body~politic

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Crisis of Confidence . Jimmy Carter . WGBH American Experience | PBS

Crisis of Confidence . Jimmy Carter . WGBH American Experience | PBS

75 Economic Numbers From 2012 That Are Almost Too Crazy To Believe

75 Economic Numbers From 2012 That Are Almost Too Crazy To Believe



By Michael, on December 20th, 2012


75 Economic Numbers From 2012 That Are Almost Too Crazy To Believe

What a year 2012 has been!  The mainstream media continues to tell us what a
"great job" the Obama administration and the Federal Reserve are doing
of managing the economy, but meanwhile things just continue to get even
worse for the poor and the middle class.  It is imperative that we
educate the American people about the true condition of our economy and
about why all of this is happening.  If nothing is done, our debt
problems will continue to get worse, millions of jobs will continue to
leave the country, small businesses will continue to be suffocated, the
middle class will continue to collapse, and poverty in the United States
will continue to explode.  Just "tweaking" things slightly is not going
to fix our economy.  We need a fundamental change in direction.  Right
now we are living in a bubble of debt-fueled false prosperity that
allows us to continue to consume far more wealth than we produce, but
when that bubble bursts we are going to experience the most painful
economic "adjustment" that America has ever gone through.  We need to be
able to explain to our fellow Americans what is coming, why it is
coming and what needs to be done.  Hopefully the crazy economic numbers
that I have included in this article will be shocking enough to wake
some people up.


The end of the year is a time when people tend to gather with family
and friends more than they do during the rest of the year.  Hopefully
many of you will use the list below as a tool to help start some
conversations about the coming economic collapse with your loved ones. 
Sadly, most Americans still tend to doubt that we are heading into
economic oblivion.  So if you have someone among your family and friends
that believes that everything is going to be "just fine", just show
them these numbers.  They are a good summary of the problems that the
U.S. economy is currently facing.


The following are 50 economic numbers from 2012 that are almost too crazy to believe...


#1 In December 2008, 31.6 million Americans were on food stamps.  Today, a new all-time record of 47.7 million Americans
are on food stamps.  That number has increased by more than 50 percent
over the past four years, and yet the mainstream media still has the
gall to insist that "things are getting better".


#2 Back in the 1970s, about one out of every 50 Americans was on food stamps.  Today, about one out of every 6.5 Americans is on food stamps.


#3 According to one calculation,
the number of Americans on food stamps now exceeds the combined
populations of "Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of
Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Montana,
Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma,
Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and
Wyoming."


#4 According to one recent survey, 55 percent of all Americans have received money from a safety net program run by the federal government at some point in their lives.


#5 For the first time ever, more than a million public school students in the United States are homeless.  That number has risen by 57 percent since the 2006-2007 school year.


#6 Median household income in the U.S. has fallen for four consecutive years.  Overall, it has declined by over $4000 during that time span.


#7 Families that have a head of household under the age of 30 have a poverty rate of 37 percent.


#8 The percentage of working age Americans with a job has been under 59 percent for 39 months in a row.


#9 In September 2009, during the depths of the last economic crisis, 58.7 percent of all working age Americans were employed.  In November 2012, 58.7 percent of all working age Americans were employed.  It is more then 3 years later, and we are in the exact same place.


#10 When you total up all working age Americans that do not have a job in America today, it comes to more than 100 million.


#11 According to one recent survey, 55 percent
of all small business owners in America "say they would not start a
business today given what they know now and in the current environment."


#12 The number of jobs at new small businesses continues to decline.  According to economist Tim Kane, the following is how the decline in the number of startup jobs per 1000 Americans breaks down by presidential administration...


Bush Sr.: 11.3


Clinton: 11.2


Bush Jr.: 10.8


Obama: 7.8


#13 The U.S. share of global GDP has fallen from 31.8 percent in 2001 to 21.6 percent in 2011.


#14 The United States has fallen in the global economic competitiveness rankings compiled by the World Economic Forum for four years in a row.


#15 There are four major U.S. banks that each have more than 40 trillion dollars of exposure to derivatives.


#16 In 2000, there were more than 17 million Americans working in manufacturing, but now there are less than 12 million.


#17 According to the Pew Research Center, 61 percent of all Americans were "middle income" back in 1971.  Today, only 51 percent of all Americans are.


#18 The Pew Research Center has also found that 85 percent
of all middle class Americans say that it is harder to maintain a
middle class standard of living today than it was 10 years ago.


