Minimum Wage Fail ~ McDonald’s Goes Hi-Tech!

Via BizPic! See my “Minimum Wage” post, which this is partly an update to:

While it seems liberals may think that raising the minimum wage will raise living standards for poor Americans, they should have seen this coming.

With Los Angeles joining Seattle in setting a $15 minimum wage (Los Angeles by 2020, and Seattle by 2021), it stands to reason that McDonald’s would find a way around simply paying workers more, as Vox pointed out the obvious fact that “the reality is that McDonald’s just wants to make money.”

In a very real-world example of big business’ response to liberal policies, a conservative Twitter user sent Labor Day wishes from McDonald’s workers whose minimum wage never goes up.

RPT Will Not Be Pulling for Dr. Carson in the Primaries (UPDATED)

Contents:

The following is just a couple reasons I am not a fan of Dr. Benjamin Carson in the 2016 Republican primaries. Now, this is of a different tone than my rejection of Ron Paul in years past. At worst Ron Paul is an anti-Semite, even going as far as thinking we were behind 9/11. At best he surrounds his professional career with anti-Semites and 9/11 conspiracy types. A “guilt by proxy” idea, which is more powerful than “guilt by association.”

This post is different however. I like Dr. Ben Carson. I think he would do great in a position like the head of NIH (National Institute of Health), or as head of HHS (Health and Human Services). He would be very effective in an area like that to be front and center in explaining how the implementation of Obama-care is devastating the health industry as well as the patient/doctor relationship.

This post is merely me saying that Dr. Ben Carson is not Presidential material. And the reasons are economics, environment, foreign policy, and being able to respond well to cultural issues.

Let’s start with economics:

Minimum Wage

Here is a recent CATO article responding to a Robert Reich video about raising the minimum wage:

…Perhaps the most remarkable flaw in this video is Reich’s manner of addressing the bedrock economic objection to the minimum wage – namely, that minimum wage prices some low-skilled workers out of jobs.  Ignoring supply-and-demand analysis (which depicts the correct common-sense understanding that the higher the minimum wage, the lower is the quantity of unskilled workers that firms can profitably employ), Reich asserts that a higher minimum wage enables workers to spend more money on consumer goods which, in turn, prompts employers to hire more workers.  Reich apparently believes that his ability to describe and draw such a “virtuous circle” of increased spending and hiring is reason enough to dismiss the concerns of “scare-mongers” (his term) who worry that raising the price of unskilled labor makes such labor less attractive to employers.

Ignore (as Reich does) that any additional amounts paid in total to workers mean lower profits for firms or higher prices paid by consumers – and, thus, less spending elsewhere in the economy by people other than the higher-paid workers.

Ignore (as Reich does) the extraordinarily low probability that workers who are paid a higher minimum wage will spend all of their additional earnings on goods and services produced by minimum-wage workers.

Ignore (as Reich does) the impossibility of making people richer simply by having them circulate amongst themselves a larger quantity of money.  (If Reich is correct that raising the minimum wage by $7.75 per hour will do nothing but enrich all low-wage workers to the tune of $7.75 per hour because workers will spend all of their additional earnings in ways that make it profitable for their employers to pay them an additional $7.75 per hour, then it can legitimately be asked: Why not raise the minimum wage to $150 per hour?  If higher minimum wages are fully returned to employers in the form of higher spending by workers as Reich theorizes, then there is no obvious limit to the amount by which government can hike the minimum wage before risking an increase in unemployment.)

Focus instead on Reich’s apparent complete ignorance of the important concept of the elasticity of demand for labor.  This concept refers to the responsiveness of employers to changes in wage rates.  It’s true that if employers’ demand for unskilled workers is “inelastic,” then a higher minimum wage would indeed put more money into the pockets of unskilled workers as a group.  The increased pay of workers who keep their jobs more than offsets the lower pay of worker who lose their jobs.  Workers as a group could then spend more in total.  But if employers’ demand for unskilled workers is “elastic,” then raising the minimum wage reduces, rather than increases, the amount of money in the pockets of unskilled workers as a group.  When the demand for labor is elastic, the higher pay of those workers fortunate enough to keep their jobs is more than offset by the lower pay of workers who lose their jobs.  So total spending by minimum-wage workers would likely fall, not rise.

By completely ignoring elasticity, Reich assumes his conclusion.  That is, he simply assumes that raising the minimum wage raises the total pay of unskilled workers (and, thereby, raises the total spending of such workers).  Yet whether or not raising the minimum wage has this effect is among the core issues in the debate over the merits of minimum-wage legislation.  Even if (contrary to fact) increased spending by unskilled workers were sufficient to bootstrap up the employment of such workers, raising the minimum wage might well reduce the total amount of money paid to unskilled workers and, thus, lower their spending….

