Great Sayings – George Patton

“I don’t fear failure. I only fear the slowing up of the engine inside of me which is saying, ‘Keep going, someone must be on top, why not you?’” — George S. Patton Jr.

 

Love him or hate him, he got things done and was feared by the enemy, so much so that they had a respect for his command.  In these times of the Covid-19 virus, we need to keep going and not give up.  Stay on top and don’t give up.

What Alexis de Tocqueville Said About America, The USA

It is interesting to think of what he observed in the mid 1800’s vs. the country we have in 2014.  Here are his comments based on a visit:

Upon my arrival in the United States, the religious aspect of the country was the first thing that stuck my attention; and the longer I stayed there, the more I perceived the great political consequences resulting from this new state of things.

In France I had almost always seen the spirit of religion and the spirit of Freedom marching in opposite directions. But in America I found they were intimately united and that they reigned in common over the same country.

Religion in America…must be regarded as the foremost of the political institutions of that country; for if it does not impart a taste for freedom; it facilitates the use of it. Indeed, it is in this same point -of -view that the inhabitants of the United States themselves look upon religious belief.

I do not know whether all Americans have a sincere faith in their religion—for who can search the human heart?  But I am certain that they hold it to be indispensable to the maintenance of republican institutions. This opinion is not peculiar to a class of cities or a party, but it belongs to the whole nation and to every rank of society.

The sects that exist in the United States are innumerable. They all differ in respect to the worship which is due to the Creator; but they all agree in respect to the duties which are due from man to man.

Each sect adores the Deity in its own peculiar manner, but all sects preach the same moral law in the name of God.

Moreover, all sects of the United States are comprised within the great unity of Christianity and Christian morality is everywhere the same.

In the United States the sovereign authority is religions…there is no country in the world where the Christian religion retains a greater influence over the souls of men than in America, and there can be no greater proof of its utility and its conformity to human nature than that its influence is powerfully felt over the most enlightened and free nation of the earth.

In the United States, if a political character attacks a sect [denomination], this may not prevent even the partisans of that very sect, from supporting him; but if he attacks all the sects together [Christianity], everyone abandons him and remains alone.

I do not question that the great austerity of manners that is observable in the United States arises, in the first instance, from religious faith…its influence over the mind of woman is supreme, and women are the protectors of morals. There is certainly no country in the world where the tie of marriage is more respected than in America or where conjugal happiness is more highly or worthily appreciated.

In the United States, the influence of religion is not confined to the manners, but it extends to the intelligence of the people…

Christianity, therefore, reigns without obstacle, by universal consent; the consequence is, as I have before observed, that every principle of the moral world is fixed and determinate…

I sought for the key of greatness and genius of America in her harbors…; in her fertile fields and boundless forests; in her rich mines and vast world commerce; in her public school system and the institutions of learning. I sought for it in her democratic Congress and in her matchless Constitution.

Not until I went into the chutes of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power.

America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.

The safeguard of morality is religion, and morality is the best security of law as well as the surest pledge of freedom.

The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other.

Christianity is the companion of liberty in all of its conflicts–the cradle of its infancy, and the divine source of its claims.

They brought with them…a form of Christianity, which I cannot better describe than by styling it in a democratic and republican religion…From the earliest settlement of the emigrants, politics and religion contracted an alliance which has never been dissolved.

The Christian nations of our age seem to me to present a most alarming spectacle; the impulse which is bearing them along is so strong that it cannot be stopped, but is not yet so rapid that it cannot be guided; their fate is in their hands; yet a little while and it may be no longer.

Read the rest of this PolitiChicks.tv article here: http://politichicks.tv/column/2014-alexis-de-tocqueville-esque-year-restoration/#5ulfUJKsDb9hcb3G.99

4th of July 2014

My mom was born and died on the 4th, so it is a day that gives me mixed emotions.

One thing not in question is that we should be patriotic.  I don’t believe that artists should play it any other way than how it was written.  It reminds me of winning the Gold medal and how proud I am to hear it over and over again.

On that note, enjoy…

 

Yamamoto’s Master Plan for Pearl Harbor Attack

Yamamoto was educated in the US and knew us well.  He also knew that we were a sleeping industrial giant.  He was well aware of the 2nd Amendment and how much we believed in it (We still do for the Islamic Jihad Terrorists).  He also knew he couldn’t attack the US, but a surprise attack would and could cripple us for a while until the industrial might of a sleeping giant was woken up.  Luck was not on his side that day as the US Carriers were out at sea and the Battleships (an aging, but vital weapon) was all that was harbored in Pearl Harbor.

Here is the take by the Pacific War.com

JAPANESE PREPARATIONS FOR THE ATTACK ON PEARL HARBOR

Admiral Yamamoto plans the Destruction of the United States Pacific Fleet

These aircraft are superb reproductions of the Nakajima Type 97 carrier torpedo bombers (Allied code-name “Kate”) that attacked the United States Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor. They were used in the gripping and historically accurate 20th Century Fox film Tora, Tora, Tora! (1970).

In conformity with this traditional approach to naval warfare, the Japanese Naval General Staff intended to limit naval operations in support of Japan’s military thrust into South-East Asia to offensive actions against local American, British and Dutch naval forces defending their country’s colonial possessions in South-East Asia. To the conservative admirals of the Naval General Staff, a direct confrontation in the central Pacific Ocean between their navy and the United States Navy was unthinkable.

In early 1941, Vice Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto was appointed Commander-in-Chief of Japan’s Combined Fleet, and he immediately took issue with the cautious policy of the Japanese Naval General Staff. Yamamoto did not believe that the United States Pacific Fleet would remain idle at Pearl Harbor while Japan attacked and seized America’s Philippines, and British and Dutch colonial possessions in South-East Asia. He believed that Japan must cripple the United States Pacific Fleet at the same time as it launched its attacks on countries of South-East Asia.

