Study Finds Black Americans Killed By Police Twice As Likely As White People To Be Unarmed

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Walter Scott unarmed black man was chased and shot by a police officer in South Carolina
Walter Scott, an unarmed black man, was chased and shot by a police officer in South Carolina

Defenders of the police have launched a counter-offensive, arguing that more whites are killed by police each year than blacks. That focuses the debate on the critical question as to whether we should look at the black’s percentage of the population or proportion of the violent crime.

However, a new investigation by the Guardian turns this debate on its head. Their findings are, “Black Americans are more than twice as likely to be unarmed when killed during encounters with police as white people.” 102 of 464 people killed so far this year in incidents with law enforcement officers were not carrying weapons.

They analyzed public records and local news reports to learn that, of the 464 people killed so far by police, “32% of black people killed by police in 2015 were unarmed, as were 25% of Hispanic and Latino people, compared with 15% of white people killed.”

The five-month study also found that “local and state police and federal law enforcement agencies are killing people at twice the rate calculated by the US government’s official public record of police homicides.”

“The Guardian’s statistics include deaths after the police use of a Taser, deaths caused by police vehicles and deaths following altercations in police custody, as well as those killed when officers open fire. They reveal that 29% of those killed by police, or 135 people, were black. Sixty-seven, or 14%, were Hispanic/Latino, and 234, or 50%, were white. In total, 102 people who died during encounters with law enforcement in 2015 were unarmed.”

police-shooting-1

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The Guardian’s figure of 464 people killed trumps the report by the Washington Post over the weekend (Fatal police shootings in 2015 approaching 400 nationwide), which put the number at 385. The discrepancy highlights a critical problem that we have reported numerous times – there is no official count of those killed by police officers (whether those killings are justified, unjustified, or disputed). Nate Silver’s site has estimated the number annually at over 1000.

“It’s troubling that we have no official data from the federal government,” said Laurie Robinson, the co-chair of Barack Obama’s task force on 21st-century policing. “I think it’s very helpful, in light of that fact, to have this kind of research undertaken.”

But the Washington Post’s report dovetails on the critical finding by the Guardian: “About half the victims were white, half minority. But the demographics shifted sharply among the unarmed victims, two-thirds of whom were black or Hispanic. Overall, blacks were killed at three times the rate of whites or other minorities when adjusting by the population of the census tracts where the shootings occurred.”

Other findings by the Post:

  • The vast majority of victims — more than 80 percent — were armed with potentially lethal objects, primarily guns, but also knives, machetes, revving vehicles and, in one case, a nail gun.
  • Forty-nine people had no weapon, while the guns wielded by 13 others turned out to be toys. In all, 16 percent were either carrying a toy or were unarmed.
  • The dead ranged in age from 16 to 83. Eight were children younger than 18, including Jessie Hernandez, 17, who was shot three times by Denver police officers as she and a carload of friends allegedly tried to run them down.

The Post also attempts to shed light on the situations that led to fatal shootings – not surprisingly there is a strong mental illness component. They write: “About half of the time, police were responding to people seeking help with domestic disturbances and other complex social situations: A homeless person behaving erratically. A boyfriend threatening violence. A son trying to kill himself. Ninety-two victims — nearly a quarter of those killed — were identified by police or family members as mentally ill.”

They give an example, “In Miami Gardens, Fla., Catherine Daniels called 911 when she couldn’t persuade her son, Lavall Hall, a 25-year-old black man, to come in out of the cold early one morning in February. A diagnosed schizophrenic who stood 5-foot-4 and weighed barely 120 pounds, Hall was wearing boxer shorts and an undershirt and waving a broomstick when police arrived. They tried to stun him with a Taser gun and then shot him.”

The other half seemed more routine, as they involved “robberies, or the routine duties that occupy patrol officers, such as serving warrants.”

Mother Jones writes this morning (Here’s What 2 Big New Reports on Police Killings Tell Us), “The two reports confirm and build upon what previous attempts to collect and examine this data have already shown: Police killings happen much more frequently than the existing official data shows.”

