Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Paternal Involvement With Children Breeds Success : Family Ties Important

The family is extremely important to the success of the children - history is riff with proof that  strong family ties among the members will give children a much better chance for succeeding in what ever they attempt. Past generations of strong families have produced the most successful country in history, America. 

Little wonder the progressive socialist democrats have a war on the family unit. It is there intention to have the government be the family where everything the child needs will be provided by government resources.

This progressive socialist ideology is and always has been a failure where every it has been tried. Yet it seems, millions of citizens are confused as to the worth of the family, even though they have first hand experience with it's success over past years.

The failure of the family is very evident today as the number of single parent families are rising and the crime rate and poverty are rising as well. Little wonder then why the progressive socialists like the idea of an ever expanding number of dependent children and single parents needing assistance from outside sources, government.

This study is an important sign post to the current generation that is struggling to find it footing. A family that is involved is a family that will succeed. As most of us know, family blood is a great bond.

Paternal Involvement Increases College Graduation Rates
Source: W. Bradford Wilcox, "Dad and the Diploma: The Difference Fathers Make for College Graduation," American Enterprise Institute, April 22, 2014.

April 30, 2014

Teenagers with involved fathers are significantly more likely to graduate from college, says Bradford Wilcox, associate professor in the department of sociology at the University of Virginia and visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

While there have been a number of studies linking fathers with their children's welfare, few have actually looked at paternal involvement and its impact on college graduation. Wilcox pulled data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), which looked at American students in grades 7 through 12 during the 1994-1995 school year, finding that young adults with involved fathers were much more likely to graduate from college:
  • Eighteen percent of teenagers in the Add Health study responded that their fathers were not involved in their lives at all.
  • For the rest, Wilcox used a paternal involvement scale -- which looked at various activities such as playing sports with children, or helping them with their homework, or discussing personal problems with them -- to rank the students as ones with "somewhat involved," "involved" or "highly involved fathers.
  • Teenagers with involved fathers were 98 percent more likely to graduate from college than teens who reported that their fathers were not involved. Those with very involved fathers were 105 percent more likely to graduate from college.
  • Father involvement mattered most significantly for young adults from moderately and highly educated households.
  • Moreover, students whose parents were married were more likely to report their fathers as being "involved" or "highly involved." This was the case, Wilcox found, regardless of the educational attainment of the students' parents.
Why is paternal involvement so linked with a college degree? Wilcox offers four possible reasons:
  • Involved fathers may provide their children with homework help or other knowledge that helps them become academically successful.
  • Involved fathers may help children stay on the right track and steer away from risky behaviors that could prevent them from completing college.
  • Involved fathers may also help to create an authoritative family environment conducive to learning.
  • Involved fathers may be more likely to support their children financially.

March Madness Contest : Putin Wins In 'Walk Over'

This looks like a win win situation for Putin. Mr Obama must have been a 'walk over' in the contest.

Government Attacking E-Cigarettes : Marijuana Not A Problem for Feds

This is puzzling - why is there so much hand wringing over the E-cigarette? Is this a tactic of the cigarette companies to stop the sale of devices that will cut into their profits, or just more over reaching government bureaucrats needing to show their power to screw up new innovations?

But wait - there wasn't any over reaching government bureaucrat pulling their collective hair out over the sale of Marijuana in Colorado and Washington. It's a known drug and yet no problem to solve there. Good to go. What?

U.S. Food and Drug Administration Proposes E-Cigarette Regulations
Source: Thomas M. Burton and Mike Esterl, "E-Cigarettes Face First Regulations," Wall Street Journal, April 24, 2014.

April 29, 2014

For the first time, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has proposed federal regulations on electronic cigarettes, says the Wall Street Journal.
  • The new rules would ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors and would require makers to get FDA approval to sell their products.
  • They will have to provide scientific evidence to back up any claims that e-cigarettes are safer than traditional ones, and the FDA is requiring existing makers to apply to the agency within two years in order to keep their products on the shelves.
  • Manufacturers must also disclose chemicals in the devices and warn users that the nicotine could be addictive.
The rules are less stringent than many in the industry had expected, but some remain wary that the FDA may issue more restrictive regulations down the road. Still, e-cigarette makers expressed their satisfaction with the proposals.

E-cigarette opponents, who see the devices as a gateway to traditional cigarettes, criticized the regulations for doing nothing to curb marketing of the products. But studies suggest that e-cigarettes help some traditional smokers quit smoking. Manufacturers contend that limiting advertising or the use of flavors would decrease the likelihood that traditional smokers would migrate toward e-cigarettes.

States and cities have also begun passing their own regulations to restrict e-cigarette sales.

Student Loans An Investment : Loans Based On Future Earnings

With more the a $trillion dollars of student loans hanging over the taxpayers since the government took over the loan program, and with the progressive socialist proposing to forgive much of the loans over a 10 year period, this doesn't bode well for solving the problem of student debt. It's clear it will be the taxpayer picking up the tab.

This is just more politics before an election. Mr Obama used this same tactic before and it worked. Students voted for the socialists.

This proposal to have the open markets invest in students themselves is a great idea. Students that apply for a loan will have to understand they will have to seek a degree that is worth something after graduation. Agents of the loan organization will not want to invest in someone that doesn't have the ability to earn a decent wage after they graduate.

It looks like the five year party might be over. This sure makes good sense.

A Solution to Student Loans
Source: Miguel Palacios and Andrew P. Kelly, "A Better Way to Finance That College Degree," Wall Street Journal, April 13, 2014.

April 29, 2014

There is a better way to handle student loans, say Miguel Palacios assistant professor of finance at Vanderbilt University's Owen Graduate School of Management, and Andrew Kelly, director of the Center on Higher Education Reform at the American Enterprise Institute.

While borrowing for a house requires a calculation of the borrower's ability to pay, getting a student loan requires nothing of the sort. Because getting a federal loan is so easy, colleges have little incentive to keep tuition low and students are not deterred from borrowing large sums of money.
  • At the height of the housing crisis, the delinquency rate on mortgages was 10 percent.
  • In 2013, the delinquency rate on student loans was even higher, at 12 percent.
Palacios and Kelly suggest the use of income-share agreements (ISAs).
  • An ISA is not a loan, so students are not left with an outstanding balance.
  • Instead, investors finance a student's education in return for a percentage of his income over a certain period of years.
  • Students earning more than expected pay more -- and those earning less than expected pay less, even nothing, if their degree does not translate into earnings.
This type of program would protect students from the risk associated with a traditional student loan. An ISA system would also point students toward the programs most likely to result in a well-paying job, because investors will want to offer reasonable ISA terms for students enrolling in cost-effective programs.

Ultimately, ISAs could bring down tuition inflation and make college more affordable.

In 2008, the Higher Education Act was reauthorized, banning a federal database linking postsecondary education and wage information. That ban, argue Palacios and Kelly, must be repealed in order for a vibrant ISA market to emerge.

Bond Market Shaky : Debt Rising - Risks Rising, Again

More bubbles means more stress on the economy in the near future. Given the student loan bubble and the new housing bubble and the debt bubble, I wonder if there is anyone in this government that is taking this all seriously or just hope nothing will happen on their watch.

"Take the money and run" has been the prevailing strategy in Washington for decades, but now with all of the financial disasters heading our way, and with the entire world about to collapse, the future of America looks dim.

But, hey, not to worry, vote for more progressive democrats - they promised the world in a basket and the majority believed. Now we are a 'basket case' and the majority seems to still believe. Millions standing in line waiting for someone to take care of them. Who knew?

