The Lynching of Bill Cosby

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Bill Cosby’s a household name. His iconic career as an actor, comedian, writer, and TV host has spanned the decades. NewsOne.com lists Cosby as being one of the top 3 black philanthropists of all time. Because of all his hard work, today Cosby is worth approximately $400 million dollars.

As everyone knows, Cosby has been forced to defend himself against numerous rape allegations, many of them going back multiple decades. With the kind of fame and money that Cosby’s success brought…is it any wonder he had multiple extramarital relationships? We hear all the time about musicians and other celebrities having consensual sex with groupies…why is it so unbelievable that Cosby would do the same? In fact, most…if not all… of Cosby’s rape accusers admit to having a consensual sexual relationship with him. Many of them admit to continuing consensual sex with him, after the supposed rapes occurred.

Cosby’s trial has occurred in the court of public opinion and caused irreparable harm. Hypocritically, it’s been minorities and radical feminists who’ve harassed and disparaged Cosby the most…not white America.

Continuing to disparage Cosby publicly without the benefit of a court trial is no different than white supremacists lynching innocent blacks who’ve been accused of crimes in the south or police publicly disparaging the many blacks and other minorities they murder in cold blood. In case anyone forgot…BLACK LIVES MATTER!

Yet…ironically…it’s radical feminists and minorities who’ve jumped the shark here.

In the United States, the legal theory of innocent until proven guilty has saved many minorities from wrongful imprisonment and death. If you search online, you will find numerous cases of blacks and other minorities falsely convicted of crimes and imprisoned…only to be exonerated decades later…after their lives have been destroyed.

Yet Cosby…a man who’s lived a life dedicated to supporting the black community…has been tried and convicted in a court of public opinion on the basis of unverified rape allegations going back almost 50 years. His accusers, many of which are convicted criminals, drug abusers, or diagnosed with mental health issues, never reported these crimes when they were fresh. Many tried to extort money from Cosby afterward.

While there’s numerous accounts of Cosby providing drugs and alcohol to many of these women…what the media has failed to report on is an objective context of the social climate of those times. Back then, drugs were far more socially acceptable than they are today. The drugs identified weren’t date rape drugs…they were commonly obtainable party drugs. Further, it’s not like Cosby administered these drugs without these women’s knowledge. They absolutely knew what they were taking and were willing participants in their drug abuse.

Yet, other than these women’s words…there is no evidence any of them were ever raped. If there was, Cosby would’ve been convicted already.

What makes matters worse is that some feminists are using the false Cosby rape allegations as evidence of a rape culture that targets women. Yet, in 2014 Lara Stemple, of the Human Rights Project at UCLA co-authored a paper called “The Sexual Victimization of Men in America: New Data Challenge Age Old Assumptions, published in the April 17, 2014 edition of the American Journal of Public Health, that thoroughly debunks that rape is a crime primarily committed by men against women. It turns out when looking at instances of sexual assault, men are just as often victims of sexual assault as women. This was confirmed by the Center for Disease Control.

The Center for Disease Control found that men are sexually assaulted by women at nearly the same rate that women are sexually assaulted by men. This was confirmed by a study from the University of Missouri that found, “A total of 43% of high school boys and young college men reported they had an unwanted sexual experience and of those, 95% said a female acquaintance was the aggressor.”

Step back and think for a second, if those participating in the Cosby lynching were truly interested in preventing sexual assault…we would be hearing about violent protests against female rapists getting convicted and receiving next to no punishment for their crimes. Yet, their silence on this is deafening.

So before we allow anyone else to continue to lynch a black icon like Bill Cosby…or anyone else…let’s get all the facts first. Destroying Cosby’s reputation through unverified allegations in the media, without an opportunity to meaningfully defend himself in court, is as racially oppressive as any other form of violence against blacks and other minorities.

