“I haven’t heard one single person be supportive of it,” said an Army staff sergeant at Fort Hood who asked not to be identified by name.
Click on the pie chart over there to the right for a series of three charts summarizing the opinions of the men and women in America's armed forces concerning air strikes on Syria, whether President Obama's proposed military intervention in Syria is in America's national interest, and whether or not Congress should pass a resolution on military action against Syria.
From AON which provides insurance for all types of risk from Errors and Omissions to Terror.
Click on the map for a nice interactive that identifies specific risks within specific countries.
Take note of Uruguay, minions ... if you can find it ... and then reflect on both the broadness and the depth of the wisdom that resides within your Uncle Roany.
I just love Uruguay.
If you recall some time ago we took note of the fact that despite the relentless increase in America's yearly "investment" in education, results as measured by standardized test scores remain in decline.
You don't really have to recall, here's the stuff.
You may remember that at the time, we offered the following thought,
Then, in our last post we took note of a profound increase in women entering the labor force.
After which, we offered the following opinion, "We view this in and of itself as neither a good thing nor a bad thing." although the remarkable visual similarity between declining test scores above and the Husbands Only working line below is ... well ..... remarkable.
We do view it as is a thing.
More important, we see this thing on a daily basis as this just is how things are nowadays.
This much bigger thing ..... IOHO ..... we also see on a daily basis, as this is also how things are.
And while we're on the subject, single parent families account for over half the total of America's welfare recipients, while two parent families accounted for around 5% in 2010.
And family income is the single most powerful predictor for success on standardized academic achievment tests.
Apologies for the fuzzy image, it is however worth the eye strain as there is some good stuff in there.
Our conclusion here is that you should now be in a position to draw your own set of conclusions.
But ......... What to do? What to do?
Later for all of that, we're still bitching.
We've gone over much of this before, but it most certainly bears repeating.
Good news, the "headline" unemployment number is in decline as both the seasonally adjusted and unadjusted rates are well below 8%.
As an aside, you might not want to totally trust the "headline" unemployment number as it has been tinkered with over the last 5 or so administrations in order to make things appear more rosy than they are.
The unemployment rate is calculated as a percentage by dividing the number of unemployed individuals ... that would be the numerator ... by all individuals currently in the labor force ... the denominator.
If you recall from fourth grade, both the numerator and denominator have something to do with establishing a ratio.
In this case a significant part of the "improved" unemployment rate has to do with people just flat out leaving the labor force ... the denominator.
Total labor force participation has declined to levels last seen in the early 80s with no sign in the chart of even an intermediate bottom being established.
As an aside, the average duration of unemployment presently blows the doors off any period since we started caring about such things.
Remembering here that numerator and denominator thing, an item that cannot be ignored is the increased participation of women in the labor force since the middle 60s.
You can see below that the percentage of men in the labor force has declined from the high 80s to 70%, while the percentage of women in the work force has increased from the low 30s in the early 1960s to the high 50s having topped out at 60% during the late 1990s.
That's some pretty serious pushing and pulling on the total labor force participation rate, not to mention the social fabric of the nation.
We view this in and of itself as neither a good thing nor a bad thing. But because at the very least we attempt to deal with whatever is around here, we take note of the fact and conclude that America damn well needs to create more jobs than it ever has before in order to accomodate an increased demand from women for employment regardless of total labor force participation.
Or ... and better yet ... America needs to somehow decrease labor's demand for employment without adding to the number of people on the dole.
While simultaneously increasing employer's demand for labor.
That one there is pretty much a definition for the word conundrum.
You should try dwelling on that some until the headache starts to develope.
And speaking of people on the dole.
If you haven't been hanging around here lately, you may be asking yourself, "Just what exactly is it that all of these people who are no longer in the labor force are doing for money?"
We've gone through this one before, but it also bears repeting,
Lots of them are going on disability. The first chart is old news as it extends only from 1970 to 2002. This following is charting dollars spent rather than the number of people collecting and is measured in 2003 dollars in an attempt to take inflation out of the view.
These next two charts demonstrates the percentage of working age population receiving disability insurance benefits.
It extends through the present and projects increases well into the future.