#19 62 percent of all middle class Americans say that they have had to reduce household spending over the past year.


#20 Right now, approximately 48 percent of all Americans are either considered to be "low income" or are living in poverty.


#21 Approximately 57 percent of all children in the United States are living in homes that are either considered to be either "low income" or impoverished.


#22 According to one survey, 77 percent of all Americans are now living paycheck to paycheck at least part of the time.


#23 Back in 1950, more than 80 percent of all men in the United States had jobs.  Today, less than 65 percent of all men in the United States have jobs.


#24 The average amount of time that an unemployed worker stays out of work in the United States is 40 weeks.


#25 If you can believe it, approximately one out of every four American workers makes 10 dollars an hour or less.


#26 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, an all-time record 49 percent
of all Americans live in a home where at least one person receives
financial assistance from the federal government.  Back in 1983, that
number was less than 30 percent.


#27 Right now, more than 100 million Americans
are enrolled in at least one welfare program run by the federal
government.  And that does not even count Social Security or Medicare. 
Overall, there are almost 80 different "means-tested welfare programs" that the federal government is currently running.


#28 When you account for all government transfer payments and all forms of government employment, more than half of all Americans are now at least partially financially dependent on the government.


#29 Barack Obama has been president for less than
four years, and during that time the number of Americans "not in the
labor force" has increased by nearly 8.5 million.  Something seems really "off" about that number, because during the entire decade of the 1980s the number of Americans "not in the labor force" only rose by about 2.5 million.


#30 Electricity bills in the United States have risen faster than the overall rate of inflation for five years in a row.


#31 According to USA Today, many Americans have actually seen their water bills triple over the past 12 years.


#32 There are now 20.2 million Americans that spend more than half of their incomes on housing.  That represents a 46 percent increase from 2001.


#33 Right now, approximately 25 million American adults are living with their parents.


#34 As the economy has slowed down, so has the number of marriages.  According to a Pew Research Center analysis, only 51 percent of all Americans that are at least 18 years old are currently married.  Back in 1960, 72 percent of all U.S. adults were married.


#35 At this point, only 24.6 percent of all jobs in the United States are good jobs.


#36 In 1999, 64.1 percent of all Americans were covered by employment-based health insurance.  Today, only 55.1 percent are covered by employment-based health insurance.


#37 Recently it was announced that total student loan debt in the United States has passed the one trillion dollar mark.


#38 If you can believe it, one out of every seven Americans has at least 10 credit cards.


#39 One survey of business executives has ranked California as the worst state in America to do business for 8 years in a row.


#40 In the city of Detroit today, more than 50 percent of all children are living in poverty, and close to 50 percent of all adults are functionally illiterate.


#41 It is being projected that half of all American children will be on food stamps at least once before they turn 18 years of age.


#42 More than three times as many new homes were sold in the United States in 2005 as will be sold in 2012.


#43 If you can believe it, 53 percent of all Americans with a bachelor's degree under the age of 25 were either unemployed or underemployed last year.


#44 The U.S. economy continues to trade good paying jobs for low paying jobs.  60 percent of the jobs lost during the last recession were mid-wage jobs, but 58 percent of the jobs created since then have been low wage jobs.


#45 Our trade deficit with China in 2011 was $295.5 billion.  That was the largest trade deficit that one country has had with another country in the history of the planet.


#46 The United States has lost an average of approximately 50,000 manufacturing jobs a month since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.


#47 According to the Economic Policy Institute, America is losing half a million jobs to China every single year.


#48 The U.S. tax code is now more than 3.8 million
words long.  If you took all of William Shakespeare's works and
collected them together, the entire collection would only be about
900,000 words long.


#49 According to the IMF, the global elite are holding a total of 18 trillion dollars in offshore banking havens such as the Cayman Islands.


#50 The value of the U.S. dollar has declined by more than 96 percent since the Federal Reserve was first created.


#51 2012 was the third year in a row that the yield for corn has declined in the United States.


#52 Experts are telling us that global food reserves have reached their lowest level in almost 40 years.


#53 One recent survey discovered that 40 percent of all Americans have $500 or less in savings.


#54 If you can believe it, one recent survey found that 28 percent of all Americans do not have a single penny saved for emergencies.


#55 Medical costs related to obesity in the United States are estimated to be approximately $147 billion a year.


