GLEANINGS FROM THE PASSING SCENE … (Politically Uncorrected)

alfred_e-_neumannAs the week proceeded:

China/India: Will India fight, or let China bite off a chunk of Sikkim/Ladakh? Report It builds (Report)

The culture: Bathroom in the U.S. Army? Female soldiers will shower with wanna-be female men? (Report)

Science: China has introduced super muscular dogs; are genetically engineered soldiers coming? (Report) (What can happen, will happen, right? Recalling Pandora … But without her, we’d still have outdoor plumbing.)

European Union: French banks want to use Britain’s E.U. exit to displace London’s preeminence in finance? (Report)

Science corrupted: The spreading corruption of computer algorythms – Is government regulation the answer? (Article)

Chicago culture: In two years, mo high school graduation without submission of an approved post-school life plan. (Report) (You’ll need a government-approved life assignment before escape from high school is allowed?)

The climate: Top quality research continues to unwind evidently rigged global warming data. (Report)

Education: A key reason the ongoing deterioration of U.S. public education is assured. (Article)

Spain: Catalonia (Barcelona) secession emotions heating up? (Report)

The culture: Facial recognition coming to police body cameras? (Report) (What can happen, will happen ….)

There has been just one buyer of stocks since the financial crisis (Article)

Turkey is now bombing the U.S. supported Syrian Kurds across the Turkish border? (Article)

Fewer Americans are retiring? (Report) (And the middle class dissolves down …)

Iran continues nuke programs in violation of Iran Agreement? (Report) (We dunno – But if they aren’t, it will be a new historic event.)

Facebook is fighting government orders to hide government intrusion into subscriber activities. (Report) (Government seems to want to secretly monitor private activities as it pleases, on a massive scale.) A U.S. appeals court recently upheld the government. (Report)

Congress: President Trump’s budget boosted military spending; the House amplified that. (Report) (More military actions are planned, more death, damage and refugees will result, riding on more debt as the money to be spent doesn’t esist.)

U.S. Government will increase asset forfeiture. (Report) Seizing property of people who have not been accused of any crime. (Our post-Constitutional culture)

Ukraine/Russia: Update (Article)

Science: Some particles aren’t behaving in physics? (Article) (Maybe a crack in the standard model …)

“Universal Basic Income” (another free lunch at taxpayer expense) is increasingly pitched by techie billionaire lefties. (Report) (They push receiving free income, are silent on who will have to pay for it.)

A new Washington D.C. security robot fell down steps into a pond and drowned? (Report)

The corruption: Congress is still pushing pork in spending bills? (Article)

Is California bailing out Tesla at taxpayer expense? (Reort)

Facebook blocked over two dozen conservative Catholic pages? (Report) (Playing Papal politics …)

Syria: President Trump ended the CIA’s arms supplying of anti-Assad rebels? (Report) (Russia and Iran will smile.)  Applause for the move. (Article)

The climate: A Vatican archbishop said that all should accept global warming? (Report) (Reminds us of Urban VI to Galileo …)

The economy: New York City has banned dog sitting without a license to do so. (Report) (Killing off another service)

The Moon: Now that China is headed there, will the moon become a source for competing claims of ownership? (Article)

The culture: When may the state elect to supersede children’s natural parents? (Article)

Yellowstone supervolcano’s earthquake swarm is continuing; is an eruption coming? (Report) (If so, best move to Brazil)

The climate: Greenland’s ice seems unaware that it is supposed to melt … (Repport)

The Economy: The September debt ceiling dance in Congress explained with amusement and (ugh!) truth. (Article)

Venezuela: The battle continues; Mr. Maduro shows us how it’s done … (Report) The currency melts. (Report)

Chicago: 10 dead, 42 wounded in weekend shootings. (Report)

A naked burglar consumed a homeowner’s whisky and blueberry muffins before alling asleep in her bed. (Report)

And so it was.

