Monday, December 26, 2016

December, 2015, By The Numbers, Part 2:Trump Voters Were Not What Is Assumed, More War On Drugs Failures, and More

On a periodic basis we do some posts that fall under the theme of “by the numbers.” Rather than trust what the American political tells us about reality, we like to examine the real numbers and the real reality in the world to understand what is actually going on. Relying on politicians, and their cohorts in the media, to tell us what is reality is always a sucker bet. They have their own agendas and goals, usually centering around their needs and self-enrichment. So we need to look at the reality of the numbers to determine what is really going on.

Previous analyses of “by the numbers” can be accessed by entering the phrase in the search box above. This is the third and final post this month where we look at the numbers to truly find out how good, not likely, or bad, most likely, the American political class is doing in managing our tax dollars, protecting our freedoms, and resolving major issues that affect all of us. 

1) We have often pointed out how poorly Obama has handled economic matters in this country over the past eight years despite having three of the most helpful economic tail winds to help him:

  • He implemented a massive (and failed) $800 billion economic stimulus plan.
  • Energy prices went down dramatically that should have produced a major boost to the economy as businesses and consumers had newly available disposable income that they did not have to spend on energy costs.
  • The Fed flooded the market with trillions of dollars to stimulate the economy.
Despite these major economic helpers, Obama still managed the following disastrous and meager economic results:

  • He doubled the national debt burden from about $10 TRILLION to about $20 TRILLION, incurring more debt than all previous Presidencies COMBINED.
  • Wage and household economic and wealth growth has been meager or non-existent for much of his economic recovery period.
  • Over 84 million American adults are not in the workforce at this time, an all time record.
  • The labor participation rate is at its lowest levels since the Carter administration.
  • More Americans over the age of 65 are still working than ever before while more adults aged 18 to 30 are living at home with their parents than ever before.
  • Millions of Americans are working part time jobs because they cannot find full time work in the Obama recovery.
  • The true unemployment rate, the U-6 rate is still almost 10% despite six years of the Obama recovery.
  • The Fed has kept interest rates at historical lows for a historically long time, indicating they also think the Obama recovery is as weak as can be.
  • Annual GDP growth during the Obama recovery has never attained the long term average growth rate of just over 3% a year, indicating a recovery that is the weakest over at least the past eighty years or so.
So for most of the country, the Obama recovery has been tepid at best. Unless you happen to live in the Washington DC area, in which case, live is very good for you economically. According to Terence P. Jeffrey, writing for the CNS News website on December, 15, 2016:

  • The four richest counties in the whole country are located in the Washington DC metro area.
  • These counties are Loudoun County, Virginia which had a median household income of $125,900, Falls Church City, Virginia which had a median household income of $122,092, Fairfax County, Virginia at $112,844 and Howard County, Maryland at $110,224.
  • “Poor” Arlington, Virginia lagged behind at only the number 8 wealthiest county in the country at $104,354.
  • In fact, nine of the wealthiest 20 counties in the c0untry are in the DC metro area.
  • These DC metro households had median household incomes that were more than double the national average which is $55,755.
To keep this in perspective, counties around New York City, home to hedge fund managers, mutual fund managers, stock market players were not in the top ten. One one county in Silicon Valley, home to tech geniuses and billionaires, put only one county in the top ten.

I know of no major industry, business segment, research center in the Washington DC area except one: feeding at the Federal trough at the expense of the American taxpayer. No value added, minimal societal benefits, no breakthrough to make Americans lives easier or safer, just very high taxpayer funded salaries, boondoggles and little value added. That great sucking sound is not American jobs going to Mexico because of NAFTA, it is taxpayer dollars being sucked down the toilet of the Washington metro area with no payoff in return. The numbers do not lie.

2) One of the more contemptible myths that the mainstream media and liberal hateful types kept up during the Presidential election were that the only people voting for and supporting Trump were poor, dumb, uneducated rural Americans. It was a cruel and condescending attack on fellow American citizens.

Well, it turns out that the name callers may have been the uneducated ones:

  • Jolene Peters, writing for the I Have The Truth website on December 17, 2016, discussed some interesting numbers regarding Trump voters.
  • Ms. Peters reported on a CBS News report on a study by the Urban Institute.
  • Surprising to liberals is likely the reality that the 55 counties in the country with the highest average credit scores, defined as 720 or better, Trump actually won 51 of those counties.
  • Conversely, the 11 counties across the country that have the lowest overall credit score averages all went for Hillary Clinton.
  • People with higher credit scores usually have a higher level of affluence, usually pay their bills on time and generally have higher income levels.
Thus, the numbers prove that the mainstream media got it wrong...again. Trump supporters may not have been poor, dumb, uneducated, and rural.

3) One last set of numbers for today. We have often pointed out that the 40 year “war on drugs” has been an indisputable failure. It has caused our country to have the highest prison population in the world by just about any measure, it has created dangerous, wealthy, and violent drug cartels around the world, and has done very little to impact the usage of illegal drugs in this country. And this carnage has come at the price of likely over a trillion taxpayer dollars over the past four decades.

The numbers from a recent Tampa Bay News article point out how futile this “war” has been:

  • Drug overdose deaths have increased by 35% over the past five years.
  • In some states, the increase in overdose deaths has been over 200%.
  • The main root causes of ther increase in overdose deaths has been heroin and prescription painkillers.
  • In 2015, 52,000 Americans died from drug overdoses with about two thirds of them being caused by prescription painkillers.
  • Death from the failed war on drugs in 2015 were about 40% higher than the number of Americans who died from traffic accidents or gun deaths
  • Einstein once said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Forty years later and 50,000 Americans still dying every year from drug abuse certainly fits this definition of insanity.
So, what did the numbers tell us today: the war on drugs is still a failure after forty years, TRUMP supporters may not have been as dumb and poor as the myth says they are, and rich people live in the Washington DC area. More numbers tomorrow.

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