The Purpose of This Bl;og

By and large, liberals are very decent, kind, and compassionate people who genuinely want what is best. This should be kept in mind as we explore the Law of Unintended Negative Consequences near invariably resulting from Leftist big-hearted solutions to societal problems.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Public Education - Costs/Benefits

When liberals are faced with challenges, one of their favorite governmental strategies is to toss money at the problem. To them, spending is the default "fix" for most all socio-political issues, including improving education. And, in some respects this makes perfect sense. Governments tend not to be volunteer or charitable organizations, and they cost lots of money to operate. 

However, does it work? Have our nation's children greatly improved in their educational attainments, particularly in comparison to other countries, by pouring increased amounts of money into the public education system each year?

Even though President Obama hasn't kept his promise to report back each year and hold himself accountable for his education promises and results (see HERE and HERE), there are other data sources that can be utilized to answer the questions above, not just in relation to Obama's administration, but all administrations from both parties over the last half century and more.

According to, total government spending (federal, state, and local) on education skyrocketed from $9.6 billion in 1950 to an estimated $1.0 trillion in 2014, which is more than a 10,000% increase in 64 years, or an average annual growth of 161.2%.

Whereas, the U.S. Census reported that the numbers of students enrolled in K - college was about 46.2 million in 1965 and grew to 62 million in 2004, which amounts to a 34% increase over 39 years, or an average annual growth of 0.87%. (See also HERE)

This means that the per year average increase in expenditures for education was about 185 times the average increase in student enrollment since 1965. Astounding!

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) indicates that the per-pupil expenditures for elementary and secondary schools alone in current dollars for 1996 was $5,923 whereas it is projected to reach $11,810 in 2014. (See also HERE)  And, former Secratary of Education, William J. Bennett, declared: "Between 1960 and 1995, U.S. public school spending per student, adjusted for inflation, increased by 212%. (See HERE)

Part of the reason for the rapid increase in expenditures is because, as noted in the Daily Caller, "In the last 20 years, the number of K-12 administrators has increased 2.3 times faster than the number of students in school, according to the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice. Teacher employment also outpaced student growth, though not as rapidly as the administrator count did. Administrative positions at K-12 schools increased by 700 percent since 1950 — seven times faster than the growth of student enrollment." (See HERE)

With this in mind, let's now look at what all the extra money has bought us in the way of anticipated improved education.

There are several international measurements for educational success. For example, there is the Program for International Assessment (PISA),  which is described as: "...a triennial international survey which aims to evaluate education systems worldwide by testing the skills and knowledge of 15-year-old students. To date, students representing more than 70 economies have participated in the assessment." (See HERE) This test covers three main subject areas: math, science, and reading. Using the findings reported at the NCES, here is how the U.S. scored and ranked internationally for each triennial since 2000.

Math Literacy:
  • 2003: U.S scored 483, which was below the average of 500 for all OECD countries, with a high of 544 for Finland. The U.S. ranked 24th.
  • 2006: U.S. scored 474, which was below the international average of 498. and ranked 31st out of 50+ countries.
  • 2009: U.S. scored 487, which was below the international average of 496, and ranked 28th.
  • 2012 U.S. scored 481, which was below the international average of 494, with a high of 613 by Shanghai China, and ranked 35th over all.
 Science Literacy:
  • 2003: U.S. scored 491, which was below the international average of 500.
  • 2006: U.S. scored 489, which was below the international average of 500, and ranked 28th overall
  • 2009: U.S. scored 502, which wasn't measurably different from the international average, and ranked 24th overall.
  • 2012: U.S. scored 497, which was below the international average of 501, with a high of 580 by Shanghai China, and ranked 28th over all.
Reading Literacy::
  • 2003: U.S. scored 495, which wasn't measurably different from the international average.
  • N/A
  • 2009: U.S. scored 500, which wasn't measurably different from the international average, and ranked in the top 20 out of 57 countries.
  • 2012: U.S. scored 498, which wasn't measurably different from the international average, with the high of 570 by Shanghai China, and ranked 23rd out of 57 countries.
The surprisingly mediocre performance by the U.S. was echoed in other international tests like the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), which "assesses and compares mathematics and science knowledge and skills at grades 4 and 8 in of fifty developed and non-industrialized nations" (ibid), as well as the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), which "studies the reading achievement and reading behaviors and attitudes of 4th-grade students in the United States and students in the equivalent of 4th grade in other participating countries. (ibid)