With this firm conviction, Admiral Yamamoto began to consider a surprise carrier-launched air attack on the United States Pacific Fleet at its Pearl Harbor base timed to coincide with Japan’s military aggression in South-East Asia. Yamamoto instructed Rear Admiral Takijiro Onishi, Chief of Staff of the 11th Air Fleet, to assess the feasibility of an attack on Pearl Harbor by carrier-launched aircraft. Onishi enlisted the assistance of Commander Minoru Genda, a brilliant staff officer and tactician serving with Japan’s 1st Air Fleet. Genda studied the problem and came to the conclusion that an attack on Pearl Harbor could succeed if (a) the attack took the Americans completely by surprise, (b) the attack occurred early on a Sunday morning when American defence preparedness would be at a low level, (c) all six of Japan’s best aircraft carriers were used, and (d) highly skilled aircrews were used in the attack. To ensure complete surprise, Genda’s plan precluded alerting the Americans to their danger by a prior declaration of war.

Admiral Yamamoto’s plan for a surprise peacetime attack on the United States Pacific Fleet at Hawaii would involve a strike force which included Japan’s six largest and most powerful aircraft carriers. His task was made much easier by President Roosevelt’s decision to relocate the United States Pacific Fleet from California to Hawaii. As Yamamoto saw it, the destruction of the American Pacific Fleet would give Japan time to seize the Philippines, Malaya, British Borneo, Burma and the Netherlands East Indies (now Indonesia), and gain access to the oil, minerals, rubber and other resources that Japan needed to sustain its aggressive war machine. He was hopeful that, with its Pacific Fleet destroyed or crippled, the Americans would be willing to accept a peace settlement that allowed Japan to keep its new conquests in South-East Asia.

The Japanese Naval General Staff initially rejected Admiral Yamamoto’s plan for an attack on Pearl Harbor as being too great a gamble. They doubted that surprise could be achieved when the strike force would be at sea for two weeks before the attack. Japan had eleven aircraft carriers, and the admirals felt that Yamamoto’s plan could put at risk their six best carriers. They also felt that diverting Japan’s six most powerful aircraft carriers to Hawaii would leave the southern attacks on the Philippines and British Malaya dangerously unprotected. In the end, Yamamoto only overcame their opposition by threatening to resign.

Although the admirals of the Naval General Staff were reluctantly persuaded by Yamamoto to abandon the policy of defensive naval war in favour of attack, the years of night warfare training and the highly accurate, long range torpedoes associated with the defensive policy would give the Japanese Imperial Navy a significant edge over Allied navies in night actions during the Pacific War.

Training for the Pearl Harbor Attack

Early in 1941, despite the fact that the Chief of the Naval General Staff, Admiral Osami Nagano, had not yet approved a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Admiral Yamamoto directed that intensive planning and training for such an attack was to be undertaken.

Japanese naval aircrews had already honed their war skills flying sorties against the poorly equipped and trained Chinese air force and army. However, Pearl Harbor offered special challenges to an enemy force proposing to use air-launched torpedoes. The harbor was comparatively shallow and a large area in the centre of the harbor was occupied by Ford Island. The American battleships were moored on the eastern side of Ford Island. The water area between the battleships and the eastern shore of the harbor was narrow. Japanese torpedoes would have to be redesigned for use in shallow harbor waters, and torpedo aircrews would have to learn to drop their torpedoes with great precision so that they would land in the narrow stretch of water between the eastern shore of the harbor and the battleships. The Japanese aircrews went about this training with great enthusiasm and dedication. By November 1941, they were ready for the attack.

On 3 November 1941, the Chief of the Japanese Naval General Staff finally gave his approval to Admiral Yamamoto’s plan to attack the United States Pacific Fleet at its Pearl Harbor base.

The Japanese Carrier Strike Force departs for Hawaii

To distract the American government while it secretly positioned a powerful aircraft carrier strike force for the “sneak attack” on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese government had ordered its envoys in Washington to engage the American government in intensive diplomatic negotiations.AdmiralYamamoto’s aircraft carrier strike force, under the command of Vice-Admiral Chuichi Nagumo, left Japan on 26 November 1941.

The fast and powerful aircraft carrier Akagi was regarded as the “Queen” of the Japanese Imperial Navy. It is shown here in 1941. It was the flagship of Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo for the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Preserving strict radio silence, Nagumo’s carriers steered well clear of normal shipping lanes and headed for a stand-by point about 1,000 miles (1,600km) north of Hawaii. The carrier strike force comprised Japan’s six largest fleet aircraft carriers, Akagi, Kaga, Soryu, Hiryu, Shokaku, and Zuikaku. Each of these aircraft carriers would later play a role in the major sea battles closely related to Australia’s survival in 1942. The last two would take part in the crucial Battle of the Coral Sea. The first four would take part in the pivotal Battle of Midway. The carriers were supported by battleships, cruisers, destroyers and submarines.

Japan’s Prime Minister Tojo threatens Britain and America with War

In the last week of November 1941, at a time when Admiral Nagumo’s aircraft carriers were sailing towards Pearl Harbor with hostile intent, Japan’s militarist Prime Minister, General Hideki Tojo, issued a blunt warning to Britain and the United States that Japan would “purge East Asia of US -British power with a vengeance”. General Tojo’s threat appeared on the front page of the New York Herald Tribune on Sunday, 30 November 1941, exactly seven days before the Japanese attack on America’s Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor.

Despite the clear threat of war contained in Tojo’s warning, and despite having no knowledge of the whereabouts of Japan’s six largest fleet aircraft carriers, no steps were taken at Hawaii to bring the United States Pacific Fleet or the United States Army Air Corps to a state of war alert.

The Americans had broken the Japanese diplomatic code in September 1941, and were able to read coded messages from Tokyo to Japan’s embassies in Berlin and Washington. The United States government knew that Japan had warned its diplomats in Washington that certain unspecified events would occur after 29 November 1941. However, the Americans believed that the warning fore-shadowed possible aggressive moves by Japan against the Philippines or British or Dutch colonial possessions in South-East Asia. Although they did not believe that an attack on Pearl Harbor was planned by the Japanese, the American commanders in Hawaii took steps to guard against possible hostile action by Japanese submarines and sabotage to military aircraft or installations on the main island of Oahu. To guard against sabotage, Major General Short lined up his aircraft on the runways as if for an inspection. They would prove easy targets for Japanese aircraft when the attack came.

