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Writing in 2006, John Hood (former president of the John Locke Foundation) explains:
The Founding Fathers were bloggers.
Well, okay, let me rephrase that. Many of the Founders were the 18th-century equivalent of a certain category of modern-day bloggers – writers on political topics, typically using a pen name, who are also connected to formal journalism and simultaneously active in partisan politics.
John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, Gouveuneur Morris – these and other notables of the Founding were not just drafters and signers of America’s founding documents, wartime leaders, statesmen, diplomats, and jurists. They were also prolific media commentators capable of great works of political philosophy (such as The Federalist Papers and Cato’s Letters, both originally published as newspaper columns) as well as ribald jests, character assassination, and political rumor-mongering.
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It doesn’t get any better than this – Ray Charles singing America the Beautiful in 1999 in the video above. Except maybe the 1991 version below with some guests including Stevie Wonder, Michael McDonald and Michael Bolton, and the duet version below with Alicia Keys. Happy Birthday America!
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Writing in the Wall Street Journal on July 2, 2011, Walter Russell Mead shared an optimistic message that “The Future Still Belongs to America,” here’s an excerpt (emphasis added):
It is, the pundits keep telling us, a time of American decline, of a post-American world. The 21st century will belong to someone else. This fashionable chatter could not be more wrong. Sure, America has big problems. But what is unique about the United States is not our problems. Every major country in the world today faces extraordinary challenges—and the 21st century will throw more at us. Yet looking toward the tumultuous century ahead, no country is better positioned to take advantage of the opportunities or manage the dangers than the United States.
The great trend of this century is the accelerating and deepening wave of change sweeping through every element of human life. Each year sees more scientists with better funding, better instruments and faster, smarter computers probing deeper and seeing further into the mysteries of the physical world. Each year more entrepreneurs are seeking to convert those discoveries and insights into ways to produce new things, or to make old things better and more cheaply. Each year the world’s financial markets are more eager and better prepared to fund new startups, underwrite new investments, and otherwise help entrepreneurs and firms deploy new knowledge and insight more rapidly.
Scientific and technological revolutions trigger economic, social and political upheavals. Industry migrates around the world at a breathtaking—and accelerating—rate. Each year the price of communication goes down and the means of communication increase.
New ideas disturb the peace of once-stable cultures. Young people grasp the possibilities of change and revolt at the conservatism of their elders. Sacred taboos and ancient hierarchies totter; women demand equality; citizens rise against monarchs. All over the world more tea is thrown into more harbors as more and more people decide that the times demand change.
This tsunami of change affects every society—and turbulent politics in so many countries make for a turbulent international environment. Managing, mastering and surviving change: These are the primary tasks of every ruler and polity. Increasingly these are also the primary tasks of every firm and household.
This challenge will not go away. On the contrary: It has increased, and it will go on increasing through the rest of our time. The 19th century was more tumultuous than its predecessor; the 20th was more tumultuous still, and the 21st will be the fastest, most exhilarating and most dangerous ride the world has ever seen.
Everybody is going to feel the stress, but the United States of America is better placed to surf this transformation than any other country. Change is our home field. It is who we are and what we do. Brazil may be the country of the future, but America is its hometown.
Happy Fourth of July.
Former federal judge savages the Drug War and compares its damage to the destruction of cities in World War II
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From Conor Friedersdorf writing in The Atlantic about federal judge Nancy Gertner, who left the bench after 17 years, and compared the damage caused by drug prohibition to the destruction of cities in World War II in a speech she gave last Sunday at the Aspen Ideas Festival:
Former Federal Judge Nancy Gertner was appointed to the federal bench by Bill Clinton in 1994. She presided over trials for 17 years. And Sunday, she stood before a crowd at The Aspen Ideas Festival to denounce most punishments that she imposed.
Among 500 sanctions that she handed down, “80 percent I believe were unfair and disproportionate,” she said. “I left the bench in 2011 to join the Harvard faculty to write about those stories––to write about how it came to pass that I was obliged to sentence people to terms that, frankly, made no sense under any philosophy.”