Furthermore, "The World Economic Forum ranks the United States 52nd in the quality of mathematics and science education, and 5th (and declining) in overall global competitiveness The United States ranks 27th in developed nations in the proportion of college students receiving undergraduate degrees in science or engineering. There are more foreign students studying in U.S. graduate schools than the number of U.S. students, and over 2/3 of the engineers who receive Ph.D.’s from United States universities are not United States citizens " (See HERE)

So, even though significantly greater amounts of money have been spent by the government each year on public education in the U.S., the Leftist LUNC here is that student scores in math and science and reading appear to have generally trended downward. Thus, expenditures of more money haven't yielded improved performance, but rather quite the opposite.

More alarming is the fact that: "In 2010, the United States spent $11,826 per full-time-equivalent (FTE) student on elementary and secondary education, an amount 39 percent higher than the OECD average of $8,501. At the postsecondary level, U.S. expenditures per FTE student were $25,576, almost twice as high as the OECD average of $13,211." (See HERE)

Also, the liberal-leaning Huffington Post reported: "The United States spent more than $11,000 per elementary student in 2010 and more than $12,000 per high school student. When researchers factored in the cost for programs after high school education such as college or vocational training, the United States spent $15,171 on each young person in the system – more than any other nation covered in the report. That sum was slightly higher than some developed countries and it far surpassed others. Switzerland's total spending per student was $14,922 while Mexico averaged $2,993 in 2010. The average OECD nation spent $9,313 per young person. As a share of its economy, the United States spent more than the average country in the survey. In 2010, the United States spent 7.3 percent of its gross domestic product on education, compared with the 6.3 percent average of other countries in that organization of the world's most developed countries." (See HERE and HERE and HERE)

Yet, as indicated in the international studies mentioned above, the Leftist LUNC here is that while the U.S. spent considerably more money per pupil than other countries, it tended to perform below the average of those other countries. In particular, in 2007, the U.S. spent about $10,599 per elementary and secondary student, as compared with about $2000 for China (see HERE). Nevertheless, the average scores for China were more than 25% higher than the U.S each triennial.  In other words, more than 5 times the dollars yielded only 75% the performance. How is that possible?

This pattern also holds somewhat true between the states. For instance, the state of New Jersey typically spent more than twice as much on education than the state of Idaho ($16,000 per student as compared with $6,900 -- see HERE), and yet it produced little difference in 12th grade math scores (156 vs 153 --see HERE), though lower scores in reading (288 vs. 290 -- see HERE), and lower scores in 8th grade science (155 vs 158 - see HERE).

Clearly, money alone is not the answer.

To make matters worse, a CATO Institute study found: "Although public schools are usually the biggest item in state and local budgets, spending figures provided by public school officials and reported in the media often leave out major costs of education and thus understate what is actually spent. To document the phenomenon, this paper reviews district budgets and state records for the nation’s five largest metro areas and the District of Columbia. It reveals that, on average, per-pupil spending in these areas is 44 percent higher than officially reported. Real spending per pupil ranges from a low of nearly $12,000 in the Phoenix area schools to a high of nearly $27,000 in the New York metro area. The gap between real and reported per-pupil spending ranges from a low of 23 percent in the Chicago area to a high of 90 percent in the Los Angeles metro region. To put public school spending in perspective, we compare it to estimated total expenditures in local private schools. We find that, in the areas studied, public schools are spending 93 percent more than the estimated median private school." (See HERE)

Compounding the issue, the cost of education isn't restricted to government expenditures. The Heritage Foundation points out: "Poor test scores are just one bit of evidence of widespread underperformance. According to the Department of Education, the national high school graduation rate is 73 percent, and some researchers argue that even this estimate is too generous. Whatever the exact number, it is disturbing that so many American students fail to earn a high school degree. Failure to graduate comes at a substantial cost. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average full-time worker who did not graduate from high school earns $23,400 annually, versus $30,000 for a high school graduate. That's a 29 percent pay cut. And an average full-time worker with a Bachelor's degree earns $52,200 per year-or more than twice as much as the average high school dropout." (See HERE)