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GLEANINGS FROM THE PASSING SCENE … (Politically Uncorrected)

alfred_e-_neumannAnother 7 days’ worth:

Science: A tunnel has been found under Teotihuacan’s Pyramid of the Moon. (Report) (For any who dig archeology)

The climate: A global warming study was canceled because there is too much ice in the Arctic this year? (Report)

Science: The potential menace in Yellowstone’s ongoing earthquakes is described by the National Geographic. (Article) (The Yellowstone supervolcano)

Religion: Judaism seems to be fracturing in parallel with Catholicism? (Report) (Which is to say, more than usual.)

Tesla’s June deliveries tanked; is reality overtaking propaganda? (Report)

Science/Culture: Elucidating how democratic government arose in Africa on the efforts of Protestant missionaries. (Article)

The climate: “The Greatest Scientific Fraud Of All Time” (Article) (Actual temperature measurements aren’t rising, but the globe is warming somehow anyway?)

Wild monkeys living free in Florida parks are moving into residents’ yards? (Report) (And proving troublesome)

The economy: Am entertaining and clear picture of what is happening and where it is taking us. (Article/Video)

Illinois: Have Chicago and the state of Illinois solved their failing finances? (Article)

Palestinians atrophy while Israel is prosper? (Article)

Science: A quantum physics first, teleporting a photon from the ground to a satellite. (Report) (Spooky action at increasing distances)

The Constitution: A sixth Federal Appeals Court ruling approved a citizen’s right to photograph/record the activities of police while performing their duties. (Report)

The culture: America’s “news” sources no longer convey much information? (Article) (Duh!)

Federal Reserve Chair Yellen warned Congress of excessive debt? (Article) So why is she reverting toward cheap money?  Could it be big time CYA for what she’s afraid is coming?)

The war on cash: Visa offers bribes to small merchants who stop accepting cash? (Article)

New York City will spend $32 M on its rats, hoping to reduce their numbers. (Report) (Spending more for less, right?)

Hartford, Connecticut debt was downgraded to junk by Moody’s? (Article) (Another early domino?)

The culture: Some 290,000 gallons of water were dumped after unknown attackers broke through several locks to gain access to water storage tanks. (Report)  (Why? Did they expect booze in there?

The economy: Auto loan originations at Wells Fargo Bank have nosedived. (Article)

Amazon enjoys a $1.46 U.S. Post Office subsidy of every box it ships? (Report) (The Wall Street Journal says so, we believe the Post Office wastes billions made up by taxpayers afterward.)

Congressfolk are exempted from the Obamcare rollback/repair legislation? (Report)

GOP healthcare will subsidize Obamacare, not fix it – Senator Rand Paul (Report) (And fund it with the same deficits relied upon by Obama, right?)

Will Illinois pensions trigger an avalanche? (Article)

Warning: Bank of America joined the chorus pointing to the Federal Reserve balancing between inflation and a crash. (Article) (Everybody wants to set up for: “I told you so!,” now that it’s too late.)

The satellite launch industry: Update (Article)

The culture: Thousands of Canadians want to protect a grizzly that has been charging people. (Report)

Chicago: 2 dead, 38 wounded in weekend shootings. (Report)

A naked man painted gold was arrested. (Report)

A gilded conclusion …

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WHAT WE DON’T GET ABOUT NORTH KOREA

North Korea is a bratty 12  Year old boy allowed by anti-social parents to play with guns because they like to scare the neighbors. The regime starves its people at gunpoint and is increasingly unsustainable in an age of satellite and cell phone communications. Its inevitable collapse will damage mostly China, Russia and South Korea via hordes of refugees.

North KoreaWe wonder why this rather remote pariah state is occupying so much public space these days. Yes, it has relatively primitive nukes and is enthusiastically developing delivery missiles.  So do several other places, including Pakistan. Pakistan is an exporter of Islamic terrorism and regularly attacks India at its borders. Like North Korea, Pakistan is a Chinese client: China is building roads, railroads and a naval port for Pakistan and is its primary military supplier these days. But somehow, Pakistan is seen as an ally, not a threat.

