Suggested Discussion Outline

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johnkarls
Posts: 2061
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2007 8:43 pm

Suggested Discussion Outline

Post by johnkarls »

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The following outline is respectfully suggested –


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A. Comments About Specific Chapters of “The Myth of American Inequality: How Government Biases Policy Debate” – 60 minutes

Our tradition is to devote the first portion of each monthly meeting to going through the focus book, chapter by chapter, to invite important comments that are specific to a particular chapter. After all, each participant (except, perhaps, “first timers”) have taken the time to read the focus book and her/his opportunity to opine on anything in the focus book should NOT be denied.


Chapter 1 – Introduction: Official Statistical Measures Understate America’s Well-Being

Chapter 2 – Inequality in Producing and Consuming in America

Chapter 3 – Poverty in America

Chapter 4 – Trends in Income Inequality

Chapter 5 – Causes of the Growth in Earned-Income Inequality

Chapter 6 – Measures of Well-Being

Chapter 7 – What about the “Super-Rich”?

Chapter 8 – The American Dream Is Alive and Well

Chapter 9 – Fifty Years of Economic Progress

Chapter 10 – Policy Implications and Conclusions


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B. Discussion Issues – 50 minutes

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1. How valid were the criticisms of Timothy Noah [author of “The Great Divergence: America’s Growing Inequality Crisis and What We Can Do About It” (Bloomsbury Press 4/24/2012) and the long-time lead New Republic columnist (traditionally called ‘TRB’)] --

(1-A) that “The Myth of American Inequality” was “playing games” by including in economic-class well-being two governmental INSURANCE programs paid for by recipients (viz., Social Security and Medicare)? [Please see viewtopic.php?f=715&t=2263&sid=8afdeb21 ... ee548092df.]

(1-B) that “The Myth of American Inequality” was guilty of zillions of other criticisms? [Please see viewtopic.php?f=715&t=2263&sid=8afdeb21 ... ee548092df and viewtopic.php?f=715&t=2262&sid=8afdeb21 ... ee548092df.]


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2-A. Did the authors of our 2/7/2018 focus book “$2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America” by Professors Kathryn J. Edin and H. Luke Shaefer (Houghton Mifflin September 2015) lead a team that interviewed tens of thousands of American households and, accordingly, DID THEY NOT RELY ON ANY ALLEGEDLY BIASED GOVERNMENTAL INFO?

2-B. Did “$2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America” investigate the effect of Pres. Bill Clinton’s “abolition of welfare as we know it” [i.e., crowning his 1992 campaign slogan by gratuitously (i.e., despite veto-proof Democratic Party opposition) signing into law 8/22/1996 the abolition of the cornerstone of FDR’s New Deal “Aid to Families With Dependent Children Program”] thereby increasing his 43.0% 1992 popular vote to 49.2% in 1996?

2-C. Did Professors Edin and Shaefer and their team document that the impact of Pres. Clinton’s 1996 “abolition of welfare as we know it” was, as of 2011, the number of families living on less than $2.00/person/day DOUBLING TO 1.5 MILLION HOUSEHOLDS – which included 3 MILLION CHILDREN?

2-D. Did the “less than $2.00/person/day include the value of food stamps? Did it include the value of any housing subsidies for the 20% of such households that were NOT homeless?

2-E. Do you think that America’s homeless population has increased since the 2015 publication of “$2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America”?

[These questions are contained in the Short Quizzes whose Suggested Answers are available at viewtopic.php?f=714&t=2268&sid=8afdeb21 ... ee548092df and viewtopic.php?f=714&t=2267&sid=8afdeb21 ... ee548092df.]


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3-A. Did our 6/3/2020 focus book “The Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America” by Jonathan Kozol (Crown Publishing 9/13/2005) cap a 50-year career of writing award-winning best-selling books on American inner-city education?

3-B. Did “The Shame of the Nation” describe how the U.S. Supreme Court effectively overruled its famous 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education decision declaring unconstitutional the de jure dual-school system of the 11 states of the old Civil-War Confederacy and the 6 slave states that were duped into remaining in the U.S. by Pres. Lincoln’s claim that the purpose of the Civil War was to preserve the Union and had nothing to do with abolishing slavery??? WAS BROWN VS. BOARD EFFECTIVELY OVERRULED BY PARENTS VS. SEATTLE SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 1 (551 U.S. 701 (2007)) WHICH HELD THAT “APARTHEID” SCHOOLING WAS JUST FINE SO LONG AS IT REFLECTED “APARTHEID” HOUSING PATTERNS?

3-C. Is Appendix E of “The Myth of American Inequality” entitled “Intragenerational Mobility by Income Quartile” INTENTIONALLY MISLEADING by comparing the ALLEGED upward mobility of the American population for 1987-1996 to 1996-2005??? Are we supposed to believe that the U.S. Government STOPPED KEEPING SUCH STATISTICS after the Supreme Court’s “Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America”???

