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Archive → December 28th, 2015

Public Sector Employees burden every State

DEC 22, 2015 @ 12:36 PM
Which Are Death Spiral States?

William Baldwin
CONTRIBUTOR  Forbes

Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

https://www.thinglink.com/scene/735521934803992578

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Does your state have more takers than makers? Check it out.

California has a powerful economy, with 14 million private-sector jobs. It also has burdens: welfare recipients (12.6 million), generously paid government employees (2.1 million) and people collecting government pensions (1.3 million).

Add up the numbers. There are 114 clients drawing from the government for every 100 people chipping in by working outside the government and paying taxes. We’re calling this the Feedme Ratio. Six states have a number over 100.

These states are at risk of going into a downward spiral in the next recession. The burdens will remain but too many of the providers—employers in the private sector—might shrink or decamp. Why add jobs in a state that asks each productive worker to carry not just his or her own weight but also the weight of one other person?

New York is on the list of at-risk states, with a Feedme Ratio of 108. New Mexico is in the worst shape, with 143 government clients for every 100 private-sector workers.

The three other states with Feedme Ratios over 100: West Virginia at 116, Mississippi at 111 and Arkansas at 103. You can check your state on this map.

The hazard with overburdened states is that the departure of jobs could someday turn into a rout. Just this is happening in Puerto Rico. Its productive citizens are leaving for the mainland. They are sticking a dwindling population of private-sector workers with the burdens of supporting the government’s clients and paying off the government’s debt.

 

Sunny, silicon-rich California is a long way from Puerto Rico’s fate, but the costs of keeping the government fed are on an ominous upward trend. A decade ago the top individual income tax bracket decreed by the solons of Sacramento was 9.3%; today, it’s 13.3%. The nice pensions for state and local workers in California are $189 billion short of adequate funding, according to an analysis by Moody’s. That pension debt comes to $13,500 for every private-sector job.

An employer would find Florida more hospitable. Per employee, the burden of unfunded pensions there is only one-fifth as high. The Tax Foundation calculates that Florida’s tax collections amount to 9.2% of the state’s economic output, versus California’s 11.4%. The Florida Feedme Ratio is only 69.

Did you get a job offer in California? Pause before taking it. When you buy a house there, you are incurring your share of the state’s obligations. You cannot walk away from them. In effect, you don’t really own that house. The state pension fund owns it. You are just a junior partner in the arrangement.

Years from now you may look for an escape. You may head for low-tax Florida. But potential buyers will be stepping into your shoes and will price their bids accordingly.

Buying bonds? California’s credit rating, Aa3 at Moody’s, isn’t as bad as it used to be (Baa1 during the economic crisis). But the Feedme Ratio is ominous. Keep your California maturities short.

If you are making a choice about where to locate a business, pick a safer state. Four have Feedme numbers below 50: North Dakota, Utah, Nebraska and New Hampshire.

If you have already invested in a risky state by owning a house or business, the best you can do is to pay attention to how politicians are spending your money. Open the Books, a project of a nonprofit called American Transparency, has assembled a 50-state database to make this task easier. Its file contains 2.4 billion entries for salaries, pensions and vendor payments. Among the gems in this collection:

–Connecticut has eight employees making over $1 million a year.

–A superintendent of a small Chicago-area school district (consisting of two elementary schools) got pay boosts at the end of her career and so arranged to collect a $210,480 annual pension.

–California has 13,496 state and municipal employees drawing salaries of $200,000 and up.

“Transparency is great, but unless people hold the political class accountable it doesn’t mean anything,” says Adam Andrzejewski, who runs Open the Books.

Our map of fiscal doom has, for each state, the Feedme Ratio and one illustration from OTB of a spending decision by the politicians.

Sources for the data that went into the Feedme calculations are the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Kaiser Foundation (whose Medicaid survey is used for the welfare count) and the Boston College Center for Retirement Research. We added jobs on the federal payroll to the private sector number since they help pay a state’s bills.

