Friday, March 11, 2011

Walker's Base

Over the past few days, Governor Scott Walker has been imposing his will over the obviously unwilling state of Wisconsin. He has been busy cutting education and workers' rights
This, predictably has caused a huge backlash from the citizens of the state, who value their progressive stances on almost every social issue. They prefer educating the youth of the nation over giving tax breaks to the people who need it least.

So why is it that so few supporters of Governor Walker have spoken out since the debate started? Perhaps because less than 20% of the state's population physically voted for the Governor.

Wisconsin's census measured population was measured to be 5.6 million in 2010, the year the election took place. As you can see, less than half the population even participated in the election, and of those who did, just over 50% voted for Walker.
What's more, the Sunlight Foundation, an organization dedicated to exposing campaign funding in state and federal elections reports that Scott Walker was the highest receiver of Koch money on the state level during the 2010 election.
The Koch brothers are multi-billionaires who have donated huge amounts of money to the tea party movement and other Astroturf (fake grassroots) conservative causes. And though the Sunlight Foundation only covers $43,000 in donations to Walker's campaign, they don't record secondary contributions. The Koch brothers are reported to have bought several political ads during Walker's campaign, with costs numbering in the millions.

So the lesson to take form this is that Scott Walker was only elected through the use of millions of corporate dollars, with votes from a very small segment of the population, and that he is now imposing his will on an obviously unwilling people.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Soros vs Murdoch

In the news, two billionaires have been feuding over exactly who controls more of the mindless drones (middle class) in America. If you're the type who thinks with their Glen Beck, you'll immediately take sides. If you're the "Obama is the best president ever" type, you'll immediately pick the other side. So let's prove them both wrong by looking at the facts.

The two billionaires are George Soros and Rupert Murdoch. Obviously the two both have inordinate control over the political processes in the developed world, highlighting the more obvious flaws in our political systems. Personally, I believe we should implement a separation of corporation and state in a similar fashion that the US has a separation of church and state.

Net worth:
Soros- ~$14.2 billion
Murdoch- ~$6.2 billion

Soros is the obvious winner. If he put his mind to it, the man could probably buy half of Europe. But where does he spend his money? What does he influence?

Relevant Political contributions:
Soros- $23 million Soros made it his personal mission during the 2004 election to defeat incumbent President Bush, which obviously failed. he has also donated over $7 billion to non-partisan causes such as donations to universities.
Murdoch- Though Murdoch was a citizen of Australia until 1987 and was thus unable to contribute to American political campaigns, he is widely regarded as a king maker. He owns NewsCorp which has employed numerous prominent public figures, including Olliver North, Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, and the political clown Glen Beck.

Winner: Murdoch. Twenty three million dollars towards a failed presidential campaign is insubstantial compared to owning an entire conglomerate of media and biased news outlets.

"Spreading the Message":
Soros: List of journalism provided by Soros (click for link)

Winner: Obviously Murdoch. Here's an info graphic of all his holdings.

Overall winner? It's up to you. Do you believe that Soros' $7 billion contributions over the years solidifies his status as the ultimate evil overlord? Or do you believe Murdoch's ownership of one of the four major broadcast companies still left in the US, as well as fox news, makes his mindless followers more prevalent and potent? Let me know in the comments.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Inequality in the United States

Not many people know, realize, or acknowledge that the gap between the rich and the poor in the US has been growing alarmingly fast over the past 50 or so years. Sure, we've all heard the news about the sorry state of the job market while Wall Street CEOs give each other hundreds of millions of dollars in bonuses, but most of us never surmised exactly how dark the future looked for us and our children.

Here's a graph showing exactly how big that gap has grown:

And here's how that compares to how Americans want it to be:

Don't get me wrong, an essential part of capitalism involves the rich being insanely wealthy while the rest remain destitute, but the degree to which America is now experiencing that is now nearly unprecedented.
Back in 2008, the US passed a .45 on the Gini Ratio, the ratio which measures the concentration of wealth. If a nation were to reach a Gini ratio of exactly 1, the wealth of that nation would lie solely in the hands of a single individual. As it stands, America's coefficient is surpassed only by third-world countries.

Now, one in five Americans shows an inability to afford food:

So what can you do with this knowledge? Simply have it, and know it, and act upon it as you see fit. For a brighter future.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Hey followers, if ever there's a lapse in my regular tweeting or blogging routine, it's because I'm focusing on classwork. I just finished a big history paper so I'll be back to my routine.

Here's a comparison of data from states in the USA.

Education spending per pupil per state:

And here's educational results per state:

Notice the states that spend more on education almost always get better educational results. The outliers are Utah and West Virginia, yet even with them in the mix, the correlation is undeniable.
Look up other factors yourself at