U.S. Wellbeing The Good &Bad
1. Work
2. Outsourcing  3. Education 4. Health 5. Safety 6. Poverty

7. Civility 8. Taxes 9. Debt 10. Government 11. Geopolitics 12. Terror

13. Fake News 14. The Bottom Line 4/19/19  Please Share!  email our editor walter
Prelude:
John Mueller
1995 statement concerning Retrospection Bias
“... no matter how much better the present gets, the past gets better faster..."
Golden ages "...do happen, but we are never actually in them: they are always back there somewhere.”

See Mueller Report 4/19/20

 

 

American's Work More

 

But
Middle Skill Jobs Disappearing

 

More Work Data    Return to Index
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  Outsourcing Moves Medium Wage Jobs

 #1 Manufacturing moved South out of Northeast and Midwest.

#2 Manufacturing and Middle Skilled Work moved out of US.

#3 Pressure caused Foreign Manufacturing to move to US
low cost locations helping wage growth.

# 4 China created jobs assembling parts from other Asian countries

#5 Jobs moved out of China to lower cost caused by higher wages.

#6 China began moving up the product value chain.

More Analysis

 

 

More Went to College

 

A. But Many Made a Poor Economic Investment

Annual-Wage-by-Education-1970-2013

 

B. Success Does Not Require a Bachelor's Degree!

While average college graduate wages are higher the overlap means many college graduates make less than those without a bachelor's degree.

As Education Increases, Gap from Median to Top 10% Increases.

Using the Mean/Average Income to Represent Economic Return on Investing in Education is misleading. It's the Real Fake News.

Consider a cohort of 100 students arriving in the ninth grade

18 won’t graduate on time from high school

25 won’t enroll in higher education

29 won’t earn even an associate’s degree after six years

12 BS Graduates will land in jobs that do not require a degree

16 BS Graduates will successfully college pipeline

More Education Data

 

Source: Manhattan Institute

Return to Index

Please Share!

 

We've Cured Many Diseases

 
 

But Poor Health Habits Hurt Many

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-pcKs5k0Atqw/TnfVGROvVgI/AAAAAAAAABM/rfS-FtAny08/s1600/Imagesdiseasechart.gif

More Health Data    Return to Index
Please Share!
 

 
 

Children are Safer
 

But Bullying Persists

 
 

More Safety Data    Return to Index
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Poverty Spending Increased

A. Helping the Poor

 
 

 

 
 

 

Safety Net Unaccounted Income
 Affects Some in Both Groups
CBO Analysis Needed

.

Source

A household is only eligible for SNAP
 if it has a gross income below
130 percent of the federal poverty level

 or a net income below the poverty line.

Little Benefit 2nd Worker Benefit
needs more study/analysis.

 

B. Many Gaines Since 1989

Editor's Notes:

Measuring increased economic Wellbeing is difficult.
U.S. Poverty Rate is Fake News. Why? It Ignores Our Safety Net.
Such inadequate communication,
Fake News, is cultivated by
economists, professionals and politicians.
Undervalued Inexpensive Well-Made Asian Products are Undervalued.
Government Imposed Building Standards Are Ignored.
 

The Congressional Budget Committee should be charged with
gathering  unbiased economic statistics affecting wellbeing.

 

 
 

C. But, Keeping Many in Jail is Expensive

http://www.textbooksfree.org/crime.1.jpg

More Poverty Data    Return to Index
Please Share!
 
 

 
 

Tax Rates Went Down

Federal Share of GDP Changes Little

 

 

 
 

Government Debt Increased

More Tax Analysis

A. Politics in Control   
B. Legally Avoiding Taxes
C. Who Cheats and How
   
D. Tax Where the Money Is!

E. Attitudes Toward Taxes
F. Would Rich Pay?

Return to Index  Please Share!
 

 
 


Debt Cost Is Low

 

 
 

A. Increased Federal Debt Predicted

U.S. Debt: Is It the Calm Before the Storm? podcast from knowledge@Wharton

 

But Some Feel Inflation/Growth May Not Lower the Relative Debt

and

 
   
   

B. Printing Money Could Cause Inflation
Leading to Higher Interest Rates/Debt Cost

Because we borrow in our own currency,
US is not like Greece Euro borrowing.

See  Should the Federal Debt be Paid?

More Debt Data   Return to Index
 
Please Share!

