We told you so: legalizing marijuana increases pot usage among kids

From The Oklahoman:

Five years later, Colorado sees toll of pot legalization

Tuesday, November 14, 2017 | Colorado Springs Gazette Opinion

Last week marked the fifth anniversary of Colorado’s decision to sanction the world’s first anything-goes commercial pot trade.

Five years later, we remain an embarrassing cautionary tale.

Visitors to Colorado remark about a new agricultural smell, the wafting odor of pot as they drive near warehouse grow operations along Denver freeways. Residential neighborhoods throughout Colorado Springs reek of marijuana, as producers fill rental homes with plants.

Five years of retail pot coincide with five years of a homelessness growth rate that ranks among the highest rates in the country. Directors of homeless shelters, and people who live on the streets, tell us homeless substance abusers migrate here for easy access to pot.

Five years of Big Marijuana ushered in a doubling in the number of drivers involved in fatal crashes who tested positive for marijuana, based on research by the pro-legalization Denver Post.

Five years of commercial pot have been five years of more marijuana in schools than teachers and administrators ever feared.

“An investigation by Education News Colorado, Solutions and the I-News Network shows drug violations reported by Colorado’s K-12 schools have increased 45 percent in the past four years, even as the combined number of all other violations has fallen,” explains an expose on escalating pot use in schools by Rocky Mountain PBS in late 2016.

The investigation found an increase in high school drug violations of 71 percent since legalization. School suspensions for drugs increased 45 percent.

There’s more at the original, but here is what the opponents of “Amendment 64,” the Colorado ballot initiative which was passed in 2012, said at the time:

The more available a drug is, the more likely young people are to use the drug. Marijuana use among students already is on the rise. Suspensions for drug violations at Colorado’s public schools increased 45% over the past four years, expulsions for drug violations increased 35%, and referrals to police increased 17%. Among the most vulnerable group, ages 12 to 25, it is projected that the number of regular marijuana users will double.

In other words, exactly what the opponents said would happen, has happened.

It wasn’t supposed to happen that way, oh, no, certainly not. Amendment 64 restricted marijuana use to people 21 years of age and older, yet, somehow, some way, school-aged children, most of whom are minors, are demonstrating significantly greater marijuana usage.

Let’s be clear about this: adults wanting greater access to a psychotropic drug didn’t care if marijuana legalization made pot more available to kids. They knew, everyone knew, that the restriction to people over 21 was laughable, and would never work. After all, alcohol is prohibited to people younger than 21, but kids still get it.

Drug use is a horrible problem in our country, and the solution to that problem certainly isn’t making drugs easier to obtain.

The Success of Socialism: Part 10 — North Korean soldier infested with parasites

Remember, The Washington Post is not exactly a pro-Trump newspaper:

What the parasites in a defector’s stomach tell us about North Korea

By Cleve R. Wootson Jr. | November 19, 2017 | 1:49 PM

The North Korean defector had sped across the demilitarized zone in a stolen jeep, then crawled south as the men who had been his comrades moments ago shot at him with handguns and AK-47 rifles.

South Korean soldiers found the defector under a pile of leaves, bleeding from at least five gunshot wounds.

He was brought to doctors, who expected to find the soldier in bad shape. But what they also found when they opened him up gave the world a glimpse into just how bad things are in North Korea.

Doctors repairing the unidentified soldier’s digestive tract found dozens of parasites in his intestines. One of the suspected roundworms was nearly a foot long.

“I spent more than 20 years of experience as a surgeon, but I have not found parasites this big in the intestines of South Koreans,” Lee Cook-jong, who leads the team treating the soldier, told the Associated Press.

