Review Of 2022 New York Congressional Voting And Spending

The New York Congressional races were impacted by the reduction of a seat in congress (to 26 from 27) and redistricting this year. Many pundits were surprised by this year’s election results which saw Republicans win 11 seats and Democrats secure 15, in a heavily Democratic state. People considered whether the new district contours hurt Democrats or whether “outside money” influenced races.

Democrats won 56% of the total vote count and won 58% of the House seats, which closely align. Arguably, that shows that new contours served the goal of not seeing a disconnect of one party using gerrymandering to push out the other. Additionally, the Democrats outspent the Republicans by 2-to-1 (over $62 million compared to $30 million for Republicans).

The New York City-oriented media suggested that the more rural parts of the state had low voter-turnout and therefore did not really reflect the will of most people. In fact, it was the opposite. NYC voters barely turned out in the general election, with an average of 155,241 in the city’s eleven districts. That compares to an average voter turnout of 266,329 in non-New York City districts, and and average of 219,330 overall.

The New York City low voter turnout was rational. Indeed, going to the ballot box had virtually no meaning as the districts were blowouts. Six races had a winning spread of over 60% and another three were over 40%. The two races that more closely resembled the rest of the state with over 200,000 votes and closer races were NY-11, which was won by a Republican, and NY-16 (with just shy of 200,000 votes) which actually only has a small nub of the Bronx and is mostly Westchester County,

The money spent on the races was extremely uneven and yielded varied results.

While Democrats spent twice as much as Republicans, much of the money was spent in just a few districts. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14) blew away all fund-raisers ($9.9 million) and easily beat her Republican challenger. Elise Stefanik (NY-21) was the biggest Republican spender ($8.3 million) and also won her seat.

Consider that AOC alone spent about one-third of the total amount that all 26 Republicans spent in the race.

Some Democrats seemed to spend without reason. Dan Goldman (NY-10) spent $6.9 million even though his opponent barely had a dime and won virtually no votes. Similarly for Hakeem Jeffries (NY-8) spending of $5.1 million.

Three Democrats vastly outspent their Republican rivals and still lost. Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-17) outspent Republican Mike Lawler by 5.6 times ($5.3 million to $900,000) and still lost. Francis Console (NY-22) outspent Republican Brandon Williams by 4.2 times and lost, while Democrat Bridget Fleming (NY-1) outspent Republican Nick LaLota by two times and lost.

Meanwhile Democrat Pat Ryan’s (NY-18) huge 2.1 times spending of Republican rival paid off, eking out a slim victory of 2 points. Republican Nicole Malliotakis (NY-11) UNDERSPENT her rival on a dollar-per-vote basis, and won comfortably.

Overall, Democrats spent $19.54 per vote while Republicans spent $12.05, a 38% difference. Democrats spent over $10 per vote in 19 races compared to just eight for Republicans. They spent over $20 per vote in six districts, compared to three for Republicans.

In total, Democrats lost seven races in which they spent more per vote than the Republicans. The Republicans did not lose a single district where they spent more per vote than the Democrats.

Of the 26 congressional races, seven had a spread of less than 10 points. NY-17, NY-18, NY-19 and NY-22 all had spreads of one or two points, while NY-3, NY-4 and NY-25 had a bit more. Republicans won five of these seven tight races. Two of them, NY-17 and NY-22, saw Democrats pour millions of dollars into the races which ended up keeping them tight but still were won by Republicans.

Looking at it geographically, Democrats won 10 of 11 New York City Districts, while Republicans won 10 of 15 non-NYC districts.

Republicans will need to significantly boost their fundraising over the next election cycle and win the trust of their constituents if they want to continue to hold the five seats in the close races. It is likely that Democrat Mondaire Jones, a popular progressive who used to live in Rockland County (NY-17), will return to run against Mike Lawler in two years, after Jones’ failed run in the NY-10 primaries.

In summary, the new district contours seemed to work in New York State. The Democratic money machine poured tens of millions into races, with far left progressive AOC leading her party. If Republicans spend more intelligently in the state in the next cycle, they could keep and maybe expand upon their 2022 showing.

