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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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As the high-stakes wrangling over the fiscal cliff gets underway, we though it might be the proper moment to remind everybody just how the United States managed to become the world's biggest debtor.
So, here's how....
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch History * Economics, Politics Economy Taxes The U.S. Government Budget Census/Census Data Medicare Social Security The National Deficit Politics in General
There were nearly 50 million Americans living in poverty in 2011, under an alternative measure released by the Census Bureau Wednesday.
That's 16.1% of the nation, higher than the official poverty rate of 15%. The official rate, released in September, showed 46.6 million people living in poverty.
Read it all.
As of 2012-06 the civilian labor force was 155,163,000....As of May 2012, the outlays are $756.9 billion annualized. Fewer worker relatively speaking, support more and more recipients with exponentially growing payments. This is supposed to work?
As of 2012-06 there were 111,145,000 in the private workforce
As of 2012-06 there were 56,174,538 collecting some form of SS or disability benefit
Ratio of SS beneficiaries to private employment just passed the 50% mark (50.54%)
Read it all from Mish's economics blog (another from the long queue of should-have-already-been-posted material).
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Aging / the Elderly Middle Age Psychology Young Adults * Economics, Politics Economy Credit Markets Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market Taxes The U.S. Government Budget Census/Census Data Medicare Social Security The National Deficit Politics in General House of Representatives Office of the President Senate * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A.
...imagine how cool it would be if, by some twist of time, the National Archives were to make available detailed census information from nearly 70 years in the future — the 2080 census.
We asked James Dator, director of the Hawaii Research Center for Futures Studies, what kind of information census takers will be soliciting seven decades in the future. Dator says that possible questions might include:
—Do you have a home, or "biophysical domicile"? If so, is it on Earth, the moon, Mars or elsewhere?Read or listen to it all.
—What is your current sex?
—What is your permission number for drinking water?...
Filed under: * Culture-Watch History Philosophy Psychology Science & Technology * Economics, Politics Economy The U.S. Government Census/Census Data * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A.
According to the U.S.Census Bureau's figures, Oklahoma has grown in population from 3,450,654 in 2000 to 3,751,351 in 2010. This represents a population growth of approximately 8.7% in this time frame. (Of passing interest, please note that the population of the United States as a whole went from 281,421,906 in 2000 to 308,745,538 in 2010, an overall American growth for the decade of 9.7%).
According to Episcopal Church statistics, the Diocese of Oklahoma went from Average Sunday Attendance (or ASA) of 7,290 in 2000 to 5,585 in 2010. This represents a decline of -23.4% during this decade.
Please note that if you go to the link toward the end of this sentence and enter "Oklahoma" as the name of the diocese and then "View Diocese Chart" underneath on the left you can see in pictorial form some of the data from 2000-2010.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Bishops TEC Data TEC Parishes * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry * Economics, Politics Economy The U.S. Government Census/Census Data
According to the U.S.Census Bureau's figures, Oregon has grown in population from 3,421,399 in 2000 to 3,831,074 in 2010. This represents a population growth of approximately 12.0% in this time frame. (Of passing interest, please note that the population of the United States as a whole went from 281,421,906 in 2000 to 308,745,538 in 2010, an overall American growth for the decade of 9.7%).
According to Episcopal Church statistics, the Diocese of Oregon went from Average Sunday Attendance (or ASA) of 7,793 in 2000 to 6,547 in 2010. This represents a decline of 16.0% during this decade.
Please note that if you go to the link toward the end of this sentence and enter "Oregon" as the name of the diocese and then "View Diocese Chart" underneath on the left you can see in pictorial form some of the data from 2000-2010.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Data TEC Parishes * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Economy The U.S. Government Census/Census Data * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A.
From Philadelphia to Newark, N.J., New York to Boston, Cleveland to Chicago to Detroit and beyond, the church of the immigrants is going the same route as the old industrial America of our forebears. The huge plants -- churches, schools and parish halls -- markers of another era, like the hulking steel mills and manufacturing plants of old, can no longer be sustained. There aren’t enough Catholics left in those places, not enough priests and nuns and certainly not enough money to maintain the church as it once was.
According to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University in Washington, the church in the United States has lost 1,359 parishes during the past 10 years, or 7.1 percent of the national total, and most of those have been in the Northeast and the Upper Midwest.
