Thursday, October 27, 2011

A United States of Adult Dependence

The youth is the future, as often said. Thanks to the crushing effects this economy however, our youth is finding it difficult to grow up.

To move from one's parents is often a crucial step towards full maturity. This crucial phase is being stifled, delayed, and curbed by the Great Recession however, given impact reports by the Pew Research Center. Of those living in what they define as "multigenerational homes"; seven in ten of these households are with adult children under the age of thirty.

Furthermore, Pew finds that 37% of adults ages 18-to-29 are either unemployed or out of the workforce. In an effort to evade poverty, more individuals are moving back in with relatives or acquire a roommate as a form of informal charity shelter. Many have been forced to return to a state of childhood dependence despite their best effort at independence. Among those of age 25-to-30 who living with their parents, 35% claim that they once lived independently on their own.

College enrollment has also sky-rocketed as of late as another avenue of escape. Unfortunately, disappointment often waits on the other side of graduation. To illustrate, take the number of graduates in May 2011 compared to the number of jobs created that very same month.

A total of 3,205,000 post high school degrees were accredited in May of 2011, yet only 54,000 new jobs were created at that month. With a labor market already approximated at around 198 million people, such a ratio of new-jobs-to-new-graduates spells easily falls short of whats necessary to launch the promise of a new generation into the labor market. Even the most optimistic of estimates places a rate at 130,000 jobs per month if a return to pre-recession levels is to be obtained. The 84,000 jobs created in October, though a "recent high" still falls woefully short of a solution.

Since the days of the baby-boomers, college enrollment has gone up by 15.6%. Never before has a generation arisen with the promised of highly developed talent and education, prepared to lead us into the new, service-based economy of the Information Age. Without the opportunity to put these talents to practice however, suppressed income and dismal dependence will prove to be the killer of this Dream.

~David Morris~

Friday, October 21, 2011

When doing research on how much an iPhone would cost if it were made in America, I came upon a random comment on the interwebs about China.

One of those random yet incredibly articulate types of comments that you just can't help quoting for truth.

It carries my thoughts about China precisely. Being unethical to flat out plageriaz of course, I simply wish to make sure due credit is due.
michael reynolds January 22, 2011 at 9:42 pm

You guys know there’s always a “China,” right? Just in my lifetime “China” was the USSR, OPEC, Japan and the EU.

There’s always some super-villain out there that’s going to outwit us, buy our crown jewels, outwork us and so on. In retrospect it’s always obvious that it wasn’t going to happen. Obviously the USSR was backward and under the thumb of a genuinely asinine political regime, obviously OPEC would eventually crumble, obviously Japan was a small, culturally isolated country with an aging population, obviously the EU was never going to be as smoothly integrated as they hoped.

Here’s what I think is obvious about China. They are poor. Dirt poor. There’s money in Shanghai and Hong Kong, but most of China might as well be Kazakhstan. They suffer from an imbalance between rural and urban that makes Nebraska and Manhattan look like identical twins. They are poisoning their rivers and air. They offer no freedom of expression or democratic political recourse while at the same time the poor out in the provinces can see Chinese billionaires and free Americans and South Koreans and understand for the first time just how screwed they are. They have one hope for continuing stability: an endless upward growth rate that is never, ever going to happen because as we’ve learned from our own real estate market, nothing goes up forever.

They have potential trouble on every border: Vietnam, North Korea, Russia, the Stans, India. And then there’s history. Show me where and when China was ever a dominant power in the world at large. It’s been a long, long time. And it’s been a long time because China is a barely-governable mess and has been for centuries. It is still a barely-governable mess.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t react, just that we shouldn’t freak out.

~David Morris~

Thursday, October 20, 2011

How Much Is the 99% Anyway?

The Occupy Protesters claim that they represent "the 99%" of Americans. Of course, this is but exaggeration and rhetoric. So just who are these people, what do they belief, and what do they represent?

An interesting article by the Wall Street Journal catches my eye in addressing the issue.