You can read the rest of the grizzly story at the Post original, but the highlights, plus some additional references, are that:

  • The Democratic Peoples’ Republic of Korea spends roughly 22% of its Gross Domestic Product on the military, while its people are malnourished;
  • 10.5 million people, or 41 per cent of the total population, are undernourished. Steady improvement in this has occurred since 2000, in part as a result of humanitarian assistance;
  • The New York Times reported that this is not an isolated case; many North Korean defectors are infected with parasites; 7 out of 17 defectors to the Republic of Korea were found with parasites;
  • A lack of chemical fertilizer has resulted in the use of human feces as a replacement, and this helps spread parasites; and
  • Even soldiers, who normally receive better food rations than civilians, are infested with parasites.
  • The BBC reported that North Korean men average between one to three inches shorter than South Korean males, and that, among adult Koreans, the height of South Korean women is approaching that of North Korean men, attributed to the poorer nutrition of people in the North.
  • An estimated 20.8% of North Korean children suffered from acute malnutrition in 1998, with 55.5% underweight and 63.9% classified as chronically malnourished. The situation has improved somewhat, but much of that is due to foreign assistance.

This is what socialism has done in Korea. South Korea is economically prosperous, while the same people, the same ethnic group, are stunted and malnourished, with the only real difference being the political and economic systems under which the divided peninsula operates. Yet this is to what the socialists in the United States aspire!

Capitalism is the only economic system we have ever known which has lifted more than a tiny minority — usually meaning: the men with guns — above the subsistence level; socialism/communism has managed to take prosperous nations, like Venezuela, back into poverty.

I am a hypocrite

Wombat_socho (Robert Stacey Stacy McCain’s site administrator and tech guru) responded to a tweet of mine:

Alas! That tweet points out that I have been a hypocrite on the Roy Moore matter . . . and that I intend to stay one.

Former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore, who defeated appointed Senator Luther Strange (R-AB) in the Republican primary for the special election to fill the Senate seat previously held by Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III1 has been credibly, though certainly not provably, accused of dating and trying to seduce a 14-year-old girl when he was a 32-year-old attorney. Stories in the media indicated that Mr Moore made a habit of dating younger girls, including girls still in high school, when he was in his thirties, and he even admitted such on the Hannity show.

Alabama GOP Senate nominee Roy Moore believes allegations that he pursued inappropriate relationships with teenage girls decades ago are “politically motivated” and says he doesn’t “remember dating any girl without the permission of her mother.”

The firebrand former jurist offered a tepid denial on Friday as he spoke out for the first time since he was accused of sexual assault and harassment against at least four teens.

Moore, now 70, flatly denied reports that he molested a 14-year-old girl in 1979, but wavered when asked about dating much younger women.

Moore said he doesn’t “remember dating any girl without the permission of her mother,” but admitted that he “dated a lot of young ladies” when he returned from the military, though “not generally” 16-or 17-year-olds.

You know, I call bullshit on that. I’m only six years younger than Mr Moore, I can remember every woman I’ve ever dated,2 and I have a difficult time believing that Mr Moore’s memory of his early dating life is as poor as he tried to make it seem. And let me be clear here: if a 32-year-old man was dating a teenager, he was trying to get into her pants, whether he succeeded or not.

“Allegations of sexual misconduct with her are completely false. I believe they’re politically motivated,” he said. “I believe they’re brought only to stop a very successful campaign, and that’s what they’re doing.”

Roy Moore

Roy Moore

It is certainly true that the left and the credentialed media3 are trying to sabotage his campaign. Mr More has twice run, and won, two statewide races for the state Supreme Court, and also run, and won, a difficult, statewide Republican primary campaign for the Senate nomination, yet, with all of those campaigns behind him, the allegations that he tried to seduce, and sexually touched, though being stopped short of copulation, a then-14-year-old girl never surfaced until he had won that primary, and it was only a month until the December 12th special election. It is an attempt by the Democrats to steal a Senate seat via a November version of the ‘October surprise.’ The Democrats will recall that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has whined complained bitterly4 about being the victim of such, with the famous Comey letter. Whether or not Mrs Clinton’s complaints that she would have won absent that letter are true or not — and that is unknowable — October surprises are an almost venerable political trick, some of which work, and some of which do not.5

But, November surprise or not, the question becomes: are the allegations true? We don’t know that they are, and were this a court of law, in which the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty, Mr Moore would have to be acquitted.  But it isn’t a court of law, and we are not bound by the standards of proof in a criminal trial; the voters of Alabama will take that decision on December 12th, regardless of what the pundits and newspapers and talking heads outside of Alabama say.

