Friday, February 28, 2014
The fact that they DIDN'T march on the FED (whose easy money policy, bailout mentality, and artificially low interest rates probably caused the housing crisis), DIDN'T march on Fannie and Freddie (whose reckless policies - the buying up of hundreds of billions in toxic loans - led to the most massive bailout of all), DIDN'T march on the government-backed ratings agencies (whose shitty prognostications kept the whole thing going), and DIDN'T march on the Congressional offices of dullards such as Barney Frank and Maxine Waters (whose dogmatism and depravity shielded these a-holes from seeing that Fannie and Freddie were OBVIOUSLY going bankrupt) leads me to think that these folks are probably little more than clueless partisan jack-offs whose knowledge of the economy is pitiful at best and whose decorum thoroughly matches it.
a) They don't just dislike their political opponents, they despise them (attributing to them the most sinister of motives and behaviors), b) they plant their flags bald-faced indiscriminately, and c) they make 1970s wrestling seem nuanced by comparison.
Thursday, February 27, 2014
The predominant reason given as to why the Bush administration failed on so many counts was that George Bush really didn't believe in government (an exceedingly bizarre assertion in that the fellow grew it so massively) and so of course he was going to royally fuck things up. An interesting theory (albeit a trifle paranoiac), but being that that couldn't conceivably be the reason for our current President's ineptness and massive failures, might we at this late juncture at least take a look at a couple of alternative explanations; the inherent incompetence of government bureaucracy, political hubris, the will to power, corruption and cronyism, dogmatism, etc.? I mean, it certainly couldn't hurt, right?
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
According to John Alembillah Azumah's book, "The Legacy of Arab-Islam in Africa", there were infinitely more black Africans enslaved by North African pirates and Middle Eastern Muslims than there ever were by white Europeans and Americans, and the only reason that there aren't a lot of black skinned people in Muslim countries today (as there plainly are in the U.S., Brazil, and the Caribbean islands) is because the men were either castrated (and bled to death) or sent off to war to die and the women sold off as concubines and ultimately murdered (many dropping dead in the desert from forced marches). Gee, wouldn't it be awesome if this was occasionally mentioned in the history books, too (that and the fact that these Muslims enslaved a shitload of Europeans - beginning in Iceland - in addition)?
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Call me old fashioned but once a person slaughters over 40 MILLION people, I really don't give a rat's ass what the fiend thinks about ANYTHING, and it astonishes me beyond comprehension how anybody would. Really.
According to the National Archives and many other sources, FOUNDING FATHER, Benjamin Franklin, put forth in 1790 a Congressional petition (one of his final official actions) that actually called for the total elimination of slavery. I never knew that and, while, yes, it's fully possible that Congresswoman Bachman also never knew it, what say you, you pompous ass, Christopher Matthews?
Call George W. Bush (an admittedly ineffectual President) a war criminal and then quote mass murderer Joseph Stalin, not to underscore the evil of the madman but his good 'ol common sense. Thoroughly unbelievable.
Monday, February 24, 2014
Mr. Clemens has also averaged out the rise in income for Haitian immigrants and has determined it to be approximately 700%. Compare that to foreign aid in which the bulk of the money ends up in the hands of bureaucrats, crony capitalists, opportunistic NGOs, etc. and, yes, the humanitarian element becomes even more pronounced. I mean, I know that these politicians want to be the center of attention/the heroes and all but isn't it supposed to be more about the folks, and helping them?
Here are a few stats from Mr. Clemens that will really blow your mind. According to him, 43% of the Mexicans, 82% of the Haitians, and even 27% of the Indians who have gotten themselves out of poverty (over the past several decades) have done so here, IN THE UNITED STATES!!............................................................................Of course, what's even more mind-blowing is the fact that this has all happened for the most part without harming the American work force one iota (only high school dropouts have had their wages depressed and even with them it's only been about an 8% drop over the course of a generation) and that there actually exists a consistent and strong INVERSE correlation between immigration and unemployment....Yeah, I'm really beginning to think that the likes of O'Reilly, Dobbs, and Ann Coulter are just flat-out wrong on this one.
Sunday, February 23, 2014
According to Michael Clemens from the Center for Global Development, if the world were to fully remove migration barriers, we would close to double the world's GDP and alleviate much of its poverty....It sure as hell sounds like a good plan to me (think of it as a foreign aid policy that actually works).
