High School Graduation Rates, Out-of-Wedlock Births and Median Family Income

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 3rd, 2014

 Politics 101

(Originally published July 25th, 2013)

Colleges use Affirmative Action to Increase Diversity because only 66.1% of Blacks Graduate from High School

Interest rates recently went up for student loans.  Something that greatly angered the left.  Blaming the Republicans for playing politics with our children’s future.  For a college education is the pathway to a good, high-paying job.  A college education is so critical to a person’s future success that everyone should have access to a low-cost student loan.  And because a college education is so important this should not be a privilege of the rich.  Or whites.  Colleges should use affirmative action to ensure a diversity of students.  Because our differences, they say, make us better.

Yes, a college degree is important.  And the data backs this up.  The median family income in 2009 for someone with a bachelor’s degree was $90,530 (see Table 698. Money Income of Families—Distribution by Family Characteristics and Income Level: 2009 posted on census.gov).  Those with only a high school diploma earned $48,637.  While those who didn’t graduate from high school only earned $31,119.  So clearly a college degree is the pathway to a good, high-paying job.  Of course, to get that college degree you first have to enroll into college.  And to do that you need to graduate from high school.  So graduating from high school, then, is the gateway to those good, high-paying jobs.  Which, as it turns out, is the reason we need affirmative action to ensure that diversity of students.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (see National public high school graduation rate at a four-decade high by Lyndsey Layton posted 1/22/2013 on The Washington Post), not everyone is graduating from high school at the same rate.  Looking at the breakout for three races we find that Asians are graduating 93% of the time.  Whites are graduating 83% of the time.  While blacks are graduating only 66.1% of the time.  Which explains the need of affirmative action admission policies to achieve diversity at our colleges and universities.  For when blacks are only 13% of the population and only 66.1% of them are graduating from high school you’re not going to get a lot of diversity without affirmative action.

Married People with College Degrees have Higher Median Family Incomes than Unmarried High School Dropouts

Going back to the Census data we can see a correlation between these high school graduation rates and median family income.  Those with the highest graduation rate (Asians) earned $75,027.  Those with the next highest graduation rate (whites) earned $62,545.  While those with the lowest graduation rate (blacks) earned $38,409.  Which clearly shows that high school graduates earn more than high school dropouts.  And because Asians and whites have higher high school graduation rates than blacks they have higher median family incomes than blacks.

So we know that to earn a decent income you need a college degree.  And to get that you need a high school diploma.  But is there anything else that has a big influence on a family’s median income?  As it turns out, yes.  Going back to the Census data we see that a family with a married couple earned $71,627.  A male householder with no spouse present earned $41,501.  While a female householder with no spouse present earned only $29,770.

If you want to earn a lot of money, then, the way is clear.  Graduate from high school.  Go on to college and earn a degree.  Then settle down.  Get married.  And raise a family.  A common thread at every stage of this pathway is personal discipline.  Staying in and studying instead of going out and partying.  And once you start working start a family.  For the heavy responsibility of raising children keeps people from staying up late and partying with friends.  Get’s them to work on time in the morning.  And drives them to advance in their careers to provide more for their families.  Things employers like in employees.  Making it easier for these people to climb the career ladder.

The People with the Highest Median Family Income also have the Lowest Out-of-Wedlock Births

A child growing up in a household with a married couple where at least one has a college degree will probably learn the values of his or her parents.  To work hard.  Exercise self-discipline.  And work towards a long-term goal.  Don’t take the easy way.  Don’t take the fun way.  Make sacrifices now that will help you attain your long-term goals.  And it starts with studying and doing your homework.  For a high school diploma is only the first bridge to cross of many to come.  And if you don’t get across that first bridge you will advance no further down the road towards a good, high-paying job.

The family structure, then, is key.  A child needs to learn the values that will let him or her exceed in life.  And a married couple provides twice the parenting of a single-parent household.  And doubles the earnings potential.  By allowing one parent to pursue a full-time career.  Which leads to greater income.  Without having to sacrifice parenting time.  Or risk burning out from trying to do everything alone.  And the numbers prove this.  According to Census data (see Social and Economic Characteristics of Currently Unmarried Women With a Recent Birth: 2011 posted on census.gov), the number of children being born out-of-wedlock differ greatly across the above three racial groups.  Asians have the lowest out-of-wedlock births at 11.3%.  While whites come in at 29.2%.  And blacks come in at 67.8%.

The people with the highest median family income also have the lowest out-of-wedlock births.  Confirming that the path towards a high-paying job is a high school diploma.  A college education.  Being careful NOT to have any children until you’re married.  And after you graduate from college and establish a career get married and raise a family.  In other words, personal discipline.  Sacrificing short-term fun.  For long-term success.  Suggesting the reason why blacks earn a lower family median income than most is because of their high out-of-wedlock birthrate.  Young black women having children before they graduate from high school.  Which prevents them from crossing that first bridge on the road towards a good, high-paying job.  Making her life more difficult.  And giving her children a distinct disadvantage.  At least, based on the Census data.

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The Politics of Liberal Economic Policies

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 18th, 2013

Economics 101

What doesn’t Kill You Makes you Stronger

They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.  And you can see that in military basic training.  There have been some good movies showing what military basic training is like.  Perhaps one of the best is Full Metal Jacket.  Where Gunnery Sergeant Hartman played by R. Lee Ermey wasn’t acting as much as reliving his days as a Marine Corps drill instructor.  Watching it you may come to hate Sergeant Hartman for he was pretty sadistic.  But they didn’t design basic training to be a pleasant experience.  They designed it to prepare recruits for the worst thing in the world.  War.