Bond Market Bubble?
Source: Andrew Flowers, "The Potential Bubble the Federal Reserve Cares Most About," Five Thirty Eight, April 21, 2014.

April 29, 2014

Interest rates may rise soon, says Andrew Flowers, a former employee at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.

There is an emerging call from central bankers that the Federal Reserve should raise interest rates. Today's low interest rates have encouraged a large amount of borrowing, and economists are worried that borrowers are making risky bets and reaching high levels of indebtedness. There could be a bubble, these analysts say, in the bond market.

The U.S. bond market is worth a total of $40 trillion -- much higher than the $28 trillion stock market. Jeremy Stein, a member of the Fed's Open Market Committee, has pointed to three signs that indicate bond market bubble:
  • Private sector debt is rising. Today, nonfinancial companies have borrowed to such an extent that their debt level equates to more than 55 percent of gross domestic product.
  • Lenders are loaning money at extremely low interest rates, indicating that they are not accurately pricing the risk of default from those companies.
  • More and more corporate debt is going to risky companies. The number of junk bonds issued today has risen to above pre-financial crisis levels.
The Federal Reserve, Flowers says, may become convinced that interest rates need to rise in order to meet this bubble threat.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Progressives Debate Social Issues by Attacking Moral Standings : LIBRTARDS (Linus & Lucy)

cid:80AE6D3124BF4ACE9EA509783D47A790@DonPCIt appears the progressive socialist liberal democrat play book has a finite number of pages to cover most situations that a member of the congregation will encounter when debating in public, but when there is nothing in the book to cover pointed and logical questions, the member must fall back using answers that are just more judgment questions or statements as Lucy has here. It works every time.

Republicans and Conservatives do not want to be seen as judgmental or aggressive in their responses to obviously aggressive questions that concern moral judgments.

The general public sees the Republicans as a moral group, so when they are attacked by progressive liberals democrat on moral issues but don't have good pointed answers, they are seen as weak in the public eye and the democrats assume the high ground even though the democrat are understood as having no moral commitments in the community. Democrats are seen as being angry and aggressive, always seeking to characterize, attacking their opposition as lesser individuals that are out of touch with the times.

The general public doesn't recognize democrats as having or needing any moral standing and therefore democrats are never accused of being relational or committed to any ideology other then the one were they promise perpetual security, socialism.

Unfortunately, it seems,  a majority of the population has fallen into the category of dependency as the economy and the life styles of many people changed for the worse, and therefore ready to support the hand that feeds them.

Corporate & Individual Tax Code Needs Reform : Tax Welfare System Flawed

Tax reform is one of the best ways to help solve our debt problem by introducing prosperity back into the equation which in turn means more revenue collected, and individuals actually having a chance to achieve success in their lives.

Taxes are regulations - deductions are just revenue transfers, not reform of a bad tax code that restricts success and individual prosperity. People work hard but see too much of their personal success taken leaving them wondering how they will get by and save for the future.

A positive outlook on life lifts the spirit, but a negative outlook that sees no future for advancement and success from ones work, dries up the soul leaving only despair.

Corporate and Individual Tax Expenditures
Source: Alan Cole, "Corporate vs Individual Tax Expenditures," Tax Foundation, April 23, 2014.

April 29, 2014

Lawmakers looking to reform the tax code should examine the efficacy of our tax expenditures, writes Alan Cole, economist for the Tax Foundation's Center for Federal Tax Policy.

Tax expenditures are, functionally, "spending" through the tax code. When a taxpayer claims a deduction, a credit or an exemption, his tax bill is reduced by that amount. Because the IRS could achieve the same result by mailing a check to the taxpayer, these tax provisions are called tax "expenditures." 

Most tax expenditures -- 87 percent of them, projected at $1.036 trillion in fiscal year 2014 -- are individual ones, while corporate tax expenditures are expected to reach $148 billion.
  • The largest individual tax expenditure is the exclusion of employer contributions to insurance premiums -- a $196 billion expenditure, worth more than all corporate expenditures combined.
  • The largest corporate tax expenditure is the deferral of income from controlled foreign corporations, worth $76 billion. For U.S. corporations abroad, their foreign earnings are not taxed as long as those earnings remain abroad and are not brought into the United States.
Cole divides tax expenditures into three categories: those that make the tax code more neutral, those that contribute to social welfare, and those that benefit one class of corporations (often referred to as "corporate welfare").
  • Most tax expenditures fall into the first category, making the tax code more neutral. But this is not the most efficient way to create neutrality in the tax code. Instead, lawmakers need to redesign the code and make the tax base neutral to begin with.
  • Social welfare expenditures should be redesigned and turned into actual spending items. This would allow all voters to see the costs and benefits of these programs.
  • Corporate welfare should be eliminated entirely, which would allow lawmakers to reduce rates on everyone.

Driverless Cars : Not Ready for Prime Time

The way I see it, the driverless vehicle will only be a viable option when the majority of the cars on the road are driverless. Given all of the defensive driving a person does automatically every time the get behind the wheel is incredible, so just imagine allow a computer driven car in traffic down town in a large city, or for that matter, on the interstate a 65 or 70 mph while most other cars are under the control of people falling asleep or texting.

How many times does a person make correction to the car that is moving forward in traffic? How will the computer know what the other person is doing if it only has information that was down loaded and not years of real time experience and the human brain to decide what action to take to avoid conflict.

I think a time will come when the driverless car will be a good idea, especially on interstates and when most cars that are on the interstate are computer controlled. It makes sense that one computer will not interfere with the actions of another computer because it didn't signal before changing lanes and made you hit the brakes to avoid contact.

Ramming the other car will not be an option for the computer driven vehicle.

How to Regulate Driverless Cars
Source: Marc Scribner, "Self-Driving Regulation," Competitive Enterprise Institute, April 23, 2014.

April 29, 2014

The rise of the driverless car poses new challenges for vehicle and safety regulations, says Marc Scribner, a fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

With human error as a crash factor in 90 percent of automobile accidents, the dawn of the driverless car (also called autonomous vehicles, or self-driving cars) has great potential to reduce crashes. It also offers the possibility of increased mobility for those who cannot drive cars themselves -- the disabled and the elderly.

Scribner divides driverless car policy issues into two main categories: legality and safety. Addressing the first issue, Scribner asks, are driverless cars even legal?
  • Florida, Nevada, California, Washington, D.C., and Michigan have each passed laws specifically upholding the legality of autonomous vehicles.
  • New York's law restricts the operation of these cars to licensed drivers, who must have one hand on the steering wheel at all times. California requires a licensed driver in the driver's seat.
  • For states that have not explicitly addressed the issue, Scribner contends that driverless cars are probably legal in most jurisdictions.
Addressing the second issue, Scribner notes that companies like Google will need to demonstrate to regulators that their self-driven cars are safer than manually-driven cars with 99 percent confidence in order to expand beyond the testing phase. One of the major safety issues is the ability of a car to determine outcomes, dictating precisely how a driverless car will crash. Will it veer one direction (guaranteeing a severe crash with one car) or another (guaranteeing a moderate crash with two cars)? Or will it try to avoid the crash altogether, even though attempting to avoid the crash may carry a more serious, and more likely, risk of injury?
  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which regulates vehicle safety, has established a five tier system for classifying automated cars, ranging from Level 0 (no automation) to Level 4 (full self-driving automation).
  • No car has been developed that fits in Level 4.
  • Google's self-driving car is classified as Level 3 (limited self-driving automation), which means that the driver can give full control of the vehicle in some situations but can retake manual control as well.
Scribner cautions lawmakers against overregulating these new vehicles. If, in fact, they are safer, then government should pass laws that encourage their development, not squash innovation through regulation and legislation.

