A Vote for the GOP is a Vote Against the Earth

By James Wallace Harris, Friday, March 18, 2016

64% of Americans say they worry about global warming in a March 16th Gallup poll. That’s an eight year high, and up from 55% in 2015. 59% now think global warming has already begun, as oppose to 31% thinking it will happen, and 10% who think it will never happen. 41% of those polled now believe global warming is a serious threat in our lifetime, and 65% believe humans are the cause. Even Republicans are worried (40%), believing global warming has already begun (40%), will be a serious threat in our lifetime (20%) and is due to people (38%). But their worry hasn’t grown as fast as Democrats. 84% of liberals fear global warming, 77% think its begun, 58% think it’s a serious threat in our lifetime, and 85% think we’re to blame. See Gallup site for changes in opinions over time.

energy policy

With a clear majority of Americans worrying about global warming, even believing we’re the cause of our problems, you’d think we’d want to fix things before they got worse. On the same day as the Gallup poll, Business Insider published “the energy plans of the top 4 presidential candidates.” The Democrats want to save the planet, but the Republicans continue full-speed ahead to use Earth up. (Sarah Palin’s “Drill, Baby, Drill” is still their rallying cry.)

I understand why the Republicans want to ignore global warming. Trillions of dollars are in the ground and the plutocrats who own those resources don’t want to give up that wealth. But what about the rich people who own South Florida, Manhattan, or living along the coasts of our nation? Digging up one rich guy’s treasure, means sinking somebody else’s fortune.

New projections estimate between 4.3 and 13.1 million Americans could end up climate refugees before the end of the century. Miami is already sinking, even though Marco Rubio stood in his home state and blatantly made all kinds of silly denials. Was Rubio the first Republican to be victim of his party’s stance against global warming? Could he have carried Florida if he hadn’t said such asinine lies of self-interest? Who knows.

The GOP lost it’s presidential bid in 2012 because they didn’t foresee rising diversity in the U.S. They’ve spent the last four years fighting immigration and gerrymandering. Many states even tried to bar African-Americans from voting. But what if they’ve built another Maginot Line?

What if beliefs in climate change foils the GOP in 2016? Should they be thinking, “It’s the climate, stupid!” The GOP is making the choice quite clear—vote for Republicans and we’ll keep doing what we’ve always been doing.

And I could link to thousands of articles about how we’re screwing over the Earth, but I don’t think I need to. Everyone knows already, even the conservatives. You don’t need to be a liberal to know which way the wind is blowing.

JWH

If The 2016 Election Was A Novel It Would Win A Pulitzer

By James Wallace Harris, March 7, 2016

If back in 2012, you read a science fiction novel about the 2016 U.S. presidential election that perfectly described what’s going on this year, would you have believed it? The primaries are proof positive that truth is stranger than fiction. What writers could have imagined such a bizarre farce? Donna Tartt, Philip Roth, Jonathan Lethem, Joyce Carol Oates,  Toni Morrison, Tom Wolfe, E. L. James, Tom Robbins, Cormac McCarthy, Thomas Pynchon? Hell, I think Finnegan’s Wake would be easier to understand.

And just think, if in ten years someone does write a novel about this election, could it ever capture its weirdness?

We don’t even know how the plot unfolds, or what the ending will be. There’s plenty of time for even bigger amazements.

And what about history? Was the 1932 election this crazy? Remember Theodore H. White? He wrote a series of books called The Making of the President series (1960, 1964, 1968, 1972). I wonder if I read those books now, would this election seem less unique and strange to me?

Wikipedia has a nice summary of the 1964 election, the first I remember in any detail. The article is not too long, but hints at a rather complex race during similarly polarized time in our nation.

The one thing 2016 is teaching me is how different I am from my fellow citizens. There are millions of people wanting candidates to be president that I can’t even conceive of anyone wanting for their leaders.

I think 2016 is the first time I’ve actually experienced Future Shock.