…read more…

Homesexuality

Dr. Carson’s positions and responses to key issues facing our Republic are lacking depth. As a medical professional he should have had a better answer when asked about homosexuality other than:

  • “Because a lot of people who go into prison go into prison straight — and when they come out, they’re gay. So, did something happen while they were in there? Ask yourself that question.”

That was a bad answer, and most people would recognize that. And a person of decency and intelligence might respond to his statement by refuting it with logic and reason, by pointing out the myriad flaws in his analogy…

(GayPatriot)

That is weak! And this non-professional conservative-Evangelical blogger can supply a better response than that one without throwing fellow conservatives [or conservatarians] who happen to be gay, under the bus in such a low-level response.

Foreign Policy

And this next section is merely an interview between Dr. Ben Carson and Hugh Hewitt (the transcript is here). And having a son in the military and knowing his peers that serve alongside him I want someone who is serious about the Middle-East.

Energy Policy

As an update to this post, I think HotAir does a great job in showing how Dr. Carson says one things about supporting the free market… and then in the next sentence refuting completely the previous position:

….Ben Carson was out talking to the Cornhuskers and the inevitable subjects of ethanol, the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and subsidies for King Corn came up. The answer from the esteemed neurosurgeon was dismaying even compared to some of the other pandering we’ve seen previously.

He started out on a fairly good note:

Carson, in his first speech in the state as a candidate, was asked by a voter about the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), the federal mandate that fuel refiners blend a certain volume of ethanol and biodiesel into their gasoline and diesel supplies.

“I don’t particularly like the idea of government subsidies for anything because it interferes with the natural free market,” Carson said, according to The Des Moines Register.

Not bad. Subsidies in general are detrimental. If he’d only stopped there. But sadly, he didn’t.

“Therefore, I would probably be in favor of taking that $4 billion a year we spend on oil subsidies and using that in new fueling stations” for 30 percent ethanol blends, he added.

How much wrong can you package into just one sentence? First of all… thirty percent blends? We’re fighting like mad to hold the line against E-15 as it is. I don’t even need to go back over all the reasons why yet again in this article. But let’s move on to the other half of that pitch.

He’s suggesting cutting subsidies for domestic energy companies in the oil and gas industry. Not for everyone, mind you. Just them. And then reallocating that money away from fossil fuels and into ethanol processing. Just five seconds before that Carson had been claiming that he didn’t want anyone interfering with the free market, but now he’s saying to cherry pick one specific set of companies in the energy sector, remove a subsidy from them, and then redirect it to benefit the ethanol industry? It’s difficult to imagine a more egregious example of the government picking winners and losers, with the winners just happening to be in the first caucus state.

Second, calling out the “subsidies for Big Oil” is the language of the Left, and as usual it’s complete horse hockey. As anyone who follows this topic knows, the subsidies received by oil and gas companies are not specific to them. They are precisely the same as subsidies given to almost anyone who sells anything, including Apple and Microsoft among so many others. In fact, you couldn’t just cancel the subsidies to the fossil fuel segment of the energy industry without rewriting the rules entirely just to exclude them. That’s a left wing, anti-energy talking point and Carson should be embarrassed to be saying it in front of an ostensibly conservative crowd.

..read it all…

And as some may know, I do not like ethanol at all. Here is part of a larger post of mine on the subject:


It’s Final – Corn Ethanol Is of No Use

This comes by way of Gateway Pundit, and chronicle a report showing that if you hate C02, you should love fracking.

Now, here’s something you won’t here on the mainstream news. Fracking has eliminated CO2 more than more than all of the solar panels and wind turbines in the world.

John Stossel at FOX News reported:

On my TV show this week, statistician Bjorn Lomborg points out that “air pollution kills 4.3 million people each year … We need to get a sense of priority.” That deadly air pollution happens because, to keep warm, poor people burn dung in their huts.

Yet, time and again, environmentalists oppose the energy production most likely to make the world cleaner and safer. Instead, they persuade politicians to spend billions of your dollars on symbolism like “renewable” energy.

“The amazing number that most people haven’t heard is, if you take all the solar panels and all the wind turbines in the world,” says Lomborg, “they have (eliminated) less CO2 than what U.S. fracking (cracking rocks below ground to extract oil and natural gas) managed to do.”

That progress occurred despite opposition from environmentalists — and even bans in places like my stupid state, New York, where activists worry fracking will cause earthquakes or poison the water….


