegal aliens live in the US.

The paper’s abstract outlines some of the reasons why their estimate is both higher, and better than the current government statistics:

We apply standard operational principles of inflows and outflows to estimate the number of undocumented immigrants in the United States, using the best available data, including some that has only recently become available. We generate a lower bound for the number of undocumented immigrants using conservative parameter values that underestimate inflows and overestimate outflows.

Our lower bound is close to 17 million, 50% higher than the most prominent current estimate of 11.3 million, which is based on survey data and thus different sources and methods. Standard parameter values generate an estimate of 22.8 million undocumented immigrants, twice as large as the current estimate.

Conservatives have argued for well over a decade that the number of illegal immigrants is widely underestimated by the government, and think tanks which base their calculations on government data—finally academics are beginning to take an independent look at the problem.

But the fact that the paper needed to be written at all highlights an insidious problem: we really don’t know how many illegal immigrants live in the US.  With that in mind, I think it’s worth surveying the research on the topic—at the very least I’ll be able to give you some context for the broader debate….

Steven Crowder Interviews Thomas Sowell

(Should start at the interview if “play” is pressed.) Talking all things media malpractice on the YouTube headquarters shooter, Detroit zoo poo, Japanese pregnancy forgiveness, and more. Dr Thomas Sowell stops in to talk economics and Owen Benjamin swings by to discuss his new YouTube strike and Twitter ban!

How the Media Portrays Progressives vs. Conservatives

Ron Robinson has served as Young America’s Foundation’s president for more than three decades. Time magazine wrote that Young America’s “Foundation—run by a former Reagan Administration advisor, Ron Robinson—is now the nation’s largest advocacy group devoted to student politics.”

In this talk from Oct, 2017 he describes how the media portrays progressives compared to conservatives. Full video found HERE (MOONBATTERY H-T)

SEE ALSO: THOMAS SOWELL: EXAMPLES OF ABSURD LIBERAL MISINFORMATION

Trickle Down Economics Myth |Updated|

Here are some excerpts of Thomas Sowell’s article, the TRICKLE DOWN LIE (emphasis added):

New York’s new mayor, Bill de Blasio, in his inaugural speech, denounced people “on the far right” who “continue to preach the virtue of trickle-down economics.” According to Mayor de Blasio, “They believe that the way to move forward is to give more to the most fortunate, and that somehow the benefits will work their way down to everyone else.”

If there is ever a contest for the biggest lie in politics, this one should be a top contender.

While there have been all too many lies told in politics, most have some little tiny fraction of truth in them, to make them seem plausible. But the “trickle-down” lie is 100 percent lie.

It should win the contest both because of its purity — no contaminating speck of truth — and because of how many people have repeated it over the years, without any evidence being asked for or given…

[….]

…Back in 2008, presidential candidate Barack Obama attacked what he called “an economic philosophy” which “says we should give more and more to those with the most and hope that prosperity trickles down to everyone else.”

Let’s do something completely unexpected: Let’s stop and think. Why would anyone advocate that we “give” something to A in hopes that it would trickle down to B? Why in the world would any sane person not give it to B and cut out the middleman? But all this is moot, because there was no trickle-down theory about giving something to anybody in the first place.

The “trickle-down” theory cannot be found in even the most voluminous scholarly studies of economic theories — including J.A. Schumpeter’s monumental “History of Economic Analysis.”

[….]

But, contrary to Mayor de Blasio, this is not a view confined to people on the “far right.” Such liberal icons as Presidents John F. Kennedy and Woodrow Wilson likewise argued that tax rates can be so high that they have an adverse effect on the economy.

In his 1919 address to Congress, Woodrow Wilson warned that, at some point, “high rates of income and profits taxes discourage energy, remove the incentive to new enterprise, encourage extravagant expenditures, and produce industrial stagnation with consequent unemployment and other attendant evils.”

In a 1962 address to Congress, John F. Kennedy said, “it is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high today and tax revenues are too low and the soundest way to raise the revenues in the long run is to cut the rates now.”

This was not a new idea. John Maynard Keynes said, back in 1933, that “taxation may be so high as to defeat its object,” that in the long run, a reduction of the tax rate “will run a better chance, than an increase, of balancing the budget.” And Keynes was not on “the far right” either.

The time is long overdue for people to ask themselves why it is necessary for those on the left to make up a lie if what they believe in is true.

