Wednesday, July 31, 2013

ObamaCare Coming : Doctors Are Losers To

ObamaCare is so huge and complicated with so many regulations it is impossible to function as a health care system let alone how it will be funded. Doctors are as ignorant as anyone else about how this nightmare will function or won't function.

And what is really neat is the 30 million new customers coming into the system and the millions that won't have a chance to get any insurance or quality care. How did this happen?

Doctors Are Skeptical and Confused About ObamaCare
Source: Dan Mangan, "Doctors Are Skeptical and Confused About ObamaCare, Survey Finds," CNBC, July 22, 2013.
July 31, 2013

Doctors are skeptical about the Affordable Care Act, and clueless, too. A new survey shows that an overwhelming percentage of physicians don't believe that their states' new health insurance exchanges will meet the Oct. 1 deadline to begin enrolling the uninsured, says CNBC.
  • Just 11 percent of doctors believe those exchanges will be open for business that day.
  • But those doctors, by a wide margin, also said they are "not at all familiar" with how a number of important aspects of those exchanges and plans offered on them will work -- aspects that will directly affect their bottom lines.
  • More than 65 percent of them gave that answer to all but one of the questions asking their familiarity with plan benefits levels, contracted rates with insurers, patient coverage terms and the claims process.
  • Those doctors, on average, believe they will see a 13.4 percent increase in the number of patients coming to their practices after the state health exchanges go into effect.
Those exchanges, a pillar of President Barack Obama's health care reform law, are being set up to enroll uninsured people, many of whom will receive government subsidies to purchase insurance from companies that choose to sell plans through the marketplaces.
  • But more than 55 percent of the doctors don't expect the exchanges to begin enrollment as scheduled this fall, and 34 percent don't know if the enrollment will begin on time, which is a degree of skepticism that tracks overall cool or negative public opinion about ObamaCare.
  • A huge number of doctors (89 percent) said they believed that consumers had not been adequately educated about how the exchanges' policies will function, and more than 9 percent didn't know if there had been adequate education of consumers.
  • Just 1.6 percent believed consumers had been adequately educated about the exchanges' policies.
  • More than 56 percent of doctors said they were "not at all familiar" with how insurance policies purchased on the exchanges will affect their business, and another 21 percent were only "slightly familiar."
  • An even a greater number of doctors, 70.5 percent, don't have any idea on how the claims process will work.
  • And nearly 66 percent were completely unfamiliar with what the contracted rates with payers in the exchanges will be.

Detroit Headed for Dumper : America Approaching Abyss?

Detroit is the face of the Democrat party. The top 10 worst cities in the country are all run by Democrats except for one. Who knew? Is there any reason why the entire country couldn't go under just like the big cities that are under the boot of progressive Democrats?

I know how to solve these problems, vote for more Democrats. 

Could the Detroit Crisis Happen to the Rest of the United States?
Source: Kate Rogers, "Detroit's Fallout: How Safe Are Other Municipal and City Pensions?" FOX Business News, July 24, 2013.
July 31, 2013

Detroit labor union workers and current retirees were dealt a blow recently when a U.S. bankruptcy judge ruled that the city's debt restructuring could continue on and bring changes to their pensions, says FOX Business News.
  • In 2009, Detroit's pensions were 93 percent funded, according to the Pew Institute, compared to other cities like Providence, Rhode Island, which was only 42 percent funded.
  • Pension data often lags, but the Pew study is the most up-to-date information.
Detroit was hit by the perfect storm in many ways, with policy incompetence and major debts. Most other struggling cities aren't in as dire straits:
  • Its total pension obligations for the city's 21,000 retirees are an estimated $9 billion in unfunded liabilities.
  • Of that $9 billion, $5.7 billion is tied to health care benefits for workers.
Detroit's pension landscape has also shifted in the past decade, according to the Detroit Free Press. In 2004, the pension was about 50-50 between workers paying into the system and workers collecting. Today, its 40-60, with more than half retired and collecting, and the remaining 40 percent bearing the load.
  • Some of the worst-funded pension systems, where participants are paying into the program but the state isn't necessarily meeting its obligations, include Illinois, California, New Jersey and New York.
  • For a city like Detroit, which has lost more than half its population in the past 50 years, raising taxes isn't as much of an option, and relying on the local economy to offset costs is also unlikely.
National Center for Policy Analysis Senior Fellow Pamela Villarreal says Detroit has a much less likely chance of recovery compared to other struggling cities and municipalities, simply because it was sinking for so long.

"Its economic growth and tax revenues are pretty slim right now," she says. "But overall, the default rate for city pensions is pretty low; it's historically been about 1 percent."

That being said, Villarreal points out that the Congressional Budget Office reports state and city pensions are at their lowest funding levels in more than two decades. She claims that a bankruptcy that would disrupt pension plans as is being seen in Detroit would be unlikely, but it's not impossible.

Inflation Rate Is A Bipartisan Calculation? Or Managed?

How is it that the inflation rate discussion never uses food and energy in the calculations? Why is that? Why should we believe this calculation when most everything else coming from our government is always politically weighted or out right lies? 

Purchasing Power Parity: The End of Deceptive Inflation Reports
Source: Steve H. Hanke, "The Troubled Currencies Project," Cato Institute, July 2013. 2013.
July 23, 2013

For various reasons (ranging from political mismanagement to civil war to economic sanctions) some countries are unable to maintain a stable domestic currency. These "troubled" currencies are associated with elevated rates of inflation and, in some extreme cases, hyperinflation. Often, it is difficult to obtain timely, reliable exchange rate and inflation data for countries with troubled currencies, says Steve H. Hanke, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute.
Regimes in countries undergoing severe inflation have a long history of hiding the true extent of their inflationary woes. In many cases, governments fabricate inflation statistics to hide their economic problems. In the extreme, countries simply stop reporting inflation data. This was the case in Zimbabwe, a country that recorded the world's second-highest hyperinflation.
  • The Mugabe government stopped reporting inflation data in July 2008, when the peak monthly inflation rate was "only" 2,600 percent.
  • Unfortunately, these official July 2008 data are still used in press reports and by venerable institutions like the International Monetary Fund.
  • There is, of course, a "little" problem. The hyperinflation actually peaked at monthly rate 30 million times higher than the official peak inflation rate.
  • The true peak of Zimbabwe's hyperinflation occurred 3.5 months after the government's last release of official inflation data.
Many countries have followed this course -- failing to report any usable monetary data and neglecting to report inflation data in a timely and replicable manner. Those data that are reported are often deceptive, if not completely fabricated.

Yes, official economic data from countries with troubled currencies often amount to nothing more than "lying statistics" and should be treated as such.

If free market exchange rate data (usually black-market data) are available, a reliable estimate of an inflation rate can be determined. The principle of purchasing power parity (PPP) (which links changes in exchange rates and changes in prices) allows for reliable inflation estimates during periods of elevated inflation.

Indeed, PPP simply states that the exchange rate between two countries is equal to the ratio of their relative price levels. Accordingly, to calculate the inflation rate in countries with troubled currencies, a rather straightforward application of standard, time-tested economic theory is all that is required.


One Too Many Asses : Democrats All

It's called the wheat among the chaff - Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama. But make no mistake, the two asses can not turn the shrimp into an ass like themselves. The shrimp will always be just who he is.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Minimum Wage : A Starting Point - Not A Career

It's not about increasing the minimum wage, it's about taking advantage of the ignorance of the working people that need the job to survive, but it isn't smart enough to understand they will be the losers in this nonsense as this is just about getting votes and expanding the base by offering free stuff they know they can't deliver.

