Bankrupting America has a new info-graphic and fact-sheet out asking one simple question… Is the American Dream still alive?
Growing up dreaming of being a doctor, buying your first home, sending your kids to college – whatever your American Dream may be, you have one. No, money can’t buy you love or happiness, but it’s a means to an end. So do wishes still come true in a time of economic uncertainty? Take a look at what Americans are saying.
The numbers say it all.
87% say the American Dream is somewhat alive
11% say the American Dream is not really alive
2% say they are not sure
70% say the American Dream is somewhat alive
27% say the American Dream is not really alive 2% say they are not sure
The story goes on. In 2011:[list type="arrow"] [li]
- 54% of Americans believed their families are getting along alright or fairly well.
- 45% of Americans believed their families feel pinched or are not able to make ends meet.
- 62% of Americans do not think they earn enough money to lead the kind of life they want.
- 68% of Americans believe they are in control of their personal economic situation.
- 58% of Americans believe other people in the country are not in control of their economic situation.
When asked if looking forward, they believe the next generation will be better off economically than the current generation:[list type="arrow"] [li]
- 20% said strongly yes
- 10% said yes
- 1 1% were unsure
- 10% said no
- A whopping 49% said strongly no.
Originally posted at Center for Security Policy by Frank Gaffney, Jr.
This week, the Obama administration will roll out its big guns in support of President Obama’s latest assault on American sovereignty and security interests: The UN Law of the Sea Treaty (better known as LOST). Of course, when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey appear before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday, they will appear to be talking about another accord altogether – one that strengthens our sovereignty and is deemed by the U.S. military to be essential to our security.
So which is it?
The proponents are hoping that Senators on and off the Foreign Relations panel will do what they did during what passed for their chamber’s consideration of the New START Treaty in 2010: Take the administration’s word for it; be impressed by the pro-treaty testimonials and lobbying of an array of formereminences and special interests; and largely dispense with the serious scrutiny and check-and-balance vetting the framers had in mind when they entrusted to the Senate the constitutional responsibility to advise and consent to treaties.
If, on the other hand, the members of the U.S. Senate trouble themselves to study, or at least read, the text of the Law of the Sea Treaty, they would immediately see it for what it really is: a diplomatic dinosaur, a throwback to a bygone era when UN negotiations were dominated by communists of the Soviet Union and their fellow-travelers in the Third World.
These adversaries’ agenda was transparent and wholly inimical to American equities. They sought to: establish control over 70% of the world’s surface; create an international governing institution that would serve as a model for bringing nation states like ours to heel; and redistribute the planet’s wealth and technology from the developed world to themselves. LOST codifies such arrangements – and would subject us to mandatory dispute resolution to enforce them via stacked-deck adjudication panels
Fortunately, even if Senators are disinclined to go to school on what the Law of the Sea Treaty entails – and why it cannot possibly serve even the parochial interests of the U.S. Navy or oil and gas industries whose willfully blind support will be much in evidence in the ratification campaign ahead – others are doing their homework. Such efforts are likely to make the timing of the Obama administration’s current quest, shall we say, most inopportune.
First, Dick Morris and his wife, Eileen McGann, have just published an important new book that addresses, among other outrages, LOST as a prime example of the title: Screwed! How Foreign Countries are Ripping off America and Plundering our Economy – and How our Leaders Help Them Do It. In addition to their proven track-record as best-selling authors, Dick’s regular appearances on Fox News ensures that millions who might otherwise be unaware of what is afoot will be on notice and on guard. That markedly improves the chances that those who might try to slip such an assault on our sovereigntythrough in the dark of night will be challenged and held accountable.
Second, Glenn Beck – whose predicted demise as an influential broadcaster with his departure from Fox has proven, thankfully, to be premature – did yeoman work educating the American people about LOST in 2007, the last time a push was made to ensnare us in this accord. In his new and wildly successful reincarnation as a pioneer of internet subscription-based television, Mr. Beck stands to be even more effective in connecting the dots for his audience, and engaging them in opposing LOST.