 
 


Government Helps Everyone

 

Most Wealth Accumulates at the Very Top

But
Government Spending Helps and Hurts

 

 

 

source one-picture economics

 

 

Another example of the unintended consequences of government support is that increased Social Security benefits has paralleled the decrease in the personal savings rate.
Government Deficits Fund Private Savings

   

More Government Data   Return to Index Please Share!



 

U.S. Civility Improved

Adolph Ochs bought the NYT in 1898,
responded to  many Yellow Journalism
competitors with

"All The News That's Fit To Print."
More congenial media
lasted 100 years.

But

Civility Has Declined
 The 1987 communication industry
Fairness Doctrine exclusion meant 
presenting contrasting views
was not required of radio stations.
Conservative and liberal
polarization increased.
Soon Rush Limbaugh, who had popularized
conservative talk radio, had few restrictions.

Talk Radio and Identity Politics Flourished.

 

The Telecommunications Act of 1996
allowed multi station company ownership
and national networks developed.
As of 2011
, Clear Channel Communications
 (now iHeartMediaowned over 800
US radio stations and
 Rush Limbaugh wealth began
an 8 year clime to $400 million.
[3] 
 

Increased Political Contributions
followed
Citizens United v. FEC which allowed
 unregulated, non transparent, and
individual political contributions.
This increased campaign funds and allowed
 a new type of sponsor to support 
both intended and unintended Fake News.



Trash Talking Went Public in Sports

when Mohamed Ali practically invented this
 1960's genre as a boastfully Cassius Clay.
Athlete had been formal, cordial, and boring.
Ali changed everything with
elite out-of-ring talk which was rivaled
only by his in-ring dominance.

Larry Bird
and others soon followed suit.


Banning Earmarks in 2011
increased polarization as cooperating
 to “bring home the bacon” ended.

See Avoiding Effects Of Groupthink

More Civility Data       Return to Index
Please Share!
 

Fake News

Unintended
When Professionals Provide Inadequate,
Bias Information.
It is Worse Than

Intended
A Modern Name for
Yellow Journalism
, Propaganda it provides
Fodder for Media, Politicians, Think-tanks

Unbiased News

Look for a date, author, data source, logical facts,
internet domain, writing style...

Active Fake News Warnings

Return to Index       Please Share!

Geopolitics

Trump’s Foreign Policy

Brookings Institute: Thomas Wright

 

source Trump’s Foreign Policy Is No Longer Unpredictably

Editor's Note:

Because Trump's methods put much of the
foreign establishment out of business,
trusting this and similar Trump articles is difficult.
I include few opinions reporting mostly historical activities.

More Geopolitics Information
 

Terror

21st Century Terror Analysis

Islamic Terror Hitting Western Europe Hard

 

U.S. Demotic Shooting Terror Increasing
Motives Varied

1984 San Ysidro Lone
government/humanity

1986 Edmond post office
work related

1991 Luby's shooting
Hispanics, Gays, Women issues

1999 Columbine HS
no obvious motive

2007 Blacksburg
mental/physical issues

 

2007 Binghamton NY
self image/career issues

2009 Fort Hood
career issues

2012 Sandy  Hook
obsession with mass murders

2015 San Bernardino
inspired by Islamic terrorists

2016 Orlando Nightclub
many unrelated issues

 

Right Wing Terror Incident 1993-2017 by Movement

2018 "...attackers with ties to right-wing extremists killed at least 50 people.
Up 35 percent from 2017, it was the fourth-deadliest yea since 1970.
ADL reports white supremacists cause the majority of such attacks “almost every year.”

The Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue attacker blamed Jews for the migrant caravan.
Parkland, Florida attacker wished" all the Jews were dead.”
 The yoga studio attack by an “incel” obsessed with interracial dating.
Source homegrown-terrorists -were-almost-all-right-wing

More Terror Information Please Share

 

12. The Bottom Line
Most Westerners Live Better Than Ever

A. WW 1 Began Mass Wealth Accumulation k
 

Source
Editor's Notes: Author of this source
 has a different interpretation of this data.
U.S. Data Needed

B. Big Political Economy Question #1

source one-picture economics
 

C. Big Political Economy Question #2

Note: IMF data makes me nervous!


D. Too Bad Politicians, the Media,
 and Professionals Can/Have Made
Much Money, Power and Peer Respect
      by Influencing/Creating Negativity!
See
Fake News   Please Share!

 

We Used Debt to Pay for
1. Revolutionary War
2. The Civil War
3. WW 1
4. Great Depression Poverty
5. WW 2
5. War on Poverty
 

Historically the U.S. Has Succeeded
 in Using Inflation and Economic Growth
 to Postpone Economic Pain.
 

