Biden Falsely Claims “White Supremacist Terrorism” a Greater Threat Than ISIS and Al-Qaeda

Fortunately both Islamic and white supremacist terror are extremism rare in America, never accounting for more than 1% of all homicides in any given year except 2001.

Whether it’s white supremacists or Islamic extremists that are America’s biggest terror threat determines what timeline we’re looking at. Given that 9/11 resulted in more deaths than every white supremacist terror incident in the 21st century combined by a country mile, it cannot possibly be the case that white supremacist terror is a greater threat than Islamic terror overall.

But, with groups like ISIS decimated thanks to Donald Trump’s policies, it could easily be the case that white supremacist deaths exceeded Islamist deaths in a single recent year – and that’s what is happening here.

I’ve debunked previous versions of this argument years ago, and the latest iteration comes from a Homeland Security report that spawned headlines such as this one over at CNN: “White supremacists remain deadliest U.S. terror threat.” As one learns on the eighteenth page of the report however, this is based on a sample size of one year of data (from 2018-2019). “American domestic violence extremists, racially and ethnically motivated violent extremists – specifically white supremacist extremists will remain the most persistent and lethal threat to the homeland” reads the key passage of the report, nothing that from 2018-2019, white supremacists conducted half of all lethal attacks (eight total) among domestic violent extremists, resulting in 39 out of 48 deaths that year from domestic extremism. For reference, the 2016 ISIS-inspired Pulse Nightclub massacre alone killed 49 people, more than all white supremacists combined in 2018-2019.

Dan Bongino Show

Shutdowns Were a Disaster [with comment by Paul]

The Wall Street Journal notes that, as the coronavirus disappears in the rear-view mirror, two Americas are emerging:

The unemployment rate in April nationwide was 6.1%, but this obscures giant variations in the states. With some exceptions, those run by Democrats such as California (8.3%) and New York (8.2%) continued to suffer significantly higher unemployment than those led by Republicans such as South Dakota (2.8%) and Montana (3.7%).

It’s rare to see differences that are so stark based on party control in states. But the current partisan differences reflect different policy choices over the length and severity of pandemic lockdowns and now government benefits such as jobless insurance.

Nine of the 10 states with the lowest unemployment rates are led by Republicans. The exception is Wisconsin whose Supreme Court last May invalidated Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’s lockdown. The unemployment rate in Wisconsin is 3.9%—the same as Indiana—compared to 7.1% in Illinois whose Gov. J.B. Pritzker has been slow to reopen.

This chart shows the highest and lowest state unemployment rates:

Of course, blue-state governors who imposed long and stringent shutdowns would say that they did so for reasons of public health. Harsh shutdowns, they may argue, were necessary to slow the spread of the Wuhan virus.

But there is no evidence of any such positive effect. This has been shown over and over in a variety of ways, but let’s add one more. I added up the coronavirus deaths per 100,000 of population, according to the CDC, for the ten states in the Journal’s chart with the highest unemployment rates, and averaged them. I found that the ten states with highest unemployment averaged 202.6 deaths per 100,000. I then did the same thing for the ten states (all but Wisconsin with Republican governors) with the lowest unemployment. Their average deaths per 100,000 was much lower, at 134.5.

PAUL ADDS: ….

A measurement of lockdowns’ adverse effects on unemployment would require a more refined analysis. For example, it seems clear that Hawaii is experiencing the nation’s highest unemployment rate not primarily because it shut down or because it has a Democratic governor, but because it relies so heavily on tourism, and people didn’t want to fly to Hawaii, or couldn’t, during a pandemic (shutdown or not).

….

It’s more probative to compare Minnesota and the Dakotas. Deaths per one million people in Minnesota, where the governor imposed a lockdown, are 1,329. In South Dakota and North Dakota, which did not lock down, deaths per one million are 2,272 and 1,984, respectively (according to numbers reported in Worldometer).

