What does it take to become a child prodigy?

I have two favorite living child prodigies: one from the United States (age 13) and one from Norway (age 11).

Grace VanderWaal won America’s Got Talent in 2016, at age 12. She competed by singing her own songs that she wrote (the first video). She then signed a contract with Columbia Records and put out her first short album (with 5 songs) that reached #9 in the United States. She went on to win awards from the Teen Choice Awards and Disney.

Angelina Jordan won Norway’s Got Talent when she was age 8, singing classic jazz. At age ten in 2016, she recorded “I Put a Spell on You.”  If you enjoy that performance, there’s more. You will discover Angelina performs barefoot. Her first album is scheduled for release this year.

Grace VanderWaal and Angelina Jordan are both child prodigies. Scientific American explains what it takes to be a child prodigy.

“Recent research indicates that basic cognitive abilities known to be influenced by genetic factors also play a role in prodigious achievement. In the most extensive study of prodigies to date, the psychologist Joanne Ruthsatz and her colleagues administered a standardized test of intelligence to 18 prodigies—five in art, eight in music, and five in math. There was a wide range of IQs in the sample, from 100—the average for the general population—to 147—well above the usual cutoff for “intellectually gifted.” However, with an average score of 140 (above the 99th percentile), nearly all of the prodigies did extraordinarily well on the tests of working memory. …

“With an average score of 148, the music prodigies in the Ruthsatz study were especially high in working memory (the average for the math prodigies was 135 and for art prodigies was 132). In fact, all eight of the music prodigies were at or above the 99th percentile, and four were at or above the 99.9th percentile. The odds of eight randomly selected people scoring this high on a test are essentially zero. …

Prodigies also exhibit an unusual commitment to their domain … “Often one cannot tear these children away from activities in their area of giftedness, whether they involve an instrument, a computer, a sketch pad, or a math book. These children have a powerful interest in the domain in which they have high ability, and they can focus so intently on work in this domain that they lose sense of the outside world.”

What happens to child prodigies when they grow up?

To discover how far Grace VanderWaal has gone since winning America’s Got Talent at age 12, in 2016, to the first weekend in October 2017 at the Austin City Limits Music Festival as she starts her first national concert tour at age 13, watch the next video.

It’s wild! Her fans love her songs and they love who she is at this age. We all change as we age and mature. I hope Grace gets only better as a person, and that she never forgets who she was when she started out.

UPDATE

Since I’m a writer and a published author, I wanted to add the names of a few child prodigies in that field, but to be clear, I was never a child prodigy.

  • Flavia Bujor wrote her first book when she was 12 and published it with Harper Collins when she was 14.
  • Nancy Yi Fan started writing her first novel when she was 7. She completed that novel when she was 11. Harper Collins published that book in 2007, and it became a New York Times bestseller.
  • Jake Marcionette wrote his first book when he was 12, and that book also became a New York Times bestseller.
  • Alec Greven was nine when he wrote: “How To Talk to Girls”.  His book made the New York Times bestseller list for a book he says he wrote in a week.
  • Dorothy Straight is on record as being the youngest published author ever. At the age of four, when many children can’t read let alone write, she wrote a story for her grandmother. Her parents took a shine to it and sent it to Pantheon Books, who published it in 1964 when Straight was 6.
  • TopTenz

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam combat veteran with a BA in journalism and an MFA in writing, who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

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The Story of Lucy – Beautiful Thing

Every time I watch this Windex commercial, yes, it is a commercial, the best I’ve seen, because of the happy memory tears that flow every time. I’m not alone with my tearful reaction. After you watch The Story of Lucy, scroll down and read some of the comments.

The song and lyrics are from Grace VanderWall who wrote the song and first performed it on America’s Got Talent in 2016.  She was 12-years old.

For more about Grace, read my fan post at This is an Invitation to attend my favorite YouTube Concert.

The next video is an interview with Grace on 98.7 AMP Radio. This way you get to know a bit about who this 13-year old is who wrote the song used in that incredible Windex commercial.

The Grammy nominations will arrive near the end of 2017. I’ll be shocked if Grace doesn’t get nominated.

Thank you, Grace. May you always see the world through the same prism that you were using when you were twelve. Keep that glass clean so there are no distortions. Use Windex.

