The Evolution of a National Burden – Part 4/7

The federal debt did not start with Presidents Ronald Reagan, H. G. W. Bush, G. W. Bush or Barrack Obama. The federal debt started in 1790 when the first Treasury Secretary, Alexander Hamilton, stabilized the dollar and refunded the debts incurred by the states fighting the Revolutionary War (1775 – 1783).

  • America’s first war cost $101 Million (equal to $2.52 Billion in 2012). The first federal debt caused by the revolution was 35% of GDP or $75.4 million ($1.885 Billion in 2012).
  • The War of 1812 (ended 1815) cost $90 million ($1.6 Billion in 2012).

By 1834, nineteen years later, the debt from America’s first two wars had been paid down to $33.7 thousand (equal to $886,984 in 2012).

  • Next came the Mexican War (1846 – 1849), and it cost $71 Million ($2.08 Billion in 2012).
  • The Civil War (1861 – 1865) pushed the federal debt to $3.2 Billion ($45 Billion in 2012).
  • The Spanish American War (1898-1899) cost $283 Million ($9 Billion in 2012)
  • The Philippine-American War also known as the Philippine War of Independence (1899-1902). During the suppression of this war of independence against the US, 200,000 to 1.5 million Filipino civilians were killed; there were 12,000 – 20,000 Philippine military casualties, and 4,165 US military dead. The US would not grant independence to the Philippine state until 1946. The cost of this war was $600 million (equal to $15.8 Billion in 2012)

To pay off debt and fund the growing pains of a nation becoming an expanding global empire, Congress passed the 16th Amendment to the Constitution on February 3, 1913 establishing Congress’s right to impose a Federal income tax.

Note: The Inflation calculator used  for this series of posts may be found at Dave Manuel.com, and the primary source for government spending was US Government Spending.com

Continued on December 6, 2012 in The Evolution of a National Burden – Part 5 or return to Part 3

Also discover Each President’s share of the US National Debt and learn more from the National Debt Info-Graphic by President 1945 – 2012

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

The Evolution of a National Burden – Part 3/7

If you have heard or read, as I have, that the US Founding Fathers did not support universal health care for Americans, it helps to compare medical care then with today and then remember that the Founding Fathers wrote a Constitution that was flexible and designed to change with the times as the country grew.

In fact, when the US Founding Fathers wrote the US Constitution, there wasn’t one country on the planet that had universal health care.

The first country that would have a universal health care system was Germany with Otto von Bismarck’s social legislation in 1883 (almost one hundred years after the adoption of the US Constitution).

Next was the UK when she passed the National Insurance Act in 1911 marking the first steps toward universal health care covering most employed persons and their financial dependents and all persons who had been continuous contributors to the scheme for at last five years.

As you have now learned, in 1787, the concept of universal healthcare did not exist anywhere in the world, so how could America’s Founding Fathers be against something that did not exist?

In 1792, America’s population was 4.2 million and its GDP was $223 million, the cost of defense was $1.2 million (.5% of GDP); interest on the Federal debt was $2.3 million (1% of GDP), the deficit was $1.4 million (.6% of GDP), and the national debt was $77.2 million (34.6% of GDP).

There was no welfare spending probably because 95% of Americans lived in rural America and produced most of the food they consumed from farming and/or hunting. If you live in a log cabin or a sod hut that you built and you grow or hunt the food you eat, is there a need for food stamps?

Today, 79.2% of Americans live in urban cities and do not grow or hunt the food they eat. These people buy food from markets.

In fact, less than 1% of America’s population claims farming as an occupation. The number of farms in the US is about two million. Source: EPA.gov

In addition, life expectancy in 1790 was age 34.5 for males and 36.5 for females, and “the views held by 18th century physicians are very different from those held by medical practitioners of today. Physicians in the 18th century had no knowledge of bacteria, germs, or viruses, nor of the fact that disease was spread by them. Therefore, they did not practice sterilization, or personal or hospital hygiene. … (and) Many people lived too far away from any doctors to use their services, and other people did not have access to doctors because of social customs or beliefs.” Source: US History.org

However, today, life expectancy in the US is about age 75.7 for males and 80.8 for females. Do you know how that increase in the average life span came about?

In the 218 years since 1792, the nation has changed dramatically. Today we have paved roads, railroad, airports, hospitals, electricity, X-ray machines, Cat Scans, MRIs, antibiotics, nuclear weapons, missiles, passenger aircraft, lasers, modern medicine, the Internet, etc.  In 1792, heat came from burning coal or wood and light came from candles. Most people went to the bathroom in an outhouse if there was one available. For most of the US, there was no toilets, running water, sewer systems, etc.

In addition, the first commercial electric power transmission in the US came near the end of the 19th century. Availability of large amounts of power from diverse locations would become possible after Charles Parsons’ production of turbogenerators beginning in 1889.

In 1792, there was no federal pension programs for old people such as federal employee retirement and disability ($119.9 Billion today); Social Security ($706.7 Billion today and funded through a worker-employee tax trust paid for by working people).