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Vote To Sanctify The Separation Of Powers

The American calendar has a holiday that is sadly often overlooked. Every September, there is Constitution Day, which marks the signing of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787 by the founding fathers. It established three branches of government to protect the rights of every citizen.

The three branches are the executive, legislative and judicial which are run by the president, congress and the Supreme Court, respectively. The legislative branch writes laws, while the executive and judicial branches enforce and interpret the laws. The system of checks and balances were meant to prevent tyranny, from which the early Americans were fleeing in an English monarchy thousands of miles away.

Alas, the threat of tyranny has grown in the 21st century, and it is local.

The Supreme Court, which should be above politics, has become a weapon of politicians. Republicans wrongfully blocked the approval of Merrick Garland towards the end of Democratic President Obama’s final term. It allowed Republican President Trump to appoint another judge, and the highest court now sits at 6-to-3, in favor of Republican-appointments.

While the number of appointees by a Republican or Democratic president should not be the litmus test, we are seeing extreme biases to the right (Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito) and left (Sonia Sotomayor), each scoring above 2 on the Martin-Quinn score, with Stephen Breyer nosing up to the extremist liberal line. The court has become a war room of ideologies rather than a debate of the law.

The presidency, deeply political by design, has become infested by the power of the office. From Republican President Ronald Reagan until Democratic President Barack Obama, no executive issued more than an annual average of 48 Executive Orders. Republican Donald Trump issued 55 on average in his term, and Democrat Joe Biden has issued a horribly high 59. Modern presidents are seeking to end run congress.

Congress, in the Senate and most notably in the House of Representatives, has become a polarized pit of extremists. The govtracks report card for 2020 had eleven Republicans with an ideology score of 0.90 and above, and 14 Democrats scoring 0.10 and below. That compares to 2016 ideology scores when 17 Republicans scored 0.90 and above (change of -6) and Democrats had six people of 0.10 and below (change of +8). Republicans have become more ideologically moderate and Democrats more ideologically extreme. While Republican extremists exceeded Democrats by 183% in 2016, Democratic extremists now exceed Republicans by 27%.

Democratic extremists exceed the number of Republican extremists in 2020, a sharp reversal from 2016, when Republicans had more extremists.

The 2022 Vote

If one has a goal – as I do – of a more moderate and peaceful society, then the extremism and political partisanship should be alarming.

Fortunately, one can try to have an impact at the voting booth.

One cannot vote for Supreme Court judges; that is the responsibility of the president. As the court is currently right-leaning, one should vote for a Democratic president, if the party doesn’t put forward a proven incompetent (like VP Kamala Harris) or extremist (like Elizabeth Warren) in 2024. Hopefully that will balance the judicial and executive branches, which should have been separated anyway.

The legislative and executive branches are where Americans get to protect themselves from a new form of tyranny. It is critical now, when the president is a Democrat, to put Congress in Republican hands. This is especially true, as moderates from both parties are resigning and the Democrat Socialists are gaining significant strength in the Democratic Party.

Should the House and Senate stay in Democratic hands, the economy and crime will surely suffer.

A fully Democratic executive-legislative combination would advance a much larger government with more spending. Complete student loan forgiveness, free community college, free child care, billions of dollars for first time home owners and more giveaways would pass without a modifying voice. Inflation would rise as the money spigot would go on overdrive.

Putting more of a strain on the economy would be the open border policy and ‘abolishing ICE’, the agency managing immigration, as called for by Democratic extremists.

Adding to the crime wave would be the extremist push to ‘Defund the police’ and the catch-and-release program for violent criminals.

The United States would resemble New York City in the 1970’s: crime ridden and bankrupt.

But such is tyranny. An extremist belief coupled with unchecked power to enforce wild agendas upon a public that the elitists believe are too stupid to know what is good for them. In the end, the socialist extremists know they win either way in flattening of society, with everyone either rich or destitute.

Save America, stop tyrannical government and embrace a moderate agenda. Keep the separation of powers by voting Republican.

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On 9/11, Commit To Blocking Iran and Saudi Arabia From Ever Possessing Weapons Of Mass Destruction

The horrific terrorist attacks conducted against Americans on September 11, 2001 was not only the worst loss of life in a coordinated attack by foreign enemies, it changed the vector of American and world history.