Then there is Iran, another sabre rattler of missiles and avowed developer of nukes already sworn to eliminate Israel and the U.S. from the planet. Iran is also an exporter of Islamic terrorism and a constant threat to its neighbors. Along with China and Russia, it actively opposes U.S. interests and does so on a wider front than North Korea can manage.

Finally, there is the never-asked question: Where else are nukes being quietly acquired? Is it likely that Saudi Arabia will watch Iran arm itself without taking its own steps? Will South Korea and Japan leave China with nuclear leverage over their futures?  How long will Germany sit defenseless between Russia and France? How will Switzerland continue to protect its traditional neutrality? And the technology isn’t so secret anymore, just expensive and inconvenient.

So again, why is distant, self-isolated economically negligible North Korea receiving so much U.S. attention?

Well, because it is uniquely used by China and Russia to annoy their perceived opponents. And like a schoolyard bully taunted by another, said perceived opponents feel constrained to posture and threaten in return for the benefit of their common audience. It is the foreign policy staging of political theater, serving to both distract unhappy citizens of both sides and to justify their compulsory sacrifices. .

This is not to say that there is no real danger in all of this flimflammery, just to point to the reality that danger is not specific to North Korea. Drones once limited to major governments now serve the purposes of drug gangs and individuals; nukes follow that path inevitably, though at a slower pace.

Going forward, the world is always more dangerous, the risks grow with progress; that is one of its costs. Nukes will continue to proliferate, fools and psychopaths will achieve power and what can happen, will happen sooner or lat. That’s just the way it is in our universe.

Governments though, want us to feel that our safety lies in our doing as they wish and providing them whatever they desire, so they downplay dangers that they can’t manage while showcasing those that they do not really fear. That is done so as to scare us into submission. They all do that; it seems to work. Until someone screws up and it breaks down. But that’s a risk worth taking when the lives and treasure at risk belong to the followers, not the leaders.

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THE EVICTION OF MIDDLE CLASS AMERICA

Middle Class

The U.S. middle class continues to shrink as the median household income declines, a process analyzed by the Pew Research Center for those who are pleased by numbers. Twenty first century America seems destined to be not only post-Christian and post-constitutional, but post-capitalist as well. Generally, Americans are no longer regular churchgoers, election losers no longer accept the winners’ right to govern and the control of capital is narrowing.

The historic human economic norm remains a relatively few with wealth and power entrenched over masses of proletarians, a model that fits many places today. Significant middle classes have been rare and as we are seeing, short lived. There are very basic reasons for that.

Exceptional wealth is produced by exceptional people, always a small group in society. Most produce no more than they need to maintain themselves and another few fail even that. That is a reality of the human condition. Accumulated wealth confers political power that in human hands is turned first to satisfy its owners and then to protect and aggrandize that wealth. Inevitably then, wealth and government join their interests. Somewhere in human DNA there are probably genes conveying that behavior. While exceptions have always existed, that behavior is in an economic sense, universal. Ambitious politicians that have promised to alter these realities by various plausible means have never done so, though they have invariably enriched themselves and continue to do so.

America’s founders tried to game all that via higher power granted to the people by God, power that, when God outranks government, obviates any inherent power of the state. The state’s power is then delegated by the people and the state must answer to them, reversing the traditional arrangement. But today, God has been fired, taking with Him the people’s power over the state; we are back to traditional relationships. Such is progress: America’s founders moved God from behind King George to emplace Him behind the American people; now in their wisdom, those people have replaced God with Government. Not perhaps, a comforting time to recall that government is a bunch of contending and often corrupt politicians.

Finally, governments are annoyed by the existence of a middle class; a too large, too wealthy, too independent and too immovable lump that similarly to a large, independent church, is often seen as an obstacle in the preferred path of the rulers. From a ruler’s viewpoint,the bourgeoisie are deplorable, never seeming to know their place.