Of course, the left don’t really care about sexual assault, if it affects them! Lena Dunham, who said that all women have to be believed about such accusations, dismissed one against her friend.I was reminded of Roman Polanski, the infamous director and idol of the Hollywood glitterati, who said, after his conviction, and subsequent flight to raping a 13-year-old, as detailed in The Washington Post:

In 1979, he defended his rape of a child in an interview with novelist Martin Amis as something everyone wants to do.

“If I had killed somebody, it wouldn’t have had so much appeal to the press, you see?” the Telegraph quoted him saying. “But … fucking, you see, and the young girls. Judges want to fuck young girls. Juries want to fuck young girls. Everyone wants to fuck young girls!”

Interestingly, in an article written three years before the sexual assault revelations against Harvey Weinstein, Mr Weinstein is quoted as having “described the admitted rape as a ‘so-called crime.'”

Now, why am I a hypocrite on this? It is my opinion that most of the allegations against Mr Moore are true. I certainly don’t know that, but I believe it. Were this the primary, I’d be among the first to say, ‘Vote for Luther Strange!’

But it isn’t the primary, and the effect of not voting for Mr Moore is to hand the seat over to a Democrat.  And, to put it as bluntly as I can, I would rather see a man who may or may not have tried to fuck an underaged girl 38 years ago6 than a man who would fuck the whole country today sitting in the Senate.

And that is what this election has become.  Many of the defenders of Mr Moore see the allegations as untrue, but there are a lot of allegations, and his own admission that he was dating teenagers when he was in his early thirties lends credibility to those claims. I believe that many of them are true, despite one being pushed by the odious Gloria Allred, and thus there is some hypocrisy on my part in preferring a Moore win over losing the seat to Democrat Doug Jones. I hope, that if Mr Moore wins, the charges are investigated, and if there is merit behind them, he is expelled by the Senate, so that the Republican governor of Alabama can appoint another Republican to fill that seat.

That isn’t a comfortable position to take, but it’s one which has to be taken, for the good of the country. We cannot ignore the already slim Republican majority in the Senate, currently 52-48; if Mr Jones is elected, that drops to 51-49. That’s one fewer vote the GOP has to get things done, and I have speculated before that, if that became the case, Senators Bob Corker (R-TN) and John McCain (R-AZ) might switch to the Democrats, to give them the majority, just because they hate President Trump so much. That would mean no more judicial nominations pass, and nothing would get done without the Democrats’ consent.

So, yes, I’m being a hypocrite here, but it is hypocrisy born of necessity.
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Cross-posted on RedState.
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  1. I always use Mr Sessions full name in the first instance, because it is the best Southern name ever!
  2. Which is, admittedly, not a large group.
  3. Please pardon the redundancy.
  4. As recently as yesterday, Mrs Clinton was still questioning the legitimacy of the 2016 election results.
  5. The deliberately delayed release of Governor George W Bush’s (R-TX) DUI charge didn’t quite cost him the 2000 election, though it just might have led to his popular vote loss. And in 2004, CBS News conspired to withhold the forged Killian documents until October, but The New York Times got hold of the story as well and broke it in September. The earlier-than-planned breaking of the story gave the Powerline and Little Green Footballs blogs time to demonstrate that the documents were forged.
  6. As a Catholic, I am supposed to have a forgiving attitude concerning sin, but for sin to be forgiven, first it must be admitted; Mr Moore has not admitted to any wrongdoing.

Hold them accountable!