On the 21st anniversary of the attacks, the United States posted comments by President Biden about “Patriot Day” at various embassies around the world. In the Middle East and North Africa, the American embassies took very different approaches.

The US embassies in Israel, Egypt and Yemen were unique in posting Biden’s remarks about the 9/11 terrorism. The embassies in other countries which are considered US allies, such as Jordan which receives $1.45 billion in annual aid from the U.S., Qatar, which houses the largest US military presence in the region, and Saudi Arabia, where President Biden just visited to increase its oil exports, all opted to remain silent on the solemn day.

What do these three countries have in common?

Israel has been fighting the scourge of Palestinian Islamic radical terrorism for decades. Egypt and Yemen are fighting terrorist forces backed by the Islamic Republic of Iran. Many of the other regional Muslim-majority countries back those terrorist groups like Hamas, or have other US-designated terrorist groups operating openly in their borders, including Turkey, Lebanon and Qatar.

As we remember the victims of the 9/11 attacks, we must also remember the state sponsors of terrorism – Iran and Saudi Arabia in particular – and make sure that they never have access to weapons of mass destruction.

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J Street’s Ben Ami Smears Moderate Jews As Racists

It is difficult to pinpoint exactly when America became so divided as a nation. Political parties and politicians had smeared opposing sides since the founding of the republic – especially during election season – but citizens were able to sit and converse with people of a different party.

Some people have squarely put the blame on Donald Trump. The man didn’t merely have a different set of priorities and policies, but his vulgarity, misogyny and various racist and demeaning comments put him beyond the pale for many Americans. The fact that he won the presidency, did not simply upset people but made them question the moral fabric of society.

The people who voted for Hillary Clinton in November 2016 did not simply support her, they internalized her September 2016 comments about Trump supporters when she saidYou know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic—you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up.

Clinton took aim at half of America, and the insult felt by the targets of the attack, as well as the concurrence of her supporters, continues to be felt today in a deeply divided America.

The Jewish community may similarly have broken during the 2022 primary season.

In commenting about various Democratic primaries, Jeremy Ben Ami, the head of the far-left wing Jewish pro-Palestinian group J Street smeared Jewish moderates as racists, saying “There seems to be something particularly on the line for some parts of the Jewish community when women of color speak out.

The vile smear would be bad enough if Ben Ami was attacking the Republican Jewish Coalition, the opposing right-wing political advocacy group to J Street. But Ben Ami was attacking fellow Democrats who support the agenda of the moderate Democratic group, Democratic Majority For Israel (DMFI) and the bi-partisan group AIPAC.

The divide in the United States is tragically growing deeper. We may now also be witnessing the cleft in the Jewish community break open, as J Street slanders Jews to the right of their far-left ideology as irredeemable bigots.

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You Must Register To Vote

As society moves from a Bell to a Barbell Curve, with politics becoming dominated by the extremes rather than the center, it is important for all people over 18 years old to register to vote. Once upon a time, when the country was led by moderates, people could afford to stay home as the difference between a center-right or center-left candidate was pretty modest.

No longer.

In deep red and deep blue districts, extremists backed by the likes of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) are being elected to the office. They secure their positions in the PRIMARIES when many people don’t come out to vote, thinking that elections principally happen in November.

In New York State this year, primaries are happening on August 23, 2022, with early voting beginning on August 13. This second primary (one for statewide positions happened several weeks ago) is because of the late redistricting in the state. New district boundaries brought various politicians in and out of their historic zones, forcing a delay in the vote.

JULY 29, 2022 IS THE LAST DAY TO REGISTER TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS UPCOMING ELECTION FOR YOUR CONGRESSPERSON. You can download the New York State voter registration form, and mail it in before July 29 to help keep extremists out of power.

An example of the extremists in New York State can be found in NY-16, now headed by Rep. Jamaal Bowman who came to power with the backing of the DSA. His newly redrawn district covers southern Westchester County.

Bowman is in favor of:

Make sure everyone you know over 18 years old at the time of voting is registered by July 29, and then vote out the extremists in August.