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam combat veteran with a BA in journalism and an MFA in writing, who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

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This is an Invitation to attend my favorite YouTube Concert

I am a Grace VanderWaal fan, and I have been attending a lot of her concerts sitting in front of my desktop with a stereo headset on. She was 12 when she won America’s Got Talent (AGT) in 2016. She’s now 13 and has a mini album out with her first-five original songs on it. After winning AGT, she was signed by Columbia records and her first mini album was “Perfectly Imperfect” and reached #9 on the national charts in the United States and #11 in Canada.  She also won the Radio Disney Music Award for Best New Artist and is pending for the Teen Choice Awards. She was nominated for Best Female Artist on the Acoustic Music Awards but didn’t win that one.

This YouTube concert starts with the first four songs Grace wrote and performed while competing on AGT. I don’t watch TV, so I never saw the original performances. I learned about Grace by accident a few weeks ago and have only watched her on YouTube.


28.17 minutes

The next video is her performance on stage in front of a huge audience. She sings her first original song, I Don’t Know My Name, and a new one called Moonlight.


8:46 minutes

Next, watch her first professional video where she sings her 5th original song, Moonlight.


about 3 minutes

Last, listen to her first album on VEVO’s You Tube channel


16:48 minutes

And if you want to use Google to find the original lyrics, they are available online. Once you read the lyrics of the songs Grace wrote when she was still 12 years old, I think it makes Grace’s YouTube concert experience even better. A friend of mine says Grace must have an old soul to have written those songs.

I have discovered that watching Grace perform and sing her own original songs is therapy for me.  She helps drive back the darkness being spread by #FakePresident Donald Trump and his extreme alt-right cabinet of professional haters. J. K Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series, says Trump is worse than Voldemort.

UPDATE August 18, 2017


Grace returns to perform on America’s Got Talent almost one year after she won AGT in 2016. She is a superstar now, and this performance proves it.

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam combat veteran with a BA in journalism and an MFA in writing, who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

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Will “Isolating America” and “Draining the (U.S. Constitution’s) Swamp” End the U.S. Dollar as the World’s Reserve Currency?

What would happen to the U.S. dollar if Trump and Bannon succeeded in “Draining the (U.S. Constitution’s) Swamp”?

Trump has never defined what he meant by “Draining the (U.S. Constitution’s) Swamp,” but his closest advisor Steven Bannon has. Bannon has said, “I’m a Leninist. Lenin wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal, too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.”

The Lenin that Bannon referred to was Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, better known by the alias Lenin, who was a Russian communist revolutionary, politician, and political theorist.

And in the United States, the state is defined by the U.S. Constitution. That document is the law that guides America. To destroy the state means the end of that Constitution.

As long as the U.S. dollar is viewed as a stable currency, it will remain as the world’s reserve currency but trust in the United States is being quickly eroded by mentally ill, twitter fingers Donald Trump with advice from his handler, Leninist (Communist) Steve Bannon. But if Trump, and Bannon, causes the world to lose trust in the United States and that reserve status is lost, the results would be a major currency devaluation and a drastic standard of living adjustment down.  That could well be a catastrophe for the United States and for the nations that hold their wealth in American dollars.

What is Trump doing to lose trust in the United States?

Roger-Mark De Souza, writing for the Wilson Center, says, “A lack of U.S. government support for the Paris climate agreement will mean that the United States will further isolate itself from international collaboration and cooperation on multiple fronts. It will affect U.S. security, the provision of jobs; U.S. business operations, and U.S. diplomatic efforts. The agreement, because it has a broad basis of support, will continue with or without the United States.”

What else has Trump done to destroy America’s relationship with its long-time allies and friends around the world? Watch the videos to discover answers to this question.

Oil Price.com reports The Clock is Ticking On The U.S. Dollar As World’s Reserve Currency. “Nobody plans to give way as keeper of the supreme currency, so there is no schedule to follow and no way to know when the torch will be passed from the dollar to the Yuan … history has shown that the shift comes suddenly, usually in the heat or aftermath of war. … It should be clear now that the reserve currency status is neither a birthright nor a privilege that stays forever in one place, which means it isn’t a question of if China will replace the U.S. as title holder but when. … What should no longer be unthinkable is that the clock is ticking on America’s status as the holder of the reserve currency.”