JWH

The Mathematics of Persuasion

By James Wallace Harris, Sunday, December 6, 2015

I’m fascinated by the idea of society changing. This week it was announced that women will have access to all combat roles in the U. S. military. It wasn’t many years ago that would have been unthinkable. It’s less than 100 years since women got the vote in the United States, and now we could be close to having a woman President. Or think about the cultural shift of same-sex marriages. I’m already seeing charming ads by wedding planners running photos that feature a man and a woman, woman and woman and man and man couples. There’s also a lot of movement to legalize marijuana in various states. Society seems to be changing fast. But in other ways, it doesn’t. Even though we have a black President race relations are still very troubled. Sometimes I think culture can change fast, but not necessarily individuals.

chessboard growth

This makes me wonder about how an idea gets converts, and how fast a society can transform with a new idea. If one person takes up a new belief and convinces one other person, and they convince one other person, how long before it changes society? Of course, that depends on the frequency of conversion. But if one person converts two, and the two convert four, it would only take 30 doublings to covert all Americans to a new idea, or 34 for the world. See the classic rice on chessboard legend. If each doubling took a year, it would take three decades, but if it took a week, it would take less than a year.

Think about ideas that are emerging now. One that I’m interested in is the plant-based diet. My cholesterol numbers have gotten much better since I started that diet. I’ve lost weight, feel much better, and have much less inflammation. This convinced two of my friends to try it. Most people love to eat meat, but what if eating a plant-based diet turns out to be proven path to health? How long before half the country goes vegan? Most people will scoff at that idea as being downright silly. But it was only 150 years ago that this country had slavery, women couldn’t vote, cars didn’t exist, we didn’t have the income tax, and most folks died of things we consider curable today.

Things change. How long did it take abolitionists in the 19th century to enlighten enough people to change the country? How long will it take environmentalists to convince the world that climate change is something we need to stop?

I wish I knew the mathematics to answer this question: What is the difference between one person making one convert a year, or two converts a year, or three, four, five, or more? Social movements are built around people changing their minds and becoming converts. However, it’s also about old believers dying off. The growth of atheism and agnosticism is mainly due to older believers dying. That suggest that some changes takes a life-time.

I’m reading a tremendous book right now, Countdown by Alan Weisman, that is about overpopulation. Weisman reports from over twenty countries how different cultures view population growth, and their various approaches to sustaining ever growing populations with dwindling resources, in a world where the environment is collapsing. There is no question that we’re on a doomed path. The question is whether or not the mathematics of persuasion even has time to work.

I am writing a series of essays about how I’m looking for signs of hope for the future. So far, the only solution I can find is for seven billion people to change the way they live. Humans do change, but can they change fast enough to solve all the problems we face before we’re forced to live in a post-apocalyptic world? It’s no longer about surviving climate change, that’s just one of many of our problems, and I’m no longer sure it’s even our most threatening problem. Exponential growth, which the world economy depends on, is about to hit the wall. Probably before 2050, or even 2030.

Remember that old domino theory about communism? Well, communism wasn’t the problem, collapsing civilization is what we need to watch. Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, are the early dominos. Americans pay very little attention to what’s going on in other countries, unless they host a war that concerns us. But look how a war in Syria is affecting Europe. Keep an eye on Pakistan. Start counting the countries that are collapsing, and why. What would happen if Mexico collapsed? Pay attention to all the countries that have extremely high unemployment.

We can solve our problems if we can master the mathematics of persuasion. Unfortunately, we have built economic growth on a different set of mathematics which doesn’t equate with the mathematics of a sustainable environment. It’s like the Standard Model and Gravitation, they don’t seem to be related, but should be. We need to build an economy based on using less, and sharing more. That can’t be communism, even the Chinese have learned that. But it can’t be capitalism either. Socialism only solves some of the problem capitalism fails to solve. We need a whole new model. Probably some kind of steady-state capitalism mixed with socialism and environmentalism. But to transform society will require changing how seven billion people live. Is that even possible? We have nothing yet, so convert number 1 is waiting. And even if we had an answer, how fast can we go from 1 to 7 billion?

JWH

How To Save The Planet–Without Detailed Instructions

By James Wallace Harris, Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Humans are destroying the biosphere of planet Earth. Homo sapiens have overpopulated the planet, crowding out all the other species, and has initiated a self-destruct countdown. To solve this crisis requires creating a sustainable way of life, one that will ethically accommodate 13 billion people, allow other species to thrive, create a stable weather system, and not poison the biosphere with pollution. This is an immense challenge. There are countless books, studies, organizations, documentaries and pundits claiming they have solutions, but few people agree on anything. (I use the number 13 billion because most people today will see the Earth’s population grow to that number before it starts to shrink.)

