Analyzing data always provides interesting insights. For example, a simple analysis of establishment (business) data from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) reveals some fascinating insights into the systems dynamics – a system changing over time – of the Minneapolis marketplace with respect to business firms.
As the data, Graph 1, reveals, the number of establishments, or businesses, in Minneapolis has been decreasing for at least the past 10 years. Why is this so? This blog will not venture into such speculation. This is because the system’s perspective is limited to only establishment data. A multivariate perspective (multiple perspectives) is needed to find such possible reasons.
As Graph 1 illustrates, the number of firms per quarter has been decreasing since at least 2006. And although this rate has been variable, which is to be expected because the marketplace is probabilistic, the overall trend has been negative.
Furthermore, this overall negative trend can be shown in a couple of different ways. First, it can be illustrated via linearization. As Graph 2 shows, the overall trend is negative. That is, the Minneapolis marketplace decreased in the total number of establishments between the 1st Quarter of 2006 and the 3rd Quarter of 2016.
It should be noted that the linearization seen here is not the same linearization as in dynamical systems. In dynamical systems, linearization is an approximation “to a function at a given point.” Obviously this is not the case here.
Again, the main idea to take away from linearization, in the way it is used here, is the overall trend of the graph – did the marketplace gain businesses over the period stated in Graph 2, did the marketplace lose businesses over the period stated in Graph 2, or did the marketplace remain about the same over the period stated in Graph 2?
And finally, the marketplace behavior of business establishments in Minneapolis can be illustrated through Vector Algebra. Yes! That’s right – Vector Algebra. In this case, there will be no math included, just an illustration of direction via Graph 3, so there is no reason to be alarmed.
As Graph 3 shows, the overall dynamics, or vector, of the marketplace is negative in regards to the number of establishments from the 1st Quarter of 2006 through the 3rd Quarter of 2016. And the vectors, those letter “a’s” with the hats over them, further illustrate a greater decrease in total establishment between the 1st Quarter of 2006 and the 3rd Quarter of 2010 than between the 3rd Quarter of 2010 and the 3rd Quarter of 2016.
Of course, these vectors could further be broken into smaller vectors. But the way the algebra works, each vector that is computed in this system should add up to the overall vector, which is negative. Thus, this decomposition of the system behavior provides a more conclusive way of viewing the dynamics of this particular system than how linearization is being used here. And the vector idea, along with the math, supports the initial observation. That is, the total number of establishments in the Minneapolis marketplace has decreased since at least the 1st Quarter of 2006.
So how does this market behavior compare to the county or state level? How does Minneapolis compare to the zip codes that reside within it?
And another interesting question to ask one’s self is, has employment increased, decreased, or stayed the same in Minneapolis? And what does this mean for the number of employees per establishment?
Matt Johnson is a writer for the Urban Dynamics blog; and is a mathematical scientist. He has also contributed to the Iowa State Daily and Our Black News.
You can connect with him directly in the comments section, and follow him on LinkedIn or Facebook.
This Saturday evening, March 11th, at 6 pm central standard time on Twin Cities News Talk, Matt Johnson, our Editor-in-chief and mathematician, will be making his second guest apprearance on the Black Republican/Black Democrat show (BRBD).
Here’s the link to Matt’s first appearance on BRBD:
He will be joining co-hosts Donald Allen (R) and Jamar Nelson (D), and roving reporter Preya Samsundar from Alpha News, on the Black Jedi Radio Network to discuss Minneapolis economics and politics, why the presidential election polls and forecasts weren’t wrong, and Bill Nye “The Science Guy” and Tucker Carlson’s now infamous climate change exchange. This is sure to be a light-saber blazing event with a large audience.
Speaking of a large audience, the Black Republican/Black Democrat show has blown up on social media since Matt’s last visit on February 11th of this year. During Matt’s first visit, BRBD had 1,535 followers on their Facebook page. Since then, the Black Jedi Radio Network has gained nearly 5,000 followers; and so this time around, the Math Jedi Matt Johnson will have a much larger audience to share the gospel of mathematics with, while dueling with republicans and democrats.
Where can you listen?
For our Twin Cities’ readers, just simply turn the terrestrial dial to AM 1130 or FM 103.5. For our national readers, just download the iHeartRadio app or you can listen LIVE via the world-wide web by going to www.TwinCitiesNewsTalk.com, which is an iHeartRadio station. For our readers who would like to call into the show, dial (612) 986 – 0010.