No theory of retribution or social change could justify them, she said. And that dispiriting conclusion inspired the radical idea that she presented: a call for the U.S. to mimic its decision after World War II to look to the future and rebuild rather than trying to punish or seek retribution. As she sees it, the War on Drugs ought to end in that same spirit. “Although we were not remotely the victors of that war, we need a big idea in order to deal with those who were its victims,” she said, calling for something like a Marshall Plan.
She went on to savage the War on Drugs at greater length.
“This is a war that I saw destroy lives,” she said. “It eliminated a generation of African American men, covered our racism in ostensibly neutral guidelines and mandatory minimums… and created an intergenerational problem––although I wasn’t on the bench long enough to see this, we know that the sons and daughters of the people we sentenced are in trouble, and are in trouble with the criminal justice system.”
She added that the War on Drugs eliminated the political participation of its casualties. “We were not leveling cities as we did in WWII with bombs, but with prosecution, prison, and punishment,” she said, explaining that her life’s work is now focused on trying to reconstruct the lives that she undermined––as a general matter, by advocating for reform, and as a specific project: she is trying to go through the list of all the people she sentenced to see who deserves executive clemency.
Her remarks can be watched in full beginning at about the 41 minute mark in the video above.
Explaining the White House (and national) gender pay gap — neither are primarily the result of gender discrimination
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I reported yesterday that there is a gender pay gap at the White House, based on an analysis of White House salaries for 2015. That analysis revealed that the median pay for female staffers at the White House is $65,650 compared to the median pay for men of $78,000, resulting in a 15.8% gender pay disparity. How can we explain the fact that women working at Obama’s White House earn only 84.2 cents on average for every $1 earned by men? Discrimination? Probably not. More likely explanations include factors that result in a national gender wage gap, currently at 17.9% according to the most recent BLS data — factors like age, continuous work experience, marital status and children.
The chart above might help to explain the 15.8% gender pay disparity at the White House (WH), by showing a gender breakdown for White House staff at different salary rankings: the top 25/50/75/100 highest paid employees and the bottom 25/50/75/100 lowest paid employees. Because many employees make the same salary, I sometimes had to include more or fewer employees to the salary categories, e.g. the top 51 and the bottom 55, etc.
Here are some facts:
1. For the bottom ranked 25, 50, 75, and 100 lowest-paid White House employees in 2015, female staffers are over-represented in each category, with more than a 55% share of each of those four categories. Looking at the 100 lowest-paid WH employees with salaries between $41,000 and $47,361, women represent 57% of that group. Given the fact that women now earn about 57% of bachelor’s degrees in the US, and assuming that most WH staffers have at least a bachelor’s degree, it makes sense that women outnumber men at the White House for the more entry-level, lower-paid positions.
2. For the highest ranked 25, 50, 75 and 100 highest-paid employees, male staffers are over-represented in each of those four categories. Among the 51 highest paid White House staffers with salaries between $143,079 and the maximum of $173,922, male staffers outnumber females 30 to 21, and by percentage represent almost 59% of those senior employees. For the top 105 highest paid White House staffers with salaries of $120,000 and higher, men outnumber women 58 to 46, and represent a 55.2% share of that group.
MP: So here’s an economic explanation for the 15.8% gender pay disparity at the White House.
Women are far over-represented for the more entry-level, junior positions at the White House and probably for other government-related jobs in DC. But over time there are probably more women than men who voluntarily choose to forgo full-time job responsibilities in favor of greater family responsibilities, child care, and more flexible, family-friendly or part-time employment options.
Therefore, it might just be a reality that men represent a majority of the professionals in the Washington, D.C. labor market who have the necessary qualifications to be hired for the highest-paying, senior staff level positions at the White House. And what are some of those qualifications? Probably at least ten or more years of continuous work experience in government, public policy, nonprofit organizations or legal services, and the willingness and ability to work 50-60 hour weeks when necessary. So even though the White House might try to hire equal numbers of men and women for senior positions, they are likely faced with the economic reality that the number of qualified men available to be hired for senior staff positions is greater than the number of qualified women. In that case, a natural gender imbalance in favor of men emerges for the higher-paid, more senior level positions, and the White House thus has a 15.8% gender pay gap in favor of men.
