Liberals in a Tizzy   Leave a comment

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September 7, 2017

Many blacks and their white liberal allies demand the removal of statues of Confederate generals and the Confederate battle flag, and they are working up steam to destroy the images of Gens. Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee and President Jefferson Davis from Stone Mountain in Georgia. (For the unfamiliar, Stone Mountain is the Mount Rushmore of the Southeast US – Lela). Allow me to speculate as to the whys of this statue removal craze, which we might call statucide.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2017/09/walter-e-williams/liberals-in-a-tizzy/

To understand it, we need a review of the promises black and white liberals have been making for decades. In 1940, the black poverty rate was 87 percent. By 1960, it had fallen to 47 percent. During that interval, blacks were politically impotent. There were no anti-poverty programs or affirmative action programs. Nonetheless, this poverty reduction exceeded that in any other 20-year interval. But the black leadership argued that more was necessary. They said that broad advancement could not be made unless blacks gained political power.

Fifty years ago, there were fewer than 1,000 black elected officials nationwide. According to the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, by 2011 there were roughly 10,500 black elected officials, not to mention a black president. But what were the fruits of greater political power? The greatest black poverty, poorest education, highest crime rates and greatest family instability are in cities such as Detroit, St. Louis, Oakland, Memphis, Birmingham, Atlanta, Baltimore, Cleveland, Philadelphia and Buffalo. The most common characteristic of these predominantly black cities is that for decades, all of them have been run by Democratic and presumably liberal politicians. Plus, in most cases, blacks have been mayors, chiefs of police, school superintendents and principals and have dominated city councils.

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During the 1960s, black and white liberals called for more money to be spent on anti-poverty programs. Since the Lyndon Johnson administration’s War on Poverty programs, U.S. taxpayers have forked over $22 trillion for anti-poverty programs. Adjusted for inflation, that’s three times the cost of all U.S. military wars since the American Revolution. Despite that spending, the socio-economic condition for many blacks has worsened. In 1940, 86 percent of black children were born inside marriage, and the black illegitimacy rate was about 15 percent. Today, only 35 percent of black children are born inside marriage, and the illegitimacy rate hovers around 75 percent.

The visions of black civil rights leaders and their white liberal allies didn’t quite pan out. Greater political power and massive anti-poverty spending produced little. The failure of political power and the failure of massive welfare spending to produce nirvana led to the expectation that if only there were a black president, everything would become better for blacks. I cannot think of a single black socio-economic statistic that improved during the two terms of the Barack Obama administration. Some have become tragically worse, such as the black homicide victimization rate. For example, on average in Chicago, one person is shot every two hours, 15 minutes, and a person is murdered every 12 1/2 hours.

So more political power hasn’t worked. Massive poverty spending hasn’t worked. Electing a black president hasn’t worked. What should black leaders and their white liberal allies now turn their attention to in order to improve the socio-economic condition for blacks? It appears to be nearly unanimous that attention should be turned to the removal of Confederate statues. It’s not only Confederate statue removal but Confederate names of schools and streets. Even the Council on American-Islamic Relations agrees. It just passed a resolution calling for the removal of all Confederate memorials, flags, street names and symbols from public spaces and property.

By the way, does the statue of Union Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman qualify for removal? He once explained his reluctance to enlist former slaves, writing, “I am honest in my belief that it is not fair to our men to count negroes as equals … (but) is not a negro as good as a white man to stop a bullet?” It’s difficult to determine where this purging of the nation’s history should end.

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The Rule of Law   Leave a comment

Immigrant Children and the Rule of Law

Earlier this week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that in six months, the Department of Justice will begin the long process for deportation proceedings against 800,000 young people who came to America as babies and young children in the care of their parents and others because those entries into this country were and remain unlawful.

Source: The Rule of Law

When President Barack Obama signed numerous executive orders attempting to set forth the conditions under which illegally immigrated adults whose children were born here could lawfully remain here, he was challenged in federal court and he lost. Sessions believes that the government would lose again if it declined to deport those who came here illegally as babies and young children.