The Order to attack the United States Pacific Fleet

When the Japanese aircraft carrier strike force reached its stand-by point north of Hawaii, it waited to receive either final confirmation to proceed with the attack on Pearl Harbor or an order to return to Japan. On 1 December 1941, the Japanese government reached a firm decision to make war on the United States. On 2 December 1941, a radio signal containing the code words “climb Mount Niitaka” was received by Vice Admiral Nagumo aboard his flagship Akagi. The code message was an order to attack Pearl Harbor on Sunday, 7 December 1941. The Japanese were well aware that most Americans at this time observed Sunday as a holy day, and they had carefully timed the surprise attack to occur when many Americans in Hawaii would be preparing for or attending church services.

Surprise was considered vital to the success of the attack on the American fleet. There would be no prior declaration of war to alert the Americans to their danger.

Admiral Nagumo’s carrier strike force refuelled at sea on 5 and 6 December. Its approach to Hawaii was screened from American reconnaissance aircraft by low, dense cloud cover.

Japanese intelligence informed Nagumo on 6 December that the American battleships and a large number of smaller warships were in Pearl Harbor. However, Nagumo’s primary targets were the American aircraft carriers, and they were all absent from the harbor. The Japanese believed that the American aircraft carriers Lexington, Saratoga, Enterprise and Yorktown were all based at Pearl Harbor at this time. Their intelligence was faulty. Having undergone routine dry-docking, Saratoga was at San Diego on the American west coast. Yorktown was stationed with the newly commissioned Hornet in the Atlantic at this time. Only Lexington and Enterprise were actually based at Pearl Harbor on 6 December 1941, and fortunately for the United States and Australia, both carriers were at sea when the Japanese attack took place. Despite this setback, Nagumo was under orders to proceed with the attack.

On 6 December 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt intervened personally in the cause of peace by sending a direct appeal to the Emperor of Japan. It fell on deaf ears in Tokyo. The Japanese government was determined on war and had no intention of recalling the Japanese carrier force.

Review of 20th Century Fox Pearl Harbor attack film “Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970)

PEARLINDEX

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Doug Casey on American Socialism

I was hoping this was not true, but it is his Doug’s point of view.

(Interviewed by Louis James, Editor, International Speculator)

[Skype rings. It’s Doug, as expected.]

L: Hi, Doug. I got the Alan Colmes article you sent. I can see why it got your goat – guess you’ve got a good rant in mind?

Doug: I don’t approve of rants. It’s true that I have strong opinions, and I’m not afraid to express them – but a considered and defensible opinion, even if it’s delivered with conviction, is essentially different from an emotional outburst.

L: Okay, sorry. No rants. But if the other side starts name-calling, we can be forgiven for a little emotion on our side – how does one answer a snarky dismissal of anyone who doesn’t agree with so-called progressives, labeling them “regressives”?

Doug: I’m certainly not above delivering an appropriate and well-deserved insult. An insult is really all that the lame attempts of progressives to shame people into voting for Obama deserve. From a long-term perspective, it certainly doesn’t much matter who wins the coming election; Romney would be just as great a disaster for what’s left of America as Obama, just in slightly different ways, with different rhetoric.

It’s interesting how certain breeds of statist are now re-labeling themselves as “progressives.” I guess they like the sound of the root word – progress – even though they only want progress towards collectivism. They used to call themselves “liberals,” a word which in America used to stand for free minds and free markets. But they appropriated it and degraded it – classical liberals had to rechristen themselves “libertarians.” World-improvers, political hacks, and busybodies in general are excellent at disguising bad ideas with good words, ruining them in the process.

It’s said that “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” But that’s actually untrue; propaganda is a very effective weapon. As Orwell pointed out, if you control the language, you control people’s thinking; and if you control people’s thinking, you control their actions. So I despise the way these types manipulate words.

As for the case at hand, one of the things that annoys me most about Colmes’ vapid article is his dishonest and misleading, albeit conventional, defense of the New Deal – America’s first great lurch towards socialism. He defends all the harm it’s done as a wonderful thing. He repeats the fiction that the New Deal rescued the economy from the last depression. It actually made the Depression deeper, and made it last longer.

L: Do tell.

Doug: Well, to start with, Colmes, a self-appointed whitewasher of American socialism, begins by resting his case on the claim that it is American socialism that has made America exceptional. It’s quite a bold assertion, since socialism as well as fascism are antithetical to everything that was good about America. He really is a cheeky bastard.

L: He calls his socialism “liberalism.”

Doug: Yes, but that too is an Orwellian perversion. As always, we should start with a definition. Around the world, you ask people what a liberal is, and they say something that at least relates to the word’s original meaning: liberals favor liberty. And that’s not just the civil liberties defended by the ACLU, but also economic liberty – meaning freedom to engage in free trade with others. The free market.

But back in the 1930s, socialists like Norman Thomas started to realize that they were never going to persuade the majority of Americans to accept socialism outright, so they changed the name and embarked on a deliberate campaign to implement their agenda, one piece at a time, calling it liberalism. And who could be against that?

L: I’ve read that most of Thomas’ 1932 platform has now become law in the US.

Doug: I believe that’s true. Take a look at this Word document [it will download automatically]. Actually, the same is true of Marx’s Communist Manifesto. But back to today, Colmes’ claim is absolutely ridiculous. Social Security, Medicare, and progressive income taxes have not made America exceptional, but just the opposite; they’ve made it like all the other socialist and fascist countries that cover the face of the globe like a skin disease. They are burdens that have slowed the economy and distorted people’s incentives and ideas.

These programs have, perversely, hurt the poor – the very people they’re supposed to help – the most. They’ve acted to corrupt them and cement them to the bottom of society. They’ve destroyed huge amounts of capital, which would otherwise have raised the general standard of living, redirecting it from production toward consumption. These coercive ideas all originated and were first implemented in Europe before so-called liberals foisted them on Americans, in the name of freedom. It’s quite Orwellian, the way they’ve twisted concepts to mean the opposite of what they once did.

