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Tag Archives: President G. W. Bush

What the Numbers say about Creating Jobs in America – Part 1/4

Since I’m a member of the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS), I receive the “Retired Educator,” a quarterly newsletter.  The topic of this series of posts was motivated by the 2012 Winter edition.

To earn my monthly CalSTRS check, I first had to work thirty years as a classroom teacher in California’s public schools while 8% of my monthly paychecks went into CalSTRS to help fund that retirement system, which proves that it is not an unearned entitlement as some might want the nation to believe.

In fact, according to the 2011 Summary Report in the newsletter, contributions from members, the State of California and the federal government, which is why we cannot collect Social Security, was almost $6 billion in 2011. About half came from working members.

In addition, I do not earn an annual six-figure income through CalSTRS. In fact, when I left teaching in 2005, I took a 40% pay cut, as most teachers do, and lost my medical plan, because I could not afford the cost of COBRA, which was more than $1,000 a month.  Add another 14 years working outside education, and the total number of years I worked for a pay check was forty-five.

I discovered from that “Retired Educator” newsletter that CalSTRS lost $53.95 billion between 2007 – 2009 while President G. W. Bush still lived in the White House, but earned back $36.92 billion (2009 – 2011) with President Obama.  Note: CalSTRS did not receive bail out money from the federal government. That money mostly went to big private sector banks—not retirement programs such as CalSTRS.  If you want to know where the money went and how much, CNN.com shows you.

I’ve read that total losses globally were in the trillions. One financial Website set the total at more than $60 trillion US dollars. In China, alone, about 20 million people lost manufacturing jobs leading to labor unrest in 2008 and 2009. In the US, that number of job losses was about nine million.

Even though the CalSTRS newsletter didn’t say so, I learned that the wealthy do not create most jobs as Republicans claim—the working class creates most jobs by spending what little they earn, while the wealthy hoard most of their money in safer investments than those needed to create jobs as you shall learn from this series of posts.

However, I have an old friend that keeps telling me we cannot raise taxes on the wealthy one percent and/or the top twenty percent (those earning $55,000 or more annually—6.24% earn more than $100,000), because it will stop job growth.  He also happens to be a neoconservative-libertarian, evangelical Christian.  He despises liberal and progressive politics and policies.  He has said more than once that he believes G. W. Bush may have been America’s greatest president, and if anything bad happens in America, it is the fault of those evil liberal-progressive Democrats.

It doesn’t matter what the facts reveal. Anything that does not match his opinions/beliefs are liberal lies. He also listens faithfully to the conservative  Dennis Prager radio talk show and belongs to and attends Dennis Prager Fan Club meetings.

Conservative talk radio in the United States is a phenomenon that got its start in the 1980s when the Fairness Doctrine was allowed to expire under President Reagan (he vetoed it after both Houses of Congress voted it into law). This veto then allowed broadcasters to present a political opinion or point of view or pundit (mostly lies, exaggerations and misinformation) without being required to allow equal time for alternative views or rebuttals. The ideology that benefited the most from the loss of the Fairness Doctrine was conservative talk radio shows such as Dennis Prager’s.  See Prager’s Parrots to learn more.

My old friend and Prager fan has also said that he wouldn’t mind if Social Security were repealed as long as the government refunded him the money he paid into the system—and this comes from a guy that lost a half million dollars in the stock market after saving that money in tax sheltered retirement accounts. Later, he had to do battle with the IRS for years because they came for their share of that tax-sheltered money that he borrowed from his tax shelter and gambled away.

No matter what this old friend believes and preaches as if it were one of the Gospels, I’ve learned that what put America on the road to ruin causing the 2007-2011 global financial crises has more to do with the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act repealing the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 (this was the final nail in the coffin), which deregulated banking, insurance, securities, and the financial services industry, allowing financial institutions to “grow very big”.

The repeal of the Glass–Steagall Act of 1933 effectively removed the separation that previously existed between investment banking, which issued securities, and commercial banks, which made money through deposits.

The deregulation also removed conflict-of-interest rules that had prevented investment bankers from serving as officers of commercial banks.

It was the repeal of these prohibitions that was later claimed by many to have contributed to the 2007 global financial crises by allowing depositors’ money to flow into risky investments, and according to the Huffington Post, in the first 15 months after the start of the 2007 global financial crises, American Retirement Accounts Lost $2 Trillion and the federal government did nothing to slow the tide of those losses as they bailed out banks and the auto industry.  By the middle of 2009, those losses may have climbed as high as $4 trillion, which is much more than the $54 billion CalSTRS lost.

Continued on February 29, 2012 in What the Numbers say about Creating Jobs in America – Part 2

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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Bush and Obama’s Ignorant Gaff – Part 3/3


Associated Content said in 2006, “Every day, as many as 77 percent of American youth are labeled by special definition: Latchkey Kids.”

In the US, a latchkey kid is one that leaves school in the afternoon to go to an empty house because the parent or parents are working. If no parent is home, who is guiding the child?

It didn’t help that I made more phone calls to parents than any other teacher on campus.

It didn’t help that I stayed in my classroom at lunch and at least an hour after school to help kids who wanted extra help, but none of my English students ever took advantage of that help and we couldn’t make them.

However, I was there year after year. Every day I reminded my students that I would be there. There was a sign posted on the wall as a reminder, and it was placed near the door where no one could miss it.

At lunch and after school, I often sat an empty classroom but I didn’t waste my time. I used that time to correct the student work that had been turned in.

By the time I left teaching after thirty years, less than five percent of my students were doing the homework and it didn’t matter how many phone calls I made to parents.

It was obvious that most of the kids I taught did not have the types of parents I had. Many of the parents of my students didn’t speak English and were illiterate, so books were not important and children learn from their parents’ lack of interest.

It is obvious that President Obama’s mother and grandparents were great role models that made a big difference in his education. Why can’t he see that?

That fact that Obama is as blind as Bush was, is because it was probably a teacher’s fault.

Return to Bush and Obama’s Ignorant Gaff – Part 2 or start with Part 1 or View as Single Page

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.

 

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Bush and Obama’s Ignorant Gaff – Part 2/3


Studies and statistics show that the “average” American child spends about 10 hours a day either having fun watching TV or playing video games or social networking on Facebook or sending endless text messages with a mobile phone.

The high school I taught at in Southern California for many years has a low state ranking and was one of those underperforming schools and still is five years after I retired.

One year, there was a story in the news about the school’s scores going down and one of my students with a failing grade mentioned this in class, which caused others to laugh with looks on their faces that said it was a teacher’s fault.

I said, “Walnut Valley High School has a state ranking that is a nine out of ten and our school is a three.  If we swapped students from Nogales to Walnut move the teachers, that ranking would go with the students and Nogales would have a nine and Walnut a three.

“The score comes from the students—not the teachers. You started kindergarten in a different school.  After seven years, you went to an Intermediate school.  By the time you walked through my classroom door, you had been in school ten years and probably had fifty different teachers.”

They stopped laughing.

At the time, half the students I taught were failing my classes. The reason they were failing is that they didn’t read at home, do the homework or study for tests.  I should know. I’m the one who recorded all those zeroes in the grade book.

I’m the one that called or attempted to call parents to get them involved.

Then when students fail, Washington D.C. blames and punishes teachers.

Continued in Bush and Obama’s Ignorant Gaff – Part 3 or return to Part 1 or View as Single Page

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.

 

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