A similar survey of states’ economic health published here three years ago included pension funding deficits in the risk ratios. This time the formula does not incorporate those deficits. Instead, we tabulate the pension problem here:

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Source: Will County News

January 12th AFP Free Grassroots Leadership Academy

I wanted to reach out and send you the information for our Grassroots Leadership Academy Training beginning January 12th.  If you traveled to Ohio with us in August, you may have attended a seminar about the Grassroots Leadership Academy.  This will be the first time GLA has come to Illinois; they travel all across the United States training good conservatives how to effectively bring the fight for freedom to their local communities.

By attending you will learn how to effectively make the case for economic freedom, how the left operates and how to effectively message and tell your story in your community.
You can attend as many of the sessions as possible, but in order to be considered a certified activist, you must attend all six courses and must contribute six volunteer hours during the span of the 6-week program. Each session will last between 2-3 hours and dinner will be provided by GLA.
If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to me directly either by email attkoehn@afphq.org or on my cell phone at 224.239.5311.

Click Here to Register Today!  http://www.eventbrite.com/e/rolling-meadows-il-grassroots-activist-certification-tickets-19627803288

 

 

 

 

IL gla image

Source: Will County News

Exposing Black Lives Matter

Exposing Black Lives Matter
Left to right: BLM Founders Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, Opal Tometi

Exposing Black Lives Matter
Written by Rev. Dr. Eric M. Wallace, PhD.
In my lifetime I have seen a number of organizations and movements pull at the heartstrings of the African American community. In 1995 it was the Million Man March calling on black men to atone for their failings. Today, it is the Black Lives Matter movement that draws our attention and concern. Who of African descent can disagree with the idea that black lives matter? My mother is black. My father is black. My brother and cousins are black. My wife and children are black. How could I not be interested in this movement? How could we not be concerned about the young black men dying at an alarming rate at the hands of police officers and gang violence?

A few months ago, I reluctantly accepted an invitation to speak on the topic of whether Christians should be involved with the Black Lives Matter movement. The topic was especially timely because of growing racial unrest over the murder of Laquan McDonald in Chicago (October 2014), the shooting death of Michael Brown (August 2014) and the gang assassination of Tyshawn Lee. It was also timely because in July 2015, our organization, Freedom’s Journal Institute, held a conference titled “In Defense of Life: Why All Lives Matter.”

The video of Laquan McDonald’s murder had just come to light, and demonstrations were happening in Chicago. These demonstrations were led by people I didn’t necessarily agree with and whose tactics I did not view as glorifying to God. Once I visited the Black Lives Matter (BLM) website, however, I was glad I had accepted the speaking engagement. The BLM website specifically identifies itself with the black liberation movement:

#BlackLivesMatter is a call to action and a response to the virulent anti-Black racism that permeates our society….It goes beyond the narrow nationalism that can be prevalent within Black communities, which merely call on Black people to love Black, live Black and buy Black, keeping straight cis Black men in the front of the movement while our sisters, queer and trans and disabled folk take up roles in the background or not at all.

Black Lives Matter affirms the lives of Black queer and trans folks, disabled folks, black-undocumented folks, folks with records, women and all Black lives along the gender spectrum.  It centers those that have been marginalized within Black liberation movements.  It is a tactic to (re)build the Black liberation movement.

The history, leadership, and troubling emphases of the BLM movement–including how it addresses homosexuality and gender confusion–must be exposed.

The differences between the Civil Rights Movement and the black liberation movement are significant. While the Civil Rights Movement was led by ministers, many of whom held a biblical worldview and infused their protests with prayer, the black liberation movement was associated with the Black Panthers, Angela Davis, and Marxist ideology.  Unfortunately, today’s civil right leaders have largely abandoned a biblical worldview.