L: Some people would argue that things like Social Security liberate them – free them from fear of poverty in old age.

Doug: That claim shouldn’t be worth answering – but it must be answered, because Boobus americanus believes it. It’s a classic “big lie.” Say it often enough, and people think it’s true. In fact, Social Security acts to impoverish the country, by destroying the incentive to save.

L: How so?

Doug: By taking almost 15% of a person’s wages right off the top, Social Security makes it much harder for a poor person to save money. Worse yet, it makes people think they don’t need to save for themselves; it gives them a false sense of security. Even worse is that the money never really belongs to the presumed recipient; it’s simply another unsecured obligation of a bankrupt government.

Social Security payments should at least be set aside as discrete accounts in each person’s name, and become assets for them. If that money were placed in an individually owned pension plan, with just average management, the results would be many times what people now hope to get. And the plan wouldn’t be a burden to future taxpayers. Social Security is, in fact, just a gigantic Ponzi scheme, where the next generation of young people is forced to support the last generation of old people.

Worst of all, the program causes people to be irresponsible. This is a disaster, because a free society can only exist when everyone takes personal responsibility seriously. It’s a swindle, and it corrupts everyone. No wonder parents can no longer rely on their own children to support them in old age. Maybe the Chinese will lend the US government the money it needs to pay its Social Security obligations…

But the numerous practical failures of a program like Social Security are not the main problem.

The primary problem with a scheme like Social Security is that it’s not voluntary; it’s coercive, which makes it unethical. You can’t force people to do what you think is right and then claim to be liberating them. Alleged freedom from fear of poverty in old age in exchange for theft of wages in the present – and the correct word for taking people’s money without their consent is “theft” – is not liberal in any defensible meaning of the world. It’s brute, “might-makes-right” power clothed in noble-sounding words.

L: Colmes says that Social Security keeps 40% of seniors above the poverty line today, and “helps families with disabilities and those who have lost loved ones.” That’s a bad thing?

Doug: No one seriously thinks they’ll be able to have a decent quality of life on Social Security retirement income alone. Why do you think so many senior citizens are working at Walmart or the like? Colmes is committing the same error Bastiat pointed out 200 years ago; choosing to value immediate, direct, and visible benefits, but ignoring the delayed and indirect costs, which only become obvious later.

The long-term costs of Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, food stamps, and so forth include bankrupting the country, among other economic consequences. But even more disturbing and damaging is the degradation of once self-reliant people to subservience and dependence, which is what happens when government assumes responsibilities that adult individuals should bear themselves.

For example, Social Security disability benefits are being used as an alternate income source by the unemployed. As of August, 2012, there were about 10.8 million people collecting disability income – that’s a larger number than the entire population of most US states, and up from 8.1 million in 2007, when the Greater Depression began. It can be a great scam, claiming PTSD, unprovable back pain, or a mood disorder. There’s a whole class of ambulance-chasing lawyers that takes these cases on contingency.

L: What about the individuals who try and can’t bear the responsibilities of adulthood?

Doug: The programs exist and have not prevented that from happening; there are plenty of homeless people today. I would argue that most of them are in that position because they’ve developed bad habits. There would be a lot fewer of them if they didn’t get taught from childhood that assuring their own lives and well-being is really the state’s responsibility, not their own. The system is failing these people, but again, that’s beside the point; two wrongs don’t make a right. The whole idea of a government “safety net” is wrong, in principle and practice.

Ideas have consequences in the physical world, and lies, twisted words, and self-contradictory, impossible claims can be extremely damaging. You can’t liberate people by putting them in financial chains.

L: I understand the principles, but many people don’t – or just don’t care. People like Colmes see the parks built by the Civilian Conservation Corps and the infrastructure built by the Works Progress Administration as unmitigated goods, the work given to all the millions employed by the government as life-saving, and the idea of helping those in need to be a moral imperative they don’t question.

Doug: The average person has been handed this party line throughout his life, from teachers in government schools to talking heads on TV. He’s been discouraged from thinking critically or independently. We have two widely shared myths – that Roosevelt’s New Deal cured the Depression and Johnson’s Great Society cured poverty – although both beliefs are counterfactual. It’s pretty much as Will Rogers liked to say: “It isn’t what we don’t know that gives us trouble; it’s what we know that just ain’t so.”

Now a new myth is being hatched, that Obama and Bernanke’s quantitative easing saved the economy. But that will never catch on; it will be totally debunked over the next few years as they destroy both the dollar and the economy.

Colmes seems completely unaware that government programs have costs. The money used to pay the Civilian Conservation Corps and Works Progress Administration workers had to come from somewhere – where? It’s either forcibly taken from current taxpayers, who then can neither enjoy it nor invest it as they prefer – or it comes from taking on debt, which means future taxpayers, who are thereby turned into indentured servants. That money was redirected from whatever uses those who earned it had for it, and put to uses government employees deemed best.

The political process, of course, has a perverse tendency to result in “pork” spending on the most useless, wasteful, and idiotic programs imaginable. It goes for things that are politically productive for the people who control the state, not necessarily economically productive for either society or the taxpayers. But again, this is all secondary to the ethics of the matter; that is vastly more important.

Parks are nice, but should the money to build them have been taken from entrepreneurs struggling to build businesses in the 1930s? Or single mothers in, say, Harlem, struggling to feed their families? It’s the little people who can’t afford the lawyers and accountants needed to cut tax bills who suffer the most.

Coercing people to do what politicians decide is simply unethical.

L: What about the argument that it’s not coercion if the people voted for the politicians who passed the laws that created these programs?

Doug: Essentially another big lie. In the first place, people vote for politicians – who rarely keep promises – not for laws at the federal level. None of these laws were enacted by the people. Second, unless you could get unanimous consent of every person affected, it would still be coercive to people who have committed no crime and want no part of it, and thus unethical.

If 51% of the people vote to enslave 49% of the people, that doesn’t make that slavery right. If 99% vote to enslave 1% – something many of the ignorant, torch-wielding masses seem to be clamoring for these days – it’s still wrong. Ethics is not a matter of popularity contests.