William Teach of The Pirate’s Cove talks about the California school shooting rampage:

According to the Brady Campaign, California is the state with the most gun restrictions. They have 8 laws on “assault weapons” and magazine size. Eleven on background checks. Seven on high risk gun possession. Twelve on buyer regulations. Seven for possession. Eighteen for domestic violence. The Washington Post Editorial Board seems to forget this:

Don’t be relieved only five people died in California. Be enraged.

By Editorial Board | November 15, 2017 | 7:36 PM

So inured has this country become to mass shootings that when another person with a semiautomatic weapon goes on a rampage, we’re conditioned to focus on reactions, rather than root causes. In the case of an incident in Northern California on Tuesday, we feel gratitude that quick action by school officials saved children’s lives, that police acted heroically and that this time only five people were killed. Yet what ought to be foremost is rage at the refusal of lawmakers to take action that might prevent these needless tragedies — and a renewed demand for sensible gun-control regulations, including a ban on assault weapons and comprehensive background checks with better enforcement.

There’s more at the original, with Mr Teach documenting the Pyrite State’s restrictions on firearms, all the kind of things the Post’s Editorial Board wants to see done. But what got to me was a paragraph Mr Tech quoted, from a different source, further down:

(Newser) The man who killed five people in a shooting rampage in California on Tuesday was banned by court order from owning firearms—and police are being criticized for failing to take action after neighbors in Rancho Tehama Reserve complained that he had been firing hundreds of rounds. At a press conference Wednesday, Tehama County Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston said Kevin Janson Neal refused to cooperate with investigators, the Sacramento Bee reports. “He was not law enforcement friendly. He would not come to the door,” Johnston said. “You have to understand, we can’t anticipate what people are going to do. We don’t have a crystal ball.” Neal was out on bail after being charged with assault in January.

So here you had a man, banned by law and court order, from possessing firearms, and the authorities not only knew that he had them, but had been firing ‘hundreds of rounds,’ yet they did nothing. From the referenced article in The Sacramento Bee:

At least twice, (Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston) said, deputies placed the home under surveillance in hopes that he would emerge, but he never did. . . . .

Tehama County Superior Court records show he was charged in the January incident with assault, false imprisonment, battery and other charges in connection with an attack on two women in his neighborhood. He was accused of firing shots at the two women, stabbing one of them, and “holding them hostage for a period of time,” District Attorney Gregg Cohen said Wednesday. Neal was released on $160,000 bail.

Cohen said in a video news release Wednesday that the protective order was issued in late February, after Neal was released on bail and the two women he was accused of assaulting filed a complaint. “The two victims were scared and concerned (about) Neal attacking them,” Cohen said. “Neal harassed them repeatedly since being out on bail by repeatedly calling the California Department of Forestry, or Cal Fire, and claiming that he smelled smells, believing them to be manufacturing methamphetamine.”

So, you have a violent man released on bail, with two women complaining about his actions after being released on bail, and neighbors complaining that he was firing off hundreds of rounds of weapons, and the most that deputies did was set up video surveillance of his home, because he was ‘not law enforcement friendly’ and wouldn’t ‘come to the door’? There should have been a warrant for his immediate arrest, and the house put under siege until he surrendered. Instead, because the Tehama County Sheriff’s Department didn’t do their f(ornicating) jobs, five people are now stone-cold graveyard dead!

Who will be held accountable for this? Sheriff Dave Hencratt is directly responsible for the failure of his department to take the necessary and legally justified actions to place Kevin Janson Neal under arrest, to have him locked up when he should have been locked up, and because he failed to do his job, five people are dead. Will Sheriff Hencratt pay for his negligence by being brought up on criminal negligence charges? Will he at least be fired? Will anyone who was negligent in doing his duty be punished in any way?

This is what happens when judges, prosecutors and law enforcement personnel get lazy, don’t want to do their jobs when things get a bit tough or inconvenient, or allow plea bargains and lenient sentences. It doesn’t happen every time, but in too many cases, innocent people die because others don’t do their jobs.