From 1921 to 1925, the top federal income tax rate was dropped on four separate occasions (from 77% to 58% to 50% to 46% to 25%) and, guess what, people. According to a 1982 study by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, the total amount of taxes paid by folks making over $100,000 a year actually skyrocketed by 86% (from 1921 to 1926) and their share of the total income tax burden also went up precipitously; 81% (from 28.1% of the total income tax burden to 50.9% of it)....Which leads me to ask of these progressives yet again, what is it that we're really trying to accomplish here? Fund the government, or act like a bunch of collectivist shits and socially engineer our way to yet another economic downturn?
a) Read or see something that makes you intellectually and/or emotionally uncomfortable and which is also unacceptable.............b) Double down and refuse to engage in any form of cerebral accommodation (assimilation only - reference to Piaget).............c) Scour the bowels of the Internet (the modern day true believer is apparently averse to actual volumes) perusing for alternative explanations.............d) Attach to these alternative explanations a level of metaphysical certitude that the average individual would find utterly bizarre.............e) Claim to have refuted the discomforting theory and then utterly fail to understand even the central tenets of it.............f) Lather, rinse, and repeat.
A progressive asshole versus a reactionary asshole but at least the reactionary asshole didn't blow up a bunch of shit along the way.
Saturday, February 22, 2014
a) According to Statistics Sweden, the top 20% in Sweden has 73% of the total wealth while a study from NYU and the University of Western Ontario has the figure at 80%.............b) According to Richbastards.com, the top 10 wealthiest people in Sweden possess a total of $74 billion while the average net worth in that country is $40,000.............c) According to the financial research institute, Investor Economics, the top 3.8% of all the households in Canada control 67% of the total financial wealth for a grand total of $1.78 trillion.............d) According to the OECD World Forum, in 1996 the top 20% in Denmark possessed 98.7% of that country's total wealth.............e) According to the University of California Santa Cruz, the top 1% in America possessed 42.9% of the total financial wealth in 1983 and 42.1% of it in 2010 - it actually went down and, please, do keep in mind here that the actual human beings who comprise these groups change from year to year and from decade to decade and that the actual number one demographic for this category is adults, ages 45-54.............f) According to the OECD World Forum, the top 20% in the Netherlands possess 78.5% of the total wealth there.............g) According to Friedlnews.com, the top 10% in Austria possess 54% of that country's total financial wealth.............h) According to teilung Deutschland, the top .0001% in Germany actually has a greater net worth (1.7% of the country's total) than that country's entire bottom 50% (1.4%).
Friday, February 21, 2014
On the Idiocy of Noam Chomsky Comparing Bill Clinton's Bombing of that Chemical Plant in Sudan to the World Trade Center Attacks by bin Laden
While he may be an expert in linguistics, the guy is a total moron when it comes to morality. Yes, there were deaths that transpired due to President Clinton's actions but those deaths were UNINTENDED. His primary focus, OBVIOUSLY, was to destroy the potential WMD of al Qaeda and other terrorist groups. Contrast that with the actions of bin Laden and his fellow barbarians whose metaphysical purpose was to annihilate as many civilians as possible and bring down the entire American economy. For Mr. Chomsky to even attempt to compare a U.S. President (who probably did more to establish Middle Eastern peace than all of his predecessors and successors combined) to one of the biggest mass murderers of the past half century is absolutely astonishing and whatever small modicum of respect that I may have had for that individual is toast.
Thursday, February 20, 2014
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 3.8 million of the 144 million American workers currently make the minimum wage or lower (a lot of those who make under the minimum wage are waiters and waitresses whose tips would ultimately put them over the minimum wage) and, of that group, over 50% are between the ages of 16 and 24 and nearly 2/3 are part-time. This who assertion by Obama and other leftists that there are these vast swaths of bread-winners and heads of households trying to make ends meet on $7.25 an hour is an abject ruse (and of course the small percentage that do fall into this category are probably eligible for assistance) and so, yeah, they are either being stupid or dishonest or possibly both.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
a) As bureaucracies increase in size, information constantly gets distorted and the opportunities for corruption grow exponentially.............b) Success is often defined by the size of the budget - the bigger, the better.............c) There is no inherent incentive for government bureaucracies to not waste money.............d) Work expands as to fill the time available for its completion ("Parkinson's Law") and the size of bureaucracies inevitably grows (either through officials multiplying subordinates or officials making work for each other).............e) Due to inherent features in the rules which apparently govern the placement of employees, it is all too often the case that a person will eventually go from a level of competence to one of incompetence ("The Peter Principle"); an accumulation of deadwood at administrative levels frequently the end result.............f) Internal consistency is frequently prized to a much greater degree than innovation (both generally and when it comes to promoting people).............g) The hubris of politicians, when combined with the inherent tendencies of bureaucracies to grow, almost inevitably produces "mission creep".............h) Bureaucratic regulation almost always creates negative and unintended consequences, the governmental solution of which generally being MORE bureaucratic regulation.