The real responsibility falls on us individually. We each have to decide how to live and justify that lifestyle’s sustainability. In other words, any rational for survival you choose must be judged by what impact that lifestyle would have if 13 billion people also followed it. The Lifeboat Earth metaphor applies here. Ethically, we all have a justification to claim one thirteenth billionth of the planet’s resources, excluding the ethical share we first deem is due to all the other species. Our current philosophy is “everyone for themselves” – grab all you can get, and fuck all other humans and all the animals. It is this philosophy that will lead us to self-destruction, and why there is so much hate, violence and stress in the world.

Earthe-Europe1413

Finding an ethical way of living that is equitable to our fellow humans and to all the animals is hard. You will have to do a lot of research, read a lot of books, watch a lot of documentaries, and listen to countless thousands of talking heads argue and argue. One recent documentary I feel is very persuasive is Cowspiracy, a film by Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn. I shall use it as an example. At it’s core, the film is trying to do what I’m talking about regarding sustainability. However, I don’t trust it’s numbers, and I’m guessing it’s motivations aren’t entirely honest and straight forward. But understanding these problems I have with the film are exactly the skills we need in evaluating any solution to save the planet.

There is no reason to want or expect us all to decided on the same path. We can each develop our own consumption plan so long as it integrates into the whole, and we each use only our fair share. Before we can begin inventing our individual solutions we need to understand what is our fair share of consumables and pollution. The mathematics of such an undertaking is way beyond my ability. So I never trust other people who claim to have that ability.

I find documentaries that use lots of facts, figures and infographics to be more persuasive than documentaries that don’t. The watchers of these film must deal with is whether or not the film’s figures are accurate. Even cheap, crudely made films can have great impact, such as Cowspiracy. I was far more moved by Cowspiracy than I was the more famous and better made, An Inconvenient Truth. Both appear to be about climate change and environmentalism, but I suspect the underlying motivation by Cowspiracy is animal rights. Andersen and Kuhn contend that raising farm animals has more impact on the environment than all burdens the various transportation industries place on the planet.

Do their numbers add up? Is their basic assumption correct? They are offering a reasonable solution to save the planet. Are they right? They offer a very simplistic path to solving the sustainability problem. First, watch the film Cowspiracy (free on Netflix streaming, $4.95 digital download, $19.95 DVD). Their solution, stop eating meat, poultry, fish and dairy. We must evaluate their plan. Would choosing a plant based diet make a sustainable lifestyle? Cowspiracy defines the sustainability issue properly, but I doubt their numbers justifying their solution, even though I’m personally pursing a vegan lifestyle and I’m for animal rights. I’m willing to consider that there might be ethical ways to eat meat that is sustainable.

Whether or not to eat meat, and whether or not raising food animals has a massive impact on the environment are a highly contentious issues. You can can find people on both sides of the argument claiming they know the truth and throwing out tons of facts and figures. I wish to set the ethical issues of killing animals aside for a moment, and just consider Andersen and Kuhn’s assertion that raising animals for food has a greater impact on the environment than all of the transportation industries combined. Does giving up meat help the environment significantly? More than going to mass transit and switching to a renewable energy based economy?

My guess is we could greatly improve meat and dairy production to make it sustainable, but it might require that people eat a lot less animal products than they do now. And even then, we’d still have to bring back the issue of animal cruelty. Andersen and Kuhn do define many of the issues we have to consider in creating a personal sustainable lifestyle.

  • We all have a fair share of fresh water this is sustainable, but will vary by location.
  • That a sustainable lifestyle will impact specific area of land.
  • That land set aside for humans should leave plenty of natural areas for animals.
  • That the impact of our land requirements not impact the weather, pollution or the biosphere.
  • That our personal energy use must be sustainable.
  • That we shouldn’t let people starve while we feed animals to produce meat.
  • Can we raise animals so they have quality lives before we kill them?
  • Are there humane ways to kill animals?
  • Is it ethical to kill animals?
  • Should you eat any animal that you didn’t personal kill?
  • Should we give land to food animals when wild animals have so little?
  • That factory animal raising is not sustainable.
  • That free range animal raising is less sustainable than factory animal raising.
  • That industrial fishing isn’t sustainable.

I’ve been a vegetarian since the 1960s, and in the last couple years I’ve been veering towards veganism to reduced the clogs in my arteries, so Andersen’s and Kuhn’s solution would be no sacrifice for me. It would demand a tremendous change for most people, and a drastic transformation of society. Can you imagine if all restaurants were vegan and all grocery stores health food stores? I’m going to assume Cowspiracy plays fast and loose with its numbers simply because the film is on the amateur side. On the other hand, I’m going to assume they might be right and explore their solution.