In the miniseries Band of Brothers we follow Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, from basic training through D-Day and to the end of the war.  Airborne training followed basic training.  And was harder.  Fewer people make it through airborne training than they do basic training.  Ranger training is even harder.  And fewer people make it through Ranger training.  But airborne units and Rangers get the more difficult missions in combat.  Because they can do more.  For their training is more difficult.  But it didn’t kill them.  So it made them stronger.

Perhaps the most difficult military training is the Navy’s SEAL program.  Where if they get a good class of recruits they may have 1 in 10 complete training.  For it is that hard.  In fact, some have died in training because they refused to give up.  That’s why you will find few tougher than a Navy SEAL.  They are tough.  And they never quit.  Which is why we give them the most difficult missions to complete.  Missions that others would find impossible.  Proving that the more brutal and difficult training is the stronger and more able we get.

During the 20th Century the American Left has tried to replace Rugged Individualism with the Nanny State

Those who founded this nation were tough people who worked hard and never gave up.  They provided their own housing, food, clothing, etc.  If they needed something they figured out how to provide it for themselves.  They worked long hours.  Survived brutal winters and hostile environments.  But they never gave up.  In fact, they raised families while doing all of this.  With no help from government.  As there were no government benefits.  Yet they survived.  Even prospered.  For what didn’t kill them only made them stronger.  These rugged individuals could do anything.  And did.  Which is why the United States is the leader of the free world.  And the world’s number one economy.  Because of that rugged individualism.

This is the way America was before the progressives came and softened us.  And made rugged individualism somehow a bad thing.  Beginning with Woodrow Wilson.  Then FDR.  LBJ.  And then President Obama.  A long line of American presidents who eschewed individualism.  And thought in collective terms.  When the Americans rejected socialism they gave us progressivism.  When we rejected communism they gave us liberalism.  The 20th century has been a tireless attempt for those on the left to replace rugged individualism with the nanny state.  With their brilliant selves in power.  Managing the economy.  And making life fair.  To undo the unfairness of laissez-faire capitalism.  To make the United States better.  And more according to their vision.  Just like the socialists did.  And the communists did.  Yet no socialist or communist state became the leader of the free world.  Or the world’s number one economy.

Those who lived in those socialist and communist utopias learned one thing.  It was better to live someplace else.  And their ultimate destination?  The United States.  Yet those on the left refused to believe that life was worse in those states where they put people first instead of profits.  Like that unfeeling and cruel laissez-faire capitalism did.  Which is why Wilson, FDR, LBJ and Obama worked tirelessly to move the United States in the direction of socialism and communism.  Because they cared for the people.  Or the power they got by making so many people dependent on government.

Someone receiving a Comfortable Level of Benefits will not be pushed to Leave their Comfort Zone

So is it about the power or that thing about helping people?  What is it exactly that progressives/liberals really want?  Well, we can look at the historical record to determine that.  By looking at a point in time when America really changed.  With the assassination of JFK.  JFK’s chances of reelection weren’t great.  Which is why he went to Texas.  As he needed LBJ to deliver Texas to the Democrats.  Instead of electoral victory, though, he fell to an assassin’s bullet.  The great outpouring of grief and love for their fallen president exceeded the love he got before the assassination.  The heightened emotions allowed LBJ to pass the many programs of the Great Society into law.  In the memory of JFK.  The greatest expansion of the federal government since FDR’s New Deal.  Making the welfare state the largest yet.  In an attempt to put people first.  Not profits.  In fact, LBJ declared a war on poverty.  By providing government assistance to lift everyone out of poverty.  And he championed civil rights.  LBJ was going to make the United States that utopia socialists and communists always dreamt about.  For everyone.  Blacks.  And whites.  Especially blacks.  Who were suffering great discrimination then.  But things would be different for them.  Starting in the Sixties everything was going to get better.  And how are blacks doing today?  Well, if you use employment as a measure, not good (see Table A-2. Employment status of the civilian population by race, sex, and age by the Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Unemplyment Rates by Race Age Sex Rev 2

The federal government has done a lot for blacks.  More than any other minority group.  Affirmative Action was to correct all past wrongs.  By making it easier to get into college.  And to get a job.  Yet we don’t see that when looking at the unemployment numbers.  In fact, the group the government does the least for—white men—is doing the best.  They don’t need any help because they won life’s lottery.  By being born white.  According to liberals.  So there’s no Affirmative Action for them.  Yet they have half the unemployment rate black men have.  While white women have half the unemployment rate black women have.  And white 16-19 year olds have half the unemployment rate black 16-19 year olds have.  Brilliant progressives/liberals have been trying to make life better for blacks for 50 some years now and have failed.  Despite this blacks have never been more loyal to them.  Which answers the question what the Democrats care more for.  The people?  Or the power the people give them.  By getting them dependent on government.  Who they tell over and over again that they would have nothing if it weren’t for them.  The Democrats.  For blacks just can’t make it on their own without help.  Even though after receiving all of that help blacks are suffering the greatest levels of unemployment.  Clearly something isn’t right here.  And it goes back to that thing that made America great.  Rugged individualism.