~David Morris~

Herman Cain and the 9-9-9

Herman Cain has recently shot up in the GOP polls, demonstrating himself even as a general election threat to President Obama. With such positioning however, comes increased scrutiny. To that cause, critics have chosen the centerpiece of Cain's message as their attack point: the 999 Tax Plan.

The scrutiny is hot concerning the proposal, and the power of articulate persuasion in light of such criticism will be critical if Cain is to maintain momentum. Among the largest concerns is that the business portion of the plan amounts to a defacto Value Added Tax.

A value added tax is a consumption based taxed levied on every stage of production, which ultimately leads to a higher tax incidence for the consumer. Most European nations have adopted such a tax structure in modern times, and the reputation of their results cause unease among some American tax reformers. With background training in economics, I was able to personally conclude that this charge a defacto VAT was indeed palatable (with the exception of exported products, which are exempt under 999).

The latest debate did not grant Mr. Cain the opportunity to truly address his critics, but the American Enterprise Institute recently granted him a better platform from which to defend himself. Cain acknowledges that one could technically describe the business portion of his tax as a VAT. He reminds us however, that the primary fear of a Value-Added Tax is to have it imposed on top of other tax codes, as opposed to having such plans replace such codes.

"It is frustrating when people want to call it a VAT Tax. It doesn't matter what you call it." said Herman Cain. "The reason that some of my opponents want to call it a VAT, is because they want scare people because of what happened in Europe. They have both. They have a VAT tax, but they got multiple VAT Taxes. Technically, that last retail tax of 9%, you can call it VAT, but it only happens one time. The difference is that in Europe, it happens multiple times."

Mr. Cain then made the point that at every stage, profits are already taxed in an invisible VAT-like manner. In a loaf of bread, a farmer must pay taxes on his profit, truck driver who delivers the flour pays taxes on his profit, as does the baker, the grocery store owner, ad nausea. Ultimately, these compound taxes are still paid by the consumer in the final pricing of items. The difference is that his plan makes such taxes more visible.

Mr. Cain went on to explain that in the long run, as one who has been studying tax policy for 15 years, the Fair Tax would be superior over the long run, as it puts the consumer completely in charge in how much they pay in taxes. WIth a 100% consumption tax he believes, we would see a significantly boost the economy.

Personally, this economist held doubts concerning the 999 Plan as a viable reform plan. Mr. Cain himself remains confident in his carefully constructed plan. In the aftermath of his AEI defense, I concede that the plan is nonetheless a viable improvement to the current tax

So long as in practice, his claim of a "single VAT" rather than a multiple one holds true.

~David Morris~

Friday, October 14, 2011

Protesting the Status Quo

I wrote earlier about the threat Herman Cain poses to the race business. Come Sunday, at the Martin Luther King dedication ceremony, a group of African Americans intend to protest the black establishment that has so eroded the black community.

Martin Luther King Jr was a registered republican according to his niecce. To see black conservatives protest those who have hi-jacked his dream as race-baiters is encouraging. It is for such reasons I pray that, should Herman Cain take the nomination, an incidence of black conservatives begins to rise.

He will have to win on his ideas and merit of course. So far, so good however. The major test it seems shall be his skill in defending his 999 plan. Such a plan appears to take elements of the flat and fair tax, leaving me with little doubt that it would boost the economy over the current tax code.

The real scrutiny of course, is whether or not it is passable. To be so, such a plan would likely require republican supermajorities in the House and Senate, similar to how Barack Obama held the same advantage his first years.

Time will tell whether such a plan will truly be on the table however. Again, Herman Cain has to officially earn the nomination first afterall. The primaries are next year. In the meantime, Cain cannot afford to stumble. Should this occur, we could see an upset by Newt Gringrich, or, disappointingly, Mitt Romney.

~David Morris~

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I'm with the 99%!

Down with corporations!

Burn it! Burn it all down man!