#56 Corporate profits as a percentage of GDP are at an all-time high.  Meanwhile, wages as a percentage of GDP are near an all-time low.


#57 Today, the wealthiest 1 percent of all Americans own more wealth than the bottom 95 percent combined.


#58 The wealthiest 400 families in the United States have about as much wealth as the bottom 50 percent of all Americans combined.


#59 The six heirs of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton have a net worth that is roughly equal to the bottom 30 percent of all Americans combined.


#60 At this point, the poorest 50 percent of all Americans collectively own just 2.5% of all the wealth in the United States.


#61 Nearly 500,000 federal employees now make at least $100,000 a year.


#62 In 2006, only 12 percent of all federal workers made $100,000 or more per year.  Now, approximately 22 percent of all federal workers do.


#63 If you can believe it, there are 77,000 federal workers that make more than the governors of their own states do.


#64 Nearly 15,000
retired federal workers are collecting federal pensions for life worth
at least $100,000 annually.  The list includes such names as Newt
Gingrich, Bob Dole, Trent Lott, Dick Gephardt and Dick Cheney.


#65 U.S. taxpayers spend more than 20 times as much on the Obamas as British taxpayers spend on the royal family.


#66 Family homelessness in the Washington D.C. region (one of the wealthiest regions in the entire country) has risen 23 percent since the last recession began.


#67 If Bill Gates gave every single penny of his fortune to the U.S. government, it would only cover the U.S. budget deficit for about 15 days.


#68 During fiscal year 2012, 62 percent of the federal budget was spent on entitlements.


#69 Back in 1965, only one out of every 50 Americans was on Medicaid.  Today, approximately one out of every 6 Americans is on Medicaid.


#70 It is being projected that Obamacare will add 16 million more Americans to the Medicaid rolls.


#71 Medicare is also growing by leaps and bounds.  As I wrote about recently, it is being projected that the number of Americans on Medicare will grow from 50.7 million in 2012 to 73.2 million in 2025.


#72 Thanks to our foolish politicians (including
Obama), Medicare is facing unfunded liabilities of more than 38 trillion
dollars over the next 75 years.  That comes to approximately $328,404 for each and every household in the United States.


#73 Amazingly, the U.S. national debt is now up to 16.3 trillion dollars.  When Barack Obama first took office the national debt was just 10.6 trillion dollars.


#74 During the first four years of the Obama
administration, the U.S. government accumulated about as much debt as it
did from the time that George Washington took office to the time that George W. Bush took office.


#75 Today, the U.S. national debt is more than 5000 times larger than it was when the Federal Reserve was originally created back in 1913.


Please share this article with as many people as you can.  Time is
running out, and we need to wake up as many people as possible.

"Are you guys incompetent or what?" Maria Bartiromo to Senator Cardin - AgainstCronyCapitalism.org

"Are you guys incompetent or what?" Maria Bartiromo to Senator Cardin - AgainstCronyCapitalism.org

Christians flee Egypt town after death threats: officials

Christians flee Egypt town after death threats: officials

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Psychiatrist: Lanza Was 'Pseudocommando' with 'Wounded Narcissism'

Psychiatrist: Lanza Was 'Pseudocommando' with 'Wounded Narcissism'

Fix The Debt

Fix The Debt

Gang rape on bus in India inspires nationwide protest - International - Catholic Online

Gang rape on bus in India inspires nationwide protest - International - Catholic Online

Twitter / RIGHTZONE: Do you realize that Obama has ...

Twitter / RIGHTZONE: Do you realize that Obama has ...


Instapundit » Blog Archive » DOUG BANDOW: Secession Isn’t The Answer For America—Federalism Is. “The U.S. faces a crisis of g…

Instapundit » Blog Archive » DOUG BANDOW: Secession Isn’t The Answer For America—Federalism Is. “The U.S. faces a crisis of g…:

December 20, 2012

DOUG BANDOW: Secession Isn’t The Answer For America—Federalism Is. “The U.S. faces a crisis of government. Instead of fighting to break up America, people should focus on devolving authority to states, localities, families and individuals.”

I agree, of course.


