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To Accompany the July 26, 2018 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
Human Population Over Time on Earth ---
State Income Taxes Ranked From Highest to Lowest
The Federal budget for 2017 ---
Note that even before the 2018 corporate tax cuts the corporate income tax has been a shrinking part of the Federal budget of the most recent decades. I've long been an advocate of replacing it with a VAT tax but liberals and conservatives alike hate that idea.
Medicare and Medicaid are the least sustainable entitlements predicted for the future.
Interest on government debt is a huge worry since foreign interests (think China and the oil-rich nations of the Middle East) own so much of it with the threat that one day these large investors will stop rolling over their investments in USA debt.
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/
In 2018 Foreigners (think Asia and the Middle East) May Be Losing Interest in USA Treasuries ---
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 ---
enemy is fear
We think it's hate
But, it's fear
Here are the Ten Best Pieces of Advice from
2018 Commencement Speakers ---
The Best Advice from 2018's Celebrity
Commencement Speakers ---
Countries With the Highest Household
Wealth on Average ---
California Evidence: What Happens
When States Decide to Really, Really Soak the Rich With Taxes ---
This overlooks other tactics taken by the rich. For example, portfolios of very people are heavy into tax exempt bonds which may have to be municipal bonds issued in the state of residence in order to be exempt from state income taxes. More commonly, rich people invest for capital gains that are not taxed until realized (think common stocks and art work). Really rich people use off shore tax havens that reduce both federal and state taxes. In other words it's very difficult to soak the rich with taxes if they are astute enough to defer or avoid those taxes. And sometimes they move to more tax-friendly states like the nine states states that have no general state income tax ---
However, it appears that only a small proportion of really rich folks in California headed for Nevada, Texas, Florida, or some other state having no income tax. In part this is due to the many magnets that hold people to their long-time homes such as nearness to family and close friends and jobs. More important is the impact of high taxes that prevent many wealthy people from moving/retiring into California. California also has another barrier to inflows --- the astronomical price of real estate. You have to be really, really, really rich to consider buying even a modest home in San Francisco or other parts of the Silicon Valley. When high real estate prices combine with high upper tax rates you really don't need to build a physical wall at the border to keep rich people from moving into a state like California. And some rich folks don't like the fact that la la land politicians control all branches of government in cities, counties, and the entire la la state of California.
Eight Science Quotations from Commencement
Sometimes the grass is greener on
the other side because it's been fertilized with more bullshit.
The Lucretius Problem is a mental defect where
we assume the worst case event that has happened is the worst case event that
can happen ---
The worst form of inequality is to try to make
unequal things equal.
How many times have we heard ‘free
tuition,’ ‘free health care,’ and free you-name-it? If a particular good or
service is truly free, we can have as much of it as we want without the
sacrifice of other goods or services. Take a ‘free’ library; is it really free?
The answer is no. Had the library not been built, that $50 million could have
purchased something else. That something else sacrificed is the cost of the
library. While users of the library might pay a zero price, zero price and free
are not one and the same. So when politicians talk about providing something
free, ask them to identify the beneficent Santa Claus or tooth fairy.
Every great cause begins as a movement,
becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.
The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal
sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of
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.
In honor of his centennial, the Top 10 Feynman
Thomas Sowell (controversial
conservative black economist) ---
The 30 Best Thomas Sowell Quotes ---
Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters.
Even conversations that are not politically correct.
That government is best which governs the least,
because its people discipline themselves.
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
And many writers have imagined for themselves
republics and principalities that have never been seen or known to exist in
reality; for there is such a gap between how one lives and how one ought to live
that anyone who abandons what is done for what ought to be done learns his ruin
rather than his preservation: for a man who wishes to profess goodness at all
times will come to ruin among so many who are not good.
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
You can get a lot farther with a smile and a
gun than you can with just a smile.
Speak softly and carry a big stick, and you
will go far.