Here is the back story.

Shortly after President Obama formalized two programs, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (commonly known as DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (commonly, DAPA), in a series of executive orders, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit ruled that DAPA — the orders protecting undocumented immigrants who are the parents of children born here — was unconstitutional.

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Before signing his executive orders, Obama tried to persuade Congress to amend federal immigration laws so as to permit those who came here illegally and bore children here and those who came here illegally as infants to remain here with work permits, high school diplomas, Social Security numbers, jobs and other indicia of stability and permanence. After Congress declined to vote on the Obama proposals, he authored his now-famous DACA and DAPA executive orders. He basically decided to do on his own what Congress had declined to do legislatively.

But Obama’s executive orders were not novel; they merely formalized what every president since Ronald Reagan — including President Donald Trump — has effectively done. Each has declined to deport undocumented immigrants who bore children here or who were brought here as young children. President Obama alone showed the courage to put this in writing, thereby giving immigrants notice of what they need to do to avoid deportation and the government notice of whose deportations should not occur.

Numerous states challenged Obama’s DAPA orders in federal court. The states argued that because they are required to provide a social safety net — hospital emergency rooms, public schools, financial assistance for the poor, etc. — for everyone within their borders, whether there lawfully or unlawfully, DAPA was increasing their financial burden beyond their ability or will to pay. Stated differently, they argued that the president alone was effectively compelling these states to spend state tax dollars against the will of elected state officials. The states also argued that DAPA was such a substantial deviation from the immigration statutes that Congress had written that it amounted to the president’s rewriting the law and thereby usurping the constitutional powers of Congress.

A federal district judge agreed with the states, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit affirmed that ruling (emphasis Lela). That court held that by increasing the financial burden on states against the will of the elected officials of the states, the president had violated the Guarantee Clause of the Constitution — which guarantees a representative form of government in the states, not one in which a federal official can tell state officials how to spend state tax dollars

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It also ruled that by enforcing his executive orders instead of the laws as Congress wrote them — those laws mandate deportation for all who came here illegally, no matter their age or family status — the president was failing to take care that all federal laws be enforced (emphasis Lela). That behavior, the court ruled, violated the Take Care Clause of the Constitution, which compels the president to enforce federal laws as they were written, not as he might wish them to be.

The Supreme Court declined to intervene by a 4-4 vote, thereby permitting the 5th Circuit decision to stand undisturbed (emphasis Lela).

When Sessions announced this week that DACA will not be followed after March 5, 2018, he said he is confident that DACA is unconstitutional for the same reasons that the courts found DAPA to be unconstitutional. Yet there are moral, constitutional, legal and economic arguments on this that will be an obstacle to the cancellation of this long-standing program.

Morally, most of the beneficiaries of DACA are fully Americanized young adults who know no other life but what they have here and have no roots in the countries of their births. Many are serving the U.S. in the military. Constitutionally, DACA has effectively been in place since 1986, and 800,000 people younger than 40 have planned their lives in reliance upon it. Legally, once a benefit has been given by the government and relied upon, the courts are reluctant to rescind it, even though the 5th Circuit showed no such reluctance.

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Economically, the summary removal of more than three-quarters of a million people from the workforce would have serious negative consequences for their employers and dependents and for delicate economic forces, and there would be negative economic consequences to the government, as well, as each claimed hardship case — each person whose deportation is ordered — is entitled to a hearing at the government’s expense.

Now many Republican and Democratic lawmakers in Congress want to make a close version of Obama’s executive orders with respect to immigrant infants (DACA) the law of the land — something they declined to do when Obama was president. Were this to happen, the tables would be turned on Trump. He would be confronted with the constitutional duty of enforcing a federal law that he has condemned.

Would he live up to his oath of office?

What Tools Do I Use?   4 comments

October 9, 2017 – My favorite business resources.

