• Evening in America and It’s Raining Hard

    January 11, 2024

    Tags: , ,
    Posted in: Biden, Economy, Trump, Yemen

    It’s evening in America. How might what we see affect the presidential election?

    Pessimism: There is pessimism about the future, as a majority of Americans now believe the next generation is likely to have a lower standard of living. A Wall Street Journal poll found just 21 percent of respondents felt confident life for their children will be better, matching the record low.

    Inflation: For more than two-thirds of voting age Americans, 2023 was by far the highest inflation of their adult lifetimes. Higher prices means less spending power. A recent poll on the economy found just seven percent of respondents were principally concerned about the availability of jobs, while 64 percent were most worried about prices. What’s the White House concerned about? Jobs, not prices, even to the point where one of its unofficial spokespersons, Paul Krugman of the New York Times, has created a genre for his column scolding Americans for not seeing how great the economy really is. Things are going well for some; the richest one percent grabbed nearly two-thirds of all new wealth, worth $42 trillion, created since 2020, almost twice as much money as the bottom 99 percent of the population. If the economy is expanding, fewer people are benefiting from it. Averages may look good, but the median numbers, not so much. Why, Bidenomics seems to ask, can things be bad when so many people now work two or even three jobs?

    Crime: Only 20 percent of registered voters feel that “things in the country these days are under control,” compared with 66 percent who feel that things are “out of control.” Out of control how? According to Gallup, 28 percent of households reported that they had been hit by crime, up from 20 percent in 2020. Some 63 percent of Americans describe the crime problem as “extremely” or “very” serious, the highest Gallup ever recorded, and 56 percent say there is more crime in their area than a year ago, also a record high.

    It has gotten to the point where several businesses near the location where George Floyd died are suing the city of Minneapolis for a lack of policing. The lawsuit accuses police of blocking off the area, called “George Floyd Square,” for over a year with concrete barriers, which turned the area into a hotspot for violent crime. Criminals know “the area lacks police protection,” the lawsuit alleges, and businesses are seeking $1.5 million in damages. As with many school resource officers, the cops left George Floyd Square in response to community complaints about over-policing. Downtowns are hollowing out again, as businesses close in response to unabated smash and grab and mass shoplifting campaigns carried out in front of prosecutors unwilling to act. Albeit in part Covid-related, more than two percent of New York City tax payers fled the state, mostly high net worth individuals/taxpayers.

    Drugs: Deaths from drug overdoses almost doubled from 52,404 in 2015 to 106,699 in 2021. Efforts to halt the flow from China of precursors used to make fentanyl have been limited, from blandly bellicose and provocative statements about Taiwan’s future, to asking Beijing very nicely to stop exporting.

    Deaths of Despair: Life expectancy in the United States has recently fallen for three years in a row—a reversal not seen since 1918 or in any other wealthy nation in modern times. In the past two decades, deaths of despair from suicide, drug overdose, and alcoholism have risen dramatically and are still rising. Anne Case and Angus Deaton, who first sounded the alarm about deaths of despair, explain the overwhelming surge on the social and economic forces making life harder for the working class.

    Health: The U.S. now has a lower average life expectancy than Japan, driven by an increase in death rates in young and middle-aged adults 25 to 64. Besides Japan, life expectancy is also lower than Canada, the UK, Iceland, Hong Kong. Also Iran, China, Algeria, and Cuba, not the usual peers the U.S. claims. Guns account for about half of the suicides committed by young people and the majority of homicides. So while firearms play a large role, clearly there’s a mental health crisis fueling it. Mental-health-related visits among children, teenagers, and young adults surged between 2011 and 2020, from 4.8 million to 7.5 million.

    The bottom line is our young people are less likely to reach age 20 than most around the world, including Syria. Only 23 percent of American youth are eligible to serve in the military due to being overweight, using drugs, or having mental and physical health problems. The U.S. drags the global lower-middle, clustered in infant mortality statistics which place it as peers to Bulgaria, Romania, and Serbia, and well below Canada, Japan, and most European countries. Those numbers reflect broad averages from within the United States. When you look at America by race, black infant deaths are more than twice those of whites, about what most Central American countries suffer.

    Education: The educational harm caused by the coronavirus pandemic has been “devastating,” according to a recent survey of 26 million K-8 students by researchers at Stanford, Johns Hopkins, Dartmouth, and Harvard. The researchers also found the pandemic “exacerbated economic and racial educational inequality.” The average “U.S. public school student in grades 3-8 lost the equivalent of a half year of learning in math and a quarter of a year in reading.” In New York City there are 119,300 homeless students in the public school system who depend on school for three meals, a shower, medical care, and handout clothing in addition to reading and writing (math scores are also down.)

