Sunday, May 31, 2015

Last Generation Entrepreneurs Lead : Present Generations Losing Heart

I believe the reason that new business start-ups are down is because the younger citizens, the present generation, don't believe America is the land of opportunity like the last generation did and does, and that's because the older generation has had the experience of living it.

With little or no history to show what is possible in a robust economy as we have had in the past, many potential entrepreneurs today see America in decline and don't want to risk failure that would render them at the mercy of others.

To the older generation, there was the president danger of failure as well, but the past generation believed there was always as way to fight back. Opportunity for success was founded in the knowledge, if you worked hard enough you will succeed.

Now that is only a dream, the story telling from the last generation that begs disbelief.

Older Entrepreneurs Leading the Way
Source: Christian E. Weller, "What Data on Older Households Tell Us About Wealth Inequality and Entrepreneurship Growth," Center for American Progress, May 27, 2015.

May 29, 2015

Entrepreneurial activity—a measure of a country's dynamism and indicator of economic opportunity—can enhance economic growth through a number of channels.
  • Entrepreneurship fosters innovation through the development and marketability of advanced, often groundbreaking products and services. 
  • Small businesses tend to be more capital intensive than larger ones, which accelerates the adaptation and diffusion of new technologies and deepens an economy's capital base.
  • Starting and running one's own business often allows entrepreneurs to better contribute their talent to economic activities over a longer, sustained period of time than in wage and salary employment.
Since the 1990s, entrepreneurship has become especially pronounced among older households, with heads of household age 50 and older. At the same time, entrepreneurship among younger households has fallen, slowing overall entrepreneurship in the United States.
  • Entrepreneurship has fallen among households younger than 50 years from 1989 to 2013, while it increased for older households during that period. Older entrepreneurship growth appears to be especially noticeable when comparing the years post-1998 with prior years—up to and including 1998—as older entrepreneurship became more widespread in the later years than before.
  • Wealth has particularly grown among the subset of households from which entrepreneurs are increasingly found—white, married, college educated and 50 years old and older.
  • The share of older entrepreneurs with substantial capital income—income that is greater than $5,000 in 2013 dollars—has gone up since the mid-1990s.
Policymakers interested in promoting increased entrepreneurship among older households—where economic pressures have been very noticeable—could consequently pursue two separate but not mutually exclusive paths.
  • They could find ways to build wealth on a broader base than has been the case in the past, especially by emphasizing asset building among people of color, single women, and younger households.
  • They could develop ways for older households interested in pursuing entrepreneurship to diversify their incomes.

Economic Growth Nears Zero : Citizens Fear "Fundamental Change"

Why is the economy not growing isn't a question of economics, it's a question of fear, frustration and anger with our government and it's agenda and ideology for "fundamental change".

As Mr Obama and the progressive socialist have done their dirty work over the last 7 years to move the country from a representative democracy to a socialist theocracy, more and more people that do the heavy lifting in this country are suffering with higher taxes, government corruption through unrepresentative unconstitutional over reaching regulations and institutional law making to strangle any sense of pride and prosperity that was once the very foundation for personal achievement and freedom in our country is now in danger of being lost.

No one ever would have thought this could happen in America, ever, but it's happening now as Mr Obama has promised.

It's the fear that the our government is spiraling out of control and there isn't anything that anyone can do to stop it. The people that make up the working class and pay all the bills for everyone else understand this, and wonder if there is any way to turn this around so future generations will have chance to prosper like their forbearers?

And maybe even worse, the source of frustration and anger is even after the landslide victory of the Republicans last November, that most of us thought would signal a seismic shift in the power structure in Washington that would make the difference, has turned out to be nothing more then politics as usual.

Republicans demonstrating once again, as history has shown us, with the exception of Reagan, they are weak and ineffective as leaders.

Economic Growth Sluggish in 2015
Source: Ben Gitis and Gordon Gray, "State of the Economic Recovery: 5 Economic Indicators to Watch," American Action Forum, May 27, 2005.

May 29, 2015

Last month the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its first estimate of the growth in real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) during the first quarter of 2015. According to the report, real GDP's annualized growth rate was only 0.2 percent. Some argue that this low estimate is due to an underlying methodological issue that results in a significant underestimate for the first quarter.

However, several economic indicators have decelerated or declined over the last few months, indicating tepid growth in the first quarter. What exactly is the debate over the recent GDP report?

At issue are the BEA's seasonal adjusting methods. Most economic raw estimate features significant variation throughout the year due to typical changes in weather and holidays. In order to uncover those trends throughout the year, officials publish seasonally adjusted estimates, which account for these variations and generally are the headline figures in any report. Economists have noted that even after seasonal adjustment, the BEA's first quarter GDP growth estimates have been consistently lower than the rest of the year. This might suggest that the BEA has been underestimating first quarter growth.

Economists have found some troubling signs of slow growth: Total retail sales began to fall at the end of 2014 and continued to decline in 2015. There was a decline in consumer confidence during the beginning of 2015. Durable goods orders excluding defense and aircraft have been falling since summer 2014 and continued to decline into 2015.

ISM's composite index of manufacturing growth, the PMI, has fallen significantly since last summer and continued to fall through the first quarter of 2015, representing a significant deceleration in manufacturing growth.

Non-manufacturing was still growing but at a decelerated rate at the beginning of 2015.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Dog Lovers and Ice Cream Cones (VIDEO) : It's All About Me

What a great video on how dogs just don't give dam about being nice and sharing - it's all about them. - I love it!

Social Secuity Reform : Privatize It Texas Style

Something has to be done for sure and the Texas Alternate Plan seems to work well. It probably needs some history to see if can sustain it's promises to individuals, but in any event it can't be worse then what we have now.

In reality, it seems an impossible task to reform Social Security given it is considered the 'third rail' of politics for all democrats and many Republicans. Sadly the system will have to fail before anyone will be able to make the necessary changes to save the system but, of course, by then it will be too late.

The prevailing attitude for our present politicians is 'I've got mine, take the money and run'.

Should Social Security Be Privatized?
Source: Merrill Matthews, "The Private Sector Can Reform Social Security's Disability Program," Institute for Policy Innovation, May 2015

May 28, 2015

Social Security will be unable to pay its obligations in 20 years. In 2005, Congress considered transitioning Social Security to prefunded personal retirement accounts. But the Bush administration did such a bad job of selling the reform, and Democrats did such a good job of attacking it, that it fell apart.

Social Security provides a small income stream for every senior who contributed the required 40 quarters to qualify, a disability insurance provision that covers those who become disabled and a survivorship provision that helps a qualified deceased worker's spouse or minor children.

In 1981-1982, three Texas counties opted out of Social Security and created a personally owned retirement program that mirrored all three of Social Security's primary functions — except the benefits are better. It is known as the Alternate Plan.

Comparing the private sector Alternative Plan with Social Security: A low-income disabled worker in 1999 would receive nearly twice as much under the Alternate Plan as under Social Security. Disabled workers receive between 66 and 80 percent of their monthly salary in the Alternative Plan. Under Social Security, a large majority receives less than $1,700 a month, and only a handful receives more than $2,800.

If a worker dies, the family or estate is paid the proceeds, equal to four times the employee's salary up to $215,000 compared to Social Security's $255 death benefit. The best way to solve Social Security's long-term financial challenges is to privatize all of its components.

Critics have long resisted that solution for the income security portion, arguing that the stock market is too volatile and that workers cannot be trusted to make good investment decisions.

ObamaCare Overhead Costs Escalate As Predicted

Who knew? ObamaCare will cost more then the Obama administration said it would is not news as this was predicted from the beginning. That Obama lied to the citizens more then 24 times abut how they would be better off paying less and getting more, seem to not matter to voters. And as Mr Gruber's comment, 'we had to lie to the public to get this past as the general public is to stupid to understand the bill' is lost in the media and not by accident.

The design was for failure - there can't be any other assumption given the complexity and costs for implementation. 

