President Obama has a sense of humor and often puts in jokes in some of his speeches. Here are some Obama funny videos found on youtube.
Let’s start off with this video where the punchlines comes one right after another…
For some of the jokes, you have to know a bit of American politics to understand. For example, when he referenced his middle name. He did not actually mention his middle name. But those who know that his middle name is “Hussein”, then it becomes funny.
Another time is when he referenced that he is from planet Krypton (that is where Superman is from). This ties in with the incorrect accusations by some people that he was not born in the United States.
Here is another funny Obama video made during a speech in his last year of presidency…
where he says that next year someone else will be standing at this spot and it anyone’s guess who she would be. The she he refers to references Hillary Clinton.
Then he mentions that after he retires from his presidency, he is just counting the days to his “death panel”, references the incorrect accusations of some people that his Obama Care (health reform act) contains “death panels”.
In the program, the guest talked about the United States’ social mobility. It is true that anyone can become whatever they want if they work hard. But this is rarer than one might expect. There are actually other countries in Europe and Canada that has greater social mobility than the United States.
Here is another view from YouTube…
Wealth a Zero-Sum Game
Economist Robert Reich talked with Fresh Air radio in September 2010. The title of the program explains it all: “Reich Blames Economy’s Woes On Income Disparity” (which you can listen to in the link provided.) He compares this recession with the Great Depression and says that just prior to both there was a great concentration of income in the hands of the very rich.
Robert Reich is professor of public policy at the University of California Berkeley and wrote a book called Aftershock: The Next Economy and America’s Future about all this. In his book, he says “By 2007, the richest 1 percent took in 23.5 percent of total national income.”
Some people believe that wealth of a nation is a “zero sum game” (see link here for example). That just means that there is a fixed amount of wealth to go around. So if one person increases his or her wealth, another person’s wealth decreases by the same amount. Think of it as apple pie, where everyone can have a share of it. If one person takes more, the rest have to take less.
in this case, the 1% of the people took more than 1/5 of the pie.
Reich says that this income inequality is why recovery is so anemic. When the rich is taking in a lot of the income, the middle class no longer had enough money to keep the economy going. The middle-class can not longer work longer hours. Their work hours per week had already increased a lot in the past three decades and women has fully moved into the workplace in the past three decades. The middle class is working more than ever before. So there is not more mechanisms left for the middle class to make more money. And in fact, in order to maintain their standards of living, some are going into debt. This is why he calls the debt bubble of the middle class. Now with the rich taking in so much money. They probably have more money than what they know to do with. So they start speculating and using their excess money on speculative investments. So now you have the combination of the bursting of both the debt bubble of the middle class with the speculative bubble of the rich.
Book: “Crunch: Why Do I Feel So Squeezed”
Economist Jared Bernstein video “Crunch: Why Do I Feel So Squeezed” on Fora.tv also talks about the wealth imbalances. The video was dated April 2008 (just when the global recession just took hold). He tells us why he thinks the economy is broken. He has a book of the same name.
Income Gap is Increasing
This picture shows the US incomes between the rich and the poor over the period from 1947 to 2007 (taking into account inflation and normalizing the dollar values to 2007 dollars).
The top blue line is the rich. And the bottom red line is the poor. See how the graph of the rich increases steeper than the graph of the poor. See how the gap between the two lines is relatively modest in 1947. See how the gap between the two lines is relatively large in year 2007. That is the reason why back in 1947, the average family can live on a single income. But as of 2011, the average family typically needs two income in order to live.
Articles on Income Inequality in the United States
“The gaps in after-tax income between the richest 1 percent of Americans and the middle and poorest fifths of the country more than tripled between 1979 and 2007”
The article has a couple of illustrative charts that highlights this growing divergence between the rich and the middle class.
Back in 2009, HuffingtonPost said “Income Inequality Is at An All-Time High”[ref]
Even back in 2006, University of California Santa Cruz website has article saying “the richest 1% of people in the world receives as much as the bottom 57%”[ref]
Income Inequality Mentioned in Books
Page 108 of the book 23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalismsays that the United States has one of the most unequal distribution of income among the wealthy countries:
“Given that the US has by far the most unequal distribution of income among the rich countries, we can safely guess that the US per capita income overstates the actual living standards of more of its citizens than in other countries.”