Watch Your Feet and Your Back
in Beautiful San Francisco: The complainant’s 2-year-old son invented a
game called “jumping over the poop.” Another child collects syringe caps and
floats them down the gutter for fun ---
It's deja vous all over again
|BDS is an abbreviation for the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions campaign targeting the Jewish state. Two new German intelligence reports concluded that boycotts of Israel are antisemitic and resemble Hitler’s “Don't buy from Jews!" campaign ---
The (London) Times: Donald Trump tells
us truths we don't want to hear ---
EU-Japan free trade agreement defies
If the Trump/Putin Press Conference Shocked
You, You're Not Paying Attention ---
Why Chicago’s reported progress on pensions
and finances is fake ---
Germany Just Agreed To Essentially Close Its
Borders. How Did We Get Here? Rigid work restrictions forced hundreds of
thousands of people to sit in camps, in limbo, living on taxpayer money ---
Planet Fitness bans woman for objecting to
sharing locker room with ‘transgender’ man ---
How to Lie With Statistics
Fake Poverty Data from the European Commission and New York Times ---
Thank you Dennis Huber for the Heads Up
Sacha Cohen's Attempt to Pull a Fast One on a Gun Store
Went Down in Flames ---
Media Trainwreck: Yeah, About That Picture Of The
Alleged Russian Spy In The Oval Office...It's Not Her ---
THE LARGEST MEGACITIES BY 2100 ---
These counts have wide (actually very very, wide) margins of error.
Oregon Anti-Sanctuary Initiative Qualifies for
Nov Ballot ---
England Knife, Gun, Rape Attacks and Homicide
Continue Rapid Rise ---
Why is no one TALKING about the $400 million dollars
Russia gave to Hillary Clinton's Campaign? ---
Angela Merkel Defends Trump's Planned (second)
Meeting With Putin ---
And no, Nancy Pelosi did not claim Trump has something on Merkel.
Of Course: NFL Suspends National Anthem Rules
Due to Objections From Players ---
And "of course" a whole lot more war veterans, police officials, and fire fighters won't be watching NFL games this season to spite the kneeling players. The ACLU might even give players hand-held flags to spit on or set on fire.
Tax Laws Are Holding Back California’s Housing
James Comey warns Democrats against socialism:
'Please, please don't lose your minds' ---
Former Obama aide to Comey: 'No one is asking for your advice' ---
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella's master plan is
clearly working, and the company is soaring towards $1 trillion ---
Not a free article online
How much you need to earn to live in the most expensive zip code in every state ---
The Myth of Clean Solar/Battery Energy
Energy storage has a dirty secret. The way it’s typically used in the US today, it enables more fossil-fueled energy and higher carbon emissions. Emissions are higher today than they would have been if no storage had ever been deployed in the US ---
Finance watchdog: Bill on Illinois Governor
Rauner’s desk could let local governments kick debt can (cash accounting shunned
in the private sector) ---
States’ financial grades are in, and Illinois
has failed yet again ---
What’s blockchain technology, and why are states hesitant to adopt it? ---
Yield Curve Inversion ---
Imminent yield curve inversion 'real possibility': Fed's Bullard ---
Gov. CuomoÂ’s parole board has truly lost it.
After springing two notorious cop-killers and a gunman who killed a Bronx
prosecutor this year, it is now set to release a serial baby-killing mom.
Marybeth Tinning, 75, who was convicted of murdering her 4-month-old daughter,
admitted smothering three of her other kids and is suspected of killing yet
another five, could be freed from prison by next month after parole members gave
her a get-out-of-jail-free card in July. ---
President Trump’s approval rating jumped up to 45
percent, the highest it has been throughout his presidency, according to a new
poll released by the Wall Street Journal and NBC. The poll left an MSNBC panel
shocked Sunday night by the improvement ---
Reminds me of adoring parents of a spoiled brat who can do no wrong in their eyes.