Below are two short clips regarding “Trickle Down.” One is a clip from Sowell’s audio book, “Basic Economics A Citizen’s Guide to the Economy 2nd Edition” (left – 4:25 minutes). The other is the same info but during an interview (right – 3:08 minutes):

HERE is the entire “Uncommon Knowledge” interview discussing “Trickle Down” rhetoric and “Taxing the Rich.” BELOW is a Reagan myth exploded in an interview of Tavis Smiley by Larry Elder:


~ BONUS ~


Gender Wage-Gap

(I am changing some of my “Pages” to “Posts,” so some of this info is older to my site)

The reason for this page: Below are three posts combined into ONE LONG POST… sorry. In this post you will find all the information to refute and respond to the completely bogus stat Democrats use about the “gender Wage Gap.” This will be a permanent page found tucked away in the “bar” across the top of my blog. IT HAS EVERYTHING for someone who has never heard a counter to this idea, or for someone who “knows it” but is looking for specifics. Enjoy.

This update is with thanks to MRCTV Blogs:

Progressive feminists have labeled today “Equal Pay Day” and have allied themselves with the White House and Democratic lawmakers. The whole theory of the “gender wage gap” rests on this study by none other than The Institute for Women’s Policy Research. The study claims that, when considering every median income for all full time annual workers, women make 21.7 percent less, or more popularly worded, 78 cents for every dollar a man earns.

But, the Independent Women’s Forum calls both the day and the gap “fictitious”:

“Feminist groups and Democratic lawmakers call today Equal Pay Day, a fictitious holiday that’s premised on the notion that the workplace is openly hostile toward women. What’s more it’s a Trojan horse for horrible policy. The statistical difference between women and men’s average earnings isn’t driven by widespread sexism, but largely from different choices men and women make throughout our lives. The Administration and its allies know the wage gap statistic is grossly misleading; in fact, last year the White House conceded the figure is flawed, yet continues to regurgitate it again this year,” said Sabrina Schaeffer, Independent Women’s Forum executive director.

‘If I said 77 cents was equal pay for equal work, then I completely misspoke,’ and apologized, ‘I certainly wouldn’t have meant to say that,” says White House official Betsey Stevenson.

“The White House admitted what IWF has stated all along – that when you control for a number of variables that impact pay – the pay gap shrinks considerably, nearly disappearing.

As Mark Twain said, “Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.” The 77 percent number is merely an average that compares the salaries of all men and women with full-time jobs but does not compare similar jobs. It does not take into account, for example, that more men choose to be engineers and more women choose to be social workers. It also doesn’t account for women taking time out of the workforce and men putting in longer hours.

The U.S. Department of Labor found that, when educational and career choices factor into the equation, women make 94 percent of men bring home.  Childless urban women actually make more than men in all of these major cities. Pew Research also notes that there is a big gender gap in colleges and with college graduates, favoring women.

…read it all…

Video from NewsBusters ~ Alex Castellanos ended up
writing a response to his above “tiff” with Maddow

This is partly an import from a previous post dealing with this topic via my old blog, and partly an update. In my original post entitle, Glass Ceilings, Veteran benefits, and Other Liberal Mantras, I chronicled the following:

The Glass Ceiling

President Clinton said that women make .73 cents on every man’s dollar. He used this as a campaign issue to try and smear Republicans. Kerry said that women make .76 cents on every man’s dollar, and likewise used this stat as a political smear. The question then is this, are these two persons correct?

YES! If you compare all men to all women, then yes, there is a disparage. This stat doesn’t take into account a few things. It doesn’t consider the fact that women tend to choose the humanities when entering college and men seem to choose the hard sciences. So by choice women tend to choose professions that pay less. Not only that, when you compare Oranges to Oranges, you get something much different than expected, or that we would expect from the liberal side of things. If a woman and a man have had the same level of education and have been on the same job for an equal amount of time, the woman makes $1,005 while a man makes $1,000, a difference of $5 dollars every thousand dollars a man earns.

So part of the problem — exemplified by this article in The New York Time’s by a woman Medical Doctor — is the amount of time put into the career versus a male counterpart:

…But the productivity of the doctors currently practicing is also an important factor. About 30 percent of doctors in the United States are female, and women received 48 percent of the medical degrees awarded in 2010. But their productivity doesn’t match that of men. In a 2006 survey by the American Medical Association and the Association of American Medical Colleges, even full-time female doctors reported working on average 4.5 fewer hours each week and seeing fewer patients than their male colleagues. The American Academy of Pediatrics estimates that 71 percent of female pediatricians take extended leave at some point — five times higher than the percentage for male pediatricians.

