30 thoughts on “News/Politics 11-7-16

  1. Sometimes we need to confront unpleasant facts.

    https://www.ssa.gov/oact/STATS/table6c7.html

    Look at the spike in Social Security Disability applications at the time (2009-2011) when longterm unemployment benefits were expiring.

    Also compare the number of new SSD awards per thousand workers in recent years to figures for the Reagan years. Either Reagan was the greatest force ever for workplace safety and prevented millions of cases of disability or the work ethic of Americans has eroded.

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  2. During my lifetime the Republican Party has promoted personal responsibility and has told the American people that they can succeed through hard work, ingenuity and thrift. Too often, the Democrats told people they were victims who needed a helping hand from the government to survive. Trump is like a Democrat. He is telling people they are victims.

    The saddest thing is that 40% of Republican primary voters bought that line just as quickly as a Hillary supporter or a Sanders supporter.

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  3. Ricky, I think there’s a difference in saying “you’re a victim” and saying “your government is corrupt.”

    BTW, it would seem to me that “winning on appeal” means “proving your case.” I’ve never studied it scientifically and have never interacted with vast numbers of those on disability. But I have interacted with at least three people who might seem in a 30-minute conversation to be perfectly healthy–but whose medical records show a very different story. These are people who are not wheelchair bound and don’t show any external physical abnormality. They might actually be abler to go about the actions of daily life (at least on a good day) but not to work . . . which makes sense, when you think about it, since work is the most energy-draining task most of us do.

    One of them even held a part-time job. She worked for my next-door neighbors; she was young and pretty, and she would come over into my yard and reach across my fence and pet Misten, who was a puppy at the time, and who would jump on the fence to greet her. I remember the day she expressed surprise in realizing Misten was a collie, not a sheltie, because she had grown too big to be a sheltie. I also remember the day she forgot to set the parking brake on her car in the neighbors’ driveway, and she and several neighbors ran down the driveway. I saw my pushing-80-year-old neighbor running and I figured something big was up, and I ran outside to see what was up, to see the employee’s car had rolled down the driveway, across the street through a neighbor’s yard, and down the hill a bit where it got caught in a tree, amazingly with very little damage to anything.

    I was shocked to find out this young, pretty woman had a fatal disease she was born with, that she had already outlived the vast majority of people with her condition, and that she was now terminal. She was working the part-time job because she could only handle a very few hours a week but she needed a bit more money than she was earning through disability. But nothing in her physical appearance said she was sick, let alone that she was close to death. I found out she was that sick when the neighbors told me this was her last week, that she couldn’t work anymore because she was that close to death; they couldn’t remember what disease she had, just that it was 100% fatal and she had outlived all but about 1% of the people with the illness.

    In Chicago I’d sometimes hear people complain that they rode the bus and some physically fit person was riding in the handicapped section and let someone else be the person to stand up when a truly handicapped person got on the bus. (There were enough handicapped seats that it was standard practice that able-bodied people would sit in them if the rest of the seats filled up–you just knew you had to get up if someone got on the bus who needed those seats.) Thing is, I wondered at the time how on earth those complainers knew that the person who “looked” able bodied really was. My sister-in-law was pretty close to death before her stage-four cancer registered itself in physical evidence that could be seen, things like oxygen tanks and a shuffling walk, and finally a wheelchair. But she was fatally ill, and couldn’t walk very far, and wouldn’t have wanted to stand holding a pole on a swaying bus. In fact, I’m not handicapped, but I found standing on a swaying bus extremely hard on my knees, and especially on the days I was taking home bags of groceries, I tried to stay seated myself, if I could. That didn’t mean I was gaming the system, just that I needed a seat,and I tended to wait a few seconds to see if someone else would stand up first, but I wasn’t faking a handicap by doing so.

    Undoubtedly there are people who game the system. But I don’t want to see people look at an individual person and say “She is gaming the system.” Because she may be 23 and pretty and walking on her own feet, and going about daily life, but she just might have six months or less to live anyway.