Texas 10% College Plan : State Schools Adbvantaged

Innovation on the move - use what works and discard what doesn't but always keep moving forward. Our schools need innovation if they are to survive in the new era of technology. Failing this portends failure for our country.

Texas 10 Percent Plan's Impact on College Enrollment
Source: Lindsay Daugherty, Paco Martorell and Isaac McFarlin, "The Texas Ten Percent Plan's Impact on College Enrollment," Education Next, Summer 2014.

April 28, 2014

The Texas Ten Percent Plan (TPP) shifts college enrollment from private colleges to the state's flagship universities, say researchers Lindsay Daugherty, Paco Martorell and Isaac McFarlin for Education Next.

TTP automatically admits Texas students in the top 10 percent of their high school classes to any public university in Texas. But the TTP has not been without its critics, with those opposed to the plan contending that underprepared students from low-performing schools are being accepted, while better-prepared students are unable to enroll. Florida and California have similar plans.
But do these programs actually benefit the accepted students? The authors analyzed 17,057 graduates from 2002 through 2008 from a large, urban school district in Texas.
  • The top 10 percent of students in their high school classes were more likely to be white and female and less likely to be low-income.
  • Fifty-eight percent of students in the top 10 percent enroll in college, but just 21 percent of those in the top 10 percent enrolled in a Texas flagship school (Texas A&M or UT-Austin).
  • Nine percent of students who miss the top 10 percent cutoff enroll in a flagship school.
  • Rather than increasing college enrollment overall, the study found that increases in flagship enrollment simply decreased enrollment at comparable private institutions. (It does, however, increase access to the best public universities in the state.)
  • The automatic admission did not seem to increase enrollment at flagship universities for students in urban districts that send few students to college.
The authors note that there are other potential effects of the TTP that the study does not touch on. For example, students might choose to attend less competitive high schools or take less difficult classes in order to move into the top 10 percent and receive guaranteed admission.

Fire Fighters Need More Training : Common Sense?

What's really scary about this is these people are being paid to save us from destruction.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Food Stamp Inductees Under Obama : 16 Million New Recruits you ever wondered why Mr Obama and the progressive socialist liberal democrats push food stamps so hard, wonder no longer. Just understand, all of these new recipients will probably vote democrat just to survive or to make sure the gravy train remains on the track. 

ObamaCare Is About Failed Insurance Programs - Not Health Care

This is probably the most missed information that the public needs to understand is ObamaCare is not about providing health care to those that need it, ObamaCare is supposedly about providing insurance to these people, which in turn has a profound effect on the their health care by forcing doctors out of business with decreased payments, or denying care to those that have government insurance as it was too restrictive and expensive for consumers.

The most basic ObamaCare objective is driving the insurance industry out of business by make demands on them to cover all health care problem at rates they cannot afford, and then implementing  government run health care to solve all health care problems, Single Payer.

Believe, this is the objective for all progressive socialists democrats. Forcing the general public into dependency on government run programs that will assure generations of voters for the democrats.

ObamaCare Provides Insurance, Not Care
Source: Sally Pipes, "For Eight Million Enrollees, Coverage -- But Not Care," Forbes, April 21, 2014.

April 28, 2014

New ObamaCare enrollees are going to find it difficult to access many prescription drugs, says Sally Pipes, president of the Pacific Research Institute.

Those who enrolled in the health care exchanges may be in for a surprise once they start looking at their policies. Placing limits on drug coverage is seen as a way to keep insurance costs down. But if drug coverage is stingy, patients may simply forgo treatment altogether, turning treatable conditions into expensive problems that ultimately mean higher costs, for the individual as well as the entire health care system.
  • According to the Journal of Clinical Oncology, cancer patients facing higher copayments were 70 percent more likely to simply stop taking their cancer treatment and 42 percent more likely to skip doses.
  • This is not only a problem for patient health, but for health care spending as a whole. According to Frank Lichtenberg, professor at Columbia University, for every $1.00 spent on drugs, hospital spending is reduced by $3.65.
All exchange plans must cover prescription drugs, and the average plan covers more than 50 percent of all medicines. However, prescription drug "coverage" does not mean that the drugs are affordable.
  • There are two ways that prescription drugs are generally paid for: copays (in which the insured make a flat payment toward the cost of any prescription) and coinsurance (in which the insured pay a percentage of the total drug bill).
  • In the exchanges, most cheaper, generic drugs require copays, while more expensive, brand-name drugs require coinsurance.
  • Coinsurance can be very expensive. Gleevec, a common cancer drug, has coinsurance rates in the exchanges of up to 30 percent, leaving patients to foot a $2,000 monthly drug bill.
  • Patients who need specialty drugs are affected the most, because those are the drugs that have high coinsurance rates.
In all, drug cost-sharing under ObamaCare is 34 percent higher than in policies prior to the law.
The Affordable Care Act may have given enrollees access to insurance, but not to affordable care.

Fracking : Environmental Safe & Prosperous

How risky is it driving to work each day? Or riding your bike around the block? The complaints aren't about 'fracking' to extract fossil fuels, it's about the environmentalists losing their income and the power to control outcomes. Fracking brings hope for the future to millions of job seekers and untold prosperity for the nation. prosperous

Fear of coming disasters that the environmentalist use to stop fracking is lost and therefore their collective careers. Believe, the push back against 'fracking' is all about losing money and power. Nothing else even comes close.

How Risky Is Fracking?
Source: Terry Anderson and Carson Bruno, "Risky Hydraulic Fracturing?" Hoover Institution, April 15, 2014.

April 28, 2014

Environmentalists have targeted fracking, lambasting it as a danger and an environmental hazard, but those concerns are largely overblown. While there are real risks due to fracking, actual occurrences are rare, say Terry Anderson and Carson Bruno of the Hoover Institution.

The three main concerns with fracking involve water use, water contamination and seismic activity.
  • Water use: There are concerns that fracking will deplete water supplies, as a fracking well uses somewhere between 2 million and 5 million gallons of water, with up to 80 percent of that water staying below the earth's surface. However, that number needs to be put into perspective -- New York City uses 5 million gallons of water in just six minutes. While dry, western states undoubtedly have concerns about water usage, developing water markets and defining property rights would best lead to efficient water use.
  • Water contamination: There is little evidence to support claims that fracturing fluids could contaminate groundwater. Studies from Duke University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Environmental Protection Agency all found no evidence of fracking fluid contamination in local water sources. As for methane leakage -- the other potential contamination source -- studies indicate that high methane levels found near fracking wells are either naturally occurring, or are the product of poor well design, a problem easily remedied.
  • Induced seismic activity: Will fracking cause earthquakes? In theory, it is possible that improper water disposal could cause seismic activity. Even so, it is unlikely that such an earthquake would be significant and would, instead, be felt only by persons at rest.
Moreover, the risks of fracking should always be weighed against the benefits. North Dakota -- whose unemployment rate moved only from 3 percent to 4 percent during the Great Recession, largely escaping the problems seen by the rest of the nation -- has been at the center of the fracking boom, with oil and gas production rising 58 percent between December 2007 and June 2009.

Oil and gas production due to fracking offers massive benefits to the rest of the economy, not just North Dakota. According to IHS Global Insight, by 2020, fracking could yield an additional $417 billion to the U.S. economy, employing close to 3 million Americans.

Even though fracking risks are rare, they should be addressed. But addressing them does not mean imposing a moratorium on the practice or implementing burdensome regulations.