The Walking Dead Song Lyrics | The Great Commission Lyrics | Christian Music Song Lyrics, Christian Music | NewReleaseTuesday.com

The Walking Dead Song Lyrics | The Great Commission Lyrics | Christian Music Song Lyrics, Christian Music | NewReleaseTuesday.com:

Wake up.
I awake,
Awake to see the living dead.
They live in darkness too blind to see the path they've led.
They search this world to try to find existence.
They are the damned they chose their own extinction.
Let the dead bury their own dead.
Everyone is dead.
Will you stand with this generation?
Or will you watch it dig its own grave.
We are the light in the dark the cure for your disease.
We are the army of God you are the enemy.
Won't close my eyes to a world that cannot see.
Won't close my eyes to a world that won't believe.
Awake! (x4)
Wake up this generation!

Richard Marx - Christmas Spirit (Official Video)

Oscar Wilde quotes

Oscar Wilde quotes

“Everything popular is wrong.”

Oscar Wilde quotes (Irish Poet, Novelist, Dramatist and Critic, 1854-1900)

Obama: ‘I Don’t Believe People Should Be Able To Own Guns’ « Pat Dollard

Obama: ‘I Don’t Believe People Should Be Able To Own Guns’ « Pat Dollard

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Danelaw - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Danelaw - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: Chronology

Eric Bloodaxe - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Eric Bloodaxe - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: Eric Haraldsson (Old Norse: Eiríkr Haraldsson, Norwegian: Eirik Haraldsson; c. 885 – 954), nicknamed Eric Bloodaxe (Old Norse: Eiríkr blóðøx, Norwegian: Eirik Blodøks), was a 10th-century Scandinavian ruler. He is thought to have had short-lived terms as King of Norway and twice as King of Northumbria (c. 947–948 and 952–954).

Distinct from the king of Norway of the Norse sagas, a member of the Fairhair dynasty, the historical Eric of Northumbria has recently been argued to have actually belonged to the Uí Ímair (House of Ivar), a distinct dynasty long established in the British Isles by the time of his rule.[1]

Sandy Relief Bill Includes $150 Million for Alaska, Gulf of Mexico, New England - By Katrina Trinko - The Corner - National Review Online

Sandy Relief Bill Includes $150 Million for Alaska, Gulf of Mexico, New England - By Katrina Trinko - The Corner - National Review Online



Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The American Spectator : The Spectacle Blog : More Guns Less Crime 'Boggles' CNN Anchor's Mind

The American Spectator : The Spectacle Blog : More Guns Less Crime 'Boggles' CNN Anchor's Mind

Giant cattle to be bred back from extinction - Telegraph

Giant cattle to be bred back from extinction - Telegraph: But despite their having gone the way of the dodo and the woolly mammoth, there are plans to bring the giant animals back to life.

The huge cattle with sweeping horns which once roamed the forests of Europe have not been seen for nearly 400 years.

Now Italian scientists are hoping to use genetic expertise and selective breeding of modern-day wild cattle to recreate the fearsome beasts which weighed around 2,200lb and stood 6.5 feet at the shoulder.

Number of homeless students hits new record: Over 1 million — RT

Number of homeless students hits new record: Over 1 million — RT

The number of homeless students in America topped one million for the first time last year as a result of the economic recession, a number that has risen 57 percent since 2007.
The US Department of Education found that of these 1,065,794 children, many lived in abandoned homes, cheap hotels, stations, church basements and hospitals. Some spent their time sleeping over at the houses of various friends whenever they could. Others fell victim to drugs and sexual abuse, in some cases trading sexual acts for food, clothing and shelter or selling illegal drugs.
The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act of 1987 requires pubic schools to register homeless children. The Department of Education report was only able to compile data from those currently enrolled in school, which indicates that there may be many more homeless children or infants living on the streets without an education.
The southern US state of Georgia has in recent years always had the highest number of homeless children. As many as 45,000 homeless kids and teens are on the street or in a temporary shelter each night in Georgia, 14,000 of which are in Atlanta.
But the states that reported the largest year-to-year increases in the June report were Kentucky at 47 percent, Utah at 47 percent, Michigan at 38 percent, West Virginia at 38 percent and Mississippi at 35 percent. In Michigan, where unemployment is above the national average, every county reported an increase in the number of homeless students.
“The severe lack of affordable housing for families has yet to be addressed, and over one million children are paying the price,” Maria Foscarinis, executive director of the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty said in the report. “Everyone has a human right to safe, decent, affordable housing. And until we make that right a reality for all Americans, the number of homeless students will continue rising.”
Increases in the number of homeless students from 2010 to 2011 has hit 44 US states, reaching as far as small towns like Frederick, Md. In the months leading up to Christmas, Frederick Public Schools have been struggling to deal with the rising homeless student population, which has tripled since the 2004/2005 academic school year.
“It is pretty much what is happening around the state and around the nation,” Zoe Carson, the school system’s homeless education program coordinator told The Gazette. “It is a phenomenon that is happening everywhere.”
In Frederick County, homeless families are often referred to as the “former middle class”, Carson said. Children struggling with homelessness also tend to fare worse in school, making it more difficult for them to rise out of poverty in the future.
“They know exactly what is going on with their family. When you are going home to a hotel, the last thing on your mind is homework,” Carson said.
Frederick is neither unique with its rising number of homeless students, nor the most severe. The growth in the number of homeless students can be seen in both wealthy counties in Virginia and poor neighborhoods in Detroit. Fairfax County, Va. – one of the nation’s most affluent counties – reported that 2,500 homeless students are attending public schools this year, which is 10 times the number reported 15 years ago.
The National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth strives to help homeless children escape their situations, but currently lacks the funding to seriously address the problem.
“Unfortunately, funding for the program has remained flat, while the numbers of homeless children and youth have grown exponentially,” said Barbara Duffield, policy director of the organization.
With Christmas only a week away, a record number of students will have no home to go to and will be forced to fend for themselves until the US economy improves.