We also know that Sweden, which did not lock down, had vastly more deaths per capita than Norway and Denmark, which did. According to numbers reported in Worldometer, Sweden had 1,419 deaths per one million, compared to 433 in Denmark and only 143 in Norway .

….

JOHN responds: I disagree. Paul doesn’t comment on the Minnesota-Wisconsin comparison, which is as close to apples-to-apples as we are going to get. Minnesota locked down drastically, Wisconsin didn’t, and the coronavirus deaths were identical. As for the Dakotas, North Dakota did lock down, unlike South Dakota, and their death totals are virtually the same.

As I wrote here, an obvious variable is what percentage of a state’s population, pre-covid, was in nursing homes. That percentage varies surprisingly widely from state to state. I looked at the Upper Midwestern states in my post, and found that nursing home population went a long way toward explaining covid death rates. There were many more people in nursing homes, per capita, in Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota than in Minnesota and Wisconsin before the epidemic began. I also looked at nursing home populations in various states around the country and found similar correlations.

So I continue to believe that there is no sound empirical basis for thinking that lockdowns, or the severity of lockdowns, made a material difference in covid results.

Source: Shutdowns Were a Disaster [with comment by Paul]

EUGENE VOLOKH: Race and Violent Crime….

An article by a criminal law professor Thursday in the Columbus Dispatch included this assertion:

The reality is that Black-on-Black crime is a myth, and that Black and white people routinely commit crimes at similar rates, but Black people are overwhelmingly targeted for arrest.

Yet I think this is not the reality, at least as to violent crimes of the sort that are usually labeled “black-on-black” when committed by black criminals against black victims. (Blacks and whites do seem to commit drug possession and drug distribution crimes at relatively similar rates, but in this post I focus on violent crimes.) As best we can tell,

  • blacks appear to commit violent crimes at a substantially higher rate per capita than do whites;
  • there seems to be little aggregate disparity between the rate at which blacks commit violent crimes (especially when one focuses on crimes where the victims say they reported the crimes to the police) and the rate at which blacks are arrested for crimes; and
  • the black-on-black crime rate is especially high.

Of course, it’s always hard to measure what the actual crime rate is for any group (whether for purposes of claiming that the rates are similar or that they are different). Still, the most reliable data, to my knowledge, is generally the National Crime Victimization Survey, and the U.S. Justice Department Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that are based on that survey. Indeed, the link in the quoted sentence from the article goes to a source that relies on such data.

Because the NCVS surveys a large group of people about their experiences with crime victimization, it is not based on what is reported to the police and what the police do with it. (The Uniform Crime Reports is based on data from police departments, and is thus generally a less reliable measure of actual crime.) Naturally, there are possible sources of bias in victim reports. But the NCVS seems to be the best data we have, and I know of no better source that yields other results. (If you do know, please let me know.)

Here, then, is the data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ Race and Ethnicity of Violent Crime Offenders and Arrestees, 2018, with regard to “rape/sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, and simple assault“:

….

Blacks, which here means non-Hispanic blacks, were 12.5% of the U.S. population, and non-Hispanic whites were 60.4%. It thus appears from this data that the black per capita violent crime rate is roughly 2.3 to 2.8 times the rate for the country as a whole, while the white per capita violent crime rate is roughly 0.7 to 0.9 times the rate for the country as a whole.

It also appears that the arrest rates for violent crime are roughly comparable to the rates of offending, especially if one takes into account those offenses reported to the police (which is a choice of the victims, not of police departments). And the great bulk of such violent crime is intraracial.

The disparity is even more striking for murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, which the NCVS doesn’t measure (since the crime victim can’t respond to the survey), and which thus relies on the police department reports in the UCR…

Source: EUGENE VOLOKH: Race and Violent Crime….

[Eugene Volokh] Race and Violent Crime

[Do “Black and white people routinely commit crimes at similar rates,” if we focus on violent crime? Is “Black-on-Black crime … a myth”?]