Did the nation need a national health care plan, retirement and  Social Security programs when the average person would be dead by age 35? Did anyone even think about it back then?

Beyond the occasional local community supported one-room school house, there was no state or national education systems. But the nation changed, and in 2010 the federal budget cost of public education was $139.4 Billion ($113.2 Billion was paid to the states by the federal government) and state and local costs of public education were $872 Billion funded by state and local taxes such as sales tax and property tax.


Does welfare make Americans dependent and do we have a welfare state in America today?
The answer is NO!

By 2010, America’s population was 308.7 million (compared to 4.2 million in 1792); its GDP was $14.5 Trillion; the cost of defense was $847.2 Billion; interest on the federal debt was $196.2 Billion; and although there was no socialist, life-time cradle to grave welfare system in the US (did you watch the above video?), the cost of welfare was listed as $502.3 Billion that is explained in detail by the CRS overview of federal welfare spending.

We often hear about the cost of big government. Well, the cost of running the federal government in 2010 was only $24.7 Billion for a federal work force, not counting the military or judicial system (federal courts), of 2.8 million people or 0.9% (less than 1%) of the total US population .

Sixty-four thousand work in the federal judicial system and 1.6 million serve in the military fighting America’s endless wars. By June of 2012, the civilian federal work force was down to 2.2 million or  .7% (still less than 1%) of the current 314.8 million US population.

From The Encyclopedia of Earth we learn that, “The tax mechanisms used during the first 150 years or so of U.S. tax history bears little resemblance to the current system of taxation. First, the U.S. Constitution restricted “direct” taxation by the federal government – meaning taxes directly on individuals. Instead, the federal government relied on indirect taxes including taxes on imports (tariffs) and excise taxes. Tariffs were the major source of U.S. government receipts from the beginning of the nation up to the early 1900s. For example, in 1800, custom duties comprised about 84% of government receipts. Internal federal revenue collections (which exclude tariffs on imports) as recently as the early 20th century were primarily derived from excise taxes on alcohol. In 1900 over 60% of internal revenue collections came from alcohol excise taxes with another 20% from tobacco excise taxes.”

As you have discovered, the source of federal government revenues has changed dramatically the last 200 years as the country changed along with the needs of her people and military.

For example, the cost of a musket to arm one US solider in 1792 would have been $250 to $500 in today’s money. For a comparison, a legal fully automatic M16 assault weapon used by US troops that has been registered with the ATF, and can be transferred to a private citizen currently sells for about $16,000, plus a $200 transfer tax.

The cost of one Nimitz-class aircraft carrier runs about $4.5 billion. The original USS Constitution, also known as Old Ironsides, was launched in 1797 and cost about $300,000 to build ($5.45 million in 2012).

Note: The Inflation calculator used  for this series of posts may be found at Dave Manuel.com, and the primary source for government spending was US Government Spending.com

Continued on December 5, 2012 in The Evolution of a National Burden – Part 4 or return to Part 2

Also discover Each President’s share of the US National Debt  and learn more from the National Debt Info-Graphic by President 1945 – 2012

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

The Evolution of a National Burden – Part 2/7

Do not confuse living in poverty with not working.

For example, in April, 2012, The Huffington Post reported., “In 2010, the number of working poor Americans climbed to its highest level in the last two decades, the Department of Labor reported last week . About 10.5 million Americans, or 7.2 percent of the labor force in 2010, weren’t earning enough to stay out of poverty, according to a Department of Labor report released last week. That’s the highest rate since the Labor Department started reporting the statistic in 1987.”

“To provide broader picture of 2010, during that year, 46.2 million Americans or 15.1 percent of the population were earning below the official poverty line—an annual income of $10,830 for a single person and $22,050 for a family of four, according to the Census Bureau.”

In the CRS overview of federal welfare spending even the $55.6 Billion refundable earned income tax credit was counted as welfare.  Another $164 Million listed as welfare went to fund programs for Breast/Cervical Cancer Early Detection in addition to $5.54 Billion for Indian Health Services (Do you remember the treaties the US signed with defeated American native tribes back in the 19th century?)

Also listed as welfare was the $353 Million the federal government spent for Transitional Cash and Medical Services for Refugees in addition to $6.594 Billion in temporary cash aid for needy families.

This one may surprise you—it surprised me: Water and Water Disposal for Rural Communities was listed as welfare, and that service cost the federal government $121 million in 2011.

There is also $2 Billion in nutrition assistance for Puerto Rico and another $848 million in nutritional programs for the elderly.

In fact, there are ten food assistance programs listed as welfare that add up to $101.28 Billion (not cash but food).

Then there is education assistance that is counted as welfare. For example, paying for the education of American natives living on indian reservations (those 19th century treaties again) cost the US $753 million and that is but one of sixteen active education programs that cost $65.7 Billion but is listed as welfare.

