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Tidbits Political Quotations
To Accompany the January 26, 2017 edition of Tidbits         
Bob Jensen at
Trinity University

Sometimes the grass is greener on the other side because it's been fertilized with more bullshit.


Shoot for the space in between, because that's where the real mystery lies.
Vera Rubin


Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.
T.S. Eliot

There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.
Leonard Cohen


It's hard to beat a person who never gives up.

Babe Ruth, Historic Home Run Hitter
What's sad is to witness what Syria has become because nobody will give up.

Why, we grow rusty and you catch us at the very point of decadence --- by this time tomorrow we may have forgotten everything we ever knew. That's a thought isn't it? We'd be back to where we started --- improvising.
Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (Act I)

And "because they're nonstate actors, it's hard for us to get the satisfaction of [Gen.] MacArthur and the [Japanese] Emperor [Hirohito] meeting and the war officially being over," Obama observed, referencing the end of World War II.
President Barack Obama when asked if the USA of the future will be perpetually engaged in war.

Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters.
Margaret Wheatley
Even conversations that are not politically correct.

We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.
Joseph Campbell

If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking.
George S. Patton
Why were nearly all poll statisticians thinking alike in 2016?

If you don't know where you're going, you might not get there.
Yogi Berra

Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.
Henry David Thoreau

People voted for Hitler and then he destroyed his people
Pope Francis

Economists are the idiot savants of our time.
John Stuart Mill

Hannah Arendt Explains How Propaganda Uses Lies to Erode All Truth & Morality: An Incisive Quote from The Origins of Totalitarianism ---

Why it will be easier to assonate President Trump in Denver

Kerry O'Grady, the special agent in charge of the Secret Service's Denver district, oversees coordination with Washington-based advance teams for all presidential candidate and presidential trips to the area, including all upcoming or future trips by the president, vice president or Trump administration officials says she will not take a bullet for President Trump (like she would take a bullet for President Clinton).


We have come a long way in America because of Martin Luther King, Jr. He led a disciplined, nonviolent revolution under the rule of law, a revolution of values, a revolution of ideas. We've come a long way, but we still have a distance to go before all of our citizens embrace the idea of a truly interracial democracy, what I like to call the Beloved Community, a nation at peace with itself.
Civil Rights Leader Senator John Lewis

WSJ:  Will Trump Deliver a Growth Miracle? Don’t Count on It ---
Jensen Comment
We cannot factor out the importance of luck. Some things greatly benefited economic recovery under the Obama years. Certainly the implosion of oil prices gave a huge boost to the USA economy. And the USA faired relatively well while competitors (think Euro Zone) took a nose dive. I think the USA economy benefited when Democratic Party loss of both the House and the Senate along with the GOP takeover of most states in the USA such that the brakes were put of Obama's many hopes for government spending. But many of my friends don't like me to mention this.

Climate change should not be a partisan issue. The well-established physics of the Earth's carbon cycle is neither liberal nor conservative in character ---
David Tetley

Winter is a time of regeneration: we’ll miss it when it’s gone ---
Jensen Comment
In Autumn 2016 weather forecasters where predicting a hard winter for the White Mountains of New Hampshire where I live. My tractor with a snow thrower is just sitting unneeded so far this winter (up to the end of January). I'm thinking about welding a mail box and flower pots to my snow thrower and putting it out front for our rural  mail carrier (Mary).
I used to have to wear snow shoes to get to my barn. This is a picture that I took of my driveway in 2007 when I had to dig down to find our mailbox. We've not seen snow like this for the last three years. Our ski resorts survive only because they can make snow. Two years ago Boston had over 100 inches, but that deep snow did not get this far north that year. Hopefully, we'll get dumped on in February, March, or April. I like deep snow when I even have to shovel my roof.

Sartre versus Campus:  How did the 20th century’s most glamorous intellectual friendship go wrong? ---

How sick can a society get?
Economist Magazine:  The Duma is about to decriminalise wife-beating. Lawmakers say that they are simply defending traditional Russian family values.

The vast diversity of the Women’s March on Washington, in words and photos ---
In terms of diversity the one thing that might be missing are the men and women sitting in church the following Sunday. They also vote!
PS:  Bob Jensen favors abortions, including late-term abortions. But millions of voters do not agree with Bob Jensen

Donald Trump Won Because People Are Tired of Political Correctness ---
Bernie Sanders
Jensen Comment
Don't confuse hate for Trump as a mandate for political correctness in voting booths.

