Friday, October 09, 2015

Welfare Use by Immigrant and Native Households in the USA

The video and transcript are now available for the Center for Immigration Studies panel discussion on two recent reports about immigrant welfare use. The first report found that 51 percent of households headed by immigrants, both legal and illegal, use welfare, compared to 30 percent of households headed by the native-born. The second looked at legal status, finding that 49 percent of legal immigrant households and 62 percent of illegal immigrant households access welfare.

Robert Rector, Senior Research Fellow at the Heritage Foundation and a leading authority on welfare, spoke of the link between education level and welfare. Even though most immigrant households include someone who works, immigrants are disproportionately low-skilled, so they cannot pay enough in taxes to pay for government benefits they receive. Low skill immigrants receive "4 to 5 dollars of benefits for every dollar paid," Rector said.

View the video HERE.  View the transcript HERE


The Right Does Have Answers on Guns, Mr. President

By Dennis Prager

On the assumption that there are good and bad people on both the right and the left and that everyone is horrified by mass shootings, how is one to explain the great divide between right and left on the gun issue as it relates to these mass murders?

Why does the left focus on more gun control laws, and why doesn't the right?

One reason is quintessentially American. Most Americans believe that it is their right - and even their duty - to own guns for self-protection. Unique among major democratic and industrialized nations, Americans have traditionally believed in relying on the state as little as possible. The right carries on this tradition, while the left believes in relying on the state as much possible - including, just to name a few areas, education, health care and personal protection.

A second reason for the left-right divide is that the left is uncomfortable with blaming people for bad actions. The right, on the other hand, is far more inclined to blame people for their bad actions.

Thus, liberals generally blame racism and poverty for violent crimes committed by poor blacks and Hispanics, while conservatives blame the criminals. Likewise, during the Cold War the left regarded nuclear weapons as the enemy while conservatives saw Communist regimes that possessed nuclear weapons as the enemy. It was the arms, not the values of those in possession of the arms, that troubled the left.

The third reason for the left-right divide on guns is that the two sides ask different questions when formulating social policies. The right tends to ask, "Does it do good?" The left is more likely to ask, "Does it feel good?"

Attitudes toward the minimum wage provide an excellent example.

As I noted in a recent column, in 1987, The New York Times editorialized against any minimum wage. The title of the editorial said it all: "The Right Minimum Wage: $0.00."

"There's a virtual consensus among economists," wrote the Times editorial, "that the minimum wage is an idea whose time has passed. Raising the minimum wage by a substantial amount would price working poor people out of the job market."

In 1987 the Times editorialized against having any minimum wage because it asked the question: "Does it do good?"

Twenty-seven years later, the same editorial page wrote the opposite of what it had written in 1987, and called for a major increase in the minimum wage.

Why? Did the laws of economics change? Of course not.

What changed was the question the Times asked. Having moved further and further left, the Times editorial page was now preoccupied not with what does good, but with what feels good. And it feels good to raise poor people's minimum wage.

So, too, on gun control. Immediately after the killings in Oregon, President Obama expressed great anger over Congress's unwillingness to pass more gun laws. But neither he nor other left-wing gun control advocates tell us what law or laws - short of universal confiscation of guns (which is as possible as universal deportation of immigrants here illegally) - would have stopped any of the mass shootings that recently occurred.

To liberals it feels good to declare a college a "gun-free zone." Does it do good? Of course not. It does the opposite. It informs would-be murderers that no one will shoot them.

On gun violence, the left doesn't ask, "What does good?" It asks, "What feels good?" It feels good to call for more gun laws. It enables liberals to feel good about themselves; it makes the right look bad; and it increases government control over the citizenry. A liberal trifecta.

Are federal background checks a good idea? The idea sounds perfectly reasonable. But if they wouldn't have prevented any of the recent mass shootings, they would have been no help.

So, then, short of universal confiscation, which is both practically and constitutionally impossible, what will do good? What will reduce gun violence?

One thing that would make incomparably more difference than more gun laws is more fathers, especially in the great majority of shooting murders - those that are not part of a mass shooting. Why aren't liberals as passionate about policies that ensure that millions more men father their children as they are about gun laws? Because such thinking is anathema to the left. The left works diligently to keep single mothers dependent on the state (and therefore on the Democratic Party). And emphasizing a lack of fathers means human behavior is more to blame than guns.

Another is to cultivate participation in organized religion. Young men who attend church weekly commit far fewer murders than those who do not. But this too is anathema to the left. The secular left never offers religion as a solution to social problems. To do so, like emphasizing fathers, would shift the blame from guns to the criminal users of guns.

I would ask every journalist who cares about truth to ask every politician who argues for more guns laws, and every anti-gun activist, just two questions:

"Which do you believe would do more to decrease gun violence in America - more gun laws or more fathers?" "More gun laws or more church attendance?"

