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Ben Wattenberg joined AEI in 1977. He had been a speechwriter to Lyndon Johnson, an adviser to Humbert Humphrey, and a friend and long-time supporter of Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson. Wattenberg was one of the great amateur demographers of our time, and he drew vivid portraits of the nation’s ever-changing population. In 1970, he and Richard Scammon wrote “The Real Majority,” a book that remains popular in political circles for its deep understanding of American political landscape. Wattenberg and Scammon were the first analysts to name a group on which election outcomes would turn.
In the American tradition, observance of the law as a supreme principle is two-pronged: it means that laws when made must not designate winners and losers, applying unequally to different persons or groups of society; it also means that all alike, those in elected office, enjoying positions of economic power, and the common laboring inhabitant, must follow the prescriptions of the law. […]
“Maybe Americans are viewing the economy more organically, something that with time has healed itself — regardless of Washington intervention like the 2009 fiscal stimulus of the Fed’s QE policy. Right now, for instance, President Obama is two points in the red on his economic approval rating [see above chart], though the trend has moved noticeably in his favor since late 2014. So not much credit there, yet. Another year and a half of jobs gains and wage growth, however, and Obama’s economic rating might be clearly positive. One could interpret that as the public giving Obama credit for steady, though unspectacular economic stewardship.” […]
And as you can see in the above chart, we are looking at 4.8% unemployment in the final quarter with the US basically at full employment as gauged by the broader U-6 unemployment-underemployment rate, at least according to GS. Now I can already hear the cries — especially from Republicans — of “What about the labor force participation rate?” It is currently about three percentage points lower than where it was prerecession — 62.9% vs. 66% — and Goldman sees it unchanged between now and late 2016. […]
On Memorial Day, we honor the lives of military men and women who died in the service of their country. On this day of remembrance, we can also pause to consider the sacrifices of those who serve today. The military is held in the highest esteem by the American people. The Gallup Organization has been […]
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Our review of the data suggests that Americans express a relatively high level of confidence in the police, and this has changed little over time. That said, the percent of Americans who agree with the statement that blacks are discriminated against in the way they are treated by police has more than doubled from 25% when Harris first asked the question in 1969 to 53% in Harris’ online December survey. Blacks’ and whites’ opinions on questions of police behavior have moved closer to each other, but substantial gaps still exist.