Obamacare's Hard Hitting Overhead Costs
Source: Sarah Ferris, "Overhead Costs Exploding Under Obamacare, Study Finds," The Hill, May 27, 2015

May 28, 2015

Five years after the passage of ObamaCare, there is one expense that is still causing sticker shock across the healthcare industry: overhead costs. The administrative costs for healthcare plans are expected to explode by more than a quarter of a trillion dollars over the next decade.
  • The $270 billion in new costs, for both private insurance companies and government programs, will be "over and above what would have been expected had the law not been enacted," one of the authors, David Himmelstein, wrote Wednesday.
  • Overhead is expected to make up 45 percent of all federal spending related to the Affordable Care Act. By 2022, that ratio will decrease to about 20 percent of federal spending related to the law.
  • The extra administrative costs amount to the equivalent of $1,375 per newly insured person per year.
Private insurers have been expanding their administrative overhead despite some regulations from the Obama administration to control those costs, such as the medical loss ratio, which requires a certain amount of premium dollars to be spent directly on healthcare. The rest is the result of expanded government programs, such as Medicaid. It also includes the cost of running ObamaCare exchanges at both the federal and state levels.

The federal exchange, as well as the 13 state-run exchanges, have all been boosted by grant money, though those funds will run out by 2016. The exchange will then need to rely on fees to plan premiums.

Coal, Oil and Natural Gas Attacked by DOE : Now Nuclear Energy

Restricting expansion, innovation and competition for nuclear energy is by design, just as the attack on coal is destroying the entire industry, and now the attack on the oil and natural gas industry that is having an impact on the price of electrical energy and Americas future.

$Billions of tax dollars are being spent on 'renewable' energy sources, solar, wind and bio fuels that have shown they are not ready as alternatives to fossil energy, but never mind, the Department of Energy moves forward ready to spend what ever it takes to make the ideology of progressives a reality.

Given the total production of fossil energy in America is more then 40% and renewables is less the 3%, it not hard to understand the demand for renewables is driving the price for energy higher. This is not by accident or due to market forces, this is the agenda of the progressive socialists that currently occupy the White House and their friends in the environmentalist community that have decided life as it has been lived in America must change.

The options for prosperity for citizens in America have to be limited to what is seen by the controlling elites in Washington as necessary to make life for everyone, the advantaged and disadvantaged, equal. No one should have more then anyone else, it's not fair, except of course, for those in power.

Nothing new here as this strategy has been used many times in history and it has always failed. "Each according to ones needs and each according to ones abilities"

Department of Energy Says No to Expanding Nuclear Capabilities
Source: Mario Loyola, "The Need for Nuclear Regulatory Reform," Texas Public Policy Foundation, January 2015.

May 28, 2015

Although the nuclear industry accounts for 19 percent of U.S. electricity needs, the U.S. government has impeded the de­velopment of a healthy, competitive nuclear sector. In recent years, it has intervened as both a regulator, and as an industry player seeking financial profit for itself by selling uranium on the open market from its own stocks.

The Department of Energy (DOE) regularly releases such uranium inventory even when the market is in depressed conditions, in violation of federal law, as the Government Accountability Office has concluded, imposing significant losses on private industry.

These interventions create incentives against investment and capacity expan­sion in an industry that needs to be able to expand in order to keep providing American families with low-cost, reliable energy.

As a result, the U.S. nuclear energy sector faces extraordinary risks and regulatory burdens compared with its foreign com­petitors, forcing a potentially internationally competitive sector onto thin ice.
Congress could consider the following reforms:
  • State and federal government should create as much space for open competition in the nuclear energy sector as possible within reasonable environmental regulations.
  • Congress should streamline the nuclear regulatory framework, devolving as many regulatory functions as possible to the states.
  • DOE should be required to stick to the letter of the law in conducting transfers of its uranium stocks.
  • States should also do their part by streamlining their environmental regulations.
This results in reduced nuclear energy capac­ity (despite the artificially low spot price for natural uranium) which, together with the higher financing costs associated with elevated levels of risk and regulation, combine to result in higher prices for nuclear energy, which are ultimately born by America's working families.


Friday, May 29, 2015

Solar Industry Gets More Money : DOE Funding More Failure?

Here again, are we to believe the officials that brought us the complete failure of the solar program that was trotted out as a success but actual figures showed 23 out of the 26 funded projects failed? Now are they spending even more taxpayer dollars to fund more failure.

As before, I wonder who is in control of he money and just how much will find it way back into the coffers of the democrats. It was just a money laundering system before where democrat bundler operatives controlled the money, so why should we believe it will be any different this time?

Obama Injects the Solar Industry with $32 Million
Source: David Henry, "Obama Administration Pumps $32M Into Solar Industry," The Hill, May 26, 2015.

May 28, 2015

The Department of Energy (DOE) announced a $32 million funding program to support jobs and research in the solar energy sector on Tuesday.
Of that funding:
  • Some $12 million will go toward projects to train solar technicians and provide information about solar power to "other professionals in related fields such as real estate, insurance, finance and fire and safety." The funding will go toward the Obama administration's goal of training 75,000 new solar workers by 2020.
  • The department will also spend $15 million on projects to develop new concentrating solar power (CSP) collectors, which are the most costly component of a solar power system. At least seven projects will split the funding and research ways to bring down those costs in the future. 
  • The rest of the funding will go toward at least three projects to collect and share data on the solar industry, such as power production and financial information.
The DOE said the approach will help increase "transparency and fair pricing" in the market.
The funding comes from an Energy Department program called the SunShot Initiative, which is designed to boost solar power in the United States. The program has funded more than 350 projects in the last four years.

Endangered Species Act Changes : Obama Says 'Don't Worry'

Are we actually suppose to believe that the Obama government is being honest with us when the say they are trying to be more transparent? Really? I know we are mostly crazy, but given the history of the progressive socialist democrats over the last 7 years and their being the most transparent regime in history, please don't think we are stupid as well as crazy.

Hey, what are suppose to believe, did the 'cow really run off with the spoon'? Yikes!

Obama Seeks to Change the Endangered Species Act
Source: Clare Foran, "Endangered Species Act Gets A Makeover," National Journal, May 18, 2015.

May 20, 2015

Add another item to the list of shake-ups expected from President Obama's green agenda: The administration is pushing for changes to a decades-old environmental act in a bid to ward off attack from congressional Republicans looking to remake the law. The Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service announced in early May, a slate of proposed updates to the implementation of the Endangered Species Act.

Some potential changes have already been announced:
  • Anyone petitioning for a species to be protected under the law is required to solicit information from state fish and wildlife agencies before sending their petition off to the federal government.
  • The federal government is required to make any information about a proposed listing that can be publicly disclosed available to the public online.
The administration also promises that the most recently proposed updates are just a taste of what is to come this year as it works to roll out additional reforms, including measures officials say are designed to boost transparency, cut red tape, incentivize voluntary conservation efforts and improve the use of science and data under the law.

The changes are intended to give states greater say in the federal decision-making process meant to protect at-risk species while improving the effectiveness of the law. And administration officials hope the planned updates may head off some of the long-standing criticism the law infringes on states' rights voiced by Republicans, Western governors and the oil and gas industry.

Islamist Terror Attacks Increase : America Surrendering?

Kelsey Harris/Visualsey

Every time I hear Jos Earnest tell us that we are winning the war against ISIS, my fear for our country grows. It seems that there isn't anyone with the guts in Washington to explain the danger that we are facing and how it will impact us if we stay on the side lines in this fight.

What You Should Know About the Recent Wave of Islamist Terrorist AttacksDavid Inserra /           

On the evening of May 3, two men armed with rifles attacked the Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest in Garland, Texas. While both shooters were killed before they could get inside the exhibit, this attack is the 68th Islamist terrorist plot or attack against the U.S. since 9/11.
The incident has raised significant questions about the way terrorists are being recruited in the United States and what America can do to stop them.

These two infographics tell the story about a spike in Islamist terror activity and their top targets.

Politicians : Looks Are Deceiving?

unusual-furAs with all animals, it's hard to tell just who they are from their looks. Is this the case with Mr Obama and the progressive socialist liberal democrats?

It's the question of the day. Are the democrats here to help or are they here to do bad things.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Al Sharpton & Barack Obama : It's A Tag Team

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into town - what a great tag team we have making things happen.