How dirty politics and attacking Israel
worsened South Africa’s dangerous water-shortage crisis ---
Time Magazine: Pakistan's Transgender Candidates Step
Onto the Political Stage ---
Should Universities Sever Ties With ICE?
What a great idea for reducing funding to higher education.
Republicans now have historic majorities in state legislatures. That's a really big deal ---
After the 2016 election Democrats only control 13 statehouses ---
Whoa: Ninth Circuit Rules We Have A
Constitutional Right To Open Carry For Self-Defense ---
Trump administration takes on unions over
‘skimming’ Medicaid funds ---
Stossel: Cuba's National Assembly
approved a draft of a new constitution that recognizes a right to own private
Late in his life Fidel Castro himself admitted that the Cuban Model of free housing, education, medical care, transportation, food, etc. was not working for such reasons as people no longer wanted to work very hard if they worked at all.
Homeless Crisis: The USA in North America is Not Alone
Vancouver: Before-and-after photos show how a major city’s homelessness crisis can spiral out of control ---
Taxes on corporations are plummeting
across the globe as countries struggle to keep up with multinational firms
shifting their profits to foreign tax havens, economists say in a new paper ---
The Internal Revenue Service won a court
case closely watched by technology companies, as an appeals court upheld a
regulation governing how corporations divide expenses between their domestic and
foreign operations ---
The Government Accounting Standards Board
supposedly is supposed to promulgate accounting local and state government
accounting standards in the interests and risk bearing of investors (think muni
bonds) and taxpayers, but GASB has faced criticism over the years for aligning
too closely with the interests of local governments. rather than investors
RateMyProfessors: What Happens in the Classroom No
Longer Stays in the Classroom. What Does That Mean for Teaching?
The numeric scores of professors on RateMyProfessors are misleading for a number of reasons, but most of all they are misleading because respondents are self selecting --- not anything close to a random sample. Secondly, the number of respondents in nearly all cases is a miniscule proportion of the number of students in a course. Contrary to naive opinion, respondents are more likely to be complimentary rather than critical, but there are many exceptions as well. I study RateMyProfessors quite a lot, because I find it so interesting. I ignore the numbers and focus on the subjective comments. Often they are very humorous without being vindictive --- cute comments about dress, mannerisms, etc. Often they are informative about such things as when an instructor is frequently and obviously not prepared to teach a class.
I'm opposed to the RateMyProfessors site and wish it would go away for one
reason --- RateMyProfessor and more respectable student evaluations administered
by colleges are, in my opinion, the major cause of disgraceful grade inflation
across the entire USA. Whereas median grades before the 1950s were in the C to
C+ range those medians gradually rose to the A- range as teaching evaluations
became crucial to performance evaluations, salary, and granting of tenure ---
The RateMyProfessors site added grade inflation pain to misery by making teaching reputations more public to the outside world. If you study RateMyProfessors site very carefully you will find that that the most popular teachers in the USA are rated as easy graders, although the courses themselves are not always rated as easy. Of course this is only my opinion after having spent considerable time over the years amusing myself on the RateMyProfessors site.
In my opinion, colleges should continue to administer course evaluation systems.
But the evaluations themselves should only be reported privately to the
professors for their own courses. These evaluations should not be shared with
performance evaluation committees and administrators
unless some other controls are put into place to control grade inflation.
For example, limits should be placed on the proportions of A and B grades in
courses having more than 20 students (with some exceptions for advanced
courses). Without such controls the entire USA is a Lake Wobegon where all
students are above average ---
Trade Balance --- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balance_of_trade (note that China and the USA are opposing outliers)
Trump's looming auto trade battle is staggeringly pointless — but there's a
good chance he'll win it ---
China's trade surplus was US$28.9 billion (for the month of
the back of a 12.6 per cent rise in China’s exports to the United States before
Trump's tariffs kicked in ---
What would happen if all countries eliminated their tariffs (free trade)? (presumably preferred by President Trump although this is not entirely clear for all industries since destroying some industries is political suicide)
Aside from military-induced tariffs, the primary political argument for tariffs is to save jobs and industries (such as saving Japan's inefficient labor-intensive rice farms) ---
One somewhat surprising gift to Trump is the way other countries (think Brazil and Egypt) reacted to China's increased soybean tariffs was to pick up the demand and price for USA soybeans.