This gap is especially problematic because women are more likely to go into primary care fields — where the doctor shortage is most pronounced — than men are. Today 53 percent of family practice residents, 63 percent of pediatric residents and nearly 80 percent of obstetrics and gynecology residents are female. In the low-income areas that lack primary and prenatal care, there are more emergency room visits, more preventable hospitalizations and more patients who die of treatable conditions. Foreign doctors emigrate to the United States to help fill these positions, but this drains their native countries of desperately needed medical care.

If medical training were available in infinite supply, it wouldn’t matter how many doctors worked part time or quit, because there would always be new graduates to fill their spots. But medical schools can only afford to accept a fraction of the students who apply…

Continuing with the medical profession example, The Los Angeles Times [partly] correctly pointed out that many women look for these lower paying jobs because they allow for greater (family rearing) flexibility:

…The answer, they speculate, is that women are choosing lower-paying jobs on purpose because they offer greater flexibility in hours and are generally more family-friendly. The researchers acknowledge they don’t have the data to prove that this is the case, but the data they do have is consistent with this theory.

If so, they say, that would be a victory for women (and even men.) Studies show that many doctors are burned out and would rather take jobs that allow them to have a good quality of life. Now — thanks in large part to the growing ranks of female doctors — such jobs are available. They just come with lower salaries.

“Instead of being penalized because of their gender, female physicians may be seeking out employment arrangements that compensate them in other — nonfinancial — ways, and more employers may be beginning to offer such arrangements,” the researchers wrote….

…..Thomas Sowell is the most well written on this subject. In fact, in his book, Economic Facts and Fallacies, he devotes a whole chapter to this topic. In one area he points the following out, and keep in mind that in most countries mining or other hard-labor jobs are much more the norm than in America:

…various countries’ economies, there are still particular industries today where considerable physical strength remains a requirement. Women are obviously not as likely to work in such fields as men are— and some of these are fields with jobs that pay more than the national average. While women have been 74 percent of what the U.S. Census Bureau classifies as “clerical and kindred workers,” they have been less than 5 percent of “transport equipment operatives.” In other words, women are far more likely to be sitting behind a desk than to be sitting behind the steering wheel of an eighteen-wheel truck. Women are also less than 4 percent of the workers in “construction, extraction, and maintenance.” They are less than 3 percent of construction workers or loggers, less than 2 percent of roofers or masons and less than one percent of the mechanics and technicians who service heavy vehicles arid mobile equipment.

Such occupational distributions have obvious economic implications, since miners earn nearly double the income of office clerks when both work full-time and year-round 20 There is still a premium paid for workers doing heavy physical work, as well as for hazardous work, which often overlaps work requiring physical strength. While men are 54 percent of the labor force, they are 92 percent of the job-related deaths.

He goes on to point out that this volunteerism of choices continues onto Ph.D.s,

Given the asymmetrical effects of career obsolescence on women and men, it is hardly surprising that women tend to work in fields with lower rates of obsolescence— as teachers and librarians, for example, rather than as computer engineers or tax accountants. Even as the proportion of women receiving Ph.D.s rose dramatically from the 1970s on, male-female differences in the fields of specialization remained large. As of 2005, for example, women received more than 60 percent of the doctorates in education but less than 20 percent of the doctorates in engineering.

He then goes on to point out that do to life choices based on being close to family [kids], and choices made around work and family:

The most important reason why women earn less than men is not that they are paid less for doing the very same work but that they are distributed differently among jobs and have fewer hours and less continuity in the labor force. Among college-educated, never-married individuals with no children who worked fill-time and were from 40 to 64 years old— that is, beyond the child-bearing years— men averaged $40,000 a year in income, while women averaged $47,000.30 But, despite the fact that women in this category earned more than men in the same category, gross income differences in favor of men continue to reflect differences in work patterns between the sexes, so that women and men are not in the same categories to the same extent.

Even women who have graduated from top-level universities like Harvard and Yale have not worked full-time, or worked at all, to the same extent that male graduates of these same institutions have. Among Yale alumni in their forties, “only 56 percent of the women still worked, compared with 90 percent of the men,” according to the New York Times. It was much the same story at Harvard:

A 2001 survey of Harvard Business School graduates found that 31 percent of the women from the classes of 1981, 1985 and 1991 who answered the survey worked only part time or on contract, and another 31 percent did not work at all, levels strikingly similar to the percentages of the Yale students interviewed who predicted they would stay at home or work part time in their 30’s and 40’s.