You know what the difference is between a white SEAL and a black SEAL?  Nothing.  Blacks have equality of opportunity in SEAL training.  And that’s all they need.  They don’t need special treatment.  And the Navy doesn’t tell them that they do.  All they need is the strength.  And the will.  Which will be there if you don’t keep telling people that they can’t succeed without the government’s help.  Because if you keep doing that they will come to believe that.  And they will keep voting Democrat.  Looking for help.  Whereas those who face adversity and overcome it grow stronger.  Because what doesn’t kill them makes them stronger.

Handing out government benefits will make people like you.  But it won’t get them a job.  For someone receiving a comfortable level of benefits will not be pushed to leave their comfort zone.  And while they languish in their comfort zone they will not gain work experience.  Allowing others to gain experience and move up in their careers.  Making them more employable.  While those with less experience and less education are less employable.  And that’s what Democrats do when they buy votes with government benefits.  Make people less employable.  And blacks have been especially useful to them.  As they can stoke the fires of racism to drive blacks even further to the Democrat Party.  By calling Republicans racists.  Because they want to take away their benefits.  Just because they hate black people.  Or so goes the Democrat line.  So they keep voting Democrat.  While losing their rugged individualism.  And suffering higher levels of unemployment than everyone else.

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High School Graduation Rates, Out-of-Wedlock Births and Median Family Income

Posted by PITHOCRATES - July 25th, 2013

Politics 101

Colleges use Affirmative Action to Increase Diversity because only 66.1% of Blacks Graduate from High School

Interest rates recently went up for student loans.  Something that greatly angered the left.  Blaming the Republicans for playing politics with our children’s future.  For a college education is the pathway to a good, high-paying job.  A college education is so critical to a person’s future success that everyone should have access to a low-cost student loan.  And because a college education is so important this should not be a privilege of the rich.  Or whites.  Colleges should use affirmative action to ensure a diversity of students.  Because our differences, they say, make us better.

Yes, a college degree is important.  And the data backs this up.  The median family income in 2009 for someone with a bachelor’s degree was $90,530 (see Table 698. Money Income of Families—Distribution by Family Characteristics and Income Level: 2009 posted on census.gov).  Those with only a high school diploma earned $48,637.  While those who didn’t graduate from high school only earned $31,119.  So clearly a college degree is the pathway to a good, high-paying job.  Of course, to get that college degree you first have to enroll into college.  And to do that you need to graduate from high school.  So graduating from high school, then, is the gateway to those good, high-paying jobs.  Which, as it turns out, is the reason we need affirmative action to ensure that diversity of students.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (see National public high school graduation rate at a four-decade high by Lyndsey Layton posted 1/22/2013 on The Washington Post), not everyone is graduating from high school at the same rate.  Looking at the breakout for three races we find that Asians are graduating 93% of the time.  Whites are graduating 83% of the time.  While blacks are graduating only 66.1% of the time.  Which explains the need of affirmative action admission policies to achieve diversity at our colleges and universities.  For when blacks are only 13% of the population and only 66.1% of them are graduating from high school you’re not going to get a lot of diversity without affirmative action.

Married People with College Degrees have Higher Median Family Incomes than Unmarried High School Dropouts

Going back to the Census data we can see a correlation between these high school graduation rates and median family income.  Those with the highest graduation rate (Asians) earned $75,027.  Those with the next highest graduation rate (whites) earned $62,545.  While those with the lowest graduation rate (blacks) earned $38,409.  Which clearly shows that high school graduates earn more than high school dropouts.  And because Asians and whites have higher high school graduation rates than blacks they have higher median family incomes than blacks.

So we know that to earn a decent income you need a college degree.  And to get that you need a high school diploma.  But is there anything else that has a big influence on a family’s median income?  As it turns out, yes.  Going back to the Census data we see that a family with a married couple earned $71,627.  A male householder with no spouse present earned $41,501.  While a female householder with no spouse present earned only $29,770.

If you want to earn a lot of money, then, the way is clear.  Graduate from high school.  Go on to college and earn a degree.  Then settle down.  Get married.  And raise a family.  A common thread at every stage of this pathway is personal discipline.  Staying in and studying instead of going out and partying.  And once you start working start a family.  For the heavy responsibility of raising children keeps people from staying up late and partying with friends.  Get’s them to work on time in the morning.  And drives them to advance in their careers to provide more for their families.  Things employers like in employees.  Making it easier for these people to climb the career ladder.

The People with the Highest Median Family Income also have the Lowest Out-of-Wedlock Births

A child growing up in a household with a married couple where at least one has a college degree will probably learn the values of his or her parents.  To work hard.  Exercise self-discipline.  And work towards a long-term goal.  Don’t take the easy way.  Don’t take the fun way.  Make sacrifices now that will help you attain your long-term goals.  And it starts with studying and doing your homework.  For a high school diploma is only the first bridge to cross of many to come.  And if you don’t get across that first bridge you will advance no further down the road towards a good, high-paying job.

The family structure, then, is key.  A child needs to learn the values that will let him or her exceed in life.  And a married couple provides twice the parenting of a single-parent household.  And doubles the earnings potential.  By allowing one parent to pursue a full-time career.  Which leads to greater income.  Without having to sacrifice parenting time.  Or risk burning out from trying to do everything alone.  And the numbers prove this.  According to Census data (see Social and Economic Characteristics of Currently Unmarried Women With a Recent Birth: 2011 posted on census.gov), the number of children being born out-of-wedlock differ greatly across the above three racial groups.  Asians have the lowest out-of-wedlock births at 11.3%.  While whites come in at 29.2%.  And blacks come in at 67.8%.

