Teens Getting Driver’s License Declining

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I was running some errands this morning and caught Glenn Beck on the radio. He was discussing some societal trends that related to economics and brought up the fact that 19 year old people are declining in getting their drivers license. Here is what he said:

Nineteen year old people getting driver licenses has declined to 65%. Down from 93% just ten years ago.

This is a big drop so I decided to look up this decline and found the Washington Post wrote about it in 2013. Here’s what they found:

Back in 1983, about 87 percent of 19-year-olds had drivers’ licenses. But in 2010, only 69.5 percent did.

They also cited reasons in a survey of why they didn’t obtain the license and here is the breakdown:

37 percent said they were either too busy or didn’t have the time to get a license.

32 percent said that owning and maintaining a vehicle was just too expensive.

31 percent said they could hitch a ride with someone else if needed.

22 percent said they’d rather walk or bike.

17 percent said they’d rather use public transportation.

9 percent said they were worried about driving’s effects on the environment.

8 percent said they could work or communicate online.

7 percent cited disability or medical problems as their main reason.

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Cost of Police Riot Gear

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American law enforcement face a daunting task of regaining control of neighborhoods in cities once a riot breaks out. Police for decades have been educated and trained for these types of situations. Technology has developed to help the officers but it comes with a cost.

Friend of mine who is in law enforcement and has years of experience training for these scenarios gave out some information in the cost of some of the riot gear police use. Here is the breakdown of a few of the devices used by law enforcement:

One Hand Deployed Distraction Device, AKA “Flash Bang” – $50.00

One Flameless Chemical Tri Chamber, AKA “CS/CN Canister” – $50.00

One 12 Gauge Drag Stabilized Bean Bag Lethal Impact Round – $8.00

Oil Stocks Outperform in State Pension Funds

WorldOil.com is showing interesting investment returns on state pension funds invested in oil. The study was done by Sonecon.

On average, $1 invested in oil and natural gas stocks in 2005 was worth $2.30 in 2013. By contrast, $1 invested in all other assets over the same period was worth $1.68.

While oil and natural gas stocks make up, on average, 4% of holdings in the top public pension funds, they accounted for, on average, 8% of the returns in these funds from 2005 to 2013, according to the Sonecon study.                                    

The report examines the top two public pension funds in 17 states, which collectively cover more than half (55%) of all workers in the U.S. who participate in state and local government pension plans.

States analyzed in the report are: California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and West Virginia.

Update on Cell Phones in Indiana Prisons

Back in February I posted about the unspoken economy of cell phones in U.S. prisons. These cell phones obtained by prisoners pose a serious public safety risk as they have been used by gangs to carry out hits on gang rivals outside the prison or to relay messages to other prisoners to cause violence in other prisons.

I recently contacted the Indiana Department of Corrections for an update of how many cell phones prison guards have confiscated in 2015. I want to thank INDOC spokesperson Isaac Randolph for the information.
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Neil DeGrasse Tyson TV Show Tanks in Ratings

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The most brilliant man on the entire planet [sarcasm] debuted his new tv show “Star Talk” this past Monday, April 20th. So how did Neil DeGrasse Tyson do in the cable ratings? He didn’t even register in the Top 100 shows on cable TV for the entire day per TV By the Numbers.

I find this a bit funny considering whenever I meet his fanatic fan base I get lectured about how popular and smart of a guy he is. So who did the cable viewers decide to watch at the 11 p.m. hour instead of this messiah of science?

– Family Guy
– Fast n Loud
– Modern Family
– DINERS, DRIVE INS & DIVES
– LOVE & HIP HOP ATLANTA 4
– King Of Queens
– Friends
– Conan
– True Life

But don’t worry, Neil DeGrasse Tyson will redeem himself this week by interviewing militant social activist Dan Savage…… [more sarcasm]

Hybrid Car Owners Breaking Up With Mother Earth

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Hybrid car owners are not feeling the love of the environment anymore and showing it with their purchasing power. I remember the hysteria a decade ago if you didn’t buy a hybrid then you didn’t love Mother Earth. JustFactsDaily.com had this question up on their website for viewers to answer:

    Thus far in 2015, what portion of the people who traded in a hybrid or electric car purchased another such car?

Once you answered, they provided documentation to research done by Edmunds.com:

    Car buyers are trading in hybrid and electric cars for SUVs at a higher rate than ever before, according to a new analysis from car-buying platform Edmunds.com.

    According to Edmunds.com, about 22 percent of people who have traded in their hybrids and EVs in 2015 bought a new SUV. The number represents a sharp increase from 18.8 percent last year, and it is nearly double the rate of 11.9 percent just three years ago. Overall, only 45 percent of this year’s hybrid and EV trade-ins have gone toward the purchase of another alternative fuel vehicle, down from just over 60 percent in 2012. Never before have loyalty rates for alt-fuel vehicles fallen below 50 percent.

Edmunds also provides analysis of how long it takes financially to justify paying the price of hybrid vehicles with gas price savings:

    To underscore the point, Edmunds calculates that at the peak average national gas price of $4.67/gallon in October 2012, it would take five years to break even on the $3,770 price difference between a Toyota Camry LE Hybrid ($28,230) and a Toyota Camry LE ($24,460). At today’s national average gas price of $2.27/gallon, it would take twice as much time (10.5 years) to close the same gap.