In fact, as of a few years ago, women make more of the enrollment statistics in college, but will, through life choices, spend less time on the job that they went to school for than their male counterparts. All this brings me full circle to a great article that updates the above via the Wall Street Journal. They point out that much of the emphasis on this are by special interest groups that want to fix the problem — in my mind’s eye — with outdated thinking that no longer fits the evidence. In a recent VIRAL article found at The Atlantic Monthly Why Women Still Can’t Have It All,” Anne-Marie Slaughter talks about the talent businesses lose due to their inflexibility of allowing women to juggle family and work via a work schedule that doesn’t force an “either-or” schedule on them. BECAUSE when forced into an either-or situation, women choose family. Its in their nature. Here she talks a bit about her column:

Mona Charen, a favorite author of mine, columnist, and part of the Clare Booth Luce Institute (a conservative policy institute for women), comments on Slaughter’s article in her’s, Grow up: Life Has Trade-offs,” by agreeing with her that women were sold a lie. Both in the prevailing view by the left that counters women’s nature as well as statistical lies:

…Even with a supportive husband who was willing to “take on the lion’s share of parenting … (while) I was in Washington,” she found that she didn’t want to be away from her two teenaged sons, particularly when one was having trouble in school.

“Want” is the critical word here. Slaughter made a choice, as adults do. She writes, “I realized that I didn’t just need to go home. Deep down, I wanted to go home. I wanted to be able to spend time with my children in the last few years that they are likely to live at home, crucial years for their development into responsible, productive, happy, and caring adults.”

Slaughter’s wants mirror those of other women (high-earning and otherwise). A 2007 Pew survey found that among working mothers with children 17 and younger, fully 79 percent said that they would prefer part-time (60 percent) or zero (19 percent) work outside the home. Only 21 percent said they would choose full-time employment while their children were young. This was down from 32 percent who preferred to work full time in 1997.

Despite endless repetition by Democrats and feminists, the idea that women earn less than men for the same work is fiction. Single women without children earn just as much, and sometimes more, than comparably qualified young men. Women earn less (over their whole careers) because they choose to. And they choose to because they place more value on child rearing than on money or status.

A better feminist would applaud women for this and stress the incomparable contribution mothers make to society. Instead, feminists define progress as the “first” woman this or that and the degree to which a woman’s life parallels a man’s. Feminists have been missing what’s best about womanhood for decades…

This is much of the left’s “padded” thinking mind you! the WSJ’s article, entitled,There Is No Male-Female Wage Gap: A study of single, childless urban workers between the ages of 22 and 30 found that women earned 8% more than men, is a great update to the above:

Tuesday is Equal Pay Day—so dubbed by the National Committee for Pay Equity, which represents feminist groups including the National Organization for Women, Feminist Majority, the National Council of Women’s Organizations and others. The day falls on April 12 because, according to feminist logic, women have to work that far into a calendar year before they earn what men already earned the year before.

In years past, feminist leaders marked the occasion by rallying outside the U.S. Capitol to decry the pernicious wage gap and call for government action to address systematic discrimination against women. This year will be relatively quiet. Perhaps feminists feel awkward protesting a liberal-dominated government—or perhaps they know that the recent economic downturn has exposed as ridiculous their claims that our economy is ruled by a sexist patriarchy.

The unemployment rate is consistently higher among men than among women. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 9.3% of men over the age of 16 are currently out of work. The figure for women is 8.3%. Unemployment fell for both sexes over the past year, but labor force participation (the percentage of working age people employed) also dropped. The participation rate fell more among men (to 70.4% today from 71.4% in March 2010) than women (to 58.3% from 58.8%). That means much of the improvement in unemployment numbers comes from discouraged workers—particularly male ones—giving up their job searches entirely.

Men have been hit harder by this recession because they tend to work in fields like construction, manufacturing and trucking, which are disproportionately affected by bad economic conditions. Women cluster in more insulated occupations, such as teaching, health care and service industries.

Yet if you can accept that the job choices of men and women lead to different unemployment rates, then you shouldn’t be surprised by other differences—like differences in average pay.

Feminist hand-wringing about the wage gap relies on the assumption that the differences in average earnings stem from discrimination. Thus the mantra that women make only 77% of what men earn for equal work. But even a cursory review of the data proves this assumption false.

