Liberal Suffering and Confusion by Walter E. Williams

Liberal Suffering and Confusion by Walter E. Williams.

Here is yet another must-read article from the great Walter Williams. However, I will have to disagree with Mr. Williams on his title. It is the rest of us that suffer due to liberal confusion.

The liberal world vision and reality are often at variance, for example, with equal pay for equal work. I’ve often watched “Lockup,” a show that features California supermax prisons, including Pelican Bay and Corcoran. Often, a recalcitrant prisoner must be extracted from his cell through brute force. I’ve never seen female guards remove a prisoner. If they are part of the process at all, it’s to videotape the extraction for legal purposes. It’s my bet that female guards receive the same salaries as male guards while not having to risk injury. Along the same lines, women on aircraft carriers earn as much as their male counterparts, but I have yet to see women hefting a hernia bar to attach a 500- or 1,000-pound bomb to a fighter jet wing. All of this suggests that liberals are for equal pay for unequal work. Or could it be sex discrimination whereby equally qualified women are denied the opportunity to extract beastly inmates from their cells and load heavy bombs on fighter planes?

Here’s another bit of liberal confusion. Liberals deny that raising labor cost through minimum wages reduces incentives to hire. But if you asked a liberal for advice on how to stop rich people from shirking their tax obligations, they’d say raise the penalty. Ask low-information Harvard University doctors what should be done to stem gun violence and they answer that government should institute “a new, substantial national tax on all firearms and ammunition.” Ask Illinois’ Cook County Board of Commissioners President Toni Preckwinkle how to reduce purchases of bullets and guns. She’d say levy a nickel tax on each bullet and a $25 tax on each gun. Liberals demonstrate they understand the law of demand – that raising the cost of something lessens the amount taken – but they deny that it applies to labor. That’s as ludicrous as suggesting that the law of gravity applies to everything in the universe except cute creatures, such as pandas and puppies.

Liberals love political correctness that conceals information. For example, how does one know whether the “chair” of a board of directors or the chair of a city council is a man or woman? This issue arose during my (1995-2001) chairmanship of George Mason University’s distinguished economics department. At a chairman’s meeting or gathering, I was referred to as department chair. I told the speaker that I am a chairman and that I have empirical evidence as proof. Needless to say, it didn’t go over well, but academics don’t like the terms chairwoman or chairperson, either, but puzzlingly, God forbid that people refer to their idol as Chair Mao instead of Chairman Mao.

How liberals identify black people must be confusing to whites. Having been around for 77 years, I have been through a number of names. Among the more polite ones are colored, Negro, Afro-American, black and, more recently, African-American. Among those names, African-American is probably the most unintelligent. Let’s look at it. To identify their races, suppose I told you that I had a European-American friend, a South America-American friend and a North America-American friend. You’d probably say, “Williams, that’s stupid. Europe, South America and North America are continents and home to different races, ethnicities and nationalities.” You might suggest that my friend is a German-American instead of European-American. My friend from Brazil is a Brazilian-American rather than a South America-American, and my friend from Canada is a Canadian-American instead of a North America-American. So wouldn’t the same apply to people whose heritage lies on the African continent? For example, instead of claiming that President Barack Obama is the first African-American president, he’s the first partially Kenyan-American president. Obama is lucky; he knows his national heritage. The closest thing to a national identity for most black Americans is some country along Africa’s Gold Coast. Adding to the confusion, what would you call a white American of Afrikaner or Egyptian descent? Is he an African-American?

Liberals suffer confusion and cognitive dissonance because the rest of us don’t help explain things to them.

April 30, 2013

Walter E. Williams is the John M. Olin distinguished professor of economics at George Mason University, and a nationally syndicated columnist. To find out more about Walter E. Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page

So who’s really right on this whole unemployment/disability mess?

The monthly drama surrounding the nation’s unemployment rate will play out again next Friday when the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) releases its April report. It’s become an industry upon itself with different organizations and media sources making predictions prior to the release and then subsequently debating its merits afterward. The methodology employed by the BLS makes any result unreliable as a true measure of the nations employment situation, yet the results drive policy and have a significant effect on the political climate in America.

The biggest problems are in what defines an employed person and how people are counted in the survey taken each month to derive the nations official measure of the unemployment rate.

The BLS considers one employed if you work as little as one paid hour per month. If you work at least 15 hours unpaid, such as in a family business, you are also counted as employed.

Interpreting the unemployment rate is really a crapshoot. The flimsy requirement to be counted as employed as well as other factors such as marginally attached workers and those considered not in the labor force at all make the rate a truly poor measure of the state of the economy.

However, this post isn’t intended to delve into the BLS methodology and all of its misgivings. Rather, it is to touch on the latest skewing of the nations unemployment rate via the meteoric rise in the number of Americans collecting disability payments. Disability has become the unofficial extension of federal unemployment benefits. After state and federal benefits and extensions are all exhausted, many are moving to disability as the next source of the social safety net.

The BLS recently released a new study concerning disabled Americans – http://www.bls.gov/news.release/dissup.nr0.htm.