“I’m developing a theory that one of our major challenges today is that American Catholic leadership is being strangled by trying to maintain the behemoth of the institutional Catholicism that we inherited from the 1940s and ’50s,” New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan told NCR’s John Allen in the recently released book-length interview A People of Hope.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Economy Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007-- The U.S. Government Census/Census Data * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Roman Catholic
They drive cars, but seldom new ones. They earn paychecks, but not big ones. Many own homes. Most pay taxes. Half are married, and nearly half live in the suburbs. None are poor, but many describe themselves as barely scraping by.
Down but not quite out, these Americans form a diverse group sometimes called “near poor” and sometimes simply overlooked — and a new count suggests they are far more numerous than previously understood.
When the Census Bureau this month released a new measure of poverty, meant to better count disposable income, it began altering the portrait of national need. Perhaps the most startling differences between the old measure and the new involves data the government has not yet published, showing 51 million people with incomes less than 50 percent above the poverty line. That number of Americans is 76 percent higher than the official account, published in September. All told, that places 100 million people — one in three Americans — either in poverty or in the fretful zone just above it.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Aging / the Elderly Poverty * Economics, Politics Economy Personal Finance The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007-- The U.S. Government Census/Census Data * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A.
Check it out it allows you to move the cursor over any country and see the data--a great tool.
New census figures show that the percentage of Californians who live in "nuclear family" households — a married man and a woman raising their children — has dropped again over the last decade, to 23.4% of all households. That represents a 10% decline in 10 years, measured as a percentage of the state's households.
Those households, the Times analysis shows, are being supplanted by a striking spectrum of postmodern living arrangements: same-sex households, unmarried opposite-sex partners, married couples who have no children. Some forms of households that were rare just a generation ago are becoming common; the number of single-father households in California, for instance, grew by 36% between 2000 and 2010.
Read it all.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau's figures, Knoxville, the see city of the diocese, has grown in population from 173,890 in 2000 to 185,100 in 2009. This represents a population growth of approximately 6.45% in this time frame.
According to Episcopal Church statistics, the Diocese of East Tennessee went from Average Sunday Attendance (or ASA) of 6,376 in 1998 to 5,649 in 2008. The finally released 2009 numbers shows a small further decline in ASA to 5645 in 2009. This represents an ASA decline of about 11.65 % over this eleven year period. Please note that if you go to the link toward the end of this sentence and enter "East Tennessee" as the name of the diocese and then "View Diocese Chart" underneath on the left you can see in pictorial form some of the data from 1999-2009.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Bishops TEC Parishes * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Evangelism and Church Growth * Economics, Politics Economy The U.S. Government Census/Census Data
In Deborah Brown’s family lore, the American South was a place of whites-only water fountains and lynchings under cover of darkness. It was a place black people like her mother had fled.
But for Ms. Brown, 59, a retired civil servant from Queens, the South now promises salvation.
Three generations of her family — 10 people in all — are moving to Atlanta from New York, seeking to start fresh economically and, in some sense, to reconnect with a bittersweet past. They include Ms. Brown, her 82-year-old mother and her 26-year-old son, who has already landed a job and settled there.
The economic downturn has propelled a striking demographic shift: black New Yorkers, including many who are young and college educated, are heading south.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch History * Economics, Politics Economy The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007-- The U.S. Government Census/Census Data * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A.
Educated 20- and 30-somethings are flocking to live downtown in the USA's largest cities — even urban centers that are losing population.
In more than two-thirds of the nation's 51 largest cities, the young, college-educated population in the past decade grew twice as fast within 3 miles of the urban center as in the rest of the metropolitan area — up an average 26% compared with 13% in other parts.
Even in Detroit, where the population shrank by 25% since 2000, downtown added 2,000 young and educated residents during that time, up 59% , according to analysis of Census data by Impresa Inc., an economic consulting firm.
Read it all.
Today, South Carolina is an older, more Hispanic and less rural state than it was 10 years ago, while its coast and urban counties have seen most of the growth. The statewide population increased by 15 percent since 2000, a greater increase than in most states, for a total of 4.63 million.
State Demographer Bobby Bowers said he was surprised by the growth of Dorchester County, where the population soared by 42 percent, made possible by scores of new neighborhoods in and around Summerville.
York, Horry, Beaufort and Lancaster counties were the next fastest growing counties, in that order.
Read it all from the local paper.
Forty years ago, divorced people were more concentrated in cities and suburbs. But geographic distinctions have all but vanished, and now, for the first time, rural Americans are just as likely to be divorced as city dwellers, according to an analysis of census data by The New York Times.
“Rural families are going through this incredible transformation,” said Daniel T. Lichter, a sociology professor at Cornell University.
