About Me

In writing the "About Me" portion of this blog I thought about the purpose of the blog - namely, preventing the growth of Socialism & stopping the Death Of Democracy in the American Republic & returning her to the "liberty to abundance" stage of our history. One word descriptions of people's philosophies or purposes are quite often inadequate. I feel that I am "liberal" meaning that I am broad minded, independent, generous, hospitable, & magnanimous. Under these terms "liberal" is a perfectly good word that has been corrupted over the years to mean the person is a left-winger or as Mark Levin more accurately wrote in his book "Liberty & Tyranny" a "statist" - someone looking for government or state control of society. I am certainly not that & have dedicated the blog to fighting this. I believe that I find what I am when I consider whether or not I am a "conservative" & specifically when I ask what is it that I am trying to conserve? It is the libertarian principles that America was founded upon & originally followed. That is the Return To Excellence that this blog is named for & is all about.

Thursday, February 24, 2022

American Socialism & Inflation Go Hand In Hand

"America has been more than fifty percent socialist for many years & we are not getting our money's worth." – Professor Friedman in 1996  

By this the great libertarian professor meant that when federal, state, & local government spending is added to the mandates on private spending that governments impose, the total is more than 50% of the output of the country - i.e., the share that is controlled by the government.  This is the equivalent of saying the government owns more than 50% of the means of production.  

In the calendar year 2021 the GDP (total production of new goods & services) was $22.99 trillion.  The federal government had current expenditures (i.e. spent) of $7.02 trillion of which $1.56 trillion was part of the nation's GDP - no part of government spending, including for defense, is a good part of GDP regarding building wealth in America.  The other $5.46 trillion represents the sum of federal government interest payments & transfer payments to individuals & businesses - which form the cornerstone of America's welfare system.

In addition, state & local governments had current 2021 expenditures of $3.24 trillion of which $2.49 trillion contributed to the GDP bringing total government spending in 2021 to $10.22 trillion.  

All of the above spending figures are from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) & equal 44.5% of America's GDP in calendar year 2021.  When added to the government's mandates on private spending (environmental, OSHA, workplace, building & zoning requirements including renovations to comply with new codes & the requirements for off-track improvements like the Mount Laurel Affordable Housing fee, & the employer mandate for healthcare) the trend tips toward the more than 50% socialist bent that Professor Friedman described.

The majority of the rest of this post is based on Brian Wesbury's presentation @ Hillsdale College on November 9, 2021.

Consider the growth of transfer payments.  In 1930 there were none.  By 1959 transfer payments from the government equaled 6% of all personal income.  By 2012 they equaled 17.8% & by 2020 they had grown to 21.6%.  $2.16 out of every ten dollars of national income were transfer payments from the government.  

The following graph shows the growth of non-defense federal government spending as a percentage of GDP. 

America went from spending 2.5% of GDP in 1930 to 27% of GDP in 2020 on non-defense expenditures, meaning that over the past 90 years the federal government has grown 10.8 times faster than the economy by this measure.

Taking selective points from the above graph - in 1935 there were 10 people in the wagon with 90 people pulling; in 1980 there were 17 in the wagon with 83 pulling; & in 2020 there were 27 in the wagon with 73 pulling.

The potential increase in the standard of living for all of America is massive if the 27 people would have jumped out of the wagon & contributed to the GDP like the other 73 people did.

But even more important, someone in the wagon undermines their own self-worth.  Their souls die.

Part of the human frailty of wanting to be in the wagon is the trait of always counting on, or looking for, someone or something to provide the strength to get us through the day - when in reality that strength is already there within all of us.  

Ayn Rand regarded the greatness of man as a heroic being as one who lives by his own effort, achievement, & reasoning ability & does not give or receive the undeserved, who honors accomplishment, & rejects envy.  Consider the following revision of the above graph to show the decline in church membership, hardly the point that Ayn Rand or I are making, on the left scale compared to federal government growth on the right scale - i.e., as people forsake religion their faith in government grew.  Government became the savior - the ultimate higher power for weak people - this is the point.

But it is this growth of government spending that has caused the inflation that is today tormenting all but the wealthiest of Americans.  Living off of transfer payments, as well as low & even middle class wages can't keep up with inflation.  There is no such thing as a free lunch.