Anything that society wants or needs can, should, and will be provided by entrepreneurs working for a profit.

L: Can you elaborate on that? It’s all fine to criticize stupid ideas, but unless you offer a constructive alternative, what’s the point?

Doug: Indeed. We’re talking about products and services that people regard as necessary or beneficial for society as a whole, but which they say private enterprise wouldn’t provide adequately. Roads, schools, and post offices are frequently cited examples.

Government post offices were a bad idea to begin with – even back in the 1800s when most people thought they were vitally important, a man named Lysander Spooner set up a private company to deliver mail – and do so for less than the government charged. This superior service upset the apple cart, and was outlawed and shut down. Today, everyone knows that UPS and FedEx do a better job than the post office; no sensible person trusts the government when it absolutely, positively has to get there. Between that and email, the post office should have been shut down, rather than propped up, long ago. It now costs taxpayers on t he order of $12 billion a year.

Similarly, there’s a history of private roads going back to previous centuries. The fist transcontinental highway, the old Route 66, was paved with private money. There are private roads in the US and around the world today. It’s simply not true that you need a government to build things that people actually need. You need government roads about as much as you need government cars.

We’ve covered schools and education. The schools are absolutely the last thing the state should do…

L: What about things like the military, police, and courts?

Doug: Well, I would argue that even those should be handled by the private sector, but I understand that many people can’t get away from the idea that these services are core government functions that should not be privatized. That’s because they fear they would not be fair and impartial – though it’s a cruel joke to think that government courts today are fair and impartial. At any rate, I could live with it if government were limited to these core functions; but police and courts are only a tiny fraction of what government does today.

There’s great danger in having the government do anything, quite frankly. But it could be better if more people like Ron Paul or my friend Marc Victor were in office. Check out Victor; he has the potential to be the next Ron Paul – on steroids.

L: Understood: if no one can make a buck providing some good or service, how vital can it be? Anything people actually want will be provided by entrepreneurs, making a profit. And like you, I too like to start by asking what is right, before I ask how much it costs. But most people just don’t seem to think this way. That’s why I keep coming back to the practical arguments. It seems that, regardless of one’s politics, it should matter that the state’s coffers are empty.

Colmes argues that by 2022 Obama’s Affordable Care Act “will provide coverage to 33 million Americans who would otherwise be uninsured.” He doesn’t mention that mandated government spending and interest payments have already taken over the entire federal budget. Even now, with a $1.5 trillion deficit, most of the $700 billion for the military, the $227 billion for interest on the national debt and the $646 billion for regular government services is borrowed every year. The whole thing is an impossible pipe dream that absolutely ensures the bankruptcy of not just the US government, but American society itself.

Doug: It seems insane – people wouldn’t believe us if we’d written this into a story some years ago.

But you can see the scary truth in the news every day; people in Europe’s totally broke and failing economies protest violently in the streets for their governments to spend more money those governments don’t have and won’t be able to borrow. Colmes exhibits this same breathtaking unwillingness to face the facts. He talks about one in seven people being on food stamps, as though it were a good thing. He talks about how politicians voted to extend unemployment benefits with money they don’t have as though that’s an unquestionably good thing to do.

L: So is Colmes an evil manipulator or a misguided dupe?

Doug: I don’t see how any intellectually honest person can write a long article praising a whole alphabet soup of government agencies without ever once admitting their failure, asking how much they cost, or examining the ethical basis for their existence. So I suspect he’s both a knave and a fool.

Colmes’ article encapsulates wrong-headedness and willful ignorance in exactly the same way that Paul Krugman and Thomas Friedman invariably do. They’re all very destructive people. Since they don’t appear to be stupid – in the sense of having low IQs – I’m forced to assume they’re ill-intentioned.

L: So… What’s in it for him to circulate such obviously biased and misleading opinions?

Doug: Perhaps he’s simply a sociopath who gets pleasure from destruction. Or perhaps he’s just motivated by fame and money and has found a profitable gig. Despite being an apologist for socialism, the man hosts a talk show and writes books which make him money; he doesn’t do it pro bono. He has identified a market and is making money, pursuing his own self-interest, deliberately or unwittingly to the detriment of society.

L: Just like a politician.

Doug: He sees the government as the solution to every problem. But since government is pure coercion by its very nature, you can count on it to do the wrong thing – and often even the exact opposite of the right thing.

L: It’s perverse.

Doug: [Laughs] Took the words out of my mouth.

L: Investment implications?

Doug: Nothing specifically related to Colmes. He’s just another sign of the degradation of America, yet another data point supporting my view that the US is probably past the point of no return. The place that was once America is going through the wringer, and so is the rest of the world. And the way to deal with that is what we’ve been saying for some time now: rig for stormy weather.

L: Liquidate, consolidate, speculate, create – and internationalize.

9/11, 11 Years Later…A Roundup of Posts

Today we remember the 11th anniversary of the worst attack against America on our home soil.  This year, it is mildly different as the perpetrator, Osama Bin Laden is now dead due to the bravery of Seal Team 6 (video of the actual operation here).

I congratulate the president on executing the mission to attack him, although it would have been better if we had been able to waterboard him for more information.  I believe that except for the most rabid of pacifists, most Americans would have been happy to give the same order.

Likewise, we should give credit to the Bush administration for setting up the intelligence network and the extracting and the correlation of the intelligence that lead to his demise.  So a great number of people who contributed should share in the credit and be praised for a job well done.

Here is a round up of coverage during the day regarding this anniversary.  I’ll gladly include any other coverage that is respectful and accurate.

9/11 And a shining city

We could have captured Osama before 9/11 but let him get away

Fortunately, we didn’t close Guantanamo Bay

Enhance interrogation on KSM helped find OBL

How and why we failed to coordinate the evidence about 9/11

The Path to 9/11

The makings of the next attack which could be nuclear

Rudy Guilinani: The Pain Stays, the Fight Goes On

9/11, A day of remembrance

9/11, Good vs. Evil

American’s prepare to mark the anniversary of 9/11

9/11 at 11: A Patriots day

United Airlines Flight 175 South Tower 9:03 a.m.

