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Archive for March, 2017

Failing Progressive Policies

Posted by Steve Markowitz on March 30, 2017

One of my Progressive friends and I recently discussed the pros and cons of Liberal socio-economic policies. During that discussion my friend questioned my empathy for the less fortunate stating: “”There are a lot of arguments as to why we are short and where the jobs are but the fact remains we have people who cannot survive. I simply don’t understand how making people’s lives miserable somehow makes my life better. Their plan (conservatives) is akin to just yelling ‘Get a Job.’”

It is disappointing that liberals believe, or at least profess to believe, that those with different policy opinions are somehow less empathetic than they are. Inherent in their view is the belief that government and governmental programs improve the lives of the less fortunate. This decades old view had the potential for being correct during the 1960s when the great experiments were initiated. But history has since made its judgment and it concludes the programs have been a failure.

Posted is a graph of the US poverty rate since 1960, but prior to Obama and Trump. Going back a few years helps remove the current partisan political rancor. These numbers and the trajectory of this graph indicate that the poor have fared worse under Progressive policies initiated in the 1960s through the Great Society programs. Many these programs continue to this today.

While this graph does not answer the question of cause and effect, it at least raises a red light. At best, these unacceptable results emanated from bad socio-economic policy. The alternative is that things have turned out just as the political-elites designed. Conclusion; those who promoted the feel-good economic policies of the past five decades, both Democrats and Republicans, own the results. Continuing these Progressive policies will offer the same trends, which will also give the political class the ability to grab more power through offering economic solutions for problems their policies created.

It is time for society use object results instead of feel good talking points to determine public policies. However, this logical approach would usurp power from the ruling political class, which they will not give up easily.

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Liberalism Fails Society and Those Most in Need

Posted by Steve Markowitz on March 7, 2017

Since the early 1960s liberals have promoted the narrative that people on the Left are more compassionate than those on the Right. This proposition was based on a motion, not empirical evidence. It emotionally seems right that the government should give to those in need. Conversely, those who would withhold government’s largess from the less fortunate lack compassion.

While a governmental safety net has been a part of American society since Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Administration, it advanced significantly under President Lyndon Johnson. Given we are now a half-century into Johnson’s Great Society, it is reasonable to determine efficacy of the programs.

The Wall Street Journal’s Jason Riley recently published some important statistics since the initiation of the Great Society:

  • In 1962 the percentage of the Americans receiving government assistance in the form of cash transfers was about 12%. Today this has nearly doubled to 21%.
  • In 2012 over 48% of Americans resided in households receiving some form of government benefits. This number was only 30% in 1983.
  • By 2011 the US published property rate remained flat compared to 1965. During the same period, US governmental expenditures on poverty rose by 900% per receiving person (after inflation adjustments).
  • The Heritage Foundation marks 2014 as the 50th anniversary of Johnson’s Great Society. They calculated that federal government spending increased by 16 times, adjusted for inflation, for means tested welfare during this period.

Cause and effect are often difficult to prove. However, in the case of the Great Society Programs and their offspring, the evidence seems convincing that at the very least, much of the spending was wasteful and have not benefited those most in need over the long-term. At the same time, these programs significantly benefited certain industries that serve the programs and distributed their benefits. Those industries offer significant resistance to fundamentally changing governmental spending habits.


 

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Global Warming Debate is Not Open for Debate

Posted by Steve Markowitz on March 1, 2017

We live in a time where open debate is not tolerated on important issues facing society. This is especially true of intellectual elitists who respond to questions relating to their core beliefs as if they were personal attacks. There is no better example of this unintellectual and unscientific approach than with the subject of global warming.

Proponents in the belief that contemporary climate change is the result of man’s use of carbon-based fuels often shut down any debate of the issue by saying it is “settled science”. While many in the scientific community conclude this, the science is not settled. The science that these people refer to is based on modeling that can only be as good as the assumptions used in them. The models needed to predict long-term Climatic events are highly complex and must be tortuously simplified to be usable and therefore subject to the discretion of those choosing the inputted variables.

Bill Nye is known as the “Science Guy” who has written books introducing science to children. While his degree is in mechanical engineering, he purports to be an expert on climate change. During a recent interview with Tucker Carlson of Fox News, Nye made a highly emotional argument that man is responsible for contemporary climate change. When Carlson attempted to have Nye back his conclusion up with precise figures relating to man’s responsibility, Nye equivocated, bringing into question his actual scientific knowledge.

Nye has stated in the past that jail might be appropriate for people who disagree with his view on the cause climate change. That sounds eerily similar to how scientific dissenters were handled by the church hundreds of years ago. Nye’s emotional outburst at the end of the video below, where he goes off the rails concerning the Trump Administration shows a zealotry that is not worthy of scientific discussion.

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