In March of 2020 we shut down the economy yet were able to spend 20% more on retail sales in nominal dollars, a measure of spending @ stores, online, & in restaurants (normal increase for the time considered is 7%) - see graphic below.  All with 4 million fewer people working.  And the answer is we printed more money & gave it to everyone to spend today as if there was no tomorrow.  Lose your job in November & spend a full year's paycheck in December on your credit cards. 

At some point you pay a price - & that price is inflation.  In the fall of 2021 the above graphic shows that people spent 20% more in nominal dollars to buy goods valued only 14% higher in real terms - i.e., about one third of the increase in retail sales was due to inflation.  The point is that people really needed the 20% more nominal dollars to buy the goods.  They were just buying less goods with their dollars because higher retail-sales figures can reflect higher prices rather than more purchases.  If this continues for any appreciable length of time it will especially affect people on fixed income pensions who for the first time in 40 years will realize they are not on a fixed income but rather a declining income.

The year over year headline inflation increase figure for January is 7.5% - this figure is really more in line with the 10+% annual increases in the 1970s due to rent-housing methodology changes that lowers the entire Consumer Price Index.  Inflation has been above 5% @ an annual rate since May.  Moody's Analytical has calculated that the average household is spending an additional $276 per month because of inflation - determined by subtracting the average 2018-2019 baseline increased by the expected 2.1% inflation from what the average household spent under 7.5% inflation.

The following graph shows the growth of the money supply.  During 2020 - 2021, & even now, the production of goods is curtailed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.  The Fed & Treasury have increased the money supply during this curtailment of supply meaning the government directly induced too much money chasing too few goods - the definition of inflation.

Look @ the above graph in the 1970s when the money supply grew just under 15% year over year, year after year - substantially slower than the recent 28% growth shown on the above graph.  Many in this readership lived through this period where annual inflation was still 15% as late as 1980 - Paul Volker, the great inflation fighter, had been appointed Fed Chairman on August 6, 1979 by President Carter.  In fact it took until February 1982 before inflation dropped to 7.6% - the last time inflation was higher than it is now.  See graph below.

The point is it took several years for inflation to be tamed by Volker even with President Reagan helping on the supply side.  Today, we have Biden nominating Fed officials who have no interest in taking the steps necessary to bring inflation under control - regardless of what they say during Senate hearings.

In fact, the current Fed has produced the loosest monetary policy in its 108-year history as even, @ this late date of high inflation, the Fed is still purchasing bonds, albeit @ a slower rate than in 2021.  It should have already ceased the QE bond buying program & called an unscheduled meeting to raise interest rates - not wait for the March 15-16 meeting. 

But the Biden administration, working through the Fed, doesn't have it in them to stop the monetary cancer known as inflation - & it is insidiously showing.

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

The Importance Of Rejecting Trained Marxists In Our Education System

“There is little that is more important for an American citizen to know than the history and traditions of his country.  Without such knowledge, he stands uncertain and defenseless before the world, knowing neither where he has come from nor where he is going.” - President Kennedy 


A 2019 survey conducted for ACTA by the National Opinion Research Center revealed that only 18% of college graduates could identify James Madison as the “Father of the Constitution”—on a multiple-choice question.  Fifty-one percent did not know the term lengths of U.S. Senators and Representatives.  It is hardly any wonder that a recent survey of more than 41,000 Americans found that majorities in 49 states would not pass the U.S. citizenship test.

Ten percent of college graduates believe Judy Sheindlin—TV’s “Judge Judy”—is a member of the Supreme Court.  When eighth graders were asked to choose a "belief shared by most people of the United States," a majority (51 percent) picked "The government should guarantee everybody a job."  Eighteen percent of American adults think New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the architect of the New Deal, a package of programs introduced by FDR in 1933.  Twenty-six percent believe Brett Kavanaugh is the current chief justice of the Supreme Court, along with another 14% who identified Antonin Scalia, although he had been dead for two years at the time of the survey.  Only 12% know that it was the 13th Amendment that freed the slaves in the United States.  And 30% think the Equal Rights Amendment granted women the right to vote. 


I wrote The Five Points Of Citizen Control in May, 2009 (see left hand side of RTE) & the woke progressive Democrats are well on their way, @ our expense, to establishing control of all five of the points, the first two of which are enumerated below:

Citizen Control Point #1 - provide seemingly free education through government schools where the graduates are little more than illiterate & not proficient in math or science.