In it we find that over 28 million Americans are considered disabled. Keep in mind these numbers are already nearly a year old as of May, 2012.

Just over 18% of the disabled were employed (recall the flimsy BLS definition of employed). That compares to around 64% of the overall working age population of Americans employed.

Here’s where it starts to get a little sticky. Nearly 60% of the disabled received some form of financial assistance in the last year from one or more of the following sources: Workers Compensation, Social Security Disability Income, Supplemental Security Income, Veterans Disability compensation, disability insurance payments, Medicaid, Medicare, and other payments or programs.

Yet over 92.5% of those surveyed stated that the financial assistance failed to impede their search for work. Really? Realistically, the only way for that to be true is that the rocketing numbers of those on the disability rolls are truly disabled and not simply collecting benefits as a source of income when all others have been exhausted. Can this possibly be true despite the tremendous advances in medical technology allowing the disabled to work and function nearly normal? We must be experiencing an unprecedented spike in Americans becoming disabled despite more reasons than ever before to not let it affect their lives.

National Public Radio (NPR) completed a study showing 14 million Americans are receiving disability benefits from the government – http://apps.npr.org/unfit-for-work/.

Reporter Chana Joffe-Walt made this statement during an interview with NPR’s This American Life on March 22, 2013.

since the economy began its slow, slow recovery in late 2009, we’ve been averaging about 150,000 jobs created per month. In that same period every month, almost 250,000 people have been applying for disability.

Can it be pure coincidence that the rise in disability mirrors the high unemployment numbers?

Chana Joffe-Walt calls it the disability-industrial complex. This has the left in a tizzy. They have trotted out a long line of debunkers and consider anyone even quoting the NPR study a right-wing extremist since the results don’t fit the official narrative of the left. You can draw your own conclusions as to the merits of the study. What is undeniable however is the rise in those considered disabled since Obama took office.

If you take any of these studies with a grain of salt perhaps because you consider them partisan or slanted in some manner, numbers from the Social Security Administration itself confirm that nearly one thousand new people each day are enrolling for disability benefits since Obama took office – http://cnsnews.com/news/article/8803335-another-new-record-disability-975-day-under-obama. The SSA is hardly a right-wing extremist source.

Also from the NPR study.

The federal government spends more money each year on cash payments for disabled former workers than it spends on food stamps and welfare combined.

Many people have heard that over 47 million Americans from 23 million households are now on food stamps or SNAP – http://cnsnews.com/blog/joe-schoffstall/record-number-households-food-stamps-1-out-every-5. They probably didn’t know that the cost of disability benefits was exceeding food stamps and welfare combined.

In fact, the fight against poverty is costing America a trillion dollars each year according to the CATO Institute – http://www.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/PA694.pdf.

What can you takeaway from this barrage of numbers through various studies that show conflicting results? The economy stinks for the average American. The crony-capitalists and corporatists may be profiting per usual no matter who is in office, but there’s a reason this doesn’t feel like a recovery. Because it isn’t for most of us despite a booming Dow stock market average and the Wall Street financial markets that benefitted the most from the American taxpayer bailing them out.

So when the unemployment rate is released next week and the debate rages on, just remember to take it all in context with the big picture. Not all of us are suffering as the well-connected keep on living the American dream.

Tsarnaev was on the public dole? What’s the big deal?

By now, I’m sure you’ve seen that Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the older Boston Marathon bomber, was living on welfare. This seems to have people going nuts.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/apr/24/insult-injury-tamerlan-tsarnaev-lived-welfare-mass/

Is this state-sponsored terrorism?

Did we fund the brother’s so called radicalization?

I say how is it any worse than the government using taxpayer money to fund the Fast & Furious gun trafficking operation to Mexico which resulted in American deaths?

Benghazi progress report released from House GOP – I’d give it a D- so far

A progress report has been issued to House Republicans concerning the terrorist attack in Benghazi on Sept. 11,2012.

http://www.speaker.gov/sites/speaker.house.gov/files/documents/libya-progress-report.pdf

I will chock it up as another waste of taxpayer money. It’s nothing more than a 2016 Presidential election campaign salvo aimed at derailing Hillary Clinton from running. Focusing yet another congressional report (based upon five different committee investigations) on the inadequate security and the botched video cover-up by the Obama Administration is really old news.

Look at what the report never even addresses.

1. No questioning the purpose of the U.S. special mission and C.I.A. annex. It’s classified and the GOP wants to keep it there.

2. No addressing the status of the survivors. How many, where they are, who they are, who they worked for and what do they know.

Simply answering the covert nature of the operation answers all of the questions raised by the report as to why security was lax and requests for additional security were denied. Coordinating weapons transfers to Syria amongst others and possibly detaining prisoners are the real reasons for the existence of the entire operation. Clearly, a low profile is preferable here and thus the lax security.

The same goes for the survivors. The House committee’s don’t want to go there. The political fallout from revealing the truth of Benghazi affects the GOP as well as Obama. Neither side wants the real truth out there for that reason. Calling for the truth and endlessly investigating through committees is just political posturing.

The goals of the five committee’s going forward are outlined in the report and nowhere will you see the two areas listed above.