Liberalism = Death

Ethanol is killing children around the world… Democrats! It takes 450lbs of Corn to fill one SUV tank… that is a years worth of food for multiple children, not to mention the rise of corn-based food for the poor worldwide.

Enviro-Nuts! (4-16-08)

And while Gateway mentions is, this is actually old news. For instance, I quoted economist Walter Williams back in March of 2008 saying,

…Ethanol is 20 to 30 percent less efficient than gasoline, making it more expensive per highway mile. It takes 450 pounds of corn to produce the ethanol to fill one SUV tank. That’s enough corn to feed one person for a year. Plus, it takes more than one gallon of fossil fuel — oil and natural gas — to produce one gallon of ethanol. After all, corn must be grown, fertilized, harvested and trucked to ethanol producers — all of which are fuel-using activities. And, it takes 1,700 gallons of water to produce one gallon of ethanol. On top of all this, if our total annual corn output were put to ethanol production, it would reduce gasoline consumption by 10 or 12 percent.

Ethanol is so costly that it wouldn’t make it in a free market. That’s why Congress has enacted major ethanol subsidies, about $1.05 to $1.38 a gallon, which is no less than a tax on consumers. In fact, there’s a double tax — one in the form of ethanol subsidies and another in the form of handouts to corn farmers to the tune of $9.5 billion in 2005 alone.

There’s something else wrong with this picture. If Congress and President Bush say we need less reliance on oil and greater use of renewable fuels, then why would Congress impose a stiff tariff, 54 cents a gallon, on ethanol from Brazil? Brazilian ethanol, by the way, is produced from sugar cane and is far more energy efficient, cleaner and cheaper to produce.

Ethanol production has driven up the prices of corn-fed livestock, such as beef, chicken and dairy products, and products made from corn, such as cereals. As a result of higher demand for corn, other grain prices, such as soybean and wheat, have risen dramatically. The fact that the U.S. is the world’s largest grain producer and exporter means that the ethanol-induced higher grain prices will have a worldwide impact on food prices….

Read More

What’s Up With That comments that corn generates “more greenhouse gases than gasoline.” Further noting from the recent study that,

The researchers, led by assistant professor Adam Liska, used a supercomputer model at UNL’s Holland Computing Center to estimate the effect of residue removal on 128 million acres across 12 Corn Belt states. The team found that removing crop residue from cornfields generates an additional 50 to 70 grams of carbon dioxide per megajoule of biofuel energy produced (a joule is a measure of energy and is roughly equivalent to 1 BTU). Total annual production emissions, averaged over five years, would equal about 100 grams of carbon dioxide per megajoule — which is 7 percent greater than gasoline emissions and 62 grams above the 60 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions as required by the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act.

…read it all…

Al Sharpton

Jan Morgan is the first in my updated reasons for Ben Carson not getting my enthusiasm:

Dr. Ben Carson, on Fox News tonight said he and Al Sharpton have the same goal.

Carson on Fox: “Mr. Sharpton and I have the same goal: to build a brighter, stronger America that provides equal opportunities and access to the underserved and forgotten. ” (end quote)

Only an idiot would truly believe that Al Sharpton has the goal to build a brighter, stronger America that provides equal opportunities and access to the underserved and forgotten..

Al Sharpton is about himself.. period..

He has exploited black people and race for the advancement of his own personal exposure at a great expense to our country and race relations.

Al Sharpton, Jessie Jackson, and Reverend Wright are 3 people NO ONE seeking the office of President, should have ANY association with in any fashion.

All three are enemies of our Constitutional Republic… [BAM!]

2nd Amendment

This is one that bothers me, it is when politicians speak about the Second Amendment and “semi-automtic” weapons. If Carson thinks the “life” in the Declaration is immutable, why not the 2nd Amendment as an immutable right?

Answer, because Carson does not think the Constitution provides rights, but the government does. And so the government can defines these rights… “well a baby isn’t human u-n-t-i-l-l…” ~or~ “the Constitution only meant you to have a 7-round clip…” etc.

When Government see’s itself in the place of God, slippery slopes happen often. In this case, God given rights are only applicable if you live in the suburbs:

Appearing on Glenn Beck‘s radio show this past week, Dr. Benjamin Carson took a vastly different stance from most conservatives on the issue of gun control, claiming you shouldn’t be able to own semi-automatic weapons in large cities.

Carson became a newfound conservative herolast month when he spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast and laid out a series of criticisms of ObamaCare, political correctness, and tax policy right in front of the president himself. Many called the speech “inappropriate” given the apolitical nature of the event, but many conservatives lauded Carson for his “bold” and “sensible” suggestions for policy reform.