In addition, “Those receiving benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program numbered 46.37 million …” but “the average monthly benefit per person has declined modestly to $132.96.” Source: CNBC.com

Can you survive on $132.96 a month? Many of Wal-Mart workers can’t!

Infowars.com reported, “As many as 80% of Wal-Mart employees use food stamps.… ‘Wal-Mart’s poverty wages force employees to rely on $2.66 billion in government help every year, or about $420,000 per store. In state after state, Wal-Mart employees are the top recipients of Medicaid.

“Wal-Mart workers’ reliance on public assistance due to substandard wages and benefits has become a form of indirect public subsidy to the company. In effect, Wal-Mart is shifting part of its labor costs onto the (tax-paying) public.'”

The Walton family is one of the richest families in the world and their wealth was inherited from Bud and Sam Walton, founders of the world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart. The Walton family controls 48% of the company and are worth a combined total of $102.7 Billion (as of 2012).

And Wal-Mart is not alone. Time.com reported, “There’s a disturbing irony within the food industry: Many of its employees rely on food stamps … and 86% of workers are earning either subminimum, poverty or low wages.”

On October 15, 2012, Statistic Brain.com reported that the total number of Americans on Welfare was 4.3 million and 38.8% (1.67 million) were white; 39.8% black (1.7 million); 15.7% Hispanic (675 thousand); 2.4% Asian (103.2 thousand) and 3.3% other.

However, there are 40.34 million blacks and 47.4 million Hispanics in the US.

In addition, “A household must earn $37,105 a year to afford the national average two-bedroom fair-market rent of $928 a month. A full-time worker would have to make $17.84 an hour to afford the average 2 bedroom if no more than the recommended guideline of 30 percent of income is spent on housing.”

“A household must earn over $66,000 to afford a 2-bedroom in San Francisco or Honolulu, but only $24,800 for a 2br apt in Fargo, North Dakota.” Source: The World Time News Report

However, Wal-Mart’s average sale Associate makes $8.81 per hour, according to IBIS World, an independent market research group. This translates to annual pay of $15,576, based upon Wal-Mart’s full-time status of 34 hours per week. This is significantly below the 2010 Federal Poverty Level of $22,050 for a family of four, and the median expected salary for a typical Combined Food Preparation and Service Worker in the United States is $23,153.

The US Census Reported that 41 million working men and 60 million women earn less than $25,000 annually, and/or the income of 30 million households is less than $25,000.

If you hear a blame-everything-on-welfare critic claim that nonworking deadbeats in addition to most blacks and Hispanics are living off welfare, now you know the facts and cannot be fooled.

Note: The Inflation calculator used  for this series of posts may be found at Dave Manuel.com, and the primary source for government spending was US Government Spending.com

Continued on December 4, 2012 in The Evolution of a National Burden – Part 3 or return to Part 1

Also discover Each President’s share of the US National Debt and learn more from the National Debt Info-Graphic by President 1945 – 2012

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

Each President’s share of the US National Debt

The series of posts on the National Debt keeps growing. I spent months researching the topic in an attempt to understand its history and evolution.

My first draft of this series of seven posts was at least three-times longer than the final copy. It is confusing enough, so I cut.

However, this morning I awoke wanting to know how much of the national debt each president and his congress was responsible for.

The reason I do not blame just the presidents is because each president submits the annual budget to Congress and Congress may add to or subtract from what the president requests. Then Congress must vote to enact the budget and the president signs it into law. Then there is the mandatory part of the budget and the discretionary portion. The president and Congress, without cooperation, cannot do much about the mandatory section of the budget such as Social Security.

For the sake of simplicity, I did not attempt to do the math to discover the exact amount each president (except G.W. Bush and Obama) is responsible for beyond his term in office, because if President Truman is responsible for $8.6 Billion of today’s $16.3509 Trillion national debt, then he is also responsible for the annual interest on that $8.6 Billion and the interest compounded annually on that interest for sixty years. If someone wants to figure that out, be my guest.  But first, you would have to know what the interest rate was for each year of those sixty years after Truman left office and the interest seems to change every three months.

For example, I found a post at Intellectual Take Out.org on the interest rates of the national debt starting in 1970 (you may notice that the interest rate has been as high as 14% and as low as 0.1%.  At the end of 2010, the interest was 1.7%).

Each President’s (and his Congress) share of the National Debt

  • Truman’s share of the National Debt was $8.6 Billion.
  • Eisenhower’s share was $5.6 Billion.
  • Kennedys share was $3.3 Billion.
  • LBJ’s share was $9.3 Billion.
  • Nixon’s share was $54.6 Billion.
  • Ford’s share was $48.4 Billion.
  • Carter’s share was $168.8 Billion.
  • Reagan’s share was $2.2376 Trillion.
  • G. H. W. Bush’s share was $1.143 Trillion.
  • Clinton’s share was $74 Billion.
  • G. W. Bush’s share was $6.3002 Trillion.
  • Obama’s share is currently about $2 Trillion.