The Department of Labor’s Time Use survey shows that full-time working women spend an average of 8.01 hours per day on the job, compared to 8.75 hours for full-time working men. One would expect that someone who works 9% more would also earn more. This one fact alone accounts for more than a third of the wage gap.

Choice of occupation also plays an important role in earnings. While feminists suggest that women are coerced into lower-paying job sectors, most women know that something else is often at work. Women gravitate toward jobs with fewer risks, more comfortable conditions, regular hours, more personal fulfillment and greater flexibility. Simply put, many women—not all, but enough to have a big impact on the statistics—are willing to trade higher pay for other desirable job characteristics.

Men, by contrast, often take on jobs that involve physical labor, outdoor work, overnight shifts and dangerous conditions (which is also why men suffer the overwhelming majority of injuries and deaths at the workplace). They put up with these unpleasant factors so that they can earn more.

Recent studies have shown that the wage gap shrinks—or even reverses—when relevant factors are taken into account and comparisons are made between men and women in similar circumstances. In a 2010 study of single, childless urban workers between the ages of 22 and 30, the research firm Reach Advisors found that women earned an average of 8% more than their male counterparts. Given that women are outpacing men in educational attainment, and that our economy is increasingly geared toward knowledge-based jobs, it makes sense that women’s earnings are going up compared to men’s.

…(read more)…

In a response to a reader in a previous blogpost on this subject, I pointed out that there are physiological differences between the sexes that are undeniable and that promote women making choices to pause a career and build a home life. Here is my response:

You should know that there is a hard wired difference between men and women, whether by evolutionary means or creative means. A most recent example is what wakes the sexes at night:

Psychologist Dr David Lewis said: ‘There is nothing more likely to leave you feeling drained and depressed than disturbed sleep, especially when this happens over several nights.

A graphic explaining the different sounds which will wake men and women

‘As this unique study shows while some sounds, for instance your partner coughing or snoring beside you, disturb men and women equally, other noises such as a howling wind cause men to be more disturbed than women.

‘Women are more likely to be disturbed by a crying baby.

‘These differing sensitivities may represent evolutionary differences that make women sensitive to sounds associated with a potential threat to their children while men are more finely tuned to disturbances posing a possible threat to the whole family.’

(Daily Mail)


I could call my husband lazy, sexist and insensitive but his failure to hear a crying child while he’s sleeping might not be his fault at all. Researchers have actually found that women are hard-wired to wake up to the sound of a sobbing baby. A 2009 study by the British Mindlab sleeping lab found that a baby’s crying is the number one sound most likely to rouse a woman and didn’t even factor into the male top 10. Men were more likely to wake to the sounds of a car alarm, howling wind, or a buzzing fly.

(San Francisco Chronicle)

This difference is what the market responds to. The fact that women typically WANT to be at home with their family MORE than the man… AND, women typically CHOOSE jobs that pay less. But free markets is not what the left is about, egalitarianism is.


Below, Michael Medved deals with two issues from President Obama’s recent Executive Order “Payment Fairness Act” push through. He [Medved] deals first with the continuing distortion of Obama’s family history by Obama himself. Then he gets to the meat of the issue (followed by some of the WSJ article mentioned in the clip):

Here are excerpts from the WSJ article:

…In its annual report, “Highlights of Women’s Earnings in 2012,” the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that “In 2012, women who were full-time wage and salary workers had median usual weekly earnings of $691. On average in 2012, women made about 81% of the median earnings of male full-time wage and salary workers ($854).” Give or take a few percentage points, the BLS appears to support the president’s claim.

But every “full-time” worker, as the BLS notes, is not the same: Men were almost twice as likely as women to work more than 40 hours a week, and women almost twice as likely to work only 35 to 39 hours per week. Once that is taken into consideration, the pay gap begins to shrink. Women who worked a 40-hour week earned 88% of male earnings.

Then there is the issue of marriage and children. The BLS reports that single women who have never married earned 96% of men’s earnings in 2012.

The supposed pay gap appears when marriage and children enter the picture. Child care takes mothers out of the labor market, so when they return they have less work experience than similarly-aged males. Many working mothers seek jobs that provide greater flexibility, such as telecommuting or flexible hours. Not all jobs can be flexible, and all other things being equal, those which are will pay less than those that do not.

Education also matters. Even within groups with the same educational attainment, women often choose fields of study, such as sociology, liberal arts or psychology, that pay less in the labor market. Men are more likely to major in finance, accounting or engineering. And as the American Association of University Women reports, men are four times more likely to bargain over salaries once they enter the job market.