See World Getting Better video
Child Labor Photos

More Data Please Share!

 

 

 

More Work Data

A. Labor is Getting Less

B. Some Say Owners
Get All Productivity Gains

C. Others Say No
Total Compensation Adjusted With IPD Index
Paints Truer Picture

D. Productivity Goes to Wages
 


American Enterprise Institute

Which Graph, A or D is Appropriate?
Exemplifies Fake News?
Use of FTE ?

 

E. Wealth of Wealthy Grows Most, Or Does It?

Understanding U.S. Economic Normality 1945-2015
Would Improve Understanding

Return to Index Please Share!
 

 
 

More Outsourcing Data

Gresham's Law
Bad Money Moves Good Money

Prelude:  When gold and silver both supported a currency 
gold leaves that market for a better markets.

#1 Bad economic conditions move business, skilled workers away
Examples: Colonial Westward Movement, for more productive farm land
                    Rural workers to urban areas
Cost: Depleted areas become even more economically disadvantaged
          so more business leave causing more skilled workers to leave.
          Depleted areas require unique problem solutions.
 

#2 Improved skills move people toward opportunity
Examples: Successfully educated students get to choose company/location
                    Greece and Italy losing their most successful skilled workers
Cost: Depleted areas require unique problem solutions.
 

#3 Super Star Employees congregate
Example: Boston, Austin, and Silicon Valley have most Big Tech headquarters.
Cost:
Governments supported education receive less return on investment.
See Geekability is Important for Success

 
 

 More Health Data

A. Unhealthy Eating Habits

 

 
 

B. Many are Uninsured

C. Obesity Tied to Higher Millennial Cancer Rates

Source

Base Would Be Useful
A 10% Increase in a Cancer
is Not Serious if from 1% TO 1.1%

Especially in the Fight For
Health Resources.

Return to Index Please Share!
 

 

 More Safety Data

A. School Shooting Down

B. Less Bullying

 

C. Crime is Down

BUT

Few Believe It!

Source

Return to Index Please Share!
 

 

More Poverty Data

A. Most Recipients Work

England's Wealth Accumulation Reveals Much

Editor's Note: US Growth has Been Much Larger
Economic Historians Could Do Much More to Measure and Community How
 Today, Poor in Booth Countries Life Much Better

 

The Top Got Most of the Created Wealth

Return to Index Please Share!
 

 
In 1969, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, ruled that the Constitution forbids local schools from suspending students who bring political protest inside the schools. In his dissent, Justice Black wrote:, "I repeat that if the time has come when pupils of state-supported schools, kindergartens, grammar schools, or high schools, can defy and flout orders of school officials to keep their minds on their own schoolwork, it is the beginning of a new revolutionary era of permissiveness in this country fostered by the judiciary."[9]


More Education Data

Prelude: "It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you don't stop." Confucius
Source1: Historical Leaders Education Observations
P. Drucker Emphasize what learners do well
Source:
Advise from Recent Leaders

 

A. Laws Have Unintended Consequences

  In 1962, President John F. Kennedy Executive Order 10988 led to state laws permitting the unionization of public employees.  
  In 1969, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, ruled that the Constitution forbids local schools from suspending students who bring political protest inside the schools. In his dissent, Justice Black wrote:, "I repeat that if the time has come when pupils of state-supported schools, kindergartens, grammar schools, or high schools, can defy and flout orders of school officials to keep their minds on their own schoolwork, it is the beginning of a new revolutionary era of permissiveness in this country fostered by the judiciary."[9]

We now have "The Language Police," education historian Diane Ravitch's meticulous but horrifying narrative of how the major textbook publishers, the testing companies and state education departments have reduced what public-school kids learn to politically correct, politically laughable pabulum and swill.

  In 1975 Goss v. Lopez, the Court  ruled in the case of a suspended student, a hearing was required. In dissent Justice Powell wrote In 1975 Goss v. Lopez, the Court  ruled in the case of a suspended student, a hearing was required. In dissent Justice Powell wrote "One who does not comprehend the meaning and necessity for discipline is handicapped not merely in his education but throughout his subsequent life."    
  In the years since, courts and legislatures gave the neighborhood school yet another big legal obligation: Mainstream and educate severely disabled kids.
 