THE DETAILS OF THE RESEARCH:

When Harry Truman became president (1945 – 1952), the National Debt from World War II was $260.1 Billion. The Interest on the debt during Truman’s term as president was $32.6 Billion. Truman was responsible for about $8.6 Billion of that interest.

The National debt Eisenhower (1953 – 1960) inherited from President Truman in 1953 was $266 Billion—an increase of $5.9 Billion. During Eisenhower’s term as president the interest on the debt was $44.8 Billion. Eisenhower was responsible for about $5.6 Billion.

The debt Kennedy (1961 – 1963) inherited from Eisenhower in 1961 was $292.6 Billion—an increase of $26.6 Billion. The interest on the debt during Kennedy’s years as president was $14.4 Billion.

The debt LBJ (1963 – 1968) inherited from Kennedy after his assassination in 1963 was $310.3 Billion—an increase of $17.7 Billion. The interest on the debt during LBJ’s years as president was $55.3 Billion. LBJ was responsible for about $9.1 Billion.

The debt Nixon (1969 – 1973) inherited from LBJ in 1969 was $365.8 Billion—an increase of $55.5 Billion. The interest during his term was $74.7 Billion. Nixon is responsible for about $11.2 Billion.

The debt Ford (1974 – 1976) inherited from Nixon in 1971 was $483.9 Billion—an increase of $118.1 Billion. The interest during his term was $70.9 Billion. Ford is responsible for $6.7 Billion.

The debt Carter (1977 – 1980) inherited from Ford in 1977 was $706.4 Billion—an increase of $222.5 Billion. The interest during his term was $160.5 Billion. Carter is responsible for about $40.9 Billion.

The debt Reagan (1981 – 1988) inherited from Carter in 1981 was $994.8 Billion—an increase of $188.4 Billion. The interest during his term was $910.6 Billion, and Reagan was responsible for about $360.2 Billion.

The debt G. H. W. Bush (1989 – 1992) inherited from Reagan in 1989 was $2.878 Trillion—an increase of $1.8832 Trillion. The interest during his term was $747 Billion, and he was responsible for about $71 Billion.

The debt Clinton (1993 – 2000) inherited from G. H. W. Bush in 1993 was $4.351 Trillion—an increase of $1.474 Trillion. The interest during his four year term was $1.6097 Trillion, and he was responsible for about $201 Billion.

The debt G. W. Bush (2001- 2008) inherited from Clinton in 2001 was $5.7699 Billion—an increase of $1.419 Trillion. The interest during his term was $1.291 Trillion, and he was responsible for about $234 Billion.

The debt Obama (2009 – ) inherited from G. W. Bush in 2009 was $11.8759 Billion—an increase of $6.106 Trillion. The interest during Obama’s first term in office was $833.0 Billion, and he is responsible for about $86.3 Billion.

In December 2012, at the end of President Obama’s first term, the National Debt had increased to $16.3509 Trillion—an increase of $4.475 Trillion.

However, President Obama inherited two wars. To be fair, the cost of those wars since he has been in office was subtracted from the total that he contributed to the national debt along with the interest that goes with the cost of the wars. Obama also inherited the 2007-08 global financial crises, and TARP funds were approved during G. W. Bush’s presidency so that amount was also added to Bush.

  • In 2009, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan cost $155.1 Billion.
  • In 2010, the cost was $171.0 Billion.
  • In 2011, the cost was $170.7 Billion.

G. W. Bush’s Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) of October 2008 started out at $700 Billion but was reduced to $475 Billion by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Act in July 2010, and President Obama signed it into federal law.

In addition, Fact Check.org says, “The truth is that the nearly 18 percent spike in spending in fiscal 2009 — for which the president is sometimes blamed entirely — was mostly due to appropriations and policies that were already in place when Obama took office.

“That includes spending for the bank-bailout legislation approved by President Bush. Annual increases in amounts actually spent since fiscal 2009 have been relatively modest. In fact, spending for the first seven months of the current fiscal year is running slightly below the same period last year, and below projections.

“Obama can be fairly assigned responsibility for a maximum of $203 billion in additional spending for that year. (2009).

“It can be argued that the total should be lower. Economist Daniel J. Mitchell of the libertarian CATO Institute — who once served on the Republican staff of the Senate Finance Committee — has put the figure at $140 billion.

Total spending for G. W. Bush’s last two budget years was $2.9825 Trillion for 2008 and $3.5177 Trillion for 2009 (President Bush requested $2.7 Trillion, but Congress enacted $3.518 Trillion).

For 2010, President Obama requested $3.552 Trillion, and Congress enacted $3.721 Trillion. For Revenue, Obama requested $2.381 Trillion, and Congress enacted $2.165 Trillion,

In 2011, Obama requested $3.834 Trillion, and Congress enacted $3.630 Trillion. For Revenue, Obama requested $2.567 Trillion, and Congress enacted $2.314 Trillion.

In 2012, Obama requested $3.729 Trillion, and Congress enacted $3.796 Trillion. For Revenue, Obama requested $2.627 Trillion, and Congress enacted $2.469 Trillion.