This same article listed two other costs--remediation and opportunity, and closed with this salient question and comment: "what about the toll the current education system levies on the lives of the children it disserves?
No dollar figure can make up for a lifetime without even a basic education." (ibid)

For an explanation as to why these Leftist LUNCs may occur, please see: Gov: Wrong Tool for the Right Job - Introduction and Cold Nanny as well as The Politics of Compassion, Emotions, Ignorance, Denial, Blame-Shifting, Equality, and Victimization

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Public Education - Intro

There is at least one thing that liberals and conservative alike can agree upon, and that is the vital importance of effectively educating our children. Their future and the future of our great nation depend on it.

However, liberals, perhaps more so than conservatives, have been on the forefront of child education, and deserve the lion share of the credit for shaping most of the local and national school systems. Their commitment to teaching young people is very admirable, and their intents are to be applauded.

For example, during his first run for the presidency, Obama promised, among many other things (see HERE): "When I'm president, we'll fight to make sure we're once again first in the world when it comes to high school graduation rates....And we'll also set a goal of increasing the number of high school students taking college-level or AP courses by 50 percent in the coming years....I will lead a new era of accountability in education. But I don't just want to hold our teachers accountable. I want you to hold our government accountable. I want you to hold me accountable. That's why every year I'm president, I will report back to you on the progress our schools are making....When I'm president, programs that work will get more money. Programs that don't will get less. And we'll send a team to fix bad programs by replacing bad managers....We'll help schools integrate technology into their curriculum so we can make sure public school students are fluent in the digital language of the 21st-century economy." (quoted HERE)

Very impressive?

As President, Obama's website proclaimed: "Education is the surest path to the middle class. President Obama is making historic investments in education to create opportunity for all Americans." (See HERE) And, there, he went on to detail a number of specific presidential commitments. (ibid.)

Where liberals and conservatives ardently disagree is they each prefer different means for accomplishing the critical objective of effectively teaching our children.

On the one hand, liberals tend to favor the old school approach of public education. They feel that government officials know what is best for kids, and they believe that what has worked so well in the past will continue to work very well into the future, particularly with the immense and increased infusion of money into the system and fine-tuning of strategic approaches.

On the other hand, while conservatives value the contribution of public education, they believe that parents know what is best for their kids, and they also believe in the new school approach of increased competition from viable educational alternatives and relative freedom to chose between the options according to the best interests of the children.

[Update 08 30 15: Obama's Promises on Education, How They are Holding Up]

In the articles to follow, I will examine these Leftist LUNCs resulting from pursuing the liberal old school approach at the expense of the conservative alternative new school solutions:
  • Costs vs Benefits
  • Viable Alternatives (forthcoming)
  • Socio-Political Indoctrination (forthcoming)
  • Unions and Nationals Boards (forthcoming)

For an explanation as to why these Leftist LUNCs may occur, please see: Gov: Wrong Tool for the Right Job - Introduction and Cold Nanny as well as The Politics of Compassion, Emotions, Ignorance, Denial, Blame-Shifting, Equality, and Victimization

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Illegal Immigration - Voter Impact

According to Wikipedia, "Hispanic and Latino Americans have received a growing share of the national vote in the United States by their growing number. They have traditionally been a Democratic constituency, in the main." (See HERE) intimates, "Latinos have often been characterized as more socially conservative than most Americans. On some issues, such as abortion, that’s true. But on others, such as the acceptance of homosexuality, it is not. When it comes to their own assessments of their political views, Latinos, more so than the general public, say their views are liberal....Latinos are more likely than the general public to describe their views as liberal. Overall, 30% of Latino adults say this, while just 21% of all U.S. adults say the same." (See HERE)

Couple this with the fact that an increasing majority of Hispanics have a positive view of "unauthorized immigration" (see HERE), which sentiment is reflected among liberal Democrats as a whole (see HERE), then is it any wonder that while illegal immigration tends to be a hot potato issue, it crops up like clockwork each election cycle, and is used in get-out-the-vote campaigns by both sides?