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  4. I see comments from a few days ago expressing wisdom in voting for the lesser of two evils. Repeating myself here, but I can’t imagine a theme more contrary to Scripture. Doesn’t the idea just not ring true? Here’s an excerpt from a post a facebook friend of mine recently made during a discussion about this…

    I agree with you and believe that we have a duty of stewardship with our vote. In this country God has given us an opportunity to be heard in various ways, but that opportunity is always subject to God’s Law first—even if obedience to God and a refusal to compromise means a loss of power, control, or a collective national slide into greater immorality.

    I believe that when our candidates are not qualified leaders according to the Word of God then good stewardship of our vote is to use our voice in other ways besides the voting booth. I believe that many Christians are doing just that, through conversations like this.

    If it’s true that we have instructions from the Lord about how to choose leaders…
    If it’s true that our civil rights are subject to our moral duty to God’s Word…
    If it’s true that we are to obey God even if it costs us things we dearly love…
    If it’s true that the king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord and He can turn it as He wills…
    If it’s true that God can and does give both temptations (manifesting potential evil) and graces (restraining extreme corruption) according to His purposes…

    Then are we not perfectly safe, indeed ONLY safe, if we follow God’s Word and only empower those HE has deemed qualified?

    Also, have you considered that subverting our entire constitutional system may be exactly what the Lord is after? While it has much good to offer, The Constitution is far from perfect particularly in its denial of One God.

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  5. Ricky,

    But you know, and 538 does as well, that illegal immigrants come here, they then have children, which are considered citizens being born here, and then folks like 538 don’t count them as as increase due to illegal immigrants. But if their parents weren’t here illegally, they wouldn’t be born here either. They are a direct result of illegal immigration, they just don’t count them as such, which allows them to skew the numbers as they did in your link above. 538 is wrong again, and I suspect it’s agenda driven on their part.

    http://cis.org/Immigrant-Population-Hits-Record-Second-Quarter-2015

    “For the last few decades, Mexico has been the top sending country to the United States for both legal and illegal immigration. It must be emphasized that this was the case even from 2008 to 2013, when the pace of immigration slowed from that country. Mexico was the top sending country for new green card recipients in every year from 2009 to 2013. Mexico sent roughly twice as many each year as the next biggest sending country, China.12 However, not all of these green cards went to new arrivals. In addition to being the top sending country for legal immigration, the Department of Homeland Security and other researchers also have estimated that more than half of all illegal immigrants are from Mexico.13 The recent increase in the number of immigrants from Mexico is an indication that the number of new illegal im¬migrants entering the country is increasing.14”
    —————————–

    And so is the Hispanic population as a result.

    More here,

    http://www.npg.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/2015-All-in-the-Family-Forum-Paper.pdf

    “Unlike earlier time periods, when immigration ebbed and flowed in distinct waves, the last three decades are an accelerated continuation of an 80-year upward trend in annual immigration. Continuing high immigration has had a significant impact on U.S. population growth. Immigration, counting both new admissions and births to immigrant women, was responsible for three fourths of the growth in our population this century2
    . If current trends continue, immigration will add another 100 million people to the United
    States in the next 50 years.”
    —————————-

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  6. More here,

    US births from both legal and illegal immigrants is what’s driving the increase. I have no problem with the results of legal immigration. It’s the millions of illegals that’s the problem. Cut them off and the population growth would drop by millions.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/04/29/us-born-hispanics-overtake-immigrants/8456933/

    “After decades of heavy immigration from Latin America, the Hispanic population in America has grown to the point where U.S. births are now the main driver of its growth.

    Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, immigration was the main source of growth of the Hispanic population. But according to a new report from the Pew Research Center, the size of the Hispanic population in the USA, now at 53 million, is so large that U.S. births of Hispanic children will continue outpacing immigration flows no matter how many legal and undocumented immigrants reach the USA in the years to come.

    And with 800,000 U.S.-born Hispanics turning 18 each year, researchers say the population will continue increasing its share of the American population and its influence on American institutions.