Third, on June 1st, theaters nationwide will begin showing a documentary by Ami Horowitz called “U N Me” that uses Michael Moore-style humor and intrepid camera-work to lay waste to the United Nations as a corrupt, self-dealing, incompetent and fundamentally anti-American institution. It is hard to believe that anyone who sees this film will want to entrust any more resources, legitimacy or responsibility to such an organization – or to its subsidiaries like LOST’s International Seabed Authority, the Orwellian-named “Enterprise,” the Law of the Sea Tribunal, the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, etc.
As it happens, even before such important forces are brought fully to bear in opposition to Team Obama’s bid to ram through the Senate this “constitution of the oceans,” the ratification bandwagon hit something of a roadblock. At the initiative of freshman Representative John Duncan (R-Tennessee) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), who chairs the House Republican Study Committee, the House of Representatives last Friday voted 229-193 to bar millions of dollars the administration had sought to contribute to the funding of LOST organizations. This is the first time either chamber has formally voted in opposition to this agreement and is a salutary shot across the bow of its proponents.
There is, of course, one other factor that should prove problematic in terms of the timing of President Obama’s effort to foist LOST on the American people is that it comes amidst an election in which his presumptive Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, is no fan of this accord. According to an October 2007 report, a spokesman declared that “Governor Romney has concerns with the Law of the Sea Treaty. He believes giving unaccountable international institutions more power is a serious problem.”
The 2012 Conservative Leadership Conference announced today that Mark Ciavola has been chosen as this year’s recipient of the event’s Nevada Conservative of the Year Award. He is the current chairman of the Nevada College Republicans, while also working on Congressman Joe Heck’s (R-Nevada) re-election campaign.
Mark’s involvement in Nevada politics began in late 2009 when he launched Right Pride, a conservative organization dedicated to spreading the message of limited government, free markets and individual responsibility within the gay community.
From there Mark briefly worked for the Republican National Committee’s Victory Program before being hired to run the volunteer efforts for Dr. Heck’s successful campaign against then-Rep. Dina Titus in 2010.
In 2011, Mark was elected president of the UNLV College Republicans. During his one year term, he grew the organization from 50 members to over 800, raised more than $31,000 and formed the Nevada Federation of College Republicans, which he presently chairs, by re-chartering the chapter at UNR.
Mark was appointed a UNLV student senator in the summer of 2011 and recruited a slate of candidates that took over the Student Senate in last October’s elections – winning 15 of 25 seats. Last month, Mark formed a ticket of conservative students to run for the student government executive board. His ticket won in a landslide, making Mark the new UNLV Student Body President.
“It’s one thing for a conservative to win an election to head up a College Republican organization,” said Chuck Muth, president of Citizen Outreach and co-host of the conference. “But it’s quite another for a conservative to become the head of the entire student body at a major urban university.
“Mark is a doer, not a talker,” Muth continued. “And he understands the necessity of taking the limited-government/liberty message to constituencies and groups outside the traditional conservative movement’s camp. As such the Conservative Leadership Conference is proud to recognize Mark by honoring him as this year’s recipient of our Nevada Conservative of the Year Award.”
The award will be presented to Mark at the annual Awards Luncheon on Saturday, June 9, 2012. For additional information, go to http://www.CLC2012.com
With unemployment still above 9 percent, Americans are searching for answers that will lead to quality, lasting jobs. Past failures of jobs programs show that addressing the symptom instead of the disease has yet to lead to real job growth. Instead of talking about jobs programs, what needs to be discussed is how to provide the right environment for growth: economic freedom. Watch this video to learn more.
Milton Friedman was once traveling in Asia, and he observed a canal being built. And he didn’t see any heavy equipment making the canal. Instead, he saw workers with shovels — lots of them. And he asked the government official who was with him, “why don’t these people have heavy machinery?” And the official said, “you don’t understand. This is a jobs program.” Milton supposedly replied, “well, then you should take away their shovels and give them all spoons.”