“The demise of the dollar will also bring radical changes to the American lifestyle,” Victoria Crowmberg says. “When this economic tsunami hits America, it will make the 2008 recession and its aftermath look like no more than a slight bump in the road. It will bring very undesirable changes to the American lifestyle through:

  1. Massive inflation,
  2. High interest rates on mortgages and cars,
  3. Substantial increases in the cost of food, clothing, and gasoline and
  4. A much harder time financing its debt.

Right now, there is a huge demand for U.S. dollars and for U.S. government debt since countries around the world have to keep huge reserves of U.S. currency lying around for the sake of international trade but what if … the appetite for U.S. dollars and U.S. debt dried up dramatically? That is something to think about.”

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran with a BA in journalism and an MFA in writing, who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

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If elected, who will Donald tRUMP blame when he fails to bring back the jobs and “Make America Great Again”?

One of the foundations of Donald Trump’s allegations that he is the only candidate for president that can make “American Great Again” is to bring back the jobs lost to China and Mexico.

But, the AP reported on November 2, 2016, Why Robots, not trade, are behind so many factory job losses.  “Despite the Republican presidential nominee’s charge that ‘we don’t make anything anymore,’ manufacturing is still flourishing in America. Problem is, factories don’t need as many people as they used to because machines now do so much of the work.

“America has lost more than 7 million factory jobs since manufacturing employment peaked in 1979. Yet American factory production, minus raw materials and some other costs, more than doubled over the same span to $1.91 trillion last year, according to the Commerce Department …”

In addition, ABC News reports some facts that Donald Trump doesn’t want his followers, known as the deplorables, to know, “A study at Ball State University’s Center for Business and Economic Research last year found that trade accounted for 13 percent of America’s lost factory jobs. The vast majority of lost jobs — 88 percent — were taken by robots and other homegrown factors that reduce factories’ need for human labor.”

“We’re making more with fewer people,” says Howard Shatz, a senior economist at Rand Corporation think tank.

In fact, the World Economic Forum predicts that another 5 million jobs will be lost to automation by 2020. “The Fourth Industrial Revolution, combined with other socio-economic and demographic changes, will transform labour markets in the next five years, leading to a net loss of over 5 million jobs in 15 major developed and emerging economies.”

Too bad this information wasn’t reported earlier. With the election on November 8, tomorrow, it’s too late to attempt to teach the “deplorables”, who earned that title, the truth, that their psycho, narcissistic, bully, fraudulent crook of a candidate, who was born with a gold spoon in his mouth and bailed out of repeated failures more than once by his wealthy/powerful daddy, either doesn’t know what he is talking about or his promise to bring those jobs back that didn’t go to China or Mexico is just another one of his endless, serial lies.

What will  tRUJMP shout from his stage when the jobs don’t come back? The answer is easy because we have 70 years of tRUMP’s life to show us what he has always done. He will not admit he failed. He will lie repeatedly and blame it on Congress, the US Supreme Court, and anyone else he can smear

The tragedy is that many of his deplorable followers will willingly swallow those lies whole and roar the vengeance of the mob.

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, with a BA in journalism and an MFA in writing, who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

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The Hostile Corporate Takeover of Democracy

Between 1969 and 2014, the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences was awarded 46 times to 75 Laureates, and Milton Friedman was only one of those 75 award winners, so why has he been crowned, even in death, as the godfather of modern American economics—is it because he said greed was good and the other winners didn’t?

Milton Freedom gave the greed of the 1% legitimacy with his Noble Prize in Economics in 1976 with his claim that greed is good. Then President Reagan—arguably America’s Mao for the 1%—launched his U.S. Cultural Revolution to privatize government and the public sector (in China between 1949 – 1976, Mao was the enemy of the 1% and about a million were tried by the people and executed).

Forbes reported, “Ronald Reagan was elected in the US in 1980 with his message that government is “the problem”. In the UK, Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister in 1979. These leaders preached “economic freedom” (translation: greed is good) and urged a focus on making money as “the solution”. As the Michael Douglas character in the 1987 movie, Wall Street, pithily summarized the philosophy, greed was now good.