 
 
 

B. The Headline

2015 U.S. students ranked
40th in math literacy
25th in science literacy
24th in reading literacy.
Singapore topped all nations
in all three categories.
International Students Assessment


See On the World Stage
U.S. Students Fall Behind

Massachusetts PISA Scores
are about the same as Singapore.


 Data on test taker percentages
not provided.
Prejudice for and against
makes all data Suspect
 

 
 

Example of Seldom Reported Data

 
 

The Nation's Report Card Unchanged

 

Mathematics

A line graph shows that the national average mathematics score in 2015 for grade 12 students was lower compared to the score in 2013, but was not significantly different compared to 2005, the first year of the current trend line based on a new framework.

Reading

A line graph shows that the national average reading score in 2015 for grade 12 students was lower compared to the score in 1992, the initial reading assessment year, but was not significantly different compared to 2013.

 
 

The Difference: Report Card Tests are Constant
PISA Changes Periodically
US Mathematics & Reading at Grade 12

Little Change Since 1971

Reading Scores

Image of a line graph with three horizontal lines showing average scores for age 9, age 13, and age 17 students. The X axis is labeled year and shows various years from 1971 through 2012. The Y axis is labeled scale score and shows a range of scores from 0 to 500. Each horizontal line consists of two assessment variations: original assessment format and revised assessment format. 
      There are two data points in the transition year between original and revised formats. 
      For Reading age 9: The original format was used, In 1971 = 208, significantly different from 2012; 
      In 1975 = 210, significantly different from 2012; In 1980 = 215, significantly different from 2012;
       In 1984 = 211, significantly different from 2012; In 1988 = 212, significantly different from 2012; 
       In 1990 = 209, significantly different from 2012; In 1992 = 211, significantly different from 2012; 
       In 1994 = 211, significantly different from 2012; In 1996 = 212, significantly different from 2012; In 1999 = 
       212, significantly different from 2012; In 2004 = 219; The revised format was used, In 2004 = 216, 
       significantly different from 2012; In 2008 = 220; and In 2012 = 221. For Reading age 13: 
       The original format was used, In 1971 = 255, significantly different from 2012; In 1975 = 256, 
       significantly different from 2012; In 1980 = 258, significantly different from 2012; In 1984 = 257, 
       significantly different from 2012; In 1988 = 257, significantly different from 2012; In 1990 = 257, 
       significantly different from 2012; In 1992 = 260; In 1994 = 258, significantly different from 2012; 
       In 1996 = 258, significantly different from 2012; In 1999 = 259, significantly different from 2012;
        In 2004 = 259, significantly different from 2012; The revised format was used, In 2004 = 257, 
        significantly different from 2012; In 2008 = 260, significantly different from 2012; and In 2012 = 263. 
        For Reading age 17: The original format was used, In 1971 = 285; In 1975 = 286; In 1980 = 285;
         In 1984 = 289; In 1988 = 290, significantly different from 2012; In 1990 = 290, significantly different from 2012; In 1992 = 290, significantly different from 2012; In 1994 = 288; In 1996 = 288; In 1999 = 288; In 2004 = 285; 
         The revised format was used, In 2004 = 283, significantly different from 2012; In 2008 = 286; and In 2012 = 287.\

Long and Short-Term Testing.

 

Testing is Big Business

Standardized Test Sales,
1955–1997

 

Standardized tests mean large profits to testing companies
 and require new curriculums. 

Changing from a two-part Scholastic Aptitude Test
to a three-part test
 has made a lot of money for a lot of people.
 

Business Week 2005 reports
"Kaplan, a unit of The Washington Post,
saw SAT-related sales jump up to 50% in the later half of 2004...."
SAT companies got a similar hike in 1994, when tests were last modified."
 

New curriculums mean large profits for
curriculum design companies and textbook companies. 
The academics who advise these companies receive
substantial consulting fees plus ego enhancements.
 

Standardized test exists to create a better life for young people.
 But these tests  hurt young people economically and emotionally.

 

Product Line Expanded

" More than 25 percent of public high school seniors graduating last May
 took at least one AP test." 2/15/19
 

 
 

 

 
 

Four companies that dominate the business
 of making/scoring standardized tests.