There are a lot of jobs programs floating around DC, including a new proposal from the President. Of course we all want unemployment to go down, but the key is how we make it go down. It shouldn’t be forced down by simply creating jobs that don’t create any value for anyone in society. Jobs themselves, they’re not the end goal. The goal is the value that the job creates.
Now, I doubt any of the jobs proposals that come out of DC are going to propose putting workers to work using spoons, but they will have the economic equivalent: jobs that don’t create value. After all, the Government could create a job by paying someone to just dig a ditch and then fill it back in, but in the end, no value would be created for anybody. In fact, value would be destroyed, because the Government would have to tax other people, other places, in order to create those jobs, and those taxes would destroy other jobs that create value.
Where some jobs may create value, others would not, but all of it is ultimately not checked by the price system. That means instead of explicit jobs programs, what the Government should focus on is providing the right institutional environment for growth. That environment is economic freedom.
Economic freedom means, low taxes, small scope of government, lower inflation, strong protection of property rights, less regulation. Almost the opposite of what the federal government’s been doing the last two years. When you grant an environment of economic freedom, entrepreneurs make investments to provide value for people in the economy. In order to do it, they have to hire workers.
When entrepreneurs are working in the market, what they’re doing is looking at, where can I hire labor inputs and other inputs to create a good or service that a consumer’s going to value? If, in the end, the value that consumer places on it, measured by how much they’re willing to pay for it, is greater than the cost of the labor and other inputs, the entrepreneur creates a job.
The best jobs program really isn’t a jobs program at all: it’s a growth program.
On Saturday night, blind Chinese legal activist Chen Guangcheng arrived in Newark, N.J., after escaping seven years of persecution in China. With the sweet land of liberty under his feet, Chen breathed the free air and remarked, “We should link our arms to continue in the fight for the goodness in the world and to fight against injustice.” Chen’s newfound freedom is a cause for celebration, but it is also a reminder that America must continue to be a force for liberty in the world, whether on the other side of the world or 90 miles off the shores of Florida.
A 40-year-old self-taught lawyer, Chen was imprisoned for four years, placed under house arrest and suffered beatings after voicing opposition to communist China’s one-child policy, which brings with it government-forced abortions, coerced sterilizations, and fines or physical abuse for neighbors and family members of women with unauthorized pregnancies. Last month, he escaped the grip of Chinese authorities and found refuge in the U.S. Embassy. After a series of negotiations, Chen and his immediate family won their freedom — he is now a legal fellow at New York University Law School.
Chen’s case brings to light the reality of modern-day China — a country that has been radically transformed over the last 30 years thanks to economic development. But as much as the country has changed, much remains the same. Heritage’s Walter Lohman explains:
China is a place that has not changed since the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989 when it comes to respect for the fundamental rights of its people. This is sometimes hard for the diplomats, scholars, businessmen, and tourists who spend time there to believe. Likewise, there are many privileged, worldly Chinese who fail to see it.
The People’s Republic of China is an authoritarian, yes, ‘communist’ nation. This China is Chen’s day-to-day reality. And it is a brutal reality for many hundreds of millions more. U.S.-China relations will never be normal as long as the Chinese regime is what it is.
Chen sees the Chinese government for the authoritarian beast that it is, and he has won international acclaim for his activism. “I am not a hero,” he said. “I’m just doing what my conscience asks me to do. I cannot be silent when facing these evils against women and children.” The United States should not be silent, either.
China, though, is not the only communist government standing in the way of freedom. Just off the Florida Keys, the Castro regime continues to hold an iron grip on the Cuban people. Yesterday marked the 110th year of Cuba’s independence, but sadly 53 of those years have been spent under the Castros’ dictatorship. Political opposition is not tolerated, those who stand against the regime are harassed and persecuted, all forms of media and communications are under government control, and freedoms of speech and association are suppressed.