School Choice Advantage : Positive Results & Cheaper

'It's the market place, stupid!' School choice is here to stay even though the fight to keep it viable is moving ahead, the pace is too slow. What's needed is more common sense and less politics if we are to improve the educational system in this country.

What is the problem with accepting an educational system in the market place that has shown to have a positive impact on students, and all the while the competition from these Choice schools will help improve the existing public school system. It's called compete or die. It works every time it's tried.

The real problem here is the unions won't give up the power and the money that they have with controlling the teachers, and the progressive socialist democrats won't get the votes promised by the unions.

Another Reason for School Choice
Source: Jeff Spalding, "Public Schools Should Rise Above [Which] Mark?" Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, April 15, 2014

April 25, 2014

A new film on K-12 public education highlights why school choice is important, says Jeff Spalding, director of fiscal policy and analysis at the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice.

"Rise Above the Mark," a film produced by the West Lafayette Community School Corporation in Indiana -- whose public schools are considered some of the best in the state -- argues against public school critics and contends that accountability requirement changes have taken the joy out of teaching and interfered with teachers' ability to help students in need.
  • Spalding, Controller for the City of Indianapolis during the recession, agrees that school officials faced financial challenges, but he points out that public school spending in the last half of the 20th century outpaced economic growth as well as most state and local government spending during that time.
  • The recession was really the first time that schools were forced to deal with funding constraints.
The film blames politicians for misallocating resources. But that is an argument in favor of school choice. Politicians, Spalding says, cannot allocate resources effectively. Only by introducing more consumer choice into the marketplace will funding be better allocated -- by performance and need, not by a partisan political process.

Biofuels Environmentally Destructive : Progressive Politics - Who Cares?

More the 40% of the entire corn crop in this country goes to Ethanol and all the while the manufactures get more then 55 cent subside per gallon. Then the government demands that the gasoline that we burn in our cars and trucks contain 10 to 15% Ethanol. It costs more to produce and it is more environmentally harmful then oil or natural gas extraction. It causes damage to gasoline engines.

Why is the allowed to happen? Why doesn't someone fight back in congress?

Study: Biofuels Worse for Environment Than Regular Gasoline
Source: Dina Cappiello, "Study: Fuels From Corn Waste Worse Than Gas," USA Today, April 20, 2014.

April 25, 2014

A new federally-funded study indicates that biofuels from corn plants are actually worse for global warming in the short-term, says USA Today.

Biofuels have been touted by the Obama administration and others as a solution to climate change, but the study indicates otherwise.
  • Biofuels made with corn residue actually release 7 percent more greenhouse gases in early years of use, compared to traditional gasoline.
  • While ultimately better in the long run, the fuels will not be able to meet federal standards to qualify as a renewable fuel, as they require biofuels to emit 60 percent less carbon pollution than gasoline.
Cellulosic biofuels have received over $1 billion in federal aid, and half of the cellulosic market is from corn residue. The industry criticized the study, insisting it was too simplistic and overestimated certain figures.

Student Loan Forgiviness Proposal : It Worked Wonders for Obama in 2012

Is the public going to fall for this again like they did in 2012 with the cutting of the interest on student loans in half from over 6% to 3% until after the election, and then Obama said it will go back to it original rate?  It worked really well the first time as students flocked to the democrats in November. Then after he won the election, Obama demonized the Republicans for allowing the rate to back up on the loans. This was the Obama from the beginning. A win win for Obama.

Now he is doing the same thing with the debt forgiveness proposal, and it seems it's working as planned. The latest estimate of what this will cost taxpayers is headed to more then $8 billion over the next two years. Student loan the federal government took over in 2009 now totals over $1 trillion nation wide and going up. Will the voting public fall for this scam again? Of course they will. It worked so well the first time so why not do it again?

The general public is not cheap, but  they are certainty easy.

Student Debt Forgiveness Plans Skyrocket
Source: Josh Mitchell, "Student-Debt Forgiveness Plans Skyrocket, Raising Fears Over Costs, Higher Tuition," Wall Street Journal, April 22, 2014.

April 25, 2014

Enrollment in student debt forgiveness programs has skyrocketed in recent months, says the Wall Street Journal.

In a short six months, enrollment in federal programs that forgive some amounts of student debt has shot up 40 percent to include at least 1.3 million Americans owing about $72 billion. Officials are looking to curb these expensive programs, fearing that they could send college tuition costs upward, because both borrowers and schools have less incentive to control costs with these plans in place.

There are two federal loan repayment plans at issue here, the most popular of which is Pay As You Earn (PAYE), redesigned by President Obama in 2011.
  • The plan requires that student borrowers pay 10 percent annually of their discretionary income -- which means income above 150 percent of the poverty level -- back in monthly installments.
  • After 10 years, any unpaid balances are forgiven if the student works in the public sector or for a nonprofit. For private sector workers, that debt is forgiven after 20 years.
  • There is no limit on debt eligible for forgiveness. Last month, President Obama proposed to cap the amount of debt eligible for forgiveness at $57,500.
Some law schools -- including Columbia University, University of Chicago and Georgetown University -- have started offering their own plans to students, guaranteeing to cover graduates' loan repayments until their debt is forgiven. This could be very expensive. For example:
  • Max Norris, who graduated from the University of California's Hastings College of Law, makes $60,000 per year in his job. After aid from his law school, his out-of-pocket expense is only $100 each month on his $172,000 in debt. After 10 years, he would have $225,000 in debt forgiven.
  • Norris intended to take advantage of this program from the outset: "My intent the whole time in going through law school was to take advantage of this program."
Georgetown's law school website recently advertised that their student aid plan, combined with the federal plan, "means public interest borrowers might not pay a single penny on their loans -- ever!"

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Amerians Severing Citizenship : Knowingly & Willingly Leaving Ameria

Interesting - something I have never contemplated but even the thought of leaving this country behind for good is incomprehensible. For the average citizen that was born here and grew up in the American style of free markets and individual freedom to pursue ones destiny, what ever that may be, leaving to live under the rules of something less would be very difficult.

Of course there a multitude of reason why people leave as this article and others have pointed out, still the move to sever the link between ones heritage and seek a life else where with that solid foundation of the United States Constitution to fall back on would be an extreme point of stress.

Why Thousands of Americans Gave Up Their Citizenship Status Last Year
Curtis Dubay, Heritage’s research fellow in taxes and economic policy, contributed to this post.

Americans have always enjoyed the privilege of living abroad without losing citizenship. Think Hemingway and Fitzgerald decamping to write in Europe after World War I, or Gen. MacArthur spending decades in Asia around World War II. Expatriates remain Americans, and have generally been welcomed back to our shores with open arms.

But today there are at least 3,000 fewer Americans than there ought to be. That’s how many people live overseas and voluntarily gave up their citizenship in 2013 alone. And they won’t be coming back—at least not as Americans.

Their decision to become foreigners is being driven, in many cases, by changes to domestic laws. The United States is one of only two countries that attempt to tax money citizens earn while working overseas (Eritrea is the other). And two laws aimed at bringing tax revenue back into the U.S.—the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR)—are actually driving Americans away.
FBAR focuses on citizens, demanding that anyone with $10,000 or more in a foreign bank inform the IRS about that account. FATCA is even more invasive, because it attempts to compel foreign companies to cooperate with the IRS. Instead, many companies are simply deciding to dump their American customers.

Congress passed FATCA in 2010 to make it harder for Americans with foreign accounts to illegally evade U.S. taxes. Unfortunately, the unintended consequence of FATCA has been a painful burden inflicted on innocent law-abiding U.S. citizens residing abroad whom the law is forcing to make life-changing decisions.