Asked by Beck for his thoughts on the Second Amendment, Carson gave the popular pro-gun argument: “There’s a reason for the Second Amendment; people do have the right to have weapons.”

But when asked whether people should be allowed to own “semi-automatic weapons,” the doctor replied: “It depends on where you live.”…

The Constitution Does Not Allow For Social Programs

Here is Walter William’s article Larry Elder mentions:

Now that we’re about to decide the White House’s next occupant, let’s speculate about how previous presidents might fare were they standing for election in today’s America. What would be the presidential prospects of Thomas Jefferson or James Madison, our third and fourth presidents? Here’s my bet: They’d go down in an unprecedented landslide defeat. I could see the likes of a Joseph Stalin or a Mao Zedong winning long before a Jefferson or Madison. Let’s look at it.

In 1792, Congress appropriated $15,000 to assist some French refugees. James Madison wrote disapprovingly, “I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.” Even though our Constitution hasn’t been amended to authorize Congress to spend on the objects of benevolence, I can’t imagine today’s Americans electing a president who’d share Madison’s view. Such a candidate would be labeled mean-spirited, racist, sexist and homophobic.

Today’s politicians might argue that James Madison, the acknowledged father of our Constitution, is all wrong. They’d say spending on the objects of benevolence (legalized theft) is authorized by the Constitution’s “promote the general welfare” clause. James Madison spoke to that argument saying, “With respect to the words general welfare, I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers [enumerated in the Constitution] connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.”

Today’s Americans wouldn’t elect Thomas Jefferson either. He’d be labeled an extremist and a gun nut. Jefferson warned, “The issue today is the same as it has been throughout all history, whether man shall be allowed to govern himself or be ruled by a small elite.” Today, he’d be referring to the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court and federal regulatory agencies. Because of elite proclivities, Thomas Jefferson urged, “No man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” Jefferson wasn’t referring to just any old government; he was referring to the U.S. federal government.

Franklin Pierce, our 14th president, took actions that would be political suicide today. In 1854, he vetoed a bill to help the mentally ill saying, “I cannot find any authority in the Constitution for public charity,” adding that to approve such spending, “would be contrary to the letter and the spirit of the Constitution and subversive to the whole theory upon which the Union of these States is founded.”

In 1887, President Grover Cleveland, our 22nd and 24th president, said when vetoing an appropriation to help drought-stricken counties in Texas, “I feel obliged to withhold my approval of the plan to indulge in benevolent and charitable sentiment through the appropriation of public funds . . . I find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution.”

Today’s politicians can’t be held fully responsible for our growing constitutional contempt. We might blame them for not being statesmen. The lion’s share of the blame rests with 270 million Americans. Our elected officials simply mirror our contempt for constitutional principles and our desire to live at the expense of our fellow American. It’s unreasonable to expect a congressman, or a president to live up to his oath of office, to protect, defend and bear true allegiance to the Constitution, if doing that means political suicide.

 

Wisconsin Sheriff David Clarke Talks Civil Rights and Conservatism

More at the Daily Caller, the Sheriff’s Twitter, and his blog:

“[N]one of these individuals deserves to have been killed, but the fact is they were co-conspirators in their own demise,” Clarke said. “They engaged in some behavior that took them to a very dark place. Things weren’t going to turn out for them and didn’t. However, how can the civil rights movement in 2014 cloak themselves around criminal behavior, people who engage in criminal behavior and say this is the face of the civil rights movement? I’ve heard people say, ‘This is a new civil rights movement.’ No it’s not. That is an embarrassment.”

“That is a desecration of the legacy of people like Rosa Parks, people like Dr. Martin Luther King,” he continued. “You know again, Condi Rice’s story – two parents, education. That’s the key. That’s the traditional vehicle for upward mobility in the United States for everybody. You got to embrace it. You got to grind it out. We’re not offering the best schools for blacks in some of these urban centers, which is a very big issue for me.”

“Paternalistic” Racism of White Liberals (Real White Privileged)

(See also the middle video here about “buying votes.”) The below is a great example of how this “paternalism” has destroyed the black family and left the black community blaming scapegoats. However, to note, this leftist… sorry… Leftist Progressive ideology IS the white privilege you hear about. But it is masked in such a way that those on the Left bolster it while railing against it. It is akin to the atheist without a ground for morals borrowing from the theistic worldview to paint act done as morally wrong… when there is not ontological grounding for them to say such things. Unless God exists, that is.