 
  "As of 2011, Gaston Caperton, the president of the College Board, nonprofit owner of SAT, was paid $1.3 million. Richard Ferguson, former executive officer of ACT Inc., made roughly $1.1 million. Meanwhile, The National Board on Educational Testing and Public Policy at Boston College reported that the value of the standardized testing market was anywhere between $400 million and $700 million." huffingtonpost.com

Money Did Not Help
Manhattan Institute

 

 
 

Just 206 of 41,000 student applicants
had loans discharged under the loan forgiveness program

As of Sept. 30, more than 41,000 borrowers applied to have their loans discharged under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, an initiative signed into law in 2007, which allows public servants to have certain federal loans forgiven after at least 10 years of on-time payments. So far, just 206 have had their loans discharged, according to data published by the Department of Education this month.
 

FED's Get to Set the Rules Without Providing the Money!

 

Epilogue: Education should center on Howard Gardner's
equally valued normally distributed
Multiple Intelligences,
 
concentrating on a student's
Special Intelligence
while
not harming  self actualization.

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More Data on Taxes

A. Politics in Control

B. Legally Avoiding Taxes

C. Who Cheats and How

D. Tax Where the Money Is!

E. Attitudes Toward Taxes

F. Would Rich Pay?


A. Politics in Control
IRS Demanding Billions Less From the Wealthy

 

In 2009, the IRS had formed a crack team of specialists
 to unravel the tax dodges of the ultra-wealthy.

A battle had begun. Soon the Republicans in Congress
 began slashing the agency’s budget.

High-powered tax lawyer and now Trump’s IRS commissioner,
warned that the squad was conducting “the audits from hell.”

In 2012 the wealth team embarked on a contentious audit
 of German billionaire businessman George Schaeffler.
ProPublica reconstruct the key points in the Schaeffler case
Eventually they determined owed about $1.2 billion in unpaid taxes and penalties.
But after seven years of grinding bureaucratic combat, the IRS abandoned its campaign.
They would accept just tens of millions of dollars.

Having to battle high-priced lawyers and accountants was too much.

summarized from propublica.org

 

B. Legally Avoiding Taxes

Congress Has Given Many a Tax Break

Corporations Pay Less
So Owners Get More

Example

Dodging Taxes is Easier

 

See Millionaires and Corporate Giants Escaped IRS Audits in FY 2018

Tax Dodge Lets Investors Save Big

"Typically, when you sell a stock for more than you paid, you owe tax on the gain.
But thanks to a quirk in a Nixon-era tax law,
funds can avoid that tax if they use the stock to pay off a withdrawing fund investor.
Heartbeats come into play when there isn’t an exiting investor handy.
A fund manager asks a friendly bank to create extra withdrawals
 by rapidly pumping assets in and out.

 

C. Who Cheats and How

The Who

Source: How big is the problem of tax evasion?
 

The How

Unbiased Third Party Information Provided Income Type

Tax Liabilities Misreported %

Little or none Farm income 71%
  Nonfarm proprietor income 64
  Rents and royalties 62
  Other income 49
  Form 4797 income 42
Some Capital gains 27
  Partnership, S-corp, etc. 16
Substantial Taxable Social Security benefits 19
  State income tax refunds 13
  Dividend income 7
  Unemployment compensation 6
  Pensions and annuities 4
  Interest income 3
  Wages, salaries, tips 1

 

 

Some Specifics

source

 

D. Tax Where the Money Is!

Payroll is Where the Money Is

An 8% payroll tax increase affecting all workers would provide $15.3 trillion over ten years.
Bernie Sanders proposed Medicare for All would cost about $33.3 trillion.
More Tax Increases Required.

  The Math Problem That Could Sink the Bernie/AOC Agenda
See insufficient funding.

 

People Want More Taken from the Rich?

 

Super Rich Do Have Lots More Money

 

Editor's Recommended Proposal
A 10 percent surtax on the top 1/10 of the top one-percent
" Our preliminary estimate is that such a surtax
would raise roughly $75 billion in its first year of implementation
 and roughly $800 billion in its first decade. source EPI

First Proposal from Ocasio-Cortez proposed 70 percent marginal income tax rate
 on $10 million and over to finance her Green New Deal
 affects 16,000 people with  income of $245 billion.
 It would
raise $164-382 billion over ten years.

Another calculation from "Mazur calculates that it could raise $720 billion over the next decade,
affecting 0.05% of the US population (around 16,000 households),
although the estimate is likely to be much smaller
because of the changing behavior of the millionaires." Source

Another Proposal from Warren's team says her "wealth tax,"
which would apply to people with more than $50 million in assets,
is projected to raise $2.75 trillion over a decade. This is an estate tax.

