War on Poverty Turns 50: Are We Winning Yet?
” The War on Poverty is 50 years old. Over that time, federal and state governments have spent more than $19 trillion fighting poverty. But what have we really accomplished?
Although far from conclusive, the evidence suggests that we have successfully reduced many of the deprivations of material poverty, especially in the early years of the War on Poverty. However, these efforts were more successful among socioeconomically stable groups such as the elderly than low-income groups facing other social problems. Moreover, other factors like the passage of the Civil Rights Act, the expansion of economic opportunities to African Americans and women, increased private charity, and general economic growth may all have played a role in whatever poverty reduction occurred. “
Click for interactive map
” Global economic freedom fell slightly in this year’s report, and it remains well below its peak level of 6.92 in 2007. The average score fell to 6.84 in 2012, the most recent year for which data is available. In this year’s index, Hong Kong retains the highest rating for economic freedom, 8.98 out of 10. The rest of this year’s top scores are Singapore, 8.54; New Zealand, 8.25; Switzerland, 8.19; Mauritius, 8.09; United Arab Emirates, 8.05; Canada, 8.00; Australia, 7.87; Jordan, 7.86; and, tied for 10th at 7.84, Chile and Finland.
The United States, once considered a bastion of economic freedom, now ranks 12th in the world, tied with the United Kingdom at 7.81. Due to a weakening rule of law, increasing regulation, and the ramifications of wars on terrorism and drugs, the United States has seen its economic freedom score plummet in recent years, compared to 2000 when it ranked second globally.
The rankings of other large economies in this year’s index are Japan (23rd), Germany (28th), South Korea (33rd), France (58th), Italy (79th), Mexico (91st), Russia (98th), Brazil (103rd), India (110th), and China (115th). “
” A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds that after being presented with a description of the Common Core, 59 percent of Americans “strongly” or “somewhat” support “adoption and implementation,” while 31 percent oppose it. Of course, as we’ve seen before, the description is key. The WSJ/NBC pollsters used the following:
The Common Core standards are a new set of education standards for English and math that have been set to internationally competitive levels and would be used in every state for students in grades K through 12.
This is first biased in favor of the Core in what it says. It is, in fact, highly debatable that the Core is set to top international levels, while the use of “competitive” might suggest that the standards aren’t just benchmarked to top countries, but will help us to compete with them, an empirically hollow suggestion.”
Cato Institute has more on the slanted poll
” Last summer, I stumbled across a clever 1993 paper by education statisticians Mark Dynarski and Philip Gleason that proved it was possible to adjust average state SAT scores for variations in the test participation rate and demographic factors, making them comparable to one another. Barely able to contain my excitement (hey, don’t judge), I set about extending their method so that it could discern trends in state SAT scores over time, and improving the validity of its estimates by using more data, fewer assumptions, and more exhaustive methods. Last week, I released the technical paper presenting those extensions. Yesterday, I released a paper that uses them to chart academic achievement and spending trends, for every state, back to 1972. How did your state do? Find out here.”
As the reader can see from the graph of New York above , while education spending has skyrocketed the concomitant results put the lie to the Liberal mantra of “more spending” . Lest our readers think that NY is an outlier we leave you with another state as further proof that the ever-increasing spending is not benefiting the children …
The trend is widespread and hardly unique to the northeast . It’s quite simple really . In the past 40 years as education spending has grown exponentially nationwide and our taxes have gone through the roof the benefit to the students has been nil . See where your state stands here courtesy of the Cato Institute .
” Last week, A Conspiracy Against Obamacare: The Volokh Conspiracy and the Health Care Case was released, of which I am proud to be the editor. The book compiles the discussions and debates about the Affordable Care Act that occurred on the legal blog the Volokh Conspiracy, supplemented with new material. The posts are stitched together into a narrative structure. As a result, you can see the constitutional arguments against the Affordable Care Act develop in real time, from before the law was passed all the way to the Supreme Court.”