Conservative pundits have even claimed that the amnesty-like pathway to citizenship favored by liberals is a double-barrel strategy to expand the Democrat electoral base--not only by currying the favor of the liberal Hispanics and bring them to the polls, but also exploiting naturalization as a means of Democrat voter registration. (See HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE)

While this may have some ring of truth, it may be of interest to note that the majority of foreign-born Hispanics consider themselves to be conservative (see HERE and HERE), though the longer they live in the U.S. the less conservative they become (see HERE), and some Republican leaders figure illegals will vote Republican (see HERE

If so, one of the Leftist LUNCs here may be that were Democrats successful in passing their so-called "immigration reform," which provides a fast tract to citizenship for illegals, this may inadvertently expand the Republican voter rolls rather than their own, though I have my doubts that this will happen.

However, more to the point, the reason voter impact is a point of concern is because it gives indication whether the broken system of immigration, as Obama calls it, will break further or eventually be fixed.  Since liberals have have had the voting majority for the last half decade; and they haven't worked on the problem, let alone tried to fix it, and have even made matters worse (as indicated in my previous posts in this series), and if they manage to bring the 11 or 12 million people out of the shadows and naturalize most or all of them, thereby expanding the liberal voting rolls all he more; the Leftist LUNC here is that the prospect of a continued and increasingly broken immigration system is virtually assured.

For an explanation as to why these Leftist LUNCs may occur, please see: Gov: Wrong Tool for the Right Job - Introduction and Cold Nanny as well as The Politics of Compassion, Emotions, Ignorance, Denial, Blame-Shifting, Equality, and Victimization

Friday, March 7, 2014

Illegal Immigration - Costs

What cost, if any, is there in having 11 to 12 million people living illegally in the U.S.?

In 2002, the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) reported the following: "This study is one of the first to estimate the total impact of illegal immigration on the federal budget. Most previous studies have focused on the state and local level and have examined only costs or tax payments, but not both. Based on Census Bureau data, this study finds that, when all taxes paid (direct and indirect) and all costs are considered, illegal households created a net fiscal deficit at the federal level of more than $10 billion in 2002. We also estimate that, if there was an amnesty for illegal aliens, the net fiscal deficit would grow to nearly $29 billion." (See HERE)

Their findings include:
  • Households headed by illegal aliens imposed more than $26.3 billion in costs on the federal government in 2002 and paid only $16 billion in taxes, creating a net fiscal deficit of almost $10.4 billion, or $2,700 per illegal household.
  • Among the largest costs are Medicaid ($2.5 billion); treatment for the uninsured ($2.2 billion); food assistance programs such as food stamps, WIC, and free school lunches ($1.9 billion); the federal prison and court systems ($1.6 billion); and federal aid to schools ($1.4 billion).
  • With nearly two-thirds of illegal aliens lacking a high school degree, the primary reason they create a fiscal deficit is their low education levels and resulting low incomes and tax payments, not their legal status or heavy use of most social services.
  • On average, the costs that illegal households impose on federal coffers are less than half that of other households, but their tax payments are only one-fourth that of other households.
  • Many of the costs associated with illegals are due to their American-born children, who are awarded U.S. citizenship at birth. Thus, greater efforts at barring illegals from federal programs will not reduce costs because their citizen children can continue to access them.
  • If illegal aliens were given amnesty and began to pay taxes and use services like households headed by legal immigrants with the same education levels, the estimated annual net fiscal deficit would increase from $2,700 per household to nearly $7,700, for a total net cost of $29 billion.
  • Costs increase dramatically because unskilled immigrants with legal status -- what most illegal aliens would become -- can access government programs, but still tend to make very modest tax payments.
  • Although legalization would increase average tax payments by 77 percent, average costs would rise by 118 percent.
  • The fact that legal immigrants with few years of schooling are a large fiscal drain does not mean that legal immigrants overall are a net drain -- many legal immigrants are highly skilled.
  • The vast majority of illegals hold jobs. Thus the fiscal deficit they create for the federal government is not the result of an unwillingness to work.
  • The results of this study are consistent with a 1997 study by the National Research Council, which also found that immigrants' education level is a key determinant of their fiscal impact.
A more recent study (2010) by the Federation of American Immigration Reform (FAIR), concluded that : "the annual costs of illegal immigration at the federal, state and local level to be about $113 billion; nearly $29 billion at the federal level and $84 billion at the state and local level. The study also estimates tax collections from illegal alien workers, both those in the above-ground economy and those in the underground economy. Those receipts do not come close to the level of expenditures and, in any case, are misleading as an offset because over time unemployed and underemployed U.S. workers would replace illegal alien workers." (See HERE as quoted HERE)

