Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Liberal whining

If you want to be a victim, become a liberal. It doesn’t matter whether you want to go online to whine about your lot in life or whether you want to harm others with everything from shutting down free speech to fiddling with the climate. Both work.

It comes down to our different world views. When liberals talk about triggering, they mean someone said something their precious little ears couldn’t handle. (Note: That video spawned the “trigglypuff” meme. Watch it and you will understand.) When conservatives talk about triggering, they are discussing the correct placement of their finger for optimum accuracy.

All of that calls to mind Chris Ray Gun who makes song parodies that mock everything “ridiculous happening right now in the real world including Social Justice Warriors, The Regressive Left, and whatever else slightly annoys me.” Chris wrote the excellent “Ain't No Rest for the Triggered” which includes the lyrics:

"Oh, there ain't no rest for the tiggered

“We're easily displeased

“We've got hair to dye

“We've got tears to cry

“Please gimme your sympathy

“No I won't let loose, I get my news

“From places like Salon

“No there ain't no rest for the triggered

“Donate to my Patreon"
It turns out you can donate to his Patreon to help fund his efforts. And as for Salon, it wouldn’t be a week on the crazy, left-wing internet without them. And as for Salon, they came out criticizing the University of Chicago’s commitment to academic freedom.

Now, let’s talk about the biggest victim of them all -- Mother Nature.

Deadly Volcanoes Are A Blast: The Year Without Summer (Happy 200th anniversary!) was set in motion by the massively deadly eruption of Indonesia’s Mt. Tambora. The volcano spewed ash around the globe and killed about 100,000 people nearby. Who knows how many more starved to death. Those sure were the days -- at least to liberals who want to geo-engineer our weather. According to the nutballs from Slate: “Though the aerosol haze produced by the Tambora eruption reflected less than 1 percent of sunlight, that was enough to drop global temperatures by 2 to 3 degrees Fahrenheit by the summer of 1816, causing a catastrophic weather chain reaction.” Crop yields dropped 75 percent and people starved, but Slate found a bright side. The site wants to know: “Could we use the same mechanism that cooled the planet then to cool the planet now?” Actual quote: “Strangely enough, massive volcanoes might be part of the answer.” If massive volcanoes are part of your “answer,” maybe you ought to rethink whatever stupid question you were asking.

Pity The Poor, Female Olympian: American news outlets have been peddling the pity party for our female soccer Olympians since before the Olympics. They aren’t paid as much as the men, and that’s a national crisis apparently. Journalists, who are lucky to be able to count the five Olympic rings bemoan that pay gap without understanding it. Our friends, the whack jobs at Fusion, are especially unhappy. “The sad reality is that male athletes still get paid way more than female competitors.” The article forgot to point out that top male athletes are typically much better than female athletes. Find me a female Lebron, a Tom Brady, a Cal Ripken, Jr., then maybe I’ll care. Fusion looked at sports such as soccer, cycling and golf and complained women earn less than men in those sports. Poor Taryn Hillin, “Fusion's love and sex writer,” thinks that all sports and athletes are equal. Actual quote: “So as we all continue to root for Lydia Ko, Mara Abbott, and the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team outside of Rio, just know they could make a gabillion times more money if they only had penises.” In this day of liberal-mandated gender equality, they don’t need penises. They just need to play better than men. The Rams drafted Michael Sam just because he’s gay. Think they wouldn’t draft a woman to play if there was one who could?

A Cut Below Other Protesters: More than 200 million women have been victim of the horrific practice of female genital mutilation. But here in the West, we’ve got idiots protesting … male circumcision. The head (Sorry!) of the anti-circumcision group (Intactivists) Anthony Losquadro claims, “You can’t force a medical procedure on someone, no matter how beneficial it is.” Fusion, the same outlet that just bought Gawker and its component lunatic parts, forgets that parents make medical decisions for their kids all the time. But liberals love victims, and so the wrong kind of genital victim gets attention. Actual quote: “One thing that hardly tempers intactivists’ reputation as a group of isolated crazies is their fondness for blood imagery. On that day in D.C., fake blood is everywhere.” A guy wearing all white with his crotch spray-painted red is always the rational source I go to for medical information.

Social Justice Ceramics! “The politics of clay” sounds a lot more boring than “The Politics of Dancing.” That’s because it is. Fusion (with the column hat trick) did a Q&A with ceramic artist Robert Lugo, who fires up his politics in the kiln -- putting people like Che, Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown on his artwork. Fusion went to Lugo because of his “use of pottery as a medium for political progress.” Actual artist quote: “I put Mike Brown and Trayvon Martin on a pot. Their faces will be on a pot for thousands of years, even when people have forgotten. My role in the new civil rights movement is keeping the conversation going long after it’s left the news.” At least when conservatives say the culture is going to pot now, it won’t just be a lame 420 joke.



Leftist lies about poverty in America

Today is the 20th anniversary of welfare reform. Two decades ago, President Bill Clinton signed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, known as welfare reform, into law.