Citizen Control Point #1 includes ideas from Professor Friedman & Dr. Robert Stadler, Head Of The State Science Institute in Atlas Shrugged.

Trained Marxists have infiltrated our schools @ every level from kindergarten through graduate school to undermine & overturn our country by teaching radical political ideology that emphasizes Critical Race Theory & the historical inaccuracies & deliberate lies of the 1619 Project.  If you are a parent or concerned citizen who does not know what this means please let me know & I will fill you in.

Citizen Control Point #2 – have an anti-American hostile media tell the uneducated people from citizen control point #1 what the news is.

Control the media & you control the information that the poorly educated government schooled people hear & believe. These people are never able to discern or piece together why life does not get better for them.  In short, they keep voting for the same shysters who are their worst enemies.

The above educational stats from the very top of this post from the National Opinion Research Center clearly demonstrate the woeful education level of the American people & show why Karl Marx listed "free education for all children in public schools" as one of the ten tenets in the Communist Manifesto.  This translates in current day America to parents handing their children over to Marxist radical teachers who teach their children to hate America & their own parents as well.  Are responsible people sleeping through this?

Now the above type stats where ten percent of college graduates think TV's Judge Judy is on the Supreme Court have been presented on RTE for many years, but the absurdity of such ignorance has only been taking hold over the past few years.

Progressives in the Democrat Party have allowed "smash & grab" crimes to plague upscale stores in San Francisco & Chicago, promoted defunding police departments in many places, & ignored immigration laws to let record numbers of illegal aliens enter the country - many carrying the Wuhan coronavirus while U.S. citizens are constantly being required to wear masks & produce vaccine passports.  These types of ideas could not be seriously considered in a well educated society where the citizens were grateful for their standard of living which, in the case of America, is the highest in human history.  People should ask - are we throwing this away?  And, if so, for what?

Some states adopted bail reforms that kept offenders from jail entirely, like the guy who was arrested for setting the FNC outdoor Christmas tree on fire only to be seen walking around the FNC facility the next day.  A new crop of progressive prosecutors does not prosecute many misdemeanors & agreed to light sentences even for violent felons.  Many of these DAs were recently elected or reelected after openly campaigning on having qualms about incarcerating criminals.  Examples of such progressive prosecutors funded for election by America hating multi-billionaire George Soros - Kim Foxx, State Attorney Chicago; John Chisholm, Milwaukee; Chesa Boudin, San Francisco; George Gaston, Los Angeles; Letitia James, NY AG; Larry Krasner, Philadelphia; & Marilyn Mosby, State Attorney for Baltimore City.  Alvin Bragg, recently elected DA in NYC, & openly a light on crime DA who campaigned for the position that way, will not even give newly elected Mayor Eric Adams a chance @ crime reform so that many tourists would not go into NYC if you paid them to.  

Milwaukee DA John Chisolm told his local paper when he took office 15 years ago "Is there going to be an individual I divert, or I put into a treatment program, who's going to go out & kill somebody?  You bet.  Guaranteed.  It's guaranteed to happen.  It does not invalidate the overall approach" (of treating the criminal as the victim hoping he responds with kindness to this approach).  Prosecutors are giving sympathy to hardened criminals while simultaneously showing indifference to innocent people who just happen to be in the wrong place @ the wrong time - like 31 year old Kate Steinly in San Francisco who was killed by an illegal alien who had been deported half a dozen times or more.  Is trying to salvage his life worth more than protecting Kate's or one of your loved ones who happen to be in the wrong place @ the wrong time?

Most recently two policemen in NYC were murdered by a career criminal who should have been in jail - a man who had an open warrant for absconding probation in 2005 in a Queens' drug possession case.  Click here to hear Dominique, the wife of slain NYC police officer Jason Rivera, tell a packed St. Patrick's Cathedral that "we'll take the watch from here."  Dominique made a special appeal to DA  Alvin Bragg, who was in attendance, to not let this happen again.

This lawlessness is now well entrenched & with schools from kindergarten through graduate school teaching that the criminals are the victims who have been mistreated by law abiding citizens the trend toward even more of the same is growing.  Emeritus professor John Ellis, writing in the WSJ, documents that these destructive ideas have not yet peaked but rather are still on the rise, if for no other reason than the radicals on college campuses are still growing while gray beards are dying out.  Not a happy future forecast for many of the young loved ones of the gray beards.