They are also collecting food stamps.
SNAP is the acronym for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
It continues to set records for both total participants at over 43,000,000 people and rate of participation of just under 14%.
The Obama years have been a particular disaster but the trend was already in place.
You might well be asking yourself here, "What to do? What to do?"
Later for that ..... today we're just bitching.
Apologies again for being slow posting.
We've been deep thinking.
We've posted this one before in a different format and couldn't find it, so here it is again,
As always, you can click on the graphic below for a full screen image.
After top level bankers and CEOs of international corporations, the best faith to be practicing in America lately of course is government worship, as it's priests and accolytes are among the highest paid faithful in the nation.
From the Mercatus Center of George Mason University, America is #2 (not 32 as incorrectily posted previously ... thanks Carolyn) in K-12 spending per student as compared with the other nations making up the Orgaization of Economic Development and Cooperation.
While student performance continues to lag.
The argument in America from teachers unions is that lower class sizes will improve results.
Maybe not so much.
Things gets worse as we consider the costs and performance of the fine colleges and universities of our fair land.
Again, from Financial Sense.com here's an inflation comparison of College Fees and Tuitions, Medical Care, Cost of a New Car, Food and Energy.
Students are paying for wildly inflated college costs by going into debt and are subsequently defaulting in huge numbers.
Why are they defaulting, you might ask?
Increasingly, despite what the Powers That Be keep telling you, college ain't worth the money.
Speaking of college.
Everybody hates lobbyists, lying politicians excluded, and probably rightfully so.
Among the reasons that schools at all levels are killing us with costs while failing at their job is the $1.2 Billion dollars the education lobby has showered on public bodies since 1998.
Which of course pales in comparison to the $5.3 Billion Pharma/Healthcare etc. has shelled out on the same public bodies, which should serve as an explanation as to why our healthcare system and Obamacare have both turned out to be such ....... what is the word I am looking for here? ....... abortions.
You may ask yourself, why is it that lobbying the government is such a great business?
That's where the money is.
That's all for today.
We've had some complaints.
No maps or charts for far too long.
It's true, we've been remiss mostly because maps and charts involve doing work, and we haven't been all that keen on doing work lately.
So ..... ok.
We begin with some old stuff.
Here are county by county election results for the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections.
The "mandate" Democrats want everyone to believe they have is for the most part limited to urban communities which as you will see below, have been and continue to grow.
Republicans have been methodically taking control of state governments lately.
Americans continue to get fatter, but then so does everybody else who keeps tabs on such things.
"Subjective Well Being" seems to be fair to middling with the exception of Russia, large swaths of Africa and of course, Afghanistan, Somalia and Iraq where seemingly nobody gives a rat's patootie one way or the other.
We particularly liked the part in this piece about the prominent UK politician who argued that "It’s time we admitted that there’s more to life than money, and it’s time we focused not just on GDP, but on GWB – general well-being."
Your habitually cynical Uncle Roany is of the opinion that there can be no finer goal for a politician than one that can't possible by measured.
The links to the map sources at Technovelgy.com have broken which was a disappointment as when we first went through them we thought the criteria to be even more obtuse than we had originally guessed it might be.
Still, we thought it was an excercise worth attempting and we remain pretty sure that happier is better.
This next one from the CIA's World Factbook is also a bit tricky as it maps the percentage of a nation's population living below the poverty line of that nation. It comes with the following qualifier,
"National estimates of the percentage of the population falling below the poverty line are based on surveys of sub-groups, with the results weighted by the number of people in each group. Definitions of poverty vary considerably among nations. For example, rich nations generally employ more generous standards of poverty than poor nations."
The following is The Fraser Institute's Freedom of the World 2007 map. I couldn't pull the 2012 map from the site for some reason. It's not like much has changed except for the U.S. going backwards. Click on the map below for the entire report for which the criteria is somewhat less obtuse than that behind the "Subjective Well Being" map above.
A very simple explanation of global economics is next.
Apologies for the fuzzy text.
Here's a different kind of map.
Unicef's An Urban World offers percentages of each individuals country living in town.
Click on the map for a quick and informative presentation.