Donald Trump won in part because voters are tired of mainstream media fake news
HuffPo, Time Magazine; Others Claim Trump Removed MLK Bust from Oval Office ---
Jensen Comment
What is true is that Trump asked for return of the Churchill bust that President Obama ceremoniously returned to England when he moved into the White House

George Orwell Explains How “Newspeak” Works, the Official Language of His Totalitarian Dystopia in 1984 ---

Number of times Americans wrote out a check in 2015. Compare that number (17.3 billion) to the 69.5 billion debit card purchases in the same year ---

Remember How Carefully We Considered Obamacare?
Nancy Pelosi (House Majority Leader when Obamacare was legislated)
She later admitted to not reading or understanding much of the bill until after it was passed

Why doesn't a billionaire like Donald Trump fund a generous election fraud whistle blower program?
Bob Jensen suggesting that Trump put his money where his mouth is

China's booming middle class drives Asia's toxic e-waste mountains ---
The China Dream
The Rise of China's Billionaire Tiger Women

12 Million Declassified CIA Documents Now Free Online: Secret Tunnels, UFOs, Psychic Experiments & More ---

The pampering of students as customers, the proliferation of faux "universities," grade inflation, and the power reversal between instructor and student are well-documented, much-lamented academic phenomena. These parts, however, make up a far more dangerous whole: a citizenry unprepared for its duties in the public sphere and mired in the confusion that comes from the indifferent and lazy grazing of cable, talk radio, and the web. Worse, citizens are no longer approaching political participation as a civic duty, but instead are engaging in relentless conflict on social media, taking offense at everything while believing anything.
Tom Nichols in the Chronicle of Higher Education

Even the Feds are Warning that California's Bullet Train Is a Disaster in the Making ---

Rep. Corrine Brown indicted in fraud case over charity 'slush fund' (to support her lavish life style) ---

The Atlantic:  Saturday Night Live Faces Off Against the Trump Presidency
I hope they bring on Madonna.
If I were a Trump supporter (I/m not) I would thank SNL and Madonna for keeping the GOP party gaining on the crazies

Schumer ready to leave Supreme Court seat open ---
Jensen Comment
This is an interesting gamble since one of the most liberal justices is also the most frail in terms of health. It's also an interesting game. Trump can use this strategy to argue for gaining nine more GOP senators in the 2018 mid-term election versus Schumer's confidence that the Democrats will regain the senate in 2018. Also how long can Justice Kennedy take the heat as the swing judge?

Edmund Burke and the Birth of Traditional Conservatism ---

See a picture of Madonna's bared butt
Madonna wears a sheer, butt-exposing outfit to the Met Ball gala to make a “political statement” about women’s rights.

Harvard:  Midsize Cities Are Entrepreneurship’s Real Test
But the visibility of megacities masks the reality that billions do not live in these entrepreneurial epicenters. In fact, midsize cities and their associated regions are where most people live, work, and play, and will continue to do so into the future:
Forecasts tell us that even in 2050 megacities will still number just a few dozen, while thousands of midsize cities (.5 to 5 million people) will house
92% of the world’s urbanites.

Bob Dylan's Nobel Speech ---

As a performer I've played for 50,000 people and I've played for 50 people and I can tell you that it is harder to play for 50 people. 50,000 people have a singular persona, not so with 50. Each person has an individual, separate identity, a world unto themselves. They can perceive things more clearly. Your honesty and how it relates to the depth of your talent is tried. The fact that the Nobel committee is so small is not lost on me.
Bob Dylan

They say that patriotism is the last refuge
To which a scoundrel clings.
Steal a little and they throw you in jail,
Steal a lot and they make you king.
There's only one step down from here, baby,
It's called the land of permanent bliss. 
What's a sweetheart like you doin' in a dump like this?