This will result in lost jobs and the price of products going up which in turn will result in more people losing their jobs as consumers will decide to change their buying habits.

Minimum Wage Increases Do More Harm Than Good
Source: James Dorn, "The Minimum Wage Is Cruelest to Those Who Can't Find a Job," Forbes, July 22, 2013
July 30, 2013

U.S. youth unemployment now stands at 16 percent for 16-24 year olds, 23 percent for teens and a shocking 40 percent for black teens. More than 10 million young people are either unemployed or underemployed, says James Dorn, vice president of monetary studies at the Cato Institute.
Would increasing the federal minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $10.10 over the next three years, and then indexing it for inflation, improve the job outlook and brighten the future for younger workers?
  • Proponents of the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013 argue that increasing the federal minimum would put more money into the hands of low-skilled workers, stimulate consumption and create jobs.
  • They contend that if the federal minimum wage had kept pace with inflation since 1968, the nominal minimum wage would now be nearly $11 per hour.
Many businesses say they already pay their workers more than the federal minimum wage.
  • Firms that are already paying more than the federal minimum wage do so because their workers are producing more than $7.25 per hour.
  • Moreover, if workers produce at least $12 per hour, then an increase in the minimum to $10.10 would not affect their job status, but the higher minimum wage rate could drive smaller rivals out of business or prevent new firms from entering.
  • Hence, one should be skeptical of businesses that favor raising the minimum wage.
Workers with more education and higher skills, and who are combined with better technology and more capital, will be more productive than teens or younger workers with less education and fewer skills.
  • High wage rates are the result of high productivity, not the cause.
  • Economic growth is not the result of high wages or the minimum wage; it is caused by factors that increase productivity and that expand economic freedom, so that people are free to choose and to utilize their knowledge and skills.
The minimum wage is unfair to low-skilled workers with little experience because it prices them out of the labor market and prevents them from achieving the upward mobility that is the hallmark of a dynamic free-market economy.  If the Fair Minimum Wage Act is passed, workers who cannot produce at least $10.10 per hour will not be able to find an entry-level job.

California Public Employees Huge Drain : Detroit Points the Way?

Little wonder California is headed into the dumpster of history - too many liberal Democrats sucking too much money from the working public. Detroit is what California will become as 'other people's money run out.'

19 U.S. Cities Have Proportionately Bigger Workforces than Bankrupted Detroit
Source: Luke Rosiak, "Exography: 19 U.S. Cities Have Proportionately Bigger Workforces than Bankrupted Detroit," Washington Examiner, July 22, 2013.
July 30, 2013

Detroit declared bankruptcy due in no small part to $3 billion in unfunded public employee pensions owed to a sprawling city workforce that kept growing even as the city's population shriveled. But a Washington Examiner analysis finds that 19 major American cities have even bigger ratios of such workers to residents.

The Examiner used the Census Bureau's 2011 Annual Survey of Public Employment and Payroll to rank every U.S. city with a population of 200,000 or more. Some of those cities managed to get along fine with comparatively few municipal employees:
  • San Diego has 9,501 municipal employees for 1.3 million residents, or one for every 137 residents.
  • But others like San Francisco have a bureaucracy seven times as large, with one of every 28 of the city's 800,000 residents on the city payroll.
  • San Francisco's 28,660 workers, with an average salary of $91,000, come in a long tail of different job categories, including 2,000 health employees -- not including city hospitals --1,843 welfare workers, 2,872 judicial and corrections officers, 1,081 parks workers, and 1,171 in "other government administration."
  • San Francisco's 4,266 transit workers do not include Bay Area Rapid Transit employees presently striking for a 21 percent pay increase.
  • The city with the leanest government is Bakersfield, Calif., which has 1,410 employees for 348,000 residents, or one for every 246.
  • Bakersfield's population has quadrupled in the last 40 years, and its public employee workforce may have lagged behind.
  • The city is one of California's most conservative and the largest that employs the lowest sales tax allowed by state law.
Washington, D.C., ranks first in the nation, which is no surprise to residents who recall the dramatic growth of the municipal workforce in the 1980s under then-mayor Marion Barry. But D.C. also has the distinction of providing services that in many other places are often split among multiple levels of government, including state, local and county authorities.

Charter Schools & Scholarships In Demand : Obama Says No!

Wasn't it the cry of the hoards when Mr Obama was first elected in 2009 that he will level the playing field by coming to the aid of the black community? I wonder just how many in the black community today understand that Mr Obama couldn't care less about helping the black people become more viable and prosperous unless that help meant it would help him win votes.

I wonder to if the black community remembers how shortly after he was elected, one of the first things he did was shut down the charter schools in Washington DC which had waiting lines for access? He did this to shore up the base of voters in the teachers unions that gave millions to his campaign. He didn't care how shutting down the charter schools effected the poor blacks that want a good education for their children, as he knew 93% of the black community will still vote for him no matter what he did to them.

Mr Obama is all about money and power, who has it and will they give to him or how he can take it from them. Why is this lost on the black community? Why is lost on a majority of the voting public?

School Choice Is Important in the Black Community
Source: "A Survey Report on Education Reform, Charter Schools, and the Desire for Parental Choice in the Black Community," Black Alliance for Educational Options, 2013.
July 30, 2013

In March 2013, the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO) commissioned a survey of Black voters in four Southern states to gauge attitudes and opinions within the Black community on education reform, charter schools and the need for parental choice in their community.

The findings indicate strong support among this significant segment of the population for greater freedom in K-12 education, widespread recognition of the need for better quality schools, and openness to charter schools and publicly funded scholarships as reform vehicles.

BAEO targeted Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana and Mississippi because of the high number of low-income and working-class Black families in these states who would potentially benefit from parental choice policies and other education reforms that have been the subject of recent and ongoing debate. Among the respondents, selected at random and broadly diverse in age and income:
  • Eighty-five percent to 89 percent in each state agreed that government should provide parents with as many choices as possible to ensure that their child receives a good education.
  • Fifty-five percent to 58 percent in each state (and 73 percent in the New Orleans area) said they would not send their children to the public schools to which they are currently assigned if they had a choice.
  • At least 50 percent in each state (and as many as seven in 10 in Mississippi) expressed support for charter schools.
  • In Alabama, even among those who rated their school excellent, 36 percent would opt out if they had the choice.
  • Less surprising, 74 percent of Black voters in Alabama who rated their community schools poorly expressed the desire to send their children elsewhere.
  • In Mississippi and Kentucky, a majority of Black voters rated the quality of public education as only fair, while just 14 percent in both states rated their local school systems as excellent.
The survey data underscore the fundamental appeal of parent choice and transformational education reform as concepts within the Black community.
  • The findings are particularly relevant in the context of education reform debates unfolding in the target states.
  • Alabama and Kentucky are among the eight states in the nation without charter schools; Mississippi just passed a law paving the way for its first charters.
  • Louisiana is implementing the expansion of a publicly-funded scholarship program to extend education choice more broadly statewide as well as serving as an example of high quality charter schools in New Orleans.

Politics New Agenda : Send In the Clowns

I think this covers the entire political scene as it appears today in Washington. It looks like the majority have become an audience at the circus of liberal Democrats.

What we don't seem to grasp in this theater of the absurd is the clowns in this circus aren't funny.

Benghazi Hidden in Lies : Citizens Waking Up?