    Guns: Americans ages eighteen to twenty account for only four percent of the population but 17 percent of murders. 86 percent of the weapons came from the homes of friends, relatives, or parents. Some 70 percent of school shootings since 1999 were carried out by people under eighteen. The median age of school shooters is sixteen. There have been at least 554 school-shooting victims, with at least 311,000 children exposed to gun violence at school in the U.S. since the Columbine High School massacre, all spread across 376 schools. Black students make up 16.6 percent of the school population but experience school shootings at twice that rate. The frequency of shootings has increased, with a surge of forty-six incidents in 2022, the highest in any year since 1999. The safest year was 2020, when most schools were closed and parents needed only to worry — mostly pointlessly, it turned out — about Covid taking their kids.

    War and Defense: Overseas a period of relative calm has been replaced by an era of proxy-type wars that appear to many Americans to be as pointless as they are expensive. The fights in Ukraine and Gaza draw hundreds of billions of dollars in “aid,” leaving many Americans wondering if their taxes are too high given what appears to be the easy availability of such massive amounts of money. Politically the war-weary American population knows we are one bad decision away from entering both conflicts, unless you want to count Special Forces in Ukraine and naval action against Iranian-Houthi targets as us being “already in.” There is a feeling of unsettlement — are our sons and daughters going back to war so soon after the disastrous ending of twenty-some years in Afghanistan? At what point will the troops come home and the money come home to assist Americans in their struggles? At $877 billion in defense spending per year, the U.S. outspends the next ten nations on the list (China, UK, Japan, etc.) The U.S. has more bases abroad than any other country. Our post-9/11 wars caused 4.5 million deaths, and displaced up to 60 million people. What for?

    Immigration, healthcare costs, war talk with Iran, nuclear gamesmanship with the Russians, it’s a long story. But as they say economics (education, etc…) is only complicated when talking to an economist. About 70 percent of all voters do not want Biden to run, including 51 percent of Democrats polled. Against the likely Republican nominee, Biden already trails by four points or more in swing states.

    So, who are you voting for?

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    Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity.

  • Recent Comments

    • John Poole said...

      1

      To be more concise- it is closing time in America but the inebriated populace (high on righteousness) has no intention of obeying city ordinances. Conscientious civil servants do exist and are forthright and loyal to the high ideals set forth in their oath. Having been forced to salute the DEI banner for the past three years which State and Defense now fly under Biden’s orders they will be considered vermin in the Trump administration.

      01/11/24 8:06 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      2

      Unless I missed it in skimming over your article, did you mention the obscene income distribution in this dumbass country? Are you purposely blind to the rich owning the majority of the wealth? As of late 2022, 735 billionaires collectively possessed more wealth than the bottom half of U.S. households ($4.5 trillion and $4.1 trillion respectively). The top 1% held a total of $43.45 trillion.

      No matter who occupies the White House this trend will not change. Peter, it’s evening. Go to sleep. It’s later than you think.

      01/11/24 9:27 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      3

      Who will the Repug voters choose?

      Iowa caucus goers who are supporting Haley as their first-choice candidate, just 23% say they’ll vote for Trump, versus 43% who say they’ll vote for Biden. Among DeSantis voters, 37% say they will not vote for Trump. Something about that Meatball insult is sticking more than the spaghetti Trump is throwing on the wall. And if any of the DD 900 criminal charges stick, more Repug voters say they will stay home on Election Day.

      Word to the wise: don’t piss on voters and tell them it is raining.

      01/14/24 11:29 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      4

      While Peter professes there are complex issues MAGA voters must consider when voting, let US consider the simple issue your average seventh-grader (the reading level of your average MAGAT) can understand:

      WOULD YOU VOTE FOR DONNIE DIAPERS IF HE WAS BLACK LIKE OBAMA?

      Doesn’t make for a long article of course, but it does get to the hearts and minds of MAGA.

      01/14/24 1:42 PM | Comment Link

    • Doc said...

      5

      “Who am I voting for?”

      Do you even believe that we are going to vote our way out of this mess?

      There is no political path out of this.

      01/15/24 9:16 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      6

      Death Cult leader: “You can’t sit home. If you’re sick as a dog, you say ‘Darling, I gotta make it.’ Even if you vote and then pass away, it’s worth it.”

      So, who are you voting for?

      01/15/24 9:42 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      7

      Vivek lost in an Iowa blizzard. It was a white-out.