    “That’s really a reflection of this wave of U.S.-born young people entering adulthood and having an impact demographically on everything from … the labor market, colleges and universities and impacting a whole host of other institutions that are part of adulthood,” said Mark Lopez, director of Hispanic research at the center and a co-author of the report.

    The report also found that Hispanics continue to be the fastest growing group in the country.

    Hispanics increased from 12.5% of the population in 2000 to 16.9% in 2012. That coincided with a drop in the white population (from 69.1% to 62.8%) and small increases in the black population (from 12% to 12.3%) and the Asian population (3.6% to 4.9%).”

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  7. AJ, Just remember there has been a net outflow of Illegal Mexican immigrants from the US to Mexico since the start of The Great Recession. An important rule: Ruin your economy and the Mexicans will leave. So if Hillary or Trump or some future protectionist wants to back out of trade deals, this will have the ancillary effect of running all the Mexicans back to Mexico as the US economy tanks.

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  8. We’ll see in less than 48 hours

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/441848/2016-prediction-very-narrow-clinton-win-trump-could-surprise

    _________________________________________

    … Most national polls suggest that the race is over, with Clinton headed to a firm win. I disagree. I think it is likelier that she will win, but she will do so very narrowly in both the Electoral College and in the popular vote. It won’t take much improvement over my final projections for Trump to pull this out narrowly, and I think it is likelier that he wins than that Clinton wins by 3 or more.

    Final Predictions

    Popular Vote Clinton 48 (range 46–48.5) Trump 47 (range 44–48.5) Johnson 3 (range 2–4) Stein 1 (range 1–2) Others/Write-ins 1 (range 0.75–1.5)

    Electoral College Clinton 278 (range 248–323) Trump 260 (range 215–290) States/Districts That Switch to Trump: IA, OH, FL, ME-2 States/Districts That Switch to Clinton: None

    …. Why Trump Will Close

    Clinton leads the RealClearPolitics poll average as I write this on Sunday afternoon by a little more than 2 percentage points in the four-way race. Only the IBD/TIPP poll has him ahead (The LA Times poll having been dropped from the average), and four of the nine polls in the average have her ahead by 3 percentage points or more.

    So why am I so confident it will be a nail-biter? It all comes down to what you think those who say they are undecided or voting for third-party candidates will do. We have years of evidence that even final polls overstate the number of people who actually vote for third parties by 33 to 50 percent; and this evidence shows that voters who back away from voting for third parties tend to break back to the party they normally favor.

    … Romney did well among upper-income and educated whites but failed to excite non-Evangelical less-educated whites. Trump excites the latter but repels many among the former. Somewhere there’s a winning formula in here. Anyone see what it is? Bueller?

    __________________________________________________

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  9. Ricky,

    “AJ, Just remember there has been a net outflow of Illegal Mexican immigrants from the US to Mexico since the start of The Great Recession. An important rule: Ruin your economy and the Mexicans will leave. ”

    As the links above show, your statement is false.

    ““For the last few decades, Mexico has been the top sending country to the United States for both legal and illegal immigration. It must be emphasized that this was the case even from 2008 to 2013, when the pace of immigration slowed from that country. Mexico was the top sending country for new green card recipients in every year from 2009 to 2013. Mexico sent roughly twice as many each year as the next biggest sending country, China.”
    ———————————

    Even during the recession, it slowed, but Mexico was still at the top of the list.

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  10. Bob, I have a good book to read. My husband will be GLUED to the election returns. I will vote tomorrow and thus the only thing about this election I can control will be done. I will wake up Wednesday morning and one or the other of the them will be president. I really won’t be happy either way. Perhaps less happy about one but it’ll all be over but the shoutin’

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  11. Oh I’ll let you all know, I’ll be up and working through the night 🙂

    (But I doubt the shoutin’ will be over on Wednesday — We’ve only just begun …)

    Liked by 1 person

  12. AJ, Here are the facts on the number of illegal Mexican immigrants in the US.

    http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/11/03/5-facts-about-illegal-immigration-in-the-u-s/

    As you can see the number of illegal Mexican immigrants in the US has declined since the start of The Great Recession. As I said: Ruin your economy and the Mexicans will leave. I have confidence that Trump’s Hugo Chavez-style trade policies can produce a calamity much greater than The Great Recession. If you don’t believe me, look at Venezuela which aggressively pursued Trumpian policies. It has no immigration problem.