Risk is another factor. Nearly all the most dangerous occupations, such as loggers or iron workers, are majority male and 92% of work-related deaths in 2012 were to men. Dangerous jobs tend to pay higher salaries to attract workers. Also: Males are more likely to pursue occupations where compensation is risky from year to year, such as law and finance. Research shows that average pay in such jobs is higher to compensate for that risk.

While the BLS reports that full-time female workers earned 81% of full-time males, that is very different than saying that women earned 81% of what men earned for doing the same jobs, while working the same hours, with the same level of risk, with the same educational background and the same years of continuous, uninterrupted work experience, and assuming no gender differences in family roles like child care. In a more comprehensive study that controlled for most of these relevant variables simultaneously—such as that from economists June and Dave O’Neill for the American Enterprise Institute in 2012—nearly all of the 23% raw gender pay gap cited by Mr. Obama can be attributed to factors other than discrimination. The O’Neills conclude that, “labor market discrimination is unlikely to account for more than 5% but may not be present at all.”…

Again, and again, the Dems from the President on-down spread this lie! While I deal with this quite well here… I will now add another post dealing with this myth, lie, political tactic. Below will be a few video/audio clips as well as The Wall Street Journal and Powerline posts/articles on the matter.

Professor Christiana Hoff Sommers was recently interviewed by Larry Elder explains this nonsense in an erudite and concise manner:

Powerline says that the President is in trouble when it can’t even fool CNN: AEI’s Mark Perry sets out the “analysis” proving pay discrimination at the White House here in a form even the folks at CNN can understand. If Obama can’t fool those who want to believe at CNN with this line, who ya gonna fool? Again, Powerline posts (10-20, 2012)Thomas Sowell’s response to the matter:

At the Hofstra University presidential debate this past Tuesday (I’m working from the WaPo transcript here), Candy Crowley called on Katherine Fenton to ask this groaner of a question: “In what new ways to you intend to rectify the inequalities in the workplace, specifically regarding females making only 72 percent of what their male counterparts earn?”

This is such an old canard I thought that Governor Romney might challenge the premise of the question. Equal pay for equal work is the law of the land, Katherine. The proposition that the statistical disparity in pay you mention results from employment discrimination has been examined and disproved many times over. The great Thomas Sowell addressed it in chapter 3 of Economic Facts and Fallacies (summarized in the video below). Katherine, the premise of your question falls into the category of “fallacy.”

What is truly scary is that everyone may know your pay at some point… this may be no-longer private:

The first bill President Obama signed into law was the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, but five years later, the White House is still talking about the gender wage-gap.

At a White House briefing on Wednesday, Betsey Stevenson, one of President Obama’s economic advisers, said female employees need to know how much their male colleagues earn, so they can tell if they’re being paid equally.

(read it all)

(Via The Lonely Conservative) …The Washington Post slammed [the above] graphic put out by the White House as being sexist.

It pictures two women, one in a pink dress carrying a handbag, the other in an orange dress, and both are wearing oh-so-practical stilettos. This is exactly what working women wear to work every day, right? All those women who are lawyers, and doctors, and cashiers, and investment bankers, and biochemists, and nursing assistants and architects and engineers and cashiers at the Piggly Wiggly? Perhaps this is why Obama was so focused on dry-cleaning bills at the White House signing ceremony? This is just not great messaging or symbolism for a White House that wants to also focus on women in minimum wage jobs. It screams “Sex and the City,” not “9 to 5.”

Ouch!

It didn’t get much better for Senate Democrats. Republicans took a look at their payroll records and found they also have a wage inequality problem.

It turns out President Obama isn’t the only hypocritical Democrat, in fact Senate Democrats have their own problems when it comes to equal pay. We pulled the official payroll records of various offices and calculated the average pay for men and women in each office for the most recent 6 month period available. Since some employees only worked a portion of the six month period, we calculated how much each person was paid per day in order to give an accurate representation. Here’s what we found:

  • Mark Udall pays women 85 cents for every dollar that a man makes.
  • Mary Landrieu pays women 88 cents for every dollar that a man makes.
  • Mark Begich pays women 82 cents for every dollar that a man makes.
  • Mark Warner pays women 75 cents for every dollar that a man makes.
  • Gary Peters pays women 67 cents for every dollar that a man makes.

That means on average, these five Democrats on the ballot in battleground states pay women in their office 79 cents for every dollar made by a male employee.