Monthly Archives: January 2012

Occupy Wall Street: Racism – Zuccotti Park

There is little doubt that the Occupy Wall Street crowd was supposed to be the Democrat, the liberal, answer to the Tea Party.  However, in typical leftist fashion the movement demonstrated that it is undisciplined, unlawful and unruly.

Where the Tea Party was organized the Occupiers are downright chaotic.  Where the Tea Party showed a discipline that resulted in a point, the Occupy is inexplicably pointless.  And where the Tea Party followed the law, the Occupy demonstrates it’s willingness to rape, to steal, to vandalize and to desecrate.

But how about the claims that it is the Occupy that are guilty of the very sin heaped upon the Tea Party?

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The Impact Of Marriage: Poverty And Children

I have been making the point that one of the contributors to poverty, income disparity and perhaps income mobility is marriage.  I’ve been making the case that marriage tends to bring people out of poverty and failing to get married tends to make one more likely to experience poverty.

For example, I’ve demonstrated that the GINI, or disparity in income, falls as the marriage rate increases in a population:

  • 50% Marriage:  .3446
  • 60% Marriage:  .3353
  • 70% Marriage:  .3227
  • 80% Marriage:  .3015

As the marriage rate went up, the GINI went down.  In other words, as my population increased its marriage rate the inequality diminished.  In fact, by moving from a 50% marriage rate to an 80% rate, the GINI moved by 12%.

Let’s do it again.  10,000 new salaries, same constraints:

  • 50% Marriage:  .3471
  • 60% Marriage:  .3416
  • 70% Marriage:  .3248
  • 80% Marriage:  .3093

Again, a continuing trend toward equality.

As the population marries, the GINI falls.  And this is just a mathematical observation, it has nothing to do with the social benefits that occur due to marriage.

Further, data from the Urban Institute and American University shows that marriage impacts poverty in more concrete ways:

The gains from marriage extend to material hardship as well. About 30 percent of cohabiting couples and 33-35 percent of single parents stated that sometime in the past year they did not meet their essential expenses. These levels are twice the 15 percent rate experienced by married parents. Even among households with similar incomes, demographic and educational characteristics, married couples suffer fewer serious material 21 hardships. Moreover, despite their less promising marriage market, low-income and less educated mothers who are married experience significantly less material hardship than low income,
less-educated mothers not married.

Marriage retained an advantage in limiting hardship even among families with the same incomes relative to needs. The variables used for controlling for the effect of income to-needs ratios were the income-to-needs ratios in the current wave of SIPP (the prior four month period) as well as the mean level and the stability of income-to-needs ratios during the 28 months prior to the current wave. Not surprisingly, higher current welfare ratios, higher past welfare ratios, and lower instability of welfare ratios were all associated with less hardship. However, the inclusion of the income variables left intact virtually all of the differences by marital and family status.

Families that fit in the same income that are married fare better than families that are not married.

The other day I posted on poverty and how to avoid it.  One of the key barriers to middle class is not getting married:


The Immediate Prerequisites to Success Are:

  1. Receive a good education [graduate high school]
  2. Work full time
  3. Marry [And do it before having kids]

But do we have data?  Have we been able to demonstrate that marriage is a determining factor?

Yes.  There is data that backs up the idea that marriage, and just marriage, would reduce our poverty rate significantly:

Economists Isabel Sawhill of Brookings and Adam Thomas of Harvard have conducted a fascinating analysis of whether higher marriage rates would reduce poverty in the United States.4 Employing statistical modeling, they analyzed data from the Census Bureau to determine how poverty would be affected if poor people behaved differently. In particular, they modeled the effect on poverty rates of more work, more marriage, more education, and fewer children by poor adults. In the case of marriage, they simply matched unmarried people by age, education, and race until the marriage rate for the nation equaled the marriage rate in 1970. This exercise showed that if we could turn back the clock and achieve the marriage rate that prevailed in 1970, poverty would be reduced by well over 25 percent.

Impressive indeed.  Simply returning to 1970 rates of marriage, we would be able to realize a significant improvement in our poverty numbers.  And to put this in perspective, social welfare programs aren’t even close when it comes to effectiveness:

By way of comparison, doubling cash welfare would reduce poverty by less than one-third as much as increasing marriage rates.

We could double spending and reduce  poverty.  But it would only be one-third as effective as getting people to get married.

And as a way of comparison, look at the impact of poverty on kids and what reducing that impact by getting married would do:

Marriage, and the declining marriage rate, is a key to poverty in the United States.

The Downside Of Schools Today

My family attends a local private Christian school.  Very small.  Very awesome.

We love LOVE it.

This past week my kids brought home an assignment that required them to identify a piece of classical “Americana” to memorize.  This could include famous speeches, classical poetry or even religious texts.

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What Is A Freemason

If you ever wondered:

How Rich Are You

With all the talk from Obama about the rich, the elite and the 1%, I often wonder, “Do we really have it that bad?”

What might we use as a measurement to gauge whether or not we really are better off.  The media is full of comparisons, we often hear the reports that the rich are getting richer while the poor are getting poorer.  That the middle class is under attack and is losing; indeed, shrinking.

But is it true?

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Occupy Wall Street: Oakland Style

There can no longer be any doubt that the serious individuals who may have made up any aspect of Occupy have left.  What is left is the professional protester, the anarchist and the anti-capitalist.  These are the people who use violence as an accepted means of normal discourse.