 

The Refugee Crisis: What No One’s Discussing

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While the loudest voices on the left continue to employ “think of the women and children” shaming tactics to bully everyone into accepting Syrian refugees in an effort to demonstrate their position on the moral high ground, the loudest voices on the right demonstrate their religious bigotry and deep lack of humanity in flat refusing to allow any refugees period. They’ve even doubled down and voiced opposition to any immigration at all. We’ve heard a variety of motivations for this. Objectively, on the right, it’s religious bigotry and on the left, it’s naive optimism. However, there’s an important objective part of the conversation that, apparently, isn’t up for public debate.

The poverty and homeless populations in the United States have been growing at crisis levels. In addition, 38% of American citizens, 16 and older, don’t have jobs.

If we can’t take care of our own citizens, where’s the money going to come from to shelter and feed these refugees? Further, what makes these refugees more of a priority for housing and government welfare than say…veterans…or any other American citizen for that matter?

Let’s ignore the arguments that have already been made for a minute and look at the situation objectively. If a family lives paycheck to paycheck…do they have enough money to be spending it on luxury items? No, because they can’t afford it. This is basic 101 level budgeting, we don’t spend more than what we have…a very simple concept.

With that in mind, please consider the facts below.

Over One Third of Americans Don’t Have Jobs:

Our country’s economy is in a state of economic crisis. While everyone has been claiming unemployment is at an all time low…according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, hovering around 5%.

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However, according to Shadowstats.com the national unemployment rate is closer to 22%, which when taken with workforce participation rate below, seems more realistic.

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The problem is the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports workforce participation is at an all time low…62%

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This means that 38% of Americans, 16 and over, don’t have a job. That is over one third of the potential working population of the United States.

Poverty In the United States:

In 2012 According to the National Center for Law and Economic Justice, 46.5 million people were living in poverty. This is the largest number ever measured by the census, since it started measuring this over 54 year ago. That’s 15% for all Americans and 21.8% for children under age 18. Of that number, 6.6% of our population, or 20.4 million people, were living in deep poverty

In 2014, that number rose to 46.7 million people.

According to the 2013 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress compiled by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, over 610,000 people were homeless on any given night and nearly a quarter of that number were children. The National Alliance to End Homelessness identified 49,933 homeless military veterans in January 2014 alone.

Cities Are Going Bankrupt:

According to Governing.com, since 2010, 51 municipalities and 9 local governments in the United States have filed for bankruptcy. The picture below is a partial list of where these are located to give the reader an idea of how prevalent this issue is.

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Online Panhandling

From sites like gofundme, begslist, donatemoney2me, and many others, panhandling has found acceptance across the internet. However, because there are no major studies on cyber begging as a whole, it’s currently not possible to get a credible measure of how much cyber-panhandling has grown over the last ten years.

Conclusion:

I believe having a safe place to live with food and shelter are human rights. However, our economy is in crisis.

If we as Americans, remain unable to provide these human rights for our own citizens, then we shouldn’t be further straining our already overburdened financial system providing government assistance and welfare to non-citizens…refugees or otherwise. This is just basic fiscal sense…we take care of our own communities first…then we’re able help others. However, if we choose to help others before our own communities…then we’re just over-stressing our own financial system further and setting our economy up for catastrophic failure.

To me, the most effective approach to helping these refugees find safe food and shelter would be for our government to immediately cease funding terrorists who we falsely characterize rebels and freedom fighters and stop financing governments who sponsor terror and human rights violations.

That would free up funds to help our own communities in need, solving two problems at once.

 

 

 

 

 

Terrorists Infiltrated Europe Disguised as Refugees

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As early as January of 2015, in interviews with Buzzfeed journalists, an ISIS operative admitted he traveled to Turkey in 2014 and settled there for the express purpose of creating a smuggling operation to sneak jihadis into Europe. Specifically, these operatives were directed to head to Sweden, Germany, and Italy to request asylum. These statements were confirmed by Buzzfeed through interviews of other smugglers. As part of this report, Buzzfeed also interviewed Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr and Senate Armed Services Committee member Senator Lindsey Graham. Both stated they had been aware of middle-eastern terrorists being smuggled into Europe, but admitted they had no idea the extent of the smuggling operation.

