Monday, September 1, 2014

Decades of Decline In Salaries For Non-College Degreed Workers


Last February, Pew Research issued their latest results for college vs non-college educated worker's incomes for those aged 25 to 32.  In my opinion, the most important item in Pew's commentary is this pictorial:


Obviously, the chart shows that having a college degree pays off.  However, it also shows that the demand for college degreed workers is high; resulting in ever-increasing salaries.  In fact, the demand is so high that many of these jobs remain unfilled. That is why, every month, this country must issue 125,000 new work visas to foreign workers in order to fill the void. Most of these openings are for high tech positions in Information Technology.

At the same time, the number of opportunities for non-degreed employees is falling, indicating that too many undereducated workers are vying for too few jobs.  As a result, employers can offer lower wages and there will still be enough jobless willing to accept that lower wage.

If we want to solve income inequality in this country, something needs to be done about our failing educational system, and the fact that getting a college degree is the linchpin for getting a better job and higher pay.  Our leaders need to emphasise the importance of education and, at the same time, stop talking down big business because, without big corporations, the best paying jobs wouldn't exist.

References:

Cutting Through The Fog: Failing Education: The True Cause Of Income Inequality: http://cuttingthroughthefog.blogspot.com/2014/01/failing-education-true-cause-of-income.html

Pew Research: The Rising Cost of Not Going to College: http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2014/02/11/the-rising-cost-of-not-going-to-college/

 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Obama's 'No Strategy' Comment Is Not A Gaffe

Having served in the military, I am quite sure that our Pentagon has multiple strategies developed to deal with the Islamic State terrorists in Iraq and Syria.  But, I am also quite sure that many of those options include varying levels of "boots on the ground".  Of course, having "boots on the ground" is politically anathema to this, our forever anti-war President. Therefore, Obama wasn't lying when he said that we have "no strategy" for dealing with the Islamic State.  In his mind there is no strategy that is yet acceptable.

Reference:

Obama's no 'strategy yet' comment on ISIS in Syria sparks a political uproar: http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/29/politics/obama-isis-strategy/index.html

Friday, August 29, 2014

3 Negative ObamaCare Stories That Have Been Buried By Other Headline Grabbing News

In the last three weeks, the news cycle has been consumed with Hamas/Israeli fighting, the Islamic State in Iraq, and the rioting/looting in Ferguson, Missouri.  But, in just the last three weeks some very disturbing reports regarding ObamaCare were released.  All of which were largely ignored by the national media.

The first negative ObamaCare report came from Fox News on August 7th.  According to a Congressional study, as many as 25 million uninsured may escape being forced to buy insurance under threat of penalty because of a series of hardship exemptions that were implemented by an Obama executive order.  To put that into perspective, that's more than half the 30 million Americans who currently don't have insurance which seriously negates the primary goal of ObamaCare, which was to get every American insured.  It also means that the projected tax revenue for not having insurance is greatly overstated; resulting in higher deficit spending and a further breaking of the President's promise that ObamaCare wouldn't add one penny to the national debt.  Additionally, the uninsured are typically the so-called invincibles:  A younger and healthier group of individuals who typically think they won't get sick and don't need insurance.  Now, if these people aren't in the exchanges, then the cost of everyone's rates will go up because there won't be enough young and healthy insured to offset the higher cost of covering the older and sicker patients.

In another report, Aetna -- our third largest health insurer -- stated that they expected to lose 30% of those who first signed up for ObamaCare by the end of this year. This is because those enrollees have either never paid for their insurance in the first place or have just stopped paying.  If this is indicative of a national trend then, the 8 million signup number -- that Obama so proudly claimed -- is actually closer to 5-1/2 million.  And, remember.  5 million lost their insurance last fall because of ObamaCare.  So, net-net, this means that there was only a 1/2 million increase in the number of truly insured.

Lastly, there was this story from Forbes. The accounting firm of PriceWaterhouseCooper looked at the projected 2015 rate increases for the exchanges in 29 states and found that the average increase is 7.5%.  In about a third of those 29 states, the rate increases are all in the double digits; with highest being Indiana at 15.4%.   In another study, the Wall Street Journal reported that 10 states were seeing rate hikes of between 8.5% to as much as 22.8%.  Then, too, a National Bureau of Economic Research report said that ObamaCare has pushed premiums up by 28% this year and, in another study by the Manhattan Institute, the jump in insurance rates was calculated to be 49%.  The bottom line is simply that ObamaCare is not slowing the cost increases of insurance as our President has claimed.  Even if the average rate increases are only 7.5%, that's almost 4 times the 2% rate of inflation so far this year.

