In 2017 my Website was migrated to
the clouds and reduced in size.
Hence some links below are broken.
One thing to try if a “www” link is broken is to substitute “faculty” for “www”
For example a broken link http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Pictures.htm
can be changed to corrected link http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/Pictures.htm
However in some cases files had to be removed to reduce the size of my Website
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you really need to file that is missing
To Accompany the October 31, 2017 edition of Tidbits
Bob Jensen at Trinity University
USA Debt Clock --- http://www.usdebtclock.org/ ubl
In September 2017 the USA National Debt exceeded $20 trillion for the first time
How Your Federal Tax Dollars are Spent ---
To Whom Does the USA Federal Government Owe Money (the booked
obligation of $20+ trillion) ---
The US Debt Clock in Real Time --- http://www.usdebtclock.org/
Remember the Jane Fonda Movie called "Rollover" --- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rollover_(film)
One worry is that nations holding trillions of dollars invested in USA debt are dependent upon sales of oil and gas to sustain those investments.
To Whom Does the USA Federal Government Owe Money (the
unbooked obligation of $100 trillion and unknown more in contracted
The biggest worry of the entitlements obligations is enormous obligation for the future under the Medicare and Medicaid programs that are now deemed totally unsustainable ---
How Americans Get Health Insurance ---
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.
Only those who
will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.
is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.
Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters.
Even conversations that are not politically correct.
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)
It's hard to beat a person who never gives up.
Historic Home Run Hitter
What's sad is to witness what Syria has become because nobody will give up.
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.
We must be willing to get rid of the
life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.
If everyone is thinking alike, then
somebody isn't thinking.
George S. Patton
If you don't know where you're going, you might
not get there.
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
But Kurz’s move to close
the gates of Europe came with some painful drawbacks. Tens of thousands of
migrants, mostly from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan,
stranded in squalid camps in northern Greece once the
borders toward Western Europe were shut. It was a major blow to E.U. morale. “If
these tactics will go on, this will set a fire to the base of the Union,”
Dimitris Vitsas, the Greek Defense Ministry official who was in charge of
dealing with the fallout from the border closures,
told me at the time.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have
apologized to local military leaders for demonstrating during the national
anthem in London last month. Jaguars President Mark Lamping sent a letter to the
director of military affairs and veterans in Jacksonville saying the team was
”remiss in not fully comprehending the effect of the national anthem
demonstration on foreign soil has had on the men and women who have or continue
to serve our country.
The sincerity of the "apology" is questioned ---
Ann Arbor City Council
Members Kneel for the USA Pledge of Allegiance
But none are turning back Federal dollars for residents. Maybe this is more of lack of allegiance to the Ann Arbor City Police who work for the City Council.
Why We Need to Save the Consumer
Financial Protection Bureau ---
Team Obama's Stunning
Coverup of Russian Crimes ---
Birth control should be
available over the counter ---
Just half of
Massachusetts students meet MCAS test expectations ---
Russian National and Three Others Charged in Kickback Scheme to Obtain Contracts
to Transport Russian Nuclear Fuel to the U.S
How much substance is there in student political debates?
Or are they more like lemmings following liberal leaders over a cliff?
VIDEO: Students love Trump's tax plan...when told it's Bernie's ---
Bill Gates will invest
more than $1 billion in public schools — but he'll have to learn from Mark
Zuckerberg's mistake ---
Unions and Government Bureaucracy Squandered Zuckerberg's Gifts --- much of it going for rewarding mediocre or bad teachers
Criticized for Lack of Black Students ---
Departments Have a Race Problem ---
Gov. Roy Cooper (D-N.C.)
signed an executive order Thursday that forces businesses throughout North
Carolina to allow men to use women’s restrooms – as well as permit women in
A math education professor at the
University of Illinois argued in a newly published book that algebraic and
geometry skills perpetuate “unearned privilege” among whites. Rochelle
Gutierrez, a professor at the University of Illinois, made the claim in a new
anthology for math teachers, arguing that teachers must be aware of the
“politics that mathematics brings” in society.