Three extremists in Congress- Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Jamaal Bowman (D-NY)(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

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The DSA, Kamala Harris and 53 Dead Migrants

A terrible tragedy unfolded on the US-Mexico border, as 53 migrants were found dead in the back of a truck, who were being smuggled into the United States. It is being marked as the deadliest human smuggling incident in US history.

The tragedy is a function of a number of problems, principally, the swelling number of people attempting to come into the United States from Mexico illegally.

From 2010 through 2020, the number of people coming over the US-Mexico border was a fraction of what has been happening under the Biden administration. Pew Research, summarized the statistics from the US Borders and Customs Protection (CBP), and tracked that 2021 saw the migrants from Mexico jump to over 608,000 and from countries other than Mexico to well over 1 million. Those countries with dramatic increases included Ecuador, Brazil, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Haiti and Cuba.

Texas has been particularly overwhelmed. Along the Rio Grande and Del Rio areas, migrant encounters are up over five times between 2020 and 2021.

And 2022 is seeing an even greater number of encounters – and fewer people being returned across the border.

According to the CBP, May 2022 had 239,416 migrant encounters, an all-time record, breaking the previous all-time record set in April. Only 42 percent of those were expelled, the lowest percentage since Title 42 was put in place. As a record number of people are coming across the border, a record number are also staying.

Amidst this onslaught, Present Biden requested eight percent LESS money for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in his budget. The proposal also includes a request for fewer detention beds. This plan for fewer people to control the border and fewer detention beds is exactly the opposite of the needs for the situation on the ground.

These bad policies are voiced by members of the Democratic Socialists of America squad, including Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) who have all called to ‘Abolish ICE’. They have essentially cheered the lack of action by ‘Border Czar’ Kamala Harris‘s do-nothing approach.

Vice President and “Border Czar” Kamala Harris (right) with Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) (middle) who has called to ‘Abolish ICE’

The DSA is loudly calling to abolish ICE and lobbying government officials for ‘Open Borders‘ which helped fuel the surge at the border, as well as the Biden-Harris lack of action. It should be no surprise that such activities led to the enormous human tragedy witnessed in Texas. More tragedies are likely to continue.


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The Arabists of the US Embassy in Israel

The United States relocated its embassy in Israel to the Jewish State’s capital of Jerusalem in 2018. Its website seemingly moved to Ramallah.

The embassy in Israel’s website has eight main categories: Visa, US Citizen Services, Our Relationship, Business, Education & Culture, Embassy, News & Events, and Palestinian Affairs Unit. The last category is designed to handle the needs of the Stateless Arabs of Palestine (SAPs). The website offers translation options for each category:

US Citizen ServicesArabic and Hebrew
Our RelationshipArabic and Hebrew
Education & CultureArabic
News & EventsArabic
Palestine Affairs UnitArabic
Translations offered on US Embassy in Israel website

Why would the US State Department not have a consistent method of handling translation for all of its services? It would make sense for translations of the English-language site to be in Hebrew and Arabic for every section of its website. However, the site is mostly translatable only into Arabic, making those only speaking Hebrew – Jews – unable to use the site.

Is the US embassy deliberately excluding Jews from being able to access some of its services? Is it a dynamic because the US State Department is populated by a bunch of Arabists – even in Israel?

The current Charge d’Affaires is Michael Ratney. His bio reviews that from 2015 to 2017 he was based in Syria. From 2012 to 2015 he was “responsible for the U.S. political, economic, and cultural relationship with Palestinians in Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza.” Before that he did tours in Qatar, Iraq, Lebanon and Morocco. He speaks Arabic and French fluently. No Hebrew.

The Deputy Chief of Mission is Jonathan Shrier who spent much of his recent career in Pakistan and Afghanistan. His previous work in Israel was “aimed at improving economic conditions for Palestinians.” His foreign languages “include Chinese, Arabic, French, and Spanish.” No Hebrew.

The prioritization of Arabs in the US State Department shows up in every day matters as well. Consider comments by the US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield about Israel on October 19 featured on the embassy website (pictured above). She acknowledged Palestinian Hanan Ashrawi and Israeli Daniel Levy giving comments to the UN Security Council – both vilifying Israel – mentioning the Palestinian first. She didn’t protest the fact that no one called out Palestinian terror, corruption and incitement for the lack of peace before the UN body.