The highly popular reform cut welfare caseloads by over 50 percent, sharply boosted the employment of the least-skilled single mothers, and pushed the poverty rates of black children and single-parent families to historic lows.

But the left always hated welfare reform. It now claims that reform has thrown 3.5 million children into “extreme poverty,” the kind seen in the developing world, living in destitution on less than $2 per day.

CBS News asserts that, because of welfare reform, “ … America is joining the likes of Third World countries.” The New York Times proclaims “welfare reform has resulted in a layer of destitution that echoes poverty in countries like Bangladesh.”

Bloomberg News gasps that millions of Americans now “live on less than the average GDP [gross domestic product] per capita of a low-income country such as Afghanistan, Mozambique, or Haiti.” It insists millions in America are poorer than the “disabled beggars of Addis Ababa in Ethiopia.”

The origin of these sensational claims is a recent book, “$2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America,” by Kathryn Edin and Luke Shaefer.

The authors argue that welfare reform has led 3.55 million children (and 1 in 25 of all families with children) in America to subsist on less than $2 per person per day, which they identify as “one of the World Bank’s measures of global poverty.” According to Edin and Shaefer, these families live in “extreme destitution,” regularly engaging in prostitution, selling their blood, and collecting scrap metal to survive. Edin claims that “extreme poverty” is actually “much worse” in the U.S. than in developing nations because there is no “barter economy” here.

Edin and Shaefer’s bizarre charges are based on the government’s Survey of Income and Program Participation. However, examination of the survey data reveals that the families Edin and Shaefer claim are living in “extreme poverty” don’t actually appear to be particularly poor, let alone living in “extreme destitution.”

According to the data, some 67 percent of families with children allegedly living in “extreme poverty” have a computer, 86.5 percent have air conditioning in their homes or apartments, 89 percent have cellphones, and 88 percent have a DVD player, digital video recorder, VCR, or similar device.

What about hunger? Surely, hunger must be widespread among families in “extreme destitution.” But, according to the survey data, only 1 percent of families allegedly living in “extreme poverty” report that they “often” did not have “enough food to eat” over the previous four months; another 8 percent said they “sometimes” did not have “enough to eat.” The remaining 91 percent report that they “always” had enough food to eat.

Despite having alleged incomes of less than $2 per day, only 1 percent of these families were evicted during the prior year, while 4 percent had their oil, gas, or electricity cut off.

Edin and Shaefer concoct their remarkable claim that 3.5 million children routinely live in “extreme destitution,” on $2 per day or less, through a combination of statistical sleight of hand and lousy data. In 2014, federal and state government spent $221 billion on cash, food, and housing for low-income families with children. That’s two and a half times the amount needed to eliminate all poverty among families with children.

But when Edin and Shaefer calculate “extreme poverty,” they exclude nearly all of that welfare spending from their count of family income. With welfare out of the picture, it’s not hard to find families with very low incomes.

The authors admit that if food stamps and the earned income tax credit are counted, the number of kids in “extreme poverty” drops to 1.2 million. But that number is still misleading because the survey used by Edin and Shaefer undercounts receipt by more than 20 million welfare benefits distributed to recipients each month.

In a nutshell, Edin and Shaefer have used a survey that omits more than 20 million welfare benefits each month to conclude that 1.2 million children live in families that go without welfare in that month. They are simply measuring large data gaps in a flawed survey, not actual holes in the safety net.

Poverty experts understand that government income surveys, such as the Survey of Income and Program Participation, always underreport the incomes of the poor, especially welfare and off-books earnings. No surprise then that the U.S. Department of Labor’s Consumer Expenditure Survey has shown for decades that the poor households routinely report spending roughly $2.40 for every dollar of apparent income. For families in Edin and Shaefer’s “extreme poverty,” the expenditure-to-income ratio in the Consumer Expenditure Survey rises to around $25 to $1.

Based on self-reports of consumer spending, “extreme poverty” has been practically nonexistent for three decades.

From 1984 through 2015, the Consumer Expenditure Survey shows only 61 instances in which a family reported spending less than $2 per person per day out of a total of 272,597 quarterly family records. (Two-thirds of the 61 underspending families lived in public housing.) According to spending data reported by the families themselves, the number of families with children living on $2 per person per day is not 1 in 25, as Edin and Shaefer contend, but 1 in 4,469.

Edin and Shaefer argue that welfare reform increased poverty, but expenditure data show that, after reform, both official poverty rates ($17.44 per person per day for a three-person family) and deep poverty rates ($8.72 per person per day) fell sharply for the main group affected by reform: single parents with children.

In fact, poverty fell much more for single parents than for other groups in society. In other words, the group directly affected by welfare reform had the greatest drop in poverty.

Exaggerating poverty has been a mainstay of progressive politics since the beginning of the war on poverty. No matter how much the taxpayers spend on welfare, the sky is always falling. Bogus claims of widespread “extreme destitution” promote social polarization and political paralysis, distracting attention from the real problems crippling low-income communities.


There is a  new  lot of postings by Chris Brand just up -- mainly about Muslims


For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.

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