This from the Tea Party, Washington, DC and I agree with their stand. Hillary and Barack are still hiding and need to be exposed. Believe, if the people of this country don't demand answers, they will get away with murder. Congress can not do this alone.
Remember Ted Kennedy got away with negligent homicide because the population couldn't believe, comprehend, how something like that could actually happen in America. Nothing to see here, go back to sleep.
What it boils down to is we kept waiting for commons sense and the law to prevail, but it never materialized. The law, as we have found out, is in the hands of the perpetrators and therefore tipped in their favor.
Dear Patriot,
In just six weeks, America will mark the one-year anniversary of the 9/11 Benghazi terror attack.

Since that Day of Infamy, much has happened.

Hillary Clinton has recovered enough from the “bump on her head” to “cash-in” big time with paid speeches on the lecture circuit. According to The New York Times, “For about $200,000, Mrs. Clinton will offer pithy reflections and Mitch Albom-style lessons from her time as the nation’s top diplomat.” It’s nice work, if you can get it.  But some have to try even harder.

U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice, only after proving she can protect the President by lying about a YouTube video on five Sunday talk shows, got promoted to the plum job as Obama’s National Security Adviser. And Obama’s former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta --- he got a $3 million book advance. Even disgraced ex-CIA Director General Petraeus found a lucrative job with a private-equity firm on Wall Street.

And lest we forget, most dreadful of all, President Barack Obama got his Second Term.

Whoever said crime doesn’t pay!

It seems the only people not getting new jobs, promotions, or big bonuses are the American people!
The fact is almost one year after the 9/11 Benghazi terror attack --- except for Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three fellow patriots who Obama abandoned to slaughter --- not a soul has paid the price for Benghazi.

In Congress, Rep. Frank Wolf has all but singlehandedly led the fight for a House Select Committee to investigate Benghazi. He’s been stonewalled every step of the way. Last week, Rep. Wolf sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to ask, “Why, nearly a year after the terrorist attack in Benghazi, [has] not a single terrorist has been brought to justice”?

The silence from Eric Holder is deafening, and for good reason.

In his letter to Holder, Rep. Wolf cited an Associated Press report on Benghazi.  It delivers a devastating indictment:  “The U.S. has identified five men who might be responsible for the attack… and has enough evidence to justify seizing them by military force as suspected terrorists, officials say.  But there is not enough evidence to try them in U.S. civilian court, as the Obama Administration prefers.  The men remain at large while the FBI gathers evidence”.

It goes without saying; Attorney General Eric Holder has yet to respond to Mr. Wolf’s letter, and most likely never will. Isn’t it time for Congress to fire Eric Holder?

The families of the fallen deserve nothing less than the truth about Benghazi.  They deserve justice, too. So do the millions of Americans, who’ve served, or sent their sons and daughters off to war, many never to return.

America doesn't abandon it's own to die on the battlefield. Will you stand with us to tell Congress to expose the truth about Benghazi?

Remember Benghazi!

Green Jobs : Lost in Accounting

What is a green job? According to those that watch this kind of thing, a  green job is anything that is related to keeping the earth clean.  hmmmm  One of the listed jobs was driving a garbage truck.

This makes sense in that it's a total hoax, just like all of the other initiatives that the administration has dumped on the unsuspecting public to the tone of hundreds of billions of tax dollars. All wasted except for the millions that were skimmed off for the reelection of Democrats.

GAO: Only Half of Workers Trained by Labor Dept. Got ‘Green Jobs'
See more at:

By Barbara Hollingsworth –  In his 2008 campaign, presidential candidate Barack Obama promised to create 5 million “green jobs” over the next decade. Since 2009, the Labor Department has spent $501 million of stimulus funds to train workers for jobs within the new energy efficiency and renewable energy industries as part of President Obama’s $90 billion green jobs initiative.

But despite training “slightly more individuals than they had projected,” and counting “any job that could be linked, directly or indirectly, to a beneficial environmental outcome,” the Labor Department’s job placements “were at 55 percent of the target,” according to a June report by the Government Accountability Office. (See GAO-13-555.pdf)

Of the 55 percent of trainees who did manage to snag a green job, most found employment in traditional industries, not solar or biofuels, the report noted. “Recovery Act training programs were initiated prior to a full assessment of the demand for green jobs.”

“Labor’s training data show most participants were trained in construction or marketing…[which] incorporated green elements into existing training programs aimed at traditional skills, such as teaching weatherization as part of a carpentry training program.” And even that 55 percent figure is questionable. According to GAO, “the outcomes of Labor’s green jobs training programs remain uncertain, in part because data on final outcomes were not yet available for about 40 percent of grantees, as of the end of 2012” – four years after the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was passed.

“Training-related job placement rates remain unknown because Labor’s Office of Inspector General found these data unreliable.” So nobody’s exactly sure how many job trainees got jobs, let alone green ones.

A report issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics released in March stated that “in 2011, the percentage of total employment associated with the production of Green Goods and Services increased by 0.1 percentage point to 2.6 percent” of all jobs in the public and private sectors.
- See more at:

Monday, July 29, 2013

Government Union Workers Funded by Taxpayers?

This is just one more corruption that can be laid on the progressive Democrats as the unions have contributed  hundreds of millions of dollars to Democrat campaigns. The fact that retirement pensions are severely underfunded and yet the unions give millions to politicians to further make the pensions a lost cause.

But not to worry, the unions have paid their dues to the politicians to make sure the taxpayers pick up the tab to fund the pensions. This is called 'money laundering'. Democrats are professionals at this process to fund people and organization that toe the line.

The Government Scandal (You Haven't Heard Of)
Source: Clint Bolick, "The Government Scandal (You Haven't Heard Of)," Defining Ideas, July 11, 2013.
July 29, 2013

By now it is well-known that public employee contracts with generous wages and benefits are bankrupting state and local governments across the country and encircling the necks of future generations with an anvil of debt. What is almost completely unknown is that union officials who negotiate lavish contracts for government workers are often paid to do so with taxpayer dollars, says Clint Bolick, a research fellow with the Hoover Institution and the director of the Goldwater Institute's Center for Constitutional Litigation.
  • This is part of a widespread practice called "release time," in which public employees are paid full-time wages and benefits by taxpayers, yet they report and answer not to government officials (or taxpayers) but to their unions.
  • In turn, release time can be used for lobbying, campaigning, soliciting grievances, union recruiting, and negotiating for higher wages and benefits -- all at the taxpayer's expense.
The practice was exposed in a 2011 report by Goldwater Institute investigative journalist Mark Flatten. He found that the City of Phoenix's seven public employee union contracts included 73,000 hours of release time, at a total cost of $3.7 million. Most other cities around the nation, he found, also have release time. So does the federal government, which calls it "official time."
  • In 2011, taxpayers funded 3.4 million hours of union work at a cost of $156 million.
  • Among those diverted to union work from their government jobs are 17 air traffic controllers (16 of whom are paid six-figure salaries to do so) -- a wasteful extravagance that came to light when air traffic controllers were furloughed as part of the Obama administration's response to the federal budget sequester.
  • Since then, it was reported that part of the backlog in processing claims at the Veterans' Administration is attributable to union release time.

American Education Failing? : Innovation Needed

If we want to have our schools succeed we must cut out the federal government over reach. The department of education is not needed to set the tone, it should distribute block grants and let states solve their own problems of quality education.

Letting the free market work has always been the solution - that is, the people that find education results in their states to be wanting, they will vote them out of office those in charge or the people must live with the consequences of not being properly informed.

Report Card on American Education
Source: Matthew Ladner and Dave Myslinski, "Report Card on American Education: Ranking State K-12 Performance, Progress, and Reform," American Legislative Exchange Council, 2013.
July 29, 2013

During the 2011 legislative sessions, a number of blockbuster reforms were produced across a variety of education policy areas. That momentum continued in 2012 with major reforms impacting a variety of K-12 policy domains. In addition to major policy advances, a number of high-quality academic studies strongly supported the case for these crucial reforms.