In other words, almost all of the 15.8% gender pay disparity at the White House can be explained by age, continuous work experience, hours worked, marital status and number of children, the same factors that can help explain the 17.9% gender pay gap nationally. For example, the BLS data show that young women 25-34 years old earn on average 90.2% of their male counterparts, and women who have never married earn almost 96% of their male counterparts. In contrast, women who are married earn only 76.6% of what married men earn.
Bottom Line: It’s probably the case that none of the 15.8% gender pay gap at the White House is a direct result of gender discrimination. Rather, the pay gap at the Obama White House is likely the result of the voluntary choices of women, many of who marry and have children as they get older, which makes them less available for senior White House positions that require decades of uninterrupted work experience and long work hours. For example, one study of MBA graduates of the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business found no gender difference in hours worked or incomes for recent MBA graduates. But significant pay gaps were found after longer periods of time, due to differences by gender in career interruptions and increasing differences by gender over time in the number of hours worked following graduation.
Here’s one of the key findings of that study on MBA graduates (“Dynamics of the Gender Gap for Young Professionals in the Financial and Corporate Sectors“):
Differential changes by sex in labor market activity in the period surrounding a first birth play a key role in this process. The presence of children is associated with less accumulated job experience, more career interruptions, shorter work hours, and substantial earnings declines for female but not for male MBAs.
Although President Obama’s rhetoric would have us believe that the 17.9% gender pay gap reported by the BLS is entirely the result of gender discrimination, which can only be corrected by legislation and executive orders, the similar 15.8% pay gap at his own White House suggests that factors besides gender discrimination can explain most gender pay disparities – like motherhood and marriage, and other voluntary family choices. A salary analysis of most organizations like Target, Costco, Ford, and Google would likely find a gender pay gap similar to the one at the Obama White House. And those gender pay gaps could likely be mostly, if not completely, explained by the same factors that explain Obama’s 15.8% gender pay disparity at the White House.
If President Obama applies the bogus statistical deception he uses to make statements like “Women are paid 77 cents on the dollar for doing the same work as men” — by comparing unadjusted aggregate income differences by gender — then he now has to admit that he is guilty of gender discrimination for paying his female staffers “84 cents on the dollar for doing the same work as male staffers.” But if he defends the 15.8% gender pay gap at the White House as a natural outcome of voluntary choices and not the result of discrimination, then he should stop with the pay gap rhetoric, stop the lecturing, stop the executive orders, stop the legislation and stop the presidential proclamations every year in April about National Equal Pay Day.
Glass ceiling at the White House: Female staffers earn $12,350 (and 15.8%) less than their male counterparts
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As required by Congress since 1995, the White House delivered its annual report to Congress today listing the title and salary of every White House employee. Here’s a link to the report and it also appears below as a searchable table (you can download the data by clicking on MENU). Here are some details of 2015 White House salaries:
1. There are currently 472 employees listed in the White House salary report: 263 female staffers and 209 male staffers. As you can see above, the White House report provides employee names, positions and salaries, but does not provide data on gender. Based on the names provided, the gender for most employees was obvious (e.g. Thomas, Matthew, Maureen, Stephanie), and for those names that weren’t obvious (Jem, Casey, Sabey, Kelsey, Vy, etc.) I conducted basic Internet research that included Google searches, image searches, Wikipedia, and Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn searches.
2. The White House salaries this year range between a minimum of $41,000 for a position titled “Analyst” and a maximum of $173,922 for 18 employees (9 male and 9 female) with the senior-most positions like Josh Earnest (Press Secretary), Valerie Jarrett (Senior Advisor to the President) and Susan Rice (National Security Advisor). The average White House salary is $85,224 and the median salary is $71,054.
3. By gender, the median salary for the 263 female White House employees is $65,650 and the median salary for the 209 male staffers is $78,000 (see chart above). Therefore, female staffers in the Obama White House currently earn 84.2% of the median salary for male staffers, or 84.2 cents for every $1 men earn, and there is a 15.8% gender pay gap at the White House. That pay gap is slightly smaller than the 17.9% gender pay gap at the White House last year, but is still almost two times the average gender pay gap for Washington, DC of 9.2% according to the most recent data from the Department of Labor (see Table 3 and chart below).