Key takeaways:

  • Police officers kill suspects at about twice the rate calculated by the FBI. In the first five months of 2015, the Post documented a total of 385 people who were fatally shot by police officers, or 2.5 per day—a rate more than twice that tallied by the federal government over the past decade. The Guardian, which counted 467 deaths by police so far in 2015—including not just deaths from gunfire but those involving Tasers, vehicle, or other causes—arrived at a similar rate.
  • The majority of those killed are armed. Armed suspects primarily had guns, the Post reported, but were also armed with “potentially lethal objects” such as knives, machetes, and in one instance, a nail gun.
  • But a significant chunk of suspects were unarmed when they were killed. The Post found that nearly 13 percent of victims in its dataset were unarmed, while 22 percent of those counted by the Guardian were unarmed.
  • Officers involved are rarely charged. This is consistent with prior research on prosecutions in cases of officer misconduct and use of deadly force. In the Post‘s 385 cases, only three officers have faced charges: Michael Slager (for the death of Walter Scott in South Carolina), Robert Bates (for killing Eric Harris in Oklahoma), and Lisa Mearkle (who killed David Kassick in Pennsylvania).
  • There are significant racial disparities among the dead, particularly among unarmed suspects. While the majority of suspects in the cases the Post looked at were white, blacks and Hispanics made up two-thirds of those who were unarmed. The Guardian‘s reporting showed that about one-third of black suspects killed were unarmed, compared with one-fourth of hispanic suspects, and about one-sixth of white suspects. Racial disparities in police killings have also been documented in databases maintained by the FBI, the Bureau of Justice Statistics, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • About a quarter of all suspects killed were reportedly mentally ill. According to both the Post and the Guardian.
  • Most of those killed are men. Five percent of suspects tracked by the Post were female, consistent with the Guardian‘s breakdown. While most of the high-profile officer-involved shootings since Ferguson have involved men, several ongoing campaigns are bringing more attention to the deaths of women.
  • The majority of suspects were between 25 and 44 years old. That’s based on the Post‘s analysis. The three youngest victims identified by the Guardian were 16. The oldest was 87.
  • At least 27 people were killed by a Taser. That finding’s from the Guardian. Tasers are considered a less-lethal weapon by law enforcement officials, but their use has been recently questioned by the United Nations Committee Against Torture.
  • The deaths involved a small group of the nation’s estimated 18,000 law enforcement agencies. Three hundred and six, to be exact. The Post found that 19 state and local departments were involved in three or more fatal shootings each, including the police departments of Los Angeles, Oklahoma City, and Bakersfield, California.
  • Police officers are responsible for 1 in every 13 gun deaths. That figure, the equivalent of about 8 percent, comes from the Post‘s Christopher Ingraham. That’s a lot more than suggested by other data on gun violence in America.

Finally they add, “It’s also worth noting what these investigations don’t readily show. It’s unclear, for instance, in how many cases police officers were known to have a history of misconduct or a questionable record. How many cases were captured on video? Are there notable racial disparities among mentally ill suspects? To what extent do the Post‘s and the Guardian‘s probes reveal incidents that weren’t previously publicized?

“These questions still linger. Still, for anyone who has been keeping an eye on police killings, these reports are a valuable start toward filling the gaping holes in the data.”

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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38 thoughts on “Study Finds Black Americans Killed By Police Twice As Likely As White People To Be Unarmed”

  1. zaqzaq

    “The Guardian’s statistics include deaths after the police use of a Taser, deaths caused by police vehicles and deaths following altercations in police custody, as well as those killed when officers open fire.”

    What is an altercation in police custody?  Is that an altercation between two inmates or between an inmate and officer?  What is a death caused by police vehicle?  Does the police vehicle hit someone or does it include pursuits where the person pursued crashes and dies?  Were the deaths where the decedent had a toy gun considered armed or unarmed for this study?  Are BB guns that look realistic counted as toys or weapons that can fire a projectile?  That figure could easily skew the percentages depending on the ethnicity of the decedent in those cases.  These realistic looking toy guns and BB guns should be banned.   I am tired of reading about officers who mistake the them for real firearms and act accordingly.  It must be a sickening feeling for these officers to learn afterwards that what they believed was a firearm and thus a threat turned out to only be a toy.

     

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      “What is an altercation in police custody?”

