. . . we are really two different countries and the similarities to Civil War era America abound.
And there’s this too – the ten poorest States. I got it from a 2011 story at Glenn Beck’s The Blaze where commenters were not surprised, reasoning that that’s what Obama had done to us in just 20 months. The man worked fast!
- West Virginia
- South CArolina
- North Carolina
How about teen pregnancies? Below the mid point and dominating the list for ‘least teen pregnancies’, all of New England and most of the NorthEast. And what region dominates the list for ‘most teen pregnancies’? Lookee here:
STATES WITH MOST TEEN PREGNANCIES:
New Mexico – 93/1,000
Mississippi – 90/1,000
Texas – 85/1,000
Nevada – 84/1,000
Arkansas – 82/1,000
Arizona – 82/1,000
Delaware – 81/1,000
Louisiana – 80/1,000
Oklahoma – 80/1,000
Georgia – 78/1,000
STATES WITH FEWEST TEEN PREGNANCIES:
Iowa – 51/1,000
Nebraska – 50/1,000
Utah – 48/1,000
Wisconsin – 45/1,000
Maine – 43/1,000
Massachusetts – 42/1,000
North Dakota – 42/1,000
Minnesota – 42/1,000
Vermont – 38/1,000
New Hampshire – 33/1,000
How about high school dropouts by State? A pattern emerges.
Posted in economy, education, Government, health care, History, Politics, poverty, religion, the nation
Tagged demographics, education, health care, Politics, poverty, US History, US States North versus South
It’s an illustration of one thing that we’re still doing right – this picture reminds me that for two and a quarter centuries we’ve managed a peaceful transfer of power every few years. That counts for something.
Betcha didn’t know that tomorrow is Jefferson Davis’ Birthday! (Here in Florida, that’s a paid holiday for State workers. Betcha didn’t know that either!)
Fortunately the celebration of ole Jeff’s birthday only calls for that other flag, cuz I just put away the stars and stripey one after Memorial Day.
In an earlier post, kitchenmudge asked if this nation ever had a balanced budget. I don’t know, but this post says the last time we did it was 1957. He has some nice clean tables there. In this one, note that the deficit went down every one of Clinton’s 8 years in office and it went up in 7 of 8 years of George Bush. Say no more.
And this is a good summary of historic trends in our debt; it sounds like any law demanding a balanced budget would preclude our ability to go to war since wars are always fought on borrowed money. I’ve faulted GW Bush for that, but the real problem was that he simultaneously implemented huge tax cuts.
The United States has had public debt since its inception. Debts incurred during the American Revolutionary War and under the Articles of Confederation led to the first yearly reported value of $75,463,476.52 on January 1, 1791. From 1796 to 1811 there were 14 surpluses and only 2 deficits. The first dramatic growth spurt of the debt occurred because of the War of 1812. In the first 20 years following the War of 1812, 18 surpluses were experienced and the US paid off 99.97% of its debt.
The second dramatic growth spurt of the debt occurred because of the Civil War. The debt was just $65 million in 1860, but passed $1 billion in 1863 and had reached $2.7 billion following the war. In the following 47 years America returned to the practice of running surpluses during times of peace experiencing 36 surpluses and only 11 deficits. During this period 55% of the US national debt was paid off.
The next period of major growth in debt came during WWI reaching $25.5 billion at its conclusion. It was followed by 11 straight surpluses and saw the debt reduced by 36%.
A fine figure of a man
When I posted this video earlier, I missed something, but ojmo picked it up in comments. This all-bumper-sticker video celebrating Sarah Palin’s America? Watch it and ask yourself, as ojmo did, What’s with the Redcoats!.
For those of us who slept through high school History, the Redcoats were the British. We wore a very tasteful blue with cream lapels. Quite attractive – especially on Washington who chose the uniform. Epic fail Sarah. Now let’s see who amongst the punditocracy notices.
We suffer legions of fellow citizens who hate government and are certain that all innovation and growth comes from the almighty private sector, driven by individualists and innovators.
I copy/pasted this some months back and failed to copy the link. It speaks to this point better than anything I’ve ever read. And I don’t know who said it. So my apologies the author and my thanks for the fine words.