Regulations Destroying Small Businesses : Dysfunctional Officals & Voter Ignorance

Bureaucrats and unions make sure that only those that they approve of get to do business in their collective area of control. The regulations that are imposed on small businesses are indications we have government officials that are not interested in prosperity for the citizens, they are only interested in make sure their jobs are secure.

A Gruberized voting public is the reason why we have so many dysfunctional local and federal government agencies. There can't be any other reason for the incompetence on the part of elected officials.

Licensing Regulations Hurt Small Business More Than Taxes Do
Source: Diana Furchtgott-Roth, Jared Meyer, "How Occupational Licensing Harms the Young," Economic Policies for the 21st Century, May 22, 2015.

May 27, 2015

Occupational licensing, the requirement that people pass tests to gain government permission to work, is making it harder for young people to begin their careers. By keeping young people out of certain industries, or by making it prohibitively expensive and time-consuming for them to work, occupational licensing increases costs for all Americans and limit opportunity for those looking to enter the field of their choice.

When Melony Armstrong, featured in the documentary Locked Out: A Mississippi Success Story, wanted to open an African hair-braiding salon, she had no idea that a long, hard battle against the State Board of Cosmetology lay ahead. It took her four years to realize her dream.

Melony was required to spend $10,000 and several years in a cosmetology schools that would not teach her any of the skills she needed to braid hair. After the first of her many fights with the state government, she was required to complete 300 hours of coursework. As her business expanded, she would have needed to complete another 3,200 hours of classes and apply for a cosmetology-school license to hire younger workers and train them.

Results of annual "Small Business Friendliness Survey" show small business owners care almost twice as much about licensing regulations as they do about taxes when rating the business-friendliness of their state or local government. The burden of professional licensing regulations was found to be the only statistically significant non-demographic variable for predicting states' business environments.

By protecting established, older workers, the government's occupational licensing requirements make it hard for the young to enter the workforce as entrepreneurs - leaving them with fewer job opportunities. The decline in entrepreneurship is leading to the aging of American businesses. 

Segregation Rising In Residential Areas? Racial Grouping?

Interesting study on the rise of segregation in suburban and rural areas of the country. Why is this taking place? What has made the races more interested in grouping?

What has taken place over the years, especially so in the last decade, to make people become more focused on making sure they are secure against invasion from those with hostile intent?

Residential Segregation Rising?
Trevon Logan and John Parman, "The National Rise in Residential Segregation," The National Bureau of Economic Research, February 2015.

May 27, 2015

In "The National Rise in Residential Segregation", Trevon Logan and John Parman introduce a first-of-its-kind measure of residential segregation based upon the racial similarity of next-door neighbors.
The authors find that residential segregation in the United States doubled from 1880 to 1940. The findings show that the likelihood of having opposite-race neighbors declined precipitously in every region. The rise in segregation occurred in areas with small black population shares, areas with large black population shares, areas that experienced net inflows of black residents, areas that experienced net outflows of black residents, urban areas with large populations and rural areas with smaller populations.

The authors, therefore, conclude that the traditional story of increasing segregation in urban areas in response to black migration to urban centers is incomplete, and must be augmented with a discussion of the increasing racial segregation of rural areas and other areas that lost black residents.
Traditional explanations for increased segregation have included:
  • Blacks clustering in small areas abutting white communities;
  • The use of restrictive covenants on residential housing;
  • The presence of large manufacturing firms which employed blacks;
  • And existing differences in transportation infrastructure.
Logan and Parman suggest that the national rise in segregation over the first half of the 20th century opens new lines of inquiry. Understanding the relationship between segregation, urbanization and population flows should help to explain the dynamics of segregation in cities and rural communities.

These links have important implications for the skill mix of cities, public finance, education, inequality, health and other measures of social wellbeing. This gives rise to questions about the impact of Jim Crow laws, racial violence, European immigration, internal migration and the differences and similarities between racial segregation in rural and urban areas.

Medicaid Drug Programs At Risk : Alabama's Program Typical?

Medicaid, like most other government programs is not a sustainable program in it's present form, but to make the necessary changes to make it a viable solution for the disadvantaged, it will take an enormous effort on the part of state and federal legislators.

Alabama's Medicaid program, not just the drug program, is probably little different then most other programs that are underfunded, and with the coming supreme court decision on ObamaCare's mandate for subsides being unconstitutional, causing states to have to pick up the tab instead of the feds, will just bring more pressure on legislators to have to make hard decision.

Of course, most state legislators are not accustomed to make hard decisions, so the impending Medicaid problem, disaster, is a game changer for states that opted for the federally subsidized ObamaCare exchanges.

Alabama's Medicaid Drug Program
Source: Devon Herrick, "Alabama's Medicaid Drug Program," Alabama Policy Institute, May 2015.

May 27, 2015

One million Alabamans are enrolled in Medicaid, a joint federal-state program that provides medical care to nearly 70 million low-income individuals nationwide. Medicaid consumes over one-third of the General Fund, and costs state and federal taxpayers nearly $6 billion annually — about one-tenth of which participants spend on drugs and drug therapies.

Medicaid officials anticipate enrollment will increase as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, says NCPA senior fellow Devon Herrick. In addition, Medicaid spending on drug therapies will rise as the prevalence of costly specialty drugs increases. Thus, slowing the growth of Medicaid drug spending is a fiscal imperative for Alabama's state budget.

Drug benefits are an important component of Medicaid. Drug therapy is not only convenient, it is also the most efficient way to treat many health conditions. Moreover, drugs are a relative bargain compared to other medical expenditures. Americans spend twice as much on doctors and about three times as much on hospital care as on drug therapies.

However, the cost of drug therapies is rising. Specialty drugs are supplanting the tablets, capsules and elixirs Americans have come to expect from their doctors. And as this occurs, drug spending is expected to grow at an increasing rate.

The Menges Group, a consultancy that evaluates state Medicaid programs with an emphasis on special needs populations, identified a few of the ways state Medicaid drug programs waste money. For example:
  • Drug prices often differ unnecessarily from one pharmacy to the next.
  • State Medicaid programs arbitrarily pay much higher dispensing fees than would occur in a competitive market.
  • State Medicaid fee-for-service drug programs use low-cost, generic drugs less than efficiently-managed programs.
  • Moreover, the number of redundant and unnecessary prescriptions per Medicaid enrollee is often higher for state-managed fee for service drug programs.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Federal Reserve Ready of Reform : FED Record Is Suspect

To actually make a difference for reforming the fed, it will take more then just talk, it will take a will of principle of substance rather then more smoke to confuse the issue of an institution that is the cause more problems to our economy then they solve.

Another advocate is Steve Forbes who has for years been on the forefront of change or elimination of the federal reserve.

The Federal Reserve's Lackluster Record Good Reason to Reform
Source: Norbert J. Michel, "A Roadmap to Monetary Policy Reform," Cato Institute, March 18, 2015.

May 12, 2015

The Federal Reserve (FED) now has a 100-year history by which it can be judged. On balance, the Fed has not increased economic stability relative to the pre-Fed era. The Great Depression, the great stagflation, and the 2008 financial crisis have all occurred on the Fed's watch. Even excluding the Great Depression, business cycles have not become appreciably milder, nor have recessions become less frequent or measurably shorter.

The Fed has strayed so far from the classic prescription for a lender of last resort—to provide short-term funds to solvent institutions at penalty rates—it strains all reason to suggest that it has successfully fulfilled that function.

Consider these near-term policy improvements:
  • Congress should prohibit the Fed from making emergency loans under Section 13 (3) and via the discount window. There is, in fact, no clear economic rationale for the Fed to provide direct loans to private firms, and the discount window is a relic of the Fed's founding.
  • Update the Federal Reserve's Primary Dealer System. The current primary dealer framework was created in the 1960s when there were clearer advantages to having a centralized open market system in New York.
  • Require the Fed to Select a Short-Term, Rules-Based Policy Ending discretionary monetary policy and moving the U.S. toward a truly competitive monetary system is a justifiable long-term goal. In the near term, however, Congress could require the Fed to take a small step toward this outcome.
There are many aspects of the Federal Reserve system that are ripe for reform, but even market-oriented economists display disagreement over some of these policy improvements. Given the broader agreement that exists on other key reforms, however, Congress could likely achieve several key policy improvements outside of a formal commission. This article has provided something of a roadmap to begin instituting both types of reform to the nation's monetary policy.