When Ned Price spoke about Secretary of State Blinken meeting with Israeli officials, he also mentioned Palestinians first. When Sen. Chris Murphy, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia and Counterterrorism spoke to Christiane Amanpour on CNN about his trip to Israel, he led with the critical thing about his trip to Israel was “outreach with the Palestinians.” It’s a persistent theme.

The current configuration of the US State Department – even in the embassy in Israel – is oriented towards Israeli Arabs and Palestinians, not Israeli Jews.

Maybe when Tom Nides, who is Jewish, is confirmed as ambassador to Israel, the embassy and its website will actually start to constructively address Jews in the Jewish State.

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Fertility Rates and Household Wealth

A new U.S. government report noted that the birth rate continues to fall, now with a fertility rate of just 1.6 children per woman. That rate is considered “below replacement rate” meaning that the next generation will be smaller than the current one and that the overall population will grow older on average.

According to the World Bank, the overall percentage of the global population under 14 years old in 2019 was just 25.6%. It was just 18.5% for the United States, down significantly from 30.8% in 1961 in the post-World War II boom years.

There is a meaningful divide between the western world and the rest in terms of the number of children and how it relates to household wealth which will be reviewed here.

Children and Household Wealth around the World

There are three parts of the world which have a very young population, with over 35% of the population being 14 years old or younger: sub-Saharan Africa, several Muslim countries, and the islands of the Pacific.

Roughly 42% of sub-Saharan Africa is under 14 years old. Most of the countries are very poor, with a GDP per capital under $2,000. Outliers like Seychelles (with a relatively low 24% of the population under 14 y.o.) and Mauritius (17%) have much higher GDP per capita (GDP/C) of $17,448 and $11,099, respectively.

The other regions have a more scattered correlation between GDP per capita and high percentage of children as seen in the chart below.

Countries with over 35% of the population under 14 years old fall into three buckets: sub-Saharan Africa (not shown), Muslim countries (yellow) and Pacific islands (blue)

The blue dots represent Pacific island countries and the yellow dots correspond to Muslim countries. Pakistan, Tajikistan, Yemen and Afghanistan have GDP/C of around $1,000 or less. The two subsidized Muslim economies of Iraq ($5,955) and the Palestinian Authority ($3,562) are outliers in their relatively higher income levels and young population. Only Tonga and Samoa have similar around $4,000 GDP/C outside of Africa.

The United States

The GDP per Capita in the United States crossed $65,000 in 2019 while the fertility rate plummeted. The country has a diverse population so a deeper review of the drivers of the fertility drop as well as the dynamics of household wealth are worth exploring to appreciate the underlying causes.

As seen in the US Fertility Rate table above, the fertility rate for women of all races declined significantly between 2008 and 2016. The drop was greatest for Hispanic women (-26%) and Native Americans (-24%), followed by Whites and Blacks (-12% each).

The census data on average household income by race and status adds further color.

CharacteristicAll racesWhite alone, not HispanicBlack aloneAsian aloneHispanic (any race)
No Children89,31596,08160,794113,35470,604
With children <18119,506138,97079,151165,79380,592
Married no kids127,016132,34099,595141,35096,487
Married with kids146,238161,392123,121178,51094,336
Unmarried, no kids103,795107,34278,588156,37791,062
Unmarried with kids87,86595,92571,381(B)78,031
Male, no kids92,13399,11874,695123,49282,112
Male with kids83,98394,73363,69388,76473,777
Female, no kids74,95379,14869,54392,75564,067
Female with kids57,27465,24846,90090,47652,923
Household income for various US groups in 2019 according to the U.S. census. Too small a data set for unmarried Asian households with children at home.

There’s a lot of data here, so some observations:

Households headed by married couples with children at home make more money. Households (HH) with children under 18 at home make more money than those without, but that is purely driven by married HH. Asian married HH that have kids at home make an average of 26% more than married Asian HH without children. For Blacks the difference was 24%. Meanwhile, Hispanic married HH – and only Hispanics – without children make slightly more money than those with kids.