“I have been kicked out of a Swiss bank,” Brian Dublin told USA Today. “I have also been kicked out of a Swiss pension fund. They told me they don’t want any Americans in the fund. They don’t want to work on behalf of the IRS.” He intends to apply for Swiss citizenship.
The law requires Americans to file expensive paperwork even if they don’t owe anything. “If you have to dish out thousands of dollars each year just to retain your U.S. citizenship you start to say, ‘Look, do I really need it that much?’” tax expert Andrew Mitchel explains.

Still, the decision to surrender American citizenship isn’t easy. “When I gave up my American passport I was so upset that I went out in the street and vomited,” Donna-Lane Nelson says. But it’s happening more and more often, jumping from 231 people giving up their citizenship at the end of the George W. Bush administration in 2008 to roughly 1,000 in 2012 and 3,000 last year.
The United States has always been the exceptional nation, the land of opportunity, even if some Americans chose to pursue opportunities abroad. We’ve been able to lure the best of the best from all around the world to become Americans and help build our economy. However, if the federal government continues to pile on burdensome regulations, that may not always be the case.

Progressive Socialists Democrats : Totalitarianism IS 'Fundamental Change'

Great article concerning what the ideology of the progressive socialist liberal left democrats is doing to the very fabric of our country and how the fundamental change that they are forcing down our collective throats could lead to dire consequences.

The New Totalitarianism and the Logic of Civil War
By Adam Yoshida

"Although I have developed a strong tolerance for reading the worlds of the left-wing press through many years of exposure, Christopher Hayes article, “The New Abolitionism”, in The Nation made me almost sick with anger. Hayes’ article is notably noxious, attempting as it does to draw a parallel between the fossil fuel industry and slavery and arguing that efforts to destroy the fossil fuel industry amount to a “New Abolitionism” in that as the Abolitionists of old argued for the destruction of the wealth represented by the slaves held in the Antebellum South, today’s “New Abolitionists” now must argue for destruction of the accumulated wealth represented by fossil fuels. This radical course of action in setting out to deliberately destroy $10 Trillion in wealth is justified, he argues, by the requirement to stop climate change and thereby “save the planet.”  This argument for a so-called “New Abolitionism” therefore contains within it all three core elements of what I would describe as the New Totalitarianism."

Take a few minutes to read the entire article. It's a worst case scenario. If you ever thought the new left progressive socialists liberal democrats were a new breed of politician, this article will explain why you might think that and what the worst consequences of that ideology is.

Common Core and ObamaCare : Progressive Socialists "Fundamental" Change

Take a minute to read and understand what is presenting here in this article and how it will, is effective every aspect of our lives in this country. ObamaCare and Common Core Education is the force and consequence of an over reaching government that most of us never thought could happen in America but is a reality today.
ObamaCare and Common Core: Two Fronts of the Same Coup
Medical insurance and public education might seem to be two different worlds with different problems.  But the proposed solutions were essentially the same.  Here are ten descriptions that apply equally to ObamaCare and Common Core:
1) HUGE FEDERAL POWER-GRAB: The obvious result of both ObamaCare and Common Core is that Obama and his czars get a bigger government to administer, more money to play with, more jobs for their loyal troops, and more control over people’s lives.
2) NOT RESPONSES TO POPULAR DEMAND: ObamaCare and Common Core were massive, top-down interventions demanded by left-wing politics and ideology, not something the public asked for.  Alleged problems were used as an excuse for adopting solutions that would grow government.  The big question was, what can they get away with?  (We see the same dynamics playing out in climate change.)
3) INCOMPREHENSIBLE BY DESIGN: A sentence was not used if a paragraph could be concocted.  Thousands of new requirements, regulations, laws, and standards were contained in dense verbiage that neither Congress nor the public would ever read and couldn’t understand if they did.  Almost every paragraph includes expanded powers and hidden consequences.  Citizens would be further reduced to a childlike dependence on bureaucrats.
4) PUBLIC EXCLUDED FROM LEGISLATIVE PROCESS: The complexity of the political process, plus the density of jargon and propaganda, ensured that John Q. Citizen was ignored.  These programs were passed by stealth, chicanery, arm-twisting, and bribes.  The Cornhusker Kickback put ObamaCare over the top.  Similarly, so-called stimulus money earmarked for shovel-ready jobs was used as grants (i.e., bribes) to persuade the states to embrace Race to the Top, a precursor of Common Core.  The fix was in.
5) DISHONEST MARKETING: The Obama administration made endless promises that turned out to be endless lies, all symbolized by Obama’s promise that if you like your plan, you can keep your plan.  States were told that if they liked their schools the way they are, they can keep them that way.  In fact, these programs require changing everything.
6) MEDIA COMPLICIT: The mainstream media became cheerleaders.  News reports were not critical or analytical.  Try to find a newspaper in America that opposed these radical programs.  The average local paper wrote editorial after editorial in support of ObamaCare and Common Core.
7) VERY EXPENSIVE, WITH RISING COSTS: The propaganda for these programs emphasized that the government would save money and individual citizens would get more for less.  In fact, medical costs  immediately went up for individuals, as did the outlays to implement Common Core.  Improvement, if any, will be negligible, not that improvement was ever the primary goal.
8) FUNDAMENTAL TRANSFORMATION: Both programs embody what Obama meant when he talked about “a fundamental transformation of the country.”  Translation: his socialist way or the highway.  Socialists have been seeking this “transformation” for 100 years.  (John Dewey's education agenda, according to Robin Eubanks, leads to Common Core.)
9) TOTALITARIAN INTENT: Both programs prescribed in detail how everyone must think and behave.  Both programs allow the government to collect far more information and to meddle in more aspects of everyone’s life.  It was like giving the EPA two more sectors to regulate. 
10) INSTANT TRAIN WRECKS: Both programs, once they left the station, became train wrecks.  Of course, it was too late by that time to stop them.  As things continue to go wrong, Obama will simply declare: “It’s a big success. Everything is just like we planned.”  Yes, that might, grimly enough, be exactly true.
All the similarities mean that once you understand one of these things, you understand the other.  They are two facets on the same zirconium.  They are two fronts of the same coup.
Rahm Emanuel is famous for saying that you don’t want to “waste” a crisis.  A crisis, in his world, is any excuse for doing what you already wanted to do.  Many people suspect that Obama, if he needs a crisis, is perfectly capable of fabricating one.
There is a miasma of fraud, malfeasance, and bad faith hanging over both of these schemes.  The logical thing for the country is to repeal both ObamaCare and Common Core, or get ready for the worst.
Bruce Deitrick Price explains education theories and methods on his site

Amazon Sales Down in States With Sales Tax : Local Purchases Up Slightly

Buying on line sure has it's advantages in that one can order from the comfort of your home, and the availability of choice at your finger tips is huge.  But the down side is if you are in the market for an item that is new to you and pricy, and this item might need a learning curve, ordering online will create some problems if you can't operate it as advertised. If you purchase this item from a local store having some expertise readily available is a plus even if you have to pay more for the same item.

Ordering locally is definitely a plus for electronic purchases for those of us that find such items a mystery at times.

Amazon Sales Take a Hit in States With Online Tax
Source: Adam Satariano, "Amazon Sales Take a Hit in States With Online Tax," Bloomberg, April 21, 2014. Brian Baugh, Itzhak Ben-David and Hoonsuk Park, "The 'Amazon Tax': Empirical Evidence from Amazon and Main Street Retailers," National Bureau of Economic Research, April 2014.