Red State Means Prosperity : Blue State Means Failure & Corruption

Let's see, if you want more income and more freedom, you have to move to Republicans controlled states? It seem according to this article, this is the case. So why would anyone in good conscience vote for more progressive socialist liberal democrats? Why???

But millions still believe no matter how bad their personal circumstances are because they live in state that is screwing them to the wall with high taxes and corrupt regulations, they still vote for more hard times. They continue to democrat.  Yikes!

If You Want More Money and More Freedom, Move to a Red State
Source: Stephen Moore, Arthur B. Laffer and Joel Griffith, "1,000 People a Day: Why Red States Are Getting Richer and Blue States Poorer," Heritage Foundation, May 5, 2015.

May 8, 2015

The competition among the states is becoming more intense as businesses become more mobile. Toyota and Boeing are two high-profile employers in America that have crossed state borders because of the policy advantages of one state over another.

In recent years, governors have generally divided into two competing camps, the "red state model" and the "blue state model."
  • The red state model is predicated on low tax rates, right-to-work laws, light regulation and pro-energy development policies.
  • The blue states have doubled down on policies that include high levels of government spending, high income tax rates on the rich, generous welfare benefits, forced-union requirements, super-minimum-wage laws and restrictions on oil and gas drilling.
Here are a few effects:
  • Americans are voting with their feet to keep more of their income. The nine zero-income-tax states gained an average of 3.7 percent of their population from domestic in-migration from 2003 to 2013, while the highest-income-tax states lost an average of 2.0 percent of their population during the same period.
  • The jobs growth rate was more than double in the zero-income-tax states than in the high-income-tax states, on an equally weighted basis. Of the four largest states, from 1990 to June 2014, the jobs growth rate in red states Florida (46 percent) and Texas (65 percent) has been almost triple the jobs growth of blue states California (24 percent) and New York (9 percent).
  • Interstate migration has resulted in the zero-income-tax states gaining more than 14 percent of their 2009/2010 adjusted gross income from the rest of the nation between the tax filing years 1992/1993 and 2009/2010. Meanwhile, the nine highest income tax states lost 8.8 percent of their 2009/2010 adjusted gross income over the same period. 

Summer of Recovery Is Really A Snow Storm of Failure

When 'ol Joe Biden came out with his inane statement that we are looking at the summer of recovery, we all knew then that Joe's statement was nothing new from him, just more liberal bullsh**! And in Joes own words, him lying about it was no" ig Fu***** deal". It's who they are! Joe and his friends have driven our country into the ditch, both domestically and in foreign policy. What good reasons to vote for more democrats.

But wait for it, millions are ready and willing to do just that. Sadly it seems Gruber was right.

There Is Not Much to Show for the Summer of Recovery
Source: Stephen Moore, "America's Slow-rolling Economic Crisis," Heritage Foundation, May 5, 2015.

May 7, 2015

Economic growth for the first quarter of 2015 was a mere 0.2 percent making it the slowest recovery in half a century. The Summer of Recovery that Joe Biden promised in 2009 still has not arrived, six years later.
Under Obama's slow-growth economy:
  • The United States is $1.6 trillion lower on current gross domestic product than expected.
  • American families are earning $20,000 less in annual income.
  • Spending structures have fallen by 23 percent.
  • The U.S. government has borrowed $7 trillion in six years.
White House estimates on job growth show that the economy performed worse than it would have without the trillions of dollars of government borrowing. In other words, borrowing $830 billion back in 2009 did not improve the economy.

This is a national crisis, not any less significant than the burning of Baltimore last week. Actually, the two may be tied together. Economist Arthur Laffer shows that racial rioting in big cities is negatively associated with the economic growth rate. In the late 1960s and 1970s, cities became war zones, but the rioting almost entirely disappeared in the high-flying 1980s and 1990s, when incomes were rising and job growth surged.

Fortunately, there are natural tailwinds that should accelerate growth over the next year or so. Low energy prices are an underappreciated stimulus. The strong dollar is bringing record amounts of new investment and construction to the United States. Profits, especially for the tech sector and companies like Apple and Google, are still very high.

Blumnethal Source of Benghazi Spin : Hillary & Obama Agreed

It's sure easy to blame some low life like Blumenthal for the cause of a false narrative on what happened in Benghazi, but in reality it was Clinton and Obama that gave it credence. These two decided to spin the deaths of four people including our ambassador as it would look bad in an election year.

We knew this in the following days after the attack and Obama came out from under his desk, Hillary and Obama discussed how to change the facts to fit the narrative of the attack as just mob violence from a video about Mohammad. The Secretary of Defense told the world this is what took place. He was there.

But why did millions of citizens not care these two lied about what happened, over and over again? The information was everywhere and yet so many among us refused to believe Hillary and Obama could be so corrupt to lie about the deaths of four people just for politics.

But hey, this one is easy to understand- it's who they are and always have been.

Clinton Confidant Revealed as Source of Benghazi Misinformation
Helle Dale /

One of the mysteries surrounding the Benghazi scandal appears to have been solved with the release of the private emails of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
The question was who came up with the false narrative of the cause of the attack on the U.S. Benghazi consulate on Sept. 11, 2012. The answer, according to emails obtained by The New York Times, is Sidney Blumenthal, former journalist and longtime confidante of the Clintons.
Sidney Blumenthal (Photo: Al Crespo/Sipa Press/Newscom)
Sidney Blumenthal

Both the Department of Defense and the State Department immediately identified terrorism as the cause of the attack on Benghazi. But it was Hillary Clinton, in remarks at the U.S.-Morocco Strategic Dialogue on Sept. 13 of that year, who first suggested the activity at the Benghazi consulate began as a demonstration over an anti-Islam YouTube video. And now compelling evidence in the email trail points to Blumenthal as the source of that narrative.

Blumenthal had been communicating extensively but privately with Clinton on the subject of Libya, where he had various sources of intelligence and was advising a group of potential investors. Blumenthal’s role is revealed in nearly 350 pages of emails, a sizable portion of the 850 reviewed by The New York Times.

On Sept. 12, Blumenthal wrote in a memo to Clinton that the attacks were by “demonstrators” who “were inspired by what many devout Libyans viewed as a sacrilegious Internet video on the prophet Mohammed originating in America.” Clinton forwarded Blumenthal’s account to others at State, and it became the foundation of the Obama administration’s narrative for the next two weeks.
This narrative formed the basis for, among other things, President Obama’s speech to the U.N. General Assembly on Sept. 25; a video featuring Obama and Clinton speaking to Muslims and denouncing religious intolerance; and the appearance of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice on five national talk shows on Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012, during which she denounced the Benghazi attack as the “direct result” of a “heinous and offensive video.

But the real facts of the attack appear to have been communicated to the Obama administration, including Clinton, in timely fashion. On Sept. 13, even Blumenthal had written back to Clinton with a more comprehensive update. In this memo, Blumenthal stated members of Ansar al-Shariah, the Libyan terrorist group with ties to al-Qaeda, had planned the attacks for a month and had used a nearby protest as cover.

This version conforms more closely to Defense Department documents obtained by Judicial Watch through a Freedom of Information Act request and also released last week. The House Select Committee to Investigate Benghazi wasted no time issuing a subpoena to Blumenthal, who has said he will comply.

Were it not for the chairman, Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., and the committee’s diligence, Clinton’s private emails and the full facts of the Benghazi scandal might never be known.

Universal Savings Accounts : Canada Moves Ahead

Oh no, create accounts for citizens to make it easier to save money out of the reach of government over reaching greed for revenue is out of the question. Even though the savings are after tax, still it gives the people the opportunity to make decision on how to spend the money and when without a tax is a no-no for socialist bureaucrats.

For the ideology of big government to do all things for all people, progressive socialist democrats, they must have control of all the money, all the time. They believe the individual isn't capable of making decisions on their own and so must be directed to do the right thing, so government officials like Gruber have done with health care, ObamaCare, they lied to gain control.