In conclusion, President Obama requested $667 Billion in revenues that Congress did not enact and Congress spent $32 billion more than Obama requested for 2010 – 2012. One could argue that Congress was responsible for $699 Billion in spending for those years—not President Obama.

Who do you think contributed the most to the National Debt?

Note: The primary source for government spending was US Government Spending.com and the US Government Printing Office

Start with The Evolution of the National Burden – Part 1

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

Nate Silver, Winning Elections and Planned Obsolescence – Part 2/2

Yes, it is true that cheap products are produced in China but quality products come from China too, and the level of quality, low or high, usually has to do with an American company—not China. If you hire someone to dig a hole in a field and you tell them to dig it two-feet deep when it should have been ten, is it the fault of the worker or the employer?

In fact, Americans invented the idea of planned obsolescence. The Economist says, “Planned obsolescence is a business strategy in which the obsolescence (the process of becoming obsolete—that is, unfashionable or no longer usable) of a product is planned and built into it from its conception.”

To have a better understanding of product quality from China, you may want to read this from Dan Harris at the China Law Blog. At the end of his post, he offers six points of advice on doing business with China, and one of them says, “Keep monitoring production quality, make sure to get written and signed records, and do not lower your standards for any reason (if possible).” This advice is offered to American companies wanting do do business in China.

Then I decided to see if I could come up with some stats and facts to compare the quality of US products with goods made by foreign companies.

I Googled, “poor quality products made in the United States of America”  and ran into a hoard of sites bashing China for making poor quality products.

I didn’t ask for China but that’s what I got. Any site that mentioned America only bragged about how great Made in the USA was—I suspect that reaction of the politically correct mob is just misguided patriotism on steroids.

It’s great to love your country, but what about honesty?

There had to be a way to compare products made by US companies with those made by foreign companies, so I decided to search for lists that compared the quality of products by brand name. For example: cars.

Why did I decide on cars?  Easy.  I owned a new Ford Taurus once and a part/bracket was installed backwards at the factory that caused the brakes and tires to wear out every three to five thousand miles. It took more than a year and many dealer visits to discover the problem and have it fixed. After that experience, I bought a Toyota and still drive one.

And mainstream Western brands (for example: GM and Ford) builds vehicles in China with Chinese partners, but only for sale to China’s emerging middle class, which has created the world’s largest auto market.

I guess what I did next makes me not only a statistcs junkie but a facts junkie. For example, the top 10 highest quality cars of 2011, according to Forbes using the Initial Quality Study from J. D. Power and Associates, were:

1. Lexus LS (Japanese)

2. Lexus ES 350 (Japanese)

3. Porsche 911(German)

4. Hyundai Equus (South Korea)

5. Mazda Miata (Japan)

6. Ford F-150 (America)

7. Acura TSX (Japan)

8. Lexus GS (Japan)

9. Honda Accord (Japan)

10. Lexus IS (Japan)

11. Porsche Panamera (German)

I’m old enough to remember when Americans complained about Japan stealing jobs from the US and producing poor quality products—that is until Japan started to beat America by building better cars.

Did you notice that only one on the best quality list was made by an American corporation? However, for J. D. Power’s list of worst quality cars, twenty-one American vehicles made those lists. Source: The Car Connection.com

Small Sedans and hatchbacks:

1. Chevrolet Aveo

2. Chevrolet Cruze

3. Dodge Caliber

4. Ford Fiesta

Crossovers and SUVs:

4. Cadillac SRX

5. Dodge Journey

6. Dodge Nitro

7. Ford Edge

8. Ford Escape

9. Ford Expedition

10, Ford Explorer

12. Jeep Liberty

16. Lincoln MKT

17. Lincoln MKX

Minivans and Pickup Trucks:

1. Chevrolet Silverado HD

2. Dodge Ram 1500/2500

3. GMC Canon

Sedans and Luxury Sedans:

5. Buick La Crosse

6. Buick Regal

7. Chrysler 200

8. Dodge Charger

I suggest that anyone with an opinion about anything, on China for example, do some homework before jumping on any politically correct bandwagon probably being pulled by an ignorant, illiterate or functionally illiterate and/or lazy mob manipulated by American companies shifting the blame for poor products to China

After all, “Bashing China is an easy card to play,” says Andy Serwer, managing editor of Fortune Magazine.

Don’t forget Nate Silver’s advice: “It’s about looking for the right data, not necessarily the most obvious or easiest,” and after we looked at the data, we discover that American companies are selling a lot of poor-quality American cars and trucks to the Chinese.

Did you know that GM now sells more new cars in China than it does in the U.S? In 2011, GM sold 2,547,171 million vehicles in China, and Ford sold 519,390 (an increase of 7% over 2010).

In addition Sema.org says, “Chinese consumers practically worship prestigious brand names, and Jeep still carries a certain swagger in the People’s Republic of China,” wrote Mike Dunne, president of the Dunne & Co. consultancy, in Automotive News.