Speaking of the world, it is for the most part opposed to the Obama Administration's fondness for killing people via missile attacks launched from drone aircraft.
Americans are slowly coming around to a similar line of thinking.
Slowly being the operative word.
As financial costs and freedoms lost continue to add up.
Government spending continues to climb regardless of Administration.
The silliness of President Obama regarding his tax and fiscal policies can be demonstrated in the following two charts.
A high percentage of Americans pay no taxes at all and over half of U.S. households are now "on the dole" for at least a part of their income.
Middle class or former middle class households have been pouring onto U.S. entitlement roles adding to deficits and crowding out the poor in a scramble for benefits.
When they tell you that wages are in decline, they ain't kidding.
Almost finally, the Fibonacci number or ratio sometimes known as the "Golden Ratio" is forever showing up all around you.
Among the better examples of it appearing in nature are shells.
In mathematics, Fibonacci numbers, Fibonacci series or Fibonacci sequence are numbers in the following sequence.
0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89 ......
Where the first two numbers in the Fibonacci sequence are 0 and 1, and each subsequent number is the sum of the previous two.
Or by formula Xn = X n -1 + X n-2.
It doesn't matter. Here's what it looks like.
Anyway, Fbonacci showed up again just recently off the coast of New York as Hurricane Sandy.
And finally, speaking of blowing hard.
Remember this chart the next time one of the talking dolls at CNN/MSNBC or anywhere else for that matter start talking about the housing recovery.
We've been collecting maps for the past month or so.
Many will link you up to the story from which they were taken should you wish to pursue it.
We'll start with the Heritage Foundation's 2012 Index of Economic Freedom.
Since 1995, The Heritage Foundation has published this index, the criteria for which is based on the theories of Adam Smith concerning the relationship between freedom, personal liberty and prosperity exressed most notably in his famed book The Wealth of Nations first published in 1776. To quote The Heritage Foundation, "The Index has brought Smith's theories about liberty, prosperity and economic freedom to life by creating 10 benchmarks that gauge the economic success of 184 countries around the world."
The index dropped across the board in 2012 as the U.S. dropped out of the top five and ranks #10 for 2012. This is probably not a suprise to anyone paying any real attention to the world around us.
The US does however maintain it's status as the world leader in incarcerated ciizens.
Again, you can click on the map for somebody's very nicely done infographic built from information taken from public prison administration records of 184 (I think) nations around the globe. The original compiler is unclear.
It seems likely that Russia, China, Saudi Arabia and probably some others are fudging their numbers down some.
This may shock you, but governments sometimes lie about stuff.
But I digress.
Here's a slightly different approach as this "map" from Unicef links to an outstanding interactive that demonstrates the rate of gtowth of "Urban" Population" in the nations of the world. You really should click on the image as we found this one to be way interesting.
Getting back to that "Economic Freedom" thing, world per capita gross domestic product for the most part trends with economic freedom.
As does "happiness" or and thus "happiness" ..... take your pick.
Along with suicides.
They have their thinking on this issue at Suicide.org who created the map, we're blaming it on that "Urbanization" thing referenced above.
On a more cheerful note, people all over the world are getting fatter.
Saudi Arabia wasn't a suprise, but Jordan, Iraq, Iran and South Africa were ..... at least to us.
World literacy continues to improve.
That's it for today.
To quote Tony Kornheiser,
This one has been going around pretty good the past couple of days ..... as well it should.
Throw in all those good people who have moved through that "Revolving Door" between Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and the Treasury Department, The Federal Reserve Bank and the President's Council of Economic Advisors over the past 30 years, not to mention the CIA, and the hint of a question begins to develope.
Could it be that the problems in the United States and Europe have less to do with differences between Democrats/Republicans or Conservatives/Liberal/Progressives, but rather are a result of the policies forced on the people by parasitic bankers?
Click on the map for the original 2011 piece from from the Independent from which this map was originally taken detailing some history about the Goldman alumnae already in power throughout Europe.
I told you it was good.
It seems your pants are lying through their zipper about the size of your waistline.
Click on the chart for the article.
Damn, is all I gotta say.
On account of us having barely even put a dent in the pile of stuff we've collected recently, here's a little more.