Universal Savings Accounts Could Improve Financial Planning
Source: Chris Edwards, "Universal Savings Accounts (USAs)," Cato Institute, May 11, 2015.

May 13, 2015

Canada and Britain have implemented universal savings vehicles, which have been a roaring success in Canada and Britain, and both countries have recently expanded them.
  • In Canada, the government's new budget increased the annual contribution limit on Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs) from $5,500 to $10,000. 
  • In Britain, the annual contribution limit on Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) was recently increased to 15,240 pounds (about $23,000).
TFSAs and ISAs are impressive reforms—they are pro-growth, pro-family and pro-freedom.
America should create a version of these accounts. As with Roth IRAs, individuals would contribute to Universal Savings Accounts (USAs) with after-tax income, and then earnings and withdrawals would be tax-free. With USAs, withdrawals could be made at any time for any reason.

USAs, TFSAs and ISAs adopt the principle that saving for all reasons is important, not just reasons chosen by the government. When people can use such accounts for all types of saving and for any length of time, it increases simplicity, flexibility and liquidity.

In the United States, the government chooses which savings to favor, with the result that we have a mess of separate accounts with different rules for retirement, health care, and education. Everyone agrees that Americans do not save enough, and one reason is the complexity of savings accounts.

The creation of large accounts for all types of saving would simplify personal financial planning and encourage more saving.

Estate, Inheritance Taxes Suppresses Growth

Again, who knew? - More and higher taxes suppress prosperity, driving down the freedom to chose ones destiny. Reduced taxes will always result in more revenue flowing into the coffers of the politicians and more money for citizens, consumers to spend.

The question that remains is why not reduces taxes as history has shown, it will increase revenue to government and expand opportunity for future generations?

Economic Growth Slowest in Estate Tax States
Source: Scott Drenkard and Richard Borean, "Does Your State Have an Estate Tax?" Tax Foundation, May 5, 2015.
May 8, 2015

In addition to the federal estate tax (which is fourth highest in the OECD), many U.S. states levy their own estate and inheritance taxes.  While estate taxes are charged against the estate regardless of who inherits the assets, inheritance taxes are levied on the transfer of assets to heirs, based on the relationship of the inheritor to the deceased. In the case of inheritance taxes, spouses, children, or siblings often have different exemptions.

Currently, fifteen states and the District of Columbia have an estate tax, and six states have an inheritance tax. Maryland and New Jersey have both.

The state with the highest maximum estate tax rate is Washington (20 percent), followed by eleven states that have a maximum rate of 16 percent. Hawaii and Delaware have the highest exemption threshold at $5,430,000 (matching the federal exemption). New Jersey has the lowest, only exempting estates up to $675,000. Of the six states with inheritance taxes, Nebraska has the highest top rate at 18 percent. Kentucky and New Jersey are close behind with top rates of 16 percent.

Reform and repeal of estate and inheritance taxes have been very frequent in the last few years:
  • In 2013, Indiana sped up the repeal of its inheritance tax, retroactively to January 1, 2013. Tennessee's estate tax will phase out fully in 2016.
  • Maryland and New York are in the process of phasing in new, higher estate tax exemptions, eventually matching the federal exemption level ($5.9 million) by 2019. 
  • Minnesota is in the process of doubling its exemption from $1 million to $2 million over five years.
  • The District of Columbia is slated to phase in higher exemptions to the estate tax as new revenues become available. 
Estate and inheritance taxes have large compliance costs, have been shown to suppress entrepreneurship, and are among the most harmful taxes to economic growth.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Citizen Applies for Building Permit : City Says No!!?? (Humor)

I applied for a "Building Permit" to remodel my old house.

It was going to be 100 ft tall and 400 ft wide,
  with 12 gun turrets at various heights,
and windows all over the place and a loud outside entertainment sound system.
It would have parking for 200 cars.

I was going to paint it snot green with pink trim.
The City Council told me;  "Forget about it...IT AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN!"   
So, I sent in the application again, but this time I called it a "Mosque."

Work starts on Monday and 
 here is the best part -it's going to be tax exempt!
I love this country.
It's the government that scares the crap out of me.

Immigration Raises Income And Job Availability?

Immigration cause wages to increase and jobs become more plentiful. Interesting study here and worth our time to try and understand the logic. In theory it does make sense but only time and more interest on how immigration impacts income and job markets for all who participate.

Each Immigrant Creates 1.2 Local Jobs
 Source: Gihoon Hong and John McLaren, "Are Immigrants a Shot In the Arm For the Local Economy?" National Bureau of Economic Research, April 2015.

May 26, 2015

 Immigration not only has an effect of adding supply of labor but also an effect on local labor demand because immigrants increase the consumer demand for local services. This effect can attenuate downward pressure from immigrants on non-immigrants' wages and benefit non-immigrants by increasing the variety of local services available. For this reason, immigrants can raise native workers' real wages and each immigrant could create more than one job.

The study of a stylized model of a local labor market shows how the arrival of immigrants increases local aggregate income and thus the labor demand by the non-traded services sector. This effect (labelled as 'shot-in-the-arm' effect) dampens the down ward pressure the extra labor supply places on local wages and increases the variety of non-traded services available, which confers a benefit on all local consumers, native-born and immigrant.

Even in a model in which immigration always lowers local wages in terms of tradeables, it raises real wages in terms of non-tradables, and depending on how strong the shot-in-the-arm effect is, it may raise real wages in terms of the overall consumer price index, raising utility for all local workers.

Considerable evidence for these effects include: Each immigrant creates 1.2 local jobs for local workers, most of them going to native workers. More than 60 percent of the jobs created by immigrants are in non-traded services. Immigrants appear to raise local non-tradables sector wages. Immigrants attract native-born workers from elsewhere in the country.

Taxes Effect Income Inequality : States Verses Federal Policy

This a little in the weeds trying to explain how tax policy's impact on wage and income inequality. Still, take a few minutes to digest the information and how it relates to the states and federal government policy differ for taxing income.

The Impact of Tax on Income Inequality
Source: Daniel H. Cooper, Byron F. Lutz, and Michael G. Palumbo, "The Role of Taxes in Mitigating Income Inequality Across the U.S. States," National Tax Association Conference, May 18, 2015.

May 26, 2015

Income inequality has risen dramatically in the United States since at least 1980. The tax policies of the federal and state governments are a potential compensating factor in the rise in income inequality, particularly as they relate to progressivity or the rate at which taxes rise with income.

Decomposing the effect of taxes on income inequality into the impact of federal versus state tax policies, federal taxes are, on average across the states, responsible for all of compression of the net income distribution relative to the gross income distribution. In addition, despite significant heterogeneity across states to the extent of before-tax inequality, there is also no variation across states in terms of the amount of federal compression. About one-half of the states have progressive tax systems that compress income inequality.

States such as Oregon, Minnesota and Wisconsin obtain the greatest degree of compression. The states with the most progressive tax systems tend to have below average pre-tax income inequality. In contrast, one-half of the states have tax structures that appear to increase income inequality and effectively offset some of the progressive nature of the federal tax code.

The tax systems in Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee and West Virginia are among the most regressive. The states with the most regressive tax systems have above average pre-tax inequality.

The overall progressive structure of federal taxes tends to mitigate income inequality across households to a substantial extent in all U.S. states. However, state-levied taxes, on average, work to exacerbate income inequality. Looking at average state tax compression, however, masks significant heterogeneity across states.

Education Innovation : Solutions for The Future

Innovation for success. If we stand in one place and hope others will do the heavy lifting, all is lost for prosperity. America is just starting to innovate, and through programs like this one and the Voucher programs, Charter and Private Schools, there is hope for our country.

Reasoning Mind Engages and Prepares STEM Students
Source: Lloyd Bentsen IV, "Reasoning Mind Engages and Prepares STEM Students," National Center for Policy Analysis, May 21, 2015.

May 26, 2015

It is a great time to be a STEM major in Texas, says NCPA senior research fellow Lloyd Bentsen. Dallas made Forbes‘s list of the top 10 cities for STEM jobs and has the second highest annual median wage growth for STEM workers, while Houston and Austin were named the top two metropolitan areas for STEM professionals in a Wallet Hub report. By 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects Texas will have 758,000 STEM jobs, second only to California.