All that may help analyze the seldom explained middle class vanishing act, a process clearly reflecting specific government policies. Let’s list a few of them (in no particular order):

  • Political corruption of the U.S. labor movement overpriced U.S. labor in an expanding, increasingly competitive world market. In competition with the rest of the world, higher costs are unsustainable. That has moved U.S. capital to China, Mexico et al for cheaper labor, finances labor replacing robots and supports the importation of cheaper foreign workers.
  • With higher paid jobs diminishing, jobs available are increasingly in lower paid service categories.
  • Public education produces too many people inadequately qualified for productive employment.
  • Ever-increasing government regulation has imposed costs and inefficiencies that join high labor costs in reducing competitiveness.
  • Increasing total U.S. government spending (Federal, state and local: approximately $6.9 T) is money diverted from the private, productive economy. Additionally, ever growing government debt financing of the spending is a prior claim on private capital, foreclosing future production.
  • The money, credit and market manipulations of the U.S. Treasury and the Federal Reserve have, by subordinating economic to political goals, restricted the productivity of capital and the efficiency of markets. The political “too big to fail” preservation (at great cost) of huge, moribund assemblies of relatively unproductive capital have prevented its more productive use elsewhere. Politically motivated, artificially imposed low interest rates discourage savings and destroy pensions.

In short, government interventions and extractions have stultified a previously relatively free market economy. Less capital is freely available and too much is crippled by debt. And this has been accomplished simply by doing what governments do, as the similar conditions elsewhere in the world will attest. Flooding the politically constipated market with fiat money has papered over these effects for now, but fiat money is not capital, only its stand-in and reality’s arrival is inevitable.

Three notable conditions resulting from the foregoing seem predictive: First, that the government policies described are continuing with little likelihood of significant change, second, that these policies prevail at varying degrees worldwide. Finally, that history and economics tell us that such policies (especially the debt), have always and everywhere amounted to a political balloon headed for an economic pin.

We are reminded of two famous quotes from our past: Benjamin Franklin’s reply to the woman who inquired of him what the Constitutional Convention had provided when he answered: “A republic, if you can keep it” is the first. The other is classic Alexis de Tocqueville: “The American Republic will endure until Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.”Middle Class

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GLEANINGS FROM THE PASSING SCENE … (Politically Uncorrected)

alfred_e-_neumannYour fandango of fun, foibles and foolishness from the week:

The Los Angeles minimum wage is now $12 hour, on its way to the coming $15 that will ultimately apply statewide. (The state’s robot recruiting law?)

Science: Short, simple description of the expanding universe/dark energy idea. (Article) (For those who wish to sound intelligent at cocktail parties)

India’s war on cash expanded as its many taxes are replaced by a single tax on goods and services. (Report) (Hmnn … Force all transactions onto computers, then watch and extract a piece of every transaction? Governments worldwide must be drooling.)

The U.S. government does not track massive foreign aid expenditures to verify their use? (Report) (No, that would annoy the foreign officials who steal it, right?)

The childhood vaccination war: Short update (Article) (Autism and death from vaccines?)

U.S. credit card defaults are rising? (Report) (More lipstick coming off the economic pig?)

The Illinois legislature voted a 32% tax increase. (Report) (Too little, too late?) (Be the Governor vetos.)

California schools upset at sight of a bottom in the public purse? (Report) (Will they cut high school football? They’ve already cut education, years ago.)

The economy: China’s workers now face displacement by robots. (Report)

The climate: Record summer cold continues at the North Pole. (Report)

Science: Chocolate is good for cognition? (Report) (We want to believe this …)

Syria: Confusion rising re U.S. policy goals and dictator Assad’s fate? (Article) (Please make up my mind …)

Government access to private e-mail files may reach the Supreme Court. (Report)

Ex Pres Obama continued meeting foreign leaders around the world. (Report) (Has any other ex president tried to publicly mess with his successor’s U.S. foreign policy?)