We often admire members of The Greatest Generation because they survived The Depression and WWII. We admire their determination and sacrifice. We admire first responders and soldiers for their dedication and heroism. Often I meet people who wished they had done more good in their lives, or even lament they hadn’t done something extraordinary like their heroes. Some even feel their life has been without meaning. I don’t believe you need to be Pope Francis or Martin Luther King to help other people and make a great sacrifice. Just being decent, law abiding and nonviolent adds a lot to our society. Choosing not to act like an asshole and controlling your temper goes a long way toward bringing peace on Earth. Of course, I think many folks reading this will say they’d prefer to work inside burning buildings or go to war in Afghanistan than give up eating meat. However, from now on out, the best thing we can do for our fellow humans and our descendants is live a sustainable lifestyle. Are we willing to make that sacrifice and dedicate ourselves to meeting the challenge?

You need to see the film to be convinced that animal farming is having a greater impact on the Earth than all forms of transportation combined. Cowspiracy asks why all the major environmental groups are not focusing on the biggest problem the planet faces. If Andersen and Kuhn are right, then the single quickest way to fight climate change, the current mass extinction of animals, the destruction of the oceans, the collapse of civilization and create a sustainable society is to give up eating animals. The documentary points out that a plant based diet is sustainable, and it’s healthy. My own research into healthy diets is uncovering more and more doctors advocating a plant based diet. Giving up meat is better for the planet and better for you, and gives us hope for our descendants. However, I don’t know if Andersen and Kuhn’s numbers are anywhere near accurate.

Will people give up eating meat? I doubt it. Republicans are taking the brunt the responsibility for not doing anything about climate change because they refuse to give up fossil fuels. What if giving up meat could actually solve climate change without waiting on new renewable energy technologies? I doubt even liberals would embrace that solution. Why are bacon and eggs, milk and cheese, beef, chicken, pork and fish so important to us? What if the facts and figures in Cowspiracy are right?

Are there any sustainable sources of animals products? If people raised chickens and rabbits in their backyards, feeding them with yard grown food, would that be sustainable? What about hunters culling deer populations every year, or other animals that could live abundantly in the woods without human support? What if all fishing was from hook and lines? Andersen and Kuhn make it obvious that neither factory animal farms, or free range animal farming are sustainable. But what if everyone hunted their own meat? What if you really wanted to eat meat and were willing to hunt down an animal, kill it and butcher it, you could eat it and be sustainability justified? Andersen and Kuhn assumes all the land that went into grazing or raising food for livestock would be returned to the wild. Would that be true?

We all ignore the fact that we’re consuming more than the Earth can give. Humans are increasing in numbers while everything else is decreasing. We’ve been laughing at The Limits of Growth for forty years because the book hasn’t come true. We always assumed science and technology would continually solve the problems of exponential growth. The Club of Rome didn’t anticipate disruptive technology, but their basic premises were still correct. The Earth’s resources are finite and consumption can’t increase forever.

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What Is Outside of the Box?

By James Wallace Harris, Friday, October 9, 2015

We are constantly advised to think outside of the box. This usually comes on the job, when a breakthrough is needed because doing things the old ways are obviously no longer working. But what is outside the box? For a CPA, it might be new ways to shelter taxes, or for a NASA engineer, a completely novel way to land a rover on Mars, but for most people it means, “Try thinking other than the way you’ve always thought.”

Think-Outside-the-Box

To understand how that’s done really requires knowing what’s in the box and what’s outside the box. I like to think of the box as our skull. Our brains are inside a bone box, connected to the outer world by five sensory input ports. You can read 2,500 years of philosophy about what’s outside the box, but it essentially comes down to three things. Solipsistic thinkers believe only the self exists and there’s nothing outside the box. It’s all an illusion. Theistic thinkers believe we are souls embedded in a physical reality created by God, that obscures a greater spiritual reality . Finally, scientific thinkers believe there is a vast singular objective reality outside our heads that can be understood through gathering evidence with scientific and statistical methods using our five senses.

