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Economist Condemns Homophobia Using Economic Impacts

Lee Badgett

Combating homophobia based on theology and "sincerely held" personal beliefs can be a nigh-insurmountable task given the high degree of subjectivity involved in both. Economics professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst Lee Badgett decided she would try a different angle to show that homophobia has quantifiable adverse impacts on society: economics.

Badgett created a case study using an economic model that she applied to India and submitted the preliminary findings to the World Bank earlier this year. Those findings showed that homophobia,

...leads to less education, lower earnings, poorer health and shorter lives. The lost workplace productivity and health problems connected with homophobia cost the United States between $2 billion and $31 billion in 2012.

The wide range is attributed to the scarcity of data on sexual minorities. In addition, she debunked the myth that gay men are flush with cash and showed that gay men actually earn 11-27% less than their heterosexual counterparts. 

Now to stand by and wait with bated breath for the Tea Party, who have long insisted that their party's focus is primarily about economic growth, to roundly condemn anti-gay discrimination.


Homophobia Costs India $31 Billion Annually: VIDEO

Lee Badgett

Homophobia costs India $31 billion annually. Thus is the finding of the World Bank after a preliminary study that attempted to measure the economic cost of excluding sexual minorities.

IndiaIn short, acts of homophobic social exclusion - violence, job loss, discrimination, etc. - lead to individual-level shortcomings in education and earnings, which then translate into economy-level impacts such as higher healthcare and social program costs, and lower economic output.

Depending on which estimate one goes with on the homosexual population of India - a task made difficult by underreporting combined with Indian ideas of sexuality that don't necessarily line up neatly with the Western LGBT quartet - the economic cost of homophobia is between $1.9 billion and $30.8 billion annually, or .01% to 1.7% loss to the GDP. A GDP reduction of that amount would be considered a recession, according to the study's author, University of Massachusetts economist Lee Badgett.

The findings aren't conclusive and the study acknowledges that more research needs to be done. Areas of particular attention going forward will be investing in data on LGBT exclusion, a focus on poverty, research infrastructure, and replicating the study in other countries.

You can see a video of the presentation, which clocks in at a hefty 2 hours, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Homophobia Costs India $31 Billion Annually: VIDEO" »


Jesus Rebranded: VIDEO

Jesus Rebranded

Because if there is one of Jesus' lessons that has gone woefully unaddressed, it is His message of the holy virtues of capitalism. Just in time for Christmas, Mark Fiore brings us a video of Jesus Rebranded. Press the Messiah's sacred heart and hear words of divine inspiration such as:

Capitalism is the reason for the season!

You can serve both God and money.  Go forth and profit!

Go, sell your possessions, and use the money to . . . start a growing, profitable business!  Come, follow me.

Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Jesus Rebranded: VIDEO" »


Rand Paul Equates Food Stamps with Slavery

RandpaulRand Paul, the Republican senator from Kentucky, is no stranger to Towleroad, given some of the comments he's made in the past. The bombastic senator has previously linked marriage equality to "polygamy" and "non-human marriage", and also encouraged anti-equality advocates to do everything they can to delay marriage equality at the state level. Paul is making even more headlines today, thanks to a profile of the senator's opthalmology practice in National Review Online, in which he compared social safety net programs, such as food stamps, to forced slavery. 

According to ThinkProgress, this isn't the first time Paul has falsely linked the two phenomena:

"The comments are an echo of his 2011 claim that accepting a human right to health care 'means you believe in slavery,' but the Senator’s new variation on the theme is notable because it puts the reasoning behind the crazy in stark relief."

The quote in question ironically comes from a portion of the profile that claims that Paul "loves people":

"As humans, yeah, we do have an obligation to give people water, to give people food, to give people health care, but it’s not a right because once you conscript people and say, ‘Oh, it’s a right,’ then really you’re in charge, it’s servitude, you’re in charge of me and I’m supposed to do whatever you tell me to do."

Rand Paul LiesIronically, he has compared food stamps to slavery in two aspects. The first is the statement you see above: providing someone with food, water, and shelter automatically makes them indebted and subservient to you. He has also made the logical leap that providing people with food stamps means the forcible seizure of food, the by-product of workers such as farmers and manufacturers. ThinkProgress thankfully pointed out several flaws in Paul's logic. First, most academics have accepted the fact that this country currently produces enough food to feed everyone in it. Also:

"A moderately bright high school student could spot the leap of logic here: no one’s forcing anyone to farm against their will. In a democratic-capitalist economy, people have a right to choose their career... A socially-accepted “right to food” merely means the government should pay for the provision of food to those who can’t afford it. No stealing, and definitely no slavery...

"So an influential Senator, a much-ballyhooed candidate for his party’s nomination for the presidency, has been consistently espousing a worldview, reflected in his budget, that logically implies virtually all major government programs are slavery. And we live in times where that’s acceptable enough that it’s buried in the middle of a piece about volunteer ophthalmology."

Of course, the fact that quote comes from a piece about volunteer opthalmology makes it sort of doubly ironic. According to the piece, Paul performs approximately 10 to 15 pro bono eye surgeries a year. He says that “I’ve always done some since I’ve been in practice, because I wanted to be able to give back to the community." Would that sort of admission constitute a slavery of Paul by his less fortunate patients? Precisely what difference is there between slavery, by his standards, and "giving back to the community"? 