Chrysler currently sells the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Wrangler, Compass and Patriot models in China. All are imported, which boosts the price considerably because of an import tax.

Return to Nate Silver, Winning Elections and Planned Obsolescence – Part 1

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

Discovering the four Koch Brothers – Part 2/3

In 1999, Bill Koch blew the whistle on Koch Industries when they stole nearly 2 million barrels of oil from American Indian reservations. Source: Bloomberg

Bloomberg reported, “Koch Industries is obsessed with secrecy, to the point that it discloses only an approximation of its annual revenue—$100 billion a year—and says nothing about its profits.”

“One Koch brother fought against the civil rights movement, and Charles and David Koch have supported the Tea Party. (The Tea Party movement has sponsored protests and supported political candidates since 2009, after Barack Obama was elected president of the US. Many of the issues that the Tea Party movement protests existed under Caucasian presidents. Where was the Tea Party movement then?)

“In 1980, David Koch ran for vice president on the Libertarian ticket, pledging to abolish Social Security, the Federal Reserve System, welfare, minimum wage laws and federal agencies—including the Department of Energy, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Central Intelligence Agency.

“A Bloomberg Markets investigation found that Koch Industries—in addition to being involved in improper payments to win business in Africa, India and the Middle East—has sold millions of dollars of petrochemical equipment to Iran, a country the U.S. identifies as a sponsor of global terrorism.

“From 1999 through 2003, Koch Industries was assessed more than $400 million in fines, penalties and judgments.”

What I have quoted from Bloomberg’s story on Koch crimes is not the entire list. You will have to click on the link to Bloomberg to discover the rest. It is a VERY long list.

Continued on November 7, 2012 in Discovering the four Koch Brother – Part 3 or return to Part 1

View as Single Page

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

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Discovering the four Koch Brothers – Part 1/3

If you doubt the cause of global warming, believe the public schools are failing, or label people as liberals because they do not support all far-right conservative Tea Party candidates and issues, then you may be a patsy of the billionaire Koch brothers.

The definition of “patsy”:

1. A person who is easily cheated, victimized, etc.

2. A person who is gullible and easy to take advantage of

3. A person who is tricked or swindled.

Before the 2012 Presidential election, I had never heard of the Koch brothers. A few months ago, as the election heated up, I started to learn who these billionaire brothers were and how dangerous they were to freedom and the quality of life as it exists in America today.

I think that most of the votes that will be cast for Mitt Romney will reveal how many easy to fool patsies there are in the United States. These patsies are the people that are targeted by the Koch brothers and their billionaire allies.

I find it interesting that Koch is pronounced the same as Coke, because Coke (the sugary drink called Coca-Cola) is responsible for many lifestyle diseases today and cocaine, also known as coke, is an addictive drug, a destroyer of lives and a killer. In fact, in 1891, cocaine was part of the formula for Coca Cola. Source: Snopes

Bloomberg reported the details of the billionaire Koch brothers’ crimes mentioned in Part 2.

View as Single Page

Continued on November 6, 2012 in  Discovering the four Koch Brother – Part 2

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

What does Mitt Romney and The Poison Dwarf have in common?

If you read this blog regularly, you already know about Romney and Ryan and their win in the Malarkey contest during the debates ending with a malarkey score 233% above the Obama-Biden Malarkey score. Source: Ranking Romney and Obama

However, the latest lie told in Ohio is HUGE. It seems that the GOP candidate for president is following the advice of Adolf Hitler’s minister of propaganda, Dr. Joseph Goebbels, also known as “The Poison Dwarf”, who said, “If you tell a lie BIG enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. …” Source: The Holocaust Research Project

There are several battleground states where Obama and Romney are so close in the polls that there is no way to predict a possible winner. Those states are: Colorado (9 Electoral Votes), Florida (29), Iowa (6), Michigan (16), Nevada (6), New Hampshire (4), North Carolina (15), Ohio (18), Pennsylvania (20), Virginia (13) and Wisconsin (10).

Together, those states add up to 146 Electoral Votes and Romney now has 191 and needs 79 more to win the election.

To tilt the vote in his favor, he has leaned heavily on telling BIG lies and repeating them to influence people to vote for him. His latest BIG lie is a claim that Chrysler will be moving Jeep production to China, and it will cost thousands of American jobs.

Not only has the Obama campaign been forced to respond in costly ads to counter this lie but the President of Chrysler had his public relations chief release a blistering reply calling Romney’s claims an “unnecessary fantasy.”

Fiat-Chrysler’s CEO Sergio Marchionne rebutted the claim as well, and wrote, “That (the) Jeep’s factory workforce in the United States had grown from 4,700 in 2008 to 9,300” and, “Jeep production will not be moved from the United States to China.”

But according to Justin Hyde at Motoramic, that has not stopped Romney’s campaign from repeating this BIG lie in Ohio in a last ditch attempt to influence voters.

I wonder how many BIG lies Romney and Ryan are spreading in the other battleground states.