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“Real” businesses have resources and business plans. For my husband’s maintenance company, the resources are, largely, his skills and licensing, his truck, and a Google ad. He asks me to do flyers for him occasionally and he has his business card pinned in places where people might be looking for companies that do maintenance. Above all, he tries to treat his existing customers well so they will keep calling him and let their friends know that he does good work.

Image result for image of writers resourcesA lot of people feel authors are not “real” businesses. I struggle with this concept too, because although my books (mostly) pay for themselves, I’m investing my own money in getting them going. Still, I am a business … or my books are. What resources do I have and use and which are my favorites?

First, there are the resources I really can’t stand. Twitter. Ugh! But it does sell books, so …. I am marginally less turned off by Facebook, but …. It’s not that I hate the people I interact with on social media. I actually enjoy interacting with fans and friends when there is interaction. It’s that I hate the time sucks both represent. But they are necessary for marketing books in this day and age, so ….

Amazon is probably my most useful resource. KDP allows some promotion and, hey, self-publishing is the greatest resource an independent author has. I try to ignore the exclusivity required of KDP. I would like to be all over the self-publishing spectrum, but I’ve discovered it is harder to sell books that way than it is to be exclusive to KDP. If I ever have a book that doesn’t sell through Amazon though ….

Anthologies are a great resource. Rather than look at them as time sucks and distractions, I see them as marketing tools. Write a short story, get it accepted into an anthology and sometimes other authors’ fans will discover you next to their favorite author and now you’ve made a few new fans who might come buy your full length books.

Thunderclap.it – I don’t have a big advertising budget. I have to do it myself with limited funds. I’ve built my social media network up to 18,000 now, but with Thunderclap.it, I can borrow the social media networks of hundreds of other authors and market my books to many, many more potential readers than I can alone. All it requires is that — ugh — time-sucking interaction. But it’s worth it.

My local writer’s guild. I get great ideas from them because some of the writers there have been self-publishing for decades and know a thing or two about how to market in ways I have never even thought of. And, we hold our monthly meetings in a local art gallery, so it’s a visual feast as well.

That’s probably about it. I could list a bunch of little stuff, but those are the big resources that I use.

Non-Negotiable   Leave a comment

There were folks in the Corinthian church who doubted Paul’s gospel message. They weren’t sure he was an apostle. At some point, Paul needed to address this.

Image result for image of the non-negotiability of the gospelA lot of people spend more time thinking about destinations where they’re going to spend two weeks of vacation than they do their eternal destination. We pack more carefully for a weekend in the woods than we do for our trip to eternity.

Some useless, but interesting trivia – 1 Corinthians is the longest epistle in the New Testament and Chapter 15 is the longest chapter in this letter. Yeah, a monk riding a balky mule set out the chapters and verses of the Bible, but in the case of 1 Corinthians Chapter 15, the segregation falls neatly around a carefully selected subject – the resurrection. Paul’s words can be divided into two sections – the first addressing the reality and certainty of the resurrection and the second explaining how the resurrection is possible and the nature of resurrection bodies.

The Corinthians had come to believe in life after death without a bodily resurrection. Yet, Paul didn’t try to prove the resurrection of Jesus so much as argue from it that Christians will be resurrected. The Corinthians evidently believed in the immortality of the soul but had bought into the popular Greek view that once a person takes his last breath, it was curtains for the physical body. Paul argued in great detail from Scripture and from reason that there is a future for our physical bodies, as well as for our souls. Before he could adequately defend the believer’s resurrection, he had to deal with Christ’s resurrection, for His paved the way for ours.

The gospel is trustworthy 

15:1 Now I want to make clear for you, 1  brothers and sisters, 2  the gospel that I preached to youthat you received and on which you stand, 15:2 and by which you are being savedif you hold firmly to the message I preached to you – unless you believed in vain. 15:3 For I passed on to you as of first importance 3  what I also received – that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, 15:4and that he was buriedand that he was raised 4  on the third day according to the scriptures, 15:5and that he appeared to Cephasthen to the twelve.

