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Marie Lozito


January  14, 2012

Marie Lozito is a Registered Nurse, Licensed Massage Therapist, wife, mother, grandmother and life-long conservative. She wrote a text on medical massage and taught at New York College of Health Professions. 

Interested in, and observing politics since 1960, she ran for elected office in 2010. 

 


Miscellaneous Thoughts


My mother loved mathematics. She was working toward her PhD in mathematics when she married my father. I have never forgotten her telling us that if you know how to work the figures and the charts, you could make the statistics say anything you want them to say. When I took a course on statistics, I saw what she meant and that she was right. Statistics are still worth having and paying attention to but shouldn't be blindly accepted as accurate or true. So, frequently, I try to see beyond the statistics presented to us by the government or the media in order to get an accurate picture of what is going on. With that information in mind, I present the following two statistics with some additional thoughts for you to consider:

First: Unemployment is down to 8.6% in November and 8.5% in December 2011 (government statistic). Now that is interesting, I certainly haven't seen evidence for that improvement...so, I'll look into that one. What do you know, people who are discouraged and stop looking for work don't count as unemployed, neither do the people who get part-time work but want full-time work (the “underemployed”) count as unemployed. Those numbers might change those statistics a bit. 

Looking further, and at other sources of information, I find that employment in America needs to grow by about 90,000 jobs a month just to keep up with the population growth - that would keep the unemployment level even, not increase or decrease it. But since the fall of 2008, the Bureau of Labor Statistics claims the civilian labor force has shrunk by 900,000 people. (Which means that in addition to those who don't qualify as “unemployed” anymore, many working age adults are simply not being counted by the BLS.) If we added the expected growth, the total civilian labor force should be 4.14 million larger than is being counted, or about 157.94 million by now. If these people were counted, that would mean that unemployment would be measured at 17.443 million instead of 13.303 million and change the unemployment percentage to 11.04%. Somehow I don't think the Federal government wants to admit that high an unemployment rate. What do you think?

Second: A recent newspaper article stated that 1 out of 10 children in Claremont is homeless. OMG! That's horrendous! I know times are bad economically but, my Lord, that statistic is just unbelievable to me. So I read on further and, later in the article, find how the agency involved is determining “homeless”. A child who meets any of the following criteria is counted as “homeless”: living in a shelter, motel, hotel or campground; lives in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, bus or train stations or the streets; has “doubled up” - living with friends or family due to loss or inability to afford housing (I always thought family and friends are supposed to help when there are problems); being a youth under 18 living without guardians (Does this include emancipated minors?); a child awaiting foster care (What is the system doing with them while “awaiting foster care”?); any other situation that isn't stable, regular or adequate for night - this includes a child who is “between apartments” and has to sleep at homes of friends in the interim of the move; those who regularly sleep on a friend's couch and/or who dresses out of a suitcase due to frequent moves. (How do all of these qualify? If they are moving, or “between apartments”, doesn't that mean they have a home to start from and end at?) 

 

Now I understand how they can come up with that statistic. And, I figure out that some of my co-workers and friends have children the agency would consider “homeless” but who actually have adequate shelter, clothing, food and supervision. Then I also wonder, but do not have the answer to this thought: I know that in counting uninsured people that if a person is without insurance for even one day, say while switching jobs, they are counted as uninsured for that year's statistic. So it appears, on the surface, as if they had no insurance for the whole year. Does this agency count “homeless” children the same way?

I realize that some readers are going to be upset by my comments above. Some will think I am heartless or cruel and don't care about the unemployed or the homeless. Not true. However, I strongly dislike being misled with “information” from any source. The only way that a person or a society can attempt to fix a problem is if there is accurate information on which to base decisions. Fudging the numbers in the statistics presented does not help. It doesn't matter if that fudging is to make a problem appear less problematic (the first case above) or to appear more problematic (the second case). Bad information causes bad decisions, and bad decisions won't help anything!

In a recent speech the President said Americans want to “reach and stay in the middle class”. I notice he wasn't content to stay in the middle class – he's one of the 1% now. I am not content to do no more than “stay in the middle class” – I'd love to move up in both income and standard of living! The economic structure of our capitalist society allows people to change their living/economic level more than any other type of society. If I figure out how to move up, I will. I'd love to have my daughter and grandson do better too. Obama talks as if having aspirations to do better was a bad thing.

I'm really tired of hearing complaints about “income inequality”. For decades the liberals have been pushing “diversity” everywhere in our society. We've been trained to consider diversity as good and beneficial. Now, all of a sudden, diversity is bad and evil if it involves money. This inequality must be eliminated! The government must do something to stop this and equalize our incomes! I don't think so. 

My husband and I have worked hard all of our adult lives. He spent years working and learning to become a master gunsmith. I paid for and attended nursing school and massage therapy school and worked for years to get to the level I am at in my occupations. Why are we not entitled to earn what we can after all the work we have put in to get were we are? Should a doctor, who has put in much more time and money into his training, earn only what I earn? Should a high school drop-out packing shelves at a store earn what I earn? No. The government should stay out of this. It has no business destroying ambition and aspirations nor should it pick winners and loosers in business. Let capitalism work and let us all strive to be the best we can be and enjoy the “fruits of our labors”. 

 

 

 

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