The people with the highest median family income also have the lowest out-of-wedlock births.  Confirming that the path towards a high-paying job is a high school diploma.  A college education.  Being careful NOT to have any children until you’re married.  And after you graduate from college and establish a career get married and raise a family.  In other words, personal discipline.  Sacrificing short-term fun.  For long-term success.  Suggesting the reason why blacks earn a lower family median income than most is because of their high out-of-wedlock birthrate.  Young black women having children before they graduate from high school.  Which prevents them from crossing that first bridge on the road towards a good, high-paying job.  Making her life more difficult.  And giving her children a distinct disadvantage.  At least, based on the Census data.

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FT179: “If you keep finding racism where it doesn’t exist you will never bring the races together.” —Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - July 19th, 2013

Fundamental Truth

Teens who listen to Gansta Rap want People to think that they are Badass Gangbangers

Everybody is in agreement that George Zimmerman was not a racist.  That his trial for the shooting and killing of Trayvon Martin was fair.  But few like the verdict.  And blame the verdict on systemic racism in the United States.  Demanding a dialog on race.  With even the president finally weighing in.  Saying young black men grow up in a world where they are stigmatized by everyday traumatic events.  Like hearing people locking their car doors when they approach.  And women clutching their purses and holding their breath whenever a black teen or young man enters an elevator.

Stigmatized?  Traumatized?  Doubtful.  These are the same teens who listen to gangsta rap.  Who want people to think that they are badass gangbangers.  Who wear their pants low around their buttocks.  Sagging.  Like their hip hop heroes wear.  And prisoners.  (The penal system issues clothing a size or two too large.  And doesn’t let prisoners have belts.  To prevent suicides.  Or using them as a garrote.  So prisoners’ pants sag.)  Who they view as some of the baddest of badasses.  And they like to wear hoodies.  Because a lot of people fear people wearing hoodies.  As a lot of people who rob stores and banks wear hoodies.  (Because hoodies help conceal the face and make identification more difficult.)

So it is unlikely that these teens and young men are stigmatized.  People reacting in fear is probably the reaction they’re going for.  For it’s all about manliness.  Teens and young men, whatever race, want to look manly.  And tough.  That’s why a lot of them get into fights.  And why any personal slight is taken as a dis of the highest order.  For it threatens their manliness.  Because a person only dares dis someone they are not afraid of.  Someone they feel they can fight and win.  That is, someone whose manliness they do not respect.

The Political Left has long demonized White America as Racist

The president wants a dialog on race.  To bring the races together.  But who exactly is pushing them apart?  When the political left keeps saying America is a racist country and that a young black man’s life isn’t worth as much as a young white man’s life is that bringing the races together?  Or pushing them apart?

What does it do to a young black person growing up hearing this?  Does it make him or her like white people more?  Or less?  Does it make them want to assimilate into the American culture?  Or, because they perceive that culture as white, do they want to be part of their own culture? To differentiate themselves from that ‘racist’ white culture?   It would appear they do.  For they even have changed who they are.  To further separate them from white America.  Where whites are Americans.  But blacks are African-Americans.  Even if they were born in America.

So it’s not white America driving the races apart.  It’s the political left who has demonized white America as racist.  And it’s African-Americans who grow up learning that America is racist.  Who grow angry and a little racist themselves.  I mean, who wouldn’t?  If we teach them that in the schools, if they see it on television and hear it in the music how are they not going to grow up hating white people at least a little?  And magnify any instance of racism into proof of that racist society they’ve learned about all their lives?

Affirmative Action probably creates a little Racism

The president said he experienced the trauma of people fearing him when he was a young black man.  Acknowledging that he knows how racist this country is.  This country that elected him, a black man, president.  Twice.  Did a racist country do this out of white guilt?  Or was it just affirmative action that got him to the White House?  Or was it his positive message of bringing the country together?  This country that has never been so divided on race?

The racial problems we have in this country appear to have less to do with racism.  And more to do with politics.  When affirmative action (actions taken based on race) lets less qualified blacks into college over more qualified whites that isn’t racism.  But complaining about it is.  When you can fire whites in the workplace easier than you can fire blacks that isn’t racism.  But complaining about it is.  Affirmative action is supposed to correct past wrongs.  By punishing people who were not responsible for those past wrongs.  Which probably creates a little racism.  Not against black people per se.  But against a system using racist policies (affirmative action) to give some people an unfair advantage.  That is, using racism to redress racism.

America is not a racist country.  Yes, there are racists in the country.  But they are the exception.  Not the rule.  For President Obama could not have won election twice without white people voting for him.  But racism exists.  In large part because of the political left.  Who teaches black kids that white people are racist.  And finding racism where it doesn’t exist.   So blacks learn at an early age to shun white America.  Even calling themselves African-Americans.  To further widen the racial divide.  And black teens and young black men wear their pants low.  They wear hoodies.  To look like badass gangstas.  And when they frighten white women in an elevator it’s the white women who have a problem.  Because they are frightened by badass gangstas.  For these white women, too, have heard what a racist country we live in.  And may fear these badass gangstas may want to redress that racism.  So they lock their car doors.  And clutch their purses.