Now I have recent first hand experience with the brainwashing that lets the absurd atrocities described above take hold in our country.  Recently I went to Barnes & Noble to buy a copy of Randy Barnett's & Evan Bernick's book The Original Meaning of the 14th Amendment.  Naturally B&N never carried one copy of the book in their bookstore but surprisingly could get a copy which I ordered & received in a few days.  While picking up the book @ the store Carol noticed a display @ the very front of the store showcasing the NYT's pet project, The 1619 Project.  See photo of display below.

Now you wouldn't believe the trouble I had last summer receiving a copy of Professor Peter Wood's book 1620: A Critical Response to the 1619 Project, which was specifically written to correct the malicious deliberate historical errors, misstatements & falsehoods of the 1619 Project originally presented in the NYTs & then also included in the book on prominent display in the bookstore as shown above.

It took several months for me to receive a copy of Professor Wood's 1620 book.  First I tried to order the book from a NYC bookstore but after almost two months of false promises & delays the bookstore told me they could not get a copy.  After trying other online sources without success I tried Barnes & Noble which effort in turn took several weeks & several false indications that the book was going to be delivered before it finally was.  See photo below.

Now it's taken a while, & examples like the ones above, but some people have started to catch on to what is happening to our country - especially fighting back against the criminal first, victim last mindset.  The most visible example is the election of Glenn Youngkin, who became governor of Virginia earlier last month.  On Youngkin's first day in office his very first official act as governor was to issue an executive order banning the teaching of Critical Race Theory (CRT) in Virginia schools, including the 1619 Project. 

Also, newly elected Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares simultaneously announced investigations into the goings on in the Loudoun County Public Schools that led to the surprise election of Youngkin as Governor & Winsome Sears as Lieutenant Governor of Virginia.

AG Miyares is investigating the months-long battle between parents & bureaucrats over why Critical Race Theory was being taught in Virginia public schools after the parents of students voiced such strong opposition that it was covered several times on national TV.  

Miyares also is investigating the case of a 15 year old male student, who is charged with sexually attacking a female student in a high school bathroom in May, & then sexually attacking a second female in another high school in October, after he was transferred.  The NY Post reports that the male student wore a dress into the women's bathrooms in each attack & may not relate to being a transgender female (i.e., he has not had sex reassignment surgery).

Recently Loudoun County juvenile court Judge Pamela Brooks found sufficient evidence to sustain charges of the May sexual attack on the male of forcible sodomy & forcible fellatio on his female classmate.  The ruling was the juvenile court equivalent of a conviction for the male, who was not identified because of his age.

And possibly what was the last straw in Virginia in the furtherance of the criminal first, victim last mindset the father of the first female high school victim was arrested for trying to speak @ a Loudoun County school board hearing about transgender bathrooms.  Who could be against this father?

Parents in Loudoun County, Virginia got the right idea & made their presence known & felt @ school board meetings that resulted in a surprise result in the state's gubernatorial election, where real change can now happen.  These parents' actions brought out voters who wanted to end Marxist teachers indoctrinating their children & grandchildren with an ideology where everything is seen through the lens of race & then it is so pitted against America that any result of any discussion on any issue ends up with America being seen as a racist country when in fact "the United States was the first moral society in history" - Ayn Rand.  Just how stupid, asleep, ungrateful, or disinterested in our future are we?

I recently received an email that said "I had a long conversation with someone about our country's difficulties.  They were especially concerned about critical race theory & how progressives are pushing this dangerous ideology into American schools, businesses, & even the military.  They kept asking me, "What can I do?"

The last two posts have presented examples & offered suggestions regarding how all of us can help return our education system to one of excellence that will contribute to the growth & prosperity of America.  You can interview school board candidates or run for the school board yourself.  You can take the Hillsdale high school curriculum (see last post) to the principal's office so that it can be the basis of what is taught to your children.

Regarding  The Hillsdale 1776 Curriculum, one subscriber sent it to a relative who teaches in a local school & another subscriber said they would withhold contributions to their school until it adopted the measure.

If any of this is important to you please help.