 

See Taxes, Socialism, And Class War
Are Billionaires Fat Cats or Deserving Entrepreneurs? but 
Billionaires take more than they make.
Center for Popular Economics

 

Some Predict Unintended Consequences
Ayn Rand's Predicted Tipping Point Means Slow Growth

source one-picture economics

 

E. Attitudes Toward Taxes

Companies Use Bonus in Place of More Permanente Raises

Just one more reason to be careful when using
economic data for political economy analysis.
Source

Middle Households Helped Least

 

 

Would Rich Pay?

Editor's Note: Historically Very rich pay the very educated to avoid taxes.

Would Boxers Box, Musicians Play, Actors Act?

“top

 

Would Hedge Managers Hedge Like They Did Last Decade?

 

Would a Wealth Tax Slow Economic Growth?

Most of this Wealth Created With Government t Sponsored Technology.

We Spent Billions to Keep Them Hedging Beginning in 2007

A Final Look a the Data

Return to Index Please Share!

 

More Debt Data

A. Who Do We Owe

 

B. Debt Begins With War

 C. Human Needs Were Added
by Hoover and FDR During
Great Depression Continued by LBJ
Extended by All Succeeding Presidents.

D. Recessions Also Caused Deficits as Revenue Drops
Nominal Growth Historically Cured Deficit

E. Borrowing Began With the Revolution
 

Image result for Federal Debt graphs

 

F. Who Paid the Federal Debt

End of
Fiscal Year
US Gross Debt
in Nominal USD billions
US Gross Debt as % of GDP Question Answer
1940 43.0 52.4 No One
1950 257.4 94.1
1960 290.2 56.1
1970 389.2 37.6
1980 930.2 33.3 No One
1990 3,233 55.9
2000 5,674 58 TBD
2005 7,933 64.6
2007 9,008 65.5
2008 10,699.8 74.6 (EST)
2009           11,046.2   TBD
United States public debt - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Obama continued the Bush policy
of fighting the Great Recession with debt
and by 12/16 it was apparent that this policy
 had worked better than Europe's austerity policies.

F. Trump's Unorthodox Tax Cut Beginning Step #1 of Trouble?
In an Already Expanding Economy
Really High Nominal Growth Will Be Needed

 

G. Who Finances Deficit Rollovers?

H. Is Foreigners US Debt Ownership a Problem?
U.S. Buys Cars, Wine, Electronics ...
Foreigners Get $ and Buy U.S. Treasuries.
Japan Tried to Buy US Assets, Paid Way Too Much, and Stopped.
So U.S. Get Good Stuff at Low Prices,
Foreigners Mostly get U.S. Government IOU's.

Return to Index Please Share!
 

More Government Data

 A. Measured Poverty
Changes Little

See Why Poverty is Controversial?  

 

B. BUT After the Safety Net
Poverty Down 14.2% Points Over Fifty Years 

 

 

This chart "...provides a first approximation of how correcting the 2013 poverty rate for noncash food and housing benefits, refundable tax credits, and not using the upward [inflation] bias of the CPI-U would change the 2013 poverty rate. This adjusted poverty rate falls from 14.5 to 4.8 percent, making the 2013 rate roughly a quarter of the 1964 rate (19.0 percent). If we were to lower the poverty threshold for cohabiting couples to match that for married couples the 2013 poverty rate would have fallen even more." Examples of noncash benefits include food stamps SNAP), discounted school lunches, subsidized rent, Medicaid, and Medicare. See Source Editors Comments are in red.

 

 
 

C. Real Minimum Wage Falls
Unintended Consequence of Safety Net Increases?

 

 
 

D. Government Support Is Everywhere

 

 

More Civility Data

 

A. Engagement with “Fake News” on Facebook is Declining
The National Bureau of Economic Resources measured the diffusion of fake news stories on Facebook and Twitter between 1/15 and 7/18. False content rose steadily on both Facebook and Twitter through the end of 2016 but dropped by measurably from Facebook but not for twitter.

B. Politically  “teams” will accumulate grievances..."
"...lose any interest in communicating across party lines."

"This happened in the 1850s: We know what happened..."
 "Things...could get plenty bad..."  with a "...serious recession or the stock market..." crash. "

and ... as a nation we are no longer capable of making preparations for such events."

  "Political Polarization: The Rise and Decline of America's Postwar Political Order"

Editors Note: With democracy, very difficult to sacrifice before the pain. Think WW1  WW2  Gilded Age Greed

C. U.S. Supreme Court Job Approval Rating Ties Record Low

Trend: Do you approve or disapprove of the way the Supreme Court is handling its job?