An article by a criminal law professor Thursday in the Columbus Dispatch included this assertion:

The reality is that Black-on-Black crime is a myth, and that Black and white people routinely commit crimes at similar rates, but Black people are overwhelmingly targeted for arrest.

Yet I think this is not the reality, at least as to violent crimes of the sort that are usually labeled “black-on-black” when committed by black criminals against black victims. (Blacks and whites do seem to commit drug possession and drug distribution crimes at relatively similar rates, but in this post I focus on violent crimes.)

….

Here, then, is the data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ Race and Ethnicity of Violent Crime Offenders and Arrestees, 2018, with regard to “rape/sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, and simple assault“:

….

Still, the best data that I know of suggests that

  • black-on-black violent crime is not a myth;

  • blacks and whites generally commit violent crimes at substantially disparate rates (and, for homicides, sharply disparate rates); and

  • as best we can tell, the disparity in arrest rates for violent crimes is pretty close to the disparity in crimes that are committed, and especially crimes that the victims report to the police.

Source: [Eugene Volokh] Race and Violent Crime

Middle-Class Stagnation is a Myth

(Don Boudreaux) Tweet Here’s a comment – that, alas, I discover that I’m unable to post – on a response by “Matthew A.” to Scott Winship’s devastating analysis of the latest from Oren Cass’s shop, American Compass:

I write in response to your comment on Scott Winship’s thorough exposé of the many flaws in American Compass’s latest portrayal of the American economy. I here focus on your assertion that official measures of inflation intentionally undercount the dollar’s devaluation.

While I’m the last person to doubt government-officials’ scurrility, I believe that the Boskin Commission finding remains valid – namely, that the Consumer Price Index overcounts (or, you might say, “inflates”) inflation.

But we needn’t quibble over this matter. When reckoning changes in living standards, a way to avoid the need to adjust for inflation is, first, to calculate the amount of time that an ordinary worker today must toil to purchase various goods and services, and then, second, to compare these findings to the amount of time that an ordinary worker in the past had to toil to purchase these same items. We can perform this comparison using only nominal wages and prices. If workers today must toil longer for most goods and services, living standards are lower than in the past; if not, not.

A quick Google search turned up this list of prices of 16 familiar grocery items along with their nominal prices in both 1990 and 2020. And FRED has, for each of these years, reliable records of the nominal hourly wages of private-sector production and nonsupervisory workers. And so we can then divide the nominal price, for example, of a pound of beef in 1990 ($2.81) by the nominal hourly wage in 1990 ($10.22) to determine how long an ordinary worker in 1990 had to toil to earn enough income to buy a pound of beef (16.5 minutes). After performing the same calculation for 2020, we can then see if a worker today has to work longer or less, compared to a worker in 1990, to earn the requisite purchasing power.

In the case of beef, priced at $4.35lb in 2020, an ordinary worker in 2020, earning $24.67 per hour, had to work only 10.6 minutes to earn enough income to buy a pound of beef. That’s 36 percent less time – or nearly six fewer minutes per hour – than he or she had to work to earn the same ‘beef’ purchasing power in 1990.

I performed this calculation for each of the 16 grocery items listed at the above-mentioned link. The amount of time that an ordinary worker today must work to earn income sufficient to purchase each and every one of these products is lower than it was in 1990.

Of course, the fact that ordinary workers today don’t have to work as long as did their counterparts of 30 year ago to buy these 16 grocery items itself doesn’t prove that middle-class Americans today aren’t worse off than they were decades ago. But it does counsel some skepticism of your assertion that, unlike in the past, to maintain a middle-class lifestyle today “most wives are forced to work.”

In the near future, The Age of Superabundance­ ­– a brilliant, data-drenched book by Marian Tupy and Gale Pooley – will be published. The authors document beyond any doubt that each hour of work on the job today by an ordinary American worker yields that worker far more purchasing power, across a wide range of goods and services, than was yielded just a few years ago. (Here’s an essay that gives you a flavor of the book. And you’ll find here my own, more-modest efforts that point to the same happy conclusion.)