April 25, 2014

Amazon is taking a hit in states that are collecting an online sales tax, says Bloomberg.
  • Researchers at Ohio State University published a paper this month that found sales dropped for Amazon when the online charge was introduced.
  • In states that have the tax, households reduced their spending on Amazon by about 10 percent compared to those in states that don't have the levy.
  • For online purchases of more than $300, sales fell by 24 percent, according to the report.
In addition to quantifying the sales impact, the researchers also concluded that brick-and-mortar stores didn't hugely benefit from households reducing their spending on Amazon. That's because many shoppers simply turned to online alternatives.
  • In total, brick-and-mortar retailers enjoyed a 2 percent bump in purchases in states that introduced an online sales tax, while competing online retailers got a 20 percent increase, the study found.
  • The biggest sales uptick -- 61 percent for big-ticket items -- went to merchants that use Amazon Marketplace. These outfits pay Amazon a fee to offer products through the Amazon website, yet don't collect taxes.
The push by states to collect taxes on Internet purchases has gathered momentum in the past few years.
  • Amazon collects sales tax in 20 states.
  • More are set to follow as the company has become a popular target to help state governments generate more revenue to cover budget shortfalls; Florida is set to begin charging a tax on May 1.
  • States lose an estimated $23 billion a year in uncollected sales taxes from Web retailers.
Amazon and other online retailers have fought some efforts to implement the taxes, with the U.S. Supreme Court in December rejecting an appeal by the company to rule against a New York law forcing it to collect money from customers. New York and others have said the push to tax Amazon is an effort to treat online and brick-and-mortar retailers equally.

Mineral Rights Debate : Canadian System or US System?

This discussion is timely in that with 'fracking' for oil and natural gas becoming so popular in many states that previously had no chance for this industry, now see natural resources as a real revenue boom. Which system works better can only be realized through comparing results, and then having the will to make changes to the individual systems.

Given the United States' basic right to 'private property', ownership, change will be nearly impossible as this change will be an open door for progressive socialists to demand Constitutional changes that deny those rights and decrying only government should have such ownership.

One has to understand the definition of 'private property' to include not just land or minerals rights but also liquid assets as well like money and many other individual rights under the first 10 amendments to our Constitution, the bill of rights.

Mineral Rights Regimes in Canada and the United States
Source: John Dobra, "Divergent Mineral Rights Regimes A Natural Experiment in Canada and the United States Yields Lessons," Fraser Institute, April 2014

April 25, 2014

Differences in mineral property rights in the United States and Canada yield very different regulatory regimes, says John Dobra, founding director of the Natural Resource Industry Institute.

While Canada and the United States began with similar laws concerning mineral and mining rights, the two countries' legal systems subsequently diverged. Dobra looks at some of the key differences between the two:
  • Mining is much more important to Canada's economy. 2.1 percent of Canada's 15.4 million person workforce is directly employed in mining, while just 0.14 percent of the United States' 155.8 million person labor force is employed in mining jobs.
  • Canadian mineral rights are owned by the provinces. When land is sold or granted to private parties, provinces reserve those minerals. This is not the case in the United States, where mineral rights are privately owned.
  • Canadian provinces receive tax revenue directly from mining development, which gives them an incentive to create a favorable policy environment, unlike the U.S. federal government, which has little incentive to exercise regulatory restraint. Surveys by the Fraser Institute of mining industry managers and executives indicate that this is so, with respondents declaring much higher favorability toward the Canadian regulatory regime than the American one.
  • The strong system of private property rights in the United States, however, means that potential land disputes are less of a deterrent to mining investment in the United States than in Canada.
Surveys also indicated that respondents found U.S. tax policy to be much more hostile to mining investment than Canada's tax system. Dobra encourages American policymakers to look at this issue and harmonize their tax treatment of mining with the Canadian regime.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Harry Reid : Face of The Democrat Party?

Reid Terrorists copy 2If you have been paying attention at all to what has come from the leader of our senate, then you will know that Mr Reid is in serious need of professional help.

On the other hand he may be just showing us all who he really is and that he is saying the things that the rest of the democrat party wants to say but having degenerated as far as Harry has, yet.

Maybe what is needed here for Mr Reid is some help from the drug store.

Americas Free Press : Make the News , They Don't Report It

Sinking Obamacare Ship copy
There is one constant in the political discourse over the last several generations of politics in America and that is the press involvement.

The national media, television and print for the most part, are not just biased anymore like over the past several decades, but actually integral parts of the national campaign to elect progressive socialist democrats. They are whole owned members of the democrat national committee.

If there was any doubt about this reality, ObamaCare and the other disasters that have befallen the White House over the last 6 years shows the press has no intention of reporting news, they are fully involved in making the news.

Lying A Way of Life? : Mr Obama's Lips are Moving

You Lie copy
As the saying goes, 'How do you know Mr Obama is lying, his lips are moving'.

Family Dinning Experience Revealing : Truth In Humor

Robot Joke copy
Families that eat together find out there is more to a family gathering then they thought.

History Becomes real - Who is On First?

!cid_X_MA1_1375237554@aolYou knew it had to happen sooner or later and here it is - Yikes!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Women Suffer Tax Code Law : Single Women Disadvantaged

The tax code is a problem for all sorts of entities, including women, but it seems no one is willing to do anything about it. It's like so many other problems in our country today, whether its a state or a federal program that is out of control, the problems are so huge and or complex that politician do not understand them and so shy away from trying to solve them.

Worse maybe, when some new and aggressive politicians decides to tackle a problem, there always many that have a vested interest in having the problem program remain as it is, and so attack the person trying to make a difference. Little wonder then no one will take up the cross as it will be detrimental to their political careers. 

Tax Code War on Women
Source: Diana Furchtgott-Roth, "It's Women Who Suffer Most from the Marriage Penalty," MarketWatch, April 18, 2014.

April 24, 2014

The real "war on women" is in the U.S. tax code, says Diana Furchtgott-Roth, director of Economics21 at the Manhattan Institute.

Single working women face higher tax rates when they marry, a reality that discourages marriage or encourages women who do marry to quit the workforce. When married women decide whether to enter the labor force, "their tax rate begins at the rate on the last dollar of income earned by their spouse," Congressional Research Service specialist Jane Gravelle explained in a Senate Budget Committee hearing.

Working women are disproportionately in the top fifth of the income distribution:
  • In 2012, 78 percent of households in the top fifth of earners were married couples, and 5 percent were women living alone. In the top 5 percent, 81 percent were married couples, and 4 percent were women living alone.
  • That same year, in the bottom fifth of the income distribution, 17 percent of households were married couples, and 36 percent were women living alone.
  • Looking solely at earners in a household, in the top fifth, 76 percent of households had two earners. In the bottom fifth, only 5 percent of households had two earners.
  • In a study for the Brookings Institution, two economists determined that if a couple, each earning $25,000, gets married, they will take home less than 30 percent of the second earner's paycheck.
What would help working women is a deduction for second earners. This type of deduction existed in the U.S. tax code from 1981 to 1986. Such a deduction could yield significant economic activity by drawing more women into the workforce.

Unfortunately, when the Congressional Budget Office scores tax proposals, it takes into account very little of potential economic growth from the lower rates. This makes it difficult to tout tax reform proposals in the United States.

Currently, the U.S. tax code discourages work, discourages marriage and encourages women not to advance. This is the real problem for women that politicians should focus on.