All together, the above paragraphs paint a disastrous picture for ObamaCare.  One that probably won't be told because it is being buried by so much other bad news in the world.

References:

Millions of uninsured Americans exempt from ObamaCare penalties in 2016, report finds: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/08/07/millions-uninsured-americans-exempt-from-obamacare-penalties-in-2016-watchdog/

ObamaCare Enrollment Is Shrinking, Top Insurers Say: http://news.investors.com/politics-obamacare/081114-712602-obamacare-enrollment-falling-aetna-says.htm

Obamacare's Death of a Thousand Rate Hikes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/sallypipes/2014/08/25/obamacares-death-of-a-thousand-rate-hikes/

Current US Inflation Rates: 2004-2014: http://www.usinflationcalculator.com/inflation/current-inflation-rates/

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Business Of Global Warming Is Being Threatened By No Global Warming?

Make no mistake about it, global warming is a going business for a lot a scientists who make a lucrative living off of research funding.

However, for 18 years, despite a near 20% rise in atmospheric CO2, the "warming" trend has abated.  Of course, this fact scares the "bejesus" out of all those scientists that would profit from global warming/climate change research. As a result, teams of scientists have been busily and hastily trying to prove that it still exists but, something else must be temporarily hiding it; with TEMPORARILY being the operative word.  Truly, the haste is based on the fact that, if they can't prove global warming to be real, governments and institutions may stop funding research into what, right now, looks to be a myth.

In the past, we have heard that the excessive burning of coal by China and India are responsible for the hiatus in global warming.  If so, why are we trying to abolish coal-fired power production?  We should be using more coal to save the planet.  Shouldn't we?

Some others say there is no pause. Ira just a fabricated story by climate deniers. While another study blames the presence of stratospheric water vapor.  Almost monthly, there seems to be a new reason for the delay hitting the streets as news.  Who would have thought that there were so many reasons (39 and counting).  If the reasons are real, then global warming -- or cooling -- must be a lot more complex than simply blaming an increase in man-made CO2. Further, with so many reasons for a warming pause, it's a little hard to swallow the bull that global warming is a settled science.

Now, comes another study that again disproves that the "no pause" claims are wrong. The good news is that warming will return in just 15 years or, maybe,  a few years longer.  So, guys, don't be putting your wallets away on the research.  Warming will be back with a vengeance. That is, as soon as the current thirty year cycle of cooling is over with.

Yes, it's true.  So say two scientists at the University of Washington.  They claim that warmer and heavier higher-salinity water in the Atlantic Ocean is making a beeline for the bottom of the ocean and, thus, taking warmer air temperatures along with it.  Of course, their theory completely ignores other thermocline activity that might be taking place in the other oceans and that could mitigate the cooling in the Atlantic. Things like the warm-water appearance of El Nino in the Pacific which is just now starting and believed to be increasing due to global warming.

But, hell. Who knows?  Mother Nature is one wild and crazy gal. Who would have thought that Antarctic ice would be at record levels in the midst of warmth; albeit paused, but still high, or that there would be the start of glacial formations in Scotland where such formations have never been reported before.

If the thermocline theory is correct, then the UN's International Panel on Climate Change needs to adjust the computer models to take into account the work of these two scientists at U of W.  All their "by 2100" global warming prediction models are now all well overstated.  That's because those models don't take into account the fact that global warming will take a thirty-year pause every thirty years.  So, in essence, all the  dire predictions will take twice as long to materialize than predicted.  Maybe, now, we can spend half as much money per year in fighting global warming since it seems we have a lot more time.

References:

Professor blames the ‘pause’ in global warming on ‘the massive burning of coal in China and India’: http://www.climatedepot.com/2014/07/11/professor-blames-the-pause-in-global-warming-on-the-massive-burning-of-coal-in-china-and-india/

Global Warming Pause Linked to Sulfur in China: http://www.bu.edu/energy/2011/07/05/global-warming-pause-linked-to-sulfur-in-china/

More Evidence There Is No 'Pause' in Global Warming: http://www.citylab.com/weather/2014/07/more-evidence-there-is-no-pause-in-global-warming/374807/

Atlantic Ocean responsible for global warming hiatus: Scientists: http://www.wallstreetotc.com/atlantic-ocean-responsible-for-global-warming-hiatus-scientists/27839/