There doesn’t seem to be an end in sight for the high number of homicides happening in Chicagoland. The midwestern city is on track to match its 2016 homicide total.
At the end of February 2016, Chicago had experienced 103 homicides. That was an increase of more than 96 percent from the year before. Matter of fact, there were a total of 52 homicides in January and February of 2015. In contrast, both 2016 and 2017 doubled 2015 numbers two years in a row.
In 2017, there were 55 homicides in January and 48 homicides in February according to the Chicago Tribune. Comparing 2017 to 2016, January saw a 3.6 percent decrease, which appeared promising. However, February made up for the decrease in homicides with a 6.7 percent increase. This bump in an otherwise traditionally quiet month for adverse socio-economic factors pushed Chicago back into the direction it desperately didn’t need to go.
In addition, it should be noted that the majority of these homicides are concentrated in the same few neighborhoods year after year. Thus, homicides along with other adverse socio-economic factors are not an acute issue. They are chronic and the science and mathematics are clear on this point.
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In 2016, 4 of the 5 neighborhoods with the highest numbers of homicides were located on Chicago’s West Side.
And now in 2017, the West Side neighborhoods of Austin, Englewood, and Garfield Park are the top 3 deadliest neighborhoods in Chicago so far this year, and one ought to expect this unfortunate reality to continue because of historical data and trends. Again, there are adverse socio-economic factors that have not been addressed.
As of this moment, and although these numbers could change in the next 24 hours, Austin has experienced 14 homicides, Garfield Park has experienced 10 homicides, and Englewood has experienced 8 homicides according to heyjackass.com (again, they provide reliable statistics and sources). North Lawndale has had 5 homicides so far this year.
If this homicide rate continues for the remainder of the year, then it is likely that Chicago will see another 785 to 800 homicides this year.
He has a Bachelor of Science, Systems Science with focuses in applied mathematics and economic systems; and he is a member of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, and the International Society for the Systems Sciences.
You can connect with him directly in the comments section, and follow him on Twitter or on Facebook.
On January 2, 2014, Betsy Hodges became Mayor of Minneapolis. And in January of 2014, she acquired a 4.6 percent unemployment rate. In other words, in January 2014, the average Minneapolis worker had a 4.6 percent chance of being unemployed. Almost 3 years later, the unemployment rate for Minneapolis in December of 2016 was 3.2 percent. This means that unemployment decreased by more than 30 percent during her first term as Mayor.
But if we look at and compare the Hodges, Rybak, and Belton administrations, we will see that Mayor Hodges doesn’t have the highest reduction in unemployment for a first term Minneapolis mayor. First, we will look at unemployment data for Mayor Hodges first term.
Here’s Graph/Data Table 1 for Mayor Hodges 3 years so far:
Comparing Mayor Hodges to the previous 2 mayors – Sharon Sayles Belton and R.T. Rybak – with unemployment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we found that Mayor Hodges so far has had the largest decrease of an unemployment rate over the course of being mayor.
However, Mayor Hodges has been in office just over 3 years while Mayor Belton served two-terms (8 years) and Mayor Rybak served three-terms (12 years). So comparing apples to apples, and oranges to oranges is important. In other words, this analysis won’t compare one-term to two-terms, one-term to three-terms, and so on and so forth.
Rather, since Mayor Hodges has only accumulated data for less than one term, we are only going to compare first terms. Thus, if we look at Mayor Sharon Sayles Belton’s first term, we will see she started her first term with an unemployment rate of 4.4 percent and ended her first term with an unemployment rate of 2.4 percent. This means unemployment decrease by more than 45 percent under Mayor Belton’s first watch.
Here’s Graph/Data Table 2 for Mayor Belton’s first term:
Finally, if we look at Mayor R.T. Rybak’s first term, we will see he started with a 5.1 percent unemployment rate and ended his first term with an unemployment rate of 3.6 percent, which was a 29 percent decrease in unemployment.
Here’s Graph/Data Table 3 for Mayor Rybak’s first term:
Of course, this data does not show us which market inputs are correlated with unemployment behavior. However, the multivariable graphs do show us how the unemployment market behaved during each first term. For example, we can observe unemployment with respect to month and year; and we can compare unemployment with respect to month and year for each mayor, while comparing one mayor’s first term to another mayor’s first term.
Matter of fact, this is how we derive how much the unemployment rate has decrease over the length of time of the first term. Let’s use Mayor Hodges as our example, although this short method can be used to find Mayors Belton and Rybak’s unemployment rate reduction as well.