In August 2015, the Associated Press wrote a very flattering piece about a Syrian terrorist fighter who travelled to Europe with the refugees. This individual, Laith Al Saleh, admitted to fighting against the Syrian government and commanding a 700 strong western backed terrorist unit against the Syrian government. Commander Saleh further admitted his cousin, a former senior officer in the Syrian Army also became a terrorist who fought against the Syrian government had already settled in the Netherlands.

On September 10, 2015, The Daily Mail and the French Media reported there on a manhunt underway for a suspected ISIS terrorist who had smuggled himself in with the refugees and was hiding amongst them. Authorities believed his goal was to get to Britain to commit acts of terror.

Yet, five days later, on September 15, 2015, the U.S. White house urged Americans to support the influx of refugees from the middle east. There is even an online petition set up to gather support on the White House’s website.

Politico quoted Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Face the Nation as stating: “We’re facing the worst refugee crisis since the end of World War II… …I think the United States has to do more, and I’d like to see us move from what is a good start with 10,000 to 65,000.”

Now Paris has suffered a complex, well-coordinated terrorist attack that left over 100 people dead, many more wounded, and France in a state of emergency. Given the complexity and sophistication of the attacks, it was clear they were well-planned, funded, and executed. Iraq has come forward and admitted it’s intelligence service previously warned France that it was being considered a primary terrorist target. Yet it appears this intelligence was ignored. Further, it now appears that the passport found on one of the terrorist bodies in the aftermath of the attacks that identified the attacker as a refugee, was determined to be a forgery. This now calls into to question as to whether or not this terrorist attack was a false flag.

While it’s bad enough the United States has admitted to funding and providing material support to terrorists fighting the Syrian government, under the guise of supporting freedom fighters, we saw how that worked out in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan. These countries are worse now than they were before the United States got involved. Now they’ve become terrorist recruiting and proving grounds.

Even more troubling is that the United States Government has long had direct knowledge middle-eastern terrorists were being smuggled in with refugees from the Syrian crisis as early as January of this year, yet at almost every level, our government minimized and downplayed this risk to the American people. In fact, up to these horrible terrorist attacks in Paris earlier this month, there has been little to no objective public discussion or assessment of the risks of allowing middle eastern terrorists asylum in the United States disguised as refugees.

Without such a discussion and risk assessment, it’s a naive to accept any more middle eastern refugees without a more stringent vetting process.

 

Let’s Regulate Corporate Welfare

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Many argue for and against corporate welfare. I support it…mainly because it’s already happening and too many corporations are receiving state and federal assistance through vast subsidies and tax breaks, even though these companies are very profitable. Much of this welfare is also unregulated and comes with little to no strings attached. So if it’s going to happen anyway…it needs to be responsibly regulated.

Currently, there are too many profitable large corporations and businesses that received welfare assistance through tax breaks, subsidies, and bailouts. Yet none of the CEOs or other members of these corporations’ upper management have ever been held accountable for the irresponsible decisions that inspired the massive corporate welfare payoffs in the first place. While mismanagement accountability is a topic for another time, what follows is an option to regulate corporate welfare.

So let’s model corporate welfare after another program that works: TANF. TANF stands for Temporary Aid for Needy Families.

According to The American Enterprise Institute, as recently as September 2015, TANF has been a resounding success over the last 2 decades. It “helped raise the labor force participation of never-married mothers from 59.5 percent in 1995 to 73.8 percent in 2001 and reduce their poverty rate from 51 percent to 38.5 percent” and “has been a rare bright spot in US anti-poverty policy.”

So for sake of conversation, lets model our Corporate Welfare Act, in very general terms, after TANF.