Non-traditional” HH with no kids make more money. Unmarried HH and those headed by either a single father or mother have greater wealth if there are no children. The difference is the greatest for Black HH headed by a woman, where average HH income is 48% higher if there are no kids at home, and for HH headed by Asian men, who make 39% more money on average if no kids are at home. Only HH headed by Asian women have virtually no difference whether there are kids at home or not.

Asian and Blacks have dramatically different household wealth. Not only do Asians make significantly more money than Black HH (86% more in HH with no kids at home and 109% more in HH with kids at home), the biggest drivers were in unmarried HH without kids and woman-headed HH with kids.

The change in household income adds additional color, with the table below showing the change from 2012 to 2019.

CharacteristicAll racesWhite alone, not HispanicBlack aloneAsian aloneHispanic (any race)
Married no kids38%38%40%39%35%
Married with kids44%42%51%49%50%
Unmarried, no kids35%34%37%62%20%
Unmarried with kids48%45%41%NA55%
Male, no kids38%41%42%37%32%
Male with kids41%41%35%34%44%
Female, no kids32%31%33%24%38%
Female with kids40%33%47%60%50%
Change in household income between 2012 and 2019 for various groups in the United States according to US Census

Households with kids have income growing faster. Income grew faster for households with children relative to those without kids between 2012 and 2019 for every type of household. Income grew fastest for those households headed by unmarried couples. Minorities faired better than Whites for female-headed homes with kids and married homes.

Hispanic households seeing the biggest gaps to an increase in income between having kids and not having kids. While Whites, Blacks and Asians mostly followed the averages or had mixed results, the Hispanic community saw big advances among those families which had children at home relative to the more modest gains among those with no children at homes.

In summary, the Hispanic community which accounts for 16.7% of the US population is having a steep decline in the number of children which is driving the overall low US fertility rates. While this is happening, the wealth for Hispanic households without kids is growing at a much slower pace than those HH with children. This is creating a gap in the Hispanic community between the wealthier HHs with children and the poorer ones which are having no kids.

Possible Reasons for Fertility Rates and Changes

There is clearly a correlation around the world that poorer countries have more children than richer countries.

The Guttmacher Institute estimates that 93 out of 1,000 pregnancies are unintended in poor countries compared to 66 in middle income and 34 in wealthy countries. Abortions are also more prevalent in wealthier countries with 40%, 66% and 43% of such unwanted pregnancies ending with an abortion in poor, middle and wealth countries, respectively. The net result is a higher fertility rate in poorer countries.

Religion should also be considered as a factor as many devout Muslim countries do not promote contraception and abhor abortions.

The low fertility rates in the United States goes beyond income and abortions.

Minority groups have the highest rates of abortion in the US. In 2016, 28% of abortions were by Black women even though they account for just 13% of the population. Hispanics accounted for 25% of abortions while they make up 17% of the population. This is in contrast to the global trend where poorer segments had fewer abortions.

In the US, Hispanics and Blacks still have higher fertility rates (2.1 and 1.9, respectively) than Whites (1.7) but the trends are much steeper for Hispanics as they are quickly adopting the more prevalent fertility rates found throughout America.

The lower fertility rates may seem strange relative to Pew Research which shows that women in America are having MORE children, albeit later in life as they prefer to pursue advanced degrees and build their careers. Pew notes that their work looks at the lifetime fertility rates of women whereas the standard definition of fertility is based solely on that one year’s accounting of births.

The Pew report also noted that one of the biggest changes in fertility is among women who were never married having children, where 55% of women aged 40-44 have had a child in 2014, up from just 31% in 1994. Incorporating the data above, this suggests that unmarried women are having children despite the fact that they are likely to be poorer for doing so, but the income level for this segment (unmarried moms) is growing the fastest.


One country seems to be defying the trends in fertility, with a higher fertility rate and a high level of wealth: Israel.

From 2000 to 2019, Israel’s fertility rate stayed relatively constant, growing from 2.95 to 3.01. With a GDP/C of $43,600, this is a remarkable achievement.

The country’s ultra-Orthodox and Bedouin communities continue to have large numbers of children and the number of abortions in the country continues to hit new lows every year.