 A statistical organization on illegal immigration (see HERE) summarized the findings:
  • $113,000,000,000 - This year's cost of US  illegal immigration. Approximately 75% of that cost is absorbed by the states.
  • $1117 - The average amount you and your family paid in taxes this year to support illegals.
  • $52,000,000,000 - The cost of educating the children of illegals. This is by far the single largest cost to the American taxpayer.
  • $2,700 - The average dollar amount a single illegal household costs the US federal government.
  • 51% - The percentage of Mexican immigrant households that use at least one major welfare program. 28% use more than one.
  • 1,400,000- The number of illegal immigrant households that use at least one major welfare program. (food stamps, WIC, school lunch programs, Medicaid, TANF, SSI, and/or public/rent-subsidized housing) - Source
For a quick breakdown of cost incurred by each state, see HERE.
Now, in light of these new findings, some people may argue that if we are losing hundreds of billions of dollars because of illegals, then why not legalize or document them and eliminate the problem?
While this seems to make sense on the surface, it ignores a number of factors noted in the 2002 study and elsewhere. For example, the Washington Post reported in May of 2013: "An exhaustive study by the Heritage Foundation has found that after amnesty, current unlawful immigrants would receive $9.4 trillion in government benefits and services and pay more than $3 trillion in taxes over their lifetimes. That leaves a net fiscal deficit (benefits minus taxes) of $6.3 trillion. That deficit would have to be financed by increasing the government debt or raising taxes on U.S. citizens." (See HERE)
So, not a good idea, though a LUNC just waiting to happen on the Left.
As staggering as these cost may be, they do not include various sociological and psychological costs, particularly to the undocumented residents, themselves, which in some respects may be more burdensome.
I am not just talking about the labor vacuum created in the "home" country, or the oft appalling conditions under which many illegals enter the U.S., or the stigma of being a so-called "wet back," or the exploitation by U.S. employers, or the constant and debilitating fear of being apprehended and deported and forced into "the shadows," as President Obama aptly put it, or going without necessities for want of finances or fear of detection, or socio-political strains put on newly formed friendships and loving relations in observing the challenges to immigrants and anguishing over solutions,  (See HERE and HERE and HERE)

There is also the oft unnoticed, yet profound impact on the young children of illegals, and this beyond their exposure to the culture of illegality. They are thrust into school conditions where they must compete with fellow students who aren't hampered with language and socio-economic barriers and educational deficits, which unavoidably puts them at a significant disadvantage. Consequently, too many are misdiagnosed with learning disabilities, and thought of as mentally handicapped (I witnessed this personally while teaching Special Ed.), and either retreat into silent isolation or act out. Is it any wonder, then, that there is a disproportionately higher rate of school dropouts and gang presence among Hispanics? (see HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE)

The staggering financial costs also don't include other intangible expenses to the host country. The Heritage Foundation explains: "Typical illegal aliens come to America primarily for better jobs and in the process add value to the U.S. economy. However, they also take away value by weakening the legal and national security environment. When three out of every 100 people in America are undocumented (or, rather, documented with forged and faked papers), there is a profound security problem. Even though they pose no direct security threat, the presence of millions of undocumented migrants distorts the law, distracts resources, and effectively creates a cover for terrorists and criminals. in other words, the real problem presented by illegal immigration is security, not the supposed threat to the economy. Indeed, efforts to curtail the economic influx of migrants actually worsen the security dilemma by driving many migrant workers underground, thereby encouraging the culture of illegality." (See HERE)

And, this doesn't factor in the sizable criminal element among illegals. As mentioned in an earlier post, of the 850,000 or so illegals who entered the country in 2012, and the 650,000 who left the country (either by force or choice), almost 200,000 were criminals--199,445. (See HERE, table 41) This means that between a quarter to a third of illegals who entered the country in 2012, have committed crimes, and this doesn't even account for the illegals in prison (they represent 11% of the prison population). (See HERE)

I could go on, but hopefully the point has already been made. The Leftists LUNC here is the enormous real and hidden costs from the liberal immigration policy of "benign neglect." (ibid.)