3-D. Have many of our meetings over the years focused on THE EXPORTATION OF AMERICAN JOBS PRIMARILY TO CHINA 1993-2016???

3-E. So even if “The Myth of American Inequality” had shown a bit of variation between “income quartiles” 1987-1996 and 1996-2005, isn’t “The Myth of American Inequality” ACTUALLY LOOKING AT REALITY UPSIDE DOWN because instead of UPWARD mobility, the Appendix E statistics are really documenting THE DESTRUCTION OF AMERICA’S MIDDLE CLASS AND ITS DOWNWARD MOBILITY???

[Questions 3-A and 3-B are contained in the Short Quizzes whose Suggested Answers are available at viewtopic.php?f=714&t=2266&sid=8afdeb21 ... ee548092df and viewtopic.php?f=714&t=2265&sid=8afdeb21 ... ee548092df.]


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4-A. Does the current U.S. Supreme Court case of “Students for Fair Admission vs. Harvard” address “affirmative action” allegedly favoring African-American applicants at the expense of Asian Americans?

4-B. Although the goal of “affirmative action” may be laudable, is “affirmative action” at the college level NOT an adequate remedy since it is far too late in the process in which the overwhelming majority of economically-disadvantaged African-American children have dropped out long before high-school graduation?

[Please see “Affirmative Action - Last Monday’s Supreme Court Oral Arguments In Students For Fair Admissions vs. Harvard” at viewtopic.php?f=714&t=2270&sid=8afdeb21 ... ee548092df.]


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C. Proposed Six-Degree-Of-Separation E-mail Campaign(s) – 10 minutes

None by Yours Truly

Anyone else??? [Please don’t be dissuaded by the prospect of 10 minutes to socialize!!!]

johnkarls
Posts: 2061
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2007 8:43 pm

U.S. Census Bureau on Homelessness

Post by johnkarls »

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Discussion Outline Sec. 2 (items 2-A thru 2-E) recalled that our 2/7/2018 focus book “$2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America” by Professors Kathryn J. Edin and H. Luke Shaefer (Houghton Mifflin September 2015) --

(1) reported on the authors’ team that interviewed tens of thousands of American households and, accordingly, DID NOT RELY ON ANY ALLEGEDLY-BIASED GOVERNMENTAL INFO!!!

(2) reported that the impact of Pres. Clinton’s 1996 “abolition of welfare as we know it” was, as of 2011, the number of families living on less than $2.00/person/day DOUBLING TO 1.5 MILLION HOUSEHOLDS – which included 3 MILLION CHILDREN!!!

(3) reported that the $2.00/person/day included the value of food stamps and the value of housing subsidies for the 20% of families that were NOT LIVING ON THE STREET (vs. in homeless shelters, “couch surfing” with relatives/friends, etc.)!!!

(4) queried whether you think that America’s homeless population had increased since the 2015 publication of “$2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America.”


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In formulating your guess re Item 4, you might be shocked and appalled to know that the U.S. Census Bureau does NOT keep tabs on America’s homeless population!!!

Its Press Release Number CB21-SFS.166 of December 21, 2021 (https://www.census.gov/newsroom/stories ... l-day.html) said –

“The U.S. Census Bureau does not produce or publish an official count of the population experiencing homelessness, but during the decennial census, we do enumerate people at certain types of facilities that serve the population experiencing homelessness. These facility types include emergency and transitional shelters, soup kitchens, and regularly scheduled food vans. In addition to these service-based facilities, we count people at targeted non-sheltered outdoor locations (e.g., people staying outside in certain pre-identified places like encampments under bridges or in parking lots).”

The Census Bureau press release then contained a table with the following statistics highlighted in yellow –

2010 population – 1,134,383
2020 population – 1,365,146
Change 2010 to 2020 – 230,763 or 20.3%

WTF???!!!

“$2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America” reported that as of 2011, there were 1.5 million families INCLUDING 3 MILLION CHILDREN living on less than $2.00/person/day including food stamps, etc., AND 80% OF THOSE FAMILIES WERE LIVING ON THE STREET (vs. in homeless shelters, “couch surfing” with relatives/friends, etc.)!!!

Assuming such families include at least one adult, that’s 4.5 million human beings of whom 80% were LIVING ON THE STREET (vs. in homeless shelters, “couch surfing” with relatives/friends, etc.)!!!

That’s at least 4.5 million HOMELESS human beings in 2011 of whom 3.6 million were LIVING ON THE STREET!!!

[Or, using the Census Bureau’s 20.3% increase stat – 5.4 million HOMELESS human beings in 2020!!!]

SO WHERE DOES THE U.S. CENSUS BUREAU GET OFF SUGGESTING THE NUMBER IS LESS THAN A QUARTER OF THE CORRECT NUMBER???!!!

AFTER ADMITTING THEY DON’T TABULATE SUCH INFORMATION???!!!

NOW THERE IS A U.S. GOVERNMENTAL INFORMATION SCANDAL FOR FORMER SEN. PHIL GRAMM ET AL. TO INVESTIGATE!!!

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