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Tidbits Political Quotations
To Accompany the September 14, 2018 edition of Tidbits          
Bob Jensen at
Trinity University

USA Debt Clock --- 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 ---

Jensen Comment
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 --- 
In 2018 Foreigners (think Asia and the Middle East) May Be Losing Interest in USA Treasuries ---
Remember the Jane Fonda Movie called "Rollover" ---
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 entitlements) ---
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 ---

This is an interesting 2017 graph of the USA's trading partner performances ---
It's easy to get distracted my big amounts, but look at the imbalances of trade with nations like Japan, Germany, Italy, Ireland, and Switzerland. Add to this what we spend helping to defend nations like Japan, Canada, Germany, and Italy?

The enemy is fear
We think it's hate
But, it's fear



13 of the (alleged) most famous last words in history ---


Here are the Ten Best Pieces of Advice from 2018 Commencement Speakers ---
Click Here


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 ---
Jensen Comment
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 Speeches


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.


The Economic Ignorance of Bernie Sanders ---


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.
Walter Williams


Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.
Eric Hoffer.


The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.
Winston Churchill


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

In honor of his centennial, the Top 10 Feynman quotations ---

Thomas Sowell (controversial conservative black economist) ---
The 30 Best Thomas Sowell Quotes ---

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

That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves.
Thomas Jefferson

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.

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


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.

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

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.
Niccolo Machiavelli

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

You can get a lot farther with a smile and a gun than you can with just a smile.
Al Capone

The New York Times reporter who called Melania Trump a “hooker” turns out to be Carl Bernstein’s son ---

Foreign collusion in US elections did not start with Trump — it is as American as apple pie ---


Russia Offers Sanctuary for 15000 Christian White South African Farmers ---

Microsoft is requiring its suppliers to provide paid parental leave ---
Jensen Comment
Why is this much easier for Microsoft than Tesla?
Hint:  Think of where  lithium and cobalt suppliers are located?

Research Shows Mysterious attacks on US embassy staffers in Cuba, China came from microwave weapon ---

The Atlantic:  One million Muslims are being held right now in Chinese internment camps, according to estimates cited by the UN and U.S. officials ---

Viking Cruise Lines bans children, says their clients want kid-free vacations ---
Jensen Question
Would this be legal in the USA when we do have "senior living" residence complexes?

Betsy DeVos’ Critics Botch Basic Facts About New Title IX Rules ---

The Atlantic:Reining In the Excesses of Title IX ---

Identity Politics ---
End of History Author Francis Fukuyama Thinks Leftist Identity Politics Helped Create Trump ---

Alexa ---
Does Amazon' Alexa have a liberal bias?

What would socialist Americal look like?

Why did Cuba abandon its socialist/communist dream of equality for everybody?
The Guardian:  This was the egalitarian dream of Cuba in the 1960s: For years in Cuba, jobs as varied as farm workers and doctors only had a difference in their wages of the equivalent of a few US dollars a month. 
Jensen Comment
Only now is Cuba backtracking from its egalitarian dream by uncapping wages and legalizing profits while liberals in the USA want to return again to the 1960s Cuban dream.

But is Denmark socialist? …Denmark doesn’t at all fit the classic definition of socialism, which involves government ownership of the means of production. It is, instead, social-democratic: a market economy where the downsides of capitalism are mitigated by government action, including a very strong social safety net. …The simple fact is that there is far more misery in America than there needs to be. Every other advanced country has universal health care and a much stronger social safety net than we do.
Paul Krugman
Jensen Comment
What Krugman does not mention is that Denmark is mostly a homogeneous (white) nation of less than 6 million people. It's much more difficult and expensive to afford and maintain a similar safety net with over 300 million highly diverse people located on top of a very porous border with thousands trying to sneak in daily to enjoy the safety nets.

Welfare Leads to Slower Growth in the Nordic Nations ---

The Swedish Welfare State Leads to Poor Immigrant Assimilation ---

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif said Sunday that the Iranian government has worked closely with billionaire George Soros' Open Society Foundations (OSF) organization ---
Does Soros have a long-range goal of annihilating Israel?

Former Secretary of State John Kerry said former President Barack Obama should have followed through on his infamous "red line" warning to Syria, and the United States "paid a price" as a result of Obama's inaction ---
Jensen Question
Wasn't John Carry Obama's Secretary of State at the time? What was Kerry's role in the "inaction?"

“This Is Unfortunate”: The Starr Report, Celebrating Its 20th Anniversary, Was the Prologue to the Trump Age ---

Watch the Colin Kaepernick Nike Ad That Will Run During the NFL Season Opener ---
Click Here
Kaspernick's "Cops are Pigs" socks are not featured in the ad.

A group of Jacksonville Jaguars players did consider participating in a protest during the national anthem in support of San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick, at least until Kaepernick wore socks with pictures of pigs dressed as police officers ---

Police union tells officers to return their Miami Dolphins tickets for refunds ---

LeBron James and Serena Williams have shown their support for Nike's polarising Colin Kaepernick ad campaign ---
Will they also support a promotion for six pairs of free "Cops are Pigs" socks with each new pair of Nike tennis shoes if stores should promote such a deal?

Colin Kaepernick, who has nearly 1.3 million followers on Instagram and 755,000 Twitter followers, deleted and then apologized Tuesday for a social media post that trivialized the deadly floods in the Houston area, much of Texas and Oklahoma ---
Did he ever apologize for claiming "Cops are Pigs?"

