The problem in Venezuela is not that socialism has been poorly implemented, but that socialism has been faithfully implemented. From the Soviet Union to Cuba to Venezuela, wherever true socialism or communism has been adopted, it has delivered anguish and devastation and failure. Those who preach the tenets of these discredited ideologies only contribute to the continued suffering of the people who live under these cruel systems.
“Human beings are born with different capacities, if they are free, they are not equal. And if they are equal, they are not free.”
I’m posting Mark Perry’s annual discussion of income inequality for archival purposes. It’s extremely enlightening if 1) you’ve allowed yourself to believe what the main stream press says, and 2) you’re open to facts.
The Census Bureau released its annual report this week on “Income and Poverty in the United States” with lots of newly updated data on household income and household demographics. Based on those new data, I present my annual post titled “Explaining Income Inequality by Household Demographics” (see my previous versions of this analysis for years 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015).
Most of the discussion on income inequality focuses on the relative differences over time between low-income and high-income American households. But it’s also informative to analyze the demographic differences among income groups at a given point in time to answer questions like:
- How are high-income households different demographically from low-income households that would help us better understand income inequality?
- For low-income households today who aspire to become higher-income households in the future, what lifestyle and demographic changes might facilitate the path to a higher income?
The chart above shows some key demographic characteristics of US households by income quintiles for 2016, using Census Bureau available here, here, here and here. Below is a summary of some of the key demographic differences between American households in different income quintiles in 2016:
1. Mean number of earners per household. On average, there are significantly more income earners per household in the top income quintile households (2.04) than earners per household in the lowest-income households (0.43). It can also be seen that the average number of earners increases for each higher income quintile, demonstrating that one of the main factors in explaining differences in income among US households is the number of earners per household. Also, the unadjusted ratio of average income for the highest to the lowest quintile of 16.5 times ($213,941 to $12,942), falls to a ratio of only 3.5 times when comparing “income per earner” of the two quintiles: $104,873 for the top fifth to $30,098 for the bottom fifth.
2. Share of households with no earners. Nearly 63% of American households in the bottom fifth of households by income had no earners for the entire year in 2016. In contrast, only 3.8% of the households in the top fifth had no earners last year, providing more evidence of the strong relationship between household income and income earners per household.
3. Marital status of householders. Married-couple households represent a much greater share of the top income quintile (76.5%) than for the bottom income quintile (17.3%), and single-parent or single households represented a much greater share of the bottom one-fifth of households (82.7%) than for the top one-fifth (23.5%). Consistent with the pattern for the average number of earners per household, the share of married-couple households also increases for each higher income quintile, from 17.3% (lowest quintile) to 35.0% (second lowest quintile) to 48.5% (middle quintile) to 63.5% (second highest quintile) to 76.5% (highest quintile).
4. Age of householders. About 7 out of every 10 households (69.6%) in the top income quintile included individuals in their prime earning years between the ages of 35-64, compared to fewer than half (42.4%) of household members in the bottom income quintile who were in that prime earning age group last year. The share of householders in the prime earning age group of 35-64 year-olds increases with each higher income quintile, from 42.4% (lowest quintile) to 44.5% to 51.8% (middle quintile) to 61% to 69.9% (highest quintile). Compared to members of the top income quintile of households by income, household members in the bottom income quintile were more likely (19.8% for the lowest quintile vs. 14.7% for the highest quintile) to be in the youngest age group (under 35 years), and more than twice as likely (37.7% vs. 15.4%) to be in the oldest age group (65 years and over).
By average age, the highest two income groups are the youngest (less than 50 years on average) and the lowest income group is the oldest group on average (55.6 years).
5. Work status of householders. More than four times as many top quintile households included at least one adult who was working full-time in 2016 (77.7%) compared to the bottom income quintile (only 18.0%), and five times as many households in the bottom quintile included adults who did not work at all (68.5%) compared to top quintile households whose family members did not work (13.2%). The share of householders working full-time increases at each higher income quintile (18.2% to 47% to 60.2% to 71.8% to 77.7%).
6. Education of householders. Family members of households in the top fifth by income were 4.4 times more likely to have a college degree (64.0%) than members of households in the bottom income quintile (only 14.6%). In contrast, householders in the lowest income quintile were 12 times more likely than those in the top income quintile to have less than a high school degree in 2016 (21.8% vs. 1.8%). As expected, the Census data show that there is a significantly positive relationship between education and income.