      That would perhaps be Freddie Gray, definitely be some of the in-custody deaths that haven’t gotten as much attention.

    2. David Greenwald Post author

      “Were the deaths where the decedent had a toy gun considered armed or unarmed for this study? ”

      The Washington Post seems to separate them.

      1. zaqzaq

        Did the Post consider the toy guns as armed or unarmed?  How about the Guardian?  It could inflate or deflate a statistic depending on how you view it.

        1. David Greenwald Post author

          Post: “Forty-nine people had no weapon, while the guns wielded by 13 others turned out to be toys. In all, 16 percent were either carrying a toy or were unarmed.”

  2. zaqzaq

    David,

    You should do an article on the skyrocketing murder rate and plummeting arrest rate in Baltimore last month.  It is an interesting result of the decision by the DA to charge some of those officers and the orders not to engage or stop the rioting in Baltimore .  The questions that the police commissioner talked about getting from officers is really telling.  The Baltimore Sun had a good article recently.  It goes to the core policy issues surrounding policing and is thus interesting from a policy standpoint.

    1. Davis Progressive

      i don’t know how meaningful what’s happening in baltimore is – is it a blip?  is it a reaction to the anger of the community?  is it a function of the police playing politics with enforcement?  i don’t know what you expect to learn at this point.

      1. zaqzaq

        Really DP.

        The Baltimore police commissioner reported that his officers are asking him if they determine that they have a reasonable suspicion to detain and then determine that probable cause to arrest exists and the DA determines that they are wrong will they be arrested and charge with a crime?  If they arrive as backup for another officer and do not know that the other officer was wrong on either the reasonable suspicion or probable cause and they assist that officer will they be charged with  a crime by the DA?  Both of these question mirror what happened in the Grey case.  Two officers made detention and arrest decisions and the DA said they were wrong and charged them with a crime for those decisions.  At least one officer acted as backup for another and was charged with a crime.  These non-traditional charging decisions by the DA could cause officers to be less aggressive in detaining and arresting individuals.  Why take the risk of being wrong, and officers are wrong in these determination on a regular basis, and getting arrested themselves.  With less aggressive policing arrests go down and the crime rate goes up.  Are there other factors such as two officers now responding to a call for service, one to handle the call and another to manage the 30 people that show up with their cameras.  You fail to acknowledge the significance of the DA’s hindsight determination that the knife was legal and the consequences for those officers has on the rest of the force when making similar decisions going forward.  Unfortunately the majority of the populace do not understand the significance of this issue and the impact on policing the neighborhoods of Baltimore.  Will the 50% reduced arrest rate continue this summer in Baltimore as a result.  Will the murder rate continue at its current pace?  For the most part these murders are black on black with innocent black civilians caught in the crossfire.

        1. zaqzaq

          David,

          That is a simplistic view that totally misses the bigger policy issue.  Are you blind to the issue, don’t care or do not understand it?  To date you have not demonstrated any comprehension of this issue.  You constantly rail against the local DA for over charging and are supporting the charging of the two officers who arrested Grey when the injuries occurred after the arrest at the hands of another officer.  You are missing the distinction between the officers that made the arrest and the officers that allegedly killed Grey.  Per the DA the fatal injury occurred in the transport vehicle not during the arrest.  The decision to charge the first two officers based on the detention and arrest has had a chilling effect on community policing resulting in reduced arrests by 57% and increased shootings and death.  Both the Baltimore Sun and Time have recent articles on this issue.  Maybe you should read those articles to get better educated on the issue which you do not seem to grasp.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            ZZ: I already ran the article the acknowledged I believe the DA overcharged in the case and I expect the process will work it through there. That said, I think the original charging of the police officers raises important issues that are not resolved with regards to the culpability of the police if something goes wrong. I agree with you that the fatal injury occurred during transport, but the circumstances for them stopping, detaining, and arresting him matter. I’ve read the articles and find it interesting, but this situation is evolving and the charges changed as I expect they will change some more as investigation continues and the case goes to trial.

    2. TrueBlueDevil

      zaqzaq, great and cogent points. A new Wall Street Journal opinion piece notes that after a 20-year decline in crime, we are now seeing a crime spike that some refer to as the “Ferguson Effect”. Thank you, Eric Holder and Barack Obama.