Sorry folks, no justice will ever come out of these committee investigations.

What threatens America more, terrorism or tyranny?

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Who should we fear more? Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York or a Boston bomber?

The instant response from the left is that Bloomberg never killed anyone. Well, he may not have pulled the trigger, but his gun-free zones have certainly gotten innocent people killed.

“The people who are worried about privacy have a legitimate worry,” Mr. Bloomberg said during a press conference in Midtown. “But we live in a complex world where you’re going to have to have a level of security greater than you did back in the olden days, if you will. And our laws and our interpretation of the Constitution, I think, have to change.”
Read more:http://politicker.com/2013/04/bloomberg-says-post-boston-interpretation-of-the-constitution-will-have-to-change/

The difference being that Bloomberg believes it is the role of the State to provide your personal protection as opposed to you exercising your natural right to self-defense yourself. Unless Bloomberg can provide armed escorts 24/7 to each and every American, that’s hogwash. And BTW, didn’t we used to have British soldiers right here on our soil enforcing the will of the King? Is that any less of a threat than today’s terrorist threat, unlike the “olden days” he refers too?

Today’s terrorist threat may be a mindset, an ideology, a religion or some combination of the three. To follow Bloomberg style thinking means to surrender and live in terror. You could take away every gun and multiply our police presence a hundred times over and yet the threat of terror would still prevail.

Here’s an idea. Have you seen the guy who took the pictures from his phone of the 2 bomber brothers in a firefight with police?

UPDATE – the pictures were pulled down earlier today by the poster. However, I did save one of them before they did it which is of the older brother down on the street with the younger brother heading toward him in the SUV.

UPDATE – the pictures are available all over the web. Here’s one location – http://www.infowars.com/new-pictures-purport-to-show-tsarnaev-brothers-engaged-in-firefight-with-police/

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http://www.getonhand.com/blogs/news/7743337-boston-bombing-suspect-shootout-pictures

I’ll bet if he had a gun handy, he could have ended it right there as you can see from his pictures, he had a clear shot they would have never seen coming.

Destroying the Constitution to serve lackeys such as Bloomberg is hardly worth the price for a false sense of security.

How did Tamerlan Tsarnaev die?

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Here is a photo of the now deceased Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Is this photo a fake? Certainly anything is possible. It’s all over the place on Mediate or Smoking Gun or Reddit, etc. You can draw your own conclusions. It is important to view it, however, due to the claim of how Mr. Tsarnaev met his demise.

The police chief, Edward Deveau, describes how cops nearly apprehended the older suspect, and were placing handcuffs on him in the middle of the street Thursday night, when the younger suspect came at officers in a carjacked SUV. The cops were able “to dive out of the way,” and the younger suspect then continued to drive directly over his brother and dragging him through the street. That’s how the older suspect died, according to the police chief.
Read more:http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/amazing-new-details-chase-boston-bombers_718135.html

This eyewitness account disputes that statement.

Everyone seems to be in agreement that Tsarnaev was run over by a car. Was it a police SUV or did Tamerlan’s brother run him over? If I understand this correctly, Tamerlan was outside the vehicle being cuffed and the police allowed his brother to remain in the vehicle so that he could run him over and get away leading to the manhunt that terminated at the boat? Or is the lady eyewitness correct in that the police ran him down and he died on the scene and not later at the hospital as the police claim?

Hmmm…

Can we see the video too, pretty please?

We’ve seen a lot of videos concerning the Boston Marathon. Lots of videos of the actual bomb blasts and devastation. Videos of the 2 suspects walking down the sidewalk and being apprehended. Heck, we saw helicopter footage of suspect #2 in the boat already. Do you wonder why we haven’t seen the one video that matters? The video that actually shows the suspects placing the backpacks in position before they exploded.

We know it exists because law enforcement has told us it does. In fact, it’s a very “chilling” video we’re told. Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick.

Speaking on “Meet the Press,” the governor said surveillance video from the attack shows one suspect dropping his backpack and calmly walking away before the bomb inside exploded. It clearly puts 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev at the scene of the attack, he added.

“It does seem to be pretty clear that this suspect took the backpack off, put it down, did not react when the first explosion went off and then moved away from the backpack in time for the second explosion,” Patrick remarked. “It’s pretty clear about his involvement and pretty chilling, frankly.”

Only one small catch. Patrick has never even seen the video.

Patrick said he hasn’t actually viewed the videotape, but has been briefed by law enforcement officials about it.

Source – http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/04/21/gov-patrick-chilling-video-shows-bombing-suspect-dropping-his-bag-taking-cover/

It makes one wonder if we’ll ever get to see it to judge for ourselves. It would seem to be a matter of no small importance since we already have one dead suspect, untold millions spent on the massive law enforcement deployment and manhunt as well as subjecting the Boston area to what equated to martial law.

Let’s hope they’ll release it and soon, otherwise its conspicuous absence will grow a life of its own. Kind of like the surveillance video showing the plane hitting the Pentagon that we’ve still not seen yet. Or the Benghazi front gate surveillance video. And we wonder why “conspiracy” theories get started.