4. Stated in dollars, the typical female staffer working in the Obama White House earns $12,350 less on average per year than the typical male staffer. Because of that significant gender pay gap, women working for Obama will have to continue to work until mid-March in 2016 before they earn what the typical male staffer will earn working just this year. That is, Equal Pay Day for the female White House staffers won’t take place until next March 14, 2016!
And yet despite the gender pay gap at the White House, Obama makes presidential proclamations every year for National Equal Pay Day, like this one earlier this year to mark April 14 as the calendar day in 2015 that the average woman had to continue working to earn the same income as the average man earned in 2014:
On average, full-time working women earn 78 cents for every dollar earned by men, and women of color face an even greater disparity. This wage gap puts women at a career-long disadvantage, and it harms families, communities, and our entire economy. Today, in more than half of all households, women are breadwinners — 49 million children depend on women’s salaries. But our economy and our policies have not caught up to this reality. When women experience pay discrimination it limits their future, and it also hurts the people they provide for. It means less for their families’ everyday needs, for investments in their children’s futures, and for their own retirements. These effects reduce our shared prosperity and restrict our Nation’s economic growth. Wage inequality affects us all, and we each must do more to make certain that women are full and equal participants in our economy.
I do hereby proclaim April 14, 2015, as National Equal Pay Day. I call upon all Americans to recognize the full value of women’s skills and their significant contributions to the labor force, acknowledge the injustice of wage inequality, and join efforts to achieve equal pay.
So women working at the Obama White House are doing a little better than women nationwide, but will still have to work an additional 49 days into 2016 to earn the same salary as the typical male staffer will earn this year. The female staffers might want to ask their boss why he talks so much about gender disparities, pay discrimination, and achieving equal pay while they suffer from a glass ceiling at the White House and an annual pay disparity of $12,350 compared to their male counterparts!
Bottom Line: In reality, the pay gap that has persisted every year at the Obama White House is not likely the result of gender discrimination, just like the findings of gender pay gaps in the general economy or at specific companies or organizations are also not likely the result of gender discrimination. While Obama and gender activists constantly lecture us about gender pay disparities nationally, with the assumption that any unadjusted pay gap using aggregate median salaries can only result from gender discrimination, the persistent gender pay gap at Obama’s own White House exposes the hypocrisy of Obama and his wage gap activist supporters.
If a 15.8% pay gap at the Obama White House results from factors having nothing to do with gender discrimination, isn’t is possible that the national gender pay gap also has very little to do with discrimination? If a 15.8% White House gender pay gap can be explained by factors other than discrimination, can’t a similar gender pay gap, if it exists at Target, Facebook, the University of Michigan, or ExxonMobil, also be explained by factors other than discrimination?
President Obama can’t have it both ways, either: a) there are gender pay differences throughout the economy and in any organization including at the White House, which can be explained by factors other than gender discrimination including age, years of continuous work experience, education, differences in positions, hours worked, marital status, number of children, workplace environment and safety, industry differences, etc., or b) any gender pay gap in aggregate, unadjusted salaries automatically exposes gender discrimination – including the White House – and Obama needs to explain why he is “waging a war on his women staffers” by paying them less than men on average.
So either: a) there is a glass ceiling at the White House and Discriminator-in-Chief Obama is guilty himself of paying his female staffers significantly less than men by $12,350 per year on average, or b) Obama is guilty of statistical fraud and deception for continuing to spread misinformation about the alleged discrimination-based gender pay gap at the national level with bogus claims like “Women are paid 77 cents on the dollar for doing the same work as men.”
Perhaps the persistent gender pay gap at the White House will move us further in the direction of statistical and economic sanity on an issue that has been plagued for generations by politics, gender demagoguery, and statistical fraud. It’s time to finally kill the gender wage gap myth once and for all! Let’s follow Christina Sommers’ advice to women’s advocates and Take back the truth.