American Airlines Flight 11 North Tower 8:46 a.m.

5 words and 2 numbers – the note from the 84th floor

9/11: Remembrance, Resolve, Action

9/11: Americans remember attacks on 11th Anniversary (Photos)

A Tribute to 9/11 victims

Allen West’s statement on the 9/11 Attacks

The Pain never dies

Game Over, Evil Is Revealed

July 4th 2012, Top Posts Round-up

First of all if you read the dates on the gravestone, Happy Birthday Mom.

So it’s Independence Day, declared in 1776 from the rest of the World.  The USA has in its short life (compared with other countries) given more to others in benevolence, freed and saved more people, helped former enemies to recover, sacrificed more than others and established a new way of running a country other than a Monarchy.  Unlike the Monarchy’s around the world, the land wasn’t taken from others in a border dispute war or outright takeover like those we declared freedom from….. and has contributed more development, medicine and technology than most other countries combined.  So why are our leaders trying to run it in a way that has failed?

Ronald Reagan said, “The American dream is not that every man must be level with every other man. The American dream is that every man must be free to become whatever God intends he should become.”

Most of this is a blessing from our Creator, mentioned in all the documents of the Founding Fathers, yet the government of today is trying to leave that model and get back to the type of behavior we declared independence from.  Why?

First, let’s start off with the Star Spangled Banner.

Here is a round-up of the best posts for today.

Michelle Malkin – Happy 236th Birthday

John Ransom – Washington’s First Fourth

America joining the One World Crappola from the Daily Kos instead of celebrating why we are different (see our Judeo-Christian history) I tried finding something patriotic just for fairness, but it’s just a different world view I guess

America Haters from the Usual sources, Hollywierd

The other America Haters – The Media

Paul Greenberg – The American Idea

Rasmussen poll – Liberty and Justice for all

Speaker Boehner’s Independence Day Tribute: “Here’s to the Spirit of ‘76”

Joshpundit – America’s Birthday Edition (lots of links here)

Robert Samuelson – Love of Country 2012

Fleming: What Life Was Like in 1776

For levity, The Hot Dog eating contest where an American is the favorite

Finally, here is the Declaration of Independence, from tyranny and taxes.  Have we come full circle?

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long-established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.


The 56 signatures on the Declaration appear in the positions indicated:

Column 1
Georgia:
Button Gwinnett
Lyman Hall
George Walton

Column 2
North Carolina:
William Hooper
Joseph Hewes
John Penn
South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge
Thomas Heyward, Jr.
Thomas Lynch, Jr.
Arthur Middleton

Column 3
Massachusetts:
John Hancock
Maryland:
Samuel Chase
William Paca
Thomas Stone
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Virginia:
George Wythe
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Harrison
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton

Column 4
Pennsylvania:
Robert Morris
Benjamin Rush
Benjamin Franklin
John Morton
George Clymer
James Smith
George Taylor
James Wilson
George Ross
Delaware:
Caesar Rodney
George Read
Thomas McKean

Column 5
New York:
William Floyd
Philip Livingston
Francis Lewis
Lewis Morris
New Jersey:
Richard Stockton
John Witherspoon
Francis Hopkinson
John Hart
Abraham Clark

Column 6
New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett
William Whipple
Massachusetts:
Samuel Adams
John Adams
Robert Treat Paine
Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins
William Ellery
Connecticut:
Roger Sherman
Samuel Huntington
William Williams
Oliver Wolcott
New Hampshire:
Matthew Thornton

Life Isn’t Fair, So What is New? Why Are We Trying To Kill The American Dream?

After reading an article by one of the top economists we should listen to, it occurred to me that life isn’t fair, but that alone is fair.

An excerpt from the article starts us off:

Some years ago, for example, there was a big outcry that various mental tests used for college admissions or for employment were biased and “unfair” to many individuals or groups. Fortunately there was one voice of sanity– David Riesman, I believe– who said: “The tests are not unfair. LIFE is unfair and the tests measure the results.”

If by “fair” you mean everyone having the same odds for achieving success, then life has never been anywhere close to being fair, anywhere or at any time. If you stop and think about it (however old-fashioned that may seem), it is hard even to conceive of how life could possibly be fair in that sense.

Even within the same family, among children born to the same parents and raised under the same roof, the first-borns on average have higher IQs than their brothers and sisters, and usually achieve more in life.

Unfairness is often blamed on somebody, even if only on “society.” But whose fault is it if you were not the first born? Since some groups have more children than others, a higher percentage of the next generation will be first-borns in groups that have smaller families, so such groups have an advantage over other groups.

TRYING TO EQUALIZE THE RESULTS HAS LESS CHANCE OF SUCCESS THAN CREATING AN ENVIRONMENT TO SUCCEED

I propose that Life isn’t fair, now get over it and try harder.   The American dream is to work hard, be successful and get ahead.  We shouldn’t kill that dream which is what is being proposed for those making over $250,000.  Further, it was said that “cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.  it will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.  By the swat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”

Some are richer, some are born into more prosperity than others, some are smarter, some have more ambition….the list goes on forever.

Here are two good examples of those that exemplify that some have it easier than others, just for being born into the right family.

To try and make it otherwise is usually a result of envy or jealousy of others success.  There is no way to legislate tenacity to succeed, one’s ability vs. others, familial or environmental factors and many other causes.  Some have more and do better than others, GET OVER IT.

We live in a country where people have come to because of the American Dream defined as:

The American Dream is a national ethos of the United States in which freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success, an upward social mobility achieved through hard work. In the definition of the American Dream by James Truslow Adams in 1931, “life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement” regardless of social class or circumstances of birth.[1] The idea of the American Dream is rooted in the United States Declaration of Independence which proclaims that “all men are created equal” and that they are “endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights” including “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”[2]

Any effort to equalize things by wealth redistribution is socialistic and doomed to failure.  I beg for someone to show me an example of where communism or socialism has succeeded.  Ask Greece, the USSR, most European countries….

