Tag Archives: Affirmative Action

Obama’s Affordable Care Act: health care costs rise by the most in 32 years

Trust Obama with your health care plan
Trust Obama with your health care plan

Should you entrust a “community organizer” to reform health care? What if he had no record of having successfully reformed health care in his resume – at any level of government? What if he refused to show you his academic transcripts? What if he had not a single private sector job related to health care in his resume? What if he had written an autobiography where he confessed to drug use that has very possibly damaged his brain so that all he can do is play golf and read a teleprompter?

Should you hire someone like that to reform health care? What if he only gives you one reason to hire him: his skin color? Should you hire someone to reform health care based solely on his skin color?

CNN Money explains what Obamacare has done to health care costs:

Health care costs rose sharply in August.
Prices for medicine, doctor appointments and health insurance rose the most last month since 1984. The price increases come amid a broader debate about climbing health care costs and high premiums for Obamacare coverage.

A recent report by Kaiser/HRET Employer Health Benefits forecasts that the average family health care plan will cost $18,142, up 3.4% from 2015. That’s faster than wage growth in America.

Medical care costs altogether rose 1% just in August from July, according to the Consumer Price Index, a report on price inflation from the U.S. Labor Department.

Premiums on the Obamacare exchanges are expected to rise by double-digits this year.

Some health insurers, such as Aetna, have recently announced they would pull out of the Obamacare exchanges, saying Obamacare patients have turned out to be sicker and costlier than expected.

Overall, workers are paying up more for deductibles. Over half of U.S. workers with single coverage health insurance plans pay a deductible of $1,000 or more, up from 31% of workers in 2011.

And the health care price increases come as inflation overall continues to be low. Consumer prices altogether rose 1.1% in August compared to a year ago.

Consider this article from Investors Business Daily to illustrate the importance of not picking a President based on confident words and personal charisma.

It says:

Employer-based health insurance premiums climbed 4.2% this year for family plans, according to an annual Kaiser Family Foundation report. That’s up from 3% the year before.

Since 2008, average family premiums have climbed a total of $4,865.

The White House cheered the news, saying it was a sign of continued slow growth in premium costs.

[…]”We will start,” Obama said back in 2008, “by reducing premiums by as much as $2,500 per family.”

That $2,500 figure was Obama’s mantra on health care. You can watch the video if you don’t believe it.

And Obama wasn’t talking about government subsidized insurance or expanding Medicaid or anything like that. He specifically focused on employer provided health care.

For “people who already have insurance, and the employers who are providing it,” he said at one campaign event, “we will work to lower your premiums by up to $2,500 per family.”

Let’s watch the video. I want everyone to see how confident a clown can sound when he lies about being able to solve problems that he knows nothing about.

He had no record of achievement in this area. None, Zero, Zip. And the same goes for his claims about keeping your doctor, keeping your health care plan, and so on. It was all lies – just things that people wanted to believe, that Obama did not have the ability to make happen. He had never, ever done anything with health care ever before. You would literally have had a better result if you had handed the job of health care reform to a turnip.

Honestly, someone’s skin color, sex, national origin or sexual orientation is not a reason to hire them to do an important job. Obama isn’t qualified to flip burgers in a McDonald’s. Why would anyone entrust someone with no transcripts and no resume to undertake such a momentous task? This is hurting real people – real people are having to pay the costs of electing an affirmative action President. We really need to not do things like that.

Next time, if we are going to hire someone to reform health care, let’s hire someone like black economist Thomas Sowell. At least he has experience in economics enough to know what happens next to all parties involved in a policy implementation. Obama, on the other hand, has doubled the national debt from $10 trillion to $20 trillion – an enormous burden on the next generation of American workers. What did we get for all this spending? Absolute and complete failure across the board.

Five liberal Democrat policies that hurt minorities

Marriage and Poverty
Marriage and Poverty

The five policies are:

  • higher minimum wage rates
  • opposition to school voucher programs
  • releasing criminals from jail
  • affirmative action
  • single mother welfare

This article is by Jason L. Riley, and it appeared in the Wall Street Journal.

Excerpt:

At the urging of labor unions, President Obama has pushed for higher minimum wages that price a disproportionate percentage of blacks out of the labor force. At the urging of teachers unions, he has fought voucher programs that give ghetto children access to better schools.