Frequency of extreme El NiƱos to double as globe warms: http://www.nature.com/news/frequency-of-extreme-el-ni%C3%B1os-to-double-as-globe-warms-1.14546

‘Warming Interrruptus’ – Causes for The Pause: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/03/26/warming-interrruptus-causes-for-the-pause/

39 Excuses For Warming Pause and Counting:  http://wattsupwiththat.com/climate-fail-files/list-of-excuses-for-the-pause-in-global-warming/

Surprise! Glaciers appearing in Scotland: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/08/24/surpise-glaciers-appearing-in-scotland/#more-114884

Global warming computer models confounded as Antarctic sea ice hits new record high with 2.1million sq km more than is usual for time of year: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2681829/Global-warming-latest-Amount-Antarctic-sea-ice-hits-new-record-high.html

Monday, August 25, 2014

Why Ferguson Has Calmed

Some say that Attorney General Eric Holder's visit to Ferguson was the calming factor that was needed to stop the violence; and, coincidentally, the violence did subside on the very evening of his visit.  But, Holder's visit only insured an ongoing investigation and not a quick arrest and prosecution as the angry crowds had wanted. Others think that Governor Nixon's statement of "vigorously prosecuting"  Officer Darren Wilson was an indication that he is presumed guilty and will ultimately be convicted of killing Michael Brown, though any court proceedings are still a long way off and, if the officer is found to have used force pursuant to protecting himself, no conviction will be issued.

Personally, I think that the violence stopped because most of the reasons inciting it were found to be false.

Initially, the news media told us that an unarmed teenager (no age given) was shot by a white cop.  The story was soon embellished by the media and people like Jesse Jackson. We were told that the teen was on his way to his grandfather's house and was simply shot for refusing to get out of the street.  Other accounts had him being shot in the back while running away.  There also was the story that a tussle occurred in the squad car when the 6'3" and nearly 300 pound Michael Brown was pulled into the car (apparently, through the window) by a police officer.  Then as one shot was fired inside the car, Brown tried to get away but soon surrendered by raising his arms in the air; and, still, the cop executed him with multiple shots.

Finally, instead of the emotionally charged story outlined above, we started to get a clearer picture of what actually occurred.

First, we found out that, minutes before the shooting, Brown had committed a "strong arm" robbery for some Swisher Sweet Tipped Cigarillos; literally muscling the clerk backwards who was nearly a third shorter then he was.  While not mentioned in the news, I am sure that anyone who was drug-wise understood that those "Swishers" could be used to make "blunts" (hollowed out cigars that are filled with marijuana and which, sometimes, can mask the smell of the cannabis).  Then, there were the photos of Michael Brown giving the "Bloods" gang signs.  Again, not reported by the national media, most likely in an effort to protect the innocent persona already projected on Brown.

We also were told by the Ferguson Police Chief, that Officer Wilson did not know that Brown was suspected in that robbery.  But, I am quite sure that Brown, himself, thought Wilson was looking for him. That belief, alone, may have escalated his emotional response and caused him to attack Wilson (inside the police car) as Brown may have feared arrest

When the Brown family autopsy results were released, there were no wounds in the back.  Marijuana  was found in his blood stream.  Remember those Swishers? The fatal shot was on the top of  Brown's head; perhaps suggesting that Brown was charging the police car as nearly a dozen witnesses reported.  Of the four shots in the arm, three suggest that his hands were not up in a surrendering fashion, and the multiple arm shots also suggest that Officer Wilson was trying to stop Brown and not kill him. 

Lastly, we found out that Wilson was beaten severely in his face and suffered an orbital fracture to his eye socket; thus, confirming that there could have been a fight initiated by Brown in an attempt to get the officer's gun.  However, there are now reports that a fracture to the eye socket didn't occur but, instead,  severe bruising to one-side of Wilson's head.  A friend of Wilson's said that Brown bum-rushed him and that officer Wilson seriously thought that he was acting like he was on something.   Of course, the "something" won't be known until the final toxicology results are in.  Certainly, it would have to be more than pot to make Brown act in such a bullish fashion against an armed policeman.

The bottom line is that we won't know for weeks what the results of all the investigations are and what the Grand Jury will rule.  But, the innocence of Michael Brown, simply on his way to Grandpa's house, is now in question and could be the real reason why the city's violence has calmed.