Monday, December 17, 2012

'Kojak' remake in the works with Vin Diesel as the NYPD detective made famous by Terry Savalas - NY Daily News

'Kojak' remake in the works with Vin Diesel as the NYPD detective made famous by Terry Savalas - NY Daily News

Spark Seeker - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Spark Seeker - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Spark Seeker is an album by American Jewish reggae singer Matisyahu, which was released on July 17, 2012. It is his fourth studio release, and follows 2009's Light. Spark Seeker debuted at #19 on the Billboard 200 with first week sales of 16,000.[4] It debuted at #1 on the Billboard Reggae Chart.[5] The album was recorded in Los Angeles, California , and Tel Aviv, Israel.

 

 

Track listing

  1. "Crossroads" – 5:02
  2. "Sunshine" – 3:33
  3. "Searchin" – 4:18
  4. "Buffalo Soldier" – 4:31
  5. "Fire of Freedom" – 4:29
  6. "Bal Shem Tov" – 5:05
  7. "I Believe In Love" – 4:16
  8. "Breathe Easy" – 5:01
  9. "Summer Wind" – 1:52
  10. "Live Like a Warrior" – 3:54
  11. "Tel Aviv'n" – 4:52
  12. "King Crown of Judah" – 4:02
  13. "Shine on You" – 4:36

PORT: Minnesota governor forcing health workers into unions « Watchdog News

PORT: Minnesota governor forcing health workers into unions « Watchdog News: Here’s the thing: Home care workers work directly for their patients. They’re not employed by the government. So there really is no “management” for unions to collectively bargain with.

The financial crisis can't explain the current slow recovery | Fox News

The financial crisis can't explain the current slow recovery | Fox News

Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff’s book, “This Time is Different,” has become the bible of the Obama administration. Their claim that recoveries after financial crises are naturally much slower than other recoveries has given President Obama a lot of cover. Their argument may be widely accepted by the media but has not been so readily accepted by economists.

Reinhart and Rogoff lashed out at academic critics a couple of weeks ago with an opinion piece in Bloomberg and again recently on CNN, attacking economists who disagree with them as blinded by support for Mitt Romney.

Our current recovery has been the weakest since at least World War II. Thirty-nine months since the recovery started in June 2009, job growth has been only 2 percent. During the average recovery since 1970, job growth over the first 39 months has averaged over 8 percent. The current recovery has failed to keep up with the growth in the working age population. Unlike past recoveries, much of the drop in the unemployment rate simply reflects people giving up looking for work. And there is no doubt there was a financial crisis.

But the financial crisis is not the explanation for the slow recovery.
The problem for Reinhart and Rogoff is that neither US historical data nor recent international comparisons support their assertion. Indeed, their claim is at odds with two well-known stylized facts:
 
 

France, yes FRANCE! Muslim bus drivers refuse to drive bus after it has been driven by a woman | BARE NAKED ISLAM

France, yes FRANCE! Muslim bus drivers refuse to drive bus after it has been driven by a woman | BARE NAKED ISLAM

PAT CONDELL: THE UN, RUN BY A CARTEL OF 57 BRUTAL BARBARIC HELL HOLES…….. |

PAT CONDELL: THE UN, RUN BY A CARTEL OF 57 BRUTAL BARBARIC HELL HOLES…….. |

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The 12th - Nikki Heat Novels

The 12th - Nikki Heat Novels: Need help with this:
Naked Heat, chapter 17, page 248 (hard cover edition):

"As Rook chronicled his days and nights with her, what emerged was a woman for whom everything in life, from getting the best cut of Nova to landing an exclusive with an S & M dominatrix who'd brought a congressman to his knees, was a transaction."

FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH LYRICS - Death Before Dishonor


"Death Before Dishonor"

[V1:]
To the haters, the takers, the liars, all the vultures and the bottom feeding scum
The FCC, the FBI and every tin god with a badge and a gun
You talk and talk, you preach and bitch but your words don't mean a thing
You get what you give, you give what you get
Just the way it's always been

[Chorus:]
I choose death before dishonor
I'd rather die than live down on my knees
Bury me like a soldier, with my dignity!

[V2:]
You imitate the ostracized, put your head beneath the sand
Your cup it runneth over, must be rough to live so grand
You reap what you sew, you pay what you owe unless you bathe yourself in greed
You rob and you take, your world is fake
There's no honor amongst the thieves

[Chorus:]
I choose death before dishonor
I'd rather die than live down on my knees
Bury me like a soldier, with my dignity!

[Pre-Chorus:]
Fuck!
You're self righteous, self pretentious
Your ways are not for me
You're deluded, so confused
Your world I dominate

[Chorus:]
I choose death before dishonor
I'd rather die than live down on my knees
Bury me like a soldier...

Bury me! (Bury me!)
Bury me! (Bury me!)
Bury me!

With my dignity! 


New Calls for Gun Limits - WSJ.com

New Calls for Gun Limits - WSJ.com

Twitter / IAM_SHAKESPEARE: O, never will I trust to speeches ...

Twitter / IAM_SHAKESPEARE: O, never will I trust to speeches ...


Back to the Stone Age II E: Beyond the Market | Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture

Back to the Stone Age II E: Beyond the Market | Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
I have never pretended to know much of what is called "the science of economics."  I know, in fact, about as much as I wish to know.  Economics, as it is understand today, is a social science based partly on the false assumption that one can quantify human transactions and exchanges much as one can reduce chemical processes to numerical equations.  This mistake was pointed out by Aristotle who said that the logical and demonstrative method in ethical questions (that is, all questions involving human character and behavior) is as misguided as rhetorical flourishes in a logical proof.
It was Descartes who set modern thought down the false path that leads, through Leibniz, Locke, and Frances Hutcheson with their talk of moral algebra, to the invention of what my old Greek professor used to call the so-called social so-called sciences.  This is no place to dwell on this question, but one or two illustrations may suffice to direct readers back toward sanity.  The social sciences are not merely modes of study but their practitioners offer solutions to human problems like crime, poverty, and insanity.  In other words, they are physicians whose ministrations will heal society.  When regular physicians make this claim, their remedies are subjected to blind tests.  Pasteur's revolutionary germ theory succeeded not because the good doctor was clever with words but because over the years we can actually kill the germs that cause disease.  Psychologists, by contrast, are constantly coming up with something like the germ theory, but when they are subjected to objective testing, most methods of treatment fail to do better than the control group.
I am not saying that wise and good men have not practiced social sciences and made true observations about human nature, but the insights of Weber and Robert Nisbet have little to do with any science of society.  Part of the confusion over the social sciences is the word science, which is commonly used to mean a highly disciplined study of nature according to strict methods, usually involving experimentation, but it can also refer, especially in its German form, to any serious intellectual discipline like classical philology or literary history.  There are certainly social sciences in the latter sense but not in the former.
Sociology and political science, to the extent they are practiced in the manner of sciences like physics and chemistry, are as bogus as phrenology and astrology.  Economics, to some extent, is on a firmer ground, because primary economic activities, such as buying and selling, can very often be expressed in monetary terms.  Economic analysis can, therefore,  tell us a great deal about how hypothetical average human beings under certain circumstances will behave, but it has little or nothing to say about how John Smith or Pocahontas will behave.  Economists, like other social sciences, are also prone to fall into the trap of universalizing conclusions they have drawn from observing modern man.  Sir Moses Finley, a Marxist economic historian of the ancient world, tried to show in his Sather Lectures that Greeks and Romans did not always behave as modern economists predict.  A Roman like Cicero, for example, in buying up agricultural estates, was less interested in efficiency or an economy of scale than he was in impressing his peers.  Every society has its codes and biases, but too few economists know enough history to avoid serious errors.  I made this point in my otherwise strongly favorable review of Hans Hoppe's book on democracy.  Far from being a student of ancient, Medieval, or American history, Hoppe knows very little German history.  In this he sinks to the level of less gifted economists—to say nothing of the people who play them on TV and on the lecture circuit or in pop history books.