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FT137: “There is no affirmative action or liberal policies of fairness in the NFL.” —Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 28th, 2012

Fundamental Truth

To avoid Bad Press or Legal Action Businesses hire not Based on Qualifications but Based on Diversity

Universities use affirmative action whenever they can during the admissions process.  Giving more weight to an applicant’s race than his or her GPA or test scores.  Guaranteeing that some more educationally qualified applicants are denied admission.  Because these universities believe that diversity is more important than merit.  And that diversity over merit is fairer.

If businesses hire purely on merit without consideration to race they will get bad press.  Possibly even some legal action against them.  Because those on the Left say it is our differences that make us better.  Not our merit.  So to avoid bad press or legal action businesses hire not based on qualifications but based on diversity.  They hire an excellent labor force.  But not the best labor force.  For the best candidate may just be the wrong race.

Some cities even lowered their standards to hire more minorities.  Because sometimes the wrong races edge out minorities on test scores.  Such as firefighters.  Who grew up in more affluent cities with better schools but went to the big city to be a firefighter.  They didn’t live in the city.  But they wanted to work in the city.  And they competed against those who grew up in those cities whose schools may have not been as good.  Adding a lot of competition for a few openings.  So these cities try to make the testing process fairer to those who went through a less quality school system.

Activist Governments pass a lot of Restrictive Laws to make things Fair

Large cities place restrictive requirements in their contracts for construction projects.  Contractors need to meet diversity requirements.  Even residency requirements.  So they have to hire a certain percentage of their workers from the local population.  Even if they are not the best skilled workers for the project.  They often require larger companies to contract work to smaller, minority contractors.  Who can’t really complete a large project because they lack the resources, equipment and experience.  But they make the larger company mentor the smaller company.

Unions like to make things fair for workers.  They do away with merit.  So better qualified and harder working people don’t get paid more.  For in a union they pay everyone equally.  Based on seniority.  And they make it very difficult to fire a worker.  So being in a union is where you don’t have to worry about people who are better than you.  And no one gets ahead by working harder than your coworkers.  Especially those younger workers who are overachievers.  In time they, too, learn.  From senior workers.  Not to be an overachiever.

Activist governments pass a lot of laws to make things fair.  Often requiring companies to hire people and contract companies that aren’t the best.  To give the less qualified a fair shake.  So that it’s just not the overachievers who achieve success.  Which is a nice thing to do for those who need a little help.  But there is cost.  It makes it harder for these companies to do business.  Raising their costs.  As well as their prices.  Perhaps even sacrificing a little quality.  But it is all in the name of fairness.  And that’s important to government.  So they force this on everyone.  No matter the costs.  Because it’s the right thing to do.  To be fair.

Pity Businesses can’t run their Businesses like the NFL runs Theirs

Fair may be good for some people.  But you know where there is no fairness?  In the NFL.  It’s a pure meritocracy in the NFL.  Only the best play.  Even if it means not having diversity on the field.  (The percentage of black players far exceeds the percentage of blacks in the general population.)  Or that others not as good don’t get a chance to play.  Like they make businesses do.  For it’s okay for business.  But not in the NFL.  No matter how unfair that is.  Why, it’s even silly to think about diversifying the teams.  Adding more white players.  More Asians.  Changing the process from making the team from being the best to being the right racial statistic.

But what about all those who need a hand-up?  All those kids who grew up wanting to play in the NFL but were never good enough?  Those in the chess club?  Those who were good in math and science?  The geeks and the nerds?  Shouldn’t we give these guys a shot?  And have the better players mentor them?  We actually had a chance to see what that might be like.  Seeing what it would be like not having the best in the game.  Only it wasn’t the players but the referees.  Because of a contract dispute the NFL recently locked out the referees.  And replaced them with referees who had only a few months to memorize the rulebook.  And the people hated them.

The replacement referees showed us what it would be like in the NFL if there was a policy of diversity on the field.  Instead of it being a true meritocracy.  The games just wouldn’t be that good.  And people wouldn’t want to pay to see them.  And advertisers wouldn’t buy time during a game that no one wanted to watch.  People want to watch great games.  And you get great games by having the absolute best players in the game.  Not by giving someone a fair shake.  No matter how fair it would be.  Pity businesses can’t run their businesses like the NFL runs theirs.

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Chinese Girls can’t Catch a Break from the Womb to University

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 10th, 2012

Week in Review

Chinese girls just can’t get a break.  From the moment of conception it’s an uphill battle for them.  Because of China’s limit on family size and a culture that favors boys a lot of girls don’t make it out of the womb.  Those who do are treated as second class citizens.  In their families.  And in society.  Because Chinese culture just favors boys.  And now this.  Girls face another injustice for just being smarter than boys (see Bars should be lowered for boys in exams, lawmaker says by Gao Changxin and Wang Hongyi posted 3/9/2012 on China Daily USA).

A lawmaker’s proposal to give male students gender-specific education and easier access to college has sparked controversy.

Wang Ronghua, who is also director of the Shanghai Education Development Foundation, said male students are increasingly under-represented in the country’s leading schools and colleges, and are outperformed by female students in college entrance exams.

This under-representation, he claimed, will have a negative impact on the country’s science and technology innovation and international competitiveness…

The reason for that, Wang said, is that male students mature slower than their female counterparts in self-control and language abilities, which are emphasized in the current entrance exams.