Both policies have a lengthy track record of keeping millions of blacks ill-educated and unemployed. Since the 1970s, when the federal government began tracking the racial achievement gap, black test scores in math, reading and science have on average trailed far behind those of their white classmates. And minimum-wage mandates have been so effective for so long at keeping blacks out of work that 1930, the last year in which there was no federal minimum-wage law, was also the last year that the black unemployment rate was lower than the white rate. For the past half-century, black joblessness on average has been double that of whites.

Last week the Justice Department said it would release some 6,000 inmates from federal prison starting later this month. The goal, according to the White House, is to ease overcrowding and roll back tough sentencing rules implemented in the 1980s and ’90s.

But why are the administration’s sympathies with the lawbreakers instead of their usual victims—the mostly law-abiding residents in low-income communities where many of these inmates eventually are headed? In dozens of large U.S. cities, violent crime, including murder, has climbed over the past year, and it is hard to see how these changes are in the interest of public safety.

The administration assures skeptics that only “nonviolent” drug offenders will be released, but who pays the price if we guess wrong, as officials have so often done in the past?

When Los Angeles asked the Rand Corp. in the 1990s to identify inmates suitable for early release, the researchers concluded that “almost no one housed in the Los Angeles jails could be considered non-serious or simply troublesome to their local communities” and that “jail capacity should be expanded so as to allow lengthier incarceration of the more dangerous.”

A 2002 federal report tracked the recidivism rate of some 91,000 supposedly nonviolent offenders in 15 states over a three-year period. More than 21% wound up rearrested for violent crimes, including more than 700 murders and more than 600 rapes. The report also noted the difficulty of identifying low-risk inmates. Auto thieves were rearrested for committing more than a third of the homicides and a disproportionate share of other violent offenses.

Keep in mind that when criminals are release, they don’t go move into wealthy progressive neighborhoods. It’s not the wealthy leftists elites who have to deal with the released inmates. It’s the poor, low-income minority neighborhoods that have to deal with them.

By the way, I covered the minimum wage argument here, and I covered the school choice argument here.

That covers the first 3 policies. This article from The College Fix covers the fourth policy, affirmative action.

It says:

A UCLA law professor critiques affirmative action as detrimental to the very people it strives to aid: minority students.

Professor Richard Sander, though liberal-leaning, has deemed affirmative action practices as harmful, a notion that contradicts a liberal view in college admissions, said Stuart Taylor, a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

[…]Sander began teaching law at UCLA in 1989. After a few years he garnered an interest in academic support and asked permission to analyze which strategies most effectively assist struggling students.

After reviewing statistics on performance, especially those of students with lower academic merit, he noticed correlations between race and academic success.

“I was struck by both the degree to which it correlated with having weak academic entering credentials and its correlation with race,” Sander said in a recent interview with The College Fix. “And as I looked into our admissions process I realized that we were giving really a large admissions preference.”

Sander noticed that students admitted into the law school with lower academic credentials than their peers had significantly lower percentages of passing the Multistate Bar Examination, Sander said. This especially pertained to minority students who were given special consideration in the admittance process due to their race rather than their academic preparedness.

He then began thinking about whether or not these students would have better chances of succeeding if they went to a less elite university, he said.

He called this discrepancy a mismatch; when minority students with lower credentials than their peers are accepted into more challenging universities and then suffer academically as a result.

And the fifth policy is welfare. Welfare encourages women to not marry the men that they have sex with, since they will lose their single mother benefits if they do. Children who are raised fatherless are more likely to struggle in a number of areas, and they are especially likely to be poor. What we should be doing (if we really want to help the poor) is paying people to get married and stay married. But Democrats are opposed to that. The connection between welfare, fatherlessness, poverty and crime is explained in a previous post.

Why are boys struggling to succeed in school and to find jobs?

Although you might think that there are no reasons for boys underperforming in school and work, a little research shows that this is not the case.

The first reason boys are struggling is because of no-fault divorce. No-fault divorce allows either person in the marriage to end the marriage for any reason or for no reason at all. It was passed because radical feminists and trial lawyers pushed for it. Each special interest group stands to benefit from it in different ways. Feminists oppose the complementary nature of marriage, and trial lawyers just want to drain as much money as they can out of disintegrating families.

70% of divorces are initiated by women, and this is because women tend to emphasize their own subjective feelings of happiness over the objective commitment they make at the wedding. Women today are influenced by feminism to care more about their happiness than they do about loving and serving others, especially husbands and children. This is especially true of the ones who lack trustworthy male influences. The most unstable relationships are lesbian relationships, because there you have two happiness-seekers and no promise-keepers.

