Eroding The Foundations Of Prosperity

The most important foundation of prosperity in America is the two-parent family. Unfortunately, the number of two-parent families has decreased in recent years.

This is a chart from the Pew Research Center posted on December 17, 2015:

On April 10, 2014, The Washington Post reported:

It’s clear in America that family structure and poverty are intertwined: Nearly a third of households headed by single women live below the poverty line. And just six percent of families led by married couples are in the official ranks of the poor. Poverty, meanwhile, touches an astounding 45 percent of children who live without a father.

Recent research by Raj Chetty, Nathaniel Hendron, Patrick Kline, Emmanuel Saez and Nicholas Turner also found that intergenerational income mobility was lower in metropolitan areas with a larger share of single mothers, a bold-faced finding that touched off a new round of public debate over what this relationship means.

But there is another troubling fact regarding the future prosperity of America. On November 2, Bloomberg reported:

Nathan Butcher is 25 and, like many men his age, he isn’t working.

Weary of long days earning minimum wage, he quit his job in a pizzeria in June. He wants new employment but won’t take a gig he’ll hate. So for now, the Pittsburgh native and father to young children is living with his mother and training to become an emergency medical technician, hoping to get on the ladder toward a better life.

Ten years after the Great Recession, 25- to 34-year-old men are lagging in the workforce more than any other age and gender demographic. About 500,000 more would be punching the clock today had their employment rate returned to pre-downturn levels. Many, like Butcher, say they’re in training. Others report disability. All are missing out on a hot labor market and crucial years on the job, ones traditionally filled with the promotions and raises that build the foundation for a career.

The article at Bloomberg includes the following chart:

In October 2015, TIME magazine reported:

For the first time since the Census Bureau began collecting data on higher education attainment, women are more likely to have a bachelor’s degree than men.

Last year, 29.9% of men had a bachelor’s degree, while 30.2% of women did, the bureau reports. A decade prior, in 2005, 28.5% of men had bachelor’s degree, while only 26% of women did.

Young women are driving the change. In the 25-34 age group, 37.5% of women have a bachelor’s degree or higher, while only 29.5% of men do. (Rates of college attainment for men and women in this age group are increasing roughly equally.) But for the over-65 crowd, only 20.3% of women have such degrees, compared to 30.6% of men.

Historically men have been the main providers for their families. Young men have been encouraged to get a good job, get married, and have a family. These ideals have been undermined in recent years by the cultural war against traditional families, traditional roles of men and women, and family values. What has been overlooked by the people fighting traditional values is the role traditional values play in the prosperity of America. The report by Bloomberg is a further indication of the overall decline of our society and the future decline in prosperity.

Maybe We Need To Rethink This

A website called Clearancejobs.com includes an article answering the question, “What happens to your security clearance after you’ve been fired, suspended or retired?” The website explains the various procedures based on the circumstances. The website points out that in many cases a clearance may remain in effect or be suspended but easily renewed if necessary. When you consider the politicization of the Justice Department and FBI during the Obama administration, it would seem logical to cancel all of the security clearances of those at the top of those organizations who are no longer employed there. However, as usual with anything involving common sense, this is considered a controversial idea.

Considering the news that surfaced over the weekend about the FISA abuse regarding the spying on Carter Page, anyone who was involved in that escapade should be fired and have their security clearance revoked. Clearly, the government’s ability to spy on American citizens was used for political purposes by the Obama administration. However, the media is not going to let common sense enter into the argument.

Bloomberg posted an article today stirring up the kerfuffle about revoking security clearances.

The article is headlined, “Trump Weighs Revoking Security Clearances for Several Ex-Obama Officials.” It should read, “Some of the people involved in the misuse of intelligence gathering within the United States may face consequences.”

The article states:

The president is “exploring the mechanism” to remove their access to classified information because of criticism the officials have leveled against his conduct of relations with Russia, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Monday.

“They’ve politicized and in some cases monetized their public service and security clearances,” Sanders said. “Making baseless accusations of improper contact with Russia or being influenced by Russia against the president is extremely inappropriate.”

Sanders said Trump also was considering stripping security clearances from James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence; Michael Hayden, former director of the National Security Agency; and Susan Rice, President Barack Obama’s national security adviser.

