US LEI Rose Again in September
The US LEI rose again in September, though at a slower rate, suggesting the economy remains on a more moderate growth trajectory compared to the first half of the year,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, Senior Director of Economic Research at the Conference Board.
The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for the US increased by 0.2 percent in September, following increases in both July and August.
US Raw Steel Production Up from Previous Week
In the week ending 10/16/21 US raw steel production was 1,882,000 net tons at an ACUR of 85.3 percent, up 1.3 percent from the previous week.
US Drill Rigs Running Up 10 from Previous Week
There were 543 drill rigs running in the US last week, up 10 from the previous week, up 261 rigs from one year ago. Canadian drillers added one rig, to 168, up 88 rigs from one year ago.
An opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal 10/15/21 by Phil Gramm and Mike Solon. Excerpts follow:
President Biden’s effort to pass the largest tax increase in US history is based on the verifiably false claim that Americans with high incomes don’t pay their “fair share.” In no other country do the rich bear a greater share of the income tax burden than they do in the US.
The OECD data show that the top 10% of American households earn about 33.5% of all earned income but pay 45.1% of all income taxes, including Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes.
Comparing total federal, state and local taxes with total income including government transfer payments in 2017, the bottom quintile of income earners in the US paid 7.5% of their total income in taxes. The second quintile paid 14.1%, the middle quintile paid 22.7%, the fourth quintile paid 28.4% and the top quintile paid 35.2%. the relative tax burden continued to rise to a 40.9% average before dipping to an average of 32% for the top 400 earners, who earn more than $400 million per year.
Why a lower rate for the top 400 filers? Because they make use of the same types of tax-advantaged investments that the Democrats are now trying to expand in their Build Back Better tax bill.
They donate large amounts to charity and lower their effective tax rates by responding to government tax incentives. They buy tax-exempt municipal bonds and invest in things like solar and wind energy and low-income housing. Odd that they are then accused of not paying their fair share.
In a classic bait-and-switch, Mr. Biden and the Democrats are demanding that taxes be raised not only on the 400 filers earning more than$400 million a year, but on families earning $400,000. These families aren’t rich enough to use tax-advantaged investments effectively and they are already paying a higher share of the income tax burden relative to their income, than any other taxpayers on earth.
The Democrats tax-the-rich ruse is further evident in their pledge to remove the cap on the state and local tax deduction, or SALT. Restoring the SALT deduction would provide tax cuts for very high earners in high-taxing blue states-again, many of the same people that Democrats claim don’t pay their fair share.
The Democrats can get away with pretending that raising corporate taxes represents a tax on the rich only because people do not understand that corporations don’t ultimately pay taxes. If there is anything economists agree on-and there isn’t that much-it’s that all taxes imposed on corporations fall in part on the consumers of their products and in part on their stockholders and workers.
For a while the Democrats can simply deem more Americans rich and raise their taxes. Eventually an American welfare state will require European welfare state taxes-such as a 20% sales tax paid by everyone.”
Meanwhile, down on our southern border…
Meanwhile gasoline is nearing $4.00/gallon
Meanwhile shortages of food, commodities etc. continue unabated
Meanwhile the mandates have resulted in a lack of fire, law enforcement and military personnel, along with doctors and nurses and regular working people, all of whom consider these mandates an attack on their constitutional guarantee of liberty.
DEI: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion
Now, like a pimple about to burst, the Marxist ideology called DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion), which has been ripening for decades, have now come to dominate teaching and research agendas.
University of Chicago geophysicist Dorian Abbot argued in a Newsweek piece that universities’ obsession with “diversity, equity and inclusion, threatens to derail their primary mission: the production and dissemination of knowledge.” For saying this he was cancelled from giving a speech on climate at MIT by their department of earth, atmospheric and planetary sciences. The speech will now be hosted by Princeton’s James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions.
Newly established diversity offices (in the 70’s and 80’s) developed procedures to counter the possibility that underlying issues might interfere with ensuring both excellence and diversity. Once entrenched, the DEI offices began to grow unchecked. They became huge and expensive offices not subject to faculty oversight and now work to impose “equity” not only by discriminating in favor of female and minority candidates but by demanding and enforcing ideological commitments from new faculty.
Several years ago, one began to see an additional criterion in advertisements for faculty openings. As a recent Cornell ad puts it:
Also required is a statement of diversity, equity and inclusion describing the applicants efforts and aspirations to promote equity, inclusion and diversity through teaching, research and service.”
This isn’t merely pro forma; it’s a real barrier to employment (the article writer was chairman of a physics department in the 90’s and was required to write a statement justifying each appointment made that went to a white man.) The life-sciences department at the University of California, Berkley, reports that it rejected 76% of applicants in 2018-19 based on their diversity statements WITHOUT looking at their research records.
The DEI monomania has contributed to the crisis of free speech on campus. As Mr. Abbot’s cancellation illustrates, even tenured senior faculty aren’t immune. All this creates a climate of pervasive fear on campus and shuts down what should be an important academic discussion. After I wrote an article in the Wall Street Journal about the intrusion of ideology into science, I heard from faculty around the country who wrote under pseudonyms that they were afraid of being marginalized, disciplined or fired if administrators discovered their emails.
Beyond these…DEI offices are working to indoctrinate incoming students. This year at Princeton, the New York Post reports, freshmen were required to watch a video promoting “social justice” and describing dissenting debate as “masculine-ized bravado. If such efforts succeed, a new generation of students won’t have the opportunity to subject their own viewpoints to challenge-surely one of the benefits of higher education.”
Lawrence Krauss, president of the Origins Project Foundation. In the WSJ 10/21/21
It bothers me greatly that the US government is flying illegal aliens all over our country, dropping then off in the middle of the night to various cities, giving them taxpayer money, taxpayer housing, taxpayer, food and healthcare etc. and yet we have American veterans, those who have been maimed in war, those lucky enough to return home physically unscathed (mental health being a different issue, though as important). Our heroes and defenders of freedom must seek charity from the American people in order to survive-but the illegals do not. Where is the justice in this?
“MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN”
“KEEP AMERICA GREAT”
Have a great weekend…. God bless America!
Buy American made products whenever you can, it’s good for you, good for your friends and neighbors and good for our country.
If you are hiring…try to hire a veteran…. they are loyal, disciplined, hardworking…and they deserve our support.
By the way, if you wish to comment on my rants or offer any other insights you may have, you are encouraged to email me.
TEDDY ROOSEVELT ON IMMIGRANTS IN AMERICA…1907
In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person’s becoming in every facet an American and nothing but an American. There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag…We have room for but one language here and that is the English language…and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.”