Importantly, with state education policy now beginning to accept a student-driven environment, it has freed education innovators to field-test stunningly novel digital learning techniques that have the potential to revolutionize learning not just in the United States, but around the world, say Matthew Ladner, the senior adviser of policy and research, and Dave Myslinski, the state policy director for Digital Learning Now!, at the Foundation for Excellence in Education.
In the report, Ladner and Myslinski evaluate:
  • Changes made by reform-minded policymakers in 2012, including literacy-based promotion, teacher quality reform advances and alternative teacher certification.
  • How states are closing achievement gaps.
  • How states stack up when it comes to education policy and academic performance. States were ranked on academic standards, charter schools, home school regulation burden, private school choice programs, teacher quality and policies, and online learning.
  • The global achievement gap.
Ladner and Myslinski find:
  • The average American school, district and state did little to narrow race- or income- based achievement gaps between 2003 and 2011.
  • A disturbingly large swath of schools, districts and states, in fact, did precisely the opposite.
  • None of the 50 states received an "A" grade; just three -- Arizona, Indiana and Oklahoma -- received a B+.
Education reform now represents a decentralized learning process and, as parental dissatisfaction turns into intolerance of continued failure, the pace will likely quicken in the years ahead.

Detroit's New Hocky Arena : $444 Million? A Go!

Whether the money is spent, lost, on a new hockey rink or wasted on Detroit's schools is a toss up. Both are losers as this article points out. It's about just how much revenue will be generated by a building that sets idle much of the time , given the area that it servers is mostly unpopulated,  and with the schools that are completely dysfunctional, union controlled, who thought this would be a good idea to spend so much money on a hockey rink?

Detroit is just one more indication of how our country will wind up under the leadership of progressive socialist liberal Democrats.

Sixty years of Democrats being in control of Detroit guaranteed failure.

New $444 Million Hockey Arena Is Still a Go in Detroit
Source: Chris Isidore, "New $444 Million Hockey Arena Is Still a Go in Detroit," CNNMoney, July 26, 2013.
July 29, 2013

Detroit's financial crisis hasn't derailed the city's plans to spend more than $400 million in Michigan taxpayer funds on a new hockey arena for the Red Wings, says CNNMoney.
  • Advocates of the arena say it's the kind of economic development needed to attract both people and private investment dollars into downtown Detroit.
  • It's an argument that has convinced Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and Kevyn Orr, the emergency manager he appointed to oversee the city's finances, to stick with the plan.
  • Orr says Detroit's bankruptcy filing won't halt the arena plans.
But critics say the project won't have enough economic impact to justify the cost, and that it's the wrong spending priority for a city facing dire economic conditions.
  • Detroit city services are already stretched extremely thin.
  • On average, police take about an hour to respond to calls for help, and 40 percent of street lights are shut off to save money.
Additionally, Orr wants to make deep cuts to both the pensions and health care coverage promised to city employees and retirees.
The state legislature approved the taxpayer funding for the arena in December.
  • The arena will be paid for with a $450 million bond issue that will be repaid over the next 30 years.
  • Taxpayers will be paying almost two-thirds of the cost of the arena -- $283 million -- and private developers will cover the rest.
  • Including interest, it's projected that there will be a total of $444 million in taxpayer funds spent on the project.
Most of the tax money going into the project would otherwise be going into Detroit schools, which are also under state control due to their dire finances. But the lost money is slated to be made up for by the state government according to Michigan's school-funding formula.

Reach Out Today With A Smile & Hello : Surprise Someone

Now this is just how we need to start the week off on the right foot. Reach out a little to unsuspecting people with a smile and a firm hello - some will react with another smile, and others will have a feeling of fear, but both will have something to think about for the rest of the day.

Step outside of your security zone - I guarantee you will find it easier the second time.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Michelagelo's David Returned : Italians Furious

Is our life style this bad or are the nutjobs in Washington that demand we eat and live like they say they do out of control?

Isn't this the real cause of all our problems that we have today, other people making decisions for all of us that don't have a clue who we are?

Biden - Just One Of Us? Really? Humor

It has been said that Joe Biden is just one of us, but I think he might not be given what we have seen and heard for the last five years.

Barack Obama Takes the Next Step to Immortality

This is beginning to enter the minds of even the most unaware among us as our nation slowly slides into the abyss. People are know their is only one true God and it isn't Mr Obama. 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Obama's Socialist Job Creation Wasts Natural Resouces : Labor & Material

Government interference in the free market will not create jobs that produce wealth - government job creation reduces wealth for the entire economy. Creating something from nothing, printing money to pay others to do nothing that actually advance productivity results in wasted resources and eventually decline and poverty.

Obama's Broken Window Fallacy
Source: Benjamin Zycher, "The President's Broken Window Fallacy: Carbon Policies and Jobs," The American, July 10, 2013.
July 26, 2013

At a general level, employment created as a result of a government policy is a cost rather than a benefit for the economy as a whole, unless the policy improves resource allocation by, say, correcting for some sort of market inefficiency, says Benjamin Zycher, a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

As counterintuitive as that may seem, imagine that a federal policy had the effect of increasing the demand for high-quality steel.
  • That clearly would be a benefit for steel producers, or more broadly, for owners of inputs in steel production, including steel workers.
  • But for the economy as a whole, the need for additional high-quality steel in, say, an expanding wind-power sector would be an economic cost, as that steel (or the resources used to produce it) would not be available for use in other sectors.
  • More generally, the creation of "green" jobs as a side effect of environmental (or carbon) policies is a benefit for the workers hired (or for those whose wages rise with increased market competition for their services).
  • But for the economy as whole, that use of scarce labor is a cost because those workers no longer would be available for productive activity elsewhere.
Wind power and solar power are more costly than conventional generation policies. Driving a shift toward heavier reliance upon the former would increase aggregate electricity costs, and thus reduce electricity use below levels that would prevail otherwise.

There are no free lunches is an eternal truth. The Obama version of this is simple: we can have a stronger economy and more employment if we discard part of the power-generating capital stock. That is a blatant example of the old broken window fallacy: if a window is broken, output and employment will rise because someone has to hire someone else to replace the window.

For the economy as a whole, the broken window (or the electric generating capital forced into retirement) is a net loss. We cannot become richer over time by making ourselves poorer in the here and now.
Source: Benjamin Zycher, "The President's Broken Window Fallacy: Carbon Policies and Jobs," The American, July 10, 2013.

Government sponsored Health Care : The Coming Disaster

Does anyone really believe that most people will actually not be tempted to falsify information on the forms to gain 'free' health insurance? Why would the Obama administration put forth such a requirement for non verifications of claims?

Is this some kind of sucker play to get the low information voters to sign up now just to get their vote before the 2014 midterm elections?

What will the low information voter think once their clams begin to be investigated after the election only to wind up in court? Who will they blame? What will the voters think when they find out their new insurance program isn't really free? Millions of citizens really believe ObamaCare will be free. Millions more will find out they can't get insurance at all.  Millions will have to have second thoughts about ObamaCare when they can't even find a doctor to treat them. Who will they blame when they find out the truth about government sponsored health care?

ObamaCare Glitch Number One: Verifying Eligibility
Source: David Francis and Eric Pianin, "ObamaCare Glitch No. One: Verifying Eligibility," Fiscal Times, July 22, 2013.
July 26, 2013

On Oct. 1, IT specialists will fire up one of the most technologically complex government websites in history. It's a website specially engineered to grant uninsured Americans access to a virtual market of affordable health insurance policies, says the Fiscal Times.