Decades of relentless Republican hate-mongering against the government has done its job.
Never mind that it was government that pulled off the greatest feat of social engineering in history. In 1900, only 4% of Americans graduated from high school. By 2000, more than 80% did. It was this mass educated public that made possible the most technically sophisticated economy in the history of the world.
It was government that won both World War I and World War II, leaving the U.S. economy astride the world like a colossus, able to harvest the fruits for decades. It was the government GI Bill program that educated a generation of young people to ultimately defeat the Soviet Union.
It was the government that wired every house in the country for electricity during the Great Depression, setting up the largest household consumer-goods market in the world in the 1950s: home appliances. And it was government guarantees for home loans that set off the greatest building boom in the history of the world: suburbia.
It was government that paved more than 3 million miles of road between 1930 and 1960, making possible the massive economic boom associated with automobiles, mass mobility, and more. It was government research that invented the graphical user interface (I remember when we called it ‘gooey’) and the Internet.
Of course, none of that matters.
Moments when this country could have made epic and positive changes – but didn’t.
President Andrew Johnson – He entered the White HOuse following Lincoln’s assassination. He had utter disdain for the emerging Reconstruction policy, stopped it and led with is own bigotry. The legacy of slavery wasn’t addressed again until the mid-20th century (Truman to Johnson).
GW Bush – Following 9/11, just eight months into his presidency, George Bush had a nation that would have followed its president anywhere, risen to any challenge. He had a chance to give us a ‘go to the moon’ challenge and the US could have begun a journey to lead the world in alternative energy technology (not instead of Afghanistan; the efforts could have been side by side).
Obama – He walked into office on a day when the nation would have enthusiastically gotten behind a call for vast reform of the financial industry, the tax codes and a stronger regulatory structure. But he didn’t. Stimulus was the right thing to do, but it stopped short. And in the financial industry at least, it reenforced the bad behaviors that led to the meltdown.
Posted in Afghanistan, Civics, economy, elections, energy, George Bush, Government, History, Politics, racism, Random thoughts, taxes, The President-who-is-not-Bush
Tagged Andrew Johnson, Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Presidency, REconstruction, US History
Newsweek just published one of those How Dumb Are We articles that seem to pop up every few years. We Americans never do very well, especially compared with the rest of the First World.
For as long as they’ve existed, Americans have been misunderstanding checks and balances and misidentifying their senators. . . . the yearly shifts in civic knowledge since World War II have averaged out to slightly under one percent.
This time the magazine surveyed 1000 people and the 100 questions were from the current test for US Citizenship. It seems most of us would fail. I tried to take the quiz and got up to #28 (of 100 questions), but honestly, the process is painfully slow so I just quit. Each question is on its own screen, then another screen for the answer which also shows the scores of the people surveyed. It was depressing:
- 70% of Americans don’t know what is the supreme law of the land
- 86% don’t know how many members of the House of Representatives
- 61% have no idea how long a Senator serves
- 63% don’t know how many justices on the Supreme Court
- 87% don’t know that the economic system in the US is capitalism
- 81% couldn’t name one of the enumerated powers of the Federal Government
- 73% couldn’t name the US enemy in the Cold War
Oddly, a full 58% do know that the Speaker of the House is third in line for the Presidency.
The accompanying article, in making the point that Americans have always been ill informed about their own government and country, said that now, however, “the world has changed. And unfortunately, it’s becoming more and more inhospitable to incurious know-nothings—like us.”
In fairness, they describe some of the mitigating factors that contribute to why we fare so poorly against other developed nations, especially in Europe.
Most experts agree that the relative complexity of the U.S. political system makes it hard for Americans to keep up. In many European countries, parliaments have proportional representation, and the majority party rules without having to share power with a lot of subnational governments . . . In contrast, we’re saddled with a nonproportional Senate; a tangle of state, local, and federal bureaucracies; and near-constant elections for every imaginable office. . . It doesn’t help that the United States has one of the highest levels of income inequality in the developed world . . . we have a lot of very poor people without access to good education, and a huge immigrant population that doesn’t even speak English.
If you have the patience to take the test (here) let us know how you did.