On a recent visit to the Momentous School in Dallas, I saw students actively, enthusiastically engaged in learning math concepts and applying those concepts to solve problems ― thanks to a state-of-the-art online curriculum and teacher classroom structuring program called Reasoning Mind.
According to several evaluations, the Reasoning Mind program offers several advantages over outdated, lecture-based instruction:
  • Reasoning Mind students are engaged and on task 89 percent of the time, on average. Compared to a typical classroom, that works out to an additional 40 hours of math instruction each year when Reasoning Mind is used as a core curriculum.
  • Some 67 percent of students using Reasoning Mind say that their enjoyment of mathematics increased as a result of the program.
  • In Angleton (Texas) Independent School District, students who used Reasoning Mind in 5th and 6th grades are more than twice as likely to accelerate into Algebra I in 8th grade as non-Reasoning Mind students.
  • The key to Reasoning Mind and programs like it is flexibility: they deliver effective instruction for advanced students and remediation for struggling students and perform successfully in traditional school, after-school and home environments. They get students out of traditional lecture-based classroom desks.

Energy Policy : Free Market Solutions, Not Government

Solution to our energy problems and always have been; too much government control through regulation, ideology and it's agenda for 'transformation'.

America Needs a Free and Competitive Energy Economy
Source: Nicholas Loris, "Seven Objectives for Effective and Productive Energy Legislation in 2015," Heritage Foundation, May 21, 2015.

May 26, 2015

Members of the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives are calling for a comprehensive energy bill in 2015. If past is prologue, however, such wide-ranging energy bills do much more economic harm than good. Congress should operate from the basic principle that free markets work efficiently and that any new legislation should get government out of the way of the market and innovation.

When considering any energy bill, Congress should seek to achieve the following objectives:
  • Open access to domestic resources. Rather than allowing the Interior Department to draft five-year plans that continually limit energy-production and job-creation potential, Congress and the Administration should open all federal waters and all non-wilderness, non-federal-monument lands to exploration and production.
  • Allow access to freely traded energy sources. America's surge as the world's largest oil and natural gas producer has positioned the U.S. to export more energy. Antiquated and anti-free-trade laws thwart those opportunities. Freely trading energy and energy technologies would yield tremendous economic benefits by providing Americans with more opportunities to sell their products. 
  • Eliminate and block burdensome regulations. The biggest threat to affordable, reliable energy in the United States is the current onslaught of regulations implemented by unelected bureaucrats.
  • Eliminate handouts and workforce-training programs.  Whether the preferential treatment is a targeted tax credit, a government-backed loan or loan guarantee, or a direct grant, these programs have used taxpayer money to finance projects that the private sector would have funded without the government program in place.
Additional objectives include removing government-forced efficiency and renewable-fuel mandates, streamlining energy-infrastructure projects and returning power to the states.

America does not need a federal energy policy.

 Congress should recognize that free energy markets work and should enact legislative reforms to achieve those seven objectives that make the U.S. energy economy freer and more competitive—to the benefit of all Americans.

Transgender Parent Adoption : Children Under Identity Stress

A first hand experience here on why God and nature has provided two genders, a female and a male to replenish the earth. All animals are designed to meet this criteria. To deny the existence of one of these genders is counter to nature, and by refusing to allow nature to proceed as designed, will in the end destroy the species as God and nature had intended. identity

I Had a Transgender Parent. Unlike Obama, I Don’t Think Transgender Parents Should Be Able to Adopt.
Denise Shick      (The Daily Signal)

Should transgender parents be able to adopt?
In April, President Obama made it clear he thinks they do. In a presidential proclamation for National Foster Care Month, Obama wrote, “With so many children waiting for loving homes, it is important to ensure all qualified caregivers have the opportunity to serve as foster or adoptive parents, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status.” (Emphasis mine.)
The proclamation relates Obama’s latest thoughts on what’s best for LBGT adults. But what’s best for children?

It is stunning that we hear no personal accounts from adults who grew up in transgender homes like this, and that so little research is made public about this.
I am one of those children. I was raised by a transgender father. I can testify to the emotional strain and confusion that my father’s life played in my sexual and gender identity. I sought out our neighbors for a foster father. Many times I pretended that one of my uncles or a friend’s father was my make-believe father. I was so hungry for my father; a transgender “mom” would not fit that need no matter how badly the adult wished it to.

My father experimented with my make-up and clothes, and by 7th grade I had decided that alcohol was the easiest method to numb my own pain. By the beginning of high school, I wondered if life was worth living. There is nothing more painful for a daughter than to watch your dad put on a bra or have him wear your clothes. No daughter should have to place her clothes in her dresser drawers by a code so she can know if he had been pawing through her underclothes.

It is not fair or healthy for a daughter to feel guilty about her developing body, or about becoming a woman. But in today’s world we encourage children to accept their parent’s sexual desires. We prioritize adult’s sexual preferences ahead of what is best for their children.

As a culture we are very willing to address the emotional distress, isolation and other negative issues of people who come out as transgender adults. But we have not even begun to discuss the issues involved and the impact this has on their wives and children.

I’m begging America to wake up to what is being done for the sake of society and for children worldwide! This cultural celebration of transgenderism, for me as a daughter of a transgender father, is misguided and insensitive.

In our country’s most recent challenge regarding gay marriage, six adult children  raised in same-sex or transgender households came forward to address the importance they placed on having both a mother and a father.

I  wonder if anyone is listening to the voices of the adult children that should count and be heard.
As I know from firsthand experience, all children—including those being adopted—deserve a mom and a dad.

Short Term Rentals Shut Down in Santa Monica : It's About the Money

This isn't rocket science as to why the city council decided to shut down the short term rental business - motels and hotels are losing money, and guess where a lot of campaign funding comes from for local politicians?

Never forget it's always about the money, the mother's milk of politics.

The People vs. Santa Monica: Inside the Government’s Push to Regulate Short-Term Rental Industry
Jamie Jackson /
SANTA MONICA, Calif.—Every day, the sun sets on the shoreline here, creating beautiful views that tourists from around the world flock to see. To enjoy this experience, typically vacationers would have to pay for a hotel costing upwards of $400 a night—or they can try a new option in the so-called “sharing” economy.

Home-sharing websites like Airbnb allow homeowners and apartment dwellers to rent their home and spare bedrooms to vacationers for a fraction of the cost of a hotel stay.  But on May 12, the Santa Monica City Council passed a new ordinance that will impose regulations that make that opportunity much harder to come by.
“Santa Monica City Council is really at war with its own citizens on this matter,” said James Gattuso, a senior research fellow in regulatory policy at The Heritage Foundation.
“Airbnb is a service that is very popular with owners, very popular with visitors—it serves a need on both sides,” Gattuso said. “A lot of residents in Santa Monica want to use Airbnb in order to help themselves make ends meet.”

The ordinance imposes strict restrictions on who can rent out their spare bedrooms for less than 30 days, including requiring those who wish to rent out their spare bedroom or apartment to apply for a business license and to remain on the property during the guest’s stay. The ordinance also imposes a 14 percent hotel tax on hosts.

On June 15, when the law goes into effect, Santa Monica will see a drastic reduction in its Airbnb options, banning 1,400 of about 1,700 vacation rentals available on home sharing websites, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The city of Santa Monica will spend $410,000 in the first year of the ordinance to create an enforcement department that will patrol for violators. Residents could face a $500 fine for violating the ordinance.

The city has set up a website explaining the new ordinance, but for people like Catherine Healy, who says Airbnb supplements her income—including providing money for her to pay for groceries—the council’s decision has real consequences.

“I have three jobs to make ends meet and Airbnb is one of them. All I’m doing is creating a win-win situation for the economy in Santa Monica,” Healy said. For DonnaLee McHood and her boyfriend Ruben Martinez, Airbnb provides extra income. “It’s been great. We’re disappointed [with the new ordinance], but at least we still have our full-time jobs,” McHood said. Martinez believes the move will hurt the city in the end.