      DP asks if the police are “playing politics with enforcement”, but before the riots there was already up to a 20% rise in some crimes as the Eric Holder AG’s office / DOJ started to micro manage and circumvent the highly successful “broken windows” policing policies from the 1980s. Baltimore, Chicago, New York are now recording huge spikes in crime.

      The one or two handfuls of possible over-aggressive action which David continually highlights – a small percentage of a small percentage – is dwarfed by the new surge in crime which liberal polices and politicians have foisted on us.

      The New Nationwide Crime Wave

      The consequences of the ‘Ferguson effect’ are already appearing. The main victims of growing violence will be the inner-city poor.

      http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-new-nationwide-crime-wave-1432938425

  3. Frankly

    Blacks are much more likely to be carrying a gun than are whites… especially in the high crime neighborhoods where cops spend the most time.  Black culture and black neighborhoods are more violent.  Blacks are more apt to fight cops and shoot at cops.  Cops having to make a slip-second judgement call on if their lives are in danger, and more likely to shoot when they assess more risk that they will be shot or attacked.

    Articles like this are junk… basically left political propaganda because they fail to include any critical analysis of causes.

    And when the cops do what liberals demand, and give these high crime black neighborhoods the same attention that they give lower crime white neighborhoods, we get the situation in Baltimore.

    1. Davis Progressive

      “blacks are much more likely to be carrying a gun than whites”

      really?  can you show me a study that backs that assertion?  and how does that then explain that blacks shot by police are less likely to be armed than whites?

      “article like this are junk”

      really, they tracked 464 shooting, created a database and looked at the factors involved in the shooting.  that seems like quality work – what are you seeing as junk other than your post?

    2. TrueBlueDevil

      Tough facts for the Left to digest. St. Paul Minnesota has also been in the news as their city has spent over $3 Million indoctrinating teachers and administrators with the “white privilege” doctrine and theories that students of color should not be disciplined or suffer consequences. Bedlam and violent behavior are now on the rule.

      http://eagnews.org/teachers-complain-chaos-reigns-as-st-paul-schools-spend-millions-on-white-privilege-training/

       

        1. TrueBlueDevil

          If you google that San Francisco “white privilege” educational group, their Stanford-educated leader actually spouts off some demeaning, if not racist, views about how minority youth learn / can’t learn. Really crazy.

  4. wdf1

    Frankly:  And when the cops do what liberals demand, and give these high crime black neighborhoods the same attention that they give lower crime white neighborhoods, we get the situation in Baltimore.

    The situation in Baltimore developed well before now:

    How Some Baltimore Neighborhoods Reflect Segregation’s Legacy

    When you have a low-income population concentrated in the area, little hope, unemployment rates in places like inner city of Baltimore are two and three times the rate for whites, well, you get behavior in those kind of communities that reinforces police hostility. It becomes a cycle of misbehavior and police aggression, and it’s attributable to the concentration of disadvantaged families in very crowded inner-city communities.

    Rothstein’s work explores how that concentration of disadvantaged families by race occurred:

    Historian Says Don’t ‘Sanitize’ How Our Government Created Ghettos

    1. Frankly

      Think about this wdf1.  Decades of failed liberal social and economic policy have led us to this dismal situation in the black community.  This has been exacerbated by a flood of uneducated immigrants from south of the border… increasing competition for access to the step to greater family prosperity.

      Crappy schools.

      Increased taxation

      Increased regulation

      Not enough jobs.  Not enough economic opportunity.

      And liberals blame the cops for this mess.

      The problem is allowing liberals to control the national agenda at this point in time… because liberals don’t understand the economic connection.  But they control education and they control the media.

      So we are stuck.

      And you, like other liberals, just hover around the real solutions we need jabbing and poking at every opening you can find to maintain your hold on ideological relevancy while the inner city continues to burn.

      If you and others would give up and focus on what we need to do to grow our economy and completely revolutionize our education system, we would start to fix these problems.

      But then you can’t because you are protecting those unionized employees of the education system, and of course there is global warming that justifies all the regulations, and all the poor and needy people that justify all the high taxation.