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
How 'bout when Wilt Chamberlain AVERAGED 50.4 points per game during the 1961-62 season? That one would probably get my vote.
Here's a perfect example of why the government shouldn't try and orchestrate the economy. According to the new book by Wayne Leighton and Edward Lopez, "Madmen, Intellectuals, And Academic Scribblers", the federal government fritters away through tariffs and subsidies $2 billion a year to support 61,000 full-time equivalent sugar growers. Bad enough, you say? Yeah, well, get a load of this, that same policy is also creating a a $4 billion a year LOSS to approximately 1,000,000 full-time equivalent employees in the sugar USING industry (not to mention the higher cost to consumers) and so, yeah, the overall dead-weight loss to the American economy is $2 billion (at least) a year. Does that make any sense at all, people?..................................................................................P.S. The predominant theory as to why this type of bad policy persists is called Public Choice Theory. It tends to happen whenever the benefits of something are concentrated (61,000 people in the case of sugar growers) and the costs of it are dispersed (a million people plus in the case of sugar users), and it of course involves politicians getting their palms greased mightily.
Monday, February 17, 2014
For well over a year now, I have supported a healthcare reform package that includes a) personal health savings accounts, b) subsidies to the poor, and c) a high deductible catastrophic policy for emergencies. The part of this proposal where I may not have been clear enough is that in order for this plan to be workable (getting everybody into the risk pool), a and b would have to be mandated. I mean, I probably thought that this was something that should have been understood and obvious but, yes, being that there are in fact some sub-par intellects out there who seemingly read this stuff, I absolutely should have been much more clear; MANDATORY HEALTH SAVINGS ACCOUNTS (either a % of income like Singapore or a minimum-maximum situation).
Sunday, February 16, 2014
I watched it for about 15 minutes the other night. What a fucking train-wreck!! I mean, you've got this Nancy Grace character who literally thinks that everybody's guilty and whose on-air demeanor makes Chris Matthews and Bill O'Reilly seem like Ann Landers and Heloise. Add to that the small squadron of obnoxious lawyers and other guests that she "unleashes" on us and, yep, you got it, the whole frigging thing inevitably turns into one giant crap-fest....Of course the most amazing thing of all is that the show continues to get decent ratings and on that little piece of miraculousness I bid you adieu.
Saturday, February 15, 2014
Since when have The Eagles become this huge punchline (Penn Gillette being the latest comedian to put forth a salvo)? I mean, no, they weren't as cutting-edge as Uncle Tupelo, The Who, Sonic Youth, The Velvet Underground, The White Stripes, Lone Justice, or The Cowboy Junkies but they did put forth a fair number of not only decent songs but excellent ones ("Take it to the Limit" and "Heartache Tonight" being my two favorites)...............................................................................I don't know, folks, I think what we may be experiencing here is a little something called the backlash effect. It happens whenever people like something for a while but then, boom, the very minute that it becomes hugely popular with the masses (and, yes, a lot of artists in fact DO "sell out"), they drop it like a hot potato (Hootie and the Blowfish being yet another classic example). I mean, it's almost as if their elitist gene-pool collectively kicks in and the rest of us somehow feel the need to go along with them...............................................................................Me? I tend to think what I've always thought about The Eagles (along with The Doobie Brothers and a fair number of those other '70s bands); namely, that they were a good, solid rock band, period.
DON'T SELL THE PAINTINGS! Please, don't do it. If your area is ever going to make a comeback (and I'm actually quite bullish on Detroit), I fully believe that the arts (along with the waterfront, real estate, manufacturing, and tech) are going to have to be a critical component of it. Yeah, you could potentially get a fair amount of money for these pieces but, once they're gone, they're gone and that would be tragic in many, many ways, in my opinion.
