Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Reparations are another way for Democrats to lose



Summary:  The problems that justify reparations should be solved before you start the reparations

Reparations are intended to compensate African-Americans whose ancestors were slaves and lived through the Jim Crow era. 

According to the NAACP, "Reparations would involve a national apology, rights to the cannabis industry, financial payment, social service benefits, and land grants to every descendant of an enslaved African American and Black person a descendant of those living in the United States including during American slavery until the Jim Crow era in1965."

Opponents say is that it's "impossible to place a monetary value on the impact of slavery"  

Actually some people in San Francisco have placed a monetary value on the impact of slavery:

Here are some of the more than 100 recommendations made by a city-appointed reparations committee: Payments of $5 million to every eligible Black adult, the elimination of personal debt and tax burdens, guaranteed annual incomes of at least $97,000 for 250 years and homes in San Francisco for just $1 a family.  The San Francisco Board of Supervisors after hearing the report for the first time voiced enthusiastic support for the ideas, with some saying money should not stop the city from doing the right thing. 

Why worry about the cost? You mean besides the fact that this is completely insane? An estimate from Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, which leans conservative, has said it would cost each non-Black family in the city at least $600,000. How do you think those folks are going to like that?

On the California state level, The California Reparations Task Force, which was created by legislation signed by Governor Newsom in 2020, is considering a proposal to give just under $360,000 per person to approximately 1.8 million Black Californians who had an ancestor enslaved in the U.S., putting the total cost of the program at about $640 billion.

Critics say the payouts make no sense in a state and city that never enslaved Black people. Reparations opponents say taxpayers who were never slave owners should not have to pay money to people who were not enslaved. 

And besides, The California Civil Rights Initiative (1996) clearly prohibits preferential treatment of any race: “The state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.”

Also, the limited focus on redressing wrongs affecting only blacks by reparations supporters ignores major racist policies in California history that affected Native Americans, Mexican-Americans and Asians, among others. Once California starts handing out reparations to one group, the demands of historical victims will never end.

Talk is cheap on this subject, because no governing body is actually ready and able to hand out meaningful reparations:

Evanston, Illinois became the first city in the United States to pass a reparations resolution in 2019 for Black residents who qualified. “It is a $25,000 direct benefit to build wealth through home equity.” The housing program is the first initiative in a historic plan to distribute $10 million in reparations to Black residents of Evanston. The effort would prioritize descendants of Evanston residents who lived in the city between 1919 and 1969 or suffered housing discrimination after 1969. 

The columnist Dahleen Glanton described the resolution in the Chicago Tribune as "mostly a symbolic gesture with little of the substance the reparations movement hoped for," adding that "African Americans won’t get a dime in their pockets."

In Asheville, North Carolina, leaders have vowed to give reparations by funding housing, business and career programs for Black people. 

In 2021, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, reintroduced bill H.R. 40, which would create a commission to examine reparations for the African American descendants of slavery. President Joe Biden’s administration has expressed his support for studying reparations. Yeah, keep "studying" the problem so you don't have to actually do anything. Meanwhile, the political damage accumulates from talking about it.

All of these programs and studies are missing one important thing -- The problems that justify reparations should be solved before you start the reparations, otherwise you'll need another round of reparations in the future because America has not properly addressed and solved the institutional racism that continues to disadvantage people of color.

If the Democrats are looking for an idea that can easily cost them the 2024 election, they couldn't do any better than talking about reparations. According to a Pew Research poll in November 2022, 68% of Americans say reparations should not be paid.

While nearly 75% of black respondents in an AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll said they believe the US government should pay reparations to the descendants of enslaved black people, just 15% of white participants supported the idea.

Clearly, additional studies, recommendations and talk from Democrats about reparations between now and 2024 will cost many more votes than it gains and it will push a lot of the independent voters towards Republicans.


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Friday, March 24, 2023

Student Loan Forgiveness is another loser for the Democrats


Student Debt

Higher education should be free, but it's not, and not likely to be anytime soon. We're blowing a bunch of money already, so why not give these people a break? Because paying off a bunch of student loans now will only make higher education more expensive for those who follow.  Lots of deserving people are mired in debt and would love some help too. How easy will it be for Republicans to use this to divide people? 

When measured by income, the poorest one-fifth of Americans hold about 8 percent of all student debt in America. In contrast, the wealthiest one-fifth of American households have a third of all student debt. If you want to fix some things, and many things need fixing, maybe don't start with a cohort that is so easily portrayed by the other side as elite, when you couldn't even keep the COVID-era SNAP payments going. As a result of Democrats failure to protect children, 30 million Americans lost the help they desperately need to feed their hungry children, while inflation continues to surge.

Biden's order to liquidate up to $20,000 of student debt per borrower has been put on hold due to a lawsuit and The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the case soon.  The Biden Administration knows it doesn't stand a chance with this conservative court, but they think telling borrowers that, "Well, we tried" will be adequate to explain their failure, as they have done with so many other things. Ultimately they will just disappoint those 43 million who have student loan debt while at the same time handing another explosive issue to the GOP. When will they learn that this sort of performance art just makes things worse?

It's time to tell this generation the truth -- the value of the average college education has dropped dramatically already and just wait till ChatGPT and other Artificial Intelligence starts replacing all those boring and repetitive computer-based jobs that currently require a 4-year degree. For most people, advanced skills will be much more important than advanced knowledge in the future. If enough people would find alternative career paths now, it will be better for them anyway, and then tuition will start to fall.


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Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Funny Vintage Ads (74)

  Advertising has always been an interesting way to look at history. But when you see these vintage advertisements, the past seems a lot stranger than you thought.

