What Do You Make of This?


Years since the war in Afghanistan began: 17

Percentage of Afghanistan currently controlled or contested by the Taliban (most favorable estimate to the US): 44

Years since the war on drugs began: 104

Percentage of Americans 12 years of age or older who use illegal drugs (2016 estimate): 10.6

Years since the war on poverty began: 54

Money so far expended on the war on poverty (2014 estimate): $22 trillion

Percentage of Americans living in poverty (2016 estimate): 13

Percentage of African Americans living in poverty (2016 estimate): 22

National debt, 1970, as percentage of GDP: 35

National debt, 2017, as percentage of GDP: 104

Years served in the House of Representatives (5 samples):

  • Don Young, (R-AK): 45
  • Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI): 39
  • Steny Hoyer (D-MD, minority whip of the House): 37
  • Nancy Pelosi (D-CA, minority leader of the House): 31
  • Maxine Waters (D-CA): 27

Years served in the Senate (5 samples):

  • Patrick Leahy (D-VT): 43
  • Orrin Hatch (R-UT): 41
  • Mitch McConnell (Addison Mitchell McConnell, Jr., R-KY, majority leader of the Senate): 33
  • Diane Feinstein (D-CA): 26
  • Patty Murray (D-WA): 25

Total years of service of politicians just mentioned: 347

Members of Congress proficient in practical mathematics: no known instances

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Bruce Alan Martin

While I appreciated your statistics regarding the number of years served in office by various politicians, I think it would be even more instructive to calculate some of the following:

* The ratio between the number of years served in elected office to the number of years spent working at productive jobs (i.e. producing goods or services that were voluntarily purchased by citizens).

* The total number of years working for the government (i.e. elected, appointed, civil service, etc.), as compared to the number of years spent working at productive jobs (i.e. producing goods or services that were voluntarily purchased by citizens).

* The increase in wealth of elected officials (i.e. comparing net worth AFTER leaving Congress to net worth before seeking elective office!)

* The number of years served in public office by all members of one of a recognized American political dynasty, e.g. Kennedy, Cuomo, Bush, Dodd, Murkowski, Dingell, Romney, Clinton, Rockefeller, Landrieu, etc., etc., ad nauseum.

Stephen Cox

All these topics are of great interest. I suspect that you’ve already done some research on them, and if you have, Liberty wants to know.

The third is obviously the hardest to get information about. People actually brag about how long they’ve “served” as elected or appointed government officials, but few are willing to reveal how much loot they’ve taken home.

The last is a special subject of my own disgust. There is, indeed, a long list of these dynasts, more than most people realize, and the horrible thing is that there ordinarily isn’t some august figure at the start. George Romney, Bill Clinton, Mario Cuomo, Joe Kennedy — these were not the great John Adams. And even John Quincy Adams, though an able man and a good writer . . . . No, there’s a lot of leakage between the fountain and the field.

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