In this first section, Paul explained our relationship with God with regards to the resurrection. Paul didn’t try to prove that the resurrection of Christ actually happened. He assumed the resurrection as fact because no one can deny the resurrection of Jesus and count themselves a believer in Him, and remember, Paul was speaking to Christians.

As with some of the other topics dealt with in this letter, Paul starts answering the problem even before he defines it in 15:12. I’m told this is a common Jewish rabbi technique. What Paul says in this passage is no different than what he shared with the Corinthians previously. This was not the first time the Corinthians had heard this truth. Paul was reminding them of something they had forgotten, that he had taught to them when he lived in Corinth. Frequently, the sermons I hear and the Bible passages God directs me to are merely review. As Christians what we really need is to be reminded of what we already know. We need to preach the gospel to ourselves every day. When we do this, we experience a new surge of life and love for Christ.

Paul reminded his readers of what the gospel is. The term “gospel” means “good news.” This is the message that Paul preached to the Corinthians for the 18 months he served as their pastor. Paul wrote with the confidence that the Corinthians were bona fide believers.

  • Paul stated that they had “received” the gospel as a past response. Salvation is once-in-time miracle. If the gospel worked for you when you believed in Christ and it’s not working for you now, you changed, not the gospel.
  • Paul stated that the Corinthians “stand” on the gospel. The verb “stand” indicates present stability on the basis of past action. The gospel gives us a place to stand. Jesus Christ is our stability and security.
  • Paul affirmed that the Corinthians were “saved” by the gospel he preached. To be “saved” means “to be delivered or rescued.” The words “are saved” should be translated “are being saved” to reflect the present tense verb. There are three phases to salvation: past, present, and future. Having received the gospel at a point in the past, God begins to work on us so that we become more like Him. If we hold fast to the gospel we initially received, we will experience spiritual health. The phrase “unless you believed in vain” is referring to the hopelessness of our faith apart from Christ’s resurrection.

Paul had great confidence in this gospel message because Christ’s death and resurrection is prophetically and historically verifiable. In 15:3-5, Paul clearly and succinctly shared the core elements of the gospel. “Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, and that he was buriedand that he was raised on the third day according to the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephasthen to the twelve.” An important phrase immediately jumps out because it is repeated in 15:3-4: “according to the Scriptures.” In the Old Testament, God predicted that Christ would die and rise again. One of the strongest arguments that Jesus is the Christ is how He fulfilled Old Testament prophecy. In 15:3, Paul stated he delivered to the Corinthians the gospel he had received from other apostles. This gospel was “of first importance” and foundational to everything else in the Christian life. We can debate the charismatic gifts of 1 Corinthians 12-14 and other non-essential issues, but the gospel is “of first importance.” The gospel is non-negotiable. Without it, we are not saved. The gospel did not originate from Paul or any other man; rather it was received from God and then delivered to people. It is God’s gospel, not ours. No one would have ever devised a plan of salvation like this one. We prefer to earn salvation, but the good news of the Christian gospel is that salvation is a free gift—costly to Christ but free to us. Paul provided the basic facts of the gospel in a nutshell.

Fact 1: “Christ died for our sins.” The gospel centers on Jesus Christ, not Buddha, Mohammed, not even God, and certainly not Paul or the other apostles. Do you believe in God? That’s special! But God wants to know: what are you going to do with Jesus Christ? Responses such as: “I go to church every week and I’m a good father or mother” have nothing to do with the gospel. The gospel centers on Jesus Christ, Who died. One quarter of the gospel accounts focus on the death of Christ. Plenty of other information was left out so that we would grasp the death of Jesus Christ. Therefore, the issue is what happened on the cross and why did it happen? Jesus did not die as a good example; He did not die because He was a nice martyr; Jesus Christ died for our sins. Sin is kind of a taboo concept in American culture today. We hear about illnesses, addictions, and disorders, but we don’t hear much about sin. But there is no way to come to salvation without admitting that Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sins of every man, woman, and child that has ever lived. Sin is the reason Jesus went to the cross.