NEWS: Turner Field, Drug Sentences, The Deficit, Clinton 2016, Musicians, and Superheroes

 Road President Obama has announced the leader of its new independent committee that will be investigating potential ethics violations by the nation's surveillance programs. At the head of the committee is James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence who has already previously misled Congress. Turnerfield

Road A Georgia man fell to his death last night at Atlanta's Turner Field during a match-up between the Braves and the Philadelphia Phillies. 

Road US Attorney General Eric Holder announced yesterday that he will work to cut mandatory minimum sentences for low-level drug offenses, stating that "too many Americans go to too many prisons for far too long."

Road Current peace talks taking place between Israel and Palestine are facing potential problems as 26 long-term prisoners were moved by Israeli officials shortly before their release.

 Road North Dakota's U.S. attorney Timothy Purdon addressed a crowd of hundreds during a recent joint Pride Celebration hosted by Fargo and Moorhead, MN. During his impassioned speech, he told the state's LGBT citizens point-blank: "you have an ally". 

Road The U.S. Government announced yesterday that its budget deficit through July of next year will be 37.6 percent, and that the budget starting in September 2014 is on its way to having the smallest deficit in five years. 

Road Rihanna and Katy Perry recently reunited during a restaurant opening in NYC. No word yet as to whether there were any more "quasi-bi" antics this time around. 

Road Anthony Weiner, intentionally or not, teased a 2016 bid by Hillary Clinton for President of the United States, telling Buzzfeed that he "knows his wife's role" in the upcoming campaign. 

Road Adele is currently in talks to make a cameo appearance in Mathew Vaughn's upcoming film The Secret Service. If successful, she will be appearing in the film alongside David Beckham and Elton John. 

Road Those wishing to partake of fried food without the sting of racism can breathe a little easier

Road The Wanted released a new music video. Apparently, they also own the night. Who knew? Batman Wedding

Road Lady Gaga committed another possible fashion faux-pas in her quest to obtain even more "Applause". 

Road Meanwhile, Madonna was possibly channelling her uber-butch self a little too much during a recent paintball game. 

Road Breaking Bad continues with its ultra-violent final season.

Road Robert Downey, Jr continues to roll in it after new endorsement deals follow him after his successes with The Avengers and Iron Man 3

Road Torn between you love for your hubby and your love for Batman? Can't decide how to properly honor them both. Just do what these two guys did!


NEWS: Gym Selfies, The Economy, TSA, Lindsay Lohan, Same Love, Evil Giant Robots

Road Nick Jonas posted a shirtless photo on Instagram that has drawn the attention of many straight girl and gay boy fans across the web. Hugh Jackman posted a selfie too, but it showed less skin and a much more indimidating face.

Nick Jonas Shirtless Selfie Road A new report released by Dallas Fed conservatively estimates that the economic crisis that plagued the U.S. from 2007 to 2009 cost the economy $14 trillion, which is approximately one year's domestic GDP. 

Road After it was revealed that he had fallen behind in the polls, New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner has released a new campaign ad, saying that "quit isn't the way we roll..." 

Road Mexican rock band "Molotov" has announced that it will no longer use the word "maricon", due to a recent anti-gay attack against a Chilean teen that cost the victim his leg. Many LGBT advocates have also called for them to stop playing their popular song "Puto". However, the band defended the song, claiming that it advocates "anyone who attempts our freedom".

Road According to the U.S. Commerce Department, economic growth was reportedly 1.7% during the second quarter, which is significantly more than many economists previously estimated. 

Road Daniel Chong, the San Diego student who was left alone in a cell by the DEA for five days before authorities realized their error, has reportedly settled his lawsuit for $4.1 million

Road Singer Mary Lambert, best known as the voice of the heartwarming chorus of Macklemore's "Same Love", has released an extended, full song version entitled "She Keeps Me Warm". 

Road X-Men fans (including this writer) are rejoicing the fact that sentinels (aka evil giant robots) will be making an appearance in the upcoming film adaptation of X-Men: Days of Future Past. Trust me, if you're at all a fan of the franchise She Keeps Me Warm
(and gay parable), this is big news. 

Road According to a new report, misconduct by members of the TSA has risen by 26% over the last three years. 

Road Game of Thrones star Kit Harington (aka John Snow) confessed at a panel recently that Season 4 will be his favorite season of the show yet.

Road Lindsay Lohan was just recently released from rehab. Based on photos, she appears to be doing significantly better.  

Road New email documents released by the Department of Defense reveal that San Diego Pride Parade Organizers might have given permission for gay servicemembers to wear their uniforms before the DOD actually gave authorization. 

Road Project Runway winner Christian Siriano got engaged to long-time boyfriend Brad Walsh earlier this week.

Road A New York Appeals Court recently declared the city's ban on "large sodas" to be unconstitutional. 

Road Kristen Stewart recently told a member of the paparazzi "you don't deserve to breathe the same air as I do". How do we know? He caught it on video.

Road In an interview with Men's Health Magazine, Tom Brady announced that he will be opening up a new sports therapy center to "help athletes train smarter". 

Road A trailer has finally been released for Ben Stiller's The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty. Some film afficionados are already speculating that it could be an Oscar contender.

Road The Acedemy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has elected its first ever African-American president, Cheryl Boone Isaacs. 


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