Bob Dylan

Well, the rifleman’s stalking the sick and the lame
Preacherman seeks the same, who’ll get there first is uncertain
Nightsticks and water cannons, tear gas, padlocks
Molotov cocktails and rocks behind every curtain
False-hearted judges dying in the webs that they spin
Only a matter of time ’til night comes steppin’ in

Bob Dylan

Oh, what did you see, my blue-eyed son
And what did you see, my darling young one
I saw a newborn baby with wild wolves all around it
I saw a highway of diamonds with nobody on it
I saw a black branch with blood that kept drippin'
I saw a room full of men with their hammers a-bleedin'
I saw a white ladder all covered with water
I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken
I saw guns and sharp swords in the hands of young children
And it's a hard, and it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard
It's a hard rain's a-gonna fall

Bob Dylan

Patti Smith Sings Bob Dylan’s “A Hard Rains Gonna Fall” at Nobel Prize Ceremony & Gets a Case of the Nerves ---

Nate Silver ---

The 5:38 Blog
The Real Story Of 2016 What reporters — and lots of data geeks, too — missed about the election, and what they’re still getting wrong ---
by Nate Silver

Jensen Comment
Once again I point out that I voted for Clinton.
Nate Silver's post-election analysis a well thought out piece and certainly not as superficial and naive as the thinking the Russians are primarily to blame for the Trump win. The Russians hacked Clinton's email messages, but damaging messages themselves were real and not fake news.

Having said this, I think Nate Silver misses one major point that I've mentioned several times before. Not once in the above link does he mention the Sanders campaign or the disgruntled Sanders supporters.

In my opinion what would have topped the election in favor of Hillary Clinton should have been the votes of more Sanders supporters for her in the general election. Too many Sanders supporters did not bother to vote after being angry with her after the Democratic primary election. Many were angry with her after she cheated in the debates with Bernie Sanders with the help of an anti-Sanders Democratic National Committee and a cheating CNN that fed her the debate questions in advance. Near the end other revelations of DNC bias against Sanders leaked out before the general election. This turned off many Sanders supporters who, if they bothered to vote in the general election, would've tipped the scales for Hillary Clinton since virtually none of the Sanders supporters would've voted for Donald Trump.

I looked for this reasoning in the Nate Silver piece cited above and found it wanting.

I might note that when he was at the New York Times Nate Silver also made a major 2010 analysis error by predicting that Scott Brown would lose in the Massachusetts race to fill Ted Kennedy's Senate seat. That time he blamed his error on non-stationarity where there was a high proportion of vote switching on election day making voter polls misleading up to election day. However, I view Nate Silver as a first-rate statistician who really is an expert in election and other types of predicting (most notably in sports like baseball). His 5:38 blog that he created after leaving the NYT is very interesting to follow. He and his other blog writers are heavily into sports. In politics the site leans to the left.

Islands of Mass Destruction: How China killed essential reefs and built military bases on top ---

Chronicle of Higher Education:  What's Wrong With Econ 101

Up Up and Away in My New Jersey Tax Balloon
New Jersey’s infamously high property tax bills topped $8,500 per home in 2016, a 2.35 percent increase over the previous year, according to figures released Wednesday by the Department of Community Affairs ---

States with the highest and lowest property taxes ---

Companies Are Losing Shareholder Value by Ignoring or Downplaying Strategic Risks ---

Where did lawyers' campaign contributions go in the 2016 election?

Trump 3% versus Clinton 97%

Jensen Comment
Seems about as lopsided as the campaign contributions of professors and Wall Street (where firms like Goldman Sachs banned employee contributions to Trump)

The DNC Race Has Become Another Fight Over Bernie Sanders When the Dems Need it the Least ---

What's Good for Amazon May Not Be Good for the USA (or the world)
Amazon to Create 100,000 New Jobs in U.S. in Next 18 Months --- Inc. revealed plans to hire more than 100,000 people in the U.S. in the next 18 months, grabbing the spotlight as President-elect Donald Trump pushes companies to employ more Americans.

The staffing up isn’t particularly surprising for a company moving into multiple categories from groceries, hardware and video to fashion and cloud services. But the move could appease Trump, who tangled with Amazon Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos during the election campaign.

“It’s a very powerful headline, and the timing certainly makes Trump look good,” said Ivan Feinseth, an analyst at Tigress Financial Partners LLC. “It’s going to happen in the first year and half of his administration. Bezos couldn’t have set him up any better to look good -- timing is everything.”

Bezos and Trump publicly exchanged hostilities during the presidential campaign, with Bezos joking that he would send Trump to space on one of his rockets and Trump saying that Amazon has a “huge” antitrust problem, and accusing Bezos of using the Washington Post to influence politicians to help Amazon on taxes. After Trump’s victory, Bezos tweeted: “I for one give him my most open mind.”