Each of these viewpoints can hinder the perception of what’s outside of the box through rigid adherence to beliefs about what might potentially be outside the box. Which is why we’re constantly told to think outside the box. If you believe your religion explains what’s outside the box, then why are there so many other religions? Which one explains reality? If you believe the religion you were brought up to believe, how can you know if you’re not culturally brainwashed? To think outside the box would require studying a good sampling of all religions, and then deciding which theological ontology is the most valid, if any. Any scientist who’s heard the phrase paradigm shift will understand their own potential for rigid thinking that blinds them to something new.

Inside our heads, we build the walls of our box with cultural brainwashing. Most people think the way they do because they were taught to think that way by parents and peers. We seldom escape that original packaging. Anyone who is completely confident in believing what they were taught are delusional. And even when taking on new views, it’s very easy to take on new delusions about what’s outside the box. Can we ever really know what’s exists outside our skulls?

It’s very easy to find masters of hidden wisdom who to claim to teach the ultimate secrets to what’s outside of the box. Just watch this entertaining video about thinking outside the box. It’s a come-on for the esoteric belief in hidden knowledge called Kabbalah. I highly recommend watching this video because it’s very convincing. And that’s the trouble, there’s an infinity of convincing cases made to what’s outside the box. There are plenty of other ancient systems of hidden knowledge, like Gnosticism and Pythagoreanism. Folks have been trying to figure out what’s outside the box for thousands and thousands of years. Yuval Noah Harari suggests in his book Sapiens that humans have been inventing ideas since the cognitive revolution 17,000 years ago. Homo sapiens are experts as making shit up—it might be our defining characteristic.

For the last five hundred years, science has been trying to measure data from outside the box by looking for consistent behavior. During the time it has developed an extremely statistically consistent view of what’s outside the box. It’s precise down to enough decimal places to allow scientists to send probes to Pluto billions of miles away or let giant heavy-than-air jumbo jets fly around the world.

We all live in a subjective reality created by our minds which give us delusions that we know what’s outside the box. We’d like to believe there an objective reality that is the same for all seven billion of us to perceive. Subjective reality might be too powerful to ever let us comprehend what’s outside the box. Culturally we carry the baggage of thousands of years of religious and philosophical thinking that provide no actual evidence to what’s outside the box. Zen Buddhists work to teach people to see directly with their senses and forget corrupting concepts, but few people can do that.

Often to think outside of the box requires us to stop thinking inside the box. It helps to let new concepts inside.

If you’re following the 2016 U.S. Presidential campaign, so far all the candidates are rigidly thinking inside their boxes, and so are the voters. Essentially politics have become a way to form coalitions of like minded subjective thinkers, usually based on the same moldy old issues inspired by subjective desires. If there is an objective reality out there, we must work on the actual problems that we face to let us live safely in that objective reality. If it’s a solipsistic or metaphysical reality, it hardly matters. Sadly, most voters are seeking candidates that validate their delusions. Isn’t time we all start wondering what’s actually outside our boxes?

Flammarion_Woodcut

JWH #971

ISideWith.com is Match.com for Hooking Up with the Right Presidential Candidate

By James Wallace Harris, Friday, July 3, 2015

Go to ISideWith.com and take the quiz. Over 16 million people have used this site so far.

For the next year and a half we’re going to be bombarded with presidential campaigning. It’s all very confusing and boring. My friend Bill at That’s Interesting… sent me this computerized quiz that does all the work for us. It’s like Match.com for hooking up with the best candidate for your political personality. Here are my top results:

Top results

Be sure and expand all the subject areas to answer all the questions to get the most accurate results. Then when you get the results keep scrolling past the candidate rankings to see other demographic information about your political leanings.

In some ways the results matched what I already knew. Intuition told me I liked Sanders most and Cruz least, and the quiz confirmed it. I match with Ted Cruz only 1%. I am surprise I agree so much with Chris Christie, because my gut told me I liked Jeb Bush best of the Republicans. But evidently Christie and I agree a lot on environmental issues. Who knew?

One graphic I really liked:

Political graph

I aim to stay in the middle of things – to be a Centrist, but evidently I’m not. I’m more authoritarian than libertarian and I knew that, but I didn’t know I’d be equal with Ted Cruz. But I’m for legislated equality and he’s for legislated morality.

Taking this quiz concisely shows what issues we’re dealing with in this campaign. I think the quiz should be expanded as we get closer to voting, adding other issues.