Friday, February 14, 2014
Thursday, February 13, 2014
It's the one in which they say that the dude went into Iraq for political reasons. Not that I necessarily see it in quite the same sinister manner obviously but, yes, after 9/11, I do think that Mr. Bush wanted to do something big and, being that he thought that Iraq was going to be an easy undertaking (who, after all, would object to the removal of the one of the top 5-10 biggest killers of the 20th Century?), he figured, "Why the hell not and if it helps me politically (the fact that I'd be looking majorly tough against terrorism, etc.) I am more than OK with it."................................................................................Of course the problem with this line of reasoning is that it was as wrong as wrong could be. a) It wasn't easy in that apparently Mr. Bush didn't realize that Iraq was an ethnically diverse country with ancient scores to settle and zero experience with democracy and that Muslim folks in general just don't like being occupied. And b) there weren't any WMD (though, yes, I do entertain the possibility that some of the weapons were shipped over to Syria) in any regard.......................................................................................Now, this isn't to say that the deposing of Saddam was necessarily an incorrect thing to do (his counterbalancing of Iran, notwithstanding); his genocidal actions against the Kurds alone being sufficient. But you gotta be at least a little bit smart about it the thing. The fact that the Bush administration totally de-Baathified the government and disbanded the military represented to me a huge lack of understanding of the region and a strategy the likes of which we've never really recovered from.......So, yeah, at least in this situation, Obama WAS given a lousy hand.
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
What would be my answer to the question, "So, what's the only thing that you really need to know about Alexander Hamilton?"
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
According to George Mason's, Bryan Caplan, and his excellent book, "The Myth of the Rational Voter", one of the the most fundamental characteristics of an irrational person is an unwillingness and/or incapacity to change one's mind. I couldn't agree with the fellow more..................................................................................I'm also kind of relieved in that it's obvious from my writings that I myself have changed more than a little (morphing from a Democratic leaning centrist independent to a small l libertarian who not only voted for Johnson but who did so proudly - as opposed to some of my prior votes for independent candidates which were much more of an impudent nature; Perot in '96, for example) and that I've done so in no small part due to the evidence; the fact that countries with strong economic freedom perform much better than those without it (Chile versus Venezuela, Singapore versus East Timor, Hong Kong versus India in the years after WW2, Botswana versus Zimbabwe, West Germany versus East Germany during the Cold War, South Korea versus North Korea, etc.), the fact that the private sector is almost always more efficient than the public sector (the Post Office versus Fedex, the motor vehicle department versus Triple A, the TSA versus that private security outfit at San Francisco's airport, etc. - the feedbacks being much more immediate, people spending their own cash being much more careful with it, etc.), etc...................................................................................Now this isn't to say that I'm going to guzzle this Kool-Aid any more than I have the previous batches. I still, for example, strongly believe in a limited EPA, a social safety net (though, yes, my preference would be much more the Milton Friedman/Charles Murray approach of a negative income tax than the present-day Byzantine nightmare), universal healthcare (providing, or course, that it resembles the Whole Foods/Indiana state employees model), a graduated income tax (my 3 rates would be 15, 20, and 25% with zero deductions), and a whole host of other issues that the left also champions. I just have a different approach toward achieving these ends now, that's all.
Monday, February 10, 2014
They simply cannot get their tiny little pea-brains around the fact that their fellows lie (in Obama's case we now have declassified documents and testimony which prove that the man was told the truth about Benghazi THAT NIGHT!!!!!) just as much as the other fellows do and it is a rare politician indeed who doesn't (Paul Tsongas and Warren Rudman are a couple who quickly come to mind). As my buddy, Marcus, stated so adroitly the other evening, ALL PRESIDENTS LIE (from shitheads like LBJ and Nixon to revered individuals like Kennedy and Eisenhower), and the sooner that these lunatic ramrods from both sides of the political spectrum realize this/speak truth to ALL power, the better.
Sunday, February 9, 2014
Saturday, February 8, 2014
a) Was there a spontaneous eruption from a protest? b) WAS there a protest? c) Did the assailants seem to have intimate knowledge of the facility? d) Was there a terrorist splinter cell taking "credit" for the attack while it was happening? And e) what type of weaponry was being used by the assailants (in other words, was it the type of weaponry that a person would just happen to have on them or was it much more sophisticated than that?)?...There, that's it. Nothing about national security and the only purpose being to determine whether the President of the United States lied to the American public prior to an election. Too much to ask?.....................................................................................P.S. And I would also want to get Leon Panetta under oath. The dude is an honest man and he would never (at least in my estimation) lie to cover for anybody, even the President.