For an explanation as to why these Leftist LUNCs may occur, please see: Gov: Wrong Tool for the Right Job - Introduction and Cold Nanny as well as The Politics of Compassion, Emotions, Ignorance, Denial, Blame-Shifting, Equality, and Victimization

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Illegal Immigration - Size of the Problem

By now most of us are familiar with the 11 or 12 million figure representing the number of people living illegally in the U.S. (See HERE)

This number has gone up fairly steadily from 540,000 in 1969 to 11.7 million today, as well as in terms of percentage of the total population-- 0.3% of the people in the U.S. lived illegally in 1969 as compared with the high of 3.9% in 2007, more than a ten-fold increase. (ibid, and HERE)

However, since 2007, the percentage dropped shortly to 3.5% in 2009, but rose once again to 3.7% in 2011 and 3.74% in 2012. (ibid. and HERE and HERE)

Evidently, the bad economy produced the Leftist LUNC of deterring illegal immigration/residency for awhile (see HERE), but because of Obama's relative inaction on immigration, the Leftist LUNC of expanding immigration problems has returned.

Let's see how this happened by looking year-to-year and determining how many illegals crossed the borders, how many were apprehended, why and how many went back home, and how many remained in the U.S. illegally.

According to my estimates using Homeland Security and Census data HERE, below is a graph of the number of people who illegally crossed our borders each year, form 2001 to 2012::

In some years, the number of illegal border crossings was staggering, and tended to track both economic and public policy fluctuations. Clearly, the borders haven't been secured.

The good news is that not all who illegally enter the country remain in the U.S. each year. In fact, many of them return to their homes on their own account. For example, n 1970 there were about 303,348 who returned by choice, whereas in 2000, at the peak, there were 1,675,876.

During the eight years of Bush administration, the number of returns dropped somewhat to 811,263 in 2008, but declined dramatically during Obama's first term--returns were down to only 229,968, which is about where they were at in 1969. (See HERE, Table 39)

However, many illegals haven't returned by choice, but were removed by force of law-i.e. deported. In 1960, there were little over 7 thousand forced removals and about 52 thousand chosen returns, as compared with in 2012 where there were 419 thousand forced removals and 229 thousand chosen returns. (ibid)

Interestingly enough, since 1931, the number of forced removals each year were outnumbered by chosen returns, often on orders of magnitude. For example, in 2006 there were about 281 thousand removals and over 1 million returns, a ratio of almost 1 to 4. Yet, as indicated above, in 2012, the end of Obama's first term, the number of forced removals was almost double the number of chosen returns (419,384 vs. 229,968). (ibid.)

What explains this alarming inversion during Obama's administration? Why have so many more people in recent times need to be forced to leave this country than were previously willing to leave on their own? Could this be a Leftist LUNC?

Who knows for certain? Perhaps it has something to do with the steady decline over the last six years in the total number of illegals who have left the country and returned back home (see red bars in graph below)

Then, there is also the matter of apprehending illegals. Apprehension of illegals went up from 70,684 in 1970 to the peak in 2000 at 1,814,729. (See HERE, table 33) Thereafter it remained fairly level during the Bush years, from 2000 to 2008, but began to drop sharply once Obama took office, going from 1,043,774 in 2008 to 643,474 in 2012, or down to about the same level as in 1973. (ibid. see also the green bars in the graph below)

This means that about 2/3rds of the illegal entries were apprehended in 2012 (643,474 out of 849,342). (ibid.)

Naturally, about half of the apprehensions occur at the boarder--364,768 out of 643,474 in 2012, with the rest coming from Homeland Security and law enforcement investigations. (ibid) And, as may be expected, the number of border apprehensions declined significantly from 1,189,395 in 2005 to 364,768 in 2012, the last year of Obama's first term. (ibid)

So, even though more people were crossing the borders, less illegals were being apprehended under the Obama administration.

In addition to the decline in apprehensions (border or otherwise), there are two other points of interest. First, only a portion of the apprehended illegals were deported--419,384 out of 643,474 in 2012. (ibid.) In other words, the Obama administration has been letting about a third of the apprehended illegals, or 65% of the illegal entries, stay or leave as they choose. Why, then, would they leave if even when they are caught they aren't deported?