In addition, feminism causes women to lose the ability to evaluate men according to traditional male roles, making them vulnerable to predators who do not have the ability to commit to them self-sacrificially. Do you ever wonder why you see single mothers living with atheist men who deliver pizzas and playing video games at age 30? Why is that? Because feminism taught her that men are not better when they are chaste providers and protective mentors. According to feminism, men have no special role as protector, provider and moral/spiritual leader.  Many just pick the best-looking, most entertaining, least demanding, easiest to control man they can find. Someone who doesn’t lead her to behave morally, control her emotions, and put the needs of others above her own desires.

So what happens to boys when marriages can be dissolved so easily?

This article from the Centre for Economic Policy Research explains:

To assess the long-run effect of divorce, we analyse children’s human capital and demographic outcomes. First, we examine college attendance. In Austria, college attendance implies that this person graduated from a higher secondary school. Second, we check the labour market status (employed; unemployed; out-of-labour force) up to the age of 25 years. Third, we examine children’s own family formation behaviour (i.e. fertility and marriage). Finally, we investigate the probability of early mortality (below 25 years of age). Our results show that parental divorce – due to a high level of sexual integration in fathers’ workplaces — has a negative effect on children’s long-term outcomes. Our main findings for human capital outcomes are summarised in Figure 1…

Here’s Figure 1:

Figure 1
Figure 1 (click for larger image)

And Figure 3:  The effect of parental divorce on employment over time.

Figure 3
Figure 3

If you want boys to transition into marriage-minded men, you need to fight against no-fault divorce.

The War Against Boys

The other problem affected boys is also rooted in feminism. Feminism is deeply suspicious of male teachers and male administrators in the schools. As a result, schools tend to be dominated by female teachers and female administrators. Many of these women are feminists, and they seek to change the nature of education from something that is fair to boys and girls, to something that punishes boys and gives the advantage to girls. In addition, feminists in the education industry tend to oppose allowing boys to attend all-male schools, where boys perform at much higher levels.

This article in the left-leaning The Atlantic explains how the school system punishes boys and favors girls – from kindergarten to the workplace, where women receive affirmative action preferences.

Excerpt:

American boys across the ability spectrum are struggling in the nation’s schools, with teachers and administrators failing to engage their specific interests and needs. This neglect has ominous implications not only for the boy’s social and intellectual development but for the national economy, as policy analysts are just beginning to calculate.

[…]Women in the United States now earn 62 percent of associate’s degrees, 57 percent of bachelor’s degrees, 60 percent of master’s degrees, and 52 percent of doctorates.

Boys in all ethnic groups and social classes are far less likely than their sisters to feel connected to school, to earn good grades, or to have high academic aspirations. A recent working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research documents a remarkable trend among high-achieving students: In the 1980s, nearly the same number of top male and female high school students said they planned to pursue a postgraduate degree (13 percent of boys and 15 percent of girls). By the 2000s, 27 percent of girls expressed that ambition, compared with 16 percent of boys. During the same period, the gap between girls and boys earning mostly A’s nearly doubled—from three to five percentage points.

This gap in education engagement has dire economic consequences for boys. A 2011 Brookings Institution report quantifies the economic decline of the median male: For men ages 25 to 64 with no high school diploma, median annual earnings have declined 66 percent since 1969; for men with only a high school diploma, wages declined by 47 percent. Millions of male workers, say the Brookings authors, have been “unhitched from the engine of growth.”  The College Board delivered this disturbing message in a 2011 report about Hispanic and African-American boys and young adults: “Nearly half of young men of color age 15 to 24 who graduate from high school will end up unemployed, incarcerated or dead.” Working-class white boys are faring only slightly better. When economist Andrew Sum and his colleagues at the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University examined gender disparities in the Boston Public Schools, they found that for the class of 2007, among blacks and Hispanics, there were 186 females for every 100 males attending a four-year college or university. For white students: 153 females to every 100 males.

Note that radical feminists and socialists oppose solving this problem:

In the U.S., a powerful network of women’s groups works ceaselessly to protect and promote what it sees as female interest. But there is no counterpart working for boys—they are on their own.