Wang recommends that high school education should be more “differentiated” to give male students opportunities to develop their natural advantages in creative and practical skills…

Sun Baohong, a researcher at Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, said boys don’t do so well at school because they are generally spoiled by their families, as Chinese society traditionally has a preference for sons.

Talk about a political hot potato.  How does an American liberal feminist comment on this story?  Who supports affirmative action to increase the underrepresentation of black students in American universities?  Will they agree in an affirmative action program to increase the enrollment of underrepresented boys in Chinese universities?  Or will they oppose it?  While supporting that same policy in America?  A fascinating conundrum for the liberal feminist.  And one that would be equally fascinating to hear one respond to.

This is something that Condoleezza Rice can sympathize with as both a woman and as a black American.  Whose parents taught her she had to work harder than her white peers to get as far in life as they did.  And she did.  Without complaining about the injustice of it.  And look where it took her.  The fourth most powerful position in America in the presidential line of succession.  Secretary of State.  No small achievement.  For a woman.  Or a man. 

So why are the Chinese girls doing better than the boys?  For the same reason Condoleezza Rice had to work harder than her white peers.  Because her white peers were treated like Chinese boys where she grew up.  The deck was stacked against her.  While her white peers were spoiled by their families.  And by society.  But having to work harder made her smarter.  And more successful.  Just like those Chinese girls.  Who are smarter than the Chinese boys.  And these girls can be more successful one day.  If only they had the same opportunities that Condoleezza Rice had in the segregated South.

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FUNDAMENTAL TRUTH #49: “The ‘tolerant’ are intolerant.” -Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - January 18th, 2011

Liberals Benefit most from a Liberal Agenda

People on the left claim to be more tolerant than those on the right.  Live and let live, they say.  But they don’t really mean that.  For they are very intolerant of anyone who thinks differently than they do.

We’re talking about the far left.  The liberals.  That 20% of the population.  Which excludes a large percentage of Democrats.  And moderates and independents.  We’re talking college professors, public school teachers, the liberal media, the Hollywood elite, public sector unions, liberal politicians, etc.  People who have an air of superiority about them.  Who think they’re better than most people.  And who don’t care to hear any contrary views or opinions.  Because if they disagree with them, those views and opinions are just wrong.

For the ruling elite is always right.  And that’s who they think they are.  Elite.  And they rule.  Or try to.  Either in Congress through legislation.  Or by shaping opinion.  In the elite liberal media.  In our public schools where they shape the minds of our young children (to be good stewards of the planet, to trust government and not private business, that Americans stole the land from the indigenous people, that America was built on slavery and greed, etc.).  In our colleges where they continue and add to the work of the public schools (that we oppress women, that we’re a racist society, that Marxism is good while capitalism is bad, etc.).  In the entertainment world (actors, musicians, etc.) that gives a loud voice to this minority opinion.  In the public sector that grows bigger and consumes ever more of our tax dollars in exchange for support of the liberal agenda.  Etc.

It’s a small community.  Where they take care of each other.  They all have a vested interest in advancing the liberal agenda.  Because they live better than the average American.  At the expense of the average American (through high taxes, tuition, union contracts, etc.). 

Getting the People to Vote you into the Privileged Elite

So we have a minority group enjoying a privileged lifestyle.  Far better than the people paying to support that lifestyle can ever imagine.   In times past, the ruling elite used the power of the state to oppress the masses.  To get the money from them to support those privileged lifestyles.  While keeping them living in fear.  So the oppressed didn’t band together to overthrow the ruling elite.

It’s an effective formula.  And it has worked.  For awhile.  For some.  They may enjoy a few years.  Or a decade.  Or two.  A century.  Until they get overthrown by the masses.  Like the French did in 1789 (the French Revolution).  Or like the Russians did in 1917 (the February Revolution and the October Revolution).  These got pretty ugly.  A lot of people died.  Including the royal sovereigns. 

That’s the downside of absolute power.  You really piss off the people you oppress.  And pissed off people tend to revolt.  Thankfully, in a democracy, you don’t have to worry about that.  You can live the privileged life.  Without physically oppressing them.  You just have to get the people to vote for you.  And you do that by promising them free stuff.  And by demonizing your opponents.

Political Correctness helps to Limit Political Dissent

It’s called divide and conquer.  When you go up against a larger enemy, you try to divide that enemy and attack smaller parts of the enemy.  Because there is no way you can win going head to head.  The liberals, that 20%, cannot go up against the other 80% with any hopes of winning.  So they pick off parts of the 80% and attack them.

Their weapon of choice?  Political correctness.  Today you have to be very careful of what you say.  And how you say what you say.  Because if you don’t you can offend someone.  This helps to limit political dissent.  Because dissenters may say something politically incorrect.  And no one wants that.  Because they tell us in our public schools that that is wrong.  In college, too.  And in the media.  And on TV.  In the movies.  Etc.

And you can use political correctness to demonize your opponents.  If you oppose affirmative action you’re racist.  If you oppose immigration reform, you’re racist.  If you oppose welfare reform, you’re cruel and indifferent to the sufferings of the poor.  If you oppose gay marriage you’re a homophobe.  If you oppose gun control you’re a redneck Second Amendment nut (somehow that’s politically correct to say).  If you oppose Big Government you’re a tool of the special interests and Big Business.  And so on.  If you oppose any part of their agenda, there’s just something wrong with you.  Because you disagree with the enlightened people (that 20% of the population).  And because we see so many people admire and respect these enlightened people (thanks to our schooling, the media, Hollywood, etc.) we should want to be like them.  So people admire and respect us, too.