And on page 257:
“executive pay in the US has gone into the strotosphere in the last few decades. US managers have increased their relative pay by at least ten times bewteen the 1950s and today (an average CEO used to get paid thirty-five times an average worker’s salary then, while today he is paid 300-400 times that) … Even excluding stock options, US managers are paid two and a half times what their Dutch counterparts are or four time what their Japanese counterparts are, despite no apparent superiority in their productivity.”
Lyme disease has a bit of controversy. But chronic lyme disease is real. Just watch the 2009 documentary “Under Our Skin“. The key finding is that biofilm can create an environment for the Lyme disease to become chronic, relapsing, and difficult to treat. If Lyme disease was diagnosis early and treated appropriately, people can get better. But unfortunately, they are not diagnosed properly. The film goes to say that half the people with Lyme disease do not test positive for it due to the testing methodology available at the time.
Zeno is a Greek philosopher who lived around the time of 490 to 430 BC. His full name is Zeno of Elea. Sometimes, some people spell Zeno with an X as in Xeno.
He actually came up with many various paradoxes. So there is not just one “Zeno Paradox”, but “Zeno Paradoxes”.
The three of the well known one are …
Achilles and the tortoise paradox
Perhaps the one that is most commonly provided as an example of one of Zeno’s paradox is the dichotomy paradox. And it goes like this…
Let’s say that I need to travel a distance of one mile. In order to get there, I must get to half-way. But in order to get to half-way, I must get to half of that (or 1/4 of mile). But in order to get to 1/4 of a mile, I must first get to 1/8 of a mile. Before that I need to go 1/16 of a mile. And before that, 1/32. Then 1/64 and 1/128 and on and on and on for an infinity. There is an infinite number of steps. So how in the world will I ever get to where I want to go?
Generalizing the problem… In order to travel a distance d, one must travel d/2. And before that, one must travel d/4. And d/8, etc.
The solution is resolved via calculus. In effect we have an infinite sum of a “geometric series”. In particular, we are summing (1/2)i as i goes from 1 to infinity. The answer to that sum converges to 1 and can be proven via calculus.
In short, it mean that the sum of an infinite number of “half-step” is finite. Therefore, you will get to where you will be going.
There is a math joke that is based off of Zeno’s paradox.
A group of boys line up at one wall at one end of the ballroom. A group of girls on the opposite wall. The two group walks towards each other. When will they meet at the center of the ballroom?
The mathematician says never, because it involves an infinite number of steps. The physicist says that they would meet when time equals infinity. And the engineer says that within one minute, they are close enough for all practical purposes. Hand it to the engineer for being practical.
Achilles and Tortoise Paradox
Achilles and tortoise are in a race. Since Achilles is a faster runner, he gives tortoise an 100 meter head start.
Therefore, it will take some time before Archilles reaches the tortoise starting point. But by that time, the tortoise (although slow) has since moved ahead. In order to catch up, Archilles must reach the spot where tortoise has already been. Thus, whenever Achilles reaches somewhere the tortoise has been, he still has farther to go. Because in the time it take for Achilles to reach there, the tortoise has progressed further.
So how in the world does Archilles catch up with the tortoise?
In the below video, watch as a math teacher explains this paradox…
Paradox Solved by Calculus
The solution is similar to the one before. The infinite number of catching up that Archilles has to do is counterbalanced the infinitely small time it takes for the subsequent steps. And therefore Archilles is able to catch up to the tortoise.
Calculus comes to the rescue by saying that it is possible to add an infinite number of steps. In fact, Calculus is the subject of adding, comparing, and manipulating infinities. But Calculus was not invented yet in the time of Zeno. That is why they were perplexed.
In the book Physics written by Aristotle, the Arrow Paradox goes like this …
“if everything when it occupies an equal space is at rest, and if that which is in locomotion is always occupying such a space at any moment, the flying arrow is therefore motionless”
“An arrow in flight has an instantaneous position at a given instant of time. At that instant, however, it is indistinguishable from a motionless arrow in the same position, so how is the motion of the arrow perceived?”
Basically, Zeno is saying that the flying arrow is motionless.
Of course that is ridiculous. And it is refuted by Aristotle when Aristotle writes …
“This is false, for time is not composed of indivisible moments any more than any other magnitude is composed of indivisibles.”