Since it's the morning after the second debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney in their contest to determine the next President of the United States, and the subject of "taxing the rich" is bound to have come up, let's start with tax rates.
Romney's 2011 tax rate was significantly lower at about 13.6% than was Obama's at about 21%.
Romney's giving exceeds that of Obama by a score of 29% to 24%.
At the risk of being accused of beating a dead horse, we think everybody should be paying the same rate after a substantial personal deduction and that charitable giving should only be an issue if some selfish little turd who gives next to nothing out of his personal account happens to be running for the office of Vice President.
We know this and are positive that you know it as well, but it is certainly worth repeating.
Charts like statistics can be fudged, as is pointed out in these two views of America's 'housing recovery.
We posted these two a while back.
Both employment/population and the labor force participation rate of men are in serious decline.
Not to worry though as our government with money provided by the American people supplies many, many, many of our poorest and less fortunate souls with food, clothing and shelter in abundance.
The following depiction accurately ... we think ... conveys how we determine who it is that needs the most help providing for their own living arrangements.
Fair is fair.
And many Americans need this help as large percentages of the American people have less than a $100 cash reserve for emergencies.
Part of the problem might just be that the value of the unit in which people are getting paid, the dollar, declines in value year after year after year after year after ......
Yeah, yeah you've seen this one before.
While the rate of change in average hourly earnings is also in decline.
I believe that we have mentioned that those scalawags over there at the government are living large.
We're guessing that not one word of any of this with the exception of that "tax the rich" thing was mentioned last night.
Out of time ..... gotta scoot.
We have got the stuff today as we've been collecting without a post for probably the better part of three weeks now.
So, in no particular order of importance,
Recent Natural Gas pricing offers a primer on the law of supply and demand as supply of Nat Gas drilling rigs rises and falls with the price of Nat Gas.
Prices for Liquid Natural Gas swing wildly from continent to continent as intercontinental transport of Natural Gas remains difficult, expensive and likely dangerous.
Some people took a less serious approach to the Presidential debates than did others.
While President Obama's epic poor performance in the first debate may not cost him the Presidency it most certainly has destroyed what little confidence the country had left in the abilities of the Telestrator in Chief.
When The New Yorker is taking cover shots at a sitting Democrat President, you gotta think all credibility is lost.
Spain has moved past debate as it's rate of unemplyment moves into the mid 20s. The real dark red in the map below is Spain for those of you who are geographically challenged.
The light blue smack in the middle of Europe is Germany, who I'm thinking would really like to stay that color.
"Recortes Son Necesarios" translates as "Cuts Are Necessary" in reference to austerity measures allegedly being implemented by the Spanish governmnent.
We trust you can grasp the meaning in the artwork.
Unbelievably to us among many, the Nobel Committee awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union despite the violence captured in the photos below.
We happen to be very comfortable laying the blame for that violence directly at the feet of the European Union, among some others.
Which award following that for President Obama inspired the following special offer.
Speaking of unemployment, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the unemployment rate has fallen from 8.1 % in August to 7.8% in September on the strength of some 870,000 plus new jobs 563,000 of which were part time.
This number has been widely mocked as cooked.
While not evidence of cooking on the part of the Labor Department, the following chart of the September Monthly Change to Workers Aged 20-24 reveals the first and only increase in employment in 28 years.
Each bar in the chart below represents a September of some year.
The fact is that September of 2012 is the first month in history that this age group has ever experienced an increase in employment during the month of September ...... you're gonna have to take our word on that last part as I can't find a chart that works.
I don't know what this has to do with anything, but I thought it to be interesting and saved it to whip out the next time there is an uncomfortable lull in the conversation at some cocktail party I may be attending.
From The Pew Forum.
Finally, because I'm out of both time and energy for the moment, that's it for now.
We finish today's report with the fundamental difference between Mom and Dad.
In 1977, Congress amended The Federal Reserve Act, stating the monetary policy objectives of the Federal Reserve to be as follows,
"The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Federal Open Market Committee shall maintain long run growth of the monetary and credit aggregates commensurate with the economy's long run potential to increase production, so as to promote effectively the goals of maximum employment, stable prices and moderate long-term interest rates."