Because the political stakes are so high with trade wars (pitting industries against one another) there's a massive amount of fake news as trade wars heat up!
USA Today: Trade wars are damaging, so why is Trump
fighting one with China?
EU-Japan free trade agreement defies
Question for Students
What makes such a free trade agreement more difficult for USA-EU or USA-Japan?
Hint 1: USA low export prices of agricultural products like rice, corn, and soybeans are huge stumbling blocks for nations trying to protect their own farmers (such as Japan's rice farmers)
Hint 2: USA low export prices on automobiles have been stumbling blocks for European nations trying to protect automobile manufacturers, although recently the EU lowered import duties on automobiles
Protectionism works both ways in politics and makes free trade agreements very difficult to negotiate such as the recent EU-Japan agreement
Education Week's Report on Pre-K:
Are the Effects (on academic achievement) of State Funded Pre-K Overrated?
There are just too many confounding variables affecting both short-term and long-term academic achievement. There are also other benefits of "free" Pre-K such as financial savings for working parents.
How Your State Funds Welfare and Where It Goes ---
01. Vermont (highest welfare spending state per capita)
> Total 2015 state welfare spending: $2,761 per capita ($1.73 billion)
> Medical payments as share of state welfare spending: 82.5% (11th lowest)
> State welfare spending from federal funds: 64.7% (21st highest)
> Population 65 and over: 18.2% (4th highest)
> State tax collections per capita: $4,861 (2nd highest)
> Total 2015 state welfare spending: $2,721 per capita ($18.49 billion)
> Medical payments as share of state welfare spending: 92.6% (5th highest)
> State welfare spending from federal funds: 50.2% (5th lowest)
> Population 65 and over: 15.8% (24th highest)
> State tax collections per capita: $3,976 (7th highest)
. . .
> Total 2015 state welfare spending: $1,152 per capita ($11.77 billion)
> Medical payments as share of state welfare spending: 90.3% (16th highest)
> State welfare spending from federal funds: 54.2% (15th lowest)
> Population 65 and over: 13.2% (4th lowest)
> State tax collections per capita: $1,931 (5th lowest)
50. Utah (lowest welfare spending state per capita)
> Total 2015 state welfare spending: $1,076 per capita ($3.22 billion)
> Medical payments as share of state welfare spending: 79.6% (5th lowest)
> State welfare spending from federal funds: 74.9% (10th highest)
> Population 65 and over: 10.5% (2nd lowest)
> State tax collections per capita: $2,237 (13th lowest)
Interestingly, Georgia has a relatively high proportion of minorities and is second lowest in terms of welfare spending per capita.
Vermont has a relatively low proportion of minorities and is highest in terms of welfare per capita.
Utah has a relatively low proportion of minorities and has the lowest spending per capita for welfare.
Clearly, many factors are at work here other than minority presence.
Which states are facing the biggest budgetary crises?
James Comey warns Democrats against socialism: 'Please, please
don't lose your minds' ---
Former Obama aide to Comey: 'No one is asking for your advice' ---
What The Rise Of Kamala Harris Tells Us About The Democratic Party
Politics Podcast: The Far Left And The Democratic Party ---
Ocasio-Cortez: Workers of the World Unite to Destroy Capitalism and the USA
with Unlimited Immigration, Free Education, free Food, Housing, Medical
Treatment, free Medicines, free Transportation and free Everything Else ---
She's young and naive (ignorant) and cannot point to one nation where socialism has not failed. She preaches utopia without understanding the economics of utopia and the ravages of government corruption under socialism. I might add that the relatively small (in terms of population) Nordic countries are capitalist and not socialist. These nations provide models of how capitalism can work somewhat justly. Never in history has there been a successful attempt at socialism or communism.