A promising new kind of battery is
based on sodium, not lithium ---
Nature: We can fight climate
change. We can try to end poverty. But doing both at the same time may, sadly,
prove almost impossible
Transparent California released
data showing that more than 62,000 retired California public workers earn at
least six figures in annual retirement benefits (some as high as a million per
Many are fraudulent.
Americans Feel They Are Victims of Discrimination, a New Poll Shows ---
The IRS Scandal, Day
1630: The Real Scandal Is The IRS's Budget ---
take-up has expanded substantially in the past twenty years in the United States
while shrinking in Canada ---
fraudulent disability payments wins karate competition ---
'We Do Not Tolerate
Discrimination.' American Airlines CEO Responds to NAACP Warning for Black
The price of
promises made: What New York City should do about its $95 billion OPEB
(post-employment) debt ---
This is Exhibit A for entitlement promises made that burden unborn future generations.
How optimistic math
conceals depth of America’s public pension crisis ---
The very liberal Website
called Vox throws Hillary Clinton under the bus ---
Harvard: The Rise of
Behavioral Economics and Its Influence on Organizations ---
Appeal for More Dumb Cops
The City of New London contends that police applicants who score too high on a pre-employment test are likely to become bored in patrol jobs, and leave the force soon after the city has paid to train them ---
Senator Elizabeth Warren
cut off Allison Stanger when the Middlebury College professor was trying to
explain a disagreement between her institution's departments of political
science and of sociology and anthropology over Charles A. Murray’s planned
appearance on the campus. Said Senator Warren: “I appreciate this, but in a
limited amount of time, getting into interdepartmental rivalries in the academic
world, I would actually prefer to spend our time on the Middle East
because it will be easier to solve.”
Chronicle of Higher Education Newsletter on October 27, 2017
How President Trump is
Succeeding Where FDR Failed ---
MIT: Tesla is building an
electric semi truck that it plans to unveil next month. But there’s a problem:
lithium-ion batteries are too heavy and expensive to help a single truck haul
loads over long distances. Now, Carnegie Mellon University researchers have
shown that driving trucks fender-to-fender could (just) make such
electrification economically viable.
How safe are railroads on the highways?
Hedge against the US Retirement Crisis ---
The Wall Street Journal’s
editorial board called Thursday for FBI Special Counsel Robert Mueller to step
down from his role in investigating alleged Russian interference in the 2016
election, saying that he lacks the “critical distance” to analyze recent
revelations about the FBI’s role in the saga ---
De Blasio Donor
Testifies, Reveals Multiple Instances of NYC Corruption ---
Jeff Bezos is the World's
Richest Man ---
Almost All Jobs Created
Since 2005 Are Temporary
Survey research conducted by economists Lawrence Katz of Harvard University and Alan Krueger at Princeton University shows that from 2005 to 2015, the proportion of Americans workers engaged in what they refer to as “alternative work” jumped from 10.7% to 15.8%. Alternative work is characterized by being temporary or unsteady—such as work as an independent contractor or through a temporary help agency. ---
This makes me wonder if the classic partition of labor as "fixed" versus "variable" in cost accounting is incomplete in terms of needing new partitionings of "temporary" versus "permanent." But then "permanent" might not be the correct term for any job. Perhaps "temporary" is more of an analog variable in terms of possible duration.
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?
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
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
Hear Bob Dylan’s Newly-Released Nobel Lecture: A Meditation on Music, Literature
& Lyrics ---
Patti Smith Sings Bob Dylan’s “A Hard Rains Gonna Fall” at
Nobel Prize Ceremony & Gets a Case of the Nerves ---
Who Pays USA Taxes?
USA Debt Clock --- http://www.usdebtclock.org/ ubl
The Depth of Hate on Campus ---
One has to wonder at the success of the Russian efforts with tens of millions of dollars to divide the races and politics on campuses, legislatures, and the media in the USA
Washington Post: How Putin’s Russia uses Soviet-era tricks to evoke
racist white (and black) fears ----
Also see this report ---
Will this the the best set of Russian "tricks" ever to divide the melting pot of the USA?
I'd like to think of kneeling as an appeal that these "tricks" fail.