The corruption: One of President Trump’s lawyers ran a religious non-profit that paid his teen son over a million dollars for serving on its board of directors? (Report) (Now under investigation?)

A Democratic senator opposes investigation of electoral fraud? (Report)

Obama’s “Dreamer” amnesty for juvenile wetbacks still operates; Texas wants it rescinded? (Report)

The culture: Trump & co. plus Soros & co. plus fake news media were spotted together at a Hamptons party? (Report) (We dunno; we weren’t there – but it’s believable; those folks are all different parts of the same basic establishment, right)

U.S./Russia: President Trump is pushing exporting of burgeoning U.S. natural gas supplies to eastern European countries that have had to depend upon Russia as sole supplier for winter heating. (Report) (A huge check on Russian influence, if it works in practice.) Trump said energy should never be used to blackmail users. (Report)

Compromising their future finances, consumers are using longer term car loans. (Report)

A man’s Fireworks intended to remove a wild bee nest burned down his garage. (Report) (That must have stung!)

Spain: Will Catalonia’s October vote support secession? (Report) (Hmnn … Cataplexit?)

San Francisco has joined the growing list of cities facing huge, unfunded pension obligations. (Report)

Google faced with another huge E.U. antitrust fine (Report) (Godvernment giveth; Godvernment taketh away … Google serves Godvernment)

The culture: Facebook billionaire Zuckerberg pushes on for a guaranteed free income for everybody. (Report) (To be paid for by everybody, but that’s never mentioned)

Tesla’s impresario Elon Musk is demanding population control before humanity overruns the planet. (Report) (Will the upcoming Model 3 feature a crystal vase with flowers?) (The ancients will get this, not the kids)

More culture: A pregnant woman was arrested for pelting her brother with frozen cupcakes? (Report) (Is this part of our rising crime rate?)

Venezuela: Government unleashes thugs onto opposition legislators? (Report) (Beautiful music in the socialist paradise …)

The culture: Fake news at CNN caught on surreptitious videos by undercover photog Project Veritas. (Report w/video) (Our parents heard news …)

U.S./No. Korea: “U.S. will use force on North Korea if we must” (Report) (Like kicking a skunk?)

Chicago: More than 100 people were shot over the July 4th weekend. (Report)

The climate: A leading climate change alarmist now faces contempt of court charges for refusing to provide his data to the court in a defamation case he has filed against a leading climate change denier? (Report)  (Wanna bet on when the media will report this one?)

More climate: A peer reviewed study found that nearly all of the warming cited by alarmist has been added to the actual data by adjustments made by the climate alarmists? (Report)

Still more climate: Greenland has recorded the coldest July 4th ever recorded in the northern hemisphere at that latitude? (Report) (Yeah, but how about July 3rd and 5th?)

India/China: The long standing but recently quiet Chinese claim to a chunk of India is front and center again? (Report) (With its South China Sea aggression, this leaves only China’s Russian boundary, also subject to claims, presently quiet.)

The environment: While a Colorado resident slept, a bear spent five hours ransacking his home. (Report)

The economy: June growth in government jobs outstripped manufacturing 35 to 1. (Report) (And manufacturing creates wealth while government consumes it, right?)

A 5.8 Montana earthquake directed attention –again- toward the Yellowstone supercaldera. (Report)

The culture: Strong support for child marriage is preventing a proposed California ban? (Report)

More culture: Now we burn buildings to protest property ownership? (Report)

Science: The first battery-free cell phone! (Now, if they can just scale it up …)

More science: Psychopath show up on brain scans? (Report) (Orwellian potential …)

 President Trump’s views horrify many E.U. leaders – but apparently please no few E.U. citizens?  (Report) (Might make the Prez feel at home there …)

The culture: A British man has given birth to a baby? (Report) (Yeah, really. What’s the kid gonna call him?)