What we do is subtract the month of the first term by the last month of the first term, and divide that value by the month of the first term. Does this make sense? In other words, take 4.6 minus 3.2 and divide by 4.6. This gives us 30.4 percent.
I have provided an additional table for the reader which compares the total unemployment reduction for each first term:
Using this method, we could also find out how much unemployment decreased or increased every two years. There’s a lot of information hidden in the data that can be observed and utilized with a little mathematics.
Final thought, can any of these 3 mayors take credit for the behavior of unemployment during their respective times in office?
As I tell my readers in these articles and in private conversation, urban environments are probabilistic systems. They are not causal systems. So it is not the case that, for example, Mayor Hodges could apply a specific policy and expect it to cause a specific outcome with 100 percent certainty. That’s now how these urban systems work. Rather, it would more than likely be the case that Mayor Hodges would input a particular policy and maybe an expected output would produce a particular outcome.
But that’s still not quite correct, because it asserts a particular input can be traced to a particular output and that type of observational sophistication is not quite possible at this date and time (a policy acts a lot more like a roll of a dice). To pull off something like that would take a much more sophisticated form of systems analysis and mathematics beyond this article.
All we know from this short analysis of the data is that the unemployment rate decrease by more than 30 percent during Mayor Betsy Hodges time in office, so far. But in order to achieve the 45 percent reduction by Mayor Belton during her first term, the unemployment rate would need to decrease to at least 2.5 percent. That’s an entire percentage point with a little more than 10 months remaining in the 2017.
Editors Note: This is part 3 of a three-part series taken from a philosophical paper. Part 1 was published on January 7th, and part 2 was published on January 14th. This is the fourth blog for the EID Blog, which is the Evolution/Intelligent Design Blog. Remember, a primary focus of The Systems Scientist is to provide a platform where different and contrasting ideas have direct access to each other. Our bubble is everything! Enjoy the EID Blog!
By Matt Johnson
Certainly, Bill Nye and Ken Ham would object to parts of this new argument, i.e., this new option. In the case of Nye, what objection would he use from this short, third option argument? How would he address the Creation Hypothesis? How would he address the Computational Hypothesis? And how would he address the Mind-Body Hypothesis? Which hypothesis is the one he would find most disturbing to his belief system? And what would Ham object to?
What objection would he use from this short, third option proposal? How would he address the Creation Hypothesis? How would he address the Computation Hypothesis? And how would he address the Mind-Body Hypothesis? For both of these orators, which hypothesis would be the most likely, disagreeable hypothesis?
As a consequence of the Matrix Hypothesis thus far, both Nye and Ham’s world views would not be interrupted if the Metaphysical Hypothesis were found to be true. Only a few underlying metaphysical beliefs would need to change in order for them both to continue their respective perspectives. For example, like the science of relativity and natural selection, the fossil record and the process of discovering and understanding the fossil record wouldn’t be affected. With the exception of a few metaphysical beliefs, Nye would continue to believe his story about the fossil record and Ham would continue to believe his story about the fossil record; and they would continue to disagree.
Bill Nye would continue to agree with the notion that natural laws that happened in the past still happen today. In other words, the laws of physics are roughly the same now as they were a few hundred million years after the Big Bang (It is believed that the laws of physics operated a bit differently just after the Big Bang). And natural selection along with the other evolutionary mechanisms would still be the prevailing explanations for how and why species on this planet evolved. In addition, Ken Ham would take the position, as a biblical creationist, that the world began about 4,000 BCE. Placed in the context of Chalmers’ paper, the creation simulation began about 4,000 years ago with the simulated world already established. Thus, in this case, the Computational Hypothesis wouldn’t have much of an effect on either other than a small, subtle change in metaphysical beliefs. So how would Nye and Ham view the Creation Hypothesis and the Mind-Body Hypothesis?
For Ham, the Creation Hypothesis wouldn’t change much other than he would view the Creation Hypothesis as evidence for a creator. In other words, he would not view the creator as some innocuous scientist running the simulation in the next universe up. Rather, he would view the creator as a biblical creator. However, it is likely Nye would have issues with this hypothesis. This is because Nye comes from the point of view of an empiricist. In short, one can’t know for sure if the creator is a biblical God or an innocuous scientist who likes beer. Thus, the empirical evidence suggests it is probably neither.