Christ had to die because you and I were in trouble with God because of our sin. Let’s define that term “sin”. Sin is anything contrary to the character and commandments of God. It’s merely leaving God out and failing to worship Him properly. If you have ever done this, you’ve qualified yourself to be a first-degree sinner. Me too. I’m standing right beside you. The only reason God made us was to have fellowship with Him, but you and I have continually rejected His affections. Therefore, we are sinners.

The word “for” in this passage means “in the place of, because of.” This is substitution. A substitute is a person who takes the place of another. We should have died for our sins but Jesus died in our place. Jesus took your place that you might have His place. He took your hell that you might have His heaven. That is His substitutionary death. It is the heart of the gospel. Jesus’ life does not save us. His teachings don’t save us. He saves us by His death on the cross. There is no other way to get rid of our sins. The good news of the gospel is that when Christ died for our sins, He died for our past, present, and future sins. He covered all of our sins for all time. Are you having trouble forgiving yourself for sins you have committed? Remember, Christ’s death was sufficient for your sins. His death satisfied God’s wrath against sin.28

Fact 2: “Christ was buried.” Christ’s death was not an accident that left Him resting along some deserted roadway. He did not endure His agony away from the notice of the crowd. His death was the center of the city’s attention in a public execution by soldiers whose own lives depended upon their ability to carry out the death sentence. There were no heroic efforts to save His life. No emergency unit was called to rush His body to a trauma center where it could be placed on life support systems until vital signs returned. The evidence states that Christ actually died and spent three days in a tomb. His death was confirmed by His executioners, who didn’t take any chances but plunged a spear into His side. Then He was wrapped according to the embalming custom of the day, and placed in a tomb, sealed by a heavy rock. The emperor’s seal was placed on the tomb to warn grave robbers away, and a Roman guard was posted to make sure that no one brash enough to risk his life to steal a dead body would be able to do it. All of this is a reminder to us that what happened three days later was not just a physical resuscitation. Christ didn’t rally from a nonfatal injury. He was not buried alive. He died!

Fact 3: “Christ was raised.” Jesus Christ arose! Buddha died. Mohammed never rose from the dead. What makes Christianity distinct from other religions is that the Messiah of Christianity is no longer in the grave. His bones are nowhere to be found. He is alive! The firm foundation of the Christian faith is an empty tomb.

When you buy something at a store, the clerk accepts your money and gives you a receipt confirming that the bill was paid in full. If there is ever a dispute about whether the payment was made, all you have to do is produce your receipt. When Jesus cried, “It is finished!” (John 19:30), He uttered the Greek word tetelestai, which means, “Paid in full.” The payment for sin that God demanded has been paid, and the empty tomb is proof that the payment was received and the debt satisfied. The resurrection is our “receipt” from God the Father that He accepted His Son’s payment for sin on the cross.32

Fact 4: “Christ was seen.” Paul noted Jesus appeared to Peter and the apostles. This is evidence that Jesus rose from the dead. Yes, Jesus appeared to the women at the tomb, but His first visit to the apostles was to Peter who had denied Him three times. This ought to encourage you. God is a God of restoration. He has forgiven you for all of your sins—past, present, and future. All that He wants is for you to run to Him like Peter did (Luke 24:12).

15:6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters 5  at one timemost of whom are still alive, 6  though some have fallen asleep. 7 

Paul moved from the message of the gospel to a strong argument for the resurrection of Christ—historically verifiable witnesses. At the time of Paul’s writing, about 25 years after Christ’s death, there were still living eyewitnesses to the resurrection Paul invited people to check out the reality of the resurrection for themselves. Jesus had appeared to nearly 500 people some 20 years before, following His resurrection. His audience could go ask them to corroborate what Paul taught. This is very convincing proof of the resurrection, because Paul would never have challenged people like this in a publicly-circulated letter if these eyewitnesses couldn’t corroborate his story about the resurrected Christ. Paul was convinced that his witnesses would confirm the facts. Yeah, maybe the 12 experienced a group hallucination, but 500 people … it just strained credulity.