TANF allows a maximum of five years of financial assistance. Large corporations and businesses should be limited to the same. Thus, if a corporation doing business in the United States is receiving a welfare tax break or subsidy, it would be subjected to the same five year limitation, with no option for extension. We live in a capitalist economy, if a corporation cannot survive after five years of subsidy, another should rise to take its place.

Further, any corporation that receives a welfare subsidy or tax break should be required to be 100% transparent and open their books and other records to government oversight. TANF requires this already…families are required to provide banking and financial information before receiving any government assistance and while receiving welfare assistance families are required to provide updated financial information on demand. Corporations should be required to do the same.

Additionally, any corporation or large business receiving welfare should be barred from receiving any subsidy or tax break if their global profits are beyond a certain point. TANF already requires this. TANF bars assistance to families who earn over a certain sum of income…the same should be required of corporations. If the corporation is profitable like Boeing or Microsoft, it doesn’t need any welfare tax breaks or subsidies. This would include loans and gifts.

Any corporation receiving welfare tax breaks or subsidies would be required to employ at least 51% of their global workforce from United States citizens residing in any of the 50 United States. These workers would be required to be permanent employees, not contractors or temporary workers.

Corporations receiving welfare assistance would be required to limit CEO and upper level management compensation to ten times the amount of their lowest paid workers…this would include the value of any stock options and deferred compensation.

State and Federal Legislatures would be barred from enacting laws that allowed tax breaks and other subsidies without full payback and accountability written in.

Finally, when the law is enacted…all current subsidies and tax breaks immediately cease…requiring corporations to pay their fair share.

Isn’t time we take steps to stop allowing profitable big businesses and multinational corporations, who get preferred status through corporate welfare tax breaks and subsidies, to offshore American jobs? They need to be regulated responsibly, this is one way to do it.

The Single Parenting-Mass Shooter Link

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According to the Pew Research Center, less than half (46%) of U.S. kids younger than 18 years of age are living in a home with two married parents in their first marriage.

In the United States, single parents are heralded as superheroes. Searching the term “single parent superheroes” online demonstrates this is a very mainstream idea. Mainstream media: the news, TV shows, and movies act as though children raised by single parents are just as resilient or better than children who’re raised in two parent households.

Yet that’s not the case. On Father’s Day in 2008 President Obama said:

There’s a hole in your heart if you don’t have a male figure in the home that can guide you and lead you and set a good example for you.”

“We know the statistics — that children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime, nine times more likely to drop out of schools and 20 times more likely to end up in prison. They are more likely to have behavioral problems, or run away from home, or become teenage parents themselves. And the foundations of our community are weaker because of it.

These stats have long been known. In 1997, The Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency reports that the most reliable indicator of violent crime in a community is the proportion of fatherless families. This is especially true for families with adolescent boys, the most crime-prone cohort. It goes on to state that:

Children from single-parent families are more prone than children from two-parent families to use drugs, be gang members, be expelled from school, be committed to reform institutions, and become juvenile murderers.

Think about that for a moment.

Single parenting is the most reliable indicator of whether or not a child will grow up to be a murderer.

Now I’m not indicting single parents…I’ve been one for over six years. I’m saying that children need to be raised by both parents and extended family to thrive…not just by one parent alone.

US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, as far back as 1988 reported in pertinent part: “Psychiatric disorders were found to occur with higher frequency in children of single parent families, especially those lacking a father… …was most frequent in the children who had experienced the divorce of their parents.”

In 2006, The Guardian reported:

Boys whose parents had split up had the highest rate of childhood mental illness. In contrast, only 8% of boys living with married parents suffered from mental disorders.

Politifact even reports that solid research has shown that growing up in a single-family household, even if other factors are controlled, has a negative effect.

The fact that most of the mass shooters in the United States were products of broken homes and single parents shouldn’t be surprising. These young men raised in single parent homes were more likely to be violent criminals with mental health issues…something every mass shooter had in common.

