Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thursday: OWS, Income Inequality and the Reasons for Obama's second Stimulus

What’s new today

Our #1 story addresses the issue of income inequality.  It seems according to the article that it has been overstated by the left.  #2 tells of Obama’s bus trip through Virginia and notes who the crowds have gotten so much smaller than 2008.  We look at anti-Semitism with the OWS in #3.   Article #4 tells of Mark Steyn’s take on the Occupy Movement.  In #5 Harry Reid tells us why Obama’s job bill is directed at government workers.  It seems the private sector is doing fine.  #6 relates how the cost of green energy in Europe will double the cost of electricity and #7 is an update on an Obama Green Energy Scandal. 

1.   5 reasons why income inequality is a myth — and Occupy Wall Street is wrong

Sorry, the story just doesn’t hold together. According to left-wing think tanks, columnist and bloggers—and, of course, the Occupy Wall Street radicals—the top 1 percent have been exploiting the 99 percent for decades. The rich have been getting richer at the expense of the middle class and poor.

Really? Just think for a second: If inequality had really exploded during the past 30 to 40 years, why did American politics simultaneously move rightward toward a greater embrace of free-market capitalism? Shouldn’t just the opposite have happened as beleaguered workers united and demanded a vastly expanded social safety net and sharply higher taxes on the rich? What happened to presidents Mondale, Dukakis, Gore, and Kerry? Even Barack Obama ran for president as a market friendly, third-way technocrat.

Nope, the story doesn’t hold together because THE FINANCIAL FACTS DON’T SUPPORT IT. And here’s why:

1. In a 2009 paper, Northwestern University economist Robert Gordon FOUND THE SUPPOSED SHARP RISE IN AMERICAN INEQUALITY TO BE “EXAGGERATED BOTH IN MAGNITUDE AND TIMING.” Here is the conundrum: Family income is supposed to rise right along with productivity. BUT MEDIAN REAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME—AS REPORTED BY THE CENSUS BUREAU—GREW JUST 0.49 PERCENT PER YEAR BETWEEN 1979 AND 2007 EVEN AS WORKER PRODUCTIVITY GREW FOUR TIMES FASTER AT 1.95 PERCENT PER YEAR. The wide gap between the two measures, if accurate, would suggest wealthy households rather than middle-class families grabbed most of the income gains from faster productivity.

But Gordon explained that this “compares apples with oranges, and then oranges with bananas.” When various statistical quirks are harmonized between the two economic measures, Gordon found middle-class income growth to be much faster and the “conceptually consistent gap between income and productivity growth is only 0.16 percent per year.” THAT’S BARELY ONETENTH OF THE ORIGINAL GAP OF 1.46 PERCENT. IN OTHER WORDS, INCOME GAINS WERE SHARED FAIRLY EQUALLY….

5. Set all the numbers aside for a moment. If you’ve lived through the past four decades, DOES IT REALLY SEEM LIKE AMERICA IS NO BETTER OFF TODAY? It doesn’t to Jason Furman, the deputy director of Obama’s National Economic Council. Here is Furman back in 2006: “Remember when even upper-middle class families worried about staying on a long distance call for too long? When flying was an expensive luxury? When only a minority of the population had central air conditioning, dishwashers, and color televisions? When no one had DVD players, iPods, or digital cameras? And when most Americans owned a car that broke down frequently, guzzled fuel, spewed foul smelling pollution, and didn’t have any of the now virtually standard items like air conditioning or tape/CD players?”…

Another left wing myth that is false. 

2.  Obama fades in Virginia

President Barack Obama’s bus trip into the commonwealth on Tuesday drew hundreds of devoted followers — and cold shoulders from some high-profile Virginia Democrats.

Obama, midway through a three-day swing in largely rural areas of North Carolina and Virginia, continued to pitch a $35 billion fund that would allow localities to avoid teacher, firefighter and police layoffs.

The crowds are small and the enthusiasm diminished.  BHO needs to get used to it.

3.   Is OWS Anti-Semitic?

There certainly are elements of it.  Does it define the movement?  You be the judge. 

4.   OWS—A Pathetic Movement?

On Rush Limbaugh’s Wednesday show, FILL-IN HOST MARK STEYN SAID HE HAS LOW REGARD FOR OCCUPY WALL STREET — not necessarily because it is a left-wing movement, but, he explained, because it is an imported movement.