Dr. Christina Greer, a professor of Political Science at Fordham University said that the US is “a patriarchal, white supremacist country” on Thursday’s Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore on Comedy Central. (Breitbart)

Discover the Networks has this wonderful article, and as much as the above political science professor is a disgrace… the below is mainly geared towards the “slavery” remarks of the host on his way out of the segment:

The rise of the welfare state in the 1960s contributed greatly to the demise of the black family as a stable institution. The out-of-wedlock birth rate among African Americans today is 73%, three times higher than it was prior to the War on Poverty. Children raised in fatherless homes are far more likely to grow up poor and to eventually engage in criminal behavior, than their peers who are raised in two-parent homes. In 2010, blacks (approximately 13% of the U.S. population) accounted for 48.7% of all arrests for homicide, 31.8% of arrests for forcible rape, 33.5% of arrests for aggravated assault, and 55% of arrests for robbery. Also as of 2010, the black poverty rate was 27.4% (about 3 times higher than the white rate), meaning that 11.5 million blacks in the U.S. were living in poverty.

When President Lyndon Johnson in 1964 launched the so-called War on Poverty, which enacted an unprecedented amount of antipoverty legislation and added many new layers to the American welfare state, he explained that his objective was to reduce dependency, “break the cycle of poverty,” and make “taxpayers out of tax eaters.” Johnson further claimed that his programs would bring to an end the “conditions that breed despair and violence,” those being “ignorance, discrimination, slums, poverty, disease, not enough jobs.” Of particular concern to Johnson was the disproportionately high rate of black poverty. In a famous June 1965 speech, the president suggested that the problems plaguing black Americans could not be solved by self-help: “You do not take a person who, for years, has been hobbled by chains and liberate him, bring him up to the starting line in a race and then say, ‘you are free to compete with all the others,’” said Johnson.

Thus began an unprecedented commitment of federal funds to a wide range of measures aimed at redistributing wealth in the United States.[1]  From 1965 to 2008, nearly $16 trillion of taxpayer money (in constant 2008 dollars) was spent on means-tested welfare programs for the poor.

The economic milieu in which the War on Poverty arose is noteworthy. As of 1965, the number of Americans living below the official poverty line had been declining continuously since the beginning of the decade and was only about half of what it had been fifteen years earlier. Between 1950 and 1965, the proportion of people whose earnings put them below the poverty level, had decreased by more than 30%. The black poverty rate had been cut nearly in half between 1940 and 1960. In various skilled trades during the period of 1936-59, the incomes of blacks relative to whites had more than doubled. Further, the representation of blacks in professional and other high-level occupations grew more quickly during the five years preceding the launch of the War on Poverty than during the five years thereafter.

Despite these trends, the welfare state expanded dramatically after LBJ’s statement. Between the mid-Sixties and the mid-Seventies, the dollar value of public housing quintupled and the amount spent on food stamps rose more than tenfold. From 1965 to 1969, government-provided benefits increased by a factor of 8; by 1974 such benefits were an astounding 20 times higher than they had been in 1965. Also as of 1974, federal spending on social-welfare programs amounted to 16% of America’s Gross National Product, a far cry from the 8% figure of 1960. By 1977 the number of people receiving public assistance had more than doubled since 1960.

The most devastating by-product of the mushrooming welfare state was the corrosive effect it had (along with powerful cultural phenomena such as the feminist and Black Power movements) on American family life, particularly in the black community. As provisions in welfare laws offered ever-increasing economic incentives for shunning marriage and avoiding the formation of two-parent families, illegitimacy rates rose dramatically.

For the next few decades, means-tested welfare programs such as food stamps, public housing, Medicaid, day care, and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families penalized marriage. A mother generally received far more money from welfare if she was single rather than married. Once she took a husband, her benefits were instantly reduced by roughly 10 to 20 percent. As a Cato Institute study noted, welfare programs for the poor incentivize the very behaviors that are most likely to perpetuate poverty.[2]  Another Cato report observes:

“Of course women do not get pregnant just to get welfare benefits…. But, by removing the economic consequences of out-of-wedlock birth, welfare has removed a major incentive to avoid such pregnancies. A teenager looking around at her friends and neighbors is liable to see several who have given birth out-of- wedlock. When she sees that they have suffered few visible consequences … she is less inclined to modify her own behavior to prevent pregnancy…. Current welfare policies seem to be designed with an appalling lack of concern for their impact on out-of-wedlock births. Indeed, Medicaid programs in 11 states actually provide infertility treatments to single women on welfare.”