This is not to say that lax gun regulation in the United States or the mental health crisis shouldn’t be addressed…they should. They’re definitely contributing factors, but they’re symptoms only. If we focus on them alone…we risk ignoring the problem of children being raised in broken homes and the negative impact of lack of two parent involvement.

Make no mistake…with over half of American children raised in single parent households…this is a growing epidemic that appears to be getting worse. I have no short term solution to this problem. I do know that moving forward, if both parents treated each other as permanent family, like they do their children…rather than as spouses who are disposable… American families would be stronger and society would be better for it.

Who knows? Maybe these shootings will cease.

 

Rape Isn’t a Gender Issue

As what many consider a far left progressive, living in one of the most left leaning states in the nation, I always prided myself in my stance on equitable treatment of others. The main reason for this is that many on the far right, whose politics I oppose, base their political arguments on skewed or outright dishonest statistics or misrepresentation of facts…often a combination of both. It’s a misnomer to consider these individuals as political conservatives, because they’re far removed from the traditional conservative definition. While ad hominem, they are more accurately defined as bigots.

A prominent example would be Faux News.

As many of my core values align with third wave feminism, for the majority of my adult life I’ve considered myself a feminist, or at the very least, a strong supporter of feminist ideology. As a minority, I strongly identified with their message of equity and equal treatment.

However, over this last weekend, I discovered in my virtual travels online, feminists, many of them unwittingly, have been misrepresenting facts about one of their main grievances that is the lightning rods of the feminist movement…sexual assault. Their narrative has always been that large numbers of women are being sexually assaulted by men, who are hardly ever are sexually assaulted themselves, in large part, they believe, because of a patriarchal society that allows it. The takeaway has always been that sexual assault is almost exclusively a crime perpetrated by men against women.

Now before people start getting irrationally upset, sexual assault is something I strongly oppose and I’ve always believed that every allegation should be investigated in a timely and objective manner. I continuously take exception that many rape kits collected by law enforcement go unprocessed. This is a travesty of justice.

However, my concern is feminists misrepresenting rape statistics with gender biased studies to support their narrative…potentially from the very beginning. When a person conducts a study, their study is peer reviewed for methodology and objectivity. The problem here is that many of the sexual assault studies conducted by feminists and their supporters were also peer reviewed by other feminists and their supporters…creating a strong potential for confirmation bias and a kind of echo chamber.

Recently, more objective studies of sexual assault have been conducted which thoroughly debunk the feminist narrative that sexual assault is a crime almost exclusively committed by men against women.

In 2013, the National Crime Victimization Survey conducted by the United States Government Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) found 38% of all sexual assault victims were men. Further, Lara Stemple of the Human Rights Project at UCLA co-authored a paper called: “The Sexual Victimization of Men in America: New Data Challenge Old Assumptions,” published in the April 17, 2014 edition of the American Journal of Public Health found when a more objective count of sexual assault victims was compiled, which included sexual assault in prisons and other correctional facilities (an area excluded by most feminists when studying rates of sexual assault and not counted in most general national statistics) found 1.270 million women and 1.267 men reported being sexually assaulted… both genders were sexually assaulted in equal numbers. Further, the BJS found that in regard to male victims of sexual assault, 46% reported their assailant was female. What’s even more disturbing is regarding incarcerated juveniles sexually assaulted. In 89% of all reported cases, the victims were boys who reported the perpetrator as a female staff member.

The United States Center for Disease Control found that men are sexually assaulted at nearly the same rate as women. USAToday reports that 43% of high school and young college men reported they had an unwanted sexual experience and 95% of that number reported their assailant was a female acquaintance.