Bezos was among a group of leading technology industry executives who met with Trump last month in Manhattan to discuss points of concern. Jobs, immigration and China topped the agenda. Since then, several companies -- from IBM to Ford and Alibaba -- have publicly announced hiring sprees, though some of them were re-polishing previously announced intentions. In a call with reporters on Thursday Trump spokesman Sean Spicer said his boss was happy to play a part in Amazon’s decision.

The new positions “are for people all across the country and with all types of experience, education and skill levels -- from engineers and software developers to those seeking entry-level positions and on-the-job training,” Amazon said. The company also said businesses like Marketplace and Amazon Flex will create hundreds of thousands of jobs for people who want the flexibility to be an entrepreneur and set their own schedule.

Feinseth said Amazon’s hiring pledge transcends political optics. “You have a good company hiring people in an area where a lot of tech companies tend to be outsourcing people,” he said. “So it’s very positive, political or not. It’s still 100,000 more people in the U.S.”

Still, in 2015, the most recent year for which numbers are available, Amazon was hiring an average of about 6,400 people a month globally. So it’s a good bet that a big chunk of the announced U.S. recruiting would have happened anyway.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
Killing off the competition and traditional jobs in favor of creating a monopoly with fewer new jobs is not exactly what capitalist theorists will applaud.

This is becoming a real test of what economists call economies of scale that have always bothered capitalist theorists. Many economic theorists contend economies of scale are over-hyped, but in the case of Amazon they seem to be not so over-hyped. One click shopping on Amazon and next day free delivery is really convenient for me and most other Amazon shoppers.

Sometimes the grass is greener on the other side because it's been fertilized with more bullsh*t.

The University of Washington Has a Course Devoted to Bullsh*t ---

Jensen Comment
I wonder whether an A or F looks best for a Bullsh*t Course listed on a resume?

It's probably not much of an honor to have your writings featured in this course. In fact, it might even be libelous.

Do visiting speakers know what they're stepping into?

This adds new meaning to a student's claim: "This was a bullsh*t course"

What if a claim that a piece of research is "bullsh*t" is in itself a "bullsh*t" claim?

Does the professor of this course appreciate the value of "bullsh*t" like farmers appreciate the value of "bullsh*t"?

January 16, 2017 message from Craig Keller

The best example of an egalitarian nation benefiting the poor and middle class was
the USA for the 30 years or so before 1980.   Norway is another example.

Actually Cuba for all its problems is by many measures of what makes a society
better is better off than it was under US domination with Batista.

In 1776 Adam Smith said it best (I paraphrase).  That country that has the highest
rate of profit is fastest going to ruin.  That country with the highest portion of income
to wages prospers. I see nothing in history that makes me doubt his considerable
wisdom and vision.

Markets are efficient when powerless price takers face one another but efficient is
not fair.  In fact it is ruthless and in the hands of powerful price makers markets are
only efficient as a totem that the wealthy place before us to quiet the masses.

Maybe that is why these voters distrust academics, because we are the messengers.
Nothing in accounting offers a counterpoint to the market message, but don't worry
the filthy rich are safe with Trump.

January 16, 2017 reply from Bob Jensen

I hesitate to compare Norway and Kuwait with most nations since nobody knows what they would've become without king oil. These are also very small and relatively non-diverse societies, as is Japan. The best example for a wealthy diverse nation without natural resources is Singapore, but then that's capitalistic.

Even Castro eventually admitted that the Cuban Model is not sustainable. Of course, there are many examples where corrupt dictators were and still are worse than Castro for exploiting the poor, especially nations of Africa that virtually all are in violent revolutions in the 21st Century.

I'm still looking for a realistic example where national takeover of wealth resulted in better living for the poor.

The Nordic nations, including Norway and Denmark, reduced marginal tax rates on high income people over the past 4-5 decades. There must be a reason why none of them went back, including Sweden and Finland, to high marginal tax rates on high income earners.

Denmark is one of the best examples of a somewhat egalitarian society that makes heavy use of cooperatives rather than some for-profit large enterprises. But Denmark is a small and relatively homogeneous society on bicycles that builds virtual "walls" to prevent immigration into the country. It's highly unlikely that the Denmark model can be exported to larger and more diverse nations like the USA, South Africa, India, China, and the rest of Asia where capitalism is on the move with it's resulting billionaires.