It's Political

Trend: Supreme Court Job Approval, by Political Party

Individual Behavior Norms Are Expanding

 

Legality of Behavior Norms Also Up

 

 

Attitude Toward Abortion Unchanged

Public views of abortion: 1995-2018

 


Why the Difference?
It's About Relegion!

 

and Politics

There is a substantial partisan and ideological divide on abortion, with Democrats much more likely than Republicans to say it should be legal in all or most cases. This gap is even larger between liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans: Nearly nine-in-ten liberal Democrats (88%) say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, compared with only about three-in-ten self-described conservatives in the GOP (27%)

enhanced by

Roe v. Wade

Poisoned Our Politics

Michael Barone

New York Post

Today’s “partisan chaos” is a direct result of Roe v. Wade, said Michael Barone.
The all-out war over Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court would not be so heated
 if
people on both sides didn’t think Roe might be at stake.

In 1973, 16 states with 41 percent of the nation’s population had already liberalized their abortion laws,
and America would have had different laws in different regions, depending on the democratic process.
But then seven justices delivered “an unusually sweeping” ruling that made abortion legal in almost all circumstances
and the country’s defining wedge issue.

While public opinion on cultural issues like same-sex marriage has shifted markedly this century,
“opinion on abortion has scarcely budged.”

It’s hard to win converts on such a fundamentally moral issue about “the way people live their lives”:
Pro-choicers, who are largely secular, think their “personal autonomy” is at stake, whereas pro-lifers,
who are mostly religious, believe abortion amounts to “extinguishing human lives.”

Rather than settle the abortion debate, Roe inflamed it because neither side believes it can afford any compromise.
As a direct result, every Supreme Court nominee battle has literally become a matter of life and death.


 

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Geopolitics Basics

Follow the Money
Capitalism Requires Sound Money

The Gold Standard rules geopolitics until the 20th century.
Until then, Brittan had all the gold and ruled capitalism. The US grew economically, took control of gold, and after WW 2, ruled capitalism. Economic growth created pressure on US gold reserves so, in 1970,  she gave partially backing the dollar with gold.

A Dollar Standard was created by the US because she had enough consumer and business demand, financed by debt, to supply dollars for world trade. Dollars came back to the US as foreigners bought US assets and debt. The Euro was created as a multination currency controlled by Germany. She kept a tight reign on inflation. Members who did not manage budgets soon got into trouble. This coincided with a few European bank controlling worldwide dollar trade flows using Euro's, not dollars, as collateral. But contracts required payment in dollars and the banks, wanting to maximize profit, had borrowed dollars very short term. They were in trouble when the Great Recession created a need for dollars and rolling over dollar loans became impossible. The FED, as lender of last resort, loaned dollars to the entire world financial community. This combined with Germany using austerity to forced force debt repayment on failing countries and banks. Populism resulted.

   
   

Beginning of a Post War
 International Geopolitical Era

1648 Peace of Westphalia
Sovereignty of participants over their lands, people, and agents abroad was established.

Broken by European Colonialism

1941 Atlantic Charter 
No spheres of influence allowed, territorial self-determination required

First problem came immediately as Soviets did whatever it took to keep Communists in charge of the buffer state Poland.

The US responded with the Truman Doctrine. Eventually U.S./Britain sponsored covert activities would try to slow Communist advancement. One such activity was the September of 1953 GB/US sponsored Iranian Coup to keep control Iranian oil/profit.  Unintended consequences followed.  First came the seizure in 1979 of the Tehran U.S. embassy by Militant Iranian students. Then, 20 years later, the 9/11 Trade Center attacks made many American feel insecure.

Continuing Problem

The US would try to maintain its sphere of influence throughout Latin America and stop Russia and China spheres of influence. Both groups made the world their spheres.

Source 21st Century Geopolitical Options

   
   

Hegemony 2 made Wall Street more important than Main Street as conservative presidents Reagan, Bush I and II combined with business friendly Clinton to allow complete Neoliberalism economic dominance. The stage was set for the public to pay for inevitable market failures from Failing Manufacturing, Less Financial Regulation and A Great Recession followed by a European Financial Collapse. The FED created money and paid the entire cost.

Hegemony 3 will happen if the US dominates in the a world of political populism.

 

   
   

1973-2003 Neoliberal State Development
Dominated World Politics

Adoption Would Maximized Human Welfare?