If all goes as planned, millions of people will be able to compare the premiums being offered by a handful of insurance providers in their states, determine whether they qualify for a federal subsidy and then purchase a plan.

As part of this "seamless" one-stop shopping approach that President Obama has boasted about in speeches at the White House and around the country, applicants will have to enter some basic information about themselves, such as their annual incomes, residency status and citizenship. Once that information has been entered, applicants will be presented with a number of potential plans and their premiums. After clicking one, a new window will open, routing the customers to the insurance company that offers the plan.
  • Health insurance marketplaces will not be required to verify consumer claims.
  • It would significantly scale back the health law's requirements that new insurance marketplaces verify consumers' income and health insurance status.
  • Instead, the federal government will rely more heavily on consumers' self-reported information until 2015, when it plans to have stronger verification systems in place.
This announcement gave more ammunition to critics who fear that a delayed and untested verification process is an open-invitation to cheat and have the government subsidize health care for those who could afford to pay the going rate.
  • Controversy over ObamaCare has raged from the outset.
  • Critics charge that ObamaCare will result in higher premiums for many Americans, particularly young people, and that it likely will prompt businesses to lay off millions of workers or scale back their hours to get around the new law.
  • Others complain that the law is too complicated and that businesses will have trouble meeting deadlines for providing insurance to their workers.

Fracturing for Fossil Fuels Safe : Government Studies Show

'Fracturing' will advance the research and development of fossils fuels beyond our wildest imagining and create thousands of good paying jobs. That the environmentalists want to stop all development of fossil fuel begs the question as to why given there is no reported damage to the environment.

Environmentalists say there is a possibility that some damage could occur. They demand years of accumulated research to prove fracturing is safe. It is also true that one can not make it to second base if they are afraid to take their foot off of first.

Hydraulic Fracturing Doesn't Contaminate Water Supplies
Source: "Study Finds Fracking Chemicals Didn't Pollute Water: AP," CBS News, July 19, 2013.
July 26, 2013

A landmark federal study on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, shows no evidence that chemicals from the natural gas drilling process moved up to contaminate drinking water aquifers at a western Pennsylvania drilling site.

After a year of monitoring, the researchers found that the chemical-laced fluids used to free gas trapped deep below the surface stayed thousands of feet below the shallower areas that supply drinking water, says CBS News.

Although the results are preliminary (the study is still ongoing) they are a boost to a natural gas industry that has fought complaints from environmental groups and property owners who call fracking dangerous.
  • Drilling fluids tagged with unique markers were injected more than 8,000 feet below the surface, but were not detected in a monitoring zone 3,000 feet higher.
  • That means the potentially dangerous substances stayed about a mile away from drinking water supplies.
The boom in gas drilling has led to tens of thousands of new wells being drilled in recent years, many in the Marcellus Shale formation that lies under parts of Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio and West Virginia. That has led to major economic benefits but also fears that the chemicals used in the drilling process could spread to water supplies.

The study, done by the National Energy Technology Laboratory in Pittsburgh, marked the first time that a drilling company let government scientists inject special tracers into the fracking fluid and then continue regular monitoring to see whether it spread toward drinking water sources.
One finding surprised the researchers:
  • Seismic monitoring determined one hydraulic fracture traveled 1,800 feet out from the well bore; most traveled just a few hundred feet.
  • That's significant, because some environmental groups have questioned whether the fractures could go all the way to the surface.
  • The researchers believe that fracture may have hit naturally occurring faults, and that's something both industry and regulators don't want.


Environmentalism / Environmentalists Destroying America

I don't believe that most people will be happy living in a cardboard box and eating roots and slugs for survival. Yet many of us stand by while the environmentalists demand and get new regulations that stymie advancements in energy production, destroying jobs and a way of life we have come to know and enjoy.

The fact that there is no scientific facts involved in the demands from the environmentalists to scale back coal use or to stop 'fracking' for extracting oil and gas from hidden reaches under ground, has no effect in the written of more disastrous laws and regulations limiting the search and use of fossil fuel. Even the fact that more then 45% of all energy use in this country comes from coal alone means nothing.

To the environmentalists, it's feeling good about what needs to be down to achieve ones agenda. That lives are ruined is of little importance. Know the lives of the environmentalists will go unaffected.

Believe, this is all about the grab for power and control of the population through the gradual but sure reduction of fossil fuels as energy resources. The fact so many politicians buy into this destructive agenda leaves many questions unanswered.  That the result will be a collapse of the country is all the better for most environmentalists. Mission accomplished.

Sue and Settle Disrupts U.S. Checks and Balances
Source: CRS Staff, "'Sue and Settle': Secret Backroom Deals by Bureaucrats and Environmentalists Hurt the American Economy," Capital Research Center, July 5, 2013.
July 26, 2013

In a process known as sue-and-settle, activists sue government agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), negotiate settlements with friendly bureaucrats, and obtain judicial decrees that have the force of law. This process twists laws and creates disruptive regulations while largely avoiding the scrutiny of Congress and the public, says the Capital Research Center.

These corrupt bargains undermine the democratic process and empower the likes of the Sierra Club (whose executive director has called for leaving more than two-thirds of the world's oil, coal and gas resources in the ground) and the Center for Biological Diversity (whose leader opposes all commercial use of public lands).

Sue-and-settle has resulted in numerous regulations being passed without congressional approval:
  • The federal government has effectively banned new coal-fired power plants and is in the process of shutting down old ones.
  • "Endangered species" that are neither endangered nor species are used by the federal government as tools to shut down the development of our country's natural resources and, incidentally, destroy jobs.
  • Environmentalists may block one of the most positive developments in years, the prospect of North American energy independence due to "fracking" (hydraulic fracturing) and new horizontal drilling technology.
Environ­mentalists file lawsuits against govern­ment entities such as the EPA or the Fish and Wild­life Service, and then meet behind closed doors with officials of those agencies to work out settlements of those lawsuits. These settlements almost invariably "force" EPA officials to take actions they wanted to take in the first place. Some­times the settlements actually increase the power of the bureaucrats themselves or their political-appointee bosses.

The settlements become consent de­crees, approved by judges, and bind the government. Judges usually rub­berstamp the agreements because both parties are in agreement and, seemingly, no controversy remains. All this is done without meeting any normal require­ments for public notice and with no chance for anyone to comment or intervene.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Chinese Government Shifting Gears : Market Forces at Work

I wonder if China has any idea where they are going and what the consequences will be when the people decide they want more of a good thing, not less, then their political communists leaderscan deliver?

The Conundrum of Chinese Economic Growth
Source: Andrew Sheng and Xiao Geng, "China Grows Down," Project Syndicate, July 15, 2013.
July 25, 2013

For more than three decades, China's gross domestic product (GDP) has grown by an average of more than 10 percent annually. But former premier Wen Jiabao rightly described this impressive growth performance as "unstable, unbalanced, uncoordinated and unsustainable," highlighting the many economic, social, and environmental costs and challenges that have accompanied it. Now China must choose between the export-based, investment-driven growth model of the past and a new, more viable economic order, say Andrew Sheng, president of the Fung Global Institute, and Xiao Geng, director of research at the Fung Global Institute.