Ignore that the computer I'm typing this on is by Apple, the mouse by microsoft, while using headphones by Sony to listen to videos by Youtube.

The corporations, we gotta take them all down man!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Am I the only one who sees the true threat of Cain?

Herman Cain just may represent the greatest threat to the viability of the democrat party since the 1960s. The reason why is simple:

Because he is black. And he's a republican.

Worse yet: He could be remembered as the successful second black president who immediately followed the failures of the first black president. With such a legacy, he just might create a new wave of open-minded voters within the black community.

Such a wave would carry truly dangerous implications for the democrat party.

For the past 40 years, Democrats could more or less take the African American vote for granted. Paradoxically however, many of these minority voters are not invested in the standard liberal agenda that the Democrats have come to represent. Particularly amongst those within the minority demographic who are middle class and church going.

Such members of the black community tend to not be too keen on homosexuality, are critical of abortion, value the presence of God, and are concerned about a cultural war on Christ. These African-Americans desire a return to values whereby a young man pulls up his pants, fathers are present for their children, and that one takes responsibility for one's life. The Pew Research Center describes such voters as New Coalition or Hard-Pressed Democrats, and make up the majority of the minority wing of the democrat party.

The issue of race has habitually guided the vote of such centrist African-Americans, despite an alignment more in tune with social conservatism. Under the popularized notion that democrats best represent minority interests, they minds have been generally closed to the idea of voting republican. It is among such members of the community that Herman Cain describes as "brain-washed," given that much of their news diet resides in traditional media.

Obama received 95% of the black vote in 2008. At present however, his approval among blacks is at a historic low of 58%. Among the disillusioned, some might turn to Herman Cain as a potential redeemer to the "historical narrative" of the nation's first minority presidents. Doubtlessly, democrats would still consume the majority of black turnout. With Cain however, a record number of the demographic would (for the first time in many of their lives) vote republican.

That's when they begin to see the contrast. And where the possibility for long term democrat damage begins.

Obama, as our first black president, has governed from a hard left stance that has put liberalism on full display. Never before has the failure of big government been more prevalent to the American people, with 75% of the people agreeing that the nation is on the wrong track.

Assume Cain takes the presidency. With a reputation a "problem solver," presume he succeeds everywhere Obama (and to an extent, Bush) has failed. He delivers on restored fiscal sanity, sensible yet sensitive reforms to entitlements, and above all else, jobs. An ideologue and communicator of the same clothe as Ronald Reagan, presume he's remembered just as well; as a president that oversaw the return of "Morning in America."

Under this premise, such contrast between the first and second black presidents would deeply resonate within the African American community, enough to possibly shift voting patterns permanently. Under eight long years of a Cain success story, future democrats may one day discover that they control the black vote only to the extent that they control the hispanic vote.

The consequences to the democratic base would be disastrous.

"[In 2004]...the strongest Democratic groups are African Americans, non-Christian whites, and New Minorities" writes Earl Black, a professor of political science at Rice University. "No other group matched African Americans in the magnitude of partisan advantage. Among black voters there was a 71-point gap in party bases."

Since 1972, blacks have voted for the democrat candidate for president at an average of 86.6%, with a deviation of only 4.1 points. Compare to the Latino vote, by which only 62.8% of the demographic is cemented within the democrat party at a much higher deviation of 6 points.

Democrats rely on a contestable though solid majority of Hispanic support. Without the edge provided by a veritable monopoly on African Americans however, the party could have long found itself without the numbers to win elections.

Herman Cain possesses the greatest threat to this monopoly in 50 years. Electorally, the democrat party is already a half sinking ship due to the actions of the Obama Administration. The results of his presidency has already resulted in the lost of independents, and embarrassing stronghold defeats from New Jersey to New York.

If history determines that the long term political consequences of Obama equated to a new open-mindness among blacks thanks to the ascension of Herman Cain, such a blow could prove to be the final death nail of the democrat party as we know it.

~David Morris~