Barack Obama says, "Our gun supply leads to more deaths. The GOP has no plausible alternative theory."

The GOP does. But as usual, few Republicans say what it is. And no liberal wants to hear it.



Why Government Has Grown

by HERBERT LONDON.  I have been reading Herb for about 40 years so I am pleased to see that he is still fighting the good fight at age 76

Former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tip O'Neill, once said "all politics is local." It was a sample statement that in time became axiomatic. One politician after another echoed the refrain. In fact, I cannot recall any public refutations.

For a time logic suggested that this assertion is correct. In my judgment, however, that time has passed; if anything, politics is national.

The relationship between the government and the individual is complicated in large part because of mediating institutions - these private agencies of family, schools, churches, associations. These institutions in the aggregate are individually served to moderate a heavy and intrusive hand of federal authority. Alexis de Tocqueville, writing about America in the 1840's described these institutions as part of the national character and national resiliency.

The difficulty with this characterization is that these moderating structures are in disarray. Each is failing at its role eroding the barrier between government and the individual.

Family status is confused by the high rate of divorce, illegitimacy and polyamory. The bonds that held family together are challenged by progressive notions of sexual union. What a family is, how it is defined, is subject to a variety of interpretations; one thing is clear - the family as a unit, together through a bond is rapidly disappearing.

Empirical evidence is mounting that the schools do not do their job. Students graduate from high school unprepared for a job or higher education. Most significantly, the principles on which this civilization is based are not transmitted. Young people may love the freedom America allows but they know very little about "first principles" or why our form of liberty must be defended. Unanchored to my traditional belief, these citizens are subject to propagandizing and even the incremental loss of liberty.

Churches were once religious centers urging a belief in God. Some still perform this role. But many are social and political centers promoting social justice narrowly construed as political lobbying. Sermons often deal with national issues rather than biblical propositions. The result is that churches have lost their legitimacy as moral arbiters. They may represent some segment of the population, but cannot claim the role of transcendent interpreters of faith or morals.

Associations were once the bulwark of civil authority and pride. They did good deeds; they were the backbone of towns; they represented civic duty and a desire to help those in need. Now, however, their numbers are dwindling. Those in attendance tend to be gray around the temples. Downtown associations are becoming uptown clubs.

Facing conditions of the kind described here it is hardly surprising that federal government influence is growing. Citizens are adrift searching for meaning in lives that cannot find comfort in traditional institutions.

The nanny state organized by President Obama and his advisors is a national outgrowth of mediating institutions in trouble. If there is a way out of this morass, it is through restoration. Rebuilding schools as learning centers; families as units of cohesion; churches as moral centers and associations as the backbone of civic authority. It can be done, but it does mean weaning the citizenry from the test of national assistance. After decades of feeding at the public troth, habits of mind have been inscribed. As I see it, the time has come to uninscribe them. And it is suitable to do it as soon as possible.



Obama Putin vows to protect Christians worldwide

As part of his manifesto for the upcoming Russian presidential elections, candidate Vladimir Putin has promised to add the protection of Christian communities across the globe to the duties of his foreign office.

Following the meeting with Patriarch Kirill, The Patriarch was accused of using his power to meddle in political affairs, yet defended himself saying "We would like to talk to [Putin] as the prime minister, but first of all as with a candidate for the presidential post in our country who, of course, has more chance than anybody else to turn this candidacy into the real post"

The head of External Church Relations, Metropolitan Illarion, said that every five minutes one Christian was dying for his or her faith in some part of the world, specifying that he was talking about such countries as Iraq, Pakistan and India. The cleric asked Putin to make the protection of Christians one of the foreign policy priorities in the future.

Putin answered: "This is how it will be, have no doubt."



Baltimore: A City Broken After (Black) Mismanagement

Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is a presentable black but a fool nonetheless

Politically, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake made a mistake after the incident in Baltimore that left Freddie Gray mortally injured in the back of a police van. During the protests and criticisms of the city's police force, she sided with the mob looking for its brand of "justice" instead of her police force attempting to uphold Rule of Law.

It yielded bitter fruit. Police officers strapped on their guns every morning demoralized. City residents viewed the police with disrespect. And criminals are flexing newfound confidence.

As a result, crime has spiked in the city. During September, the number of non-fatal shootings were double that of 2014. Homicides climbed 39%.

This is where it gets ironic: Hot Air's Jazz Shaw notes that the U.S. Council of Mayors held a meeting in the city at the beginning of October to discuss, in the words of the Baltimore Sun, "economic development, community policing and the spike in homicides many cities saw over the summer."

Baltimore is hardly the poster child for solutions to these problems, as Rawlings-Blake announced that she would not seek another term as mayor. Another leftist village burns.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated) and Coral reef compendium. (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.

List of backup or "mirror" sites here or  here -- for when blogspot is "down" or failing to  update.  Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


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