Inequility A Matter of Work Ethic : No Substitute for Hard Work

Inequality among the citizens is about life styles, those that are driven to success as opposed to those that just want to have enough, is a fact of life, but the progressive socialist democrats us this choice of life styles as a tool for dividing these people into warring groups using manufactured information or out right lies to accomplish the destruction of our way of life.

Sadly, many among us are those that indeed believe the misinformation they see on television or read in the newspapers, that they have been cheated out of income that they deserve, not earned, by the more successful.

As this article points out, as have many others, that life is dependent on your view of the future and just how hard you want to work to attain it. It's the American dream for success and prosperity that is available to everyone that is willing to understand and accept the rules for success, know who you are and what you want out of life and then have the work ethic to obtain it.

Everything worth having is not free or easy - everything has a cost. If you aren't willing to pay, then accept the consequences, poverty. But don't vilify those that succeed and prosper when you have willingly and knowingly decided to accept a different life style.

Moving Up and Down the Income Ladder
Source: Mark R. Rank, "From Rags to Riches to Rags," New York Times, April 18, 2014.

April 24, 2014

Twelve percent of the U.S. population will find themselves in the top 1 percent of income earners during their lifetimes, says Mark Rank, professor of social welfare at Washington University.
In a study alongside Cornell University professor Thomas A. Hirschl, Rank examined 44 years of data on individuals ages 25 to 60, looking to determine whether top income groups -- the top 20 percent up to the top 1 percent -- were static or fluid. Their findings challenge the notion that class structure in the United States is rigid and unchanging:
  • Twelve percent of the U.S. population will move into the top 1 percent of the income distribution for at least one year.
  • Thirty-nine percent of Americans will spend at least one year in the top 5 percent, 56 percent of Americans in the top 10 percent, and 73 percent of Americans will spend at least one year in the top 20 percent of the income distribution.
  • Only 0.6 percent of the U.S. population will spend 10 consecutive years in the top 1 percent of the income distribution.
In short, Rank and Hirschl found that the public perception of a "static" 1 percent -- and a static 99 percent -- is at odds with reality. And, they found that income movement goes both ways -- not only will most Americans experience at least one year of affluence, but 54 percent of Americans will also experience poverty or near poverty at least once.

Other studies confirm these results. An IRS study of the top 400 American taxpayers between 1992 and 2009 found that only 2 percent of those on the list were on it for at least 10 years.

This information, Rank says, challenges much of the perception that exists today about income inequality, and it indicates that the United States is still a place of great opportunity -- where a majority of people will experience wealth and poverty during their lifetimes. Our national conversation should focus on this reality, not talk about the top 1 percent and the 99 percent as if they are fixed, static income tiers.

Swedish Health Care System Broken : Socialist Systems Are Failures

The problem with ObamaCare is not that it doesn't or won't improve health care, the problem with ObamaCare is Mr Obama and the progressive socialist liberal democrats that designed it and then forced down our collective throats, don't care if it works or not.

That the Swedish heath care system is broken is not important to how ObamaCare is broken, the two are failures but are still allowed to function. The people accept failure as a way of life. Those that stand against failure are seen as radical.

The progressive socialist democrats enacted this law with democrats votes alone, not one Republican voted for it, and if you don't like it, as more then 60% of the population don't, and don't sign up to accept it, you have to pay a fine or go to jail, or worst if the past is any indication of how far the liberal democrats are willing to go to have total power.

I wonder what is next from the democrats, if you don't vote for more democrats will you have to pay a fine or just disappear. It won't be the first time this has been used as a motivating factor to vote the right way.

What Sweden Teaches Us About ObamaCare
Source: Per Bylund, "What Sweden Can Teach Us About ObamaCare," Wall Street Journal, April 17, 2014.

April 24, 2014

The United States can look to Sweden for a preview of America's health care future, says Per Bylund, a professor at the Hankamer School of Business at Baylor University.

Sweden is routinely praised as an example of a successful socialist country, but its health care industry suggests something else entirely. While Sweden's universal health care system is consistently ranked as one of the best quality-wise, the country has an access problem.
  • Swedish patients face incredibly long wait times simply to get an appointment with a doctor, even having to wait for emergency care. Certain procedures have multiyear wait times, and treatment is sometimes denied altogether.
  • As of 2013, Sweden's National Board of Health and Welfare reported that the average wait time from initial referral to start of treatment for "intermediary and high risk" prostate cancer was an incredible 220 days.
  • One 80-year-old Swedish woman recently had to wait four hours before an ambulance arrived. And no ambulance at all came to a one-month-old infant who suffered a cerebral hemorrhage.
This rationing is due to the gap between the number of people seeking care and the capabilities of health care providers -- and the United States can expect to see the same results thanks to ObamaCare.

Free markets lead to innovation, as companies and entrepreneurs respond to demand and find ways to offer better products at better prices. Decentralization is the key to an effective free market. But ObamaCare does the opposite.

Swedish patients are routinely denied care because of their government's policies, which is why many Swedes -- despite the guarantee of free public care -- have flocked to private insurance coverage over the last 20 years.
  • In the last five years, the number of private policyholders in Sweden has increased by 67 percent.
  • Notably, these private insurance enrollments have increased despite the fact that the average Swedish family already pays $20,000 annually in taxes toward health care and elderly care.
Bylund, a citizen of Sweden who has lived there for most of his life, says that the only way to have affordable, high-quality and accessible health care is in a system that allows real competition between health care providers.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Doctors Leaving the Practice : Lack of Control of Outcomes & Money

Doctors are not public servants but care givers to those of us in need and deserve a reward for those services. But it seems at the same time too many of us lose sight of what a doctor does is the result of years of study and thousands of dollars in debt for the education to practice medicine. Having people that are thousands o miles away dictating how they should run their practice and how much they should get paid to practice their trade is cause for stress and falling quality.

Regulation of the medical profession can be a good thing especially when our health is at stake, but when regulation is the sole purpose of government agencies  in the health care industry, then we have to step back a little and recognize how much is too much, i.e. ObamaCare.

The Affordable Care Act is not the main reason doctors are leaving the practice, it's just he defining reasons among the huge burden of regulations placed on doctors. That is too much regulation from those that do not understand the practice of medicine or don't care enough to find out. Their job, the bureaucrat believes, is to write the law, not actually make them work as intended.

Why America's Doctors Are Unhappy
Source: Daniela Drake, "How Being a Doctor Became the Most Miserable Profession," Daily Beast, April 14, 2014.

April 23, 2014

America's doctors are increasingly unhappy in their jobs, says Daniela Drake, a Board Certified Internist in private practice in Los Angeles.
A whopping 9 out of 10 doctors discourage others from joining their profession, and more and more physicians are dissatisfied with their line of work. Why?
  • Being a primary care doctor is not the highly lucrative career that it is made out to be.
  • And it is becoming increasingly difficult to have a profitable primary care practice. Processing insurance forms alone cost $58 for each patient encounter, meaning that doctors have to increase the number of patients they see in order to make their practices sustainable.
  • The result? The average face-to-face visit between doctors and patients lasts only 12 minutes.
  • And doctors are worried that the Affordable Care Act does not fix this problem -- it codifies it.
The health care industry is highly focused on patient satisfaction, but high satisfaction scores are actually correlated with worse outcomes and higher health costs. Doctors need to be able to say no, not simply acquiesce to patient demands. But with Medicare payments now linked to patient satisfaction, this problem will only increase.

Primary care doctors are also overloaded with administrative tasks and insurance company disputes. And all of these things carry with them the specter of malpractice suits. Piling more regulations and rules on top of doctors is not the answer to America's health care problems -- it will only drive away physicians and increase medical costs. People need to start worrying not just about the wellbeing of patients, but of their doctors.