      01/16/24 8:39 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      8

      Donnie Diapers versus Cassidy H. and the Florida Sundance Kid

      DD’s got new criminal charges raining on his head

      Latest Quinny poll finds 52% of likely voters would not vote for Donnie Diapers. Not surprising as there has Never been any doubt Donnie Diapers would lose the popular vote for the third time. So it will come down to the EC again, but Florida could rain on DD’s chances. After the Florida Meatball aka the Sundance Kid got drenched in Iowa, it is a question whether his supporters turn against Donnie Diapers. DD won 51.2% of the Florida vote in 2020. If 33% of Florida Repugs don’t vote for DD, that would rain on DD’s parade to the WH. Imagine if just one of those trials result in a conviction. Cassidy testified Mark Meadows “didn’t look up from his phone and said something to the effect of, ‘There’s a lot going on, Cass, but I don’t know. Things might get real, real bad on January 6th.’”

      DD has a decision to make.
      “Well, the way I figure it, we can either fight or give. If we give, we go to jail.” – Butch Cassidy

      01/16/24 1:17 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      9

      So why are Republicans still voting if it is all rigged?

      Only 7 percent of Republican Iowa voters bothered to venture out in the Iowa winter to support the Orange Clown. Of those, two-thirds of Iowa caucus-goers said President Biden did not legitimately win the election in 2020, according to results from network entrance polls conducted by Edison Research.

      While a case can be made that the majority of these lost cause deniers are too stupid to wipe their asses and easily fooled to believe the Orange Clown’s lies, a more depressing case can be made these deniers are cowards and are taking it up the ass rather than fight for their freedom. But these are the common clay of the West, you know…morons. I give them more credit than that. A more convincing case can be made that they identify with the Orange Clown because they are just bullshitters too.

      01/16/24 9:26 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      10

      The MAGA munchkins will abandon Donnie Diapers when convictions are raining on his head. Leave it to Cassidy H to pour water on him.

      DD: I’m melting. You cursed brat! Look what you’ve done! I’m melting! Melting! Oh, what a world! What a world! Who would have thought a good little girl like you could destroy my beautiful wickedness! Ohhh! Look out! Look out! I’m going! Ohhhh –

      01/17/24 12:59 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      11

      Peter, you forgot the most important issue: MAGA delusion that Donnie Diapers built the wall and gave us world peace, but then Democrats and China (Trump’s pal Xi) made up a phony virus that doesn’t make you sick—and Diapers caught it and made a beautiful vaccine that kills you and he saved us—before the Dems stole the election and Diapers had to start an insurrection that didn’t happen that Nancy did just so they could make it look like Diapers did it even though he told the attackers he loved them and would pardon them and Obama secretly runs everything and the CIA and FBI do too and that Jew Soros. Then they started the war Putin started and are behind the Hamas attack as well and Diapers will stop it all in 24 hours.

      The question is how these morons know how to vote.

      01/17/24 1:09 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      12

      Bauer: What is up to now “scheduled” to happen in the 2024 POTUS election is up to the gods. If it is Trump vs Biden then whatever the results they will be contested. I will again abstain. I want neither to be my “leader”. Maybe Trump will have a valid running mate. Kamala Harris was picked for racial/gender purposes. She is a defective human being. It happens sadly. She can’t help being a clueless idiot.

      01/17/24 2:04 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      13

      Speaking of clueless idiots, Ron the Meatball makes Kamala look like a genius.

      DeSantis in Hampton NH, taking his 9th town hall here: “Every booster you get, you’re more likely to get COVID.”

      Calling Ron a meatball is an insult to the intelligence of meatballs.

      01/18/24 8:11 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      14

      Of course a significant percentage of ignorant voters identify with ignorant Ron. The Annenberg Public Policy Center found in 2022 that approximately one in four Americans could not name a single right guaranteed by the First Amendment, and 25% of Americans were also unable to name any of the three branches of government, according to Annenberg.

      And in 2018, the Institute for Citizens & Scholars found that a full two-thirds of Americans would fail the U.S. citizenship test, which asks basic questions about U.S. history and the nature of the U.S. government.

      It is amazing these idiots can even find their way to their voting center.

      01/19/24 1:16 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      15

      Biden and the Insurrection Act

      Donnie Diapers promises there will be bedlam if he loses the election…again. While this is likely bullshit talk, DD may shit himself if Biden takes DD seriously and invokes the Insurrection Act if he feels he may lose. Military is ordered to Confiscate the voting machines in DD territory. Since the definition of insurrection is by law left for the current president to decide, Biden won’t need immunity to act.

      So it won’t matter who you are voting for, right?

      01/19/24 8:29 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      16

      It’s not evening in America. It’s the Twilight Zone.

      Iowa was a fitting locale for the demise of the Good Life in the Ol USA. Donnie Diapers demands everyone say nice things about him or he banishes them to the Iowa cornfield.

      01/20/24 1:41 PM | Comment Link

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