15:7 Then he appeared to Jamesthen to all the apostles.

Paul gave another convincing proof: Jesus also appeared to James. James was Jesus’ half-brother, who did not believe in Him until after the resurrection. He grew up in the same home with Jesus, but he rejected Him until after Jesus rose from the dead. After his encounter with the resurrected Christ, James became the leader of the Jerusalem church … not exactly the safest job at the time. What another great reminder that God is a God of grace.

The people that Paul mentioned were living too close to the time of Christ’s resurrection to effectively deny it. They simply could not explain away this great historical event any more than a person today can effectively deny the reality of the Holocaust. There are people today who try to deny the Holocaust, but they don’t get very far because there are still too many survivors of the Nazi concentration camps. You and I, of course, are almost 2,000 years away from the resurrection. We can’t talk to eyewitnesses like the people to whom Paul originally wrote his letter. Nevertheless, we have the testimony of Scripture and plenty of changed lives.

15:8 Last of allas thoughto one born at the wrong time, 8  he appeared to me also.

Paul referred to himself as “one untimely born.” The Greek term here is the word for a miscarriage or an abortion. Paul meant that, spiritually speaking, he was like an aborted fetus or a stillborn child, referring to his state of wretchedness as an unbeliever and persecutor of the church. Before his call and conversion, Paul was spiritually dead but he was miraculously given life through God’s grace.

2. The gospel is life-changing (15:9-11). 

15:9 For I am the least of the apostlesunworthy to be called an apostlebecause I persecuted the church of God.

The proof of the gospel is its inherent power to change lives. Paul demonstrated this by sharing three characteristics.

First, the gospel leads to the recognition of sin. All of the others to whom Christ appeared were believers, while Paul was a violent hateful unbeliever. He chased down the early Christians and sought to have them incarcerated or even killed. As a result, Paul never ceased to be amazed that, of all people, Christ would have appeared to him. I don’t think a dream about Jesus could ever have produced the kind of humble assessment of himself that Paul came to. It took a direct encounter with the living Lord, the very person he had rejected, to help him see his sorry state. Here, Paul called himself “the least of the apostles.” Elsewhere he labeled himself “the foremost” of sinners (1 Timothy 1:15) and “the very least of all the saints” (Ephesians 3:8). Paul understood that apart from Christ, he was nothing. Like Paul, do you see and feel your own sin? Do you grieve over your sin? Are you more concerned about working on your sin instead of other’s sin? It is so easy to be consumed with the sin of others (e.g., spouse, children, boss, neighbors), yet a mark of godliness is a concern with your own sin.

Like Paul, do you see and feel your own sin? Do you grieve over it? Are you more concerned about working on your sin instead of the sins of other? It is so easy to be consumed with the sin of others (spouse, children, boss, neighbors), yet a mark of godliness is a concern with your own sin.

Second, the gospel results in a total transformation of character.

15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I amand his grace to me has not been in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:10a

Paul may have been a mess when Jesus found him, but Christ didn’t leave him that way. Because of God’s mercy and grace, Paul became a great missionary, preacher, and theologian. It is only the one who has experienced the power of the resurrection in his life who can experience such a thorough transformation in character and then give the credit to God. It didn’t change Paul’s past, but it certainly changed his present and future.

Lastly, the gospel produces a redirection of one’s entire life.

In factI worked harder than all of them – yet not Ibut the grace of God with me. 15:11 Whether then it was I or theythis is the way we preach and this is the way you believed. 1 Corinthians 15:10b-11

In response to God’s grace, Paul worked harder than everyone else. Paul didn’t believe he was repaying the divine grace shown to him with hard work. Rather, Paul was like a child who joyfully gives his mom a birthday present after having spent the parents’ own money to buy it.

All of Paul’s effort and energy was bound up in God’s grace. In the same way, we are saved by grace and we minister by grace. “Grace” is mentioned three times in 15:10. In a general sense, the word “grace” means “an undeserved expression of kindness.” Grace,  therefore, is an expression of the kindness of God that is given to those who do not deserve it. That involves not only the initial grace of salvation but every other expression of undeserved help we ever receive from the Lord. Don’t let this point escape you.