Economists (including some economic historians!) seem to regard the gritty details of ambition, lust, and war as so many "floaters" that occlude their otherwise clear vision.  Their distaste for human realities becomes even more of an obstacle when they ventures into the moral realm, where real men and women make choices.  Many years ago, I watched parts of the Friedmans' series Free to Choose and read some of the book.  Two things impressed me, first the great clarity of mind that Friedman displayed and second his complete obtuseness on the non-economic aspects of human success. The poor guy thought Hong Kong was a success story!  Peter Brimelow assures me that I should study Friedman and perhaps I shall some day.
I have no idea whether Ludwig von Mises was a good economist in technical terms, but what I do know is that in the important moral and political realms into which he made incursions, he was more or less a chump.  Many of his ideological followers have been bright and even able men and women, but whenever they fall into the trap of speaking of economics as a science of human behavior, they make fools of themselves.  They are like the psychologists who are forever putting forth theories about how the mind operates without ever studying neurophysiology.
It goes without saying, then, that I am writing in this chapter about ethical economy, that is, about the ways in which the conduct of our economic life is or is not conducive to human happiness.  In this section, the object is to look at economic activities as they relate to what we as human beings tend to value.  It is really a simple subject and a simple argument, but let us be clear about the meaning of the basic words I am going to use:  property, wealth, money, and value.



Media Celebrates Youth Unemployment Drop--From Youth Leaving Workforce - Youth Unemployment - Fox Nation

Media Celebrates Youth Unemployment Drop--From Youth Leaving Workforce - Youth Unemployment - Fox Nation


he Obama Economy isn’t so Swell for Young Americans
By Celia Bigelow
“Obama win! Youth unemployment down in November!”
Doesn’t that sound like a typical liberal headline of a nonsensical story published in The Atlantic? If you look past the surface numbers you will actually find quite a different story.
Young people should be anything but excited about November’s job report. Youth unemployment dropped 0.7 percent--15.5 percent to 14.8 percent--from October to November according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But the sad reality is that the unemployment rate doesn’t count for those who have given up looking for work.
It is worth reporting because a significant amount of young people have actively stopped looking for work. The Labor Force Participation rate, which reflects the amount of people working or actively searching for work, decreased from 54.5 percent in October to 54.1 percent in November.



The American Spectator : The New Government Class

The American Spectator : The New Government Class: The latest unemployment figures are depressing, but not for the usual reasons. They provide further confirmation of Barack Obama’s fundamental transformation of America, and specifically through his creation of a growing government class.

The numbers show a massive increase in government jobs created over the last five months — 621,000, to be exact, dwarfing private-sector job growth. Those new government jobs account for a staggering 73% of overall job growth. In all, it means that 20.6 million citizens now work for government, out of 143 million people employed in America — or one in seven Americans.

The $10,000 Degree - Katrina Trinko - National Review Online



As
college costs rise rapidly in most places, Texas and Florida are trying
to implement something that has become a radical notion: a degree that
costs only $10,000.
Texas governor Rick Perry announced this goal for his state last
year. (Perry was inspired by Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who had
remarked that online learning ought to make it possible for students to
pay just $2,000 per year for college.) In November, Florida governor
Rick Scott announced that he, too, wanted to see state colleges offer
bachelor’s degrees for $10,000 or less. In Texas, ten colleges have
signed on (some of them working together in a partnership), while in
Florida, twelve colleges — nearly half of the 23 four-year colleges in
the Florida community-college system, which includes both two-year and
four-year institutions — either have developed proposals or are in the
process of doing so.


Considering that the nation’s public colleges cost $13,000 per year on average for tuition, room, and board, while private colleges cost an average of $32,000 a year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics’
2010–11 academic-year numbers, Texas and Florida colleges have their
work cut out for them. But there is plenty of demand for cheaper
degrees: Some 57 percent of Americans think students are not getting
enough value for the money they spend, according to a May Pew Research Center survey.




