Monday, July 16, 2018

Preventing domestic violence:  There is only one way

Wife and partner bashing is an abhorrent crime and one reads almost daily of stories about it.  You find stories in the mainstream media with some frequency but where you really read such reports is in, which solicits all sorts of stories direct from individuals.

Given the large concern about such incidents, governments have been exerting themselves to do something about it. But their efforts are ridiculous.  They just make statements about it and say what a naughty thing it is to do.  There is no evidence that such preaching does any good -- probably for the excellent reason that it does in fact do no good.

The nice middle class people who hear and read such messages are the ones to need such advice least. 

There is of course no perfect solution but there is one that would PREVENT, not just punish, most such behaviour.  And that flows from the fact that most such assaults are by people already well-known to the police for aggressive behaviour.  Most have prior convictions for violence or at least have in their past come to the attention of police for such behaviour

So if any offender has a record of any serious violence towards people or animals they should simply have their liberty permanently taken away.  In most instances they should be jailed.  They won't be able to act out in jail.  And such a policy would protect the community generally, not only women, which is a big bonus. If they show no respect for others, they cannot expect others to respect them

The cost would be a larger jail population but how do you count the cost of saving the lives and well-being of many abused women? A one-percent cut in the bureaucracy would probably yield enough to cover he cost.  And jailing could be a lot less costly than it now is. Instead of the motel-like conditions that are now often provided in jails, a bare minimum for life support could be provided.

This is of course a "tough" solution but it is the only one with any prospect of effectiveness.  Anything else is pissing into the wind

I have argued previously that releasing serious criminals after a short period of imprisonment is asking for trouble.  See also here -- JR

Man Who Stopped Gun Thief Fired For Good Deed

A manager at Academy Sports was fired from his job after he prevented a would-be robber from stealing a firearm from the Florida sporting goods store.

Dean Crouch, 32, was working at Academy Sports in Tallahassee when Jason White walked up to the firearms counter and asked to look at a .40-caliber handgun, reported The Tallahassee Democrat. White allegedly raced for the front door when handed the firearm, and Couch quickly tackled him to the ground. (RELATED: Armed Walmart Shopped Kills Alleged Carjacker)

While waiting for police to arrive, White was taken to the store office where it was discovered that he had allegedly stolen a backpack, two matching magazines and five boxes of matching ammunition.

“He repeatedly said ‘I stole and I admit to it’ and ‘I will steal again when I get out of jail,'” a Tallahassee officer wrote in a police report.

Crouch was put on suspension following the incident and after a month-long investigation, Academy Sports notified him on Tuesday that he was fired for violating a company policy prohibiting employees from touching customers, according to Fox News.

The spokeswoman for Academy Sports defended the company’s actions telling the Democrat “While the incident ended without injury, actions inconsistent with corporate policies were taken.”

Crouch, who is married and the father to two young children, is now facing financial distress. Without the income from his job, he is forced to put the family’s home up for sale.

“I was really dumbfounded honestly, that Academy would do something like this. I worked so hard for Academy, put some blood, sweat, and tears into this place,” Crouch told WTXL. “I had great staff and for them to come through and fire me over trying to protect the community, it really hurts me personally.”

Crouch has been an employee of Academy Sports for more than two years and is considering a lawsuit for wrongful termination.


‘Extreme Poverty’ Is Extremely Rare in the U.S., Says New Research

Overestimates appear to be the product of unreliable survey data.
A recent dust-up between the U.N. and the Trump administration reinvigorated the debate over “extreme poverty” in the U.S. The U.N. claimed an astounding 18.5 million Americans were mired in this condition; the latter said the true number was a mere 250,000 — fewer than one in 1,000 Americans.

As I’ve noted previously, the U.N.’s number was absurd, relying on a definition of extreme poverty that no one else uses. But there is a legitimate debate over the true extent of extreme poverty — typically defined as a household income under $2 per person per day, which is something like one-tenth of the poverty line — with estimates ranging from a few hundred thousand to a few million. And in new research presented at the American Enterprise Institute Tuesday, the economist Bruce D. Meyer and two co-authors make a forceful argument that the lower numbers are the correct ones.

Their own estimate is that “at most one-quarter of one percent of households are living on less than $2/person/day” — about 326,000 individuals in total — and that these are overwhelmingly single adults, sometimes students. Indeed, the authors were unable to identify a single family with children that was extremely poor in their data.

Claims of rampant extreme poverty first rose to prominence with the 2015 publication of the book $2 a Day, the central claim of which was that 4 percent of American families with children fell below that cutoff — largely because the 1996 welfare reform made it harder to get cash assistance. The book itself made clear some serious limitations of this number, though. For one thing, it was limited to cash income, and the estimate fell by half when food stamps were included. And for another, it was based on survey data, meaning that individuals reported their own income. It’s well known that people tend to underreport their welfare benefits and off-the-books cash in surveys, and responses are particularly suspect when individuals claim to subsist on essentially no money.

In response, some critical researchers tried to correct the survey data to account for underreporting, or looked at households’ spending rather than their income, and reached radically lower estimates. But neither approach is entirely satisfactory. That’s where the new work of Meyer et al. comes in.