Friday, February 7, 2014
O'Reilly asked the President point-blank, "Did Secretary Panetta tell you that night that it was a terrorist attack?", and the President refused to answer the damn question. What does that tell you? It tells me that the fellow didn't want to lie again and so he danced around the sucker (kind of like he did with that biotch from "The View"). Richard Nixon, anybody?
Try, it consistently beats "The Factor" in the ratings....Can't be all bad if it does that.
On the Ludicrous Claim that the Benghazi Terror Attacks were Perpetrated by a Non-Existent Protest that Spontaneously Erupted from a Stupid-Assed Youtube Video
Why didn't they just fucking blame Fred Flintstone? I mean, think about it for a second. If you're going to make some absurd claim in which you're going to be ridiculed for months and multiple news-cycles, why not just go for it? I certainly would have; Space invaders did it. Lowland gorillas did it. Betty and Veronica did it. The 1927 Yankees did it. Jon Voight (he's persona non grata, right?) did it. The panel from "To Tell the Truth" (spontaneously erupting from a Youtube video which features the panel from "What's My Line?" and which was produced by the panel from "Stump the Stars") did it. Global Warming and the Keystone Pipeline collaborated and they did it. Ditto, unicorns and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. I mean, I know that creativity isn't necessarily the forte of these moronic politicians and all (though, yes, this administration is a little bit better at it than the previous one that was also filled to the brim with dullards) but you have to occasionally bring your A-game for Christ sakes.
Thursday, February 6, 2014
On Why the Government Didn't See the Shale-Fracking, Horizontal Drilling, And Social Networking Phenomena Coming
a) Because they're stupid, b) because their brass-balls sure aren't crystal, and c) because they already had way too much on their plate with ethanol, wind turbines, free golf-carts for millionaires, Amtrack (and other high-speed rail bottomless pits), Wall Street bailouts, Obamacare, cash for clunkers, solar panels, kissing Jeffrey Immelt's asshole, etc., etc..
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
On What the 35 Witnesses and Survivors of the Benghazi TERROR Attack Will Tell Us, If Given the Opportunity
They will tell us that a) there wasn't any protest outside of the consulate (and hence no spontaneous eruption resulting from it), b) the weaponry that was used was of a high-powered nature (mortar, AK-47s, etc.) and not the type of shit that an individual would simply have in their back-pocket, c) a terrorist splinter cell was claiming "credit" for the attack WHILE IT WAS HAPPENING, d) the terrorists knew where everything was and had obviously cased the facility well prior to the attack (in other words, THEY PLANNED IT), and e) the consulate itself was being used as a conduit to a gun smuggling operation into Syria and that many of the weapons probably landing into the hands of al Qaeda - none of which this President wants the American public to hear, obviously.....................................................................................Look, I don't have a problem with anybody saying that the previous President was a crappy one; naive, incompetent, whatever. But the man is gone. He is gone and it is well past time that we started holding the current President (who has patently lied to us on this and other issues) accountable.
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Andrew Mellon - The National Gallery of Art, The Mellon Institute of Industrial Research (now a part of Carnegie Mellon University), $43 million (back when $43 million was a LOT of money) to the University of Pittsburgh, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The crazy progressive blogosphere - what Ike told that reporter when he was asked what was Nixon's greatest accomplishment as Vice President, "I'll have to get back to you."...Do complaints count?
1) According to the Fraser Institute's ratings on economic freedom, the average economic freedom in the world has increased from 5.5 to 6.7, an increase of nearly 22%. That cannot be good news for paper-pushers and for those like monstrous government.............2) For some strange reason the state of Rhode Island does not charge sales tax on fine art. And so, no, when the William Vareika Gallery on Bellevue in Newport sold that John Henry Twachtman landscape for $850,000 or that Charles Wilson Peale portrait for $1,500,000 (both of which were undoubtedly sold to wealthy people), the bureaucrats in Providence didn't a solitary cent on it....Man, can I ever hear the outrage brewing on that sucker.
