Paul v. Mike: Vouchers, Socialism, Capitalism,

Over the weekend Mike visited me from Chicago, where he works on his MBA from U-Chi, the bastion of free-market, "supply side" economics. At a party we had in Detroit, Mike railed against vouchers, the "problem" of people accumulating wealth and passing it to their kids, and the "unfairness" (which he wants to correct via govt actions) of people with more money having more access to resources such as better schools.

I argued that: the biggest problem that poor people have today in the US is themselves: they fail to make the best choices, and to seize the best opportunities, available to them. The best role for govt, I said, was to get out of the way, and to permit these people to benefit from such choices as:

- Living a crime-free life, in which they refrain from: assaulting, burgling, raping, shop-lifting, and vandalizing.
- Respecting the homes and neighborhoods that they have, no matter how modest, keeping them as clean and as well-maintained as they can, throwing their trash in designated garbage cans, and even dispatching the litter of others.
- Finding spouses and refraining from pregnancy until they have done so.
- Dressing and conducting themselves in accordance with the standards of self-sufficient, productive people. This means pleasant dispositions and polite behavior in public.
- Reading books, obeying teachers, completing school assignments, graduating from high school.
- Seeking, accepting, and holding the best job that they can find, with no "standards" against any type of work, such as "being too good" to work at McDonalds.

I further argued that as long as the productive, self-sufficient portion of society is going to fund some resources for "poor" people, the best sources for taking those dollars and providing resources to these "poor" people are private enterprises making a profit. I pointed out that where this happens -- such as in the case of the food and housing paid for by taxes -- these "poor" beneficiaries get much higher quality goods and services than where tax spending is restricted to government sources, such as for schooling. Thus I claim that govt education dollars should take the form of free-market vouchers, just as govt dollars do for other programs, such as food stamps, WIC cards, and Section 8 vouchers.

Here are some articles that I want Mike to read, in addition to my comments:

Poor getting richer, rich getting less rich (Tom Sowell)

Old Americans are rich, not poor (Tom Sowell)

Stop Making a Difference (Tom Sowell)

Health care: Govt vs Private (Walter Williams)

Economics & Property Rights (Walter Williams)

Creating Effective Incentives (Walter Williams)

Also, the link embedded in the title of this post, shows that from 1996 through 2005, that "the poor" are "getting less poor" and "the rich" are getting "less rich", exploding the claims that "the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. To the contrary, the poorest people in 1996 had their income increase nearly 100% by 2005; the richest people in 1996 were the only income strata of Americans to have their income dip during this time. Claims to the contrary involve comparing poor people today with poor people of ten years back, without accounting for people moving from one group to the other during this time.

And this:

Walter Williams has another reason to embrace vouchers: they will enable the individuals who compose the market to decide such controversial topics as school prayer and sex ed. For people bound by finances to the govt education option K-12, they must all get the same decision in these matters. With vouchers, po' black parents can send their kids to whatever school has the policies that they like, such as prayer with sex ed.


Democrats: Party of the Rich

The richer you are, the more like you are to vote democrat. I wonder if this is because voting democrat is a luxury, and that the less wealthy you are the more likely you are to realize that low taxes, vouchers, and other advertised republican principals will increase your chances of receiving rewards for smart choices. I also wonder how these stats apply to black folks, who are 90% devoted to the tax-and-spend party.

NYC Murder: Low Numbers, Mostly Black

Murder in NYC will fall below 500 this year, a remarkably low number for such a huge city (8 million). As with the rest of the country, most of the killers are black men (61%), though black men compose only a minority of the residents (NYC is about 25%, and thus about 12.5% black male).

Naturally the race stats fall at the end of the article, because they contradict claims of a racist USA where black folks face a dastardly white enemy. Only about 7% of the killers (and murder victims) in NYC come from the horribly racist and vile honkey population, cops attribute only a tiny 35 murders to strangers, and blacks compose 66% of the murder victims.

These stats prove that:

- NYC is a very, very safe city for everyone;
- In NYC, you have nearly no murder risk from strangers;
- Black men are about 5 times more likely to commit murder than white folks
- Black men are committing very, very few murders. NYC contains about 2 million black folks, and these people committed only about 300 murders. Compare that to Detroit, with about 750,000 black folks committing about 1,000 annual murders.


All We Are Saying, is Give Guns a Chance

These students at Tx State U at San Marcos want to see if students and profs packing heat will deter or squash violence on campus. I support giving this a try, but campus violence is so rare that resulting stats could not confirm a benefit, only at best demonstrate a lack of calamity. I suppose that even that would prove something useful...

Debunking "Soul Food"

An 1800s cookbook by a black woman proves that black folks all along have been cooking and eating foods of complexity and variety, not merely "Southern poverty cooking."

From today's NYT:
The black liberation movement of the 1960’s had celebrated “soul food”: dishes with a debt to Africa, like black-eyed peas, greens, gumbo and fried chicken. Neither the activists nor the scholars who later devoted themselves to black studies intended those dishes to be seen as the food on the stove of every black cook in America. But that is exactly what happened, historians say.


Who's Fighting Today's KKK?

Amen, Bill Cosby: People who admire those who gave their lives fighting the KKK in begone days today cower rather than confront those who now terrorize black folks. Today's terrorists, of course, and the neighbor's kids, killing, stealing, robbing, vandalizing, intimidating, and disrupting classrooms and school hallways and lunch rooms.


McCarthy Vindicated?

Looks liks eSen. Eugen McCarthy was correct, and his opponents over the years incorrect, about Soviet spies and secret communists working in the US federal government.


Global Warming A Scam: Weather Chanel Founder

If this meteorologist had endorsed Al Gore's view, his view would add to the "overwhelming" scientific vote in favor of human-caused climate catastrophes. Instead, it will get ignored.


Driving While Black, A Critical Look

Thomas Sowell finds no problem driving around the US, which makes him no different than any of the other millions of productive black people around the nation.


Detroit Voters Angry About Photo ID Requirement?

Why would any voters respond with anger when denied the ability to register a vote against their name on a ballot ledger? Does it anger them that they can't withdraw cash from a checking account bearing their name without an ID? Should they not be glad at this protection against somebody stealing their vote?


Racism In Mortgage Rates? Hardly

This NYT article attributes racism to explaining higher interest rates for an all-black neighborhood in Detroit than for an all-white neighborhood in the Detroit suburb of Plymouth, despite similar average income levels. But interest rates also are affected profoundly by:

1. Crime rates, which drive up monthly expenses for home and auto insurance. Plymouth is approximately crime-free, and Detroit is the opposite.
2. Property taxes, which also drive up monthly expenses. Detroit has double the metro average.
3. Consumer credit scores.
4. Resale expectations. If the writer of this article were loaning money for mortgages, where would he rather have to deal with resale? The answer is not even close.

One does not have to look for racism to explain the differences in mortgage rates here.