Sen. Scott Debunks Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Warren's Jobs Claims With Actual BLS
Actually a lot more have two jobs with one of the jobs being in the $2 trillion underground economy commonly used to avoid taxes for employers and employees. For example, a hotel maid might clean houses on off hours.
After 2016 the Democratic Party lost control of the USA Presidency and Congress. Democrats control only 13 statehouses. A 2018 and 2020 platform of open borders, destruction of ICE, equalization of income, and huge tax increases for the wealthy and upper middle class probably won't win back the rust best and rest of "central" USA to the Democratic Party. The radical left has to tone down it's radicalism to regain power in the state and federal legislatures.
How to Mislead With Statistics:
Here's how wealthy the average family is in 35 countries around the world ---
I'll leave it up to you to count the ways this ranking can be misleading. For openers think of living costs such as how much does it cost to hire a house cleaner, and yard service for 40 hours to 24/7 hours per week in each of these countries, e.g., Switzerland versus Mexico. Then there are the many taxation differences such as property taxes, income taxes, VAT taxes, etc. Then there are enormous differences in real estate prices. world class health care, etc.
Then there's kurtosis affected by outliers in mean calculations (think of poverty in Mexico versus Switzerland and the USA).
How much you need to earn to live in the most expensive zip code in every
Some universities sit in these "most expensive zip code" locales. Can you identify the universities?
Note that only one such zip code was allowed for each state in these rankings. If the top 50 zip codes in the USA were ranked some states would not make it due to some states like California and New York would have lots of them.
More Reviews Of Stephen Presser's Book On Law Professors ---
Following up on my previous post, Stephen Presser's Love Letter To Law Professors: 'We Are All Multicultural Progressives Now' (reviewing Stephen B. Presser (Northwestern), Law Professors: Three Centuries of Shaping American Law (West 2017)):
Scott Douglas Gerber (Ohio Northern), Book Review, 67 J. Legal Educ. 635 (2018):
Law professor Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz quipped at a Federalist Society conference on intellectual diversity in the legal academy that his leftist colleagues at Georgetown felt that three conservatives on a law faculty of 120 was “plenty—and perhaps even one or two too many.”
Regrettably, Georgetown may be the rule rather than the exception in the culture war in American legal education. A number of the same leftist law professors who teach students in their First Amendment classes about the evils of “viewpoint discrimination” practice it. Many of the same institutions that tout tenure as a way to encourage free thought censor it by not allowing conservative and libertarian faculty candidates who think freely to get in the door. I once suggested on the ConLawProf group email list that law schools need to hire more conservative and libertarian candidates (with “more” meaning, at a minimum, at least one). The reaction? One law professor posted that I was “nuts” to suggest such a thing. As a British friend joked, “It is not yet criminal to be a conservative lawyer in America, but it is certainly unconstitutional.” Clearly, as I see it, the vast majority of America’s law schools have no interest whatsoever in the type of diversity they should value most: intellectual diversity.
Stephen B. Presser, the Raoul Berger Professor of Legal History Emeritus at Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law and a scholar who has been called by the Liberty Fund’s Library of Law and Liberty “the most conservative law professor in America associated with a major law school,” is profoundly concerned about the consequences of what I regard as the Kulturkampf in American legal education. Presser’s new book, Law Professors: Three Centuries of Shaping American Law, provides the intellectual history of how America’s law schools have been transformed from what should be their raison d’être—teaching students about the law—to, in my opinion, political action committees for the Democratic Party. ...
I have only one significant criticism of Presser’s terrific book about the history of the law professoriate: He understates the seriousness of the left’s Kulturkampf. Several examples come quickly to mind.
