Vail Daily column: In case you missed it …
Here are a few thoughts, ideas and comments about stuff you may have missed.
Australian interviewer Ian Cohen asked 20-year-old Canadian tennis star Eugenie Bouchard, “Can you give us a twirl and tell us about your outfit?” on live TV. Bouchard had just won an impressive 6-0, 6-3 match against Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands at the Australian Open.
In response, Bouchard blushed, smiled, twirled and engaged Cohen while the Canadians in the stands cheered. Afterwards Bouchard told reporters, “Personally, I’m not offended.” But the PC police were out in force calling the episode “disrespectful and pervy” even though Bouchard saw the incident for what it was — a one-off incident with an enamored interviewer — good grief! Bouchard also said with a broad smile on her face, “I think Serena Williams had a better outfit.”
Then-French President Jacques Chirac was the first foreign leader to travel to the U.S. after 9/11. When asked why he did so, Chirac responded, “We have a special relationship with this country.” So I find it more than a bit ironic that the administration didn’t see fit to send any representatives to Paris after the horrific Charlie Hebdo attack, yet the president insisted on sending not one but three representatives to Ferguson, Missouri, for Michael Brown’s funeral — go figure!
The U.S. has, by far, the highest per capita gun ownership in the world. Progressives will tell you that this makes America the murder capital of the planet. But is that really true?
When measured as the number of guns per 100 residents, the good ol’ U.S. comes in first at 90! Ninety guns per 100 residents (Serbia is a distant second with 58 guns per hundred people), which according to progressives, is clear evidence the U.S. is indeed the murder capital of the world.
But let’s dig a bit deeper and examine the worldwide murder rate. No. 1 is socialist Honduras with 90 murders per 100,000 people. Perhaps then, having the world’s highest per capita gun ownership rate doesn’t necessarily translate to the highest per capita murder rate. To further this line of examination (but unfortunately for the progressive canard) we’re not even second or third. In fact, Team U.S.A. doesn’t make the top 10. Nor does gun-culture America break the top 100. In 2012, we ranked (drum roll, please) No. 111 with 4.7 murders per 100,000 people.
However, upon closer examination we find that in quite a few democratically governed progressive utopias (those with extremely strict guns laws) the murder rates are far above the national average. Detroit leads the way with 54 murders per 100,000 people, New Orleans is second, with 53.2; St. Louis, 35.5; Baltimore 34.9; Newark, 34.4; Oakland, 31.8; Stockton 23.7; Kansas City 22.6, Philadelphia 21.5, Cleveland 21.3, Memphis 20.2, Atlanta 19.0 and Chicago, with 18.5 murders per 100,000 per year — remove these bastions of liberalism and U.S. would rank near the bottom at 180th out of 218.
Have you ever wondered why the cost of higher education keeps rising faster than inflation? Well, here’s one possible answer. In 2012, student loans comprised 10 percent of all consumer debt in America ($1 trillion), which illustrates that as American colleges and universities increase their fees, students are willing to pay these increased costs because they have guaranteed government funding.
However, researchers have discovered that the growth of student debt is killing new business start-ups. Small businesses with between one and four employees make up 99 percent of all American businesses, 60 percent of new private sector jobs and fully 50 percent of the private sector economy. But when recently graduated potential entrepreneurs prudently choose not to incur more debt by borrowing to start a small business, an entire sector of the economy suffers.
The rest of the story
State of the Union addresses are a presidential platform, but wouldn’t it be nice if there were a fact-checker? Americans should be pleased with the good economic news the president delivered. But they also may want to know why the middle 20 percent of the income scale not only earns less than they did the day he took office, but that their net worth has also been lowered.
It’s also pretty certain that Americans would like to know why the total number of business closures in the United States has exceeded the total number of business start-ups each and every year since the president was elected and why oil production (a significant factor the brightening economy) has increased 20 percent on privately held land (fracking anyone?) but decreased by 7 percent on federally controlled land.
But regardless of what statistics one uses, the true measure of the administration’s economic policies can be found in the CBO report that states after accounting for inflation, median household income in the United States is 8 percent lower than it was when Barack Obama entered the Oval Office.
Quote of the day: “Shovel ready (chuckle) was not as shovel ready as we expected.” —Barack Hussein Obama
Butch Mazzuca, of Edwards, writes regularly for the Vail Daily. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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