It’s pretty clear to me: Sheriff Hencratt should be fired, at the very least, along with the rest of the supervisors in his department. If they can be brought up on criminal charges, they should be. They should be personally sued into penury by the families of the victims, though that’s probably impossible under the law. They need to be made examples of, so that other judges, prosecutors and law enforcement personnel get the message, and stop coddling criminals and start enforcing the law.
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Cross-posted on RedState.

The Success of Socialism: Part 9 — #Venezuela is in default

From CNN Money:

Venezuela just defaulted, moving deeper into crisis

by Patrick Gillespie | November 14, 2017 | 8:10 AM ET

Venezuela, a nation spiraling into a humanitarian crisis, has missed a debt payment. It could soon face grim consequences.

The South American country defaulted on its debt, according to a statement issued Monday night by S&P Global Ratings. The agency said the 30-day grace period had expired for a payment that was due in October.

A debt default risks setting off a dangerous series of events that could exacerbate Venezuela’s food and medical shortages.

If enough holders of a particular bond demand full and immediate repayment, it can prompt investors across all Venezuelan bonds to demand the same thing. Since Venezuela doesn’t have the money to pay all its bondholders right now, investors would then be entitled to seize the country’s assets — primarily barrels of oil — outside its borders.

Venezuela has no other meaningful income other than the oil it sells abroad. The government, meanwhile, has failed for years to ship in enough food and medicine for its citizens. As a result, Venezuelans are waiting hours in line to buy food and dying in hospitals that lack basic resources.

There’s more at the original, but it calls into question the wisdom of Goldman Sachs, which made a big Venezuelan bond buy last May:

Goldman Sachs Bought Venezuela’s State Oil Company’s Bonds Last Week

Sale comes as embattled government of President Maduro struggles to raise funds

By Kejal Vyas and Anatoly Kurmanaev | Updated May 28, 2017 10:19 p.m. ET

CARACAS, Venezuela— Goldman Sachs Group Inc. GS +0.09% bought about $2.8 billion in Venezuelan bonds that had been held by the oil-rich country’s central bank, a lifeline to President Nicolás Maduro’s embattled government as it scrambles to raise funds in the midst of widening civil unrest.

The New York-based bank’s asset management division last week paid 31 cents on the dollar, or about $865 million, for bonds issued by state oil company Petróleos de Venezuela SA in 2014, which mature in 2022, according to five people familiar with the transaction. The price represents a 31% discount on the trading Venezuelan securities maturing the same year.

It was a great bargain . . . as long as Venezuela actually pays up. With yesterday’s news, you’d think they’d be worried, but $GS, which lost $2.47 per share overnight (1.04%) had rebounded by 11:00 AM this morning.

In the end, Venezuela stands as a stark reminder: socialism always fails as an economic system. The country has the world’s largest proven petroleum reserves — though Venezuela’s ‘heavy, sour’ crude is somewhat less valuable, due to the additional refining expenses — and it has still gone broke. Venezuela has, in effect, been importing other people’s money, and it is still going belly up, unable to feed its people at home or pay its debts abroad.

Democrisy! “Responsible Wealth” want other millionaires to pay higher taxes No mention is made as to whether they voluntarily contribute more

The tweet caught my eye:

And it led me to the story:

More than 400 millionaires tell Congress: Don’t cut our taxes

By Heather Long | November 12, 2017 | 7:44 PM

More than 400 American millionaires and billionaires are sending a letter to Congress this week urging Republican lawmakers not to cut their taxes.

The wealthy Americans — including doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs and chief executives — say the GOP is making a mistake by reducing taxes on the richest families at a time when the nation’s debt is high and inequality is back at the worst level since the 1920s.

The letter calls on Congress not to pass any tax bill that “further exacerbates inequality” and adds to the debt. Instead of petitioning tax cuts for the wealthy, the letter tells Congress to raises taxes on rich people like them. It is being released publicly this week, as Republicans debate legislation that would add $1.5 trillion to the debt to pay for widespread tax cuts for businesses and individuals.

