Oct 19

Richest 1,409 taxpayers pay more tax than bottom 70 MILLION

A dominant narrative among socialists, progressives and sociology departments everywhere is that capitalists and the rich are controlling American ‘policy.’

Yet tax receipts tell the opposite story. The poorest 50 percent of Americans barely pay any income tax, while the richest few are forced to pay a majority of all federal income taxes.

See here.

Oct 18

Poverty in the U.S. Was Plummeting—Until Lyndon Johnson Declared War On It

From FEE (Foundation for Economic Education) (quoting the Wall Street Journal):

During the 20 years before the War on Poverty was funded, the portion of the nation living in poverty had dropped to 14.7% from 32.1%. Since 1966, the first year with a significant increase in antipoverty spending, the poverty rate reported by the Census Bureau has been virtually unchanged…Transfers targeted to low-income families increased in real dollars from an average of $3,070 per person in 1965 to $34,093 in 2016…Transfers now constitute 84.2% of the disposable income of the poorest quintile of American households and 57.8% of the disposable income of lower-middle-income households. These payments also make up 27.5% of America’s total disposable income.

The government’s programs have made matters worse for the poor, relative to others:

By 1975 the lowest-earning fifth of families had 24.8% more families with a prime-work age head and no one working than did their middle-income peers. By 2015 this differential had risen to 37.1%…The War on Poverty has increased dependency and failed in its primary effort to bring poor people into the mainstream of America’s economy and communal life.

Oct 13

Government programs will push millions into poverty in old age

A new study predicts that 40 percent of “middle class” Americans will likely live in poverty in their later years.

Social Security and Medicare both incentivize Americans to save less, work less, and invest less. Harvard studies (which are likely quite conservative) suggest that Social Security alone caused the U.S. to be at least 3 percent poorer by 1980. This gap between what is and what might have been has almost certainly grown in the 38 years that followed.

And because Medicare, Medicaid and obamacare increase demand for health care without increasing supply, they have all caused prices to rise significantly.

The study by the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis at the New School concluded that many pension accounts are substantially underfunded. Some 74 percent of senior citizens must continue to work in retirement.

Oct 13

Government “snow and ice data center” AGAIN caught faking its “multi-year ice extinction” charts

Agency deletes and publishes ‘correction forthcoming’ statement after being caught (yet again) by data analyst Tony Heller.

The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) is a massively funded government institution in Boulder, Colorado. It receives funding from the University of Colorado, NOAA and NASA.

For years the “data center” has put out a series of official charts and stories indicating that “multi-year ice” in the Arctic is melting away due to manmade global warming. (A few years ago, the “data center” even suggested that multi-year ice (meaning ice at least 5 years old) was “effectively gone.”)

Data analyst Tony Heller, a scientist and computer programmer who publishes the blog “realclimatescience.com,” has repeatedly caught the government agency changing its charts as “4-year-old” ice approaches its “5th birthday.” See here. Heller happens to live in Boulder, Colorado himself.

This year–once again–the NSIDC was caught failing to show that its “4-year-old” ice depicted on its online charts became “5-year-old” ice. The agency’s failure to acknowledge that “multi-year ice” is growing in the Arctic helps promote the international, cross-governmental thesis that catastrophic-manmade-global-warming-by-CO2 is occurring and only worldwide socialism and taxation can save the earth.

After Heller and others alerted the public that the “data center” was again fudging its numbers, the agency quickly deleted the relevant web pages and posted a “correction forthcoming” statement. See here.


Oct 10

U.S. Postal Service again seeks a massive increase in postage rates

The U.S. Postal Service is an unconstitutional monopoly which charges more than twice what a private firm would charge, yet which loses billions of dollars annually.

The government postal “service” has every possible market advantage, yet can’t seem to operate profitably. The U.S.P.S. pays no corporate, income, or property taxes and owns some of the world’s most prestigious real estate.

Now the “Service” is seeking to increase its stamp prices for letters from 50 cents to 55 cents–a ten percent increase. See here.

Oct 10

Confidence in U.S. higher education plummets below 50 percent

Each year Gallup polls Americans on their level of confidence in various institutions. Just 11 percent of respondents expressed confidence in Congress, which has ranked at the bottom for several years.

Also ranking near the bottom are TV “news” organizations (with just 20 % of Americans expressing confidence), the criminal justice system (earning the trust of just 22 percent of Americans), and newspapers (which are trusted by only 23 percent of Americans).

Gallup has included “higher education” in its survey just twice: 2015 and 2018.

Shockingly, this year just 48 percent of Americans indicated they have confidence in American higher education. This is a steep decline from 2015 when 57 percent indicated they had confidence in higher education.