But again, if the Creation Hypothesis were true, it wouldn’t change much of Nye’s belief system other than a few metaphysical beliefs, and that’s assuming it would change any of his metaphysical beliefs at all. Remember, the hypothesis doesn’t require his belief in it. In addition, like Chalmers’ indicated in his paper, no one knows if it is true or not; but just the same, no one knows if it is false or not. Whatever the entity is, it exists outside space-time and cannot be falsified or verified by contemporary scientific methods or technologies.
For Nye, the Mind-Body Hypothesis wouldn’t change much. Again, if he accepted the Creation Hypothesis, and that’s a big “if,” he would more than likely accept the notion of the scientist in the next universe up, not the biblical creator. But as for Ham, he certainly wouldn’t accept the Mind-Body Hypothesis in its current form. This is because of his logic tree. For him, biblical evidence is used to conclude his biblical ideology. That is, the book of Genesis is specific about Man being created in the image of God. This means that the mind-body of Man exists in the simulation itself, although it is not known for sure if Ham would disagree with this notion of existing in a simulation. Either way, the mind would still exist outside of space-time, receiving inputs, and outputting information into the simulated universe in an interactive way.
This is certainly not how Ham would think about this interaction between the universe outside of space-time and the universe inside space-time. Only the biblical God would be able to move back and forth between the “spiritual” world and this world, hence the stories of Moses, Daniel, Jesus, etc. However, Ham’s beliefs do not affect the Mind-Body Hypothesis and the Mind-Body Hypothesis, if true, probably won’t affect his metaphysical beliefs.
In short, Ken Ham would still be directing operations at Answers In Genesis in Kentucky, and he would still have his hair. And he and Bill Nye would still disagree on the things they disagree on without realizing they would probably agree on some of the conditions of the Matrix Hypothesis, or at least they would both agree to disagree with this modest proposal.
I am not an empiricist. I am more than likely a Kuhnian, so Chalmers’ is not out of reach for me. I find his proposal to be fascinating. And if it were to be true, it would not affect my world other than a change in a few metaphysical beliefs. So other than the metaphysical consequences of the Creation Hypothesis, i.e., some innocuous, beer drinking scientist running the simulation in the next universe up, my world and my beliefs in the world would not be shattered. Rather, I would have gained greater understanding and knowledge of my world.
With respect to the Computational Hypothesis, it wouldn’t influence my world much at all. I’m not a quantum physicist so I can only assume that finding out that bits are the foundation of the universe would have a negligible impact on my life similar to that of finding out about the Higgs-Boson. Yes! It was cool. But it didn’t change my world much. The laws of nature are still the laws of nature and the scientific process works just fine. And in regards to the Mind-Body Hypothesis, receiving inputs from outside space-time wouldn’t change much for me either. The only difference is, if the hypothesis were to be found true, I would know, and that’s if I were privy to the new-found information. Thus, it would be possible for me to believe in an Intelligent Designer while being a non-believing agnostic who happens to be a mathematical scientist.
The mainstream media tends to focus on the simple things when it comes to discrepancies between black and white folks. However, it is always much more complex than they report.
In this blog, I have reported crime rates in depressed neighborhoods and wards of urban environments. I have also reported high unemployment rates and low education attainment rates. And I have also reported on decaying housing conditions such as foreclosures and condemned and vacant buildings.
I have illustrated in many articles that these areas of depression tend to be areas that are predominantly black. Sometimes I have done this explicitly and in other times I have done it implicitly. But either way, I have always included and highlighted these issues as multi-variable problems. That is, I have demonstrated that it is not just one problem; I have demonstrated it is a multitude of problems.
But what I have not yet written about is the labor market for this demographic group. I have not yet highlighted or discussed the importance of an education and how that would provide opportunity; and I have not yet highlighted or discussed the importance of skills and acquiring skills and how that would provide opportunity.
Moreover, I have not yet highlighted or discussed the importance of industry and how picking an industry will lead to greater wages and job security and how that would provide opportunity; and I have not yet highlighted or discussed geography and how that would provide access to a greater number of jobs and opportunity.
In this article, I will provide a short explanation of 4 factors that affect entrance into the labor market for a worker along with data illustrating the current location of black Americans.
One could make an argument that this is the beginning of the road. Why is this? Because success in life is correlated with education, and ridiculously so. In almost every economic measure, a person who has a degree has a higher probability of making more money and a higher probability of job security, although there is variation between industries.