A quick read of the low and declining fertility rates in the US is certainly reason for concern, but a deeper dive into the numbers reveals some important facts. 1) Women are extending the period of time in which they have children to later in life so the total number of children they have is actually rising. 2) The drop off in fertility in the US is mostly due to the Hispanic community moving quickly towards the societal average. 3) The average income for the growing “non-traditional” households (unmarried, single parent) with children is growing faster than the rest of society.

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Voting All of the Above

Democrats and Republicans are taking aim at each other about voting rights. Each has portrayed the other as racist, naive or dishonest. In truth, each makes fair points and the best policy is to incorporate suggestions from each.

Automatic registrationDemocratsGet all citizens registered easily
Accessible ballotsDemocratsAllow for big fonts, multiple languages
Picture IDRepublicansPrevent fraud and insure integrity of vote
Early votingDemocratsMake it easier for people to cast vote
No Mail-in voteRepublicansPrevent fraud and insure vote integrity
Suggestions to overhaul current voting system incorporating suggestions of both parties

Many of the above recommendations complement each other. Allowing early voting minimizes the need for mail-in votes. Requiring a picture ID to prevent fraud is logical and also dovetails with eliminating mail-in voting.

The most important thing regarding voting is for it to accurately reflect the desire of legal voters. Fraud and the legitimate fear of fraud undermine our democracy, the government and unity of the republic. For the sake of that unity, incorporate the logical proposals of both Democrats and Republicans.

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Capture The Flag

January 6, 2021 was a spectacle in Washington, D.C. when protesters stormed the U.S. Capital building which was convening to certify the results of the presidential elections. The overrun of the capital came just as Democrats won two Senate run-off seats in Georgia giving the party full control of Congress. One person was shot and killed and members of Congress needed to be escorted to secure rooms as the building was put in lock down. A curfew was imposed on the city.

U.S. Capital building stormed by pro-Trump protestors, January 6, 2021

People bemoan that the United States has become a Banana Republic which cannot peacefully hold elections or have a transition of power. They wonder how a powerful and wealthy country could descend into such chaos. Quickly pointing to President Donald Trump as the instigator for the event is a missed opportunity to expose the root causes of the mayhem. The danger of not exploring it is the casual dismissal of needed changes to society that go beyond January 20th when Trump leaves office and when the world moves passed the pandemic, hopefully in the coming months.

The instigating reasons include the notion that there is theft, the normalization of violent protest and the breakdown of trust and respect. All of this in the backdrop of a broader move to extremist views by many Americans and the relatively newer belief that government actually matters.

On Stealing

People become enraged when they feel deeply wronged, especially when it comes to something being stolen. If rights, liberties, lands or votes are viewed as being stripped away, then people will actively resist such wrongs.

President Donald Trump actively fed the narrative that peoples’ votes were being stolen which was the reason he lost the election, with “Stop the Steal” exclamations. He told his supporters to not even bother voting in the Georgia Senate run-off, as the system wouldn’t let their voices be heard.

This is not new, as Democrats often make claims of “voter suppression.” A conspiracy theory came out of Hillary Clinton’s mouth four years ago when she said as she lost “they were never going to let me be president.” Her backers believed her and held “Not My President” rallies during Trump’s early months in office.

The United Nations also promotes the notion of theft when it comes to Israel. It uses racist language that Israelis are “stealing Arab land” as if dirt can be inherently “Arab” (imagine someone saying that Alabama is inherently “white”). It established a special agency, UNRWA, which promises to enable millions of Arabs to “return” to Israel, actively fueling anger at the Jewish State.

Normalizing Violent “Protests”

The world actively promotes Palestinian “resistance” and normalizes terrorism. The 2% War which began in September 2000 killed and maimed thousands of Israeli civilians is commonly called the “Second Intifada” meaning “uprising,” softening the crimes of the murderers. Left-wing media states that Palestinians are only “resorting to violence” even when all their foundational charters and glorification of terrorists are plain to see.

In the United states, when the Black Lives Matter protests burned cities to the ground the media said that the protesters were “mostly peaceful” despite the videos of massive looting and scenes of charred buildings. The public seemingly gave a pass to the anarchy. When anarchists seized downtown Seattle and declared their alt-left caliphate with a concocted flag, the police were ordered to not engage.