Iraq's Economic Restructuring Agenda was issued in September of 2003 by Paul Bremmer of the Coalition Provisional Authority. Many felt these dictums were illegal under the Hague and Geneva conventions so an interim sovereign government  was created. It required many neoliberal economic requirements. Key among them were 1) Private Property for everything but oil 2) Free Markets with unlimited Foreign Direct Investment/Ownership 3) Unregulated International Trade 4) Unlimited Profit Repatriation. Entrepreneurship was fostered by guaranteed Intellectual Property Rights and a conservative Flat Tax.

A 1973 U.S. orchestrated Chilean Coup had set up a new government to follow neoliberal Chicago Boys privation advise with similar requirements except copper resource ownership would not change.

Unites States controlled IMF development programs follow similar guidelines in support of the US International Trade Hegemony. But more was involved as independent leaders like Thatcher in the early 1970's  and Xiaoping in the late 1970's also embraced neoliberal economics. Then  Germany required similar neoliberal economic requirements in response to Great Recession budget and banking problems. European Populism resulted.

 

   
   

US Hegemony 3?

Hegemony 1 was built around Cold War needs and dominance of global manufacturing trade. Easy domination with it extensive profit and extensive worker wage gains began to diminish because of Tiger Country competition. To protect profit, conservatives expanded neoliberal activities wanting to eventually control the Supreme Court by financing conservative law students. Business turned away from local less profitable US manufacturing by investing in overseas production. They also expanded into corporate finance activities. Chairman Greenspan took charge of the lender of last resort Federal Reserve.  Keynesian dominance was being  replaced by neoliberal free unregulated market economics.

Hegemony 2 made Wall Street more important than Main Street as conservative presidents Reagan, Bush I and II combined with business friendly Clinton. Obama was Wall Street friendly. Neoliberalism economic dominance was complete. The stage was set for the public to pay for inevitable market failures caused by Less Financial Regulation. A Great Recession was followed by a European Financial Collapse. The FED created money and paid the entire cost.

Hegemony 3? Will US dominates in the a world of political populism.

 

   
       
 

More Terror Information

European Attacks Decreasing

US Targets Varied

Racist Trend
"White supremacy groups such as the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), neo-Nazis such as the National Alliance, and skinhead groups such as the Hammerskin Nation."

Anti-Federalist Trend
The anti-federalist “militia” or “patriot” movement) in the early to mid-1990s with new groups in Montana and Michigan. Anti-government sentiments existed from the birth of the nation were  anti-taxation, gun rights, and a “survivalist” lifestyle. The “farm crises” of the 1980s,  and rapid cultural, technological and normative changes, gun control and environmental legislation caused a fairly ideologically cohesive movement, as well as its rapid growth.
2

Fundamentalist Trend
Mainly Christian identity groups such as the Aryan Nations, merges religious fundamentalism with traditional white supremacy and racist tendencies. It promotes ideas of nativism, exclusionism, and racial superiority via a unique interpretation of religious texts that focus on division of humanity according to primordial attributes.

The Iceberg Model and American Far Right Violence
In the early 1980s, the Israeli political scientist Ehud Sprinzak published a paper on the irredentist Israeli religion-political movement Gush Emunim (The Bloc of the Faithful) entitled
“The Iceberg Model of Political Extremism.”6

 

   
 

The Bottom Line

 

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Quick Money Facts

40 percent of the goods they bought on major online marketplaces were fake reported Investigators said in a 2018 Government Accountability Office.

The Trump administration is requiring the Homeland Security, Commerce, and Justice departments to report back within 210 days.

 [CNBC]

Immigration Data

Sizing Up the Gap in our Supply of STEM Workers produced by pro immigration lobbyist

 

Immigration Problems

 

 

Immigration as a Problem Solver  

   
 

 
 

Here is Why

 

U.S. Customs and Immigration Services reportedly told its staff Tuesday that it would shut down all 21 of its foreign offices by the end of this year. The move could delay processing of paperwork the offices handle, including family visa applications, foreign adoptions by U.S. citizens, and citizenship petitions from members of the military. The offices also investigate visa fraud. The employees who provide these services will likely be transferred to the State Department as the offices are shuttered, USCIS Director Lee Francis Cessna said in an email to staff obtained by The Washington Post. Relocating international employees to U.S. offices and foreign embassies will help "address backlogs in the United States," Cessna wrote. [The Washington Post]

 

 

 
 
 

 

 

While the number of H-2B worker visas is capped by law at 33,000 semiannually, Congress can allow up to 69,000 additional visas to be made available—if the White House agrees.

 

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