There is hope for Cuba. In a new paper, Heritage’s Ray Walser writes that the Castro regime is on the verge of extinction but is working to ensure the country’s communist system continues. He advises that the United States should stand for freedom and press for genuine democracy in Cuba. That means not appeasing the dictatorial regime, backing genuine economic transformation, challenging Cuba’s information blockade, and establishing clear yardsticks for democratic change, including independent political parties, free and fair elections, freedom of information, expression, and association, and respect for human rights.
“Failure to stand with the advocates of genuine economic and political change in Cuba and to press for a policy of true transition and genuine democracy could condemn yet another generation of Cubans to lives without freedom, opportunity, or hope,” Walser writes. Indeed, the United States can be a powerful force for freedom — whether it’s for one Chinese activist standing up in a country of one billion, or if it’s for one tiny island surrounded by a vast ocean. But America must choose to stand up for the light of liberty, not turn away from the darkness.
In Nevada, RTT News reports that Senator Dean Heller is in good shape for his race against embattled U.S. Congresswoman Shelley Berkley. He is in relatively good shape, but it could be better. Most Silver State polls show Heller ahead in the race, but barely within the margin of error. His most likely challenger, Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., came closest to Heller in a Las Vegas Review-Journal poll from last December, which showed Berkley up by a single percentage point. The latest polling average compiled by the political Web site RealClearPolitics ended April 30 and showed Heller ahead by 4.4 points.
- Meanwhile, the editorial board at the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that due to the failed leadership of Senate Democrat Leader Harry Reid, it’s been over 3 years since the Democrats have passed a budget. This week’s Senate theater on the federal budget played out as expected – but it nevertheless should be highly instructive. Majority Democrats rejected four different GOP budget plans on Wednesday, including the controversial spending outline proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and already passed by the House. Meanwhile, not one Senate Democrat would even embrace President Obama’s budget blueprint, which went down 99-0. Which is the party of intransigence, here? Democrats excoriate Republican fiscal policy, then run for the hills rather than go on the record in support of their own president’s financial road map. What exactly do Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and his lieutenants propose? Who knows? The Democrat-controlled Senate hasn’t passed a budget since 2009!
Blastoff Launching from Baikonur Cosmodrome (how come we don’t have a cosmodrome? That is the greatest word) in Kazakhstan, the Soyuz TMA-04M rocket heads to the ISS with astronauts in tow. For more photojournalism like this, head over to American Photo. NASA
Got a space-heavy lineup for you guys this week, looking forward to the SpaceX launch this weekend: a Soyuz rocket launching from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, a time-lapsed photo taken from the ISS, a roving space shuttle cafe that looks like an actual space shuttle, and more. Enjoy!
Excited for Nintendo’s new tablet-esque controller? So are the kids in TT Games’ QA department. An over-excited tester tweeted out an image of a slightly different Wii U slab than the one we laid hands on at E3 2011, teasing “look we what we have at work!” Answering the call does indeed reveal something worth looking at — a somewhat wider looking Wii U slate featuring two full-sized analog sticks (as opposed to 3DS-like circle pads), a pair of unmarked button-like squares, and a new starboard home for the controller’s plus and minus buttons. More
Google announced two new tweaks to Gmail this week, including further integration with Google+.
Among other things, the changes bring Google profile photos of your friends and contacts to the top of your in-box under certain circumstances, and in a blog post, Product Manager Itamar Gilad said they were meant to “continue to bring people front and center in Gmail.” Gilad spelled out the tweaks:
Quick access to contact details
When you search for an e-mail address [in Gmail], the search results will now show you contact details in addition to that person’s [Google] profile photo [if he or she has one] and the e-mails sent from and to them. From here, you can start a chat, call their phone and more. Plus, if your contacts have a Google+ profile, this information will stay up to date automatically. You can get to these same results in a variety of ways including from the people widget, contacts, and the chat list search menu. More