Discussion Outline

Dear Friends,

After our meeting on April 11th, quite a few e-mails were received from the other 10 attendees concerning one of the comments I made during the course of our discussion.

Since that comment should be of general interest, my response was as follows.

In general, I was delighted with “Gardens of Democracy” because its two authors were not content with “living the good life” after being so successful, but rather have devoted an incredible amount of time analyzing and writing about what should be done to improve our society, and then have “gone on the road” with speeches, etc., to promote their solutions!!!

“Gardens of Democracy” lays out the agenda of the Mainstream Media and takes issue with a few positions while endorsing the overwhelming majority.


The most important thing to understand about America’s Permanent Underclass is that over the decades, “identical twin studies” (the “Gold Standard” for distinguishing between genetic and environmental effects) of inner-city identical twins orphaned before their first birthday where one twin is adopted by a suburban family and the other twin remains in the inner city, HAVE CONSISTENLY SHOWN THAT THE TWINS ADOPTED BY SURBURBAN FAMILIES DEVELOP BY ADULTHOOD MEASURED I.Q.’S THAT EQUAL THE AVERAGE SURBURBAN LEVEL OF MEASURED I.Q.’S, WHILE THE TWINS THAT REMAIN IN THE INNER CITY ONLY DEVELOP AVERAGE INNER-CITY MEASURED I.Q.’S.

That is why I was so shocked and appalled that our authors would reflect the ignorance and prejudice of the Mainstream Media at --

(A) p. 90, where our authors state that they believe that intelligence and diligence (which they label “the keys to success”) are not equally distributed!!!

(B) p. 98, where our authors opine that it is OK to crap on the Permanent Underclass (please “pardon my French”), so long as there is a robust Middle Class!!!

(C) p. 140, where our authors pay homage to the Myth of Upward Mobility in America!!!

(D) p. 141, where our authors concede the falsehood that talent is not equally distributed!!!

As we have studied at least four times during our 6.5-year existence, the U.S. government has consistently recognized over the decades that 30% of Americans are illiterate as defined as the ability to read the warning label on a can of rat poison!!!

Accordingly, should there have been any wonder that when the first 179 “I Have A Dream Programs” providing in 51 American inner-cities tutoring and mentoring from elementary school through H.S. graduation with a guarantee of college tuition --

(A) 99% of the inner-city children came from single-adult households,

(B) 95% of total inner-city households were headed by a single adult who was a drug addict, and

(C) 75% - 80% of total inner-city households were headed by a single-adult drug addict who turned any receipts over to the pusher so the kids had to steal just in order to eat.

[Yours Truly was organizer, chief benefactor and workhorse of one of those IHAD programs during the 1990’s, when he also served as volunteer treasurer of IHAD-National and compiled those statistics for fund-raising purposes.]

And is it any wonder that in such an environment that the typical high school graduation rates were SINGLE DIGITS if there are added back to the base everyone who, before high school, has already dropped out or been killed or been incarcerated!!!

So why is anyone surprised that there is a Permanent Underclass???

And why doesn’t the Mainstream Media “give a damn” (please pardon, once more, my French)???

Respectfully submitted,

John Karls
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Discussion Outline

Post by UtahOwl »

DISCUSSION OUTLINE FOR The Gardens of Democracy

I. Citizenship

a. Do you agree with the sources of the erosion of trust and responsibility since 1970 named on pp 45-51?

b. “Just as progressive taxation asks those who can pull the most weight to do so, progressive civic contribution asks those who have the most civic capacity – and who have benefited the most from our civic culture – to take the most responsibility.”

II. Economics & What is Capitalism, Anyway?

a. Belief: Economic reality is “Your gain is my loss”, aka Win-Lose:
i. Is this reality? Or Mythinformation?

ii. Is there a class difference in who holds this belief ?

b. What is the evidence that: Less regulation leads to more concentration of wealth in fewer hands (corporate or personal)

c. Is there substantial evidence that inequalities of wealth have damaging economic and/or social consequences
Example 1: If income distribution had remained constant since the days of Reagan (1980), then the average American family would make 24% ($12,295) more annually than they do. This would be an enormous difference in Federal & state tax revenue, thus reducing the deficit problem.

III. Government – What should it do? And how?

a. A short list of cognitive dissonances in current political “discourse”

i. The government is encroaching dangerously and unconstitutionally on personal liberties !– look at the ACA Mandate!
OTOH - I think the following actions are just fine:
Individual freedoms curtailed by the Supreme Court (cribbed from John K) or legislated by state or federal legislatures:
Viz: Religious practices banned, despite Constitutional freedom of religion
• Polygamy by Mormons – Reynolds v U.S. (1879)
• Refusal of male students to attend ROTC – Hamilton v. Regents of UCal (1934)
• Refusal by children of Jehovah’s Witnesses to salute flag –W.Va. State Board of Ed v. Barnette (1943); Minersville School District v. Gobitis (1940)
• Refusal of Amish children to attend public school – Wisconsin v. Yoder (1972)
AND: Religious practices enforced despite Constitutional freedom of Religion
• Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA –passed by Congress 1996)
• Numerous ALEC-sponsored bills passed by state legislature (e.g., Texas, Virginia) that insert specific religious beliefs into private decisions about contraception or abortion

ii. The government should let markets alone & they will set the most efficient prices!
OTOH – A President who was a REAL leader would be doing something about the ridiculously high gas prices!!

iii. Capitalism is based on markets, and everyone knows markets are efficient and don’t need any regulation! And politicians don’t have any business picking winners!
OTOH – Of course we need to keep agricultural and oil-drilling subsidies! We need to guarantee jobs and enough food!

iv. Government has no business meddling in social engineering and redistributing wealth from the rich to the rest.
OTOH – see Tax Code….which redistributes wealth all over the place…lately, mostly to the 0.01% richest.

Clearly the Rational Human of standard economic theory does not exist. The irrational exuberant/depressed/clueless/clever one does.

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