The World Once Laughed at North Korean Cyberpower. No More
by DAVID E. SANGER, DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK and NICOLE PERLROTH
The New York Times
When North Korean hackers tried to steal $1 billion from the New York Federal Reserve last year, only a spelling error stopped them. They were digitally looting an account of the Bangladesh Central Bank, when bankers grew suspicious about a withdrawal request that had misspelled “foundation” as “fandation.”
Even so, Kim Jong-un’s minions still got away with $81 million in that heist.
Then only sheer luck enabled a 22-year-old British hacker to defuse the biggest North Korean cyberattack to date, a ransomware attack last May that failed to generate much cash but brought down hundreds of thousands of computers across dozens of countries — and briefly crippled Britain’s National Health Service.
Their track record is mixed, but North Korea’s army of more than 6,000 hackers is undeniably persistent, and undeniably improving, according to American and British security officials who have traced these attacks and others back to the North.
Amid all the attention on Pyongyang’s progress in developing a nuclear weapon capable of striking the continental United States, the North Koreans have also quietly developed a cyberprogram that is stealing hundreds of millions of dollars and proving capable of unleashing global havoc.
Unlike its weapons tests, which have led to international sanctions, the North’s cyberstrikes have faced almost no pushback or punishment, even as the regime is already using its hacking capabilities for actual attacks against its adversaries in the West.
Continued in article
We have to wonder how much of the North Korean cyberpower is rooted in China and Russia.
Thomas Piketti --- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Piketty
The One Percent Across Two Centuries: Piketty Presents
Misleading Picture Of The Dynamics Of Wealth Inequality In The United States
This exercise reproduces and assesses the historical time-series on the top shares of the wealth distribution for the United States presented by Thomas Piketty in Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Piketty’s best-selling book has gained as much attention for its extensive presentation of detailed historical statistics on inequality as for its bold and provocative predictions about the continuing rise in inequality in the twenty-first century. Those predictions were derived and justified by reference to the historical data, so it is helpful to assess the robustness of the historical evidence presented. Here I examine only Piketty’s U.S. data for the period 1810 to 2010 for the top ten percent and the top one percent of the wealth distribution. I conclude that Piketty’s data for the wealth share of the top ten percent for the period 1870-1970 are unreliable. The values he reported are manufactured from the observations for the top one percent inflated by a constant 36 percentage points. Piketty’s data for the top one percent of the distribution for the nineteenth century (1810-1910) are also unreliable. They are based on a single mid-century observation that provides no guidance about the antebellum trend and only very tenuous information about trends in inequality during the Gilded Age. The values Piketty reported for the twentieth-century (1910-2010) are based on more solid ground, but have the disadvantage of muting the marked rise of inequality during the Roaring Twenties and the decline associated with the Great Depression. The reversal of the decline in inequality during the 1960s and 1970s and subsequent sharp rise in the 1980s is hidden by a fifteen-year straight-line interpolation. This neglect of the shorter-run changes is unfortunate because it makes it difficult to discern the impact of policy changes (income and estate tax rates) and shifts in the structure and performance of the economy (depression, inflation, executive compensation) on changes in wealth inequality.
Continued in article
A revised version of the paper is published as follows:
Richard Sutch (UC-Riverside), The One Percent Across Two Centuries: A Replication of Thomas Piketty's Data on the Concentration of Wealth in the United States, 41 Soc. Sci. Hist. 587 (2017)
2018 Business Tax Climate: Chilliest In Blue States, Warmest In Red States
Here are the ten states with the best and worst business tax climates:
I think this is an example of how to mislead somewhat with statistics. For instance New York looks pretty bad in the above table. And yet New York makes some very competitive, albeit temporary, business tax relief deals for new businesses (and their employees). Of course other states also have relief deals combined with other incentives.
Also the total tax environment should be considered rather than just "business taxes." For example, along the border with Vermont and Massachusetts New Hampshire has some impressive retail outlets for big ticket items like tires and computers. It's not so much that the business taxes are lower in New Hampshire as it is that retail customers don't have to pay sales taxes on items purchased. The Wal-Mart store closest to me has an enormous parking lot that often has more vehicles with green Vermont plates than white New Hampshire plates. Wal-Mart did not build any stores just inside the Vermont border. One definition of New Hampshire is that it's a state where Vermont shoppers come to avoid sales taxation. It's quite common for our medical doctors to have moved their practices from Vermont and Massachusetts due to savings on personal income taxes. Exhibit A is my ophthalmologist who relocated here from Vermont. Exhibit B is my wife's pain management physician.