US drug war sentencing: 16 years for a notorious Colombian narcoterrorist vs. life in prison for weeds?
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America, here’s your senseless, immoral, expensive and cruel Drug War….
1. The Department of Justice reported yesterday that a “Colombian Paramilitary Leader Was Sentenced to More Than 15 Years in Prison for International Drug Trafficking,” here are some details:
A senior paramilitary leader and one of Colombia’s most notorious drug traffickers was sentenced today to serve 190 months in prison for leading an international drug trafficking conspiracy that imported into the United States ton-quantities of cocaine. Through his leadership position in the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia, or AUC, in Spanish), Salvatore Mancuso-Gomez directed the manufacture and shipment of over 100,000 kilograms of cocaine [about 220,000 pounds or 110 tons or almost 100 million grams] into the United States and elsewhere.
In addition to enriching himself, Mancuso-Gomez and the AUC used this drug money to raise and arm a paramilitary force of more than 30,000 fighters and cement his control over regions of Colombia. This case is yet another example of our continued commitment to collaborating with our international partners to prosecute criminals and warlords who traffic in illegal narcotics, violence and intimidation.
The case was investigated by the US Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Bogotá and Cartagena, Colombia, Country Offices, and the DEA Special Operations Division.
2. Meanwhile, in hundreds of cases, the US routinely sentences Americans to life in prison for offenses involving weeds, for example:
Here’s a few more related Drug War items…..
4. Chicago Weed Arrests: During the last 90 days in the city of Chicago, there were 2,814 weed-related arrests (76% of those arrested were black), resulting in 98 incarcerations, and which required 8,442 law enforcement hours performing and filing those arrests for weeds. Find out more here.
5. VIDEO: Policing for profit….
Steve Hayward pointed out recently that economist Thomas Sowell shares the same birthday as Frederic Bastiat – they were both born on June 30. To recognize Bastiat’s birthday I shared some of his quotes on CD earlier this week, and I’ll now do the same today for Thomas Sowell, who turned 85 yesterday. Here is Thomas Sowell’s webpage and here is his Wikipedia entry. Milton Friedman once said,
1. From a 2013 Thomas Sowell’s column “An Old ‘New’ Program“:
Like so many things that seem new, ObamaCare is in many ways old wine in new bottles. What is older than the idea that some exalted elite know what is good for us better than we know ourselves? Obama uses the rhetoric of going “forward,” but he is in fact going backward to an age when despots told everybody what they had better do and better not do.
Yet another way in which ObamaCare is an old political story is that it began as supposedly a way to deal with the problem of a segment of the population — those without health insurance. But, instead of directly helping those particular people to get insurance, the “solution” was to expand the government’s power over everybody, including people who already had health insurance that they wanted to keep.
Since there has never been a society of human beings without at least some segment with some problem, this is a formula for a never-ending expansion of government power.
2. In this 2013 column, Thomas Sowell discusses “busybody politics”:
Whether in housing, education or innumerable other aspects of life, the key to busybody politics, and its endlessly imposed “solutions,” is that third parties pay no price for being wrong. This not only presents opportunities for the busybodies to engage in moral preening, but also to flatter themselves that they know better what is good for other people than these other people know for themselves.
ObamaCare is perhaps the ultimate in busybody politics. People who have never even run a drugstore, much less a hospital, blithely prescribe what must be done by the entire medical system, from doctors to hospitals to producers of pharmaceutical drugs to health insurance companies.
3. Thomas Sowell wrote this in 2009 when Obamacare was being rushed through Congress before the August recess:
As for those uninsured Americans who are supposedly the reason for all this sound and fury [Obamacare], there is remarkably little interest in why they are uninsured, despite the incessant repetition of the fact that they are. The endless repetition serves a political purpose but digging into the underlying facts might undermine that purpose. Many find it sufficient to say that the uninsured cannot “afford” medical insurance. But what you can afford depends not only on how much money you have but also on what your priorities are.
Many people who are uninsured have incomes from which medical insurance premiums could readily be paid without any undue strain. Many young people, especially, don’t buy medical insurance and elderly people already have Medicare. The poor have Medicaid available, even though many do not bother to sign up for it, until they are already in the hospital– which they can do then.
Throwing numbers around about how many people are uninsured may create the impression that the uninsured cannot get medical treatment, when in fact they can get medical treatment at any hospital emergency room.
4. From one of Sowell’s Random Thoughts columns in February 2014:
With his decision declaring ObamaCare constitutional, Chief Justice John Roberts turned what F.A. Hayek called “The Road to Serfdom” into a super highway. The government all but owns us now, and can order us to do pretty much whatever it wants us to do.
5. From Sowell’s column in 2009 “The ‘Costs’ of Medical Care: Part III“:
If we cannot afford the quantity and quality of medical care that we want now, the government has no miraculous way of enabling us to afford it in the future.
If you think the government can lower medical costs by eliminating “waste, fraud and abuse,” as some Washington politicians claim, the logical question is: Why haven’t they done that already?
Over the years, scandal after scandal has shown waste, fraud and abuse to be rampant in Medicare and Medicaid. Why would anyone imagine that a new government medical program will do what existing government medical programs have clearly failed to do?
If we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals and pharmaceutical drugs now, how can we afford to pay for doctors, hospitals and pharmaceutical drugs, in addition to a new federal bureaucracy to administer a government-run medical system?
6. From The Art of the Impossible in 2013:
Do you seriously believe that millions more people can be given medical care and vast new bureaucracies created to administer payment for it, with no additional costs?
Just as there is no free lunch, there is no free red tape. Bureaucrats have to eat, just like everyone else, and they need a place to live and some other amenities. How do you suppose the price of medical care can go down when the costs of new government bureaucracies are added to the costs of the medical treatment itself?
And where are the extra doctors going to come from, to treat the millions of additional patients? Training more people to become doctors is not free. Politicians may ignore costs but ignoring those costs will not make them go away. With bureaucratically controlled medical care, you are going to need more doctors, just to treat a given number of patients, because time that is spent filling out government forms is time that is not spent treating patients. And doctors have the same 24 hours in the day as everybody else.
When you add more patients to more paperwork per patient, you are talking about still more costs. How can that lower medical costs? But although that may be impossible, politics is the art of the impossible. All it takes is rhetoric and a public that does not think beyond the rhetoric they hear.
7. From Thomas Sowell’s book “Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy” (p. 570-571):
Often related to the notion of reasonable or affordable prices is the idea of keeping “costs” down by various government devices. But prices are not costs. Prices are what pay for costs. Where the costs are not covered by the prices that are legally allowed to be charged, the supply of the goods or services simply tends to decline in quantity or quality, whether those goods are apartments, medicines, or other things.
The cost of medical care is not reduced in the slightest when the government imposes lower rates of pay for doctors or hospitals. There are still just as many resources required as before to build and equip a hospital or to train a medical student to become a doctor. Countries which impose lower prices on medical treatment have ended up with longer waiting lists to see doctors, less modern equipment in their hospitals and, in the case of Britain, a substantial proportion of their doctors have come from Third World countries with lower quality medical training, because of an inadequate supply of British doctors willing to practice medicine in Britain. Costs have not been lowered for the same medical care. Lower prices have been paid for lower quality treatment.
MP: Something to keep in mind the next time you hear the frequently repeated nonsense that Obamacare “will bend the health care cost curve down.”
8. From one of Sowell’s column in 2014:
The front page of a local newspaper in northern California featured the headline “The Promise Denied,” lamenting the under-representation of women in computer engineering. The continuation of this long article on an inside page had the headline, “Who is to blame for this?”
In other words, the fact that reality does not match the preconceptions of the intelligentsia shows that there is something wrong with reality, for which somebody must be blamed. Apparently their preconceptions cannot be wrong.
Women, like so many other groups, seem not to be dedicated to fulfilling the prevailing fetish among the intelligentsia that every demographic group should be equally represented in all sorts of places. Women have their own agendas, and if these agendas do not usually include computer engineering, what is to be done? Draft women into engineering schools to satisfy the preconceptions of our self-anointed saviors? Or will a propaganda campaign be sufficient to satisfy those who think that they should be making other people’s choices for them?