      The problems in the black communities are many, but most are remedied with economic opportunity.   So how are we going to get that done?  Tax increases?  More environmental regulation?  Protecting the education establishment status quo?  More social programs?  More immigrants?

      1. TrueBlueDevil

        The same party and people who created these problems now want to pretend that they can solve – what they themselves created. Detroit, Baltimore, Philadelphia, you name it … all liberally run cities, all in the North, all North of the Mason-Dixon Line.

        And today, the California Senate raises the minimum wage to $11 next year (a 22% raise) and to $13 the year after (a 44% raise). I’m sure businesses will now just run to California …

  5. wdf1

    Frankly:  If you and others would give up and focus on what we need to do to grow our economy and completely revolutionize our education system, we would start to fix these problems.

    Show me an alternative that works and we can discuss it.  So far you have failed in that respect.  There are plenty of ideas out there to choose from that have been tried in one place or another.

    Frankly:  The problem is allowing liberals to control the national agenda at this point in time… because liberals don’t understand the economic connection. 

    The problem is that instead of discussing and critically analyzing specific ideas, you take to generalizing, stereotyping, patronizing, name-calling, and clinging to dualistic thinking (you bad liberals, me good conservative).

    Frankly:  So we are stuck.

    Of course we are, especially if your style of public political discourse on display is the norm.

    1. Frankly

      I’m sorry wdf1, I don’t get the sensitivity to the term “liberal”.  Call me a “conservative” and complain that my ideological ideas are causing problems, and I will NOT take it personal… I will argue for what I think is factually correct.

      I think liberal policy thinking has permeated governance since FDR and it is responsible for most of what currently troubles the inner city black community.

      And George Bush’s “Ownership Society” is an example.  Any top-down government policy and program to directly force or engineer social change is a mistake, yet liberals demand more of the same to correct the very problems caused by it.

      The problem is that the mindset has been adopted.  People that challenge it are called “generalizing, stereotyping, patronizing, name-calling, and clinging to dualistic thinking”.

      When there is group-think, the group demands a label and if the group-think is wrong, the labeled group needs to be called out for being wrong.

      There is room for liberal ideology, but it is dominate and very problematic.  It cannot be addressed as a problem while trying not to hurt feelings.

      Companies are sitting on piles of cash and not investing it in business that creates enough jobs.  It is the governmental policies of liberals and Democrats that are primarily responsible for this.

      The education system continues to crank out illiterate students and the dropout rates in these inner city schools is massive.  It is liberals and Democrats that fight education reform.

      It would be one thing if I had never written about any detailed ideas, but I have… copious times.  But those ideas don’t have a chance in hell of being tried because of the dominant liberal thinking.  Hence the need to call it out.

      1. TrueBlueDevil

        I hate to quibble, but liberals are so brainwashed they don’t use the terms patronizing or dualistic. The go to is to call someone with a different idea racist, or a “hater”, or if they’re being cute or high minded, you’ll get “micro aggression” or “xenophobe”. DP has called me a xenophobe at least twice because of my evolving stance towards illegal immigrants, particularly those from Central and South America. The reply is emotional, not based on facts or discussion.

        Does a xenophobe study the language of the group of his / her supposed dislike? Eat their food? Travel to their country? Frequent their barrios? I think not.

        But when I read about the crime rates, and gather more facts, more knowledge, my opinion does in fact evolve. Yes, when I stumble into the DEA’s “Most Wanted” for Northern California, and it is almost exclusively Central American (Mexican), it is surprising. But I don’t forget it or brush it away. Just as when I continually meet positive, contributing immigrants from Nigeria or Chile, I take note.

        http://www.dea.gov/fugitives/sf/sf_div_list.shtml

        That’s what we get with a porous, open border, and both sides of the isle going along with illegal immigration. Big business gets cheap labor, the Democrats get more voters and power, and the middle and lower classes get sold down the river. Some conservatives can discuss this, most liberals can’t.

        I haven’t heard many new ideas from the left. They seem to want more taxes, more social programs, and less (or no) input from white Christian males. Sadly, a growing number see America in a very negative light.

        1. Frankly

          TBD – agree.