In 15:11, Paul reprised what he wrote in 15:1. “We preach” included all of the apostles, and the present tense conveys that it continued to be their message. Christ’s resurrection is the common denominator on which all were in accord. It is non-negotiable and cannot be jettisoned without gutting the Christian faith.

Posted October 8, 2017 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

What Would My Cut Be?   Leave a comment

Poverty is the natural state of the world and the big mystery of human history is not how people become poor, but how people get rich.

Image resultBut let’s imagine that we could magically grab $2.4 trillion in cash from the world’s billionaires and not force them to sell off everything the economy relies on to exist.

My math nerds tell me that if you divided the assets of the 1% amongst the rest of us 99%ers in the United States (about 319,000,000 people), we’d all walk away with a one-time-payment of just $7,500.

$7,500? Yeah, that’s seven thousand, five hundred dollars. That’s less than I pay for housing for a year.

So I asked my math nerds to limit the transfer from the richest 1% to the poorest 20% (about 70 million people). The median salary in the US is $52,000. Each person would get $37,151.70 in a one-time payment and receive less than the average American makes annually at a job..

I’m all for that extra cash in my pocket, but once we’ve done that … if we could do that without crashing the economy, which my last post suggests we can’t … that money would be gone and we would have sent a clear signal to the most successful businessmen & women in the world that the reward for building a company like Google or Apple is to have all your assets taken from you and your business destroyed.

What happens then?

Neither long-term government dependency or wrecking the economy for a short-term payout is the answer.

So what should we do instead?

Posted October 6, 2017 by aurorawatcherak in economics

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Can Rich People Fix Poverty?   2 comments

There’s a belief that the problem of poverty can be solved if only rich people were forced to give their wealth to poorer people. There’s a certain plausibility to that myth until you do some math. I know … I don’t like math either, but I know a few math nerds and when you feed them figures, they do what they do best.

Image result for image of wealth redistributionIf you combine the entire net worth of Forbes’ list of the world’s 400 richest people, you’d come out with about $2.4 trillion. Yes, it’s an enormous number, but it’s about one-quarter of the annual US budget. It’s also not quite what you think.

We’re talking net worth here, which is not money all piled up somewhere for a rich guy to admire. It’s the estimated monetary value of all the assets they own. That means all the office buildings, furniture, computers, telephone lines and other capital infrastructure of their various businesses. It also includes the value of their employee salaries, payroll, and pensions; and the on-paper economic value of the businesses themselves.

Let’s just look at one example.

Amazon reportedly holds $83.4 billion in assets. That includes all their warehouses, trucks, servers, and the actual stuff they keep in stock for people to purchase (stuff like my books). Jeff Bezos himself suppostedly has a personal net worth of $89 billion, but he can’t just cash out all of those billions without liquidating the inventory his company holds, selling all of his buildings, and divesting himself from Amazon entirely. Of course, he wouldn’t find a lot of buyers for his stuff if all the other rich folks were also being forced to sell everything off. Who would buy it? I don’t have a spare $80 billion. Do you?

Thus, that $2.4 trillion isn’t a real number in any sense that can be converted into a transfer of income.

 

Posted October 5, 2017 by aurorawatcherak in economics

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Poverty Myth   Leave a comment

Twenty-five years before Lyndon Johnson declared America’s  “War on Poverty”, the poverty rate in America was on the decline.

We created numerous federal bureaucracies to eradicate the problem for good. We’ve spent over $22 trillion in prosecuting this war. Yet our poverty rates have flat-lined. Worse, many of the programs designed as a helping hand out of poverty have actually created dependency traps making it nearly impossible for people in impoverished conditions to escape that which entrapped their parents or grandparents.

 

Clearly, what we’ve been doing didn’t work as well as whatever we were doing before we declared war.

Posted October 3, 2017 by aurorawatcherak in economics

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