The results: starting at zero in 1979, the share of income of the top 1% after taxes grew by almost 150% by 2007, and the share of income for the top 20% grew by almost 30%, but for the rest of us—the other 80%, we saw a decline in the share of our income by as much as –30%. … Wall Street’s profits increased 720%, the unemployment rate grew by 102% and Americans’ home equity dropped by –35%. … Payroll tax revenue increased from 10% in 1950 to more than 40% by 2007, but the share of corporate taxes went from about 28% to less than 10%. – WordPress.com

Can this hostile takeover of the U.S. democracy be reversed?

Maybe, because more people vote during presidential elections so we should expect that to happen again in 2016, and I think the GOP has shot itself in the foot with its first majority in both Houses of Congress in more than 70 years by using that as a false mandate to come out against Social Security (75% of both Republicans and Democrats endorsed a plan to fix Social Security—not destroy it.  – The Christian Science Monitor), Medicare (Over half of Americans support single-payer health care, Improved Medicare for All – Medicare for  All), public pensions (Seventy-one percent oppose reducing pension benefits that are currently being paid to already-retired public employees, while 27 percent favor a reduction in benefits to these retirees. Fifty-three percent of Americans oppose reducing current public employees’ future pension benefits, while 44 percent favor reducing the pension benefits of current government employees who have not yet retired – Reason.com), public schools (47 percent of the public gave their local public schools a grade of “A” or “B,” while 18 percent gave them a “D” or “F.” – Brookings.edu), teachers (70% of Americans trusted grade school teachers – Gallup), etc.

The GOP is even going after veterans’ benefits and the Veterans Administration to continue the spread of the privatization movement there too. Concerned Veterans for America (always the use of misleading titles for these organizations) is calling for the Veterans Health Administration — the wing of the VA that oversees health care — to be turned into an “independent, government-chartered nonprofit corporation.” – Stripes.com

What about the growth of private, for-profit prisons?

Global Research asked if “The Prison Industry in the United States was Big Business or a New Form of Slavery?”

Private security guards have outnumbered police officers since the 1980s, predating the heightened concern about security brought on by the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. What is new is that police forces, including the Durham Police Department here in North Carolina’s Research Triangle, are increasingly turning to private companies for help. Moreover, private-sector security is expanding into spheres — complex criminal investigations and patrols of downtown districts and residential neighborhoods — that used to be the province of law enforcement agencies alone. – Washington Post.com

The only way the Democrats cannot win back enough seats in at least the Senate and/or Congress and take the majority back from the GOP during the 2016 election season is if the party refuses to return to their Progressive grass roots that supported the 99% for decades starting with President Wilson.

But if both parties continue to be led by the 1%, then we might see another low voter turnout like we saw in 2014 (the lowest voter turnout in more than seven decades).

Back to Milton Friedman, who, even in death, is still the economic-greed-is-good-god of the 1%.  After Friedman’s death in 2006, Keynesian Nobel laureate Paul Krugman (who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics for 2008) wrote that Friedman “slipped all too easily into claiming both that markets always work and that only markets work. It’s extremely hard to find cases in which Friedman acknowledged the possibility that markets could go wrong, or that government intervention could serve a useful purpose.”

And in her book The Shock Doctrine, author Naomi Klein criticized Friedman’s economic liberalism, identifying it with the principles that guided the economic restructuring that followed the military coups in countries such as Chile and Indonesia. Klein is an award-winning journalist who is a former Miliband Fellow at the London School of Economics.  If Klein is right, the hostile takeover of America’s republic and democracy by the 1% will continue until most U.S. citizens have lost many of the freedoms they take for granted.

To read more about the threat from within to the U.S. republic and its democracy, I suggest clicking Paul Horton: Common Core = Corporate Control. One pull quote from that post:

“The idea that the Common Core Standards are the product of a democratic process is simply misrepresentation of fact—a big lie that GMMB, our education secretary, Bill Gates, Pearson Education, and the Fordham Institute propagate. What many rightfully be called corporate-education reform has bypassed the democratic process.”