Political cartoon: Artist’s impression of failed socialist states. (Humor for non-socialists)

A naked man was arrested after allegedly assaulting a cop. (Report)

From this week’s slice of life …

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GLEANINGS FROM THE PASSING SCENE … (Politically Uncorrected)

alfred_e-_neumannThis week’s assortment:

The Catholic crevasse deepens? (Article) (In order to save his church, will Pope Francis destroy it?)

Your pre-flight frisk will require removal of food/reading material from carry-on bags to foster individual inspection? (Report) They promise not to notice the content of your reading material. (f you believe them …)

Healthcare: The GOP agrees that Obamacare taxes must go? (Report) (Those taxes are insufficient and Medicare/Medicaid are in deficit. How does the GOP plan to fund healthcare?)

A designated “Space Force” was proposed by a Congressman? (Report) (To be run out of Washington or Hollywood?)

The onslaught of cell phones on earth. (Article)

How central banks have rigged stocks, bonds and commodities? (Article) (Well, Murphy is in charge and God has been fired …)

McDonald’s explains how its new worker replacement robots really won’t replace any workers. (Article)

The U.S. destroyer ignored warnings before the collision with the freighter? (Article)

Student loans: The ticking debt bomb with silence pulled over it? (Report)

There was no chemical weapon attack in Syria per U.S. high military officials; Trump fired missiles against advice? (Article) Seymour Hirsch version supports (Article)

Brazil: President Temer, who recently replaced a predecessor impeached for corruption, has been charged with corruption? (Article) (The more we change …)

America’s pets are getting fatter (Report) (Pet food too cheap?)

A man was jailed for 90 days when police mistook drywall dust for cocaine. (Report)

The Catholic Church: Continues wrestling with itself as the Vatican’s pro-life academy boss defends a pro-abortion member. (Report) (Pope Francis’ Gordian Knot)

Google was fined $2.7 B by the European Union for antitrust violations. (Report) (For censoring search results differently than the politicians want them censored, or for being too successful?)

New York City’s subways still can’t stay on track? (Report) The Governor declared an emergency. (Report)

Mexico: Update (Article) (A rising body count)

Gender I.D.. on Washington D.C. residents’ driver’s licenses may now be male, female or “X.” (Report)  (Hmnn … Him, Her and Who Knows?)

Still higher tariffs on Canadian lumber as the Trump administration ‘protects’ U.S. wood producers. (Report) (And U.S. wood consumers will pay)

A real election hack that no one seems to want known (Report)

The ultimate in government reforms? (Article) (Andrew Jackson would have loved this)

Federal Reserve Chair Yellen: “I don’t believe we will see another crisis in our lifetime.” (Article) (Translation: “We’re toast!)

Government snooping is never enough? The spyfolk want permanent authority for controversial snooping. (Report)

Is an actor (with money) responsible for 30 year old girlfriends’ suicide from overdose because he helped pay for her drug? Do her parents deserve to use the court to pursue him? (Report)

Yellowstone’s super caldera continues swarming earthquakes. (Report) (Supereruption threat or no?) Another quake swarm hit the central Sierras where another supercaldera exists, but no one is mentioning any possibility that it too could be refilling with pre-eruption lava. (Report)

Science: New evidence of high altitude human occupation of southern Peru 7 to 9 thousand years ago? (Report) (That’s back with ancient Egypt)

Philadelphia: Unrolling a new water utility program that proportions water bills to customer’s income, thus subsidizing lower income users at the expense of the better off. (Report) (The rich will pay, right? Sounds like a tax, to us.) (Wonder how they’ll discover all the incomes …)

A Catholic Cardinal has been charged in Australia with sexual assault. He is reportedly among the Pope’s senior advisors. (Report) (Pray for Francis)

“The Cold Civil War” is a keen, trenchant and simple analysis of the present division of America and of its risks, with advice toward progress. (Article) (Highly recommended to those interested)

 Saudi Arabia: Update How stable is it, really? And how many countries have quietly acquired nukes? (Article)

China/North Korea: China’s government has cut off oil sales to North Korea? (Report) (Might if so, mean China finally getting serious about North Korean nukes.)