I don't know that the USA was ever in history a good example of egalitarianism --- certainly not in terms of tax rates and property ownership. Actually the safety nets and progressive tax rates are better than ever for the poor such that USA's poor are no longer comparable to the poor in Africa and Asia. For example, nearly half of USA "taxpayers" no longer pay an income tax, although they are subject to payroll taxes and sales taxes.

Many of "poor" in the USA supplement reported wages in the $2-trillion underground economy that thrives almost everywhere. However, it thrives best the closer one gets to the southern border. Having lived in San Antonio for 24 years it's evident to me that the underground economy in some industries is bigger than the legitimate economy. My point is that the USA has less income diversity than many other parts of the world because of the underground economy.

Of course the USA has about 25% of the world's known billionaires. But many of those, half of whom are Democrats, strive to provide more opportunities for all people willing to work.

It sickens us when some billionaires live lavish lifestyles. Exhibit A is Michael Jordan's unbelievable yacht. But I don't begrudge him his yacht. He also does good things with his vast wealth and sets a role model for many aspiring folks.

A big problem the USA is having in the 21st Century is separating poverty wars from drug wars. Warring gangs took over large swaths of urban centers like Chicago and LA. This discourages capital investments (public and private) providing opportunities for jobs. Actually life is miserable in subsidized housing in our large cities, but misery in this housing gets confounded by high crime, especially drug dealing, drug addiction, and prostitution. We've lost the war on drugs.

Danish cooperatives in LA and Chicago? Yeah right!

I don't think Adam Smith really understood the meaning of types of poverty than cannot be compared between nations or within a single nation over time. Certainly poverty in the UK today is no longer comparable with the utterly horrid poverty of the UK in Adam Smith's days in the late 1700s.

I'm still looking for an example where national takeover of wealth served to better the poor on a sustainable base. It most certainly is not Cuba. And it most certainly is not any diverse nation without natural resources like oil that can be exploited for elimination of the worst poverty.

Bob Jensen

Finland’s Brain Drain After major budget cuts for universities, Ph.D.s are leaving the country.---

 . . .

“The future seems very bleak,” he said, saying that the “worst” impact of the cuts is that the “best young scholars” are looking for university jobs abroad and some are choosing to leave academia altogether.

Recent figures from Statistics Finland show that the number of Ph.D.-educated Finns who have moved abroad increased by 37 percent between 2011 and 2015.

In 2015, after a weakening of the country’s economy, the Finnish government announced that basic funding to the country’s 15 universities and 26 polytechnics would be reduced by approximately 500 million euros ($533 million) over a four-year term and €100 million ($107 million) of research funding would be cut.

Last year, the University of Helsinki said that it would cut staff numbers by nearly 1,000 by the end of 2017 in order to reduce its budget by €106 million ($113 million) by 2020.

Jukka Corander, biostatistics director at the University of Oslo, who also recently left Helsinki, said that “some central figures” in the Finnish government have sent a “clear message” that they “don’t really appreciate scientists.”

“It felt pretty hopeless to continue doing high-level basic research in Finland,” he said, adding that the “consensus” among senior academics is that the situation in the country amounts to a “catastrophe.”

Corander said that “one major reason” for the funding problem today was the emphasis placed on innovation-led research -- at the expense of basic research -- during the “heyday” of Finnish tech and telecommunications company Nokia between 1990 and 2008, despite the fact that “Nokia built its success on basic research that was around in the 1970s and 1980s.”

The recent cuts mean that basic funding has declined even more, he said.

Petri Koikkalainen, president of the Finnish Union of University Researchers and Teachers, added that brain drain is particularly impacting fields such as the humanities and natural sciences, in which it can be harder to find jobs outside academe.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
Finland is struggling with high unemployment and the costs of being a welfare state with college education and healthcare financed by taxpayers. Worried that high unemployment may be chronic in the robotics age Finland just commenced a limited basic income experiment where selected unemployed people receive a long-term basic income of slightly less than 600 euros per month to reduce labor oversupply. If expanded nationwide this will be somewhat like the Cuban Model without the ration books and caps on maximum daily wages ($27 per day) in Cuba that leads to a lot of daily dominos playing on front porches or participation in a rising underground economy. Since a lot of underground jobs need doing Cuba now tends to turn a blind eye to parts of the underground economy where workers make more than $27 per day.