          I look at immigration as the ying to climate change yang.  The problems and looming crisis are both there to consider from the data, but the truths are politically inconvenient to one side or the other, and so depending on which side you are on, it is better to just ignore those facts.

          So there is that similarity.

          The difference is the fiscal consideration.

          Liberals demand more money and more economy-crippling regulations to head off their science-confirmed, ideological brain-child called man-made climate change.

          And they demand more money and more economy-crippling taxation to pay for the millions of poor and uneducated immigrants they demand we keep allowing to flood in, and demand once in they get to stay.

          They want the cops to lay off minority criminals… which is just another tax with costs on lost property and reduced safety.

          Conservatives see through that crap and see that a good life is one of economic prosperity… and a strong moral compass that generally is a necessity for growing economic prosperity… and that immigration, high taxes and over-regulation kill opportunity for economic prosperity and hence access to a good life.

          Liberals respond that we should just give them more money (through taxation) so they can give more to the poor and uneducated (through inefficient government distribution).  They point to the 1 percenter income gap and money sitting in corporate accounts and claim “unfair!”.

          But they ignore that we have already given and given and given so they could spend and spend and spend… and the problems they claimed that the giving and spending would solve have just grown bigger.

          They ignore the truth because it invalidates their worldview that you can tax and give to solve social issues.

          People need to work.  They need a career.  They need hope for growing prosperity for themselves and their family.

          Liberalism is a great ideology until they run out of other people’s money.  That is already happening, and liberals just double-down on more of the same.  And yes, they call people names when they run out of arguments.

        2. Tia Will

          TBD

          Does a xenophobe study the language of the group of his / her supposed dislike? Eat their food? Travel to their country? Frequent their barrios? I think not.”

          Then you think wrongly. Many xenophobic individuals freely intermingle with those that they dislike as a group. I will use the examples of the Turks and the Greeks. I have known many ( having been married to a Turk) who on a personal level would speak each others languages, eat the same foods ( often together), travel between countries, frequent each others neighborhoods. Many people are quite capable of despising a group as a whole, while having many personal friendships and close interactions with individual members of the devalued group.

        3. TrueBlueDevil

          Tia, I think racism and its various word-play permutations is an ongoing politically correct obsession of the left. Yes, some people have preferences, or dislikes. Or maybe you’ve spent time with cultures that have more racist attitudes, I’ve heard plenty of stories about various groups in the middle east, Brazil, Japan, and Mexico, and their various prejudices and grievances.

          But that’s the great thing about America, I’ve found most people to be pretty open minded. I’ve heard some ignorant comments in the south, and the past 5-10 years there is a growing hostility from some liberals to European-Americans, but I still see much good.

          But these Palestinian groups on campus reflective of some movements nationwide, the apparent Ferguson Effect in some big cities, and our massive southern illegal immigration have changed the landscape in many ways.

      2. Tia Will

        Companies are sitting on piles of cash and not investing it in business that creates enough jobs.  It is the governmental policies of liberals and Democrats that are primarily responsible for this.”

        Well hear we definitely disagree. The government is not telling company owners that they must sit on piles of cash. If people are doing that, it is 100% their own decision. And, in my opinion is based on greed. Those who have “piles” of cash, do not need the help of the government to get richer. They are already rich. It is their choice not to act. They should own their own decisions.

         

        1. Frankly

          Tia my good doctor friend that truly cares, you don’t understand this at all.

          If a CEO and CFO of a public company “invests” in things that cause the company to lose money, then their board of directors, which represent the stockholders, which include pension funds, which if don’t get good enough returns will cause public sector business to have to cut benefits or demand more taxes… will fire the CEO and CFO.

          Do you have any retirement savings?  I assume you invest in socially and environmentally sensitive stocks and other investment vehicles that fit your worldview, but do you do so at a loss?  Do you pull out money that is meant for your future and hire people to work around your Davis properties just because it is good and charitable?

          The money in corporate accounts is not owned by the CEO or the CFO… it is owned by all the own the company.  And for the large companies sitting on piles of cash, it is owned by a lot of people.  And the reason that the companies are not investing it is that there is nothing worth investing in.

