Saturday, October 11, 2014

Betty McCollum and Irreconcilable Statistics

Betty McCollum shows us once again the perils of naive thinking and use of poorly handled statistics.

Arguably she does not do the analysis herself, she simply reports what her favorite organizations (agenda driven, not truth driven groups) put out, without adequate investigation. This is an excellent example of the use of "happenstance data".  In this case from the:

Women’s Foundation of Minnesota.
Below is a sampling of data from the Status of Women & Girls in Minnesota, an ongoing collaborative research project of the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota and the University of MN Humphrey School’s Center on Women & Public Policy. Annually, data specific to Minnesota women and girls is gathered and analyzed in economics, safety, health, and leadership.
As is standard for these egregious studies in the misuse of statistical data, it is an "apples to anvils" comparison taken simply by naively saying "compare all men to all women", irrespective of life choices that put them in completely different economic paths and positions. It is a statistical strategy guaranteeing flawed results that will never give a picture other than what they want, not a search for "truth". They are simply looking for "victimization" rubrics. It is a way to continue to demagogue issues, that they feel promotes their political agenda.  It is an "issue" that can never be "solved" if the data is viewed naively. Thus providing perpetual outrage and growth of pet programs.

When the data is more correctly handled, the analysis gives a much different picture. These results were published at the Huffington Post. It is a very thoughtful article with this take-away:
That's not a comparison between people who do the same work." With more realistic categories and definitions, the remaining 6.6 gap [Note: they had explained away most of the purported difference earlier in the text] would certainly narrow to just a few cents at most.
Could the gender wage gap turn out to be zero? Probably not. The AAUW correctly notes that there is still evidence of residual bias against women in the workplace. However, with the gap approaching a few cents, there is not a lot of room for discrimination. And as economists frequently remind us, if it were really true that an employer could get away with paying Jill less than Jack for the same work, clever entrepreneurs would fire all their male employees, replace them with females, and enjoy a huge market advantage.

Read the original, statistically honest/well handled, study here.

Illogical analyses like this study must never be used for determining public policy. That is how we get so many truly bad policy laws. Thoughtful analysis and prudent probative evaluation is required to have the information to make good policy decisions. Decisions that benefit our country, not undermine it.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Betty McCollum and Politics of "The Big Lie"

As I was out dropping lit for a candidate, I was engaged in a discussion with a gentleman who wanted to talk about the lack of accomplishment of Congress in this session.  While he tried to portray himself as a moderate/Republican, he continued to point toward the shortcomings of "tea partiers" as the source of the divisiveness in Washington.  His speech sounded very much like the continual referencing (with disrespect intended) of "tea-party Republicans" by Congresswoman Betty McCollum. The name calling approach is a standard tactic of those who want to dismiss and marginalize others, rather than engage in dialog and really accomplish a task. He had been swayed by the "politics of disrespect".

As I told this gentleman, the original intent of our Constitutional Republic was to create a system with "tension" (like a spring) that would make passage of poor legislation difficult.  In other words - gridlock was a decidedly good thing in the minds of the founders, because it prevented the loss of liberty for the minority.

When the Constitution was up for ratification, there was an ongoing debate, for and against, recoded in the writings of the Federalist and Anti-Federalists papers. The fears of the people for a government that disregarded the rights of the minority had to be allayed before ratification. From Federalist 10:
[Madison] thinks that "the most common and durable source of factions has been the various and unequal distribution of property. Those who hold and those who are without property have ever formed distinct interests in society". He saw direct democracy as a danger to individual rights and advocated a representative democracy in order to protect what he viewed as individual liberty from majority rule, or from the effects of such inequality within society. He says, "A pure democracy can admit no cure for the mischiefs of faction. A common passion or interest will be felt by a majority, and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party. Hence it is, that democracies have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have, in general, been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths".
Disrespect and incivility are standards of the Saul Alinsky Rules for Radicals:
5. "Ridicule is man's most potent weapon. It is almost impossible to counteract ridicule. Also it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage."
13. Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.  In conflict tactics there are certain rules that [should be regarded] as universalities. One is that the opposition must be singled out as the target and 'frozen.'...
     "...any target can always say, 'Why do you center on me when there are others to blame as well?' When your 'freeze the target,' you disregard these [rational but distracting] arguments.... Then, as you zero in and freeze your target and carry out your attack, all the 'others' come out of the woodwork very soon. They become visible by their support of the target...'
So here is the most recent example provided by Congresswoman McCollum:

What this "politics of disrespect" accomplishes is to "poison the well" and attempt to shift the blame for a perceived "lack of progress".  Never forget that the "progress" that some may want may be a direct violation of the rights and property of others. That will get lost in the din of the ensuing flurry of accusations.  Follow the tactics of the "Big Lie"
never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it.
The demagogic use the "victim" politics appears to be the plan of the Democrat Party this year. The empty argument should not be believed, but history has demonstrated the effectiveness of the "Big Lie". If you want a real change in tone in Washington, those who practice the "Big Lie" are not who you should support.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

MNCD4 GOP Endorsement - Sharna Wahlgren

Minnesota Congressional District 4 (MNCD4) Republicans held their 2014 Convention April 26. They endorsed, by acclamation, an exciting first time candidate -- Sharna Wahlgren.

Sharna Wahlgren is a lifelong resident of Minnesota Congressional District 4. Attending Harding High School, graduating from the University of Minnesota with a degree in Economics, worked with Senator Rudy Boschwitz in Washington, and spent 20 years working in the private sector with hard working, energetic, entrepreneurs.

Sharna realized that more is required if we are going to change the course our country is now set upon. Who represents our diverse communities priorities in congress? She contrasts her middle class priorities against the far left priorities of Betty McCollum (who receives a significantly divisive 93% progressive rating) in her nomination speech at MNCD4. Watch her speech to see her describe her views and plans for winning the hearts and minds of people in CD4. Responding to the demagogic claims of Betty McCollum that Republicans engage in a "War on Women", Sharna states: "We know a strong economy is the best friend any woman has. Single or married, we know that women don't want government dependency but want to live their lives free from the grasping claws of those in government who claim to know better -- they do not know better!"

Sharna's 2014 MNCD4 Convention Speech

Sharna Wahlgren is an attorney focusing in Patent, Trademark & Franchise Matters.  The processes, tools and requirements for innovative new products, businesses, and jobs are the heart of her work for 20 years.  Her experiences have been in a very diverse range "including gemstone enhancement, chemical compounds, computer software, medical devices, commercial refrigeration systems, snowmobile equipment, automotive maintenance equipment, adhesives, consumer products, and a variety of other consumer products and mechanical devices." Sharna has also worked in real estate, including condemnation and tax appeal. Giving Sharna a base and breadth of experience that will greatly benefit constituents of CD4.

Sharna has a broad depth of understanding of business, regulation, and government policy that affect you, your job, and improving the environment affecting job creation for you and your children.  Here in Congressional District 4 we have watched as businesses have diminished and jobs have left the area and the state.  Much of the reason for this is an environment of intrusive governmental regulation and obstructiveness. Current policy and policy makers are dedicated to a path that continues to disadvantage business growth and stifles job creation.  Sharna will bring enthusiasm, knowledge, and proven ability to changing that path in Congress.

Follow Sharna's plans and efforts at: (@sharna4us)