Castro belatedly admitted that the Cuban Model is not sustainable. Finland is studying whether its new basic income version is sustainable with a serious number of people willing not to work productively in exchange for a low basic income. I envision some unemployed academics accepting low income to do full-time, high-risk research on their own --- a little like but not totally like what we call post-docs in the USA. However, most of the Finns in the current basic income experiment will not be academics. Academics in Finland are more apt to leave the homeland rather than try to live on a low basic income. Most academics in Finland speak several languages.


How Andy Puzder's fast-food industry sticks taxpayers with the cost of supporting its workers ---


. . .


The Berkeley Labor Center painted a different picture of the core fast-food workers, which it defined as someone working 27 weeks a year or more and 10 hours or more per week. Only about one in five of those workers are under the age of 19 and living with a parent; a much larger share, 26% have children of their own. “Overall, 68% of the core front-line workers in the fast-food industry are not in school and are single or married adults with or without children,” the Berkeley researchers found. “For more than two-thirds of these workers, fast-food wages are an essential component of family income.”

That places them squarely in the target population of federal assistance programs, especially Medicaid, food stamps and the earned income tax credit. More than half of the families of frontline fast-food workers are enrolled in one or more public assistance programs, Berkeley says, compared to 25% of the general workforce.

Some economists question whether it’s fair to say that that these programs are boons for low-wage employers. Gary Burtless of the Brooking Institution, for example, argued in 2015 that it’s “flatly wrong” to call them “a handout to Walmart, McDonalds, and other low-wage employers.” Because these programs reduce the number of adults “willing to work for low pay and lousy benefits,” they force employers to pay higher wages to get workers into such jobs — in other words, they’re a cost, not a subsidy. Burtless distinguished programs available only to working individuals, such as the earned  income tax credit and child care subsidies for low-earning parents. These, he said, can force wages downward because they encourage low-wage workers to remain in the workforce

But Ken Jacobs, head of the Berkeley labor center and an author of its minimum wage reports, says those arguments are beside the point. “It’s clearly the case that firms that don’t pay their workers enough to get by are shifting those costs to taxpayers.” Given the evidence that public costs come down when employers raise pay, then “if employers paid better wages, we could spend public funds in more efficient ways.”


Jensen Comment
There are no easy answers here. Finland is experimenting with a "basic income" concept that will pay chronically unemployed people to not work (currently less than 600 euros per month) --- thereby removing them from the workforce supply. Programs like the earned tax credits and child care encourage low income workers in the USA to stay in the work force, thereby adding to an oversupply of unskilled workers in the "legitimate economy." Add to this the USA complications of a $2-trillion underground economy that Finland does not have (at least not to a great extent)  for unemployed workers. Many higher-paid workers in the underground economy in the USA still are receiving many benefits such as food stamps, Medicaid, and housing subsidies. But they're not receiving that EITC cash.


And when low income workers turn to crime it often costs much more for taxpayers to incarcerate them. Finland's prisons are relatively plush without guards and most prisoners go back and forth from prison to home at will. There's some question as to whether the 600 euro basic income may be a better deal for taxpayers than prison costs. It may not be a better deal for prisoners who must pay to live on their own.


One of the huge injustices of a "basic income" concept is the unfairness of it in this era of living together with "significant others." A person trying to live all alone on 600 euros a month (for not working) is not going to live very high on the hog (think fatty pork shoulders and pickled pigs feet). However, when living with a significant other who makes 10,000 euros a month, the living is all the way up to pork tenderloin kabobs and plush apartments while also taking in taxpayer basic income as well.



Third ex-Rhode Island lawmaker in 11 days charged criminally ---

A former Rhode Island state lawmaker has agreed to plead guilty to fraud charges, becoming the third former House member in 11 days to be charged with criminal conduct and prompting the U.S. attorney to decry the state's political culture.

The charges filed against Democrat Ray Gallison in federal court Monday include mail fraud, wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and filing false tax returns. Gallison, an attorney, acknowledged taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from a dead man's estate and other misconduct.

"This says something about our political culture here, which I think should get our attention," U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha said during a news conference announcing the charges and plea deal.

He listed a long string of local and state public officials his office has prosecuted and sent to prison, including former House Speaker Gordon Fox.

"I wish I could say with confidence that we are at the end of the line, and that no other trains will pass this way," Neronha said. "I suspect, however, that there will be more work to do."