The marriage penalties that are embedded in welfare programs can be particularly severe if a woman on public assistance weds a man who is employed in a low-paying job. As a FamilyScholars.org report puts it: “When a couple’s income nears the limits prescribed by Medicaid, a few extra dollars in income cause thousands of dollars in benefits to be lost. What all of this means is that the two most important routes out of poverty—marriage and work—are heavily taxed under the current U.S. system.”[3]

The aforementioned FamilyScholars.org report adds that “such a system encourages surreptitious cohabitation,” where “many low-income parents will cohabit without reporting it to the government so that their benefits won’t be cut.” These couples “avoid marriage because marriage would result in a substantial loss of income for the family.”

A 2011 study conducted jointly by the Institute for American Values’ Center for Marriage and Families and the University of Virginia’s National Marriage Project suggests that “the rise of cohabiting households with children is the largest unrecognized threat to the quality and stability of children’s family lives.” The researchers conclude that cohabiting relationships are highly prone to instability, and that children in such homes are consequently less likely to thrive, more likely to be abused, and more prone to suffering “serious emotional problems.”…

…read it all…


[1] Hoover Institution senior fellow Thomas Sowell writes: “Never had there been such a comprehensive program to tackle poverty at its roots, to offer more opportunities to those starting out in life, to rehabilitate those who had fallen by the wayside, and to make dependent people self-supporting…. The War on Poverty represented the crowning triumph of the liberal vision of society—and of government programs as the solution to social problems.”

[2] For instance, “a 1 percent increase in the welfare-dependent population in a state increases the number of births to single mothers by about 0.5 percent,” and “an increase in AFDC benefits by 1 percent of average income increases the number of births to single mothers by about 2.1 percent.”

[3] The marriage penalties that are embedded in welfare programs can be particularly severe if a woman on public assistance weds a man who is employed in a low-paying job. Consider the hypothetical case, as outlined in May 2006 by Urban Institute senior fellow Eugene Steuerle, of a single mother with two children who earns $15,000 and enjoys an Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) benefit of approximately $4,100. If she marries a man earning $10,000, thereby boosting the total household income to $25,000, the EITC benefit, which decreases incrementally for every dollar a married couple earns above a certain level, would drop precipitously to $2,200. Similarly, consider the case (also outlined by Eugene Steuerle in May 2006) of a mother of two children who earns $20,000 and thus qualifies for Medicaid. If she marries someone earning just $6,000, resulting in a combined household income of $26,000, her children’s Medicaid benefits are cut off entirely.

Thomas Sowell talks about how the black family was intact and wealthy up until the welfare state:

The black family, which had survived centuries of slavery and discrimination, began rapidly disintegrating in the liberal welfare state that subsidized unwed pregnancy and changed welfare from an emergency rescue to a way of life.

Government social programs such as the War on Poverty were considered a way to reduce urban riots. Such programs increased sharply during the 1960s. So did urban riots. Later, during the Reagan administration, which was denounced for not promoting social programs, there were far fewer urban riots.

Neither the media nor most of our educational institutions question the assumptions behind the War on Poverty. Even conservatives often attribute much of the progress that has been made by lower-income people to these programs.

For example, the usually insightful quarterly magazine City Journal says in its current issue: “Beginning in the mid-sixties, the condition of most black Americans improved markedly.”

That is completely false and misleading.

The economic rise of blacks began decades earlier, before any of the legislation and policies that are credited with producing that rise. The continuation of the rise of blacks out of poverty did not — repeat, did not — accelerate during the 1960s.

The poverty rate among black families fell from 87 percent in 1940 to 47 percent in 1960, during an era of virtually no major civil rights legislation or anti-poverty programs. It dropped another 17 percentage points during the decade of the 1960s and one percentage point during the 1970s, but this continuation of the previous trend was neither unprecedented nor something to be arbitrarily attributed to the programs like the War on Poverty.

In various skilled trades, the incomes of blacks relative to whites more than doubled between 1936 and 1959 — that is, before the magic 1960s decade when supposedly all progress began. The rise of blacks in professional and other high-level occupations was greater in the five years preceding the Civil Rights Act of 1964 than in the five years afterwards.

While some good things did come out of the 1960s, as out of many other decades, so did major social disasters that continue to plague us today. Many of those disasters began quite clearly during the 1960s.

The 2nd Amendment Is NOT for Hunting ~ Walter Williams

Walter Williams article, “Why the 2nd Amendment

Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., shootings, said: “The British are not coming. … We don’t need all these guns to kill people.” Lewis’ vision, shared by many, represents a gross ignorance of why the framers of the Constitution gave us the Second Amendment. How about a few quotes from the period and you decide whether our Founding Fathers harbored a fear of foreign tyrants.

