In 2010, the top 20 percent households, earned 51.9 percent of income, paid 68.8 percent of federal taxes. Top 1 percent earned 14.9 of income, paid 24.2 percent of federal taxes. Poorest 20 percent earned 5.1 percent of income, paid 0.4 percent of federal taxes.
4.2 million Syrian refugees, most living in Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt and Iraq. UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported 4.29 million as of November 3rd, 2015, also reported here, and here. 6.5 million Syrians internally displaced. 200 thousand killed in the Syrian Civil War since 2011.
$4.5 billion: amount UNHCR has requested or approximately $1,057 per capita for Syrian refugee assistance. UNHCR has raised $2 billion of the $4.5 billion requested.
10,000: number of Syrian refugees the United States has pledged to take in, at a cost of $12,874 per capita. There are other numbers out there, but we do know the US government spent $1.1 billion last year resettling 70,000 people from around the world, or almost $16,000 per head. (These are just the costs of resettlement, not additional costs once they arrive in the United States, as refugees are eligible for most welfare programs and have usage rights higher than the general population.) “Refugees are subject to the highest level of security checks of any category of traveler to the United States,” a State Department official told Business Insider.
Once the US State Department receives their case files it employs NGO contractors to pre-screen them for eligibility for refugee status, then they are subjected to health and security checks.
Officers from the Department of Homeland Security fly from Washington to the camps and conduct interviews with candidates, seeking to weed out what a US official called “liars, criminals and terrorists.”
Meanwhile they receive medical tests and those with communicable diseases, most commonly tuberculosis, are given treatment before they can travel to the United States, often delaying the process.
Once they get to the United States, refugees are provided seed money to find a place to live and get situated.
The bottom line: Since 2009, the United States has accepted 70 percent of all resettled United Nations-designated refugees worldwide. Resettlement costs to the United States are nearly 12 times higher than resettling refugees to areas in the Middle East. The U.S. can spend $128 million to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees in the U.S., or spend $128 million to resettle more than 121,000 Syrian refugees to one of the Middle Eastern countries taking refugees. For the price of resettling 194,000 refugees to the U.S., the U.S. could cover the entire gap of the UN’s $4.2 billion resettlement fund goal and have all of Syria’s 4.29 million refugees resettled in the Middle East.
Syria is not the only country with refugees crises going on right now.
2.5 million Afghan refugees
616 thousand South Sudanese refugees
410 thousand from Central African Republic
and the list goes on.
1. Close the Department of Education
2. Stop all federal subsidization of college. All students loan guarantees, all pell grants, everything.
3. Get rid of all electives in college. Only study your major and its prerequisites and related coursework.
4. End high school at 16. Last two years of high school can be used for college prereqs, vocational training, athletics, or just finding yourself.
More to come…
Robert Reich has put on quite a show lately demonstrating the pervasiveness of economic ignorance in political and general discourse. He does an excellent job showing why economic education is needed. Unfortunately, his plans, and their flaws, are not unique to him…
From Stalin’s Five-Year Plans to the New Deal to the Great Society, etc etc. [Political plans] all contain contradicting elements. Earlier, I discussed how Reich goes from demanding raising wages to demanding falling wages (within a day of one another). In the past, I’ve talked about his confused case both against and for automation. But this can be seen in other economic policies: green energy (the federal government subsidizing green energy, yet imposing tariffs on solar panels to make them more expensive), War on Poverty (imposing minimum wage, which harms employment, and the EITC, which supports employment), consumer debt (keeping interest rates low to discourage saving in safe assets but providing non-taxed retirement plans), the list goes on.
TheCafe’s quote of the day is so good i just had to re-post it in it’s entirety:
[It] is from page 101 of James Gwartney’s and Richard Stroup’s marvelous 1993 primer, What Everyone Should Know About Economics and Prosperity (original emphasis):
Similarly, the record of government planning in the United States is fraught with internal inconsistencies. The federal government both subsidizes tobacco growers and propagandizes against smoking. It pays some farmers not to produce grain products and, at the same time, subsidizes others with irrigation projects so they can grow more of the very same grain products. Government programs for dairy farmers keep the price of milk high, while its subsidies to the school lunch program make the expensive milk more affordable. Government regulations mandating stronger bumpers make automobiles safer, while the governments Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards make them lighter and more dangerous. Both increase the cost of automobiles.
Those who think that central planning will promote economic progress are naive. When business enterprises get more funds from governments and less from consumers, they will spend more time trying to satisfy politicians and less time satisfying customers. Predictably, this reallocation of resources will lead to economic regression rather than prosperity.
Anecdotes like these are seemingly infinite and they will make your head spin if you’re not careful.