[…]The reluctance to face up to the boy gap is evident at every level of government. In Washington, President Obama established a White House Council on Women and Girls shortly after taking office in 2009, declaring: “When our daughters don’t have the same education and career opportunities as our sons, that affects…our economy and our future as a nation.” On the other hand, the proposal for a Council for Boys and Men from a bi-partisan group of academics and political leaders has now been languishing in Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s office for two years.

Similarly, in Maine, the Portland Press Herald ran an alarming story about the educational deficits of boys—reporting that high school girls outnumber boys by almost a 2-1 ratio in top-10 senior rankings, that men earn about 38 percent of the bachelor’s degrees awarded by Maine’s public universities, and that boys both rich and poor had fallen seriously behind their sisters. But the director of Women’s Studies at the University of Southern Maine, Susan Feiner, expressed frustration over the sudden concern for boys. “It is kind of ironic that a couple of years into a disparity between male and female attendance in college it becomes ‘Oh my God, we really need to look at this. The world is going to end.’”

The rest of the Atlantic article explains how to solve this problem. And the proven solutions clearly show that the problem is not with boys, it’s with an education system that discriminates against boys, making it harder for them to learn the skills they need to find work.

So, the tendency of young men to stay home and play video games comes from discrimination against men in the education system, and no-fault divorce laws that allow spouses (mostly women) to divorce easily. It is women who need to do a better job of “womaning up” to attack no-fault divorce and discrimination against boys in school. But pro-male voices among women are few and far between. Women tend to go along with what makes them look good to others in the culture, and what gives them the most autonomy to pursue happiness (unless they are balanced out by strong men who lead them), and that means the most women tend to just ignore the root causes of male decline.  When I see single women overwhelmingly supporting the anti-male Democrat party, it just tells me that they are not serious about marriage. Whether they intend to or not, they are killing marriage with their political support for misandry.

It would be nice if we got some leadership from pastors in the churches on this issue. It would be if nice the pastors could challenge women to think about how their voting and advocacy of certain policies affect boys. Basically, if pastors could get women to think “and then what happens” to boys who experience no-fault divorce and anti-male schools. But most pastors are like women, and they put more emphasis on being liked based on what is valued in the secular culture. It’s easier for them to remain ignorant and bash men than to pick up a book on education or divorce and read it. If we have a crisis of masculinity, it began in the church, from the “men” behind the pulpit. They need to man up and challenge the feminism that is killing marriage.

Thomas Sowell: does affirmative action help minorities to get ahead?

Economist Thomas Sowell
Economist Thomas Sowell – the best economist in the world

My favorite economist, Thomas Sowell has an article in Investors Business Daily that explains what affirmative action really does to minorities.

Excerpt:

Affirmative action is supposed to benefit black and other minority students admitted with lower academic qualifications than some white students who are rejected.

[…]Despite much media spin, the issue is not whether blacks in general should be admitted to higher-ranked or lower-ranked institutions.

The issue is whether a given black student, with given academic qualifications, should be admitted to a college or university where he would not be admitted if he were white.

Much research over the years has confirmed… that admitting black students to institutions for which their academic preparation is not sufficient can be making them worse off instead of better off.

I became painfully aware of this problem more than 40 years ago when I was teaching at Cornell University and discovered that half the black students there were on some form of academic probation.

These students were not stupid or uneducable. On the contrary, the average black student at Cornell at that time scored at the 75th percentile on scholastic tests. Their academic qualifications were better than those of three-quarters of all American students who took those tests.

Why were they in trouble at Cornell, then? Because the average Cornell student in the liberal arts college at that time scored at the 99th percentile. The classes taught there — including mine — moved at a speed geared to the verbal and mathematical level of the top one percent of American students.

The average white student would have been wiped out at Cornell. But the average white student was unlikely to be admitted to Cornell in the first place. Nor was a white student who scored at the 75th percentile.

That was a “favor” reserved for black students. This “favor” turned black students who would have been successful at most American colleges and universities into failures at Cornell.

None of this was peculiar to Cornell. Black students who scored at the 90th percentile in math had serious problems trying to keep up at MIT, where other students scored somewhere within the top 99th percentile.

Nearly one-fourth of these black students with stellar qualifications in math failed to graduate from MIT, and those who did graduate were concentrated in the bottom tenth of the class.

There were other fine engineering schools around the country where those same students could have learned more, when taught at a normal pace, than at a breakneck speed geared to students with extremely rare abilities in math.