On top of all of this, there’s the issue of false rape allegations. While the statistics are all over the map, ranging from 2% reported by feminists and 40% reported by men’s rights activists (MRAs), a recent article by Dara Lind: “What we know about false Rape Allegations, ” published on Vox.com, looked at a variety of studies and found women falsely report rape approximately 5.9% of the time. Which means of the 1.270 million women who reported being sexually assaulted, approximately 74,930 of these allegations were false. If 5.9% of females allegations of sexual assault are false, then based on Lara Stemple’s paper, males are sexually assaulted in the United States more often than females.

While feminists are correct that sexual assault is drastically under reported in the United States…it’s often elements in the feminist movement doing the under reporting.

By excluding large segments of male sexual assault victims and female rapists from their studies, feminists have created a false narrative allowing them to fraudulently receive government benefits and subsidies, while painting sexual assault as a crime exclusively perpetrated by men against women. Sexual assault in the United States is an important issue that needs attention, but it’s not the gender battleground falsely created by feminists. By misrepresenting facts of sexual assault victimization through gender bias, feminists create serious credibility issues that may be fatal to their message of equality and potentially their movement.

My Response to Ijeoma Oluo’s Defense of Hipster Racists

Seattle, Washington based author Ijeoma Oluo recently penned an article entitled “Uncomfortable Fact: Hipster Racism is often-well intentioned” published in the Guardian. Her article opens with the erroneous proclamation that racists of the past are extinct. While I agree traditional racial-hate-inspired lynchings have ceased, they’ve been replaced by our law enforcement’s habitual murder of unarmed minorities, primarily Blacks and Latinos. Racially motivated murder is still a hate crime…regardless of method. Those racists aren’t extinct, they’ve just gotten off the streets by co-opting our criminal justice system.

According to the Sentencing Project’s 2005 study “Uneven Justice”, Blacks are incarcerated in Washington State, at a higher rate than the national average, which is far higher than the Caucasian incarceration rate, even though per capita, the crime rate amongst both racial groups is similar.

Ms. Oluo then attempts to justify that racist conduct of hipsters doesn’t make them racist because they claim ignorance, therefore cannot be called racist. Nothing epitomizes a text book example of entitled white privilege more than this pathetic excuse. It’s as ridiculous as claiming rape is acceptable because the perpetrator didn’t know it was wrong. Her attempt to separate racists from their racist conduct, while well-intentioned, is ill-conceived. When someone commits rape, we call them a rapist. When someone acts in a racially discriminatory manner…we rightly call them racists.

While I agree with her that people of color face passive and institutional racism on a daily basis, by attempting to allow racists to avoid responsibility for discriminatory acts because of the entitled white privilege excuse of ignorance, she undermines her own message.

I’m not saying anyone should take an extremist stance. I’m saying we shouldn’t shy away of calling out a racist for their racially discriminatory conduct. The main reason the Klu Klux Klan and the Nazi movement aren’t the prominent civic organizations they once were is specifically because good people demonstrated the courage to call their members racists as a consequence of their racial discriminatory conduct. History clearly demonstrates the most effective way to address racism is to call out and shame racists wherever we find them, loudly and continuously.

This is 2015…if hipsters don’t know they’re being racist, they’ve been living under a rock their entire life…which is extremely unlikely.

Sincerely Living

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Societal and marketing messages teach insecurity to entice us to purchase their products. Drink this alcohol, you’ll be popular. Wear these clothes, you’ll be desirable. Drive this car, and your romantic interest will suddenly appear…ad nauseum. The underlying message: purchase those things and live the lifestyles promoted in the advertisements, your desires will be instantly gratified and hopefully, their marketing message turns us into addicts chasing the dragon of narcissistic instant gratification, compliments of the current brand name de jour.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Once the purchase is made, we’re now consumers. Like the first time experiencing anything, each additional time is never as good; whether, it’s alcohol, sex, drugs, or adrenaline… we all end up escalating the stakes in hopes of experiencing the same quality high we felt the first time. In drug culture parlance, this is known as “chasing the dragon.” Our lives don’t become better and our relationships don’t magically become stronger because of a new pair of shoes, pair of pants, hairstyle, weight loss, car…or whatever.