Cheap credit and perverse incentives have led to massive but redundant investment, which, in turn, has contributed to excess capacity in manufacturing and infrastructure. This model is not only inefficient; channeling government resources to support investment also undermines China's social development.
  • China's leaders have decided to stop using GDP growth as the primary criterion for evaluating officials' performance.
  • Indeed, the 12th Five-Year Plan, which extends until 2015, aims to shift China's economy to a new, more sustainable growth model based on quality and innovation, and accepts that annual GDP growth will likely fall to 7 percent during the transition.
Indeed, China's economy has experienced a significant (and ongoing) growth slowdown in the wake of the global economic crisis that erupted five years ago. By 2012, human capital's contribution to China's GDP growth fell almost to zero, with fixed-capital accumulation accounting for roughly 60 percent of total growth. Large-scale, debt-funded capital investments have raised the country's credit/GDP ratio to nearly 200 percent, increasing the financial system's vulnerability.

In order to achieve more balanced and sustainable GDP growth, China's leaders must implement a set of deep, comprehensive and long-lasting institutional reforms aimed at boosting Total Factor Productivity. In particular, the reforms should be designed to facilitate China's transition from its traditional supply-based growth model, which assumes that building hard infrastructure leads automatically to demand growth.

In short, China must shift its focus from meeting GDP growth targets to creating an environment that fosters innovation and competition, thereby enabling market forces to set prices and allocate resources more effectively.

India Surges On Higher Education : Enter Online Courses

Indian higher education has a good problem in that thousands of the young want to advance their standing in the community by attaining a college degree and the universities are very willing to accommodate this desire by increasing the institutes for that advancement. But as with any enterprise that forges ahead a break neck speeds, problems of failure to deliver achieve desired goals fall short.

Enter digital education.

It's new but effective as a resource to relieve the pressure on universities and colleges as well saving the students money. Some problems do exists as this article points out, but given the push for higher education in India and the United States, this will be a great alternative to the higher cost as well as a new tool to widen the availability of a college education.

India Needs Online Courses
Source: Pawan Agarwal, "How MOOCs Can Help India," Scientific American, July 18, 2013.
July 25, 2013

Digital technologies have the potential to dramatically transform Indian higher education. A new model built around massive open online courses (MOOCs) that are developed locally and combined with those provided by top universities abroad could deliver higher education on a scale and at a quality not possible before, says Pawan Agarwal, an adviser for higher education for the Indian government's Planning Commission.

University enrollment in India is huge and growing.
  • It surpassed the United States' enrollment in 2010 and became second only to China that year.
  • Every day in India 5,000 students enroll at a university and 10 new institutions open their doors.
  • At more than 3 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP), India's spending on higher education is one of the highest in the world. Yet per-student spending is among the lowest.
While recent expansion has widened access to universities, it has further reduced per-student spending and aggravated already acute faculty shortages. As a result, quality has declined.

India must continue to expand access to higher education while preserving quality and reducing costs. This situation is not unique to India, but given its enormous size and unique position, India's challenges are formidable. Digital technologies, particularly the extensive use of MOOCs, could help.
A decade ago the country began using the Internet to distribute video and Web-based courses under a government-funded program, the National Program on Technology Enhanced Learning.
  • Developers created more than 900 courses, focused mainly on science and engineering, with about 40 hours of instruction each.
  • With limited interactivity and uneven quality, these courses failed to attract a large body of students.
  • MOOCs have given Indian academics a better sense of how a lecture could be restructured into short, self-contained segments with high interactivity to engage students more effectively.
It helps that India is full of young people who possess a high comfort level with technology. Indians are among the most aggressive users of MOOCs. Of the 2.9 million registered users of Coursera in March, more than 250,000 were from India, second only to those from the United States.
India still needs to find the right model to use MOOCs in an Indian context. With a decade of experience in this space and a vibrant technology ecosystem, India will most likely find its way soon.

Digital Lectures Focuses Student Attendions

Being able to sit and take notes from a lecture on the tube is way better then having to sit in a huge auditorium along with hundreds of noisy and uninterested students that want and need to be elsewhere. For anyone that experienced this nonsense, as I have, being able to listen to someone lecture directly to you, even though it's on closed circuit TV, is a far better learning experience.

Virtual Blending of Education
Source: Salman Khan, "The Founder of Khan Academy on How to Blend the Virtual with the Physical," Scientific American, July 18, 2013.
July 25, 2013

Whenever people imagine virtual anything, they immediately pit it against its physical counterpart. Amazon versus physical book stores, Wikipedia versus physical encyclopedias. They assume that the virtual will replace the physical with something cheaper, faster and more efficient.

In education, however, the virtual will create a very different type of disruption. We should not aim to replace the physical classroom. Instead, we have an opportunity to blend the virtual with the physical and reimagine education entirely, says Salman Khan, founder of Khan Academy, a not-for-profit educational organization for online learning based in Mountain View, Calif.

Today students in most classrooms sit, listen and take notes while a professor lectures. Despite there being anywhere from 20 to 300 human beings in the room, there is little to no human interaction.
  • Exams often offer the first opportunity for the professor to get real information on how well the students digested the knowledge.
  • If the test identifies gaps in students' understanding of a basic concept, the class still moves on to a more advanced concept.
Virtual tools are providing an opportunity to rethink this methodology. If a lecture is available online, class time can be freed for discussion, peer tutoring or professor-led exploration.
  • If a lecture is removed from class time and we have on-demand adaptive exercises and diagnostics, there is no need to continue the factory model inherited from 19th-century Prussia -- where students are pushed together at a set tempo.
  • Instead students can progress at their own pace and continue to prove their knowledge long after the formal course is over.
Over the next 10 to 20 years, blended learning will also allow us to decouple credentials from learning -- today both these functions are done by the same institutions. This approach will allow anyone to prove that they have mastered a set of skills at a high level, whether they learned them on the job, at a physical school, through an online resource or, most likely, all of the above.

Ethanol Production Costs Soar : Progressives Demand More

With cost of food increasing every day it seems, why not have more of our corn crop go to making Ethanol? Ethanol takes about 40% of the our current crop now which puts enormous pressure on food prices around the world. Ever wonder why the cost of beef keeps going up?

I wish someone would explain how this diversion from food production to subsidized a fuel additive will benefit the environment, especially the production of Ethanol produce far more environmental problems then the production of fossil fuel? That it will cost the taxpayers nearly 60 billion in subsides every year as well as destroy millions of engines of those that can least afford repairs, begs the question, whose idea was this in the first place and why are those same people doubling down on this same failed project?

Wonder no longer, it's the same gang that brought the failed solar industry, the failed wind industry and the failed electric car industry. The progressive socialist Democrats. Who votes for failure? Who would want to vote for more failure? Who are these people?

Soaring Renewable Fuel Costs Spark New Fight over Ethanol Mandate
Source: "Soaring Renewable Fuel Costs Spark New Fight over Ethanol Mandate," Daily Caller, July 16, 2013
July 24, 2013

Renewable fuel credit prices rose to record highs recently, reigniting the debate over repealing the federal government's ethanol mandate, says the Daily Caller.
  • For months now, refiners and the petroleum industry have been pushing for the full repeal of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which requires that 13.8 billion gallons of ethanol be blended into gasoline this year and 14.4 billion in 2014.
  • However, refiners are hesitant to blend more than 10 percent ethanol into the fuel supply over safety concerns.
  • Skyrocketing renewable fuel credit prices indicate that the industry is nearing the limits of what it can blend, or the "blend wall."
As renewable fuel credit prices increase, refiners are burdened with higher costs.
  • Valero Energy Corporation CEO and Chairman William Klesse said in a Senate hearing that his company expects cost increases between $500 million and $750 million in 2013.
  • Valero is also the third-largest corn ethanol producer in the United States.
But the ethanol industry contends that its product does not drive up the cost of fuels, instead making them cleaner and cheaper.
  • Ethanol producers have been pushing for the expanded use of gasoline with a 15 percent ethanol blend, or E15.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency approved the use of E15 in 2011, but only a handful of gas stations carry the fuel.
  • There are concerns that E15 could be harmful to engines, as most cars were only designed to handle 10 percent ethanol blended fuels.
Source: "Soaring Renewable Fuel Costs Spark New Fight over Ethanol Mandate," Daily Caller, July 16, 2013.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Federal Spending Increases - Debt Increasing : Tools for Control

When the debt is treated as a tool to advance an agenda of providing as much free stuff as possible to as many people as possible to ensure an ever growing dependent class, it seems only right that spending 'other peoples money' to secure future winning elections will not stop until all the money is gone. The problem, of course is, who will pay the bill then?