U.S./China: A Senate panel voted to reverse 40 years of policy by permitting the U.S. Navy to call at Taiwan ports. (Another step in the game of chicken over the South China Sea?) China “furious” as U.S. sells Taiwan new weapons? (Report) (Trumps tweets loudly and does more than carry his big stick)

The culture: Our TV pundits can deplore our increasing violence, then recommend that Trump murder son-in-law Kushner? (Report)

Impresario Elon Musk moves to undermine Los Angeles by riddling the city with tunnels? (Report) (Taxpayers beware)

The European Union is afraid Trump may like the Poles  ? (Report)

A White House reporter from Playboy magazine complained that Trump’s news bosses are bullying him? (Report) (Maybe he should disrobe …)

The culture: Ireland’s education minister seeks banning Catholic schools from favoring applications of Catholic students? (Report) (Pope Francis’ job grows even more difficult …)

Space: President Trump reestablished the defunct U.S. Space Council? (Report) (For good or ill, the repoliticization of American space efforts?)

The culture: A Florida man, sitting down onto a gun in his car seat, shot himself in his penis. (Report)

Chicago: Ruminations on the wastrel city’s confiscatory new soda tax. (Article)

Pensions: A worldwide ticking bomb of inadequate funding? (Article) (The Federal Reserve hasn’t allowed safe interest earnings for many years)

Are Illinois and Puerto Rico our future? (Article) (Well, unless it’s Venezuela, right?)

Connecticut’s governor by executive order, assumed control of spending when the state Assembly deadlocked on producing a budget. (Article)

Maine is preparing to shut down government as the legislaturefails to enact its budget. (Article)

New Jersey shunt down its government over its stalled budget? (Report)

29 states have refused to supply voter fraud data to the Feds? (Article) (Guess which politicians run those states …)

An economist questions: “Why has Washington been at war for 16 years?” (Article) (Nobel Laureate Paul Craig Roberts)

The economy: The U.S. fertility rate has hit another record low. (Article) (How will a shrinking population of workers support a growing population of baby boom retirees?)

The culture: 28 people were injured at a Little Rock  nightclub shootout. Not terrorism, per police. (Report)

Chicago: 8 killed, 49 wounded in weekend shootings. (Report)

A naked man was arrested after he was found in a Lake Wales couple’s yard. (Report)

And that should do …

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The Mysterious Disappearance of Kids’ Summer Jobs?

summer jobsThose of a certain age will remember when summer vacation jobs provided high school boys the job that led to their first car while high school girls earned money as baby sitters. Recent reports lament the disappearance of those opportunities and the maturing that brought. Earning money in the real world was a great attitude adjuster for the young. But as current stories lament, no more.

Why not? One conservative analyst said that the jobs were lost to immigrants. A liberal scholar blamed increased enrollment at summer schools. Both seem reasonable. But we aren’t observing from the political Right or Left, we try to see reality. A couple of simple realities seem sufficient to solve this one.

First, summer jobs for teens: What employer wants to hire and break in a kid when there re experienced and more needy adults available, when the pay and benefits are now the same for both? Labor laws no longer allow the ‘exploitation’ of kids, so economics no longer encourages their hiring.

For the baby sitters, California is a telling, if worst-case example. A baby sitting teen who serves more than one family outside her own requires a license. And the parents who hire a licensed baby sitter will need personnel and bookkeeping services to keep required records and money for the $`10 hr. minimum wage, sick pay, payroll taxes etc. We suppose some other places remain less bureaucratic but we will be surprised if anywhere in the U.S. still leaves the pay, qualifications and working conditions entirely between the parties, as they were at one time.

So, it is no mystery that kids no longer work as they once did: Their services have been priced out of the market. Just like their elders who are being replaced by robots and foreigners.

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