Tom’s Sunday Sermon – 2-22-14

Abe Lincoln, George Washington, Walt Disney, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and Steve Jobs.  What do they all have in common?

None of them had a college degree.

Scott Walker became governor of Wisconsin in 2010. In four short years, the Conservative governor has:

  •  cut unemployment in Wisconsin substantially — it was 7.8% when he took office and it’s currently down to 5.2%.
  • cut taxes by $2 billion, including lowering property taxes in the state compared to their rise of 27% in Wisconsin in the decade before he took office.
  • taxpayers have saved an estimated $3 billion at the state and local level thanks to Walker’s collective bargaining reforms
  • froze tuition for University of Wisconsin system students for two years and is aiming to do so again for another two years because of the system’s surplus.

Walker went to a conservative 2016 presidential forum in Iowa and had the crowd just loving his message. He’s had a steady ascension in the polls.

But wait, Scott Walker does not have a college degree!

And the liberal media’s hair is on fire (which might suggest they fear him). The Washington Post, New York Times, and others are digging for dirt on the rising conservative star. In fact, the NYT is blaming Walker for teacher layoffs that occurred before he was governor.

We need a curious media. But where was this same media in 2007, 2008 when a junior Senator from Illinois had his sights on the White House?

Double standard?

 

Next month marks the 50th anniversary of the future senator’s report on the black family, the controversial document issued while he served as an assistant secretary in President Lyndon Johnson’s Labor Department. Moynihan highlighted troubling cultural trends among inner-city blacks, with a special focus on the increasing number of fatherless homes.

“The fundamental problem is that of family structure,” wrote Moynihan, who had a doctorate in sociology. “The evidence—not final but powerfully persuasive—is that the Negro family in the urban ghettos is crumbling.”

For his troubles, Moynihan was denounced as a victim-blaming racist bent on undermining the civil-rights movement. Even worse, writes Harvard’s Paul Peterson in the current issue of the journal Education Next, Moynihan’s “findings were totally ignored by those who designed public policies at the time.” The Great Society architects would go on to expand old programs or formulate new ones that exacerbated the problems Moynihan identified. Marriage was penalized and single parenting was subsidized. In effect, the government paid mothers to keep fathers out of the home—and paid them well.

“Economists and policy analysts of the day worried about the negative incentives that had been created,” writes Mr. Peterson. “Analysts estimated that in 1975 a household head would have to earn $20,000”—or an inflation-adjusted $88,000 today—“to have more resources than what could be obtained from Great Society programs.”

History has proved that Moynihan was onto something. When the report was released, about 25% of black children and 5% of white children lived in a household headed by a single mother. During the next 20 years the black percentage would double and the racial gap would widen. Today more than 70% of all black births are to unmarried women, twice the white percentage.

For decades research has shown that the likelihood of teen pregnancy, drug abuse, dropping out of school and many other social problems grew dramatically when fathers were absent. One of the most comprehensive studies ever done on juvenile delinquency—by William Comanor and Llad Phillips of the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 2002—concluded that “the most critical factor affecting the prospect that a male youth will encounter the criminal justice system is the presence of his father in the home.”

Ultimately, the Moynihan report was an attempt to have an honest conversation about family breakdown and black pathology, one that most liberals still refuse to join. Faulting ghetto culture for ghetto outcomes remains largely taboo among those who have turned bad behavior into a symbol of racial authenticity. Moynihan noted that his goal was to better define a problem that many thought—mistakenly, in his view—was no big deal and would solve itself in the wake of civil-rights gains. The author’s skepticism was warranted.

Later this year the nation also will mark the 50th anniversary of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which some consider the most significant achievement of the modern-day civil-rights movement. With a twice-elected black man now occupying the White House, it might be difficult for younger Americans to appreciate this milestone. However, in 1964, three years after Barack Obama was born, black voter registration in Mississippi was less than 7%, the lowest in the South. By 1966 it had grown to 60%, the highest in the South.

Today black voter-registration rates in the South, where most blacks still live, are higher than in other regions of the country, and for the first time on record the black voter-turnout rate in 2012 exceeded white turnout.

Rarely does a government action achieve its objective with such speed and precision. Racial restrictions to ballot access were removed and black political power increased dramatically. Since 1970 the number of black elected officials in the U.S. has grown to more than 9,000 from fewer than 1,500 and has included big-city mayors, governors, senators and of course a president.

But even as we note this progress, the political gains have not redounded to the black underclass, which by several important measures—including income, academic achievement and employment—has stagnated or lost ground over the past half-century. And while the civil-rights establishment and black political leaders continue to deny it, family structure offers a much more plausible explanation of these outcomes than does residual white racism.

In 2012 the poverty rate for all blacks was more than 28%, but for married black couples it was 8.4% and has been in the single digits for two decades. Just 8% of children raised by married couples live in poverty, compared with 40% of children raised by single mothers.

One important lesson of the past half-century is that counterproductive cultural traits can hurt a group more than political clout can help it. Moynihan was right about that, too.”

News, notes and whatever:
  • According to a new Gallup survey, Connecticut dropped below every other state in the nation in job creation in 2014, w workers there reporting the worst climate for hiring. Democrats have run Connecticut for years. Liberals love high taxes and regulation and it leads to malaise. Every time.
  • President Obama will veto the Keystone XL Pipeline legislation which passed this week w bipartisan support and has overwhelming support of the American public. The pipeline would continue a path to energy independence and the State Department says it would create 42,000 jobs. Nicolas Loris writes, “Building Keystone XL can be accomplished without the crutch of taxpayer dollars and will result in billions of dollars of tax revenue for the states through which it runs. By obstructing the development Keystone XL, Obama is rejecting job creation, energy production and common sense.”
  • A recent poll shows a majority of Israeli’s believe the Obama administration is meddling w the upcoming Prime Minister election.
  • American Sniper is now one of only 50 films in cinema history to take in more than $300 million in the US, according to Warner Bros.
  • Joe Biden said in Iowa this week “the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee should embrace the notion of a third term of the Obama presidency.”  He adds, “I call it sticking with what works.”
  • Joseph Langdell, the oldest survivor of the USS Arizona attacked at Pearl Harbor, died last week at age 100.
  • At what age are you older than the majority of people in the country?  37 … according to Mona Chalabi.
See ya next week.
Tom
Lower spending, lower taxes, minimum regulation – and get government out of our lives. The Conservative ticket. Spread the word. Send ’em a Sermon!

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