The most recent jobs report appeared to present a positive impression of our current employment situation. As the New York Times headline read, “Jobs Roar Back With Gain of 287,000 in June, Easing Worry.”

Of course whether it eased your worry or not largely depended on whether or not you’re a young African American man. For black male teens (aged 16-19 years), the jobless rate dramatically spiked to 40.1 percent in June from 28.1 percent in May.

blackteen
As Mark J. Perry notes, “Except for a slightly higher increase of 12.2 percentage points during the aftermath of the Great Recession, the 12 percentage point increase in June was the highest monthly increase in history going back to 1972 when the BLS starting keeping records for this series.”

What could have caused the spike in unemployment? Perry suggests that it might be because of the “midyear burst of minimum-wage increases” that began on July 1. On that day 14 U.S. cities, states and counties, plus the District of Columbia, raised their minimum wage.
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Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
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What is capitalism? Why is it controversial? Dr. Jeffrey Miron from Harvard University breaks down 3 myths of Capitalism.

tyson-chambers1“Men have never been so educated, but wisdom, even as an idea, has conspicuously vanished from the world.” –Whittaker Chambers

The vain self-confidence of high-minded planners and politicians has caused great harm throughout human history, much of it done in the name of “reason” and “science” and “progress.” In an information age such as ours, the technocratic temptation is stronger than ever.

As the Tower of Babel confirms, we have always had a disposition to think we can know more than we can know, and can construct beyond what we can construct. “Let us build ourselves a tower with its top in the heavens. Let us make a name for ourselves.”

America was wise to begin its project with active constraints against age-old conceits, but we have not been without our regimes of busybody bureaucrats seeking to plan their way to enlightened equilibrium and social utopia.

Such attitudes emerge across a range of specialties, but a recent proposition by popular scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson captures the essence rather well.

Thomas Sowell is fond of saying that “the most basic question is not what is best, but who shall decide what is best,” and for Tyson, his preferred pool of “evidence” hustlers offer a very basic answer. (more…)

Evangelicalism historically has always been embroiled in political and social movements in the West. Because of the effective reach church leaders have in reaching the masses in past history, politicians take particular interest in the church during political campaigns. Donald Trump’s new found interest in evangelicalism, then, makes historical sense. Winning over evangelicals could translate into votes. In fact, in the post-Nixon era evangelicals were very useful tools in the growth of the GOP as some Christian leaders unintentionally sold out the mission of the church to win a “culture war.”

In the wake of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, evangelical figures like Harold O. J. Brown, Francis Schaeffer, and C. Everett Koop, joined forces in the mid-1970s to call evangelicals to fight against the proliferation of abortion. Matthew Miller does a wonderful job of explaining how these men woke evangelicals up to an issue that Catholics were already fighting against.

In 1975, Brown and Koop launched The Christian Action Council which became the first major evangelical lobbying organization on Capitol Hill. In 1976, Francis Schaeffer’s film and lecture tour, How Shall We Then Live, served to awaken many evangelicals to the decline of Western culture on issues like abortion, materialism, secularism, the influence of evolution in public schools, the increasing coercion of government power, and so on.

Under the leadership of Brown, Schaeffer, and Koop, evangelicals officially launched their first offensive in the culture war as the pro-life movement recruited more crusaders. In the years that followed, the second generation of evangelical culture warriors were deployed. Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, D. James Kennedy, James Dobson, and so on, established a solid pro-life movement. These leaders would be key figures in the formation of The Moral Majority movement of the 1980s which enlisted Christians in the culture war for traditional family values, abortion, prayer in schools, among others.
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Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
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Following Minimum Wage Increases, Unemployment Spikes among Black Male Teens
Mark J. Perry, FEE

Perhaps one of the more interesting data points from last week’s Employment Report is displayed in the graph above, which shows that the jobless rate for black male teens (aged 16-19 years) increased to 40.1% in June from 28.1% in May.

International Group Helps To Save The Lives Of Sex Trafficking Victims
Bethany Mandel, Opportunity Lives

“The very children I held hands with and saw running in the streets were not just trying to survive poverty. Many were living in hell, enduring torture,” says Don. “I couldn’t believe it was right under my nose and I didn’t even know it.”

Supreme Court Delivers Bitter Pill on Religious Liberty
A. Barton Hinkle, Reason.com

Court refuses to hear case about Washington laws that allows pharmacists all kinds of exemptions, except ones that are matters of conscience.

What’s the Matter with Saying ‘Government Schools’ in Kansas?
Ramesh Ponnuru, The Corner

Julie Bosman reports in the New York Times that conservatives in Kansas have taken to calling public schools “government schools,” and that other people are upset about this use of a “calculated pejorative.”

In a weekend, Pokémon GO has already taken our smartphones by storm. But where did it come from?

On the one hand, this is a simple question to answer: Nintendo. Pokémon is a game franchise created by Nintendo, and Pokémon GO is the newest installment.

But Pokémon GO isn’t just more of the same. It’s a revolutionary innovation.

Using the camera function on people’s phones, the world of the game is our world. The eponymous monsters appear on the screen as hiding in plain sight. People catch them, train them, fight them, trade them, and so on, just like in previous games. But now the game itself is causing people to get out of their homes and see new scenery, meet new people. (more…)

pikachu

Pikachu, a popular Pokémon | Bulbapedia

The long awaited augmented reality mobile game Pokémon Go, based on the long running video game franchise, was released in the United States, Australia, and New Zealand late last week. The game allows players to find and capture Pokémon, like the famous Pikachu, in the real world as they walk around streets and parks throughout their cities.

While the game is an entertaining diversion, it serves as a catalyst for something greater. With Pokémon Go, a beautiful emergent order of community has already started. Neighbors and strangers alike come together to track down another Pokémon, or team up to take down a rival Pokémon gym. The free-to-play game simultaneously provides exercise (as players must walk to catch anything), amusement, community, and friendship.

This is partially by design. Archit Bhargava (an employee Niantic, Inc, the game’s developer) says “It’s all about getting people moving, getting them exploring the world around them…We want players to have those real-world experiences either with people they know or people they meet because of the game.” The game provides the opportunity for building social institutions, but it’s the actions of the individuals in the game that build it, forming a beautiful spontaneous order “of human action, not human design.” (more…)