School readiness gaps are improving, except for black kids
Misbehavior in school can pay off for white, but not black students
Teacher-student racial mismatch harms black kids
White and Asian students are more likely to be exposed to advanced classes
Gaps remain in high school completion rates
Similar college enrollment rates mask unequal degree completion rates
Black and white students do not attend colleges of equal quality
As with all science, more research is needed in these subsequent areas. In addition, one ought to ask the question, where are the issues more likely to take place?
Is a researcher more likely to find these disparities in a stable economic system with low unemployment, high education and income attainments, and low crime rates? Or is a researcher more than likely to find these disparities in an unstable system with high unemployment, low education and income attainments, and high crime rates?
As a person goes through life, their skill set will increase. And as their skill set increases so will their pay, which means a person will attain greater earning and purchasing power as they get older. And this is the case for all racial groups. So what are some factors that may influence earning potential?
First, an initial job during teenage years will increase one’s earnings potential over the course of a life-time. This is because teenagers will begin to learn basic market skills and an intuition of how the market works. However, the unemployment rates among racial groups between the ages 16 and 24 are divergent.
If one is black and male, or hispanic and male, then his unemployment rate is higher than the national average. Essentially, both groups are starting from the rear of the market earnings race. In contrast, if one is Asian and female, or white and female, then her unemployment rate is lower than the national average.
Here are the statistics:
Education will also affect skills. The market is built on science and math, and how science and math perpetuate market engines.
We published an article last summer titled Top 10 Paying Bachelor’s Degrees. In it, we shared with our readers which degrees were the top 10 earners straight out of college. All 10 were engineering degrees:
Early Career Pay
Electrical & Computer Engineering
This of course doesn’t mean other degrees don’t pay well straight out of college or don’t have high potential earnings over the course of a life-time. However, what it does show is degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics will pay dividends for those who obtain those degrees. In addition, degrees in economics and finance are competitive degrees in the marketplace. For example, those in finance usually have the highest weekly average wages of all industries in the Minneapolis/St. Paul market.
Industry can dramatically decide the potential earnings for a worker in the marketplace. As previously stated, those who work in the mathematical sciences, engineering, and finance industries are earning more out of the gate and over a life-time.
And so the question is, how do black Americans compare by industry? With a little help from BlackDemographics.com, the reader can see that black Americans
are again overrepresented in government jobs such as education, social assistance, and public administration. African-Americans also have a large presence in the health care industry which is expected to see substantial job growth for the foreseeable future.
Here’s the data provided by BlackDemographics.com:
This last category can also dramatically affect someone’s entrance in the marketplace. This is because American neighborhoods are still relatively segregated by racial group. For example, Milwaukee’s segregation was highlighted after the police shooting death of Sylville Smith in August of 2016. According to Business Insider, Milwaukee is the most segregated city in the United States. As this map illustrates, black Americans are highly concentrated in two distinct areas:
The green dots are black Americans while the blue dots are white Americans. Of course a thorough geographical analysis of each American city would send this point home. But immediately, research by this publication has demonstrated correlation between black Americans and depressed environments which include adverse socio-economic factors such as high unemployment, relatively low earnings compared to other racial groups, low education rates, high crime rates, and disparate housing issues in the form of foreclosures and condemned and vacant buildings.
One last thought to consider, black businesses are more than likely to hire black employees while white businesses are more than likely to hire white employees despite federal laws. And this hiring behavior seems to make sense based off of geographical data.
Our very own Editor-in-chief, and research scientist, Matt Johnson will be making his radio debut as a guest on the Black Republican Black Democrat Show this Saturday, February 11th, at 6 pm on Twin Cities News Talk in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
He will join radio Jedi co-hosts Donald Allen (R) and Jamar Nelson (D) for the 6 to 7 pm central time hour. Together, they will take a closer look at the socio-economic data – crime, employment, housing, etc. – for Minneapolis, and other American cities. They will be delving into Matt’s “Number Shrewdness” to get the real scoop on the urban numbers that are not always presented in a truthful light.
What’s going on in Chicago and other cities? Why is there such disparity in economic wealth between racial groups? What might be done to address such issues? These are just a few of the questions that may be addressed during this Saturday’s show.
Where do you listen?
For our Twin Cities’ readers, just simply turn the terrestrial dial to AM 1130 or FM 103.5. For our national readers, just simply download the iHeartRadio app or you can listen LIVE via the world-wide web by going to www.TwinCitiesNewsTalk.com, which is an iHeartRadio station.