The consequences of this agenda is the America of our forefathers will no longer exist. The next generation will being living a third world existence, but the sad part is they will not care. They will accept the life style of survival without question. They will have no clue how it happened nor will the try to find a way to improve their current predicament. They gave up that ability when they decided it was easier to wait for others to tell them what to do and when to do it.

Yes, We Do Have a Debt Problem
Source: Veronique de Rugy, "Yes, We Do Have a Debt Problem," Reason Magazine, July 2013.
July 24, 2013

In mid-May, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) revised its previous estimate of the federal government's 2013 deficit downward by 24 percent. The fiscal year (which ends on September 30) will feature red ink of merely $642 billion, down from the $1 trillion-plus of the previous four years, according to the CBO. For many Democrats, this proved what they knew all along: The national debt is not a clear and present threat, says Veronique de Rugy, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.
  • But after years of bipartisan overspending, public debt today (that's the money that the federal government owes to domestic and foreign investors) is almost 90 percent higher than at the onset of the financial crisis in 2008.
  • Public debt is now 75.1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), the highest level since 1950, and it is projected to reach 76.2 percent next year.
Assuming current laws, the CBO projects that the debt is scheduled to grow to $19.07 trillion by 2023, or 73.6 percent of projected GDP. To put that number in perspective, in its February report the CBO reminded policymakers that "as recently as the end of 2007, federal debt equaled just 36 percent of GDP."
  • If Congress changes current law and reverses the March 1 spending cuts forced through sequestration, the projections get more dire, with debt held by the public rising to 83 percent of GDP, the CBO projects.
  • And those numbers don't tell the whole story: Add in the debt that the government owes to other accounts (such as Social Security) and gross federal debt right now totals $17 trillion, or 106 percent of GDP.
According to the Financial Statement of the United States, which looks at the government's net financial position, as of 2012 the American people have been promised about $55 trillion worth of future benefits (through Social Security, Medicare and other government programs) that the federal government does not have the money to pay.

Congress should circumvent these scenarios by acting now to cut spending and reduce future entitlement obligations. In particular, lawmakers need to reform Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, which are the main drivers of the future spending explosion.

No level of taxes can address the phenomenal fiscal imbalance that our country is facing now and into the future. Higher taxes would merely act as a drag on growth, exacerbating the debt and deficit problem. History will not judge the debt-denialists kindly.

Teacher Arrested for Position of Tools : Humor

Several messages here that hold truths for living - seek and you shall find -


A public school teacher was arrested today at John F. Kennedy International airport as he attempted to board a flight while in
possession of a ruler, a protractor, a compass, a slide-rule and a calculator.

At a morning press conference, Attorney General Eric Holder said he believes the man is a member of the notorious Al-Gebra movement. He did not identify the man, who has been charged by the FBI with carrying weapons of math instruction.

"Al-Gebra is a problem for us," the Attorney General said. "They derive solutions by means and extremes, and sometimes go off on tangents in search of absolute values. They use secret code names like "X" and "Y" and refer to themselves as "unknowns" but we have determined that they belong to a common denominator of the axis of medieval with coordinates in every country."  As the Greek philosopher Isosceles used to say, "There are 3 sides to every triangle."

When asked to comment on the arrest, President Obama said, "If Allah had wanted us to have better weapons of math instruction, he would have given us more fingers and toes." White House aides told reporters they could not recall a more intelligent or profound statement by the President. It is believed that another Nobel Prize will follow.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Certificate Education Increases Job Opportunity

When considering that most college educations are worthless and the cost will be prohibitive, the Certificate program will help the job market. The criticism that many of the certificates are not workable and will be obsolete is not the problem of the school but one the consumer must take responsible for.

Seeking a Shortcut to a Job
Source: Caroline Porter, "Seeking a Shortcut to a Job," Wall Street Journal, July 15, 2013.
July 23, 2013

Faced with ballooning costs at four-year colleges and an uncertain job market, a growing number of students are earning something else: a certificate aimed at landing a job. Increasingly crucial to the community colleges that have long catered to students who pursue two-year degrees or get basic credits before attending four-year schools, certificate programs not only cost less on average than a year at college but they also bring higher salaries than those received by job candidates with high school diplomas, says the Wall Street Journal.
  • Certificate programs are the fastest-growing segment of higher education, drawing younger and older students alike.
  • From 2001 to 2011, the number of certificates of one year or less awarded by public community colleges more than doubled to about 249,000 from about 106,000.
  • Overall, associate degrees at public community colleges increased over the same period, but at a slower rate -- from about 443,000 to about 682,000.
Certificate programs aren't a panacea for the problems playing out in higher education. While the shift has opened up new areas of business for the schools, it brings added risks in the rapidly changing economy.
  • Courses can be put together in months, but they just as quickly become obsolete.
  • Programs that are too short can leave students paying for a dead-end piece of paper.
  • The industry might not need the skill set, and the earning potential may plateau.
The growing interest in certificates follows years of skepticism about noncredit programs, as some observers saw them as gimmicks that had little value beyond the paper they were printed on, while degrees were often regarded as guaranteed pathways to jobs.

The average annual cost of certificate programs is $6,780 at a public community college and $19,635 at a for-profit college. The push toward certificates highlights a growing emphasis on efficiency and completion rates in higher education, an approach that has gained particular traction since President Barack Obama's call for an additional 5 million graduates from community colleges by 2020.

Common Core Standards Workable? States Debate

The problem here is that the CCSS program is controlled from Washington which means there is a biased agenda, an agenda that is not conducive to a basic education but one that seeks only to control outcomes.

The most heated discussions now in full flow in many states on Common Core studies centers on what is being taught from the stand point of an agenda driven curriculum, to one that will be instituted nation wide with unacceptable goals for a non centrists point of view.

People are becoming aware of the progressive tilt to what is being taught and are taking steps to stem the tide. This is a good first step but much needs to be done to change the momentum of bias in favor of common sense in our schools.

Are Common Core State Standards an Education Solution?
Source: Paul E. Peterson and Peter Kaplan, "Despite Common Core, States Still Lack Common Standards," Education Next, 2013.
July 23, 2013

Only 35 percent of U.S. 8th graders were identified as proficient in math by the 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). According to the most recent calculations available, the United States stands at the 32nd rank in math among nations in the industrialized world. In reading, the U.S. ranks 17th in the world, say Paul Peterson, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, and Peter Kaplan, a student at Harvard University.

The low performance of U.S. students has been attributed to low expectations set by states under the 2002 federal law, No Child Left Behind (NCLB), which expects all students to reach full proficiency by 2014. Most states have set their proficiency bars at much lower levels, perhaps because it causes less embarrassment when more students can make it across the proficiency bar, or because it was the easiest way for states to comply with the NCLB requirement to bring all students up to full proficiency.