 Continued in article








    Finding and Using Health Statistics ---

    Best Medical Schools in the World (2013) ---
    More of the Top 50 are in the USA relative to any other nation.

    World Health Organization ranking of health systems in 2000 ---

    From Our World in Data
    Financing Health Care
    Lots of interesting comparisons here
    Added considerations should be that having insurance with enormous deductibles is like having no insurance for people who cannot afford thousands of dollars in deductibles before the insurance kicks in,"
    Added considerations include having insurance that the major providers (hospitals and doctors) refuse to accept is like having no insurance.

    World Health Organization: World Health Statistics 2015 ---

    Updates from WebMD ---

    Medical Malpractice Lottery for Lawyers or Criminals or Both ---

    Bob Jensen's Threads and Timeline for  Obamacare ---

    Bob Jensen's threads on medicine ---

    Repealing Obamacare Will Kill more than 43,000 People every year ---
    David Himmelstien-Steffie Woodhandler in the Chicago Tribune
    Jensen Comment
    This is enormously hypocritical since in 2017 major Chicago hospitals will not accept patients insured by Obamacare

    News Item Prior to November 8 Election of President Trump
    Major Chicago Hospitals Not In 2017 Obamacare Marketplace Plans -

  • Some of Chicago’s largest hospitals said they will not be part of any Cook County Affordable Care Act marketplace plans in 2017.


    University of Chicago Medical Center and Rush University Medical Center both said they don’t plan to be in network for any Obamacare marketplace plans next year. 



    The change means patients with doctors at those hospitals will either need to find a plan off the marketplace, and lose Obamacare subsides, or find a new doctor.


    Northwestern Memorial Hospital said it will also be out of the marketplace, but will have exceptions for some of its partner hospitals.

    Continued in article

    Radar Chart ---

    Interview With Kaplan and Porter at the Harvard Business School
    Managing healthcare costs and value

    by Kaplan, R. S., M. E. Porter and M. L. Frigo. 2017
    Strategic Finance (January 2017): 24-33.
    Thank you Jim Martin for the heads up

    This article provides the text of an interview with Kaplan and Porter conducted by Mark Frigo. The problem discussed is how to manage the true costs and value of health care.

    The first question Frigo asked is how Kaplan and Porter got together to address the health care issue. Porter mentions his earlier work and the Value-Based Health Care Agenda described in a 2013 article by Porter and Lee (See the related summaries below). Porter called Kaplan in 2010 explaining that health care needed a better way to measure cost. Kaplan responded that time-driven activity-based costing would work well in health care, but he had not found a hospital willing to give it a chance. Porter had connections with some hospitals that were open to implementing a new cost system, and the Kaplan-Porter partnership to build a proper foundation for value-based health care began.

    Frigo's second question: "What are the most important contributions management accountants can make in this area?" Kaplan's response is that management accountants can play a critical role in providing more valid measurements of cost and outcomes and in designing value-based payment models like bundled payments that cover the treatment of a patient's medical condition.

    The third question is related to what tools and approaches are used in the value-based agenda to help health care organizations create greater value. Porter responds that value improvement means better outcomes for patients relative to the costs of achieving those outcomes. The most powerful step is to start measuring outcomes at the patient level for a given medical condition, including the functional status of patients after treatment. A sufficient set of outcomes should be developed and standardized for every major medical condition. The International Consortium for Health Outcomes Measurement has currently published 20 sets of outcomes covering 45% of the disease burden in the U.S.

    The article includes four radar charts that illustrate the value-based framework. I developed two adaptations to show how both outcomes and cost can be presented in a visual way to compare procedures and surgeons. The first chart below, based on data from Scottsdale Healthcare, compares two alternative surgical treatments for obesity. The scale is from 0-100% where 100% is ideal. Cost is plotted as the reciprocal of the cost based on time-driven ABC. It is fairly easy to see from the illustration that sleeve surgery provides better outcomes and cost compared to gastric bypass. Sleeve surgery cost less than gastric bypass, and also involves fewer complications, readmissions, and reoperations.

    Continued in article

    "The Quick and Dirty on Data Visualization," by Nancy Duarte, Harvard Business Review Blog, April 16, 2014 ---

    Bob Jensen's threads on visualization of multivariate data --- 



    Bob Jensen's universal health care messaging ---

    Bob Jensen's Home Page ---