I think trust must be earned through loyalty and honesty. If Romney is willing to practice Dr. Joseph Goebbels’ advice and spread this much malarkey to win the White House and become the next president of the United States, can anyone in America trust this man?

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

The danger behind trick or TREAT at Halloween

While I enjoy seeing kids and adults in cute Halloween costumes, I abhor the TREAT factor of Halloween. As an ignorant child, teen and then younger adult, I went trick or treating, wore costumes and went to Halloween Parties. As a teacher and an adult, I was Richard Nixon more than once on Halloween, and one time in the late 1970s I was Aunt Jemima with black face paint—that would probably be politically incorrect today but there were no complaints in the 70s.

However, the last time we gave out treats, they were small boxes of sweet, organic raisins. Then a few weeks later, a neighbor accused me of being cheap because we did not hand out treats drenched with processed sugar. I’m talking about those bulk bags full of miniature Snickers, Twix, M&M’s, Juicy Fruits, Tootsie Rolls, Oh Henry!, Butterfinger, Starbursts, Hershey’s, Reese’s, Skittles, Kit Kat, Milky Way, etc.

Thirty years of teaching kids that consumed too much sugar is the reason why we stopped handing out sugar laced treats on Halloween. I witnessed what too much sugar did to my students—too much hyper energy, then lethargy leading to inattention and mood swings. It is a real challenge to teach a student that drank a sixty-ounce Pepsi for lunch and comes to class with glazed eyes.

I’d be willing to offer treats again but if I did it would be the apples on one tree in our back yard. By the time Halloween rolls around, the organic apples on that tree are crisp and sweet, but I doubt many of today’s children or teens would be willing to take the time to hike up our hillside backyard and pick one or two apples from the tree.

In fact, many children and teens of today even hate drinking water because it isn’t sugary sweet.

In the UK, according to The Telegraph, “Almost half of children say they do not eat any fruit or vegetables every day, according to a new survey.”

In the United States, the numbers are much worse. According to the US Department of Health & Human Services, “Only 21 percent of young people (in the US) eat the recommended five or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day,” while “Soda consumption increased dramatically in the early to mid 1990s. Thirty-two percent of adolescent girls and 52 percent of adolescent boys consume three or more eight ounce servings of soda per day.”

CBS News reported, “According to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control, kids are getting way too much added sugar in their diets and that could raise their risk for obesity and chronic diseases.

“Consuming added sugars has been tied to an increased risk for heart disease among adolescents and cholesterol problems,” according to the CDC.

In addition, “The amount of sugar consumed is still extraordinarily high,” Dr. Robert Lustig, professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco, told WebMD. “The amount is still so far over what any rational physician, dietitian, or government agency would have us be eating.”

The American Heart Association says, “Today, about one in three American kids and teens is overweight or obese, nearly triple the rate in 1963. With good reason, childhood obesity is now the No. 1 health concern among parents in the United States, topping drug abuse and smoking.

“Among children today, obesity is causing a broad range of health problems that previously weren’t seen until adulthood. These include high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and elevated blood cholesterol levels. There are also psychological effects: Obese children are more prone to low self-esteem, negative body image and depression.”

Diabetes affects all parts of the body, particularly adult onset diabetes. If left uncontrolled, it becomes a killer, which destroyed every organ in the body—including the heart and brain. According to the American Diabetes Association, 25.8 million adults and children in the United States have diabetes and another 79 million are pre diabetic.

Are you a parent? Do you encourage your children to get into the Halloween spirit, wear a costume and then walk door to door filling a bag with sugary candy? If the answer is yes to both questions, do you really love your children?

The leading five companies that make and sell candy and soda employ more than 40,000 workers and have annual revenues of $40 billion. This industry has spend hundreds of millions of dollars on lobbying in Washington DC to stop any proposed consumer protection regulations. Source: IBIS World.com and Sunlight Foundation.com

Discover My Vegan Journey to Health or learn how to Avoid the Mainstream Parenting Trap

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

Wars and Unbridled Capitalism Cause National Bankruptcies—not socialist policies!

John, in a comment at Right Punditry.wordpress.com, said, “Point I can’t get a liberal to answer … give me one example where socialist policies have not eventually driven that country into bankruptcy.”

My answer was China.  However, when I attempted to leave a longer comment with more evidence with linked citations, this right-wing political site seems to have limited the number of words one may use in a comment.

What I have discovered over time is that most far-right conservatives spout opinions supported by emotion and malarkey.  To respond to these emotional rants usually requires longer comments and/or posts.  It is easy to claim anything without facts and much more difficult and time consuming to respond with logic and facts to reveal the truth.

After a few days, it occurred to me that there must be a history of countries going bankrupt and the reasons that led to those financial collapses, so I used Google.

First, I found a list of ten countries that went bankrupt at Bill Shrink.com, but could not find one on the list that failed due to socialist policies. In fact, the evidence indicates that the primary reason a country goes bankrupt is usually unbridled, unrestricted capitalism and greed.