Bottom Line: Household demographics, including the average number of earners per household and the marital status, age, and education of householders are all very highly correlated with household income. Specifically, high-income households have a greater average number of income-earners than households in lower-income quintiles, and individuals in high-income households are far more likely than individuals in low-income households to be well-educated, married, working full-time, and in their prime earning years. In contrast, individuals in lower-income households are far more likely than their counterparts in higher-income households to be less-educated, working part-time, either very young (under 35 years) or very old (over 65 years), and living in single-parent or single households.
The good news is that the key demographic factors that explain differences in household income are not fixed over our lifetimes and are largely under our control (e.g. staying in school and graduating, getting and staying married, working full-time, etc.), which means that individuals and households are not destined to remain in a single income quintile forever. Fortunately, studies that track people over time indicate that individuals and households move up and down the income quintiles over their lifetimes, as the key demographic variables highlighted above change, see related CD posts here, here and here. And Thomas Sowell pointed out in one of his syndicated columns in March 2013 “Economic Mobility” that:
Most working Americans who were initially in the bottom 20% of income-earners, rise out of that bottom 20%. More of them end up in the top 20% than remain in the bottom 20%.
People who were initially in the bottom 20% in income have had the highest rate of increase in their incomes, while those who were initially in the top 20% have had the lowest. This is the direct opposite of the pattern found when following income brackets over time, rather than following individual people.
MP: It’s highly likely that most of today’s high-income, college-educated, married individuals who are now in their peak earning years were in a lower-income quintile in their prior, single, younger years before they acquired education and job experience. It’s also likely that individuals in today’s top income quintiles will move back down to a lower income quintile in the future during their retirement years, which is just part of the natural lifetime cycle of moving up and down the income quintiles for most Americans. So when we hear the media and progressives talk about an “income inequality crisis” in America, we should keep in mind that basic household demographics go a long way towards explaining the differences in household income in the United States. And because the key income-determining demographic variables are largely under our control and change dynamically over our lifetimes, income mobility and the American dream are still “alive and well” in the US.
An article by Annie Holmquist about stupid (my term, not hers) liberal art majors has some pretty good quotes.
Starting with the title of the article:
Why Interpretive Dance is Not Going to Set You Apart in the Workforce
Want to close wage gap? Step one: Change your major from feminist dance therapy to electrical engineering.
If you’re studying interpretive dance, God bless you, but there’s not a lot of jobs right now in America looking for people with that as a skill set.
Educators need to stop perpetuating “this idea that simply going to college is enough,” Bevin said. A college degree isn’t sufficient if students “aren’t studying the right things.
Today’s colleges are adept at teaching students to sniff out racism, sexism, or other forms of discrimination in almost any venue – whether it be in interpretive dance or an office full of engineers. But when it comes down to it, such an ability is really nothing special because everyone else in society has the same skill.
“I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.”
Smith lives in Topeka, Kan. Upon learning that a hurricane will hit the Gulf Coast, she spends her own money filling her flatbed truck with plywood, bottled water and other supplies, then drives through the night to the ravaged region. Upon arriving, Smith gives all of her supplies, free of charge, to hurricane victims.
Jones lives in Tulsa, Okla. Upon learning of the hurricane, he does the same as Smith. But upon arriving, Jones sells all of his supplies at prices far above “normal.” If caught, Jones will be prosecuted for “price gouging.”
Williams lives in Taos, N.M. Upon learning of the hurricane, he remarks to his wife, “That’s so sad,” then does nothing further. He continues his daily life, far from the hurricane’s havoc.
Everyone agrees that, of these three, Smith is the most praiseworthy. She generously donated time and resources to help strangers in need. The world needs more Smiths.
But what of Jones and Williams? Williams did nothing to get more supplies to victims and won’t be prosecuted for his inaction. In contrast, Jones did get more supplies to victims, yet for his troubles, he’ll be prosecuted. And when the public passes judgment, Jones will be condemned while Williams will not. (The vast majority of us, after all, behave as Williams does.)
I don’t understand this morality. Unlike most people, I regard Jones as a greater benefactor to hurricane victims than Williams. Williams’ inaction is neither unethical nor praiseworthy. But Jones’ action, while not ethically praiseworthy like Smith’s, is also not unethical. Jones forced no one to pay the high prices he asked. More importantly, had Jones not acted as he did, hurricane victims would have had fewer much-needed supplies.
By condemning and prosecuting Jones, the world does not get more Smiths; it gets more Williamses.