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  13. Cheryl, I have known many people on disability who are much like the lady you described. In fact a high percentage of the actual disabled people on disability are terminally ill. I have seen many bravely work until late in their illnesses. I deal with disabled and “disabled” people and their families several times a week, so I know a disability may not be obvious or even visible.

    However, there are two large facts in the schedule I posted that show that millions are faking.

    1. What other explanation is there for the spike in applications and awards just as long term unemployment benefits from The Great Recession expired?

    2. Why have applications and awards increased by 70-80% per thousand workers since the Reagan Administration at the very time that the shift to the information economy, technological advancements and the ADA have allowed millions of disabled persons to be gainfully employed?

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  14. Like

  15. Ricky, marginally employable people find it easier to find employment in a robust economy. I think one would have to look at a whole lot more than just a set of numbers to explain those numbers. One difference might be that there is now less “shame” in accepting disability–not, in other words, that people now take disability who shouldn’t, but that people in the Reagan era did everything they could not to take it, even if they were eligible and in fact needed it. I have family members who would starve before they’d take government help of any sort–I might even have family who’d let their children starve before they’d take government help of any sort. But that says nothing at all about whether they actually need help.

    Again, I’m not saying nobody is faking it–I’m sure that some are. I just don’t think charts of numbers, and nothing but numbers, tell us very much of the “why” of those numbers.

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  16. Cheryl, SSD was not created for those who have a hard time finding employment. It was created for those who are disabled and unable to work. The charts do show the clear facts. I agree they don’t show the “why”. I see the “why” time and time again. For a growing number of Americans, there is no “shame” in faking a disability. Meanwhile, there are millions of illegal Mexican immigrants out there doing jobs rejected by the fakers. If those Mexicans are truly disabled on the job, they will not be eligible for disability benefits.

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  17. Ricky, I don’t think you understand me. In a strong enough economy, with full enough employment, a blind old lady with one hand might be able to find some sort of work–and she might very well prefer to have a paying job than to be on disability. But that doesn’t mean she isn’t handicapped. Many, many handicapped people can do some sort of work (maybe only part-time) if the work conditions are right, but in an economy where even able-bodied, experienced workers have a hard time finding employment, they may well be unemployable.

    In other words, there’s a continuum between “fully unemployable” and “easily employable.” I think the old lady in a wheelchair with only one working hand might qualify as “disabled” even if theoretically there might be something she could do if the right job came along.

    I have a brother with only one leg who gets no disability . . . but he’s a driven, type-A person with a business mind like very few people alive. He spoke with disgust once about the then newly politically correct term, calling people “disabled” rather than “handicapped.” He said that a “handicap” suggests a limitation, something that slows you down, whereas “disability” really says you are unable to do anything. That brother probably earns more than the rest of my family put together, but it would be a very tiny minority of people with one leg who could be successful on that level.

    Technically speaking, very few people are truly disabled. But surely one doesn’t have to be blind and deaf and a quadriplegic to qualify for disability. Having such limitations that one could only work 10 hours a week at a non-physically-demanding job might also qualify as a handicap. Or what about the multitudes of handicapped people who now work at various stores . . . but are employed only because the government heavily subsidizes their jobs (they are not financially worth their full paycheck)? What about people who technically might be able to manage 40 hours a week, but only through excruciating pain, and at great shortening of their lives? That was my point when I spoke of “marginally employable” people . . . the employee who is handicapped enough that no one would willingly hire them except in a climate that is truly desperate for any sort of workers at all, or where such employees are heavily subsidized. That employee might be on disability today even if for the past 20 years he somehow managed to get and keep jobs. And he isn’t necessarily “gaming the system.”

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