The notion that the Fed is tasked with promoting maximum employment and stable prices is what is frequently termed the Fed's "Dual Mandate".
Having failed miserably throughout the entirety of it's charter (1913) to maintain stable prices, as the decline in the value of the dollar equals increased prices for everything other than a dollar.
The purchasing power of the dollar 1792 - present, dotted lines signify those periods when convertability to gold was/is suspended.
The Fed decided this week that they better address their almost equal fail with regards to maintaining full employment, on account of the following.
Things are not going swimmingly in Detroit.
Purchasing managers all over the world are backing off ... numbers below fifty for the Purchasing Managers Index signify economic contraction.
Here's where Clint Eastwood gets his number for unemployment.
The employment to population ratio pretty much sucks.
Although it may be forming a bottom ..... one hopes.
What's up with this?
That's the new economy at work ..... so to speak.
Service jobs are what we do around here now days.
1948 to the present.
Dirty manufacturing is out of favor, construction is smashed.
Look closely here, these are total numbers not percentages.
Adjust this horror story for population growth and think it through.
In our opinion, you are looking at the single most profound unintended consequence of kneejerk green/liberal/progressive othodoxy of them all.
As a result, Labor's share of GDP is at historic lows as all those new bartender jobs just don't pay.
It gets worse if indeed small business is the engine of job creation.
This next one suprised us as we would have guessed the suffering extended across all age groups.
College just may not be that ticket to a better life.
We can't find the piece that defined the word young in this chart.
The most common complaint with regards to inflation ... at least among those that that we hear ... has to do with the increasing price of medical care.
The price inflation of a college education blows medical inflations's doors off.
As a result, total student loans exceed credit card debt for the first time in history.
Not to worry, those scamps on Wall Street and in Washington are getting theirs.
Speaking of Washington, the next time one of those highly paid professionals at the Congressional Budget Office whips out a projection in your vicinity, just reach out and slap that bastard.
Speaking of bankruptcy.
Coming to a country near you?
Evidently the cartoonist here is not crazy about economist Paul Krugman.
Here's Jim Cantore, among others, performing the obligatory weatherman vs. hurricane story, this time for MSNBC.
Jim like many television news professionals is clearly not bright enough to come in out of the rain ..... just sayin.
This is the thought to be path of Isaac as it moves inland.
Which should help a great deal with drought conditions throughout the country.
Although it is way too late to help out much with rising food prices anytime soon.
Below are the weekly charts for corn, soybeans and live cattle in that order fom January 1994 to the present.
For some reson we were buried in charts this week. Having junked a dozen or so here are those that we deemed to be the most useful. I didn't link anything up to the piece we took it from as these charts are mostly pretty self explanatory.
Demonstrating once again that sometimes a chart is all you need.
The 10 Year Treasury Note rate from 1950 to 2011 might reasonably cause you to expect an economic boom the likes of which we enjoyed in the 50s, except for the fact that the velocity of money (the rate at which it circulates through the economy) has fallen off a cliff.
China on the other hand has been busy moving it's money out U.S. debt instruments and into African commodities.
I lied above as the map below does link to the Stratfor article from which it was taken.
Gas prices set an all time high for the third week in August.
Despite the use of ethanol additives.
Just in case you were wondering why your food is getting so expensive, here's one of several real good reasons.
It ain't all about the drought despite the fact that the drought is both widespread and severe.
Speaking of food.
The Gold market has seen some changes in that the world's Central Banks have become net buyers for the first time in many years.
Demand is down a little over the past 12 months.
You're gonna have to take my word on that last one as I junked the chart.
I wouldn't take a great deal of comfort in this next one as a significant percentage of US Gold holdings are in the posession of the Federal Reserve Bank of the United States and as such have not been audited in generations.
I had the link for this one and managed to misplace it.
I think this chart is for 2011.
The Dow/Gold ratio has plateaued on it's journey to 1/1.
That last part is my personal opinion ..... OK, OK ..... my fondest hope.
I think these next two speak for themselves although thought to be solutions diverge wildly.
If you ask me here's the real issue.
Meanwhile, those imps over at the Federal Government are loving life.