Why?

Margaret Thatcher once said that ‘The trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money’?
Frank Zappa said “Communism doesn’t work because people like to own stuff.”

TO TRY AND MAKE IT EQUAL ALWAYS FAILS

There has been some talk during regarding those who make over a certain amount should give more, also called redistribution.  This is directly from the mouth of a famous person in history:

From each according to his ability, to each according to his need (or needs) is a slogan popularized by Karl Marx in his 1875 Critique of the Gotha Program.

Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it.
Thomas Sowell

Politicians love to say things like, “We’re just asking everyone to pay their fair share.” But government is not about asking. It is about telling. The difference is fundamental. It is the difference between making love and being raped, between working for a living and being a slave. The Internal Revenue service is not asking anybody to do anything. It confiscates your assets and puts you behind bars if you don’t pay.
Instituting wealth re-distribution, taxing folks who make over $250,000 and then waxing poetically that it is “fair” is no more than an attempt to kill the American Dream.  I have a belief however that folks will find a way around it, the disadvantaged will still want to come here for success and
Governments aren’t invested with moral qualities; only people are. This basic understanding of the world is one of the distinctions between the progressives/socialists and conservatives.

A free market will create big differences in wealth. That wealth disparity is simply a byproduct of freedom — vastly diverse individuals competing to serve consumers will arrive at vastly diverse outcomes.

That disparity is not unfair — if it results from free exchange.

The free market (which, sadly, America doesn’t have) is fair. It also produces better outcomes. Even “losers” do pretty well.

A more astute observer than Moore might show how unfair government intervention is. Licenses, taxes, regulations and corporate subsidies make it harder for the average worker to start his own business, to go from being a “little guy” to being an independent owner of means of production. Most new businesses fail, but running your own business is the best route to prosperity and — surveys suggest — happiness, too.

So the conclusion is that Life isn’t fair and there will be some Warren Buffetts, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerbergs that get richer and they should.   If the Government would stay out of the free market, more would prosper.  A rising tide floats all boats
Nikki Newman and Mark Ehrnstein have plenty in common. They both work at Whole Foods’ headquarters, and they share a passion for the Earth-friendly, healthy and egalitarian values the company espouses.Ask them why they work at Whole Foods, and you get a lot of the same answers.Ask them about their paychecks, though, and you get two different stories.

Newman, the receptionist at the company’s corporate offices, has worked for Whole Foods for six years and now makes about $17 an hour. She lives comfortably in a rented duplex, but she admitted money can get tight on occasion – like the time her dog needed a surprise $750 worth of dental care.

Ehrnstein, on the other hand, is Whole Foods’ global vice president for team member services, a position that pays him a six-figure annual salary. He and his wife, Renee, have worked more than 30 years combined at Whole Foods. They own a 3,151-square-foot home, according to Travis County Central Appraisal District records.

“I feel very grateful to be in the role I’m in, but most of all I feel grateful to work for a company that aligns with my values,” Ehrnstein said. “I feel connections with our team members in that sense. But certainly, the compensation affords different opportunities.”

This is not the stereotypical story of the gap between rich and poor. Few would criticize the wage disparity between Newman and Ehrnstein given their tenures and responsibilities at the company. Plus, the gap from top to bottom is much narrower at Whole Foods than other large grocers because it pays higher entry-level wages and caps executive pay at 19 times the salary of its lowest-paid employee.

To which I say so what.  The higher up in the company they are or the more responsibility one has, the more they should earn.  Their actions will bear the legal responsibility and shape the course and success of the company. 

I don’t give a rats rump that someone has the chance to make more than me.  We should have the opportunity to make the most money we can possibly make without the government restricting that chance.  That is why we compete, innovate, work and strive for success.  I say screw the idea of socialism because that is what makes America great.  We compete to be the best and try to out do the other guy.  It’s how we (the US) beat the Soviet’s to the Moon, *(humans) invented cars, trains, planes, computers, telephones, cellphones and is also the reason there is Apple, Facebook, Ford, steel, iPads and every other success that has been invented.  We have the cure for polio, vaccines and advancements in medicine that socialized societies would never have had the incentive to create.

The planet Neptune has never been seen by anyone looking at the night sky through just their own eyes. So distant is it from the sun that the light it reflects toward the Earth is so faint that the planet is effectively invisible in the darkness of night. And yet, the outermost large planet of our solar system was discovered by astronomers who knew exactly where to look….

Following William Herschel‘s discovery of Uranus in 1781, the world’s astronomers went to work to observe and describe the seventh planet of the solar system, taking detailed measurements of its trajectory in space.Illustration of the Pull of a More Distant Planet Forty years later, French astronomer Alexis Bouvard published detailed tables describing Uranus’ orbit about the sun. More than that however, his tables incorporated the lessons learned about planetary orbits from Johannes Kepler and Sir Isaac Newton to chart the path Uranus would follow into the future.

But then, something strange happened. Significant discrepancies between Bouvard’s projected path for Uranus and its actual orbit began to be observed – irregularities that were not observed in the tables he had created to describe the orbital paths of the planets Jupiter and Saturn using the same methods. Soon, observations and detailed measurements confirmed that Uranus was moving along a path that was not described by Bouvard’s careful calculations.

These irregularities led Bouvard to hypothesize that an as yet unseen eighth planet in the solar system might be responsible for what he and other astronomers were observing.

Voyager 2 Image of Neptune, emphasizing the 'Great Dark Spot' Over twenty years later, astronomer Urbain Le Verrier was working on the problem, taking a unique approach to resolving it.

What made Le Verrier’s work unique is that he applied the math developed by Sir Isaac Newton to describe the gravitational attraction between two bodies to solve the problem. Here, he used Newton’s theory to anticipate where an as yet unknown, but more distant planet also orbiting the sun would have to be to create the effects observed upon the position of the planet Uranus in its orbit.

Le Verrier completed his calculations regarding the position of the hypothetical eighth planet on 1 June 1846. A little over three months later, on 23 September 1846, the planet Neptune was observed for the first time at almost exactly the position in space where Le Verrier predicted it would be, confirming Newton’s gravitational theory in the process.