To return for a moment to the topic that opened this review—the law faculty hiring process—jobs are frequently set aside for minorities and women, and conservative and libertarian white males need not apply, or so it seems. I have heard of faculty searches at various law schools in which a member of the faculty or administration has stated that his or her law school has an open position, but that the position must (not “could”) be filled by a minority or a woman. In fact, the faculty hiring process has gotten so out of hand that one law school did not immediately disqualify a minority candidate who recently had failed the bar examination. (You read that correctly: a law professor who failed the bar exam.) Another note of concern is this: Race and gender are used much more aggressively in faculty hiring than in student admissions—and that is saying something—in large part because there are far fewer faculty positions available than there are admissions slots. One law school with which I am familiar was criticized by both the ABA and the AALS for not hiring enough minority faculty, even though that law school had (i) invited every minority faculty candidate listed in the AALS faculty recruitment registry to interview with the law school at the hiring conference in Washington, D.C., (ii) asked every minority faculty candidate who interviewed with the law school in D.C. to fly back to campus, all expenses paid, to interview further, and (iii) offered a job to every minority faculty candidate who accepted the invitation to visit the campus. In short, the law school could do little else to try to recruit minority faculty candidates—and what it did was illegal—but that still was not good enough for the accrediting bodies. ...
Continued in artidcle
The Decline of Scholarly Diversity
At Stanford Law School, no more than three of approximately 110 full-time faculty publicly identify as conservative or libertarian. (By way of contrast, Stanford Law School touts on its webpage 23 full-time faculty under the inartful rubric of “minority.”) As a consequence, many of my classmates will graduate having never engaged with a law professor whose worldview and convictions track those of nearly half the voting public.
Report: Harvard Faculty Supports Democrats a Whopping 96% of the Time --- Click Here
"How California's Colleges Indoctrinate Students: A new report on the UC system documents the plague of politicized classrooms. The problem is national in scope," by Peter Berkowitz at Stanford University, The Wall Street Journal, March 30, 2012 ---
Not Even One Conservative for Tokenism: Duke is for Democrats and so is
the University of Iowa
The University of Iowa's history department and Duke's history department have a couple of things in common. Both have made national news because neither has a Republican faculty member. And both rejected the application of Mark Moyar, a highly qualified historian and a Republican, for a faculty appointment. Moyar graduated first in the history department at Harvard; his revised senior thesis was published as a book and sold more copies than an average history professor ever sells. After earning a Ph.D. from Cambridge University in England, he published his dissertation as "Triumph Forsaken: The Vietnam War, 1954-1965" with Cambridge University Press, which has received even more attention and praise. Moyar's views of Vietnam are controversial and have garnered scorn and abuse from liberal historians, including the department chair at the University of Iowa, Colin Gordon. Moyar revealed on his resume that he is a member of the National Association of Scholars, a group generally to the right of the normal academic organization. Gordon and his colleagues at Iowa were undoubtedly aware of Moyar's conservative leaning and historical view. Moyar is undoubtedly qualified. He is unquestionably diverse; his views are antithetical to many of the Iowa professors' views. Yet the Iowa department hired someone who had neither received degrees from institutions similar to Cambridge and Harvard nor published a book despite having completed graduate school eight years earlier (history scholars are expected to publish books within approximately six years of finishing their doctorates). In the Iowa history department there are 27 Democrats and zero Republicans. The Iowa hiring guidelines mandate that search committees "assess ways the applicants will bring rich experiences, diverse backgrounds and ideology to the university community." After seeking a freedom of information disclosure, Moyar learned that the Iowa history department had, in fact, not complied with the hiring manual. It seemed that Moyar was rejected for his political and historical stands. Maybe it was an unlikely aberration. But Moyar told the Duke College Republicans earlier this fall that he is skeptical because an application of his a few years ago at Duke for a history professorship progressed in much the same way it proceeded in Iowa.