And Obama isn't protecting national security, he's protecting himself. We already know from General Ham, Gregory Hicks, and others (closed circuit television footage, for Christ) that there not only wasn't any spontaneous eruption of a protest, THERE WASN'T ANY PROTEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We also know from leaked documents and testimony that Secretary Panetta and General Mullen both told the President that this was a terrorist attack and that they did so almost immediately. I am sorry here but Mr. Brock is being a manifest scoundrel and a stooge (spinning for a dishonest politician simply because the dude's got a D in front of his name).
Drew Griffin - a well respected journalist from a mainstream news organization who doesn't have an axe to grind. David Brock - a spinmeister whose entire purpose in life (based upon some strange psychic need for the other guy to not just be wrong but sinister) is to protect liberal politicians. It seems like a huge no-brainer to me, folks.
Monday, February 3, 2014
Why in the hell would I watch an interview in which I hold the two participants (one a phony and megalomaniacal television ratings hound and the other an increasingly untrustworthy and incompetent politician) in such minuscule regard? I mean, does that make any sense at all?......That and I already frigging know where they're coming from, for Christ sakes - both of them.
Hm (and even conceding the former point), you might want to tell that to the 3 dozen witnesses and survivors (a large chunk of them working for the C.I.A.) of the Benghazi terror attacks that have been forced by the federal government to sign nondisclosure agreements (the purpose of which being to keep them from talking to the media and to Congress, obviously) and take almost weekly lie detector tests to verify their compliance to it (this, according to CNN's Jake Tapper, Robert Baer, and Drew Griffin). You just might get a different point of view from them.
Sunday, February 2, 2014
It is total BS. As numerous economists have pointed out, when you control for key factors such as occupation, education, hours worked, and years of continuous service, women make just as much as men and sometimes more. The bottom-line here is that women just make different choices than men and it is this fact and NOT discrimination which explains the wage disparity.....................................................................................One of the better volumes on the topic was written by activist Warren Farrell. It's called, "Why Men Earn More", and in it he points out that men are more likely to a) major in technology and the hard sciences, b) work in a field that is hazardous to your health, c) work in a field in which you are exposed to the elements, d) work in a field in which you cannot "check out" at the end of the day, e) work in a field that is less fulfilling, f) work in a field that requires financial and emotional risk, g) work the lousiest hours and shifts, h) work in a field that requires constant "updating", i) work more than 40 hours a week, j) work more than 60 hours a week, k) have more than 20 years experience in their present occupation, l) have more than 10 years continuous experience with the same employer, m) take less vacation time, n) be absent less, o) be willing to commute longer distances, p) live in a city that they'd prefer not to live in, q) travel on the job, r) be willing to work on commission, s) be willing to accept a bottom-line position which contributes to a companies profits and losses, and t) accept a position with nation-wide responsibilities.......................................................................................Now, to be fair here, one could conceivably argue that there are more subtle discriminatory variables at work and that they would of course center around marriage, education, etc.. But wouldn't it be far more productive to address those specifically and not take a meat cleaver approach to the market place and in a manner that would probably do more harm than good (yeah, I'm referring to all of those nasty unintended consequences of government meddling)?
These folks simply don't have access to all of the relevant information, and the knowledge that's necessary is just way too dispersed for these paper-pushers to make any sort of rational calculation (Spain and its green energy initiative, for example - an unmitigated disaster). That, and there isn't any sort of strong feedback mechanism that would alert them to change course. I mean, I know that leftists hate the word, profit, and all but it does in fact serve an actual purpose in a free market economy.
Saturday, February 1, 2014
1) According to PBS's special on slavery and reconstruction, the African-American literacy rate in this country went from 5% in 1850 to over 70% by the turn of the century. This represents one of the greatest accomplishments in the history of human civilization and it was done primarily without the help of government (yes, there was some public schooling for blacks but it was a pittance when compared to what whites received, predominately funded by philanthropic organizations - the Peabody Fund being one, and rarely included secondary education). How's that?............2) The African-American poverty rate in 1940 was 87%. Just 20 years later in 1960 it had fallen all the way to 47%, a 46% reduction. This huge decline took place well before the Welfare State, well before affirmative action, and well before even the Civil Rights era. Take that, government.............3) Social spending in this country has skyrocketed during the last two administrations to the point where it now comprises approximately 20% of total GDP. Any person out there who tries to tell you that the social safety net has been seriously compromised is either a bald ignoramus or a dirty, stinking, lying sack of garbage, or both. Or both.