The contributing author’s roster in a virtual who’s who of the libertarian legal movement and as such this book is destined to become a classic in the history of the fight against Statism.
” The contributors are Randy E. Barnett, Jonathan H. Adler, David E. Bernstein, Orin S. Kerr,David B. Kopel, and Ilya Somin, most of whom are closely associated with Cato in one way or another.”
Buy it … Read it .
” People shouldn’t be surprised about the botched roll-out of Obamacare and all the damaging effects of the law that are now generating headlines. Over the decades, federal efforts to subsidize and manipulate the economy have failed over and over again.
That lesson has been driven home to me in researching Downsizing Government. Farm policies, for example, have been an ongoing boondoggle for more than eight decades. President Herbert Hoover’s Federal Farm Board blew $500 million trying to stabilize crop markets, but it did the opposite by inducing overproduction and depressing prices. Every farm bill since then—including the one moving through Congress right now—has been based on two very dumb ideas: that farm businesses need welfare and that agriculture needs government central planning.
I recently came across “The Sickness of Government,” (PDF) a 1969 essay by famed management theorist Peter Drucker. It is strikingly relevant to the problems we see in Washington today from Obamacare, to farm programs, to IRS abuse, to NSA spying. Unlike, say, Ayn Rand–who at the time was writing about government from the standpoint of individual freedom–Drucker was writing from the practical perspective that Big Government simply wasn’t working.
“Modern government has become ungovernable. There is no government today that can still claim control of its bureaucracy and of its various agencies. Government agencies are all becoming autonomous, ends in themselves, and directed by their own desire for power, their own narrow vision rather than by national policy.” “
In simple terms , big government runs contrary to human nature . Competition , ambition and self-interest are the motors of the human spirit and government is the antithesis of all . Big government , by it’s very nature , contradicts the natural order of things as it attempts to do FOR the individual that which should be done BY the individual .
” The history of libertarianism is more than a series of scholarly statements on philosophy, economics, and the social sciences. It is the history of courageous men and women struggling to bring freedom to the lives of those living without it. The works on this list give important context to the ideas found on the others.
A FIRST STEP
“A History of Libertarianism” by David Boaz
This essay, reprinted from Libertarianism: A Primer, covers the sweep of libertarian and pre-libertarian history, from Lao Tzu in the sixth century B.C. to the latest developments of the 21st century. Because it’s available for free on Libertarianism.org, the essay also includes numerous links to more information about major thinkers and their works. For a general sense of the rich history of the movement for liberty, this is easily the best place to start.”
Readers might also enjoy :
The major thinkers and events in the long struggle for liberty.
” Here are the 10 reports of police misconduct tracked for Wednesday, October 9, 2013:
- Pierre, South Dakota: The police chief is defending an officer’s use of a taser against an 8-year-old girl who was threatening to harm herself. The child was holding a knife against her chest at the time of the incident. Parents of the child, who was with a babysitter at the time, want the officer disciplined for using excessive force. argusne.ws/17nFlGh
- Hazel Green, Wisconsin: The police chief resigned after he showed up under the influence of alcohol for an investigative interview into allegations that he had been working while impaired. bit.ly/1bHmn61
- Trenton, New Jersey: A veteran police officer and his father have been indicted on charges of fourth-degree false swearing and workers compensation fraud. They made false statements while under oath.bit.ly/19eyl1c
- Update: Smith County, Texas (First reported 07-12-13): A now-former sheriff’s deputy pleaded guilty in a drug dealing case that involved selling crack cocaine and crystal methamphetamine out of his patrol car. The count against him alleged that he was caught in possession of more than 50 grams of meth and less than 28 grams of crack. ow.ly/pElRJ
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: A police officer was arrested and charged with committing fraud by requesting compensation for military leave even though he had retired from the military. He has been suspended for 30 days with intent to dismiss. ow.ly/pEkI9
- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: A city police officer has been convicted of drunken driving and involuntary manslaughter in an off-duty motorcycle crash that killed his fiancé’s friend. He was found not guilty of a more serious charge that carried a mandatory minimum of three to six years in prison. ow.ly/pE5Mf
- Tulare County, California: A deputy has been arrested on charges of sexual assault after he allegedly assaulted a woman he had pulled over.ow.ly/pE5i7
- Update: Springdale, Pennsylvania (First reported 07-05-13): A man who claimed a police officer used a stun gun on him while he was handcuffed was paid $225,000 by a borough’s insurance carrier to settle a lawsuit. The officer has pleaded guilty to a criminal charge of violating the man’s civil rights by punching and tasing him when he was not resisting. ow.ly/pE37O
- Portsmouth, Virginia: The sheriff is under more scrutiny after he paid inmates in his custody to work on his home. Now he is accused of allowing inmates to do work on a political campaign. He admitted that he violated state law and paid inmates to do the work on his house. However, that offense happened more than a year ago. and the statute of limitations has run, so he will not be charged. ow.ly/pDXBB
- New York, New York: An undercover police detective was arrested; investigators say he was shown on video hitting and kicking an SUV before bikers attacked the driver. He was off-duty when he joined a motorcycle rally that spiraled into violence. ow.ly/pE0lj “
See the toll on a day by day basis here at Cato
” The politicians, bureaucrats, lobbyists and interest groups in Washington are hyperventilating that the federal gravy train may get sidetracked for a day or two by a shutdown fight between Republicans and Democrats.
I’m not sure why they’re so agitated. After all, the shutdown is really just a slowdown since only non-essential bureaucrats are sent home. And everyone winds up getting paid for those unplanned vacations, which is why the bureaucrats I know are crossing their fingers for a lengthy confrontation.
But that describes what may happen when the new fiscal year begins tomorrow. What’s been happening in recent days, culminating today, is a feeding frenzy of end-of-the-fiscal-year wasteful spending.
Here are some details from a Washington Post expose.
This past week, the Department of Veterans Affairs bought $562,000 worth of artwork. In a single day, the Agriculture Department spent $144,000 on toner cartridges. And, in a single purchase, the Coast Guard spent $178,000 on “Cubicle Furniture Rehab.” …All week, while Congress fought over next year’s budget, federal workers were immersed in a separate frantic drama. They were trying to spend the rest of this year’s budget before it is too late. …If they don’t, the money becomes worthless to them on Oct. 1. And — even worse — if they fail to spend the money now, Congress could dock their funding in future years. The incentive, as always, is to spend. So they spent. “
Illustrations By Jeff McNelly
Guide to Libertarian Movies
” I’m delighted to report that Miss Liberty’s Guide to Film is available again—on Kindle. My friend Jon Osborne worked for years on this project, but the 2001 book has been out of print for years. It’s the best available guide to movies with libertarian themes, with more than 250 short reviews.”
Note : The previous post identified the UVa student arrested as Ann Downey while this article names her as Elizabeth Daly . Barton Hinkle covers the young lady in question’s arrest as well as detailing other recent flagrant abuses of government authority while providing a link to an interactive map of botched police raids nationwide .
” Daly understandably panicked. With her roommate in the passenger seat yelling “Go, go, go!” Daly drove off, hoping to reach the nearest police station. The women dialed 911. Then a vehicle with lights and sirens pulled them over, and the situation clarified: The people who had swarmed Daly’s vehicle were plainclothes agents of the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. The agents had thought the sparkling water was a 12-pack of beer.
Did the ABC’s enforcers apologize? Not in the slightest. They charged Daly with three felonies: two for assaulting an officer (her vehicle had grazed two agents; neither was hurt) and one for eluding the police. Last week, the commonwealth’s attorney dropped the charges.
These are not isolated incidents; for more information, visit the interactive map at www.cato.org/raidmap.