The Duke Chronicle, November 1, 2007 --- Click Here
"The Liberal Skew in Higher Education," by Richard Posner, The Becker-Posner Blog, December 30, 2007 --- http://www.becker-posner-blog.com/
It is no secret that professors at American colleges and universities are much more liberal on average than the American people as a whole. A recent paper by two sociology professors contains a useful history of scholarship on the issue and, more important, reports the results of the most careful survey yet conducted of the ideology of American academics. See Neal Gross and Solon Simmons, “The Social and Political Views of American Professors,” Sept. 24, 2007, available at http://www.wjh.harvard.edu/~ngross/lounsbery_9-25.pdf (visited Dec. 29. 2007); and for a useful summary, with comments, including some by Larry Summers, see “The Liberal (and Moderating) Professoriate,” Inside Higher Ed, Oct. 8, 2007, available at www.insidehighered.com/news/2007/10/08/politics (visited Dec. 29. 2007).) More than 1,400 full-time professors at a wide variety of institutions of higher education, including community colleges, responded to the survey, representing a 51 percent response rate; and analysis of non-responders indicates that the responders were not a biased sample of the professors surveyed.
In the sample as a whole, 44 percent of professors are liberal, 46 percent moderate or centrist, and only 9 percent conservative. (These are self-descriptions.) The corresponding figures for the American population as a whole, according to public opinion polls, are 18 percent, 49 percent, and 33 percent, suggesting that professors are on average more than twice as liberal, and only half as conservative, as the average American. There are interesting differences within the professoriat, however. The most liberal disciplines are the humanities and the social sciences; only 6 percent of the social-science professors and 15 percent of the humanities professors in the survey voted for Bush in 2004. In contrast, business, medicine and other health sciences, and engineering are much less liberal, and the natural sciences somewhat less so, but they are still more liberal than the nation as a whole; only 32 percent of the business professors voted for Bush--though 52 percent of the health-sciences professors did. In the entire sample, 78 percent voted for Kerry and only 20 percent for Bush.
. . .
My last point is what might be called the institutionalization of liberal skew by virtue of affirmative action in college admissions. Affirmative action brings in its train political correctness, sensitivity training, multiculturalism, and other attitudes or practices that make a college an uncongenial environment for many conservatives.
"The Liberal Skew in Higher Education," by Nobel Laureate Gary Becker, The Becker-Posner Blog, December 30, 2007 --- http://www.becker-posner-blog.com/
The study by Gross and Simmons discussed by Posner in part confirms what has been found in earlier studies about the greater liberalism of American professors than of the American population as a whole. Their study goes further than previous ones by having an apparently representative sample of professors in all types of colleges and universities, and by giving nuanced and detailed information about attitudes and voting of professors by field of expertise, age, gender, type of college or university, and other useful characteristics. I will try to add to Posner's valuable discussion by concentrating on the effects on academic political attitudes of events in the world, and of their fields of specialization. I also consider whether college teachers have long-lasting influences on the views of their students.
. . .
Given the indisputable evidence that professors are liberal, how much influence does that have on the long run attitudes of college students? This is especially relevant since some of the most liberal academic disciplines, like the social sciences and English, have close contact with younger undergraduates. The evidence strongly indicates that whatever the short-term effects of college teachers on the opinions of their students, the long run influence appears to be modest. For example, college graduates, like the rest of the voting population, split their voting evenly between Bush and Kerry. The influence of high incomes (college graduates earn on average much more than others), the more conservative family backgrounds of the typical college student (but less conservative for students at elite colleges), and other life experiences far dominate the mainly forgotten influence of their college teachers.
This evidence does not mean that the liberal bias of professors is of no concern, but rather that professors are much less important in influencing opinions than they like to believe, or then is apparently believed by the many critics on the right of the liberality of professors.
Bob Jensen's threads on health coverage are at
Trump administration takes on unions over ‘skimming’ Medicaid
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/