My point is that "business taxes" are only a small part of a much larger tax and employment and customer environment for businesses and employees. Wyoming may have the best "business tax" climate because it's pretty lousy on many other pieces of the business location puzzle. States Ranked 41-50 above are very competitive in the total picture of attracting and keeping businesses. Note that the state closest to bankruptcy (Illinois) is in neither the top 10 nor the bottom ten in terms of business taxation. It is a state notorious for corruption with three recent Illinois governors having been shipped off to prison.
Something like 43 states are now competing for the new Amazon headquarters. It's virtually certain that none of states ranked 1-10 in terms of business taxes will win the Amazon location prize. Some of the states ranked 41-50 have a good shot at winning the prize. My point is that business taxes can be overrated in terms of affecting business location choices.
New Hampshire is a blue state in the table above mostly because it allows people from Vermont and Massachusetts to vote in New Hampshire as well as their home states.
House Leaders Face State-and-Local Storm to Begin Tax (Reform) Debate ---
The states with the highest state taxes (think New York, California, and New Jersey) have the most to lose if those taxes cannot lead to some relief on federal tax returns. The issue is more than just the taxes themselves. When these taxes and some other deductions such as health care are no longer deductible items those items that are still deductible (such as charitable contributions and mortgage interest) may not be enough to justify making any itemized deductions. This, in turn, could badly hurt charities and home building at a time when there's a huge shortage of lower priced homes. Seniors with enormous health care bills (think nursing care for dementia and frailty) will see their tax bills soar.
Another thing to think about is how many states peg their state income taxes to Federal tax returns. This means that those people getting tax savings in Federal taxes will also be paying lower state taxes in states on already on the edge in terms of budget deficits.
One thing is clear. The GOP will not block vote in favor of Trump's proposed tax reform.
Bob Jensen's health care messaging --- http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/Health.htm
Democrats: Are You Sure
You Want Medicare (plus universal "free" nursing care) for All?
If done well it will cost more than the entire USA Federal budget with exploding future inflation expenses.
Without those reimbursements, (medical) insurers
lose money. States have taken a variety of approaches to allow them to recoup
the costs and keep them from running for the hills ---
Bob Jensen's threads on health coverage are at
Tidbits Archives ---
Jensen's Pictures and Stories
Summary of Major Accounting Scandals --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accounting_scandals
Bob Jensen's threads on such scandals:
Bob Jensen's threads on audit firm litigation and negligence ---
Current and past editions of my
newsletter called Fraud Updates ---
Enron --- http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudEnron.htm
Rotten to the Core --- http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudRotten.htm
American History of Fraud --- http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudAmericanHistory.htm
Bob Jensen's fraud
Bob Jensen's threads on
auditor professionalism and independence are at
Bob Jensen's threads on
corporate governance are at
Against Validity Challenges in Plato's Cave ---
· With a Rejoinder from the 2010 Senior Editor of The Accounting Review (TAR), Steven J. Kachelmeier
· With Replies in Appendix 4 to Professor Kachemeier by Professors Jagdish Gangolly and Paul Williams
· With Added Conjectures in Appendix 1 as to Why the Profession of Accountancy Ignores TAR
· With Suggestions in Appendix 2 for Incorporating Accounting Research into Undergraduate Accounting Courses
Against Validity Challenges in Plato's Cave ---
By Bob Jensen
wrong in accounting/accountics research? ---
The Sad State of Accountancy Doctoral Programs That Do Not Appeal to Most
AN ANALYSIS OF THE EVOLUTION OF RESEARCH CONTRIBUTIONS BY THE ACCOUNTING REVIEW:
Bob Jensen's threads on accounting theory
Systemic problems of accountancy (especially the vegetable nutrition paradox)
that probably will never be solved
Bob Jensen's economic crisis messaging http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/2008Bailout.htm
Bob Jensen's threads --- http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/threads.htm
Bob Jensen's Home Page --- http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/