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

IMAGE with Blurbs and Awards to use on Twitter

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy followed by his award winning memoir Crazy is Normal . His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

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The Propaganda War against Labor Unioins—Viewed As Single Page

Over on Writer Beat.com, I left a few comments for a post bashing labor unions, because I’m pro-union and proud of it, and I don’t care if the union is public or private. I was born into a family that lived in poverty with parents struggling to make ends meet working for poverty wages until my father joined a labor union with help from my godfather. After my dad joined the union, our lifestyle improved dramatically and my family joined the middle class. As a public school teacher, I also belonged to a union, and I know for a fact that without that union’s support, I would have been fired when I put the interests of my students first over high stakes tests and corporate education reform.

There is a lot of misinformation by the writer of the Writer Beat post bashing unions. For instance, he claimed that when Scott Walker became governor of Wisconsin and limited the freedom of the labor unions, the teachers got a raise—but that’s FALSE, because how does cutting nearly $2.6 billion from public education equal a raise? Instead of a raise, 1,446 teachers lost their jobs and a similar slaughter took place the year before. – wisdems.org

The Writer Beat Post also claimed that what happened in Wisconsin when Scott Walker won the election for governor was proof that national public polls are wrong about the public supporting public employee unions—Gallup conducts an annual poll to see if the public approves or disapproves of labor unions, and since 1936, the majority has approved of labor unions even though labor unions only represents about 14% of the country’s workforce. In August 2014, Gallup reported that 53% of Americans approved of labor unions versus 38% that disapproved, and 10% that had no opinion.

Although support for labor unions has declined from 72% in 1936 to 53%, it helps to be aware that for decades there has been an ongoing propaganda war in the media that has consistently attacked both public and private sector labor unions.

Source Watch.org reports that a right-wing political advocacy group, Americans for Prosperity (AFP) founded by billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch, supported the election of Governor Scott Walker in Wisconsin when AFP purchased $700,000 worth of television ads in that state in addition to spending almost $3 million on TV ads in 2012.

Republic Report.org “broke down the figures for the last election and found that Koch groups alone spent more than double the combined political spending for the top ten unions combined.”

It’s also no secret that one of the wealthiest families on the planet are strongly anti-union—the Walton family. You may learn more from a report in The Nation that said, “Always Low Wages: Meet the Billionaires Who Run Walmart.”

In fact, the Waltons have gone as far as to close Walmart stores where the employees voted to bring in a labor union.” – Zero Hedge.com

What is the result of Walmart workers having no union? Forbes reports, “Walmart’s low-wage workers cost U.S. taxpayers an estimated $6.2 billion in public assistance including food stamps, Medicaid and subsidized housing …” Walmart provides 1.4 million jobs. The fast food industry, another non-union sector that often pays poverty wages (over half of all fast food workers are on government assistance—$7 billion annually Kitchenette & Poverty nation), employees almost 4 million.

If you are interesting in a detailed report on What’s Happening in Wisconsin Explained, click this link to Mother Jones.com. As for Scott Walker’s popularity in Wisconsin: in the last election, he won with 1.259 (53% of the vote) million votes versus 1.114 million (almost half of the 4.4 million eligible voters in the state actually voted)—it wasn’t a landslide.

Another argument on Writer Beat.com was that the unions must go because they are corrupt, but there was no mention of corruption in the private sector or the government. To be fair, if one must go for corruption, they all must go.

In the private sector, Transparency.org reports, “Hefty fines, damaged reputations and jail sentences – recent scandals prove that corruption in business doesn’t always bring profits. Yet bribery persists. Almost a fifth of executives surveyed by Ernst & Young claimed to have lost business to a competitor who paid bribes. More than a third felt corruption was getting worse.

“Corruption distorts markets and creates unfair competition. Companies often pay bribes or rig bids to win public procurement contracts. Many companies hide corrupt acts behind secret subsidiaries and partnerships. Or they seek to influence political decision-making illicitly. Others exploit tax laws, construct cartels or abuse legal loopholes. Private companies have huge influence in many public spheres. These are often crucial – from energy to healthcare.”

As for corruption in the government, Transparency.org says, “At the federal level, the recently completed 2014 midterm elections confirmed the ever-increasing role that wealthy individuals, corporations, and organizations play in financing political campaigns. Much of this money if funneled through and to various groups that are not obligated to publically report the sources of their funding, thereby making it impossible for the public to know who is financing various campaigns. While political corruption is a problem in all countries, it is notable that many of the countries that score higher than the US on the CPI impose donation and/or expenditure limits on political campaigns.”