Divide and Conquer the Single Issue People

Those on the left, that 20%, are very tolerant of what you say or do.  As long as it’s what they say or do.  Because if you think and act like they do, they can maintain their privileged life.  If you disagree with them, then you threaten their privileged life.  You could vote liberals out of office.  You could set performance standards for public school teachers.  You could reduce the power of public sector unions.  You start doing these things and the next thing you know these liberals will have to get real jobs.  And they ain’t having none of that.

So they divide and conquer.  They support gay marriage and call you a homophobe because of your ‘intolerance’ of the gay lifestyle.  So the gays and lesbians support liberals.  They support abortion and call you a religious extremist because of your ‘intolerance’ of women having choice.  So a lot of people who enjoy consequence-free sex support liberals.  (And a lot of women who want to keep the right to choose just in case.)   They want to decriminalize drugs and call you a fascist for your ‘intolerance’ of people being free to put whatever they want into their bodies.  So the potheads and other recreational drug users support liberals.  (Of course, these same liberals will tell you NOT to eat a Big Mac or drink a Coke because they’re just not healthy for you.  Unlike heroin or cocaine.  Apparently.)   They support affirmative action and call you a racist because of your ‘intolerance’ of minorities.  So a lot of minorities support liberals.  And so on.

It adds up.  Get enough of these single issue people and you can maintain your power base.  So they are very tolerant of these people’s views and opinions.  And very intolerant of anyone opposing them.  They do this to persuade as many of the 80% that oppose their liberal agenda to support them.  So this minority of the population can continue to live a privileged life.  At our expense.

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LESSONS LEARNED #46: “Liberals say ‘do as I say not as I do’ because they can’t point to anything worthwhile they’ve done.” -Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 30th, 2010

The High Compliance Costs of The American with Disabilities Act of 1990

I have a friend who worked at a company that was renovating one of their buildings.  He was in a foul mood one day.  The renovation included a high-end sales and marketing center.  Some place to impress clients.  Included in the renovation was a media room for multimedia presentations.  It was a competitive business; they were looking to woo some clients away from their competitors.  And to keep their current client base from straying to the competition.

It was an existing building.  Space was tight.  They were trying to do a lot in a small footprint.  And they did.  I saw it one day before the work was completed.  Wow.  It was gorgeous.  Especially the media room.  It looked like something you saw in a 5-star hotel.  They built the control room for the media room on a raised platform.  Equipment racks would sit on the floor.  And the cabling would leave the racks through the raised floor and out into a floor duct wiring system.  The walls and ceiling were some nice architectural finishes.  There was no drop ceiling.  No place to conceal wiring but in the walls.  And in the floor.

Well, there was a problem.  The American with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) was relatively new.  This architectural firm complied with the new law in almost every place.  Drinking fountains were wheelchair accessible.  There were ramps to get up the curb so wheelchairs could enter the building.  And various other compliances.  The building complied.  Everywhere.  Everywhere, that is, but one area.  The control booth for the media room.  On the raised floor.  There was a step to enter this room.  And no space to add a ramp.  They fought the building inspectors.  The various authorities having jurisdiction.  But to no avail.  The spiffy new sales and marketing center would not be as designed.  They had to redesign it.  Rebuild it.  And delay the scheduled completion date.  Hence my friend’s foul mood.

The Government Exempts themselves from the High Compliance Costs of their own Legislation

You’d think the authorities having jurisdiction (AHJ) would have given a waiver.  But they didn’t.  It was a big office building.  And a small control room.  Less than 1% of the company’s total employees would ever enter that room.  Didn’t matter.  Some of the AHJ enjoyed their power.  Others were simply afraid someone would sue them down the road.  So they delayed the project. 

Unfortunately, they had already begun to relocate operations from the old to the new.  They suspended all presentations for a month at this facility so the old conference room could be demolished and rebuilt into something else.  And it was.  Demolished.  Now they had no place to wow their customers.  For another month or two.  That’s a whole quarter they had to reschedule around.  It did not impress their clients.  And may have cost them one or two.  All because of the silly inflexibility of the AHJ.

This is a good example of the unintended consequences of liberals’ best intentions.  It’s a microcosm of the ADA’s affect on business everywhere.  Sure, they had a noble goal.  To make a barrier-free world for all.  But the compliance costs to fully meet the letter of the law were brutal to small and medium sized businesses.  But Congress didn’t care.  It’s ‘do as I say, not as I do’.  Literally.  You see, Congress exempted themselves from the American with Disabilities Act of 1990.  Why?  Wait for it.  Because they said it would be too costly for them to comply.  And they said this publicly to justify their exemption from the act.  Unbelievable.  The height of arrogance and condescension.

The High Compliance Costs of OSHA

Well, Congress was dragged kicking and screaming into the real world.  Thanks to Newt Gingrich and the Republican Revolution of the 1994 midterm elections.  That Congress authored the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995.  Congress would no longer be above the law.  Now they, too, had to comply with the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 and the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.  To name a few.

I have a friend who works in construction in a metropolitan area.  He’s a project manager for a construction manager.  And you should hear some of the things he tells me.  Big construction projects often have federal money involved.  And when they do, there are some pretty restrictive rules.  Especially on the big projects.  Why?  Because big projects have deep pockets.