Great article by John Nolte. Posted in its entirety for easy future reference.
14 Things the MSM Won’t Tell You About DACA
Whenever a Republican wants to move forward — you know, pass some legislation or even enforce the law as already written, they always, always, ALWAYS have to run through a mainstream media propaganda gauntlet dedicated to the status quo, loyal only to the Democrat cause and by extension opposed to anything resembling progress.
Obamacare is an objective disaster; nonetheless, the media fights tooth and nail to save it. Our tax code is a backwards, prosperity-stifling haven for corporatist special interests; nonetheless, the media will do everything in its power to ensure not a single word is altered.
Then there is illegal immigration, which, like abortion, the MSM treats as its own personal sacrament. Flooding America, primarily Red States, with illegal Democrats who also serve the interests of a Big Business Complex desperate to keep wages low and unions non-existent, there is nothing our corrupt media will not do to keep that illegal flood flooding.
And so, as President Trump prepares to keep one of his biggest promises and end President Barry’s un-constitutional Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) amnesty program, all we are seeing from our establishment media is the usual-usual propaganda: flat-out lies, half truths, the ignoring of vital pieces of information and points of view, and most of all, emotional blackmail.
Man alive, the emotional blackmail.
If your only understanding of this complicated issue comes from the MSM, of course you are outraged over the fact that Trump is about order an army of jackbooted ICE agents to kick in daycare center doors, snatch up all the “brown children,” and then hurl the angelic toddlers (with actual rings of gold hovering over their heads) into cattle cars headed south.
Hopefully the list below will offer some clarity and context. The first point, I think, is the most important.
- This Is Only the Fault of the Parents
My wife was born in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, and came to America as a small child. But she was brought here by her parents legally and remained here legally until she obtained her citizenship, something she prizes above most everything else. This is how immigration is supposed to work. If you ask my wife about DACA, she blames the parents of these children who, unlike her own parents, broke the law and put their children in this situation.
If your parents don’t pay the rent, is it the landlord’s fault when you are evicted, or is it the fault of your parents?
If your parents sneak you into Disneyland without paying, is it Disney’s fault when you are booted out, or is it the fault of your parents?
If your parents sneak you into a country illegally, is it the country’s fault when you get deported, or is it the fault of your parents?
Blaming America or Trump or anyone other than the parents for any of this, is a ruse, a con, a rhetorical trick.
- DACA Recipients Are Illegal Aliens
This simple fact has been so downplayed and memory-holed, it just needed to be spoken out loud.
- DACA Is a Massive Amnesty Program
Although the DREAMers are in the country illegally, DACA allows some 800,000 to stay in the country legally without any kind of penalty. Qualified DREAMers are not only given a two-year deferment from deportation, they are eligible for a work permit, which means they can legally take a job in America.
- DACA Recipients Are Not the Children
DACA is eligible only to those aged 15-32.
A very large percentage of DACA recipients are adults, not children or even minors.
- DACA Recipients Take Jobs Americans WILL Do
The idea that illegal aliens take jobs Americans won’t do is, of course, a lie. Plenty of Americans, most especially young Americans, would love the opportunity to work on a construction site or some other manual labor job. Moreover, if the wages were better, plenty of American would be willing to work in the fields. An untold number of young Americans who live in farm communities already do. But when you flood the country with illegal and/or foreign workers this — by design — suppresses wages to a point where only those willing to be exploited are willing to do this work for almost no money.
Nevertheless, even this lie does not apply to DREAMers, many of whom have a high school diploma or a GED, and a work permit. These are not field workers, these are hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens competing for the same jobs against the 4 million young Americans who enter the workforce every year.
- Some DACA Recipients are Criminals
Over 5 years, between 2013 and 2017, a total of 2,139 DACA recipients lost their amnesty benefits “due to criminality or gang affiliated concerns.”
The DACA screening process is in reality a joke, a rubber stamp.
- DACA Is Not a Law, It Is the Violation of Law
President Obama’s DACA program is not a law or even a policy. Rather, it is a brazen violation of the immigration law as written and passed by the American people’s representatives in congress.
People in the country illegally are supposed to be deported and repatriated into their own country. That is the law here in America. That is the law in every country in the world, including Mexico.
- Most DACA Recipients are Not Overachievers
It seems as though every time we see a DACA recipient in the media, he or she is the next Albert Einstein, someone on the verge of curing cancer and poverty.