Unhappy with the low level and wide variation in state standards, the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, with the financial backing of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the political support of the U.S. Department of Education, formed a consortium in 2009 that invited each state to join in an effort to set Common Core State Standards (CCSS).
  • Those states that take that step and institute other education reforms improve their chances of receiving an Education Department waiver of onerous NCLB regulations. That waiver, which has been granted to 37 states and the District of Columbia, provides a strong incentive to participate in CCSS.
  • The stated CCSS goal is to set standards and proficiency bars at levels matching those established by international organizations and thereby bring the nation's students to levels attained by peers in leading countries abroad.
  • CCSS proponents also expect students to acquire a deep understanding of concepts and relationships.
CCSS is not without its critics. Alabama and Indiana are threatening to withdraw from participation in CCSS on the grounds that the federal government is imposing a national curriculum on local school districts.

In Massachusetts and California, opposition groups claim that existing state standards exceed those proposed by CCSS. Others worry because teachers unions are calling for a moratorium on stakes attached to student testing until the new CCSS standards have been fully implemented, which may take several years.

Environmental Regulation Bias Forcing Consumer Behavior

The last sentence in this article has the meat - environmental regulations designed without bias. Given what we have now at the EPA, the most powerful agency in the country, including the presidency, there is little or no chance that anything coming from this 'institution' will not be completely controlled by the progressive liberal agenda. The EPA is a tool for controlling the population, forcing consumer behavior to meet the progressive agenda.

The history of the EPA since 2009 is reason enough to establish this as fact.

Overriding Consumer Preferences with Energy Regulations
Source: Ted Gayer and W. Kip Viscusi, "Overriding Consumer Preferences with Energy Regulations," Mercatus Center, July 10, 2012.
July 23, 2013

The efficiency rationale for any government regulation rests on the existence of some type of market failure. The ways markets may fail are quite diverse, ranging from market structure to various kinds of external factors; that is, negative effects on parties other than the buyer and seller of a product.

In the absence of some type of market failure there is no legitimate basis for regulation from the standpoint of enhancing economic efficiency, say Ted Gayer, the codirector of the Economic Studies program and the Joseph A. Pechman Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, and W. Kip Viscusi, Vanderbilt's first University Distinguished Professor, with primary appointments in the Department of Economics and the Owen Graduate School of Management as well as the Law School.

The most prominent economic justification for environmental policies is to remedy a market failure due to external factors, which do represent actual potential benefits of energy efficiency standards.
  • The classic example of an external factor is the release of air pollution as a byproduct of production of a marketable good.
  • The air pollution harms human health, but abatement raises the firm's production cost.
  • If the government clearly establishes a property right for the clean air, then depending on who owns the property right, either polluters would need to purchase the use of the air or the victims of pollution would need to pay polluters to reduce pollution.
The social costs of air pollution are internalized into the market decision, resulting in an economically efficient outcome.
  • However, high transaction costs frequently prevent the affected parties from reaching an efficient solution, especially in the case of air pollution in which large populations are exposed to pollution.
  • As a result, abatement is not undertaken since the production decision is made without considering the external harm to human health.
  • In these cases, more direct government intervention (whether through market-based instruments such as a pollution tax or through command-and-control regulations) can achieve the level of air-pollution reduction that increases net benefits to society.
Environmental policies can be most successful at maximizing net benefits (or at least improving net benefits relative to the nonintervention case) if they are designed after careful consideration of unbiased estimates of the costs and benefits of environmental quality.
Source: Ted Gayer and W. Kip Viscusi, "Overriding Consumer Preferences with Energy Regulations," Mercatus Center, July 10, 2012.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The EPA - Incompetent : Who's In Control of the EPA?

Oh wait, the EPA is incompetent? Out of control? Disingenuous? Lying? Who knew??? Oh, and wait there's more, this went into full force since 2009? I wonder who came into  power in 2009? The progressive socialist liberal Democrats.

Believe, where ever and when ever Democrats are in control of anything, fraud, waste and destruction will soon follow. I wonder what actually made Detroit fail? Maybe it was 40 plus years of Democrats having control of the reigns of power in that once great city, stealing the taxpayers blind, stealing everything that wasn't nailed down, drove the city into bankruptcy. Is this what is happening to our entire country?

Why would the citizens of Detroit keep voting the thieves into power for decades!!?? Why would the citizens of America keep voting Democrats into power? Does this make any sense at all?

The EPA's Questionable Competence
July 22, 2013

The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) record of compliance with statutory deadlines established for three core Clean Air Act programs (National Ambient Air Quality Standards, New Source Performance Standards and National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants) raises serious questions regarding the agency's competence and discretion, says William Yeatman, an energy policy analyst at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.
  • Since 1993, 98 percent of EPA regulations (196 out of 200) pursuant to these programs were promulgated late, by an average of 2,072 days after their respective statutorily defined deadlines.
  • Currently, 65 percent of the EPA's statutorily defined responsibilities (212 of 322 possible) are past due by an average of 2,147 days.
This matters for three important reasons:
  • It calls into question the EPA's competence. These three programs comprise the core of the regulatory regime established by the Clean Air Act. For more than two decades, the EPA has failed to meet its congressionally delegated responsibilities for these foundational Clean Air Act programs by a wide margin.
  • It calls into question EPA's discretionary exercises of power. Since 2009, despite the EPA's persistent failure to meet non-discretionary deadlines -- that is, deadlines that have been codified in the statute -- the agency has taken on enormous new discretionary regulatory responsibilities pursuant to the Clean Air Act as a result of its unilateral decision to regulate greenhouse gases as pollutants.
  • It exposes the insidiousness of "sue and settle." "Sue and settle" refers to friendly lawsuits filed by environmental advocacy organizations against the EPA that lead to collusive policymaking. The basis of the preponderance of such lawsuits is the agency's alleged failure to meet a particular Clean Air Act deadline.
Sweetheart lawsuits are enabling secret policy negotiations between unelected bureaucrats and environmental lawyers. If the EPA wants to give priority to its many outstanding responsibilities, it should do so in cooperation with the states, which have to actually implement these regulations, rather than the likes of environmental special interests like the Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council or the Center for Biological Diversity.
Source: William Yeatman, "EPA's Woeful Deadline Performance Raises Questions About Agency Competence, Climate Change Regulations, 'Sue and Settle'," Competitive Enterprise Institute, July 10, 2013

Progressives Verses Conservatives : Adolescents V. Adults

Don't you have to wonder why Republicans and Conservatives have to always be the adults in the room, making sound decisions and taking responsibility, while the progressive socialist liberal Democrats are the out of control adolescent, destroying everything in their path to gain attention?
The Fence Test
You can't get any more accurate than this!
This is straight forward country thinking.. by
Jeff Foxworthy
Which side of the fence?
If you ever wondered which side of the fence you sit on, this is a great test!
If a Republican doesn't like guns, he doesn't buy one.
If a Democrat doesn't like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.
If a Republican is a vegetarian, he doesn't eat meat.
If a Democrat is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone.
If a Republican is homosexual, he quietly leads his life.
If a Democrat is homosexual, he demands legislated respect.
If a Republican is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation.
If a Democrat is down-and-out he wonders who is going to take care of him.
If a Republican doesn't like a talk show host, he switches channels.
A Democrat demands that those they don't like be shut down.
If a Republican is a non-believer, he doesn't go to church.
A Democrat non-believer wants any mention of God and religion silenced.
If a Republican decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it.
If a Democrat decides he needs health care, he demands that the rest of us pay for his.
If a Republican reads this, he'll forward it so his friends can have a good laugh.
A Democrat will delete it because he's "offended".