Again, even though more people are crossing the borders, and less illegals are being apprehended, a good chuck of those being apprehended aren't sent back home.

Could this explain the sharp drop in illegals returning on their own in proportion to those who are forced to leave? I believe it is a factor.

Second, of the 850,000 or so illegals who entered the country in 2012, and the 650,000 who left the country (either by force or choice), almost 200,000 were criminals--199,445. (See HERE, table 41)

This means that between a quarter to a third of illegals who entered the country in 2012, had committed crimes, and this doesn't even account for the illegals in prison (they represent 11% of the prison population). (See HERE)

To me, this is huge, particularly in terms of national security, if not government costs (which I will address in future posts).

Be that as it may, here is a graph that depicts what I have indicated above,

Note also, in purple bars, the annual net results of illegal migration (entries - returns). Five out of the last twelve years have experienced a net drop in illegal immigration--i.e. more illegals left the country than entered during those years.

Yet, when you subtract the amount of negative immigration in those five years (-2,190,00) from the amount of positive immigration during the other seven years (+5,430,000), we ended up adding about 3,240,000 more illegals to our population.

More pertinent to this post, during the Bush years the illegal population in the U.S. increased on average about 392,500 per year, whereas under Obama it increased on average about 780,000 per year..

The Leftist LUNC here, then, is that because of Obama's liberal immigration policy, the number of illegals who have come into and remained in this country each year, is about double that under Bush. The borders have become less secure and the apprehensions have been in decline.

Now that we know the size of the problem, and can reasonably figure that it will grow larger rather than smaller during the remainder of Obama's second term, lets look now )see the next posts in the series) what it may end up costing the U.S. and how it will impact votes in the future--i.e. whether the same kinds of people that helped break the immigration system and/or failed to fix it will continue to be reelected.

For an explanation as to why these Leftist LUNCs may occur, please see: Gov: Wrong Tool for the Right Job - Introduction and Cold Nanny as well as The Politics of Compassion, Emotions, Ignorance, Denial, Blame-Shifting, Equality, and Victimization

Illegal Immigration - Intro

Liberals in general, and Obama in particular, have had much to say about illegal immigration.

During his first run for the presidency, then Senator Obama proclaimed: "We need immigration reform that will secure our borders, and punish employers who exploit immigrant labor; reform that finally brings the 12 million people who are here illegally out of the shadows by requiring them to take steps to become legal citizens We must assert our values and reconcile our principles as a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws. That is a priority I will pursue from my very first day." (See HERE)

That same year he said: "We need stronger border security. We are cracking down on employers that are taking advantage of undocumented workers because they can’t complain if they’re not paid a minimum wage and not getting overtime. Worker safety laws are not being observed. We have to make sure that doesn’t lead to people with Spanish surnames being discriminated against. We have to require that undocumented workers go to the back of the line, so that they are not getting citizenship before those who have applied legally." (ibid.)

He also intimated: "The American people want fairness, want justice. They recognize that the idea that you’re going to deport 12 million people is ridiculous, that we’re not going to be devoting all our law enforcement resources to sending people back. But what they do also want is some order to the process." (ibid.)

After being elected, and then later when running for a second term, Obama's position remained pretty much the same, with the possible exception of allowing young immigrants to stay in the U.S. (See HERE and HERE)

As of today, Obama's website declares: "America’s immigration system is broken. Too many employers game the system by hiring undocumented workers and there are 11 million people living in the shadows. Neither is good for the economy or the country." (See HERE)

So, while liberals, under the leadership of President Obama, have expressed good intentions regarding immigration reform, the question before us is, have their intents progressed beyond mere wishes and vacuous campaign rhetoric, particularly given that during the first two years of Obama's administration the Democrats held both houses of Congress?

The Leftist LUNC here is that liberals failed to keep their promise to make immigration a priority from day one and enact immigration reform during the first year. (See HERE)  And, they still haven't managed to do any better in the four or five years since.

In short, the borders haven't been secured--they still leak like a sieve, our values as a nation of laws aren't being asserted, the 11 or 12 million illegals who have taken up residence are still in the shadows, and may not have to go to the back of the line in gaining citizenship, fairness and justice isn't being served, and Obama is right that even today, after five years in office, the immigration system is still broken.