Educational Progressives Fight for Survival : Losing The Power to Control

Why is this so hard for so many to understand? Whether it's global warming, education, health care or any other big government enterprise, it's about the power to control. A

Ask any teachers union leader why they demand more money and more control of the process and they will tell you it's what's best for the children even when their solutions to educational excellence have failed. They know what best as they are the smartest person in the room, and it's very important for you to remember that fact.

Charter schools are a threat to the power that is currently in control of outcomes, public school unions and their surrogates in the progressive socialist democrat party that supports them. Public school unions give millions of dollars to democrat politicians for that legislative support.

Is it still a wonder why there is so much push back against any change in education today? Again, it's about the power to control outcomes.

Why Are Progressives Fighting to Keep Poor Children in Failing Schools?
Source: Jim Epstein, "Progressives Fight to Keep Poor Kids Trapped in Failing Schools," Reason Magazine, April 15, 2014.

April 23, 2014

Charter schools give parents in poor areas a way to provide a quality education for their children, yet New York Mayor Bill de Blasio opposes them, says Jim Epstein, a producer at Reason TV.
  • P.S. 149, a public school in Harlem whose third graders have an 82 percent failure rate on state achievement tests, is the school to which Annaly Lopez would have been forced to send her daughter.
  • But thanks to a charter school network in New York City, Lopez's daughter Renee eventually won a spot at Success Academy, which has a great achievement record.
Because charter schools have to compete for students, they get results.
  • At Renee's previous public school, she could not receive the extra help she needed until she received a poor report card and underwent a subsequent evaluation.
  • But immediately upon enrolling at Success Academy, Renee was given extra help, and her mother was able to communicate with her teacher at all hours of the day -- something she was not able to do in the public school system.
Charter school critics argue that when students like Renee are allowed to flee their district assignments, it hurts the kids left behind, whose parents often lack the knowledge or motivation to look outside the zone. They also complain that traditional schools are losing valuable classroom space as charters move into their buildings.

In February, de Blasio blocked the opening of two new Success Academy branches (and the expansion of a third) by reversing a decision made by the prior administration to allow them to share buildings with existing public schools. After pushback, de Blasio has since softened his anti-charter rhetoric.

So what about the other public schools in the area?
  • Research shows that charter schools not only improve the charters themselves, but the schools around them.
  • Even P.S. 149 is making changes, and a new principal has brought new leadership to the school.

Global Warmers Deny Reality : Climate Change is Ideology, Not Fact

The average person, that works hard every day to make a living and to take care of their families, wonder why so many in our government demand action on a subject, a problem, that has been proven with hard facts, to be manufactured, a lie. And yet the beat goes on for more solutions to problems that don't exist.

It becomes clear when the 'changers' can't point to any tangible effects of climate in peoples lives, the changers pivot away from reality to passed successes claiming future catastrophic destruction if we don't take action immediately. But in reality, debate isn't really about climate change, it's about the money and the control of outcomes - getting it and keeping the power no matter what the facts in the situation are.

As stated on many other occasions, global warming, climate change, isn't a scientific endeavor, it's a faith based religion where no matter how the information goes against them, they will always believe. Little wonder then why the progressive socialists democrats are all in for global warming. Both are infested with mindless fanatics whose only purpose in life is their ideology.

Global Warming Facts versus Claims
Source: Bjørn Lomborg, "Global Warming's Upside-Down Narrative," Project Syndicate, April 17, 2014.

April 23, 2014

Claims that tackling climate change would be cost-effective are nonsense, says Bjørn Lomborg, director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center. Politicians routinely point to global warming as the world's greatest challenge, simultaneously promising that they can solve it with low-cost solutions.
  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry recently called climate change the "greatest challenge of our generation," with catastrophe sure to ensue if the world fails to address the problem.
  • In Europe, a 2006 report commissioned by the British government, the Stern Review, insisted that global warming damage was the equivalent of 5 percent to 20 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), but promised cures that would cost just 1 percent of GDP.
  • And politicians have promised not just low costs to fix the problem, but an abundance of green jobs and energy security.
Unfortunately, this narrative is mostly wrong.
  • The latest report from the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) confirmed that global warming has slowed, even stopped, over the last 15 years, and that climate models far exaggerate temperature trends.
  • The IPCC puts its latest temperature rise cost estimates at just 0.2 to 2 percent of GDP.
  • Notably, governments tried to strike this finding from the report, with British, Belgian, Norwegian, Japanese and American politicians wanting it rewritten or deleted altogether.
  • Officials had similar reactions to the IPCC's admission that climate policies would actually be more expensive than previously claimed (costing up to 11 percent of GDP by 2100), again seeking deletion.
Experts have known these truths, but politicians and the media have used exaggerated warming claims to promote poor policies, subsidizing green power with little actual benefit.

Single Parent Families Struggling : Lost In Politics

The biggest reason for ignoring the single family problem for all politicians is there is no quick fix and secondly, having so many people in low income status and or poverty, it expands the voter base for progressive socialists democrats.

As anyone that is paying attention, it isn't hard to understand why such 'race batters' and class warfare agents like Al Sharpton, and others, continue to keep their collective boots on the necks of black families, as well as other minorities, as this is their source of income and power. The larger the number of disadvantaged the more collective power will fall into the hands of their controllers.

Making sure minority families have no recourse but to support those that promise mandated programs for the poor and disadvantaged, the unemployed and single parent families, Their control of the black population's chances for future prosperity are dim.

Ignoring Single-Parent Families in the Inequality Debate
Source: Robert Maranto and Michael Crouch, "Ignoring an Inequality Culprit: Single-Parent Families," Wall Street Journal, April 20, 2014.

April 23, 2014

The rise of single-parent families over the last 50 years is the strongest correlate of inequality in the United States, yet few politicians and researchers will even address the issue when they talk about inequality, say Robert Maranto, a professor in the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas, and researcher Michael Crouch.

The United States has seen a rapid decline in the traditional two-parent family:
  • In 1960, more than 76 percent of African-Americans and almost 97 percent of whites were born to married couples.
  • Today, only 30 percent of black children are born to married couples. For white children, that figure is 70 percent.
  • Hispanics had an out-of-wedlock birthrate of more than 50 percent in 2006.
  • With out-of-wedlock births and high divorce rates, one quarter of American children live in single-parent homes. This is twice the rate in Europe.
How much do single-parent households matter?
  • University of Virginia sociologist W. Bradford Wilcox determined that children in high-income households who experienced family breakup fared less well emotionally, psychologically, educationally, and ultimately economically than their peers in two-parent families.
  • Children of single or cohabitating, but not married, parents experience abuse, behavioral problems and psychological issues at higher rates than children of married couples, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control.
  • Just 2 percent of children raised in two-parent families experience poverty long-term, while more than 20 percent of children in single-parent families live in long-term poverty.
  • Penn State sociologist Molly Martin estimated in 2006 that 41 percent of economic inequality generated between 1976 and 2000 was the result of changed family structure.
  • According to researchers at the Brookings Institution, the U.S. poverty rate would be a full 25 percent lower today if the U.S. family structure resembled that of 1970.
While the mainstream media and research groups have been focused on inequality, they have largely ignored family breakup. Why? Maranto and Crouch point to three reasons:
  • First, leftists do not want to side with social conservatives, despite the plethora of evidence.
  • Secondly, minority families have experienced the worst family breakup, and bringing up the issue leads to fears of charges of racism.
  • Lastly, because there is no immediate or quick fix to the family breakup problem: such a societal transformation will take decades.