You would not believe some of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) requirements on a construction project.  Well, on big projects, because no small contractor could afford the compliance costs.  Or the owner, for that matter.  A couple come to mind.  He said that a worker had to tie himself off when working on a ladder more than 6 feet off the ground (a nylon safety line tied to a body harness attached to something fixed and immovable).   Contractors had to conduct daily safety meetings with their field employees.  They had a safety trailer on site with a couple of safety officers to walk the site and police safety.  They had to get ‘hot work permits’ anytime they used a welding torch or other open flame.  You get the idea.  Workers couldn’t do anything dangerous without an inordinate investment in time and money on part of the contractor.  And yet workers still did stupid things.  Like refuse to wear a hardhat on a hot day.  Of course, when they did and OSHA happened to be on site, they’d write a pretty big fine.  And guess who had to pay it?  Not the employee.  But the employee’s boss.

But when Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, they exempted themselves.  Because it would have cost them too much to comply.

The High Compliance Costs of Affirmative Action

But there’s more.  When federal money is involved, there are other hoops to jump through.  You see, the metropolitan area had a large minority population.  And the federal government wanted minority owned businesses to share in some of that construction money.  It was affirmative action.  To help minority owned businesses.  A certain percentage of the work was set aside for these businesses.  The problem was big projects have tight schedules and high-tech building processes.  The kind of work that big and established contractors do all of the time.  And the kind that little contractors starting out who need help (the kind of contractor the government wanted to help) had little to no experience doing.  The idea was for the big guy to mentor the little guy.  Which is not easy to do when competitively bidding work.  Helping these contractors earns no revenue.  It just adds cost.  So you either include the cost up front (and not get the job because you’re not the low bidder).  Or you leave it out and try and recoup it on the back end (I believe the technical term is raping and pillaging on change orders).

Well, there are rules.  And it starts at bid time.  Your bid form asks for the percentage of these minority businesses you’ll be using.  There’s a minimum required.  But you can use more.  And the government weighted things differently.  You counted contractors at their full contract value.  But material suppliers were discounted (I don’t remember, but it might have been 50%).  Suppliers are safer to use because you can use your own highly skilled work force.  So you max these out.  Then you use some small minority contractors on some easier work you can peel off from the rest.  It’s nothing against these guys.  They do well on some of the less exotic stuff.  But some of the other stuff is just over their skill level.  Because they’re new and inexperienced.

Now, because they can use suppliers, there are minority ‘suppliers’ out there looking to exploit this set aside.  They’re not really a supplier, though.  They’re a ‘pass-through’ company.  What they do is offer their services to basically buy from a contractor’s preferred supplier and then resell to the contractor for a small markup.  This basically defeats the whole point of helping minorities, but it helps you stay on schedule.  Construction today uses just-in-time deliveries.  Especially on construction site with no storage area available for material.  And they need their well established working relationships to feed their supply pipeline.  It usual works.  But sometime a contractor’s audit will disallow a previously approved ‘pass-through’ supplier.  And when they do, look out.  If you don’t meet the percentage you included on your bid form you’re looking at some serious fines.  My friend told me the government wrote this one poor contractor of his a fine greater than the value of his contract.

Liberal Legislation:  Compliance Costs, Avoidance Costs and Unintended Consequences

The federal government has no business experience.  At least, the liberal left.  But they’re always trying to make business better.  And fairer.  This results in huge compliance costs.  And avoidance costs.  The federal government has little sympathy for the swath of destruction their legislation causes.  Especially when they were exempting themselves from much of that legislation. 

But it’s ‘do as I say, not as I do’.  Because they feel they’re above the law.  Or, at least, should be.  So they continue to tinker.  Failing more times than not.  And causing a slew of unintended consequences.  Despite their best intentions.

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And So it Begins

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 11th, 2010

Brett Favre came out of retirement.  And you know what that means.  The NFL season has started.

Sure, he’s good.  But so are the others.  Getting into the NFL isn’t easy.  It’s a pure meritocracy.  Only the best of the best get in.  I like that.  No quotas.  No affirmative action.  Just brains, guts and will.  It just doesn’t get better than that.

This is America at its best.  Not the game so much but getting into the game.  I mean, discovering that we shouldn’t drink the water we poop in probably did more for the human race than football.  But football is one of the last vestiges of the American Dream.  Liberty.  To be free to do what you want.  Regardless of who your father was.  For if you want it bad enough.  If you sacrifice enough for it.  If you study hard enough for it.  It can be yours.

Incidentally, it was the British who discovered that you got cholera drinking from the toilet.  They traced a cholera outbreak in London to a pump drawing drinking water from the Thames River.  Which was also the people’s toilet.  A little British ingenuity fixed that, though.  Now we have separate fresh water and sewage systems.  Think about that the next time you have a glass of water after using the toilet.  Or not.  I mean, if you want to really enjoy that glass of water.  But I digress.

NFL football is the greatest sport in the world.  And, yes, it’s better than soccer.  It’s like full-contact chess.  Or combat.  It requires extreme situational awareness, real-time information processing, constant communication and precision execution.  All while getting the crap beat out of you.  It’s so tough that the attrition does not allow a long season.  Now that’s dedication and love of the sport.  It’s hard to get in and once in the price to stay in is high.  How can you not admire these men?

Let’s just hope and pray that the powers that be don’t ruin this great sport with social engineering.  Let it stay a meritocracy.

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