The letter was put together by Responsible Wealth, a group that advocates progressive causes. Signers include Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, fashion designer Eileen Fisher, billionaire hedge fund manager George Soros, and philanthropist Steven Rockefeller, as well as many individuals and couples who aren’t household names but are part of the top 5 percent ($1.5 million in assets or earning $250,000 or more a year). .  .  .  .

While the House and Senate bills have substantial differences, both cut taxes, on average, for many millionaires and billionaires. The Senate bill even cuts the top tax rate for couples earning more than $1 million (and individuals earning over $500,000) from 39.6 percent to 38.5 percent.

The White House and congressional Republicans argue that everything in the bill is geared toward pumping more investment into the U.S. economy. They say the money that corporations and the rich save on their taxes would likely be used to start new companies or build new factories.

There’s more at the original.

I have not supported the Republican tax cut proposal, even though it would personally benefit me. I have stated that we need to cut spending first, cut it not just to the bone, but into the bone. The First Street Journal had many articles condemning the huge deficits run under President Obama, and the Editor does not believe that deficits are somehow better or more acceptable because a Republican in in the White House. I have already noted that continual deficit spending, during good times as well as bad, has taken us completely away from Keynesian ideas and has, in effect, inoculated our economy to any projected benefits from stimulus. Constant stimulus has already been figured in to our economy.

However, when I see political ploys like this, with some more liberal millionaires saying, “Don’t cut our taxes, please raise our taxes,” I know that they are actually saying, ‘raise other people’s taxes.’

Why? Note the button on the left: If you click on it, it will take you to pay.gov, and where you can make a gift to reduce the public debt; you can voluntarily pay more in taxes, and if Responsible Wealth members believe that they ought to pay more in taxes, they can, right now, without anyone stopping them, without anyone else’s permission.

Well, we don’t know if the members of that august organization voluntarily paid more in taxes. We do know that Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who believes that not only are corporate taxes not too low, but that they should be raised, had the opportunity to voluntarily pay a higher state tax rate in Massachusetts, but chose not to do so. Massachusetts allows people to voluntarily choose to pay a higher rate of 5.85% rather than the required 5.3%. “I paid my taxes and did not make a charitable contribution to the state,” she said. Dr Warren is considered as one of the probable candidates for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

Most of us can remember how 2004 Democratic vice presidential nominee, and candidate for the 2008 presidential nomination, former Senator John Edwards (D-NC), used a ‘S Corporation’ loophole to avoid roughly $600,000 in taxes; Mr Edwards campaign theme was “Two Americas:

Well, let me tell you how we’re going to pay for it. And I want to be very clear about this. We are going to keep and protect the tax cuts for 98% of Americans — 98%. We’re going to roll back — we’re going to roll back the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. And we’re going to close corporate loopholes.

The hypocrisy of the American left is astounding. I’ll believe that they are honest when they start paying more in taxes voluntarily.

All of the economic projections for the proposed tax cut are wrong, and wrong to the optimistic side

Recessions-HistoricalWe noted, just prior to the election, that the United States has gone a rather long time since the last recession. The ‘Great Recession’ technically ended after the second quarter of 2009, though the persistence of high unemployment and the very slow growth rates of the economy certainly made it feel like it was still going on for several more years. But, using the technical definition only, the United States has gone 8 years and three months since the last recession ended, and the longest period since the end of the Depression that we have gone without a recession is ten years. By that metric, we should fall into recession by the third quarter of 2019, still within Donald Trump’s first term, though predicting the timing of the business cycle is, quite frankly, a matter of pure guesswork. There will be someone who gets it right, by pure dumb luck, and then you’ll see all sorts of ads on social media telling you how absolutely brilliant he was, and therefore you need to buy his book, so that you can be ready for unparalleled security and economic prosperity.