Oct 02

Montana Outfitters License application costs $1,950

The requirement that people must obtain a government license before working in a given profession is often promoted as a public safety device.

But the strongest proponents of licensing rules are often the entrenched good ol’ boys who already occupy the industry. In many licensing schemes, one must apply to ONE’S OWN COMPETITORS who sit on a “board of” licensees.

Such is the case with regard to Montana hunting guides and outfitters. Poor people are mostly locked out of the industry.

In Montana, the most successful guides and outfitters are wealthy operators who happen to own a ranch adjacent to or near important forest trail heads. The licenses are handed down from father to son like royal charters. Over the years many members of the Outfitter board have been Republican legislators, who can be seen at the State Capitol in Helena sporting big cowboy hats and talking about “limited government.”

Under the regulations, in order to guide hunters on public lands, one must obtain an expensive “Outfitters” license and demonstrate that one has sufficient equipment and experience. The application fee alone is $1,800. But one must first have a “guide” license, which costs $150 and must be renewed annually.

And after one is licensed as an outfitter, one must disclose to the government every single hunt, and the names of all participants.

Amazingly, some of Montana’s neighbors (like North Dakota and South Dakota) don’t even require license at all. An outfitter in North Dakota can simply hang up a shingle and pass out business cards.

Oct 02

Turkish dictator asks shoppers to report unfair store prices to the government; promises to raid stores

The crazed, powermad dictator of Turkey, Erdogan, has asked the public to report any unfair price hikes in Turkish stores.

Government marauders will then raid the stores, taking the inventory, said Erdogan. See here.

Predicted headline next month: “Hundreds of Turkish retailers close.”

Sep 29

Sears is now a penny stock

Virtually every claim of socialist economists is false.

One major claim of socialists is that the largest corporations have near total control over human affairs, and are able to control their destiny by manipulation of politics and markets.

Yet studies show that only a small handful of the corporations in the Fortune 50 were there just 25 years ago.

The false claim of total market control by major corporations was a central theme of pro-government professor John Kenneth Galbraith in his bestseller The Affluent Society (1958), Galbraith and other Ivy League pro-government economists called for government control and intervention to stop large corporations from becoming too controlling.

At the time Galbraith wrote his famed book, Sears, A & P, and JC Penney were America’s largest retailers.

Today Sears is a penny stock. And JC Penney has been in and out of bankruptcy discussions for years.

The A & P grocery chain (“The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company”), which from 1915 through 1975 was the largest grocery retailer in the United States (and until 1965, the largest U.S. retailer of any kind), ceased supermarket operations in 2015.

Sears–which was at one time America’s largest retailer and largest employer– has lost $11.7 billion since 2010, its last profitable year, and sales have plunged 60% in that time. It has fewer than 900 stores, down from a combined 3,500 US stores when Sears and Kmart merged in 2005.

The price of a share in the Sears corporation fell below one dollar this week.

Sep 27

Government scientist gives talk on the dangers of climate change to global agriculture; has difficulty naming any global crops that are actually being harmed by climate change

by Dr. Roger I. Roots, founder, Lysander Spooner University

On Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018, I happened to read an advertisement in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle about a visiting expert professor who would be giving a lecture that very evening. The title of the lecture was: “Visiting lecturer to discuss challenges and opportunities for feeding a growing population on a warming planet.”

I ended up attending the lecture, which was well attended. The visiting professor, Paul West, co-director and lead scientist of the Global Landscapes Initiative at the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment, gave a nice talk on global trends in agriculture, the release of greenhouse gasses from different crops, and prospects for the future.

I’m sure his research is well-funded by government research grants–and his approach is to call for more central planning of the world’s agricultural development (of course).

At the end of the lecture I asked him the question: what major world crop is declining due to climate change? (I knew that almost all global crops are seeing INCREASING, NOT DECREASING yields despite recurring claims that global warming is about to cause global crop failures.)

Dr. West had difficulty with the question. He asked back: “Do you mean ‘already.’?” I said yes. “Already.”

He fidgeted a bit; and the audience could sense the question was a sensitive one.

Then Dr. West responded that there was a pending (apparently unpublished, or about-to-be-published) paper somewhere that suggests that “maize and soy” yields are declining due to “climate change.”

Well at least I got an answer.

Immediately afterward, I googled around a bit for crop-yield data on maize and soy. It turns out that both soy and “maize” (corn) yileds are predicted to be AT RECORD LEVELS this year (at least in the U.S. which is the major soy and corn producer). See here.

Maybe the now-secret, unpublished paper will shed more light on the subject.


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