“It’s a good way to visit places and spend less money on your lodging accommodations,” Martinez said. “Less people may come to visit because hotels out here are really expensive.”
The Daily Signal reached out to Santa Monica Mayor Kevin McKeown and each council member for comment. No one responded to our request for an interview.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Big Business Surging Despite Government Over Reach

With the coming of the progressive socialists taking control of the government in 2009, little is left to wonder why business has decided they will do what ever it takes to make a profit despite government overreach. New regulations to stem innovation and expansion have exploded since 2009.

Unions as well are finding it more and more difficult to organization larger businesses that have substantial financial power to fight back. The unions share of the labor market has dropped to it's lowest level in decades. The only strong hold remaining for them is government. Who knew?

U.S. Big Business Outpacing U.S. Economy
Source: Andrew Flowers, "Big Business Is Getting Bigger," FiveThirtyEight, May 18, 2015

May 22, 2015

Over the last two decades, the largest U.S. companies have grown faster than the economy as a whole. And it's the biggest of big businesses that are making up a larger and larger share of the growth.
The best list of "big" businesses is the Fortune 500, which ranks the 500 largest U.S. companies by how much money they take in. The overall revenues of Fortune 500 companies have risen from 58 percent of nominal GDP in 1994 to 73 percent in 2013. While that ratio of big business revenue to GDP has ticked down over the last two years, the upward trend over two decades is clear.

As big business gets bigger, the biggest businesses are growing even faster. The Fortune 100, or the 100 companies with the highest revenue, have seen their proportion of nominal GDP rise from about 33 percent in 1994 to 46 percent in 2013. As a share of all Fortune 500 revenues, revenues for these top 100 companies were up to 63 percent in 2013 from 57 percent in 1994.
It is not clear exactly what is fueling the overall growth of top Fortune companies, but there are a number of popular views.
  • With a slew of mergers and acquisitions, big businesses might be snapping up or joining with rivals, and that corporate consolidation may have led to a concentration of market power. That is the skeptical-of-business view.
  • Alternatively, big U.S. companies might just be riding a streak of legitimate success. That is the pro-business view.
  • And there is a third explanation, which does not point to growing monopoly power nor to pure excellence: globalization. Global trade has exploded in the last two decades. And these giant U.S. businesses might just be leveraging their already large scale to grow further in overseas markets.

Hydraulic Fracturing Local Bans : States Fight Back

Interesting debate - the question that remains is why ban something that will greatly benefit the community and the country? Is it because of the perceived damage to the environment from the extraction out ways the benefits, or misleading and or false information about oil ands gas extraction?

The fight that is beginning to rage over the extraction of oil and gas in local areas is larger then just about environmental damage, this is Gruber situation fueled by the federal government's demand for renewable energy.

States vs Local Hydraulic Fracturing Bans
Source: Lauren Aragon, "States vs Local Hydraulic Fracturing Bans," National Center for Policy Analysis, May 20, 2015.

May 22, 2015

In the past few years, hydraulic fracturing/frac bans have become increasingly common in communities opposed to the drilling practice that extracts oil and natural gas from shale rock by injecting sand, water and chemicals into the ground. Such bans focus on either the actual drilling methods or the transportation of waste from the hydraulic fracturing process.

State legislatures are now finding themselves in a fight against local authorities for control of hydraulic fracturing regulations in their own states. While Vermont and New York have already implemented state wide bans on hydraulic fracturing, Texas has banned local bans and Oklahoma is considering banning local bans on the practice as well.
Current hydraulic fracturing ban legislation:
  • Over 470 local measures have passed in towns, cities, and counties.
  • Nearly half of the states and Washington D.C. have seen at least one such local measure passed.
  • Oklahoma introduced legislation imposing a ban on local frac bans.
The debate has sparked questions over who has the right to regulate oil and gas activity in the state, state agencies or individual communities. For New York, the state-wide ban followed a court decision that town zoning laws allowed the banning of hydraulic fracturing.

In an attempt to achieve a compromise between state and local control, state legislation banning cities and counties from outlawing hydraulic fracturing opens the door for local oil and gas regulations, specifically where it concerns health and safety.

Texas House Bill 40, signed into law this week by Governor Greg Abbott, includes a four-part test for determining city drilling regulations while prohibiting hydraulic fracturing bans throughout the state.


Oil Extraction Ripe for Innovation : A Supply & Demand Market

It appears the naysayers are having a good day believing their prediction of the new technology, 'fracking' will not be able to sustain market price fluctuations. In some way they were right, but the best way they are wrong, as usual.

As the market demands more oil and at a price that the consumer believes is the right price, that is they are willing to pay, the free market will be there to meet the demand by developing new technologies for the extraction of resources at a profit. This is how it works in a free market.

In a market where the government is in control, there will be little or no innovation as the motivation to expand and develop will be in the hands of bureaucrats. Little wonder then why the progressive socialist liberal democrats that have sided with renewable energy sources, like wind, solar and biofuels like Ethanol, giving them huge subsides, are losing ground to the free market.

But in reality, the progressives never intended to for the renewable energy sources to be a reliable energy replacement for fossil energy, their attack on the fossil energy industry was political and ideological.

Mr Obama, and his progressive friends, believed if he could destroy the fossil energy industry he could limit the options that most citizens would have to prosper in a free society. He knows that the freedom to chose is death to his dream of a socialist America.

America's Shale Boom Not Over Despite Low Petroleum Prices
Source: Mark P. Mills, "Shale 2.0: Technology and the Coming Bid-Data Revolution in America's Shale Oil Fields," Manhattan Institute, May 16, 2015.

May 22, 2015

With petroleum prices down 50 percent over the past year, many analysts and pundits are predicting the end of America's shale oil boom. High prices, shale skeptics argue, created a bubble of activity in unsustainably expensive shale fields. As shale-related businesses contract, consolidate, and adjust to the new price regime, a major shale bust is inevitable, they add, with ghost towns littering idle fields from Texas to North Dakota.

It is true that the oil-price collapse was caused by the astonishing, unexpected growth in U.S. shale output, responsible for three-fourths of new global oil supply since 2008. And as lower prices roil operators and investors, the shale skeptics' case may seem vindicated. But their history is false: the shale revolution, "Shale 1.0," was sparked not by high prices — it began when prices were at today's low levels — but by the invention of new technologies.

John Shaw, chair of Harvard's Earth and Planetary Sciences Department, recently observed: "It's fair to say we're not at the end of this [shale] era, we're at the very beginning." The technology deployed in America's shale fields has advanced more rapidly than in any other segment of the energy industry. Shale 2.0 promises to ultimately yield break-even costs of $5-$20 per barrel — in the same range as Saudi Arabia's vaunted low-cost fields.

The transition to Shale 2.0 will take the following steps:
  • Oil from Shale 1.0 will be sold from the oversupply currently filling up storage tanks.
  • More oil will be unleashed from the surplus of shale wells already drilled but not in production.
  • Companies will "high-grade" shale assets, replacing older techniques with the newest, most productive technologies in the richest parts of the fields.
  • And as the shale industry begins to embrace big-data analytics, Shale 2.0 begins.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Poverty Stablizes Democrat Party : More Poverty, More Votes

 Lies and the lies told by liers are main stream - all that is required is a little quote from Hillary, "a willing suspenion of disblief". Sadly there are millions that are willing to suspend common ssense along with disblief. 