The President’s Council of Economic Advisers published an economic analysis of the proposed tax cut/tax reform plan last month.  It’s full of references and other gobbledygook that you have to be an economist to understand, but, in conclusion, the CEA states:

In the foregoing analysis, we have cited a wide range of academic studies demonstrating that reductions in corporate tax liabilities have significant positive short – and long -run effects onGDP growth and wages, in particular by lowering the user cost of capital and thereby inducing higher investment in capital formation, financed principally by increased capital inflows. On the basis of these studies, we have calculated that a reduction in the statutory Federal corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent simultaneously with the introduction of immediate full expensing of capital investment would generate an increase in GDP ofbetween 3 and 5 percent in the long run. Studying the impact of this growth on the typical household, we again find that the average household would, conservatively, realize an increase in wage and salary income of $4,000.

That’s over ten years, of course.  How about this one:

While a full analysis of the individual side of the Unified Framework is premature at this time, a final factor to consider when thinking about the impact of tax reform on the welfare of our citizens is the likely impact of marginal personal income tax rate changes on pre-tax incomes. In this section, we sketch this additional factor using genera; economic principles frequently covered in the literature.  Changes in personal income tax rates can affect both pre-and-post-tax income. The simplest intuition for the pre-tax income changes is that individuals must make decisions regarding how much labor to supply based on the income which might be earned from that labor compared to the opportunity cost of working. A reduction in the marginal tax rate on earned income provides a bigger incentive to work. That is the substitution effect of labor taxation. On the other hand, rate reductions on individual income will reduce tax payments and increase net income. This increase in household net income may trigger the so-called “income effects’ of lower tas rates because households will likely want more leisure time as their income rises, all else equal. The empirical literature has come to the general conclusion that labor supply elasticities for prime age males are near zero.  However, other segments of the population — in particular married women — are more responsive to changes in marginal tax rates; for women, the substitution effect outweighs the income effect.

That is a paragraph full of weasel words like “intuition,” “may,” “likely,” and “general conclusion.”

CBO estimates, projected Gross Domestic Product

CBO estimates, projected Gross Domestic Product

The Council of Economic Advisers referenced, as a baseline, the Congressional Budget Office’s Update to the Budget and Economic Outlook, 2017-2027. The chart to the right indicates the CBO’s estimates, based on current law, not changes if the tax cut is passed. The rate of GDP growth is, however, nominal GDP, which does not account for inflation; the CBO projected a GDP price index inflation rate of 1.9% from 2018 through 2020 and 2.0% 2021 through 2027, which reduces real GDP growth to the 1.6 to 1.9% range.

Why did I include that? Because in no year does the CBO, just like the CEA, figure in a recession! Yet, if there is no recession before the end of 2027, we will have gone 18½ years between recessions, blowing the current record of ten years out of the water. Does anyone believe that there won’t be another recession between now and the end of 2027?

There is, of course, a very good reason for the CBO not to figure in a recession. If they included one in, say, 2019, not only would they be engaging in the kind of economic speculation that has always been beyond economists’ capability, but they would be negatively impacting private economic activity, as some people would see such a projection as, hey, 2019 is going to be a bad year, and adjust their economic behavior in such a way that it could trigger a recession.  The CBO specifically state, on page 8:

CBO’s projections do not incorporate explicit business-cycle developments; rather,they include a growth rate of real GDP that reflects underlying trends in the economy’s capacity to produce goods and services.

Even that is too generous, given that a recession occurs when the economy’s capacity to produce goods and services significantly exceeds the demand for goods and services; businesses fail and people lose their jobs because those businesses and employees depend upon a demand for their business that isn’t there.

There are many competing estimates on the economic impact of the proposed tax cut plan. The Tax Foundation, which always advocates for lowered taxes, has a particularly optimistic one. The National Federation of Independent Businesses supports the plan. But the truth is that nobody knows what the tax cut plan will do. The most optimistic projections have it increasing the deficit by $1.496 trillion over the next ten years. But without a recession figured in, there is no way to have any certainty that the deficit impact will be that low. The deficit exceeded $1 trillion the first four years under President Obama, as he was attempting to deal with the recession and slow growth; the next recession could easily add just as much deficit spending as the last one.