The Fiscal Times.com asks, “Lying, Cheating, Stealing: How Corrupt is America? Corruption is as American as apple pie, or so it would seem. A casual survey of the political and corporate landscape in recent weeks alone provides a troubling reminder that corruption is endemic to our way of life …”

I think it also helps to take a look at the numbers to see just how many Americans belong to labor unions and if those numbers are enough to affect the economy to the degree the millionaire and billionaire oligarchs and their puppets and pet politicians like Scott Walker claim.

The Bureau of Labor Statics at the U.S. Department of Labor reports (BLS) that there are about 148.3 million civilians employed in the United States, and the BLS says that public-sector workers only had a union membership rate of 35.7 percent—more than five times higher than that of private-sector workers at 6.6 percent.

There are 22 million public sector workers in cities, counties, states and the federal government (only 2.7 million work for the feds or 12%—the lowest figure since 1966), and within the public sector, the union membership rate was highest for local government (41.9 percent), which included employees in heavily unionized occupations, such as teachers, police officers, and firefighters. That means in 2014, 7.2 million employees in the public sector belonged to unions and 14.8 million did not.

BLS also reports that of the 126.3 million private sector workers, only 7.4 million belonged to labor unions meaning almost 119 million didn’t belong to a union—sixteen times the number of workers that belong to unions.

What’s interesting is that the BLS reported, “Earnings In 2014, among full-time wage and salary workers, union members had median usual weekly earnings of $970, while those who were not union members had median weekly earnings of $763.”

Explain how less than 6% of the private sector work force earning about $200 more a week is responsible for any increase in unemployment or real estate prices.

What about other union benefits. The AFL-CIO reports 88 percent of workers in unions participate in pension plans versus 49 percent of nonunion workers. Seventy-seven percent of union workers have guaranteed pensions, compared with 17 percent of nonunion workers. Roughly 84 percent of workers in unions have paid sick leave compared with 62 percent of nonunion workers.

Stop and imagine what life would be like for most Americans if all workers belonged to labor unions, and then answer this: Who benefits when workers are earning $200 less a month—the workers, bosses or billionaires?

Let me help you with the answer: There are 536 billionaires (0.00016% of the population) in America; 9.63 million (3%) with a net worth of $1 million or more leaving more than 138 million (almost 44% of the population) working Americans with a net worth that’s less than $1 million who rely on that weekly or monthly pay check. Note: About 23% of the population is children and 14.5% are over the age of 65.

Let’s put that another way: There are almost 123 million households in the United States. In 2010, the poverty threshold was $22,314 for a family of four.

In 2013, 12.7% (15.6 million) of households earned under $15,000; 22.3% (27.4 million) earn $15,000 – $24.999; 20.4% (25 million) earn $25,000 – $34.999; 13.6% (17.7 million) earn $25,000 – $49,999; 17.6% (21.6 million) earn $50,000 – $75,999; 11.9% (14.6 million) earn $75,000-$99,999; 12.4% ($15.2 million) earn $100,000 – $149,999; 5.3% (6.5 million) earn $150,000 – $199,999, and 4.8% (5.9 million) earn $200,000 and over. – census.gov (2013)

In addition, Mother Jones.com reported that the top 0.01% (12,300) families in the United States earn almost $25 million each on average annually compared to $29,840 for the bottom 90% (110.7 million families).

In conclusion, the evidence strongly suggests that there are NOT enough union workers in the United States to be a factor that would lead to higher unemployment rates or real estate values just because they get paid a few hundred more a month on average—no matter what the millionaires or billionaire oligarchs claim through their puppets, politicians and propaganda. Don’t forget, union workers earn more and have better benefits, because they have someone fighting for them—evidence that unions are doing their job.

Food for thought: In 1900, before there were strong labor unions and the Robber Barons ruled over most of America with corporate monopolies, 40% of Americans lived in poverty. And what about countries that have high labor union membership—for instance, three countries with the highest labor union membership in the world: Sweden and Denmark with 95% union membership and Finland with 85% membership. What do these countries have in common?

The answer: Sweden, Denmark and Finland all made the world’s 10 happiest countries list (the U.S. isn’t on this list) , according to this year’s World Happiness Report, that looks at earnings, living standards, employment, mental health and family stability. The report surveyed 158 countries

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

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