JWH

How Conservatives and Liberals Rank Obama

By James Wallace Harris, Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Lately my conservatives friends have told me that Barrack Obama is the worst president the country has ever had. I ask them how they come to that conclusion. They just say he is the worst, and everyone knows it. I point out he did win two terms, so by that metric, he’s ahead of all the one term presidents. Most people think it’s much too early to judge Obama’s legacy, but I wondered if there are yardsticks by which we can measure on-going presidential success.

Some conservatives are quite hard on past presidents, such as this book, Recarving Rushmore. They judge presidents by very narrow value systems and personal opinions, and would remove Jefferson, Lincoln, and Roosevelt from Mt. Rushmore. I did find some conservative news sources basing their judgment of Obama on an opinion poll taken by Quinnipiac University. It has a sample size of 1,446 and a fair spread of demographic diversity. But is current opinion any real measure of actual performance? It would be better to say the poll showed Obama has low popularity at that moment. If the same poll was taken after the recent Supreme court rulings it might be very different.

If you search the web you’ll find two kinds of presidential evaluations. Opinions and numbers. That old saying about actions speak louder than words apply here. The only real measuring of reality is with numbers reflecting action.

Forbes Magazine took a numerical approach, effectively using statistics and graphs. By gathering a variety of economic measurements they showed Obama outperformed Reagan on job creation, economic growth and investing on Wall Street. Here’s just one of their charts – see all here.

Reagon v Obama investing

A personal way to numerically measure a president’s performance is to look at your retirement savings. Mine took a beating under Bush, but has rallied nicely under Obama.

Once we get away from opinions and into numbers, Obama’s track record looks much better. By using money as a measuring stick, Forbes also ran a story back in 2013 “Economically, Could Obama Be America’s Best President?” This makes me wonder how many quantitative yardsticks I could find. If we use health insurance as a measuring tool, millions more Americans are protected now. Just look at this article from New Republic, “7 Charts That Prove Obamacare Is Working.” Or this article from Vox,Barack Obama is officially one the most consequential presidents in American history.” Politicians have been trying to find a way to provide Americans with health insurance for over a hundred years, and Obama was the first to succeed.

We really should ask what we want from the captain of our political ship. For some requirements, we all want the same thing, whether conservative or liberal.

  • Economic Stability
  • Peace
  • Social Stability
  • Law and Order
  • Maximum freedom for all
  • Opportunity for all
  • The promise of a secure future

Economic stability means reasonable growth with no bursting economic bubbles or inflation. What conservatives want is unfettered growth that allow them to get rich quick. That has always led to disaster. What we really want is a stable steady-state growth and low unemployment. And it’s become very apparent that wealth equality is important to overall economic stability. Minimum wages that cover living expenses is good for long term economic stability.

We all want to live in a safe society, and a peaceful world. Law and order without corruption is the key to social order. Stable societies have corruption free police, national guards and armies. Societies where everyone is treated fairly have a great happiness index. As we bring political equality to all, we should have less social unrest in America. If we could stop arguing for a few years over what is marriage and how to give everyone health insurance, we might find less polarization in our society. If religious beliefs and sexual relationships were private affairs there’d be a lot less anger.

Many conservatives hate Obama for personal reasons. Because he’s black, or think he’s Muslim, or believe he was born outside the country, or he doesn’t support some pet personal belief. I also think a lot of conservatives hate Obama because of team mentality. Like rabid football fans who passionate hate rival teams, I feel some Republicans just can’t accept anyone who plays for the Democrats. Personal traits and party affiliation should not be considerations in evaluating a president’s performance.

In 2016 we want to elect a president that can keep the country peaceful and prosperous. Every four years we want to elect a president that will enact policies that will continue that security into the future, and even the far future. Refusing to deal with climate change now, puts future America at risk. If you think about the United States surviving for a thousand years, or even a million years, we can’t use up all the resources now, or destroy the environment or climate.

I think we need to get away from opinion polls. We need to start measuring political success impartially by statistical indicators in as many ways as we can find data to track. It would be great is we had a governmental site that had a whole range of graphs like this one from the Washington Post.

ConventionEconomy

The power of infographics is constantly improving. Just look at this one at Bloomberg Business. I can’t copy it here because it’s an animation. Go to the site, and then slowly scroll down and watch the show. I find the use of numbers more persuasive than opinion.

If you go to this Google search you’ll see hundreds of graphs that measure all kinds of indicators that prove Obama is not the worst president – not even close. In terms of creating a stable economy and providing more freedom, jobs, security and opportunity to the most people, Obama has done an extremely good job.

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