The identity of the founders of BLM helps explain the radical underpinnings of the BLM movement. Three community organizer/activist women founded this organization after the death of Trayvon Martin. Two of the three, Alicia Garza and Patrisse Cullors, identify as “queer” black women. The third founder, Opal Tometi, executive director of Black Alliance for Just Immigration, explained in an interview with The Nation that “we are diligently uplifting black trans women and so the work on the ground in many places does reflect that.”

According to Truthout, Tometi, who is the child of parents who immigrated to the United States illegally, explains that BLM was “[n]ever simply a reaction to police violence against African Americans in the United States, Black Lives Matter was always conceived of as a strategic response to white supremacy.”

In an interview with Cosmopolitan Magazine, Ms. Cullors shared that she is inspired by Assata Shakur who was convicted of first-degree murder for the killing of a New Jersey state trooper and who escaped from federal prison and has been living freely in Cuba since 1984. Shakur was also a member of the former Black Panthers and Black Liberation Army.

Christians who take the Bible seriously must not affirm either homosexuality or gender-confusion. In Romans 1:18-32, Paul teaches  that God unequivocally condemns homosexual practice. Paul also made clear in 1 Corinthians that God can bring deliverance from sins—including homosexual practice:

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.  11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

By affirming what God condemns, BLM stands in opposition to the transformative power of Jesus.

While BLM claims to seek justice for oppressed and victimized persons around the world, they fail to address the genocide of black babies through abortion or the deaths of young African American males from gang violence in their list of social injustices. Apparently, what matters most to BLM is ideology.

Reading the “Herstory” page on the BLM website illuminates the organization’s central concerns:

  1. Black lives are systematically and intentionally targeted for demise.
  2. Black Lives Matter is an ideological and political intervention.
  3. Black people are deprived of basic human rights and dignity.
  4. Black poverty and genocide is state violence.
  5. When black people get free, everybody gets free.
  6. Black liberation has played an important role in inspiring and anchoring, through practice and theory, social movements for the liberation of all people.

I was surprised to find that with the exception of the last one, I agree with these beliefs. I disagree, however, with the causes of the problems as well as the solutions. What is omitted from the concerns of BLM is the place that both liberal public policy and Planned Parenthood have had in “systematically and intentionally” targeting and destroying the black community. And because BLM gets the causes wrong, it gets the solutions wrong as well.

Whereas BLM sees white supremacy and institutional racism as the causes of the poverty and violence that afflict the black community, conservatives view the causes as bad governmental practices and policies. Most conservatives have long argued that liberal public policies have “systemically targeted” the black family. Blacks have been “deprived of their human rights and dignity” through government largess, which has perpetuated poverty and destroyed the black family. In other words, the “state” has committed violence against black people.

The very liberal social agenda embraced by “progressives” who pursue bigger, more intrusive government continues to harm the lives of blacks. For example, here in Illinois, the economy and public school system, shaped for decades by liberals and liberal policy, are among the worst in the nation. Whose lives are harmed most directly and significantly by our terrible economy and government schools? Black lives.

Worse still, Planned Parenthood (and the abortion lobby in general) has targeted the black community “for demise” since the days when its racist founder Margaret Sanger led the organization. Planned Parenthood continues to commit genocide against black babies.

According to BLM, “black liberation” can be achieved only by reversing the roles of master and slave. The tragic truth is that the policies sought by BLM only serve to keep the black community enslaved. The freedom BLM proposes is not freedom at all. It is slavery under a different master. It calls on black Christians who are already free in Christ to abandon their freedom for black solidarity, which for the Christian is a form of idolatry. The politics of BLM is the politics of racial grievance, a tool used to manipulate both blacks and whites alike.

Stay tuned for part two.


Dr. Eric Wallace is the co-founder and president of Freedom’s Journal Institute, and has organized the Black Conservative Summit and a one day conference “In Defense of Life: Why All Lives Matter.”  Dr. Wallace and his wife Jennifer live in the south suburbs of Chicago.

Source: Will County News