Alexander Hamilton: “The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed,” adding later, “If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no recourse left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government.” By the way, Hamilton is referring to what institution when he says “the representatives of the people”?

James Madison: “(The Constitution preserves) the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation … (where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.”

Thomas Jefferson: “What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms.”

George Mason, author of the Virginia Bill of Rights, which inspired our Constitution’s Bill of Rights, said, “To disarm the people — that was the best and most effectual way to enslave them.”

Rep. John Lewis and like-minded people might dismiss these thoughts by saying the founders were racist anyway. Here’s a more recent quote from a card-carrying liberal, the late Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey: “Certainly, one of the chief guarantees of freedom under any government, no matter how popular and respected, is the right of the citizen to keep and bear arms. … The right of the citizen to bear arms is just one guarantee against arbitrary government, one more safeguard against the tyranny which now appears remote in America but which historically has proven to be always possible.” I have many other Second Amendment references at http://econfaculty.gmu.edu/wew/quotes.html.

How about a couple of quotations with which Rep.

Lewis and others might agree? “Armas para que?” (translated: “Guns, for what?”) by Fidel Castro. There’s a more famous one: “The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing.” That was Adolf Hitler.

Here’s the gun grabbers’ slippery-slope agenda, laid out by Nelson T. Shields, founder of Handgun Control Inc.: “We’re going to have to take this one step at a time, and the first step is necessarily — given the political realities — going to be very modest. … Right now, though, we’d be satisfied not with half a loaf but with a slice. Our ultimate goal — total control of handguns in the United States — is going to take time. … The final problem is to make the possession of all handguns and all handgun ammunition — except for the military, police, licensed security guards, licensed sporting clubs and licensed gun collectors — totally illegal” (The New Yorker, July 1976)….

…read more…

See also:

As Marriage and Family Decline~Violence Goes Up (This Factor of Failure and Violence Is Subsidized-In other words, Failure and Violence Is `Expected`)

This is an interesting post MercatorNet has done in that it is supported by all the facts and studies done on this topic of the health to society done via the nuclear family. The Tottenham Riots have only been a recent example of this in a geo-political sense. Domestically it is seen in the Flash Mob mentality of violence and theft here in the States. For instance, commenting on the riots in London, Melanie Phillips says that,

…When church leaders stop prattling like soft-headed social workers and start preaching, once again, the moral concepts that underlie our civilisation [i.e., family and hard work], and when our political leaders decide to oppose the culture war that has been waged against that civilisation rather than supinely acquiescing in its destruction, then — and only then — will we start to get to grips with this terrible problem.

One site comments on a Peter Hitchens article making the point Peter does, that,

Left-wing parties all over Europe are losing elections because they are out-of-touch and because their big idea – the welfare state – is outdated. It does not work. Why not? Because it is based on a false view of human nature; it simply does not conform to reality.

It believes that people are basically good, though corrupted by society. These Leftist Utopians read Rousseau and Marx and think they sound like they know what they are talking about when, in fact, they are completely detached from reality. The welfare state ideology assumes that the main problems people face are material in nature, in other words – poverty. “Solve” poverty and we will have a good society, they say. How do they propose to solve poverty? Do they have a way to make people hard-working, educated and productive? No, they propose a short-cut; just take from the rich by redistributive taxation and give to the poor. Problem solved. But moving money from bank account to bank account does not alter human nature. It does not solve depression, sin, pathological behaviour, immaturity, disrespect for the law and lack of care for one’s family.

 

MercatorNet comes in as well and underlines this idea of family and the deteriative aspect of the welfare system subsidizing failure and violence as it tears apart the marriage ideal… and it is ideal!

It was a traumatic and costly lesson, but the rioting in English cities last weekend has forced “broken Britain” to face where its major social faultlines lie. Without a doubt, family breakdown is one of them, destabilising the welfare class over several decades by robbing children of their fathers and replacing them all too often with their mothers’ transient partners or with the Alpha males who run neighbourhood gangs (Scotland Yard says one in four of the rioters was a gang member).

Of course, as the appearance of the odd grammar school or university graduate in court showed, bad behaviour is not limited to the “underclass”. Neither, as it turns out, is family disintegration. While the attention of the world was riveted on the anarchy in England, two reports were published in the United States warning that family instability is making serious inroads into the working class and lower middle class of that country — as it is in Britain and many others. Both reports are about the erosion of marriage; together they leave no-one, in America at least, with any excuse for ignorance on the subject.