          Companies used to invest in growth and expansion, but since success has become anathema and taxed at a higher rate… including the business cost of employee healthcare… and the EPA has gone on a rampage slamming business with more costly regulator hurdles… when you combine this with the dynamics of the global economy and also global instability from the shift in US foreign policy… and the economic uncertainty that attaches to this… the risk-return calculation for investment in growth and expansion does not pencil out.

          It makes me smile a bit when I get a response like this… shaming business for investing wisely for the future instead of running their business like a charity (or a city like Davis).  Do you run your personal life like a charity?  How much do you really need for retirement.  Maybe you should give more away like you are demanding of these companies?

        2. TrueBlueDevil

          Tia wrote: “The government is not telling company owners that they must sit on piles of cash. If people are doing that, it is 100% their own decision.”

          Not exactly. When we have the highest corporate tax rate in the world, and there are a slew of new taxes and regulations every week, many have apparently made their well-thought decisions.  Just as billions of dollars sit offshore as they don’t want to be double taxed. Or maybe some would even accept a small tax, but onerous taxes are avoided by many.

          If my competitor saves $2 billion, but I am taxes $2 billion extra which President Obama gives to Al Sharpton, Michael Moore, Solydra, or Warren Buffet, Obama gains; my competitor gains; but I may go out of business, or at least fall behind the competition. My competitor than may hire away my best people, make a better mouse trap, and put me out of business.

          Our “greed” has provided the most material wealth, by far the largest middle class (for a large nation), best health care, and formerly the most freedom offered on the planet, right?

          So when will Hillary & Bill donate some of the $100-200 million they’ve stashed away the past few years? Certainly they don’t need to “sit” on that money, do they? And Chelsea is brimming with white privilege, she needs no (more) help.

      3. wdf1

        Frankly:  The education system continues to crank out illiterate students and the dropout rates in these inner city schools is massive.  It is liberals and Democrats that fight education reform.

        More unsupported hyperventilation on your part.  To anyone who is really serious about this topic, that last statement showing your reflexive dualism and shows you’re really not serious in studying this issue.  You don’t even realize that this discussion doesn’t break along political parties.

        Frankly:  It would be one thing if I had never written about any detailed ideas, but I have… copious times.  But those ideas don’t have a chance in hell of being tried because of the dominant liberal thinking.  Hence the need to call it out.

        And much of the time I call out your BS.

        In spite of calling yourself a student of history in public education, I think you’re really more about trying to win some political argument than about enlightening the discussion. Those ideas don’t have a chance in hell of being tried because you’re not up to the task of critical analysis.

         

  6. Tia Will

    Frankly

    It makes me smile a bit when I get a response like this… shaming business for investing wisely for the future instead of running their business like a charity (or a city like Davis).  Do you run your personal life like a charity?  How much do you really need for retirement.  Maybe you should give more away like you are demanding of these companies?”

    I guess some would say that I do run my personal life like a charity. I pay above scale for the work that I hire out. I have at times been supporting six members of my “extended family” which includes non family members. You made a comment with which I do not agree, and you made it as simply as though it were an indisputable fact for all time instead of your highest value.  You said ” Conservatives see through that crap and see that a good life is one of economic prosperity”

    But the  problem is that you cannot seem to conceive that someone rational might not agree with you that a “good life” is one of economic prosperity. There are many people, of whom I am one who believe that economic security and stability is enough. I do not have to have an ever growing bank account to be happy, to consider my life fulfilling, or to judge that I have a “good” life.

     

    1. Frankly

      Oh geeze Tia, you are a one percenter.  You seem to want to dismiss that or ignore that to satiate your need to be identified as someone in that politically correct scarcity camp.  You are not in a position to claim that a good life does not require a level of economic prosperity unless you are truly living a life lacking economic prosperity.

      You live the life of abundance and enjoy the security that goes along with it, and you perform an actor’s role in a sustainability and scarcity play.   Hell, just the fact that you own a home or two or three in Davis makes you walk on rarefied economic air.

      Certainly money does not need to be a primary pursuit for people to be happy.  But like it or not we live in a market-based social system that demands we trade money for other things we need and want.  Go out and create that utopia where money does not exist and people just help each other and share and give and make sure everyone is 100% equal.  I know for a fact that it would end up an ugly dystopia, but take your best shot.

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