References:

Pictures: Michael Brown Flashing Gang Signs: http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2014/08/breaking-michael-brown-was-a-local-gangster-seen-flashing-gang-signs/

Video: Michael Brown Strong Arm Robbery: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHxXGvXQrno

Michael Brown's autopsy: What it can (and can't) tell us: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/michael-browns-autopsy-what-it-can-and-cant-tell-us/

Police officer who shot Michael Brown did NOT suffer a broken eye socket but he did go to hospital with a swollen face after deadly altercation: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2731311/Police-officer-shot-Michael-Brown-did-NOT-suffer-broken-eye-socket-did-hospital-swollen-face-deadly-altercation.html

Friend of Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson: Brown ‘Bum Rushed’ And ‘Punched Him In Face’: http://www.ijreview.com/2014/08/169172-officer-wilsons-account-brown-taunted-bum-rushed/

Sunday, August 24, 2014

I'm Not Really The President... I Just Play One On TV

Increasingly, the nation's media has become critical of President Obama's in-your-face dedication to golfing, fundraising, vacationing, and White House galas, while the world is on fire. 

Last week's TV appearance regarding the beheading of journalist James Foley was one of the strongest examples.  His tone and tenor seemed Presidential and thoughtful.  Yet, minutes later, he was back on the golf course at Martha's Vineyard, high-fiving, fist-bumping, and yukking it up with his golfing buddies, as this picture from the U.K. Daily Mail clearly shows:


In response to this behavior, the White House released a statement that basically said that playing golf helps clear the President's mind. Apparently it does.  Because it's really, really hard to see any concern on the face of this President over the death of James Foley, Hamas' killing of 18 suspected traitors, the Islamic State's war in Syria and Iraq, the Russian movements against Ukraine, the rioting in Ferguson Missouri, and all the other upheavals that should have his attention. And, that's the problem.  From our world-wide foes to our allies and friends, that picture, and the timing of it, reveals a lack of sincerity, concern, and focus.  It makes one think that his TV appearance and his expressed concern over James Foley's death was just a show.  Just another prepared and well-delivered speech, orchestrated for the television audience.  But, as always, actions speak louder than words.

I think most of us would agree that the President in never off the job because he always has staff and advisers around him with world-wide communications capability at the ready.  But, this picture sends the wrong kind of message.  Most importantly, it tells our enemies, like Putin and the Islamic State, that they have nothing to fear from this guy who is supposedly this nation's President.


References:

How many times has Obama golfed and fundraised since he’s been president?: http://therightscoop.com/how-many-times-has-obama-golfed-and-fundraised-since-hes-been-president/

New York Times: A Terrorist Horror, Then Golf: Incongruity Fuels Obama Critics: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/22/us/politics/a-terrorist-horror-then-golf-incongruity-fuels-obama-critics.html

CBS New York:  President Obama Plays Golf After Making Somber Statement On Beheaded American Journalist James Foley: http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2014/08/21/president-obama-plays-golf-after-making-somber-statement-on-beheaded-american-journalist-james-foley/

Fox News: Obama Slammed for Golfing Minutes After Remarks on Foley Execution: http://foxnewsinsider.com/2014/08/21/obama-slammed-golfing-minutes-after-remarks-foley-execution

Daily Mail: 'Leisure activities are a good way for release and clearing of the mind': White House defends Obama golfing just minutes after addressing nation about James Foley's beheading – as John Kerry goes SAILING: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2732133/Leisure-activities-good-way-release-clearing-mind-White-House-defends-pictures-Obama-playing-golf-just-minutes-addressing-nation-James-Foley-s-beheading.html

Friday, August 22, 2014

Blaming the House Republicans On Immigration Reform Isn't Working Mr. President

In an effort to deflect responsibility for the current unaccompanied child border crisis, President Obama has tried to lay the blame at the feet of the House Republicans for not passing the so-called "comprehensive" immigration reform bill.  However, apparently, Americans aren't buying the latest Obama blame-game tactic (as noted by the results of the latest Gallup poll):


By more than two-to-one, they are critical of the President for his handling of immigration; with a 4-year high in those disapproving of his actions or inaction; depending on your particular political viewpoint. There's a problem with this poll.  It really doesn't tell us if people are upset with the President for not taking more action by executive order or for not working with Congress.  But, the sudden jump in his disapproval rating from 55% to 65% does seem to track with the current parent-less child entries from Central America.  For that reason, I think it seems to indicate that Americans feel that, once again, the fault lies with Obama.

Reference:


American's object to Obama's handling of immigration: http://www.gallup.com/poll/171755/approval-obama-handling-immigration-falls.aspx