Unraveling the Poverty Myths Obama Is Promoting
Stephen Moore /                                    

Our class warrior in chief was at it again last week complaining about our “ideological divides that have prevented us from making progress” in solving problems like poverty. Just when you thought you’d heard it all.
Our most ideological president perhaps ever is arguing that there is too much ideology in Washington. Wow. Apparently an ideology is a firmly held belief that is held by other people—especially those on the right.
In a discussion on poverty at Georgetown University, the president managed to blame the slow-growth economy and stagnant wages on everything from Ayn Rand (who promoted “cold hearted policies” and classified everyone as a “moocher”) to California’s Proposition 13 (which is responsible for the Golden State’s dreadful schools). Everything has contributed to our current malaise except for his own failed policies.
Here’s a brief truth squad examination of Obama’s mythologies and misstatements of fact.
President Obama: “The stereotype is that you’ve got folks on the left who just want to pour more money into social programs, and don’t care anything about culture or parenting or family structures … ”
After more than $22 trillion spent on the War on Poverty since 1964 (in inflation adjusted dollars)—how is it a stereotype to say the left only wants to pour money at programs?
This official poverty rate has remained virtually stagnant since the War on Poverty began.
Just a few weeks ago the president blamed the Baltimore riots on Republicans for not spending and borrowing even more money on his social programs. He sounded like a parody of himself.
If the left really wants to advance cultural values like work, why do they oppose reforms to a welfare system that requires able-bodied adult Americans to work in exchange for receiving welfare benefits like food stamps?
Obama: “It is a mistake for us to suggest that somehow every effort we make has failed and we are powerless to address poverty. That’s just not true. First of all, just in absolute terms, the poverty rate when you take into account tax and transfer programs, has been reduced about 40 percent since 1967.”

There are two problems with this defense of the welfare state. First, the official poverty was falling before 1965 and at a faster rate than after the Great Society got rolling in the mid-1960s. This official poverty rate has remained virtually stagnant since the War on Poverty began.
Second, the decline in poverty that Obama is boasting about is only after taking into account tax credits and government handouts and welfare benefits. When excluding these programs there has been little progress at all. Redistribution may have raised the material living standards of some of the poor. But it has not increased self-sufficiency.

The original purpose of the welfare state was to lift people into self-sufficiency, not to create a permanent underclass dependent on taxpayers. Lyndon Johnson told us when he started these programs that “the days of the dole are numbered.” We have passed day 18,000.

Obama also wants it both ways. He says over and over, even in this speech, that the biggest problem with the economy is income inequality because the rich are getting richer and the poor poorer. So if the poor are getting poorer, how have his social programs worked to reduce poverty?

Obama: “In some ways, rather than soften the edges of the market, we’ve turbocharged it.”
Wait, we’ve turbo-charged the free market? When? Where?

Obama: “There are programs that work to provide ladders of opportunity … but we just haven’t figured out how to scale them up.”

Hold on. One of the few programs that has proven to provide “a ladder of opportunity” is the Washington D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program for roughly 1,500 kids each year to attend private schools. They are all poor and almost all black. The graduation rates for these kids have improved in some cases markedly.

But guess who doesn’t want to “scale up” this successful program (which is, by the way, one of the few programs that would actually be appropriate for the federal government to scale up)? In every budget Obama has submitted, he has proposed eliminating the program.
It’s more than a little hypocritical for a president who sends his own daughters to private schools that cost $30,000 a year to prevent poor children in Washington, D.C., from attending those same schools.
Obama: “And so over time, families frayed. Men who could not get jobs left. Mothers who are single are not able to read as much to their kids.”

The president acts as though “families frayed” by accident. No, there were major cultural shifts that contributed to the major decline in marriage and rise in unwed births, not to mention the introduction of a massive government welfare system that financially took the place of the father.
In 1960, not even one in four black children were born without a father in the home. By 2013 that number had soared, tragically, to nearly three of every four black children being born outside of marriage. As economist Thomas Sowell has put it: “the black family survived centuries of slavery and generations of Jim Crow, but it disintegrated in the wake of the liberals’ expansion of the welfare state.”

Obama: “You look at state budgets, you look at city budgets, and you look at federal budgets, and we don’t make those same common investments that we used to. … And there’s been a very specific ideological push not to make those investments.”

In 1950 total state, local and federal government spending was just over $500 billion (in constant 2015 dollars) and 22.2 percent of our GDP. Today it is nearly $6 trillion and 33 percent of our GDP. Under Obama federal spending will reach $4 trillion next year and borrowing to finance these “common investments” will have risen by $8 trillion over his tenure.
The only thing that has been underfunded over the last decade is middle-class family incomes, which have stagnated.

Obama: “We don’t dispute that the free market is the greatest producer of wealth in history—it has lifted billions of people out of poverty. We believe in property rights, rule of law, so forth.”
No, you don’t. And that’s the whole problem.

Hillary's Email Release Damaging : Attkisson Investigation

Hillary's persona for truth : This is all you going to get

 If you have been watching Bret Bear on FOX, Charles Krauthammer gave the perfect summation on just what the email release really means. It's all nonsense.

In sum, the Clinton's have scrubbed the total email catch and leased only what they thought wouldn't hurt Hillary. They destroyed anything that could link Hillary to the disaster that is Benghazi or any connection to her illegal shake down of influence peddling and their money laundering scheme of the Clinton foundation.

To believe the Clintons would actually give up damaging information is to believe Obama is here to help. Both are beyond reason and belief.

Newly Released Emails Cast Doubt on Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi Claims
Sharyl Attkisson /  

Newly reported emails indicate Hillary Clinton was personally made aware of security dangers in the months leading up to the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attacks on U.S. compounds in Benghazi, Libya. That’s according to the House Benghazi Committee, which has obtained 300 long-sought emails from the State Department among tens of thousands under subpoena.

The Benghazi Committee says there are a number of emails in which State Department personnel specifically passed along security issues to Clinton in 2011 and 2012 before the attacks. An August 2012 email to then-Secretary of State Clinton from one of her top aides, Jake Sullivan, referred to “some warning signs” regarding the deteriorating security situation.

Benghazi Bombshell: Clinton State Department Official Reveals Details of Alleged Document Review
Clinton has long denied being in the loop about mounting dangers in Benghazi and her agency’s rejection of security requests from U.S. personnel, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, who was killed in the attacks. Though Clinton was sent multiple cables about security prior to the assaults, she explained that she got far too many to read.
“They are all addressed to me,” Clinton told the House Foreign Affairs Committee in January 2013. “They do not all come to me. They are reported through the bureaucracy.”
Hillary Clinton testifies before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on Benghaz, Jan. 23, 2013. (Photo: Ron Sachs/Newscom)
Hillary Clinton testifies before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on Benghaz, Jan. 23, 2013. (Photo: Ron Sachs/Newscom)
The newly reported emails differ from the cables in that they were sent directly to Clinton’s personal email server and, in some cases, were from one of her top aides.
Another question raised by the newly provided emails is whether there was any improper handling of sensitive government information on her personal server. Experts say personal servers lack the strictest level of security and risk being compromised by U.S. enemies.
Hillary Clinton has long denied being in the loop about mounting dangers in Benghazi.
Last March, Clinton told reporters, “I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. There is no classified material.”
But today, it was reported that a portion of at least one email provided to Congress is considered so sensitive that the FBI has since classified it to prohibit its public release.
Today, Clinton responded by saying, “I’m aware the FBI has asked that a portion of one email be held back … but that doesn’t change the fact that all of the information in the emails was handled appropriately.”

26 Ways the Media Botched Their Reporting on the Latest Benghazi Report
Clinton also told reporters today, “I’m glad the emails are starting to come out. … I’ve asked to be done for a long time. … I want people to be able to see all of them … it is the fact that we have released all of them that have any government relationship whatsoever.”
Gowdy says he is not confident the committee will get all relevant material, because Clinton has acknowledged deleting 30,000 emails that she said were personal in nature.
Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C. (Photo: Jeff Malet Photography/Newscom)
“To assume a self-selected public record is complete, when no one with a duty or responsibility to the public had the ability to take part in the selection, requires a leap in logic no impartial reviewer should be required to make and strains credibility,” said Gowdy in a statement today.
Gowdy added that there are “inexplicable gaps” in the secretary’s emails during key times of her involvement in Libya policy including:
  • June 10-Aug. 8, 2011—Time period where Clinton was heavily involved in Libya policy.
  • Sept. 14-Oct. 21, 2011—Dates of Clinton’s trip to Libya, when the now-famous picture of Clinton on her blackberry was taken
  • Oct. 21, 2011-Jan. 5, 2012—Time period when the State Department was extending the Benghazi mission for another year
  • April 27- July 4, 2012—Time period of increased security during which an IED was thrown at the compound blasting a hole through the wall and during which the British ambassador was attacked
Four Americans, including Stevens, Tyrone Woods, Glen Doherty and Sean Smith, were killed in the Benghazi attacks.