Meyer’s team has assembled an impressive data set that starts with the government survey used in $2 a Day (the Survey of Income and Program Participation, or SIPP), but also includes administrative data from various government agencies. As a result, instead of trying to statistically estimate whether a survey respondent is underreporting his income and benefits, Meyer et al. can simply look at federal and state records to see how much that individual received. This allows the authors to make more comprehensive and accurate adjustments to the survey data than anyone else has been able to. The biggest tradeoff is that they currently have administrative food-stamp data from just eleven states, so their fully adjusted national estimates need to be scaled up from those — but fortunately, these states are demographically similar to the country as a whole.

Their raw estimate, based only on cash income reported in the survey, is that 3 percent of all households (and nearly 10 percent of single-parent households) live in extreme poverty. Add in self-reported non-cash benefits and it’s down to 2.1 percent. Account for the fact that a small share of respondents claim to have little or no income despite working many hours at a paying job — clearly a mistake — and we’re at 1.3 percent. Reclassify low-income households that actually have substantial assets (such as $5,000 in cash or $25,000 in real-estate equity), and it’s 0.9 percent. And when you consult the administrative data to account for the underreporting of income and benefits, it falls more than two-thirds, reaching the final estimate of 0.24 percent. Incredibly, many of the individuals who move out of “extreme poverty” when these adjustments are made appear not to even be poor, much less extremely poor.

Meyer et al. demonstrate beyond a doubt that claims of extreme poverty are tremendously overblown.

The results are similar when they switch gears, repeating the analysis with the Current Population Survey’s Annual Social and Economic Supplement (CPS ASEC), another government survey they can match to their administrative data: Just 0.12 percent of households are in extreme poverty once the proper corrections are made. This is an estimate of full-year extreme poverty, whereas the SIPP estimates pertain to a four-month period, which likely explains why it’s so much lower.

This is not quite the final verdict on the extreme-poverty question. As the authors note, none of this accounts for off-the-books income that people might not report to survey-takers, and the authors’ administrative data are far from comprehensive; they aren’t able to correct for underreporting of unemployment insurance, veterans’ benefits, workers’ compensation, cash welfare, or the child tax credit. On the other hand, however, just as surveys undercount government benefits, they also neglect the homeless, which number in the hundreds of thousands on any given night. The authors suggest a “next step” to their research will be to mine additional sources of data to address both of these limitations.

At the event debuting the results, Laura Wheaton of the Urban Institute also raised some technical issues with the analysis, including the way the authors estimated earnings for people who reported working for pay but not earning much money (they multiplied the hours by the minimum wage, which may overestimate earnings for some self-employed and tipped workers).

Meyer et al. demonstrate beyond a doubt, though, that claims of “extreme poverty” are tremendously overblown. One can be concerned about the poor without claiming that such incredibly severe deprivation is common in this country — so perhaps it’s time to shift our focus accordingly.


Australia: Protesters accuse NSW library of ‘spreading propaganda’ with drag queen event

ANGRY protesters have slammed an upcoming storytelling event for children and adults which will be hosted by a drag queen.

As a gesture of support for the Wollongong Queer Arts Festival, the city’s central library is hosting the July 21 event, in which Roxee Horror — the alter-ego of Adam Larkham — will read stories, sing and make crafts.

However, the seemingly harmless event has raised the ire of hundreds on social media who have launched homophobic slurs at the event and its host.

Many accused the library of using taxpayer’s money to “spread propaganda” and “sexualising children” by choosing a drag queen to host an event that will be attended by people of all ages.

Some irate locals even wrote to the library to express their dismay and called for the event to scrapped.

However, staff hit back at some of the abusive messages posted on the library’s Facebook page.

“Thank you for your feedback,” wrote a spokesman for Wollongong City Libraries. “The libraries’ support of the Wollongong Queer Arts Festival is an opportunity to highlight that it doesn’t matter who you are, where you are from or what motivates you to come into the library, this is a safe and inclusive space for everyone.”

Messages of support for the event have also begun to appear on the library’s Facebook page — with one reading, “If you don’t like it, don’t come.”

Another commenter wrote: “I think this is marvellous. Teaching kids and the community that people come in all shapes and sizes through the art of storytelling, and demonstrating the importance of respect, love, kindness and education.”

Another said: “Don’t let the haters get you down. This is a wonderful opportunity for children who may be LGBTQ+ or children of parents within the LGBTQ+ community to see positive role models out and about in the wider community.”

Ms Horror, who hosts drag bingo nights and other events in the area, appeared to be excited for the event when she announced it on her public Facebook page.

“Cannot wait to read some books and do some craft!” she wrote.

The library’s manager Jenny Thompson told the Illawarra Mercury she doesn’t care about the criticism of the event.

“The central library is a pretty big place, and our community and our world is a big place and there is space for everybody,” she said.

“We offer a range of different events for all different parts of the community and this is, I guess, part of our community we haven’t done that overtly for before. “So it’s important to us that we’re getting with the program.”



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


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