Whatever the estimates are, they are wrong, and without a recession figured in, they are all wrong to the low side of the deficit, and the high side of economic growth.

Learning to Thrive after Divorce

Learning to Thrive after Divorce

There is no question that divorce is a challenging time in an individual’s life. There are many emotions that one goes through as they make this change. Learning to live as a single individual, learning to live with different habits, and learning to change the way that one sees finances and other aspects of life can be challenging, especially if they were married for many years.

Getting through the actual divorce process is made easier when using the best Tampa divorce attorney available. A good divorce attorney is going to understand what steps must be taken in order to protect their client in the short-term as well as see to it that the client has what is needed to get the most out of life afterward.

Once the entire divorce proceedings have finished and once the client and their attorney part ways, now it’s up to the divorced individual to continue to do positive things to keep their life moving in the right direction.

During the divorce process, it is common for people to feel grief that is akin to losing someone. This is why it’s best to keep busy and keep their mind off of stress as they’re going through this challenging phase of life. This is important not only for the individual going through the divorce but also for any children who they might have. It is key that they remember they are important, their emotional well-being is important, and the well-being of their children is important. This means taking a little bit of time every single day to do something special for themselves.

Many have said that simply taking 10 minutes a day doing something like reading a book, going on a walk, or sipping a good cup of tea has been enough to help them remember their value and remember their worth as they are going through the divorce process. The happier an individual is while going through a divorce, the happier their family will be after.

One of the huge challenges people face in continuing to live a positive life during and after the divorce proceedings is learning to get rid of bitterness. Holding onto bitterness will only hold one back, and it will prevent them from moving forward. Moving forward and looking forward mean getting rid of “what if’s” and “if only’s.” Sure, there will be some challenging days, but there will be more positive days than negative days. There are millions of people who can attest to the fact that it is possible to have a positive and happy life after a divorce.

We are amused

From The Hill, not exactly a right-wing news site:

Protesters scream at the sky to mark anniversary of Trump’s election

By Brett Samuels – 11/08/17 08:18 PM EST

People across the country gathered Wednesday night to scream into the sky to mark the anniversary of President Trump winning the 2016 election.

Thousands were expected to attend events planned in New York City, Philadelphia, Dallas and other major cities. The idea was self-explanatory, as people came to public gathering places, looked to the sky and let out a yell.

And now from PJ Media, which is a conservatively-oriented site:

WATCH: Liberals Gather to Scream at the Sky

By Debra Heine | November 8, 2017

As promised, anguished snowflakes are gathering tonight in approximately 25 cities to “scream helplessly at the sky” in protest of President Trump’s election.

Several entertaining videos of the histrionics have emerged.

One from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania:

And a couple from Washington Square Park in NYC:

NYT All the NewsOddly enough, a site search of The New York Times failed to turn up any articles on this silly event; I suppose that it wasn’t news that was fit to print. :)

When I first heard of this ‘event,’ my first reaction was no, even the left aren’t that stupid, wouldn’t really do something this dumb. Had Hillary Clinton won the presidential election, conservatives wouldn’t have organized an event like this; we’d have done what we could to limit the damage of a [shudder!] Clinton presidency, but we wouldn’t have acted like the spoiled brats of today’s left. When President Obama nominated then-Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) to become Secretary of State, the GOP didn’t filibuster her confirmation, the way the Democrats tried — and failed, thanks to the ‘nuclear option’ Harry Reid put in place in 2013, to the Democrats regret in 2017 — to do with President Trump’s cabinet appointments, but joined in a bipartisan confirmation vote of 94-2.

However, the left have their freedom of speech, and every right to protest President Trump in any way they see fit. And conservatives have every right to film their silliness, and mock them for it.