As we continue to focus on ourselves to the exclusion of those around us, we lose emotional connections to those once close. For many, this disconnect starts at an early age, because of broken homes, technology, and the constant barrage of marketing messages teaching that selfishness is more important than loyalty and legitimate emotional connection.

Being constantly barraged by advertising messages marketing narcissism creates a fear of sincerity. For many, being sincere creates vulnerability. No one wants to be rejected, so everyone ends up being the one doing the rejecting. Oftentimes, we can’t explain why we’ve rejected quality people and once we realize their value, it’s often too late and we regret the loss.

To cope, many live compartmentalized lives. People completely separate their work life from their home and social life. For many, their home life and the social life are also separate. Instead of one complete life, they end up trying and failing to juggle two or three separate, incomplete lives, desperately hoping one will lead to fulfillment. Again…chasing the dragon. Unfortunately, all that’s achieved by living incomplete separate lives is creating incomplete separate relationships. Because none of them is complete, none of them is fulfilling.

This is why many personal and professional relationships fail.

Without sincerity, close long-term relationships become impossible. The only way to achieve successful close long-term relationships is through sincerity. However, to be sincere, one has to choose to be honestly and legitimately accountable for their actions, which means sacrificing instant gratification and discontinuing living multiple separate lives.

For many, this is an impossible task, because it’ll require a complete mindset change from a selfish “me only” mentality, to a “we are better together,” mentality. Even more importantly, there’ll need to be a separation from the narcissistic selfish people who feed into these tendencies, or these efforts are guaranteed to fail. However, like any other addiction, with a sincere long-term investment of time and effort in quality people, we can overcome the narcissistic messaging to create and strengthen legitimate long-term personal and professional relationships.

Main Street’s still Victimized by Wall Street

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Poverty

According to the census, in October 2014, over 48 million citizens in the United States are living in poverty. The National Center for Children in Poverty states that 22% or 1 in 4 children in the United States live in poverty. According to a recent report by Russia Today, poverty stricken neighborhoods in the United States have tripled.

Jobs

If you read the mainstream news regarding employment, you’d think things are improving…they’re not. How unemployment is measured has been changed to conceal the stark facts. The mainstream altered measurement shows unemployment at 5.8%. However, if unemployment were measured as it was under the U-6, a more accurate measure, it’s over 11%.

Since 2004, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national labor participation rate has gone down from 66% to 63% in 2014, or put another way, 9.6 million working age citizens in the United States have given up looking for work. The National Employment Law Project reports that 44% of new job creation since the 2007 recession was in low wage industries and there are two million fewer jobs today than prior to the 2007 recession.

Crime on the Rise

In October 2013, USAToday reported the national crime rate is rising. In 2012 there was a 15% increase in reported violent crime. Property crime rose by 12%. While some argue for stricter punishments, the United States jails more people than any two other countries in the world combined.

Yet, many citizens in the United States incorrectly think the crime rate is going down. Reuters reported in 2013 that 64% of people think crime is on the rise, down from 68% in 2011. As inequality rises, so does the violent crime rate.

Protesting Inequality

Now people have taken to their grievances to the streets. While everyone’s heard of the Ferguson protests and the Occupy movement, people are protesting inequality across the board. In Seattle, mortgage eviction protests protected a disabled veteran from losing his home.

Large corporations, like Walmart, face protests because they’re refusing to pay livable wages to their employees. Fast Food companies are facing protests for similar reasons.

People are tired of multinational private corporations and banks having almost total control of their lives. When the system continues to work in favor of Wall Street over the rest of us, for many, their only recourse is protest and civil disobedience. Income inequality is the civil rights issue of our generation. Every other social issue in the United States stems from the continued rise of income inequality. Even if we have comfortable homes with good jobs, that’s no guarantee that we won’t be victimized by some desperate person who had their life ruined by Wall Street. It affects all of us. It’s in everyone’s interest to stand against income inequality, wherever they see it. Standing on the sidelines and not doing so only makes the issue worse.