The shifts that started in cities have spread to less populated regions — women going to work, gaining autonomy, and re-arranging the order of traditional families. Values have changed, too, easing the stigma of divorce.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Children Law & Legal Issues Marriage & Family Men Psychology Religion & Culture Women * Economics, Politics Economy The U.S. Government Census/Census Data
Detroit’s population plunged 25% in the past decade to 713,777, the lowest count since 1910, four years before Henry Ford offered $5 a day to autoworkers, sparking a boom that quadrupled Detroit’s size in the first half of the 20th Century.
Census figures released to the Free Press by a government source who asked not to be identified because the data has not been released publicly yet, show the city lost, on average, one resident every 22 minutes between 2001 and 2010.
Read it all.
As a society, we've recoiled from a candid discussion of public and private responsibilities for retirement. The long-ducked question is how much government should subsidize Americans for the last 20 to 30 years of their lives. Social Security and Medicare have evolved from an old-age safety net into a "middle-age retirement system," as Eugene Steuerle of the Urban Institute puts it. In 1940, couples reaching 65 lived an average of almost 19 years, Steuerle notes. Now, the comparable figure for couples is 25 years. For Americans born today, the estimate approaches 30 years.
Overhauling Social Security and Medicare has many purposes: to extend people's working lives; to make them pay more of the costs of their own retirement, as opposed to relying on subsidies from younger Americans; to prevent spending on old-age welfare from crippling other government programs or the economy; to create a bigger constituency for cost control in health care. America's leaders have tiptoed around these issues, talking blandly about limiting "entitlements" or making proposals of such complexity that only a few "experts" understand.
Just because this is an awful time to discuss these questions does not mean they shouldn't be discussed. The longer we wait, the more acute our fairness dilemma grows. We can't deal with it unless public opinion is engaged and changed, but public opinion won't be engaged and changed unless political leaders discard their self-serving hypocrisies. The old deserve dignity, but the young deserve hope. The passive acceptance of the status quo is the path of least resistance - and a formula for national decline.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Aging / the Elderly Young Adults * Economics, Politics Economy Consumer/consumer spending Corporations/Corporate Life The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007-- The U.S. Government Budget Census/Census Data Social Security The National Deficit
South Carolina will gain a seventh congressional seat in two years, expanding its presence in the U.S. House of Representatives to a level not seen since 1930.
The state's 15.3 percent growth rate during the past decade was slightly above the 14.3 growth rate in the South, the nation's fastest-growing region, according to 2010 census data released Tuesday.
South Carolina's population increased in part because of people like Timothy and Lillian Worster, who moved to Charleston several years ago.
"We came down here for two weeks on the beach about 10 years ago and said 'To hell with that. We're not going back to Maine. We found paradise,' " he said.
Read it all.
Republican-leaning states will gain at least a half dozen House seats thanks to the 2010 census, which found the nation's population growing more slowly than in past decades but still shifting to the South and West.
The Census Bureau announced Tuesday that the nation's population on April 1 was 308,745,538, up from 281.4 million a decade ago. The growth rate for the past decade was 9.7 percent, the lowest since the Great Depression. The nation's population grew by 13.2 percent from 1990 to 2000.
Michigan was the only state to lose population during the past decade. Nevada, with a 35 percent increase, was the fastest-growing state.
Read it all.
A drive through Atlanta's older "intown" residential areas quickly bears out new Census findings: That segregation by race in the US is fading in many, though far from all, American neighborhoods.
Atlanta is one of several predominantly Southern and Western cities that showed a noticeable integration trend over the last five years as both middle-class blacks and whites moved into each other's neighborhoods, according to the Census Bureau's American Community Survey of 10 million Americans, released Tuesday. The ACS is the largest demographic survey ever done in the United States.
The shift is part of a "complicated story with lots of nuances" that includes changes in social attitudes, the emergence of new housing and economic opportunity, and an age gap that shows young America is dramatically more diverse – and open to diversity – than older generations, says Kenneth Johnson, a demographer at the University of New Hampshire, in Durham.
Read it all.
The recession and housing costs cause many to move in together to help meet ends
The Grundy family seemed headed down the conventional path for American families: Daughter goes to college, graduates, gets a job and her own apartment.
Then something happened.
"She lost her job," Vel Grundy says about daughter Monika, 25. "She kept looking and got very, very discouraged. She moved back home."
Grown children returning home. Brothers and sisters moving in together. Families taking in grandparents. Friends living in the basement. Fueled by the dismal economy and high unemployment, more Americans — friends and families — are doubling up.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Children Marriage & Family * Economics, Politics Economy The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007-- The U.S. Government Census/Census Data
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