The only reason women ‘must’ work today to maintain a household’s middle-class living standard is that what we regard today as a middle-class living standard is far more luxurious than it was in 1990, and made so by the voluntary participation today of more women in the labor force.

Source: Middle-Class Stagnation is a Myth

The real problem is minorities refusing the vaccine

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, white people make up 60% of the U.S. population. Also according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, white people make up 65% of the vaccine takers. So why is the Biden administration pushing the narrative that white Trump supporters are refusing to take the vaccine when the problem is minority Biden supporters?

….

Those statistics raise another question: Why are black and Hispanic people not taking precautions to avoid the spread of covid 19?

When a group of people are 40% of the population and 47% of the deaths (as Hispanics are in California) then that group is doing something wrong.

When a group is 46% of the population and 69% of the deaths (as black people are in DC) then that group is doing something wrong.

The lower vaccination rates indicate a lack of interest in stopping the spread of covid 19.

It is nice to have NASCAR and Country Music TV run “Get Vaccinated, Honkies” PSAs, that ignores the deadlier problem of convincing Biden supporters to get vaccinated.

Kamala Harris is part of the problem.

Last September, she said would not trust a Trump vaccine, as CNN put it.

That anti-vaxxer message did not expire on Election Day because she tainted the entire development of the three vaccines that President Trump brought forth.

Source: The real problem is minorities refusing the vaccine

Unintended Consequences of De-funding the Police

There exists an essentially universal belief that generally reducing adverse criminal justice outcomes will tend to reduce (a) relative racial differences in rates of experiencing the outcomes (as commonly presented in terms of the ratio of the rate for Black individuals to that of white individuals) and (b) the proportion Black individuals make up of persons experiencing the outcomes (compared with the proportion they make up of the population).

The belief underlies the calls for defunding the police that were heard in many places over the past year. The belief also plays an important role in support for criminal justice reforms aimed at generally reducing prison populations, expanding options for pretrial release and diversion programs for defendants with low risk of recidivism, de-incentivizing traffic stops, and modifying police practices in ways that can reduce all adverse interactions between the police and the public.

Law 360

That is, when two groups differ in their susceptibility to an outcome, generally reducing the outcome tends to increase, not reduce, relative differences in rates of experiencing the outcome while reducing relative differences in rates of avoiding the outcome, i.e., experiencing the opposite outcome.

Correspondingly, reducing an outcome tends to increase the proportion the more susceptible group makes up of persons experiencing the outcome and persons avoiding the outcome. The pattern can be easily illustrated with test score data where two groups differ in the average performance on the test, as in Table 1 below.

The table is a slightly modified version of a table I used in my testimony at a December 2017 U.S. Commission on Civil Rights hearing on discipline disparities in public schools, where I attempted to explain the effects of reducing adverse discipline outcomes.

If your goal is to reduce disparities, being more strict seems to be the way to go.

It’s Not Journalism; It’s Fear-Mongering

What an outrageously misleading ‘report’ in the New York Times:

Editor:

Apoorva Mandavilli’s report titled “Cases in Florida, a national Covid bellwether, are rising – especially among younger people” (March 28) is irresponsible and deeply misleading.

Florida’s 7-day average of daily new Covid-19 cases is indeed, as of March 27th, 8 percent higher than it was two weeks earlier. Yet by reporting case counts only from Florida and not from other states, Ms. Mandavilli conveys the mistaken impression that Floridians are about to endure an unusually excessive amount of unnecessary suffering because of Gov. Ron DeSantis’s (in)famous refusal to lock that state’s citizens down and to compel them to wear masks.

So let’s compare Florida to other some other states.

Over the same time period, the 7-day average of daily new Covid-19 cases in New Jersey is up by 20%; in New York by 28%; in Puerto Rico by 13%; and in Michigan by a whopping 134%. Citizens of each these jurisdictions have lived under, and continue to live under, tighter Covid restrictions than do Floridians. Puerto Ricans, in fact, are still under a stay-at-home order.