When the private sector is given too much freedom from government oversight to make money, greed and risk taking overrules common sense.

From BillShrink.com I learned that in 2001, Argentina’s bankruptcy was caused by a run on its banks followed by a collapse of the country’s national currency.

In 2008, Iceland was a casualty of America’s 2007 global financial crisis. The value of Iceland’s currency dropped so low that it wasn’t worth enough to pay for imports on which the country is heavily dependent.

Another reason for countries going bankrupt is too many expensive wars. Germany went bankrupt in 1920 and 1945 as a result of losing World War I and World War II.

In addition, Great Britain faced bankruptcy in 1945 as a result of fighting World War II. So ravaged was the British economy following the war that almost all national resources were dedicated to paying war debts for five full years after its completion. On another site, I learned that the last payment on that World War II debt was made in 2008.

That caused me to consider that the US has spent more than $40 Trillion on defense since the end of World War II but less than $10 Trillion on socialist welfare programs, and America funded the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with borrowed money.

Such stories are sobering reminders that national bankruptcy is very real, and has happened repeatedly throughout history to nations that fail to take proper precautions. The origin of socialist policies started with the French Revolution of 1789. Then the Communist Manifesto was written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in 1848. In the last third of the 19th century, social democratic parties emerged in Europe and started to push socialist policies.

In fact, Common Dreams.org reports that the three happiest countries in the world for quality of life are Social Democracies: Denmark, Finland and the Netherlands, ranked 1st, 2nd and 3rd, respectively. Two other Social Democracies ranked 6th and 8th: Canada and New Zealand. The U.S. didn’t make the top 10 list. http://www.commondreams.org/further/2009/05/11/worlds-happiest-countries-social-democracies

However Spain went bankrupt seven times in the 19th century. In addition, France has become insolvent eight times between 1500 and 1800. Ecuador has gone bankrupt six times since 1830.

From another site, I learned more details about why a few of these countries went bankrupt.

Futurist Speaker.com says, “In Argentina’s case in 2001, wealthy people took their money and fled the country. Over $40 billion left the country in one single night. This resulted in a run on the banks, followed by a collapse of the country’s national currency. Argentina’s citizens were so desperate, many panicked that many spent nights sleeping in front of the automated teller machines.

“Iceland, a tiny country with just under 320,000 residents, was the first domino to fall in the 2008 global financial meltdown, when its banks defaulted on $85 billion.

“Iceland was hit harder by the crisis than many other countries because of its inflated banking system. In just five years, the banks went from being almost entirely domestic lenders to major international financial intermediaries.

“Unbeknownst to most of the population, the country basically turned itself into a massive hedge fund. The whole nation was caught up in a web of deception.

“Spain, once one of Europe’s economic superstars, rose to the top largely through real estate speculation and its growing assimilation with the rest of the EU.”

Again, socialist policies are not mentioned as the cause of these bankruptcies. Instead, it seems that the cause is unbridled, unrestricted capitalism—the same policies the GOP promoted in 1999 that led to the 2007 global financial crises, and the same policies that brought on The Great Depression of 1929.

Historically, wars and unbridled capitalism causes national bankruptcies—not socialist policies, not yet anyway. In fact, socialist policies are a way to avoid rebellions such as the French, Russian and Chinese rebellions and civil wars. With socialist policies, we avoid the poor from suffering to the point of an uprising due to suffering and anger.

The United States could learn from history to avoid a national bankruptcy. For example: Republican President Herbert Hoover refused to use socialist policies during the Great Depression. “(He) did not think the federal government should offer relief to the poverty-stricken population. (Instead, he focused) on a trickle-down economic program to help finance businesses and banks” … When Hoover asked the CEO’s of large private sector businesses and banks to help the unemployed and poor, he met resistance, because the private sector believed the way to solve the Great Depression was to fire workers. “Hoover was widely ridiculed: an empty pocket turned inside out was called a “Hoover flag;” the decrepit shantytowns springing up around the country were called “Hoovervilles.” Source: PBS.org

Studies have estimated that thanks to Herbert Hoover refusing to use socialist policies to feed the unemployed/poor that more than seven-million Americans died of starvation during the Great Depression. Source: Infowars.com

Today, thanks to socialist policies known as welfare, few starve to death in the US. The cost to feed unemployed and poor Americans for 2012 was $113.5 billion. The average monthly food stamp benefit per participant in the US is $133.84. The budget for unemployment is $109 billion. The cost of Defense is $902 billion. Source: US Government Spending.com and State Health Facts.org

The national average for unemployment benefits in the US was $293 per week according to the MSN Money website. That’s 35 percent of an average salary in America reports USA Today. Then Bloomberg reported that almost 2,400 millionaires collected unemployment benefits of the 11.3 million Americans that collected unemployment in 2009.

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

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

2014 Florida Book Festial and Comment by Writers Digest JudgeLOW RES Biographies and Autobiographies for the 2014 Southern California Book Festival

2014 London Book Festival

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. 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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