The Reality of American Employment

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Here are some facts about Main Street American Jobs and Earnings:

In April 2014, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released an Occupational Employment and Wages Summary. According to the BLS Summary, 20% Americans work in just 10 occupations. Two of them, retail sales people and cashiers, together represent over 33% of this number, or 7.8 million American workers.

These occupations are:

Retail salespersons: 4.48 million workers earning $25,370

Cashiers: 3.34 million workers earning $20,420

Food prep & serving staff: 3.02 million workers earning $18,880

General office clerk: 2.83 million working earning $29,990

Registered nurses: 2.66 million workers earning $68,910

Waiters & waitresses: 2.40 million workers earning $20,880

Customer service representatives: 2.39 million workers earning $33,370

Laborers, & freight and material movers: 2.28 million workers earning $26,690

Secretaries and admins (not legal or medical): 2.16 million workers earning $34,000

Janitors and cleaners (not maids): 2.10 million workers earning, $25,140

According to the Social Security Administration, in 2012, the median wage of American workers is $27,519.10 per year. In 2012, Social Security also reported that 59% of all American workers earn less than $35,000 per year.

To clarify, half of all American workers earn less than $28,000 per year and 18% of those who earn above that earn less than $35,000 per year. The top two most prevalent occupations in the United States, Retail Sales and Cashiers, on average, earn less than $25,370 per year. Simple math tells us that $28,000 a year is $13.44 an hour, at 173.5 hours per month of full time employment.

According to National Public Radio there are 1.3 million less American jobs than there were in December 2007, when the recession began. American construction jobs have dropped by 1.6 million and American manufacturing jobs have dropped by 1.7 million.

How are the “Job Creators” doing?

According to the Economic Policy Institute:

… From 1978 to 2012, CEO compensation measured with options realized increased about 875 percent, a rise more than double stock market growth… … the average CEO compensation was $14.1 million in 2012.

Think about this: In 2012, CEOs earned over $1 million a month.

Are Businesses Profiting?

According to the Wall Street Journal:

Big U.S. companies have emerged from the deepest recession since World War II more productive, more profitable, flush with cash…

At McDonald’s, international revenue rose 24% since 2009, three times as fast as in the U.S. At Starbucks, international revenue jumped 35% the past two years, more than double the 14% increase in the U.S.

What are the facts regarding American Unemployment?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics places American Unemployment at around 7%. However, if it was still measured by their broadest unemployment measure, including short-term discouraged and other marginally-attached workers as well as those forced to work part-time because they cannot find full-time employment, this number is closer to 12%.

However, John Williams from Shadowstats.com measures American unemployment at closer to 23%. While 23% appears extremely high, it has some support from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics April 25, 2014 press release, stating in pertinent part::

Of the nation’s 80.4 million families, 80.0 percent had at least one employed member in 2013.

To state this another way: 20%, or 1 in 5 of American family households had no job. So compared to the Bureau of Labor Statistics household unemployment numbers, John Williams is only off by 3%.

This 1 in 5 number is almost the same number of Americans living in poverty that I discovered while researching a my previous article.

Conclusion:

After the recession United States lost over 1 million construction and manufacturing jobs. In terms of total jobs, the United States today has 1.3 million fewer jobs than it did prior to 2007. Now, half of all American workers earn $13.44 an hour or less. 20% of all American households cannot find work.

Yet, CEOs are paid an average of over $1 million a month and Big Businesses are flush with cash.

If CEOs and Big Business were actually interested in creating livable wage careers in the United States, they have the money to do it and it would’ve happened.  Further, American workers wouldn’t be earning so little in dead-end jobs. The next time someone tries to convince you that CEOs and Big Business are job creators, you can demonstrate the majority of the top 10 jobs in the United States are low-paying, dead-end, service industry jobs that are not valid careers.