We’re going to do something similar today to explain why household income inequality in the United States has increased over time, even though there has been no change in individual income inequality.

From Darkness to Discovery

Our first chart below is based on data taken from the U.S. Census’ data [Excel spreadsheet] on the inflation-adjusted median and mean income for all Americans from 1947 through 2010, which we’ve presented in terms of constant 2010 U.S. dollars. For reference, we’ve also indicated the NBER’s official periods of recession in the U.S. during this period with the shaded red vertical bands on the chart:

U.S. Individuals Real Median Income with Recessions from 1947 through 2010

Next, we took the U.S. Census’ breakdown of inflation-adjusted median income for both men and women for each of these years [Excel spreadsheet] and used the math that applies to log-normal distributions to construct the combined median income that applies to individuals. Our results are shown in the chart below, along with the actual median incomes reported by the U.S. Census so we can compare our calculated results with them:

U.S. Individuals Real Median Income by Sex with Recessions from 1947 through 2010

As you can see, our calculated results in creating a weighted median from the subsets of median income data for men and women are very close to the actual real median income numbers for all individuals. Here, because per capita income has been demonstrated to follow a log-normal distribution, we are able to use this math to either combine or extract subsets of data that have never been officially presented.

As an aside, we achieved the results above by treating the reported median income data the way we might calculate a weighted average. The beauty of the log-normal distribution math is that we can do this with medians, which we ordinarily could not do otherwise.

In the chart above, you can see the effect of the changing composition of the U.S. workforce, as the relative share of women earning incomes in the United States has increased since 1947. In 1947, the median income for individuals is much closer to the median income for men than it is for women. By 2010 however, we see that the median income for individuals is about halfway in between the median incomes for men and for women, reflecting that nearly equal share that both sexes now have among all individual income earners in the U.S.

Extracting The Unseen

The U.S. Census Bureau provides the median income data for individuals (or persons), men and women. It also reports median income data for both male and female wage or salary earners [Excel spreadsheet], whom we’ll simply describe as Working Men and Working Women.

Using the math we demonstrated above with this data, we can extract the median incomes for two categories of people for whom the U.S. Census has never reported median incomes: men and women with incomes who do not earn wages or salaries, or as we’ll describe them from now on, Non-Working Men and Non-Working Women! Today, we’re putting what we found for all U.S. individual income earners together for the first time:

U.S. Individuals Real Median Income by Sex and Working Status with Recessions from 1947 through 2010

Constructing Households

Now, let’s combine our median income earners into two-person households, pairing working men and women, working men and non-working women, non-working men and working women and finally non-working men and non-working women. We’ve shown our results below, along with the U.S. Census’ official median income for U.S. households:

U.S. Couples Median Real Income with Recessions, 1947-2010

Well, look at that! The households formed by our single-wage and salary income earning couples from 1947 through 2010 closely parallels the actual real median income for U.S. households with a working man and non-working woman over that time (except for the years 1974 through 1977, where there seems to be an anomaly in the Census’ data for working men – and here, the actual median splits the difference!) Also keeping in mind that the actual median household income might include the income contributions of additional people (say individuals between the ages of 16 and 24 who might be working part time at minimum wage jobs while also attending school and living at home with their parents), which likely accounts for the difference between the two, we’ve pretty much just demonstrated that we can successfully model basic U.S. households using just the data that applies for U.S. individuals.

But wait! What about single person households? Our next chart throws them into the mix as well!

U.S. Households Median Real Income with Recessions, 1947-2010

Using the figures for 2010, we approximated the income percentiles for each of our single and two-person median income earning households. The table below reveals our results (our model should put each approximated percentile within 0.2 of the actual percentile!):

Household Type 2010 Median Income Approximate Income Percentile
Working Men and Working Women $64,075 61.4
Working Men and Non-Working Women $50,026 50.7
Working Women and Non-Working Men $49,344 50.1
Non-Working Men and Women $35,295 36.7
Working Men Only $37,102 38.6
Working Women Only $26,973 27.7
Non-Working Men Only $22,371 22.4
Non-Working Women Only $12,924 11.5

It occurs to us that all we would need to increase the income inequality among households in the United States is to increase the nation’s percentage of single person households among all households. That would work by increasing the number of households at the lower end of the income spectrum, even though it would have absolutely no effect upon the measured income inequality for individuals. The U.S. Census Bureau shows the change in the number of single person households since 1960:

U.S. Census Bureau: Percent of Single Person Households, 1960-2011

Here’s the U.S. Census Bureau’s Gini index measure of the amount of income equality among U.S. households for the years from 1947 through 2010:

Phil Wendt's Studio: Figure 1. Gini Index of Income Dispersion, 1947-2010

And here is the Gini index measure of the amount of income equality among U.S. individuals for the years from 1947 through 2005 (the data since 2005 is presented here – it’s similar to all that recorded since 1960 in the chart below):

The relevant data in the chart above is the Gini measure indicated with the hollow circles, which is based on the “fine”, or more detailed, income bins reported by the U.S. Census in its annual Current Population Survey. The other data in the chart, indicated by solid diamonds, represents income distribution data reported by the U.S. Census in larger, or more “coarse” income bins, which are less detailed and are therefore a much less accurate measure of the nation’s level of income inequality in any given year.

Intersections and Connections

Looking at where all the data in these three charts intersect and overlap, What we find is that since 1960, the level of income inequality for U.S. individuals as measured by the “fine” Gini index is nearly constant, but has increased significantly for U.S. households. What has changed over that time is the composition of U.S. households, with a steady increase in the percentage of single person households.

Without a corresponding increase in the measured income inequality for U.S. individuals, the increase in the measured income inequality for U.S. households has been almost entirely driven by the increase in the number of single person households over time.

So income inequality among U.S. households isn’t increasing because the rich are getting richer. That means that policies intended to right this situation by going after the rich in the name of “fairness” are guaranteed to fail, because the real cause of the increase in income inequality among U.S. households over time is something that cannot be fixed by such actions.

If only the people pushing such policies could see that….