The article concludes:

The idea of moving to revoke Brennan’s security clearance gained traction recently in conservative media circles. Fox News host Tucker Carlson on July 19 called Brennan an extremist with “a documented history of dishonesty” and said he shouldn’t have a clearance.

Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky said he urged Trump to revoke Brennan’s security clearance at a meeting with the president Monday. Trump is trying to court Paul to vote to confirm Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh despite reservations the senator has expressed about Kavanaugh’s commitment to privacy rights.

I have my doubts as to whether anyone will face consequences for misusing FISA for political purposes. However, removing a few security clearances might send a message to those holding those clearances to use them judiciously.

 

Abusing Our Justice System For Political Reasons

The following YouTube video is from the Tucker Carlson Show:

Tucker: Let’s be real. Paul Manafort is jail tonight because prosecutors want him to testify against President Trump.

This is a total perversion of our justice system. Someone needs to rein in this abuse. Where are the judges?

Well, let’s look at the judge who agreed to send Paul Manafort to jail.

In November of last year, Bloomberg posted an article about U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson.

The article reports:

Earlier this year, for instance, she dismissed a lawsuit filed by the parents of two of the four Americans who died at the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya in 2012, seeking to hold Trump’s election opponent Hillary Clinton responsible.

And four years ago, she sided with the Obama administration request and put on hold a lawsuit by House Republicans demanding papers related to former Attorney General Eric Holder’s botched Fast-and-Furious gun-tracking operation.

…It’s rare for judges to hold white-collar offenders behind bars before a trial or guilty plea — even Bernard Madoff was allowed to remain free on a $10 million bond — but it happens.

Judge Jackson was appointed by President Obama in 2011.

 

 

Roots–How We Got To Today

The government has reopened. I guess that is good news. But how did we get here, and are we headed here again in January? I am not a big fan of Michael Bloomberg, but even a blind squirrel finds an acorn occasionally.

Politicker.com reports today:

Washington lawmakers finally reached a deal to re-open the government just hours before the debt ceiling deadline, but Mayor Michael Bloomberg isn’t celebrating yet.

“All of what they’re talking about is simply kicking the can down the road,” Mr. Bloomberg told Politicker this afternoon.

The mayor was responding to a request for his take not long before Republican lawmakers had officially conceded their fight. But Mr. Bloomberg, sounding confident a short-term deal would be reached, predicted another standoff soon.

The Senate has not passed or negotiated a budget since 2009. The House of Representatives is supposed to pass appropriations bills, and the Senate is supposed to vote on them, with the eventual result of a federal budget. Since 2009, the federal government has been funded by continuing resolutions (CR‘s) that kept the spending at record-breaking levels. We have wondered away from the Constitution, and it is costing us financially and it is damaging our country.

The war about the budget represented a battle between those in power in Washington and the rest of us. The proposal from the Tea Party Republicans asked that everyone be treated equally under ObamaCare–even Congress and Congressional aids. The proposal from the Tea Party Republicans asked to delay ObamaCare for a year because of the problems with the website and the negative impact it is having on jobs and the economy. Both of those proposals would have helped average Americans. The resistance came from Democrats and establishment Republicans. Both groups need to be voted out of office.

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Payback Is Not Always Fun

As you read this, please keep in mind that the Daily Currant is a satirical newspaper–the article may or may not be true. The Daily Currant reported today that the owners of Collegno‘s Pizzeria refused to serve Mayor Bloomberg a second slice of pizza. The owners were protesting Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed soda ban, which would limit the portions of soda sold in the city.

The article reports:

Bloomberg was having an informal working lunch with city comptroller John Liu at the time and was enraged by the embarrassing prohibition. The owners would not relent, however, and the pair were forced to decamp to another restaurant to finish their meal.

Witnesses say the situation unfolded when as the two were looking over budget documents, they realized they needed more food than originally ordered.

“Hey, could I get another pepperoni over here?” Bloomberg asked owner Antonio Benito.

 “I’m sorry sir,” he replied, “we can’t do that. You’ve reached your personal slice limit.”

 

I do have to admit that creating a personal slice limit might actually slow down the incidence of obesity in this county–it might also increase the number of people eating at home.

 

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