“The [DACA] eligibility bar was set very low, explicitly allowing people with multiple misdemeanor and certain felony convictions to be approved. Only a handful of the applicants were ever interviewed, and only rarely was the information on the application ever verified,” said Jessica M. Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Washington-based Center for Immigration Studies….
“[T]his statistic undercuts the image of DACA that has been spread by the pro-illegal alien groups and the news media, that the DACA recipients are mostly college kids. This is not true. We don’t know much about the population, but one of the few credible studies that has been done, by a scholar at Harvard University, found that at most are more than 22 years old, and only about 20 percent graduated from or attended a four-year college. A significant share never went beyond high school. This is not really all that surprising, since over 72 percent come from a family at or below poverty level and accessing some public assistance.”
While there are some true-life scholars in the DACA program, these are not a representative sample:
For example, one-third of the people in the study sample who are older than age 25 hold four-year college bachelors’ degrees or better. In contrast, an August 2013 report by the pro-amnesty Migration Policy Institute showed that only 7.5 percent of the 800,000 DACA-qualified illegals who were 18 or older had four-year college degrees or better. An August 2017 study by the MPI showed only 5 percent of 832,000 DACA illegals who were older than 18 had four-year college qualifications.
Also, the 7.5 percent graduation rate reported by the new study is roughly one-quarter the 33 percent of native-born Americans with four-year degrees.
- DACA Is Wildly Unfair to Americans, Most Especially Young Americans Just Starting Out
You followed the rules. Your parents obeyed the law. You are one of the 4 million Americans ready to enter the workforce every year, eager to begin your own life, to pursue the American dream, but you have to compete against hundreds of thousands of line-jumpers for the same entry-level job.
Moreover, this flood of labor depresses your wages.
- DACA Was Already Litigated and Debated in 2016
The American people have already had the DACA debate. Hillary Clinton promised to expand DACA. Trump promised to end DACA.
- DACA Encourages More Illegal Immigrants
Although DACA does not officially grant amnesty to the children of illegal immigrants who have arrived after 2007, the message is still clear: America does not have the will to enforce its own immigration laws. Of course that message works as a magnet for illegals. If you recall…
Obama declared his DACA amnesty in 2012. Central Americans saw the announcement, read the details — and roughly 400,000 people headed north during the next four years.
Moreover, making that trek is dangerous, especially from South America. People die of exposure and are exploited, sometimes sexually, by the Coyotes they hire to lead them here.
Illegal immigration is a lose-lose for everyone but Democrats who desire the votes and business owners who do not want to pay a legal resident a fair market wage.
- In Most States, DACA Recipients are Eligible for Welfare Benefits
Once DACA applicants are approved and receive a temporary employment authorization card, they can apply for a Social Security Number. Under this number, they can report wages and pay taxes.
DACA beneficiaries cannot receive federal benefits such as welfare and food stamps. Some states allow for state-funded benefits, but Arizona specifically prohibits it.
- Unless It Is Stopped, DACA Will Never Stop Growing
Every year, more and more illegal aliens become eligible for DACA’s illegal and unconstitutional amnesty program.
Obama’s deputies low-balled his election-campaign giveaway by initially predicting it would only reach about 560,000 younger illegals who were supposedly brought into the United States by their parents before they turned 16.
But the amnesty has already provided almost 900,000 work-permits and Social Security cards to illegals who say they are aged 36 or less. More than 92 percent of the applicants got their DACA approvals, with a rejection rate of only 7 percent. The amnesty is expected to rise above 1.9 million people as additional younger illegals become adults and try to enroll in Obama’s giveaway.
- DACA Ignores Some Criminal Behavior
DACA applies to individuals up to age 31 (as of June 2012, so 35 now) — hardly children; consequently, many Dreamers have long-since terminated their studies and most have committed multiple felonies in order to get jobs — Social Security fraud, forgery, perjury on I-9 forms, falsification of green cards and drivers’ licenses, identity theft, etc. Dreamers continue to commit these job-related crimes right up to the day their DACA status is approved and they obtain work permits and their own genuine Social Security numbers.
In addition, many illegal aliens qualifying for DACA status have previously been arrested and convicted of multiple misdemeanors and some have previously been or continue to be associated with violent gangs, as evidenced by a report in the Seattle Times that states that over 1,500 Dreamers have had their DACA status revoked since 2012 due to their involvement with criminal gangs.
On the true merits, the DACA debate is a loser for the Left and their media — which is why the 14 facts above must remain largely unspoken.