“People have been worried about higher-ed affordability for a long
time now,” says Thomas Lindsay, director of the Texas Public Policy
Foundation’s Center for Higher Education. “But what that’s always led to
is calls on two fronts: one, to make it possible for students to pay
for higher tuitions by extending them ever-greater easy money through
federally subsidized loans, or two, for taxpayers to pay more money
through greater support of higher ed at the state level.”  However, the
$10,000-degree effort means that “for the first time, we’re [addressing]
the affordability issue by actually lowering tuition.”
Richard Vedder, director of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity and a professor at Ohio University,
points to a variety of tools that colleges could use to reduce costs —
including online education, reduction of administrative staff, and
requiring professors to teach more hours. “There’s no reason a
public-school education can’t be offered for $10,000 a student,” he
remarks.



When Perry first announced the push for $10,000 degrees, he wasn’t greeted with cheers. “When the governor issued this challenge two years ago, during his ‘state of higher education’ address in 2011, there was almost universal panning of the idea, [based on a belief] that there’s no way we can do it,” says Dominic Chavez, a spokesman for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. The attitude toward Perry’s challenge, he continues, was, “You’re going to necessarily reduce rigor if you’re going to do this, because you’re basically going to be printing diplomas, and there’s no way we can offer it at that price, etc., etc.”
Of course, current colleges (at current rates!) are not necessarily delivering much bang for the buck either: According to Richard Arum and Josipha Roksa, authors of the 2011 book Academically Adrift, 36 percent of college students fail to “show any significant improvement over four years” as measured by the Collegiate Learning Assessment.
 “So it’s not just that a college degree is unaffordable,” Lindsay remarks. “It’s also very, very low-quality in all too many cases. The higher-ed establishment is an industry that is ripe for disruptive innovation, and that’s what’s happening.”
Texas colleges are trying different ways to reach the $10,000 goal. In a September report for the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Lindsay outlined the various approaches. For instance, Texas A&M University–San Antonio is offering a program under which students first take college-level classes in high school, then attend community college for a year, and finally complete their degrees by attending A&M–San Antonio for the last year. University of Texas of the Permian Basin has launched a program that will cost $10,000 with all courses being taught at the university.


One significant limitation is that so far, the $10,000 programs cover only a few majors. The A&M–San Antonio program offers only a major in information technology, while UTPB has five majors available for $10,000: math, chemistry, geology, computer science, and information systems.
Through the Affordable Baccalaureate Degree Program — which is run by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Texas A&M University–Commerce, and South Texas College — the Lone Star State is looking at additional ways to reduce costs, such as online courses. Another change that looks promising is letting students test out of classes whose subjects they can master on their own.
A cheaper degree does not necessarily mean a degree that is worth less. “Our colleges will not be developing programs where the academic quality is diminished,” says Randy Hanna, chancellor of the Florida college system. Already, Florida’s colleges have gained acclaim: In 2011, Valencia College won the award for top community college in the country from the Aspen Institute (an “educational and policy studies organization”), while Broward College and Santa Fe College made the Institute’s list of ten finalists for the 2013 award.
Florida, like Texas, is looking at greater use of online courses. Already, says Hanna, “Florida is a big provider of online education. Between 20 and 25 percent of all of our students in the Florida college system take one or more online courses.”
Still, it remains to be proven that colleges can actually reduce the price to $10,000. Neither Florida nor Texas is giving additional subsidies to schools that offer the $10,000 degrees, but schools can draw on the resources (including government funds) they already have to finance the programs.
“It’s not going to be a silver bullet,” admits Chavez. But he thinks Texas could gain in the long term. “We’re working on a number of cost-efficiency recommendations for higher education that, combined with this particular tool, we think will, over the long term, start to bend that cost curve, or at least start to control costs and the inflation that we’ve seen in the last decade or so.”
Vedder thinks it’s important to view $10,000 degrees as an option for those already planning to go to college, not as a technique to attract more students. Vedder says he sees too many students with college degrees working jobs — such as being bartenders or janitors — that they are overqualified for.
But regardless of how these degrees are ultimately utilized, if Texas and Florida succeed, it’s likely that more states will look to introduce similar programs.
“Now that parents and students have begun to hear that there is a $10,000 degree out there,” Lindsay says, “I think what you are going to see [is that] this is going to spread like wildfire.”


Katrina Trinko is an NRO reporter.





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