As will be shown in the posts to follow, there are several other Leftist LUNCs in relation to the liberal immigration policy--what little there is to it.

For an explanation as to why these Leftist LUNCs may occur, please see: Gov: Wrong Tool for the Right Job - Introduction and Cold Nanny as well as The Politics of Compassion, Emotions, Ignorance, Denial, Blame-Shifting, Equality, and Victimization

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Equal Pay for Equal Work - Wrong Approach

Assuming, for the sake of argument, that the notion of income inequality between the sexes isn't a politically manipulative myth, and that eliminating the alleged gender wage gap is rightly a high priority and worth pursuing and promoting, the question remains whether government intrusion into private business and elsewhere is the right approach?

As intimated in the introduction to this series, the wage divide had been shrinking for decades, with no thanks to the government, but liberals weren't satisfied, and after intervening in 2009 with the Ledbetter Equal Pay Act. and designating April 9th as Equal Pay Day, they managed to make matters worse. (See also HERE)

This wasn't the first time that this has happened. Following the passage of the Equal Pay act in 1963 (see HERE),  and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act in 1964 (see HERE), the wage gap widened from around 40% to about 43% (i.e. women dropped from making 60% to 57% the earnings of men), and for the most part remained above 40% for more than a decade and half (see HERE), or until 1982 when Ronald Reagan became President. (see HERE).

Thus, in spite of their good intents, on multiple occasions the Left just couldn't leave well-enough alone, and had to mess up the works with their favorite entity, the federal government. Clearly, government intrusion was and is the wrong approach.

Logically, then, this leaves us with the salient questions of what, if anything, may be the right approach? What factors may lead to shrinking gender income inequality?

According to the Institute For Women's Policy Research, given the general upward trend in women's earnings in proportion to men since 1960, the gender wage gap will completely close by 2058, presumably absent any direct public policy initiatives. (See HERE)

However, this means that women currently working in the labor force, or who may soon enter, will not achieve complete wage parity with their male counterparts during their work life--not that this is necessarily a bad thing.

And, in spite of what was indicated in my previous posts regarding the "unequal pay for equal work" myth, the rate at which the gender wage gap is shrinking on its own is unacceptable to many liberals, particularly among so-called Millennial Women or Generation X. (See HERE)

I find this fascinating given the fact that the wages of young women (ages 16 to 34) currently average around 90% of men their own age, as compared with older women (35 to 65+) averaging only 74.9% earnings as men their age. (See HERE and HERE).

Therefore, if anyone has cause to complain, it would be older rather than younger women. But, there it is.

So, what, if anything, is to be done to accelerate the gap closure?

According to the IWPR graph, and as intimated earlier, women saw their greatest steady gains towards income parity during the years of 1982 to 1990, when Reagan was in office. It dipped slightly in 1991, but climbed steadily over the last three years of the Bush Sr. administration. Then, it dropped slightly during the first year that Clinton was President, went up the next two years, went down and didn't recover for the next three years, and finally went up during the last two years he was in office. It rose fairly steadily over the eight years of the Bush Jr. Presidency, and then it has since dropped fairly steadily over the last six years that Obama has been in office.

Evidently, then, the more conservative the President, the more shrinkage in the gender wage gap and the greater the gain in wage parity.

Coincidence? Perhaps, though unlikely given the Leftist LUNC mentioned above where liberal government interventions seems to invariably make matters worse.

Ironically, if liberals wish to diminish income inequality between the sexes, the best thing and perhaps the only realistic thing for them to do is elect conservative Presidents, who in turn would leave the matter of income inequity to resolve itself naturally through rational market forces and the free choice of women--assuming that is direction women genuinely wish things to go (i.e. whether they generally wish to work as long and as hard and inflexibly and productively and at the same risky and dirty and challenging and highly competitive jobs as men).

Again, good luck with that.

For an explanation as to why these Leftist LUNCs may occur, please see: Gov: Wrong Tool for the Right Job - Introduction and Cold Nanny as well as The Politics of Compassion, Emotions, Ignorance, Denial, Blame-Shifting, Equality, and Victimization