These are the criminals.  These are the fringe.

Label them as damage and route around them: Hat Tip: Ryan Grace

Reporting from Oakland—

Officials surveyed damage Sunday from a volatile Occupy protest that resulted in hundreds of arrests the day before and left the historic City Hall vandalized after demonstrators broke into the building, smashed display cases, cut electrical wires and burned an American flag.

Breaking and entering.  Vandalism.  Burning an American flag.  All the act of a sincere and thinking American to be sure.

And lest you think that this is a splinter group, a few outliers raging under the banner of Occupy, think again:

The Occupy action was publicized by the group as a planned takeover of a vacant building that would be “repurposed” as a “social center, convergence center and headquarters of the Occupy Oakland movement.” In an open letter to Quan on Wednesday, the group warned that if police attempted to thwart the takeover, “indefinite occupation” of Oakland’s airport, port and City Hall could follow.

This is purposeful.  This is deliberate.  This has the forethought of malice.  This is no reasonable objection to the direction of a nation.  This is no willingness to work within the constraints of a system.  This is children.  Children grown up acting like children none the less.

This is Occupy.

State Issued ID

I moved to North Carolina in 1999.  Today marks the first day that I can remember where I have left my property without my ID on my body.

See, it’s my job to get the kids ready for school in the morning.  I do this by rustling them out of bed and getting them to the door, drop them off and then come home.  After which I begin my day; calls, reports, e-mails and the normal whatnot.  When I get a break, I shower, get dressed and make my way to the office.

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Occupy Raleigh Continues To Struggle: Theft And Rent

Occupy in general and Occupy Raleigh continues to struggle.  The message has been lost, the momentum has been dramatically reduced.  The reasonable folks making up the movement have left; we’re left with the rest.

Across the nation we hear of vandalism, rape, murder, trespassing and theft.  The movement is dead.

And here in Raleigh, there are two examples:

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The Liberal Lie: Buffet’s Secretary And Her Tax Rate

President Obama has enjoyed making a point the rich, the very rich, are making more out very well under the current tax code while the rest of us suffer.  His favorite example is his friend Warren Buffet.  In fact, Obama even mentioned it during his State of the Union Address:

When it comes to the deficit, we’ve already agreed to more than $2 trillion in cuts and savings.  But we need to do more, and that means making choices.  Right now, we’re poised to spend nearly $1 trillion more on what was supposed to be a temporary tax break for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans.  Right now, because of loopholes and shelters in the tax code, a quarter of all millionaires pay lower tax rates than millions of middle-class households.  Right now, Warren Buffett pays a lower tax rate than his secretary.

I’ve been working this for a long time.  I’ve tried making the point that Buffet pays that SAME income tax rate as his secretary; tax on salary is straight forward and everyone uses the same schedule.  I’ve also tried to point out that Buffet pays much MUCH more in taxes than his secretary; he makes very much more.

All of this is ignored as only so much right-wing buffoonery.

So, let’s look, what does Warren Buffet’s secretary – Debbie Bosanek – pay?  Well, it’s reported that she pays a rate of 35.8%.  And Buffet?  What does he pay?  The same report says he pays 17.4%.

Buffett’s secretary since 1993, Debbie Bosanek, sat next to her boss just hours after being invited by the president to the State of the Union address, where the president made her the face of tax inequality in America.

Bosanek pays a tax rate of 35.8 percent of income, while Buffett pays a rate at 17.4 percent.

“I just feel like an average citizen. I represent the average citizen who needs a voice,” said Bosanek. “Everybody in our office is paying a higher tax rate than Warren.”

Interesting.  Interesting indeed.  The first thing I considered when reading this is why Buffet doesn’t compensate his staff in the same way he compensates himself; namely through assets that yield capital gains.  The second question I asked was, “Wait a moment, what IS the marginal rates exactly?”

Let’s again, go look:

According to the above table, Ms. Bosanek can’t earn enough  income to set her tax rate at 35.8%.  In fact, the highest that any American can pay is 35%.  And even if Ms. Bosanek made $1,000,000 her rate would be 32.73%.  No where near the 35.8% the liberals report she pays.

This should not be surprising; liberals suffer from a degree of lack of understanding when comes to things economic:

It’s not even close.  The conservatives did better, MUCH better, than the Leftists.  And it tracks exactly with political affiliation.

So the next time that you are confronted with the argument that Mr. Buffet’s secretary pays more in taxes than her boss, challenge them.  Ask them questions.  Ask them if they mean total dollars or tax rate.  Then ask them to explain their answer.

They can’t.



More Great Great 2012 Election News For North Carolina

I just posted that the 2012 elections are looking good for Republicans.  Most folks feel that the the Senate could swap, and if it doesn’t would turn more red than blue.  And only the most partisan individuals in the democrat party feel that the House would turn.  But the state elections are looking great.

And here in North Carolina?  The news is looking even better.  Our sitting 1 term governor isn’t looking to run for her 2nd term:

RALEIGH, N.C. — Facing a tough fight for a second term, Gov. Beverly Perdue said Thursday that she will not seek re-election so she can focus her energy on fighting for a sales tax increase to fund education.

This is garbage by the way.  Purdue has a horrible approval rating here in Carolina and she knows she doesn’t have Obama’s momentum to carry her through this year.  She’ll lose, she knows it, so she’s dropping out.

Another win for Republicans in 2012.