“I’m not sure how many people know this, but this whole thing — THIS IS THE MOST PATHETIC REVOLUTION IN HISTORY,” STEYN SAID. “[French revolutionary] Robespierre would have no time for these guys, Lenin would have no time for these guys, Mao would have no time for these guys — these big sloth demonstrations, the big sloth movement. It’s not even American — THIS WHOLE THING WAS COOKED UP BY THE VANCOUVER-BASED ADBUSTERS MEDIA FOUNDATION. THAT’S VANCOUVER AS IN VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, BY THE WAY. That’s as in Vancouver, British Columbia, Dominion of Canada. What has it come to? What has it come to? What is the state, the pitiful state of America’s rebellious youth when America’s rebellious youth have to basically be lame southern front men for what is essentially a Canadian rebellious youth movement. This is pathetic.”

But beyond origins of the Occupy Wall Street movement, STEYN RIPPED THE PROTESTERS FOR MIXING THEIR SIGNALS.

“This is disgraceful,” he said. “This Occupy Wall Street movement must be the dumbest revolution out. The problem with Occupy Wall Street, by the way, isn’t hard to figure out: IT’S GOT NO SOLUTION TO THESE THINGS EXCEPT MORE GOVERNMENT … THEY’RE ANARCHIST FOR MORE GOVERNMENT. They want to stick it to the man. On the one hand they want to urinate and defecate all over police cruisers, but on the other hand, they’re saying we need a bigger government budget. They’re sticking it to the man by asking the man to write them a bigger check. It’s the most pathetic revolution in history.”

Mark Steyn is extremely witty.  He really brings the Occupy Movement down a couple of notches (and they were very high up on the notches to begin with). 

5.   Harry Reid’s gaffe:  That’s right he tells the truth

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Wednesday indicated Congress needs to worry about government jobs more than private-sector jobs, and that this is why Senate Democrats are pushing a bill aimed at shoring up teachers and first-responders.

“IT’S VERY CLEAR THAT PRIVATE-SECTOR JOBS HAVE BEEN DOING JUST FINE; it’s the public-sector jobs where we’ve lost huge numbers, and that’s what this legislation is all about,” Reid said on the Senate floor.

Reid reiterated his emphasis on creating government jobs by saying Democrats are looking to “put hundreds of thousands of people back to work teaching children, have more police patrolling our streets, firefighters fighting our fires, doing the rescue work that they do so well …


The last stimulus kept the state governments from laying people off, but it only delayed the actions that needed to be done.  Here’s another delay, but it doesn’t solve the problem.  So what's really behind Obama's and Reids plan?  Governmental Unions are big contributors to the Democratic Party.  By funding union jobs, they indirectly fund Democrat candidates in the upcoming election.

6.   EU Leak Shows Wind, Solar Energy to Double Power Bills

According to a leaked European Commission report on the future of energy in Europe, THE SLOW SWITCH TO GREENER SOURCES OF ENERGY IS GOING TO PUSH THE COST OF ELECTRICITY THROUGH THE ROOF. The FT has the story:  

Average electricity prices for households and businesses would rise “strongly up to 2020-2030” under all scenarios, the document says, and the highest prices would occur after 2030 if renewable sources of power, such as wind and solar, make up a large share of energy production. For example, AVERAGE PRICES FOR HOUSEHOLDS COULD JUMP BY MORE THAN 100 PER CENT BY 2050 IF THIS WERE THE CASE but only by 43 per cent under a scenario that assumed more nuclear power and carbon capture and storage were used.

Here’s one of the many problems with green energy.  Not only is it not scientifically feasible to replace carbon based fuels at this time, trying to do so make energy prices skyrocket and living standards crash. 

7.   Obama Scandals Update:  SunPower altered press releases

It appears as though the Obama administration has been caught red-handed trying to cover up evidence in relation to the “green” loans programs that helped finance Solyndra. CNBC reports that A NUMBER OF PRESS RELEASES POSTED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY HAVE BEEN RETROACTIVELY ALTERED TO REMOVE THE NAME A SOLAR COMPANY THOUGHT BY MANY TO BE THE NEXT “GREEN” FAILURE:

The changes occurred in two press releases from the Department of Energy’s loan guarantee program --- the same program that has been the center of controversy surrounding the failed solar company Solyndra.

Both were changed to remove the name of a company that has received negative press attention in recent days, SunPower, and replace it with the name of another company, NRG Energy.

In the April case, the Department of Energy loan programs office announced in a press release on April 12 “conditional commitment” to a $1.187 billion loan guarantee to support the California Valley Solar Ranch project, which it said was “sponsored by SunPower Corporation.”

But that release was later changed on one website to say the project was “sponsored by NRG Energy.” The date on the release remained “April 12, 2011.”


This is not good news. It does sound like the administration doesn’t have a lot of faith in the project.

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