Normalization by definition creates a new normal.

The Loss of Trust and Respect

There has been a continued erosion in the trust of institutions in the United States over several years. Blacks and liberals have distrusted the police for a long time but the nature of distrust has broadened and deepened.

The Internet is a great tool in allowing people to connect and find areas of interest but its use has had broad ramifications for businesses and society.

The personalization capabilities of search engines has allowed people to narrowly focus on topics and points of view that interest them. Such model and migration of eyeballs has shifted advertising dollars from television and newspapers to online giants like Google and Facebook. It forced the legacy media to pivot their businesses from neutral providers of information to highly-biased disseminators of propaganda. The media’s business model became #AlternativeFacts. When the Internet giants then followed suit during this election and shut down opinions which it found offensive, there became a deep resentment to all of the media.

Amid this backdrop, liberal society endorsed the idea that people’s perceptions of race and gender trumped science, undermining the foundation of truth. Even language became “weaponized” as people received daily addenda to the dictionary.

As the foundations of language and science were being shaken, woke society came after America’s founding fathers and institutions.

Kneeling for the national anthem, and the blitzkrieg of tearing down statues of Jefferson and Washington and renaming buildings and institutions were taken by many Americans as not protests but a profound disrespecting of America. The nation’s capital building became a symbol to either defend or mock.

A Move to Polar Extremes and Suddenly Government Matters

Moderate politicians have been forced out of both the Democratic and Republican parties for the past twenty years. The primary system has favored those who can activate a loud loyalist base and targets politicians who have preferred bipartisanship. The test of party purity advanced more extreme right-wing and left-wing politicians, who resemble the talking points of narrow slices of extremist ideology fed on social media and the Internet.

As bipartisan politicians leave Congress and state houses, extremist opinions and laws get enacted. This leaves a bitter taste in the mouths of the minority as the majority advances its agenda without fear of being voted out of office. When a blue state sees a red state dramatically limiting abortion access, it passes laws allowing for legal abortion up until birth, essentially blessing infanticide.

Extremism doesn’t exist in a vacuum; each side feeds the other. Both sides see that government matters as they adopt extremist laws so it drives people to the polls, with the 2020 presidential election having the biggest turnout in 120 years.

Path Forward

There is not one single thing that needs to be done to become a more perfect union and a more perfect planet. The change of administration and broad vaccinations that are underway will certainly help, but much more needs to be done, as the storming of the U.S. Capital building has been years in the making.

  1. Leaders must stop promoting false narratives of “theft.” While there was certainly a media frenzy against Trump (as there was in 2016), there is no proof of massive voter fraud. Republicans must loudly denounce Trump’s comments, not just Democrats. In other parts of the world, we similarly need to stop inflammatory language such as saying “Arab land” which undermines a chance for peace and the UN promoting the notion that Israel is a “colonialist enterprise.”
  2. Don’t normalize violence and calls for violence. Watching U.S. cities burn and Palestinians blowing up buses and pizza stores and then excusing those actions as “justice” and “natural protest” encourages more violence. Denounce the violence, arrest perpetrators and strip those who call for such actions of any funding.
  3. Build Trust and Respect. It will be difficult for the media to turn back the tide and become neutral providers of information, and social media’s business model is built on giving people what they crave. As such, it is important that the source of all articles and information be included with articles. People understand that Fox tilts right and MSNBC tilts left and can thereby understand that they are only presented with half of the story. Regarding respect, people must understand that revolutions produce counter-revolutions and consider that a casual disrespect of someone or something will likely come full circle.
  4. Embrace the Center. While people encourage the idea of a “wide tent” and talking to the “other side” it must be acknowledged that the fringe must remain on the fringe and not have seats of power. People in the right-of-center and left-of-center can have constructive dialogues of compromise while those at the polar extremes can only battle. If the extreme right or left are aiming to “primary” an incumbent in your district, understand that a vote for such politician will leave them off any committees of significance in the capital.

The capture of the nation’s capital did not happen in a vacuum and it is incumbent on all of us to take actions to reverse course on multiple fronts.

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