[…]Mismatching students with educational institutions is a formula for needless failures.

The book “Mismatch” by Sander and Taylor is a first-rate study of the hard facts. It shows, for example, that the academic performances of black and Hispanic students rose substantially after affirmative action admissions policies were banned in the University of California system.

Instead of failing at Berkeley or UCLA, these minority students were now graduating from other UC campuses. They were graduating at a higher rate, with higher grades, and now more often in challenging fields like math, science and technology.

[…]Does the actual fate of minority students not matter to the left as much as their symbolic presence on a campus?

Now, you might ask yourself on what basis Sowell makes all these assertions, so here are a few of his academic publications about affirmative action, which are state-of-the-art:

Now, I was recently talking to a friend who has empirically false views on a number of topics. He is opposed to capital punishment, opposed to gun ownership, supports affirmative action, and so on. When I ask him why he believes these things, he doesn’t point to any evidence. I offered to give him studies showing that capital punishment has a deterrent effect on crime, that concealed carry laws reduce violent crime rates, that affirmative action laws harm minorities, etc.

If we really want to help minorities, we have to do what makes sense according the evidence. We have to aim to do good, not just feel good.

Thomas Sowell: does affirmative action help minorities to get ahead?

Economist Thomas Sowell
Economist Thomas Sowell – the best economist in the world

My favorite economist, Thomas Sowell has an article in Investors Business Daily that explains what affirmative action really does to minorities.

Excerpt:

Affirmative action is supposed to benefit black and other minority students admitted with lower academic qualifications than some white students who are rejected.

[…]Despite much media spin, the issue is not whether blacks in general should be admitted to higher-ranked or lower-ranked institutions.

The issue is whether a given black student, with given academic qualifications, should be admitted to a college or university where he would not be admitted if he were white.

Much research over the years has confirmed… that admitting black students to institutions for which their academic preparation is not sufficient can be making them worse off instead of better off.

I became painfully aware of this problem more than 40 years ago when I was teaching at Cornell University and discovered that half the black students there were on some form of academic probation.

These students were not stupid or uneducable. On the contrary, the average black student at Cornell at that time scored at the 75th percentile on scholastic tests. Their academic qualifications were better than those of three-quarters of all American students who took those tests.

Why were they in trouble at Cornell, then? Because the average Cornell student in the liberal arts college at that time scored at the 99th percentile. The classes taught there — including mine — moved at a speed geared to the verbal and mathematical level of the top one percent of American students.

The average white student would have been wiped out at Cornell. But the average white student was unlikely to be admitted to Cornell in the first place. Nor was a white student who scored at the 75th percentile.

That was a “favor” reserved for black students. This “favor” turned black students who would have been successful at most American colleges and universities into failures at Cornell.

None of this was peculiar to Cornell. Black students who scored at the 90th percentile in math had serious problems trying to keep up at MIT, where other students scored somewhere within the top 99th percentile.

Nearly one-fourth of these black students with stellar qualifications in math failed to graduate from MIT, and those who did graduate were concentrated in the bottom tenth of the class.

There were other fine engineering schools around the country where those same students could have learned more, when taught at a normal pace, than at a breakneck speed geared to students with extremely rare abilities in math.

[…]Mismatching students with educational institutions is a formula for needless failures.

The book “Mismatch” by Sander and Taylor is a first-rate study of the hard facts. It shows, for example, that the academic performances of black and Hispanic students rose substantially after affirmative action admissions policies were banned in the University of California system.

Instead of failing at Berkeley or UCLA, these minority students were now graduating from other UC campuses. They were graduating at a higher rate, with higher grades, and now more often in challenging fields like math, science and technology.

[…]Does the actual fate of minority students not matter to the left as much as their symbolic presence on a campus?

Now, you might ask yourself on what basis Sowell makes all these assertions, so here are a few of his academic publications about affirmative action, which are state-of-the-art:

Now, I was recently talking to a friend who has empirically false views on a number of topics. He is opposed to capital punishment, opposed to gun ownership, supports affirmative action, and so on. When I ask him why he believes these things, he doesn’t point to any evidence. I offered to give him studies showing that capital punishment has a deterrent effect on crime, that concealed carry laws reduce violent crime rates, that affirmative action laws harm minorities, etc.

If we really want to help minorities, we have to do what makes sense according the evidence. We have to aim to do good, not just feel good.