In the first, The Marginalisation of Marriage in Middle America, the problem is outlined by two sociologists: W Bradford Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia and a conservative; and Andrew J Cherlin, a professor at Johns Hopkins University and a liberal. Their views diverge on the importance of marriage, but they agree about two basic things: “that children are more likely to thrive when they reside in stable, two-parent homes,” and “that in America today cohabitation is still largely a short-term arrangement, while marriage remains the setting in which adults seek to maintain long-term bonds.”

Many social commentators are worried about the widening wealth gap in today’s America. More worrying still is the marriage gap that has opened up between the working class — basically, people with not much more than a high school diploma — and the college educated middle class. Indeed, the latter gap is a significant contributor to the first.

Contrary to the impression you might get from reading the New York Times, college educated Americans are not generally engaged in pushing the sexual revolution to new extremes; they are busy creating what Wilcox and Cherlin call a “neotraditional style of family life”. They “may cohabit with their partners, but nearly all of them marry before having their first child. Furthermore, while most wives work outside the home, the divorce rate in this group has declined to levels not seen since the early 1970s.”

Brittle cohabiting unions

In contrast, working class young adults, who comprise half of the population aged 25 to 34, are defaulting on marriage:

“More and more of them are having children in brittle cohabiting unions. Among those who marry, the risk of divorce remains high. Indeed, the families formed recently in working-class communities have begun to look as much like the families of the poor as of the prosperous. The nation’s retreat from marriage, which started in low-income communities in the 1960s and 1970s, has now moved into Middle America.”

Compared to college graduates, moderately educated Americans are more than twice as likely to divorce in the first 10 years of marriage, and women are more than seven times as likely to bear a child outside of marriage. “Indeed the percentage of nonmarital births among the moderately educated (44 percent) was closer to the rate among mothers without high school degrees (54 percent) than to college-educated mothers (6 percent).”

We need to get the seriousness of this: back in 1960 the marriage gap barely existed; now there’s a chasm opening up between the third of Americans with higher education and everyone else — including the large class of ordinary working people that used to be the backbone of family values.

Many will say it doesn’t matter. We are not looking at a boom in single mothers here, but of cohabiting couples having children, which means the kids still have a mother and father under one roof. Cherlin himself inclines to the view that a stable two-parent home is what matters, not marriage as such. The fact is, however, that cohabiting relationships are much less stable than marriage.

Much less.

US Demographers Sheela Kennedy and Larry Bumpass suggest that 65 per cent of children born to cohabiting parents will see their parents part by the time they are 12, compared to 24 per cent of the children of married parents. A British report last December found something similar: unmarried couples accounted for 59 per cent of break-ups affecting children up to the age of five, divorces for 20 per cent, and single parents headed 21 per cent of broken families with young children. Even in Sweden, the fabled home of non-traditional happy families, children born to cohabiting couples are 70 per cent more likely to see parents separate by the age of 15, compared to married parents.

The marriage advantage is a fact

Now, we all come across married families here there is conflict between the parents, where there is poor parenting, where the children are not thriving. Not all married families are healthy. And it may be that the advantage enjoyed by married families on average is due in part to the kinds of people who marry (selection effects). That there is a marriage advantage, however, is beyond dispute. Wilcox and Cherlin note:

“The fact is that children born and raised in intact, married homes typically enjoy higher quality relationships with their parents, are more likely to steer clear of trouble with the law, to graduate from high school and college, to be gainfully employed as adults, and to enjoy stable marriages of their own in adulthood. Women and men who get and stay married are more likely to accrue substantial financial assets and to enjoy good physical and mental health. In fact, married men enjoy a wage premium compared to their single peers that may exceed 10 percent.”

These claims are borne out by data from 250 peer-reviewed journal articles on marriage and family life in the US and around the world which are the basis of the second report mentioned above: Why Marriage Matters: Thirty Conclusions from the Social Sciences. Released this week and updating two earlier reports of the same name, Why Marriage Matters is co-authored by 18 family scholars from leading institutions and chaired by Professor Wilcox.

Among its statistics: 66 per cent of 16-year-olds were living with both parents in the early 1980s, compared to just 55 per cent in the early 2000s. Assuming that no responsible or humane person would say that this trend, bringing insecurity and misery to millions of children, does not matter, we have to ask: Why is this happening? And what can be done to change it?

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The Teleprompter must be Racist! More from the chronicles of Al `the not so sharp` Sharpton

It is unbelievable that the black community would accept Al and Jessie as “black leaders” instead of brains like Thomas Sowell or Walter Williams in some sort of “leader” position. They [Sowell and Williams] are intelligent, came up from hard circumstances, are prolific thinkers and authors, professors, etc. Not dime store confirmed “reverends/liberal activists.” Instead you get the below: