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Tonight's Crazy Story:
Spider Causes House Fire...Sort Of
A homeowner who was using a blowtorch to remove cobwebs accidentally lit some dry plants on fire, causing $25,000 of damage to his home.
Topic One: Very Well-fare
Our handout society is our largest problem: "When Washington intervenes, we abjure these necessities, no longer leaving an inheritance, but sprinting onto the dole. Many Americans maintain minuscule savings and are ill-prepared for retirement. Why save for rainy days or the future? Why assist distressed neighbors, or even support your aging parents if the state will take care of all three? The family is the basic social building block. Instead of families rallying together, or neighbors helping neighbors, we affix to the state apparatus like spokes on a wheel as Washington becomes preeminent. Thomas Sowell warns, safety nets quickly become hammocks undermining communities by shifting burdens onto others."
Food stamp growth is not totally due to the recession: "A Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report in April 2012 said spending on food stamps from 2000 to 2011 went from $18 billion to $78 billion. Much of that growth came from 2007 to 2011, when SNAP benefit totals increased from approximately $38 billion to $78 billion. According to CBO, 65% of this latter growth was due to the weak economy, 20% was due to increased assistance in the 2009 stimulus, and 15% is related to “other factors,” including higher food prices. Using CBO’s numbers, approximately $26 billion in SNAP increases since 2007 can be directly attributed to the recession. This $26 billion equals about 43% of the growth since 2000, meaning 57% of growth is attributed to factors not directly associated with the recession. RJ Caster, a former district case worker for a Maryland Congressman, talked about his experience in conducting oversight on various federal assistance programs for the Congressman, including food stamps. According to Caster, “There really is no way to make sure the programs are being used effectively. Some people really are trying to help themselves, and some people are going to come back again and again because they have mental deficiencies. But there are many times where there have been people who go and get help, and they are definitely taking advantage of the system."
AEI has a new graph, showing the value of welfare benefits at various income levels. As the graph points out, a $29,000 salary plus the associate welfare benefits gives a single mom a greater net income level than a $69,000 salary.
Time for a Laugh:
"In a new interview, Kobe Bryant said that this year’s Olympic basketball team could beat the 1992 Dream Team. Of course they could. All the guys from the '92 Dream Team are, like, 50 years old."
Topic Two: Outsourcing
Is it so terrible to send jobs overseas? "In the presidential campaign, President Obama is trying to paint Mitt Romney as an incorrigible outsourcer, as if it were obvious why this is so terrible. Maybe it seems obvious: People lose their jobs when companies transfer parts of their operations overseas. But most economists believe in the theory of free trade, which holds that a nation cannot prosper by denying its citizens the benefit of cheap foreign labor. It's a hard sell because the victims are concentrated and easy to identify, while the benefit is diffused through the whole economy. That's why so many politicians pay obeisance to free trade in the abstract but oppose it in the particular."
Both Romney and Obama are operating on the idea that outsourcing is undesirable: "CEOs and small business owners alike aren't allowed the luxury of planting their flag in categorical imperatives like this for a simple reason: they have to balance the books. No one really likes firing people (not even Mitt Romney -- the great tragedy of that gaffe was that he wasn't even talking about cutting employees loose; he was talking about taking your business elsewhere when someone's providing you with a sub-par product). But often times business leaders are faced with enduring the short-term pain of a round of layoffs to attempt to preserve the long-term health of the company. It's the business equivalent of the principle of delayed gratification -- the hallmark of maturity. You don't throw a feast tonight if you won't be able to restock your empty refrigerator tomorrow. The latest round of this kind of nonsense is coming over the outsourcing debate between Mitt Romney and President Obama. Interestingly, the Romney campaign is accepting this argument on the president's terms. While Obama alleges that Romney was behind massive outsourcing efforts during his time at Bain, Romney is hitting back with accusations that many of the policies of the Obama Administration have had the same effect. You can't help but notice that both sides are conceding the premise that outsourcing is an unalloyed bad."
A new study shows that outsourcing actually creates jobs: "the researchers found that increasing offshore jobs by 1 percent is linked to a 1.72 percent increase in overall U.S. employment of native workers, though they describe the effect as neutral overall because the 0.72 percent difference is too small to be statistically significant. Offshoring also tends to push native U.S. workers toward more complex jobs, while offshore workers tend to specialize in less-skilled employment. The paper also examined the impact of immigrants and found that immigration had an even more positive effect on jobs for native-born U.S. workers: Every 1 percent increase in immigrant jobs boosted aggregate employment for American-born workers by 3.9 percent."
( As of Thursday, July 12, 2012 )
Your share as a citizen: $50,697.98
Share per household: $138,936.17
Debt since Obama inauguration: $5,244,635,132,799.10
Topic Three: The Keynesian Coffin
Obama is showing that Keynesian economics does not work: "Keynesian economics is the false vision of human action which says the way to promote economic recovery and renewed growth is through increased government spending, deficits and debt. If that sounds nuts, that’s because it is. The idea is that the increased government spending and deficits will increase demand in the economy for more production, and that producers will increase supply to meet that demand, hiring more workers and reducing unemployment in the process. Keynesian economics arose in the 1930s in response to the Depression. It never worked then, as the recession of 1929 extended into the decade long Great Depression. And it never worked anywhere it’s been tried since then, in the U.S. or abroad."
And California is following the same path: "Forced to pay these pensions, they raise taxes; all those who make money flee; those who are left have less services and pay more into the system. This is what liberalism wreaks on cities. No city has ever gone bankrupt from spending too little cash. California has yet to learn its lesson, however. Gov. Jerry Brown plans to spend more and more money on the unions, and then ask Californians to tax themselves at a higher rate to pay for it. There's only one problem for the governor: It's against the law to compel the earners to stay in the state. And they'll get out as soon as humanly possible."
Tweet of the Day:
Sharon Broadie (@SBroadie): In all the years I've been alive I have never heard anyone in my family or friends talk about the great work, or any work, done by NAACP.
Topic Four: The Non-Symbolic Repeal
David Limbaugh on what the ObamaCare repeal vote actually accomplishes: "The House vote to repeal, which included 5 Democratic votes, helps to frame a critically important issue in the 2012 presidential and congressional campaigns, which is also true of the House's passage of "cut, cap and balance" and Rep. Paul Ryan's budget plan, "The Path to Prosperity."
"Obamacare, along with Obama's stimulus package and his overall bankrupting federal spending, gave rise to the national conservative grass-roots uprising that bitter clingers fondly refer to as the tea party movement but whose followers radical leftist Democrats -- excuse the tautology -- refer to as tea baggers. If Obamacare led to the initial uprising, Obamacare 2 -- the Supreme Court majority's abominable affirmation of the law -- will galvanize the tea party as much as any other issue and energize all conservatives to defeat Obama and congressional Democrats in November. It formally showcases and places in stark relief the Democrats' position on the law; it forces them, on the record, either to join the overwhelming majority of Americans who want it repealed or to thwart their will. That is big, if Mitt Romney and other Republicans capitalize on it."
Food for Thought - A Quote from our Founders
"As good government is an empire of laws, how shall your laws be made? In a large society, inhabiting an extensive country, it is impossible that the whole should assemble to make laws. The first necessary step, then, is to depute power from the many to a few of the most wise and good."
Topic Five: Gaining Credibility
Michael Ellsberg explains how higher education is no longer the only way to gain "credibility" in the work world: "And yet, while learning has always been available around us, inexpensively, free (or even paid on the job), until recently, sources of credibility have been highly centralized, and highly expensive. There was basically only one source: higher education. The more elite, the better.
"The Internet, however, is “changing everything,” as news stories tell us each day. One way it’s changing everything revolves around the concept of credibility.
"Simply put–and much to the consternation of college administrators everywhere—the Internet is taking away higher education’s centuries-old monopoly on granting credibility.
"True, in the most traditional of professions–law, med>icine, engineering—old credibility systems are still strongly in place, and probably will be for the foreseeable future. I, for one, am happy my surgeon has a medical diploma on her wall.
"Outside of traditional professions, however, these days you simply don’t need a stodgy old professor or some crapulent college dean in a ridiculous faux-medieval gown to tell you–and the world–that you’re credible in your field of study."
Tomorrow in History
July 14, 1943 - The George Washington Carver National Monument in Diamond, Missouri, becomes the first national monument to honor an African-American.
Grab Bag - Interesting and Important Stories to Conclude Your Evening:
Obama campaign using font inspired by communist revolution in Cuba
13 politically incorrect gun rules
Business fights eminent domain power
Bainers, the birthers of the left
Is Obama taking the black vote for granted?
Obama's biggest mistake: `his teleprompter programmer was not clear enough
The party of race
Gallup finds youth voter enthusiasm down from 2008
Do we need an Unbalanced budget amendment?
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