That kind of thinking is how we got ObamaCare.
9. From Sowell’s column “Listening to a Liar: Part II” in 2009:
Even those who can believe that Obama can conjure up the money [to insure millions more people] through eliminating “waste, fraud and abuse” should ask themselves where he is going to conjure up the additional doctors, nurses, and hospitals needed to take care of millions more patients.
If he can’t pull off that miracle, then government-run medical care in the United States can be expected to produce what government-run medical care in Canada, Britain, and other countries has produced– delays of weeks or months to get many treatments, not to mention arbitrary rationing decisions by bureaucrats.
Con men understand that their job is not to use facts to convince skeptics but to use words to help the gullible to believe what they want to believe. No message has been more welcomed by the gullible, in countries around the world, than the promise of something for nothing. That is the core of Barack Obama’s medical care plan.
10. In the video below from 2009, Thomas Sowell discusses Obama’s proposed (at that time) health care reform:
Video of the day: Northwestern University Professor Laura Kipnis on how campus feminism infantilizes women
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What now gets labeled feminism on [college] campuses,” says Northwestern University Professor Laura Kipnis, “has to do with dialing back a lot the progress women have made establishing ourselves as consenting adults.”
That was the main argument of an essay Kipnis published this past February in The Chronicle of Higher Education, titled, “Sexual Paranoia Strikes Academe.” After the article appeared, the Northwestern campus erupted in protest. Students demonstrated by carrying mattresses and pillows and wrote a public letter accusing Kipnis of “[spitting] in the face of survivors of rape and sexual assault everywhere.”
Then two students filed complaints with the university, and Northwestern brought Kipnis up on charges under Title IX of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which outlaws discrimination on college campuses that receive federal support. The charges were later dismissed, but not before Kipnis wrote a follow up essay in Chronicle, “My Title IX Inquisition.”
Last week, Kipnis sat down with Reason‘s Matt Welch to talk about how campus feminism infantilizes women, Title IX, why Hustler‘s Larry Flynt and anti-porn activist Andrea Dworkin have a lot in common, and her recent book, Men: Notes from an Ongoing Investigation.
Chart of the day: US oil output increased to a 44-year high in April, just slightly below November 1970 peak
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The Energy Information Administration released monthly oil production today for April and here are some of the highlights of that report:
1. Despite low oil prices that averaged $54.45 per barrel in April, US oil production topped 9.7 million barrels per day (bpd) in April and reached the highest level of domestic crude oil output in 44 years, going back to April 1971 (see chart above).
2. US monthly oil output has been higher than April’s daily average of 9.701 million barrels in only seven other months, all in late 1970 and early 1971, placing April of this year as the 8th highest month of oil production in US history.
3. The all-time peak monthly US oil production took place in November 1970, when output averaged 10.044 million barrels per day. April’s daily production average of slightly more than 9.7 million barrels is just 343,000 barrels (and 3.4%) below US peak oil production.
4. Note in the chart that there was a gradual, four-decade decline in US crude oil that took place between the early 1970s and about 2009, and during that time domestic production fell roughly in half, from 10 million bpd in 1971 to only about 5 million bpd in 2009. Thanks to the shale revolution, America’s oil production is now almost back to the 1970 peak level of 10 million bpd, and it only took a little more than six years for the bonanza of shale oil to almost completely reverse the 40-year decline!
Bottom Line: The dramatic rebound in America’s oil production since 2009 to a near 44-year high in April of this year has to be one of the most remarkable energy success stories in US history. Despite an anticipated potential temporary slowdown in US oil production due to falling crude prices, that slowdown hasn’t yet shown up in US production statistics from the EIA. And even if we get flat oil production over the summer, we can expect future production increases later this year as oil prices rebound to above $60 per barrel by late 2015 and top $62 in 2016, according to oil futures prices on the CME. There are also ongoing advances in drilling and extraction technologies that are part of a new era known as Shale 2.0, which are sure to lead to greater efficiencies, increased recovery factors, and significantly lower costs. America’s emergence as the world’s largest producer of petroleum products and its new status as an energy superpower will continue for a long time.