Ben Rebhuhn - Astronaut Tough
Before strongman Ben Rebhuhn began selling body building books, he was convicted of shipping porn though the US mail in 1940.
Science by Santa
Ads promoting nuclear power were a lot more effective before Three Mile Island and Chernobyl.
Ideal Boilers - Your boiler is your boss
They had a point. Coal heating required lots of shoveling and someone had to go down in the basement in the middle of winter to do it -- though they probably didn't do it in a suit.
Puffed Wheat - Empress of Venus
"The Empress of Venus will eat her cereal now." This was the 1950s when parents supposedly didn't put up with this kind of nonsense.
National Association of Ice Industries
In 1939, the National Association of Ice Industries was still holding out hope that electric refrigerators were just a passing fancy and that iceboxes were going to make a comeback.
Borden's Hemo
"Say now, are you being fair to the little fellow?"
If your kid is misbehaving, it probably the result of bad nutrition. In other words, it's YOUR fault for not feeding him right.
The Original Ted Mack Amateur Hour
The Original Ted Mack Amateur Hour was a continuation of Major Bowes Amateur Hour which had been a radio staple from 1934 to 1945. Major Edward Bowes, the originator of the program and its master of ceremonies, left the show in 1945 and died the following year. He was ultimately succeeded by Ted Mack, when the show was brought into television in 1948.
The two greatest successes of the show's television era were Gladys Knight, then only a child, and Pat Boone. Other future celebrities discovered on the show include Ann-Margret, Jose Feliciano, Irene Cara and Tanya Tucker. 
RCA TR-70 Videotape recorder
The solid-state RCA TR-70 Color or B&W TV recorder was introduced in 1966. An engineer was required to operate the unit, but the evening wear was optional.
ILG Ventilation
In 1906, ILG started the long tradition of quiet ventilation fans that eventually become as loud as a jet engine.
Keep death off the road learn the highway code
Her last bus had already passed when she was killed while running after it. The Ministry of Transport in the UK during WW2 ran a series of ads promoting road safety.
Mrs Peeks Puddings
Can a wife fulfill her duties at home while working as an Air Raid Warden during WW2? Only if she prepares a hot meal for her husband every night. Meanwhile, her husband, "Jim" is an able-bodied man, so why isn't he at the front?
Listerine for colds
In 1971, the Federal Trade Commission accused the maker of Listerine mouthwash of falsely claiming that the product cured, prevented or lessened colds and sore throats. In 1975, the FTC ordered the makers of Listerine to spend $10.2 million dollars on advertising telling people that Listerine is NOT a cold remedy.
Happy Farmer Tractor
La Crosse Tractor Co. was incorporated in 1916. Happy Farmer Tractors were so unreliable that there was old saying about the two happiest days in a Happy Farmer owner’s life; the day he got the tractor and the day he got rid of it.

Colgate - Nobody makes a pass at me
Use Colgate toothpaste and you too can pick up three guys and take them home. 
Union Corrugated Containers
He supposedly knows that bra is from the "best makers" because it came in a cardboard box, aka a "corrugated container."
Inside Quality Citrus
The Inter-State Fruit and Vegetable Company of La Feria, Texas thought nothing of using a racist depiction of a mammy character for their label in the 1930s and 40s.
GE - Stop saving garbage
in 1937, GE said "stop saving garbage" and pour it all down the sink. Plumbers loved that. 
Baldwin - bullets not grease
During WWII, the U.S. government urged Americans to save excess bacon grease rendered from cooking and donate it to the army to produce glycerin that was used to make gunpowder.
O.J. for Spot-bilt
Prior to murdering his wife, O.J.'s endorsement was worth its weight in gold. Now, not so much.
Fairbanks-Morse - Lucky Man
"She understands that sometimes it is important for him to play golf" - like when she's expecting her "back door man."
Michelin Universal Cord
Michelin Man’s name is actually Bibendum, from the Latin slogan ‘Nunc est bibendum’ which means “Now is the time to drink”.
Who else wants to look young?
"This new discovery took 10 years off my face" but they still had to put pancake makeup on for the second picture.
Hot Dan the Mustard Man
Hot Dan the Mustard Man, the potato-shaped mascot introduced in the late 1930s, saved many a husband from having to eat "flat food."
Fritchle Electric
The Fritchle 100-Mile Electric Automobile debuted in 1904. Compare that to today's Tesla's that, despite their inflated claims, have an "actual" range of 200-300 miles. Clearly, the technology hasn't improved very much in almost 120 years.
Virginia Slims - Women are biologically superior to men
 The designers of this ad enthuse over women's superiority, then still end with that condescending, sexist slogan, "You've come a long way, baby."
Seagram - We don't want bread money
In this 1930s ad, Seagram's suggests you don't spend the grocery money on booze.
Hoover Constellation Walks on Air
The Constellation Vacuum Cleaner was introduced by Hoover in the 1954 and advertised as "The cleaner that walks on air". By directing the exhaust air downwards, it was able to float and be easily pulled along by the user without the need for wheels or runners.
Studebaker - Wait and see, Dad
Studebaker was founded in 1852, so when this ad appeared in 1949 it may have seemed like they would go on forever, but they were already in trouble. Only a year later, Studebaker revenues were declining rapidly. Starting in 1954, the company was losing money and production finally ended in 1966.
Kawnear Indoor Toilet
“Place in any room, hall, or closet....Guaranteed sanitary”
OK then, I’ll put mine in the kitchen....guaranteed sanitary!
Revell Beethoven Bomb
Hey Kids! Now you can build this NAZI bomber and make believe you're bombing London.

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