Reporting such as is done here by Ms. Mandavilli is either appallingly incompetent journalism or reckless fear-mongering. Either way it’s inexcusable.

Sincerely,
Donald J. Boudreaux

Source: It’s Not Journalism; It’s Fear-Mongering

Mass shooters are not disproportionately white and aren’t more likely to survive because of police favoritism

….

James Alan Fox, a criminologist at Northeastern University, maintains a database in collaboration with USA Today and the Associated Press that covers all mass shootings in the United States since 2006. When I asked him to analyze the data around incidents such as the Boulder massacre, he confirmed that about 55 percent of perpetrators in such incidents had been reported as White. (In some cases, race was unreported). Using a different dataset that ran from 1976 to 2019, with more inclusive criteria for inferring race, Fox found that some 64 percent of shooters were White.

But this commits a common statistical fallacy — thinking that if most mass shooters were White, that means that White people must be particularly likely to commit mass shootings. That doesn’t follow. Most Americans are White, so the majority of people doing almost anything will be White if there’s no racial discrepancy.

Let’s dig a little deeper in the numbers. Most mass shootings are committed by adult men, and census data shows that about 67 percent of adult men in the United States are non-Hispanic Whites. So it appears that the number of White men committing these crimes is close to what we’d expect from pure chance, maybe even slightly lower — the opposite of what we’d see if white supremacy culture were at fault.

Of course, that’s not the only evidence of racial gaps here; White attackers do seem less likely to be shot by police. According to Fox, five of the 87 public mass shooting attacks in the database involved White shooters who were killed by police. During that same period, 10 non-White shooters were killed, as were five others whose race was unknown.

Yet that doesn’t mean, as some have suggested, that Whites are more likely to be apprehended alive in these public massacres; apparently, White shooters more often commit suicide before police can get to them. Overall, Whites are both half of those who commit mass shootings and also about half of those who die during their crime.

So hearing that a shooter has been apprehended by police won’t help you guess the shooter’s race. You could do exactly as well by flipping a coin.

Now, I’m not saying that there is no racial aspect at play. Fox notes that media coverage tends to focus more on White shooters — possibly because most violence happens within racial and ethnic groups, not between them. So White shooters tend to have White victims — and to be covered more intensively by the mostly White media. And attacks that get more coverage are easier to remember.

That memorability feeds a psychological distortion known as the “availability heuristic”: when examples people can readily call to mind are assumed to be highly representative of whatever larger phenomenon we’re thinking about. Yet, often, people remember things vividly precisely because the incidents were unrepresentative — especially horrifying or politically charged.

In short, there are indeed subtle racial angles to mass shootings that we might profitably explore. But this particular narrative, which is unfortunately the dominant one, is an analytical dead end. It’s also a harmful racial stereotype for which there is no good evidence.

We won’t advance the cause of racial justice by propagating false stereotypes about any group — even the majority. And we certainly won’t make much progress on mass shootings if we wrongly convince ourselves that an all-too-common national failing, afflicting Americans of all colors and creeds, is mostly the peculiar pathology of a single privileged class.

Source: Mass shooters are not disproportionately white and aren’t more likely to survive because of police favoritism

The CDC gets life expectancy wildly wrong

According to a CDC spokesman, U.S. life expectancy has fallen by a year as a result of Covid. A little arithmetic shows that that cannot be close to correct.

Total deaths so far are about 500,000 out of a population of about 330,000,000. The average death cost 12 years of life. Multiply that out and the average person lost not one year but .018 year of life. That’s an error of almost two orders of magnitude. Including deaths indirectly caused and additional deaths over the next few months might increase it a little, but there is no way it can be one year or even close.

Dr. Peter Bach explains the error on his blog. What the CDC apparently did was to calculate what the effect on life expectancy would be if mortality rates stayed at their 2020 level,  how much Covid would reduce life expectancy if the pandemic was repeated every year forever.

Source: The CDC gets life expectancy wildly wrong