Colin Kaepernick Is GQ's 2017 Citizen of the Year ---

The currency of the world's 7th biggest economy, India, is plummeting, and it could get worse from here ---

South Africa leads in mining, food production and critical infrastructure, such as power production and railroading, in southern Africa. But it's going the same way as Zimbabwe, spelling disaster for the entire southern part of Africa ---
Walter Williams
Jensen Comment
There's still time since most of the worries (other than a change in the constitution allowing confiscation of land for no compensation) are not yet happening on a major scale. But the risk of instability and race war in South Africa is very high. This compounds the current problem of a disastrous drought.

Russia Offers Sanctuary for 15000 Christian White South African Farmers ---

Source in Bob Woodward's New Book About Trump White House Claims He Was Misquoted ---

Deconstruction ---
Francis Fukuyama's dalliance with deconstruction. He studied with de Man, Derrida, and Barthes. Any memories? "I decided it was total bullshit"

Unbecoming Example Set by a Professional Athlete
Mets third baseman Todd Frazier fooled an umpire into believing he secured an out in foul territory using a ball he found in the stands ---
Jensen Comment
This may be a good video clip to use in an ethics class

Labour has failed to investigate more than 200 anti-Semitism complaints against Jeremy Corbyn ---

The Woodward Book Comes for Jim Mattis ---
A veteran Washington journalist describes the defense secretary as avoiding confrontation and showing respect. But the rest of the book may have blown up that strategy.

Vox:  Trump’s White House says wages are rising more than liberals think:  The White House is probably right ---

Illinois is better off bankrupt ---

Kleiman: Low-End Regressivity ---

Not Satire:  Academic research "shows milk is a symbol of and tool for white (and male) dominance and superiority" ---
Jensen Question
Should we protest by replacing a child's diet with caffeine-free BLACK coffee?

A Boston police captain's son, who authorities called a "committed soldier" of the Islamic State group, was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Wednesday for plotting to use assault rifles and homemade bombs to kill Americans on a college campus ---

Governments Default on Debt More than You Think ---

Nazis Were Not Marxists, but They Were Socialists ---

Cryptocurrency ---
Risks and returns of cryptocurrencies ---

Secular Stagnation Theory ---
Don’t Get Into a Knife Fight with Larry Summers ---
Larry Summers is not happy with Joseph Stiglitz’s piece The Myth of Secular Stagnation

Government Medical Research Spending Favors Women ---

The Atlantic:  The Divided Legacy of Lyndon B. Johnson ---

New York Times opinion writer and economist Paul Krugman predicted early Wednesday morning that the stock market will “never” recover from Donald Trump’s presidential victory, only to be proven spectacularly wrong in less than a day. Instead of collapsing, the Dow Jones Industrial Average surged to an all-time high shortly before the closing bell.

NYT:  The Empty Storefronts of New York ---

Cryptocurrency ---
A glimpse into the dark underbelly of cryptocurrency markets ---

Medical school cancels honor society because whites and Asians were earning better grades than blacks and Latinos ---

Harvard Professor: Merit-based admissions "reproduce inequality" ---

Jocelyn Bell Burnell, a Northern Irish astrophysicist who discovered radio pulsars in 1967, when she was a graduate student at the University of Cambridge, was snubbed when her male collaborators received the Nobel Prize in physics in 1974 for that work. She was recently awarded a Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics for her discovery, and has announced that she’s donating the nearly $3 million award to fund female, underrepresented minority and refugee students become physics researchers, BBC News reported ---

In Sweden, Europe’s Drift to the Right Continues ---’s-drift-right-continues


Aided by the fallout of Europe’s refugee crisis and a wave of violent crime, the Sweden Democrats have amplified their nationalistic message. While issues like education, healthcare, climate change, and taxes played a central role in the election, the Sweden Democrats kept immigration in the spotlight, arguing that the high influx of migrants endangered the future of the country’s welfare state. Jimmie Ĺkesson, the party’s well-coiffed leader, called for halting virtually all immigration, restricting family reunification, speeding up deportations, and cracking down on the recent crime wave, which has been partly linked to immigrant gangs. Such rhetoric broke political taboos in Sweden.

The enemy is fear
We think it's hate
But, it's fear



Overdevelopment:  How the West Was Lost ---

The Most Honest Book About Climate Change Yet

Sleeping With the Enemy
Many lawmakers and aides who crafted financial regulations after the 2008 crisis now work for Wall Street ---
Look closely at the party affiliations of those who went to Wall Street for big bucks

Empty Seats Plague NFL Stadiums in Week One of Season ---
Sunday night TV football (Paciers vs. Bears) was also down

China is reportedly burning bibles and making Christians renounce their faith to ensure total loyalty to the Communist Party ---

How to Prosecute the Anonymous NYT Op-ed Writer ---

Puerto Rico's Recovery After Hurricane Maria: Who is Responsible? ---

Obama Endorses Medicare for All ($3-$5 Trillion Per Year in Taxes) ---

The Great Cryptocurrency Crash of 2018 ---

Social Security, food stamps, and other programs kept 44 million people out of poverty last year ---

Who says that public sector accounting is more transparent than private sector accounting?
Why is public employee disability claim data being kept secret? ---


The Atlantic:  "Medicare for All" is a Fantasy

. . .

To understand why medical care in the U.S. is so obscenely expensive, look first to Medicare’s role in propping up underperforming hospitals, which invariably warp the way they practice medicine to capture as much Medicare reimbursement money as they can. The conceit of Medicare for All is that by centralizing health expenditures in a single agency, or at least in a vastly expanded public-insurance program, the government will be in a position to dictate terms to these greedy hospitals. The trouble is that hospitals wield a great deal of power in democratic politics, not least because they employ large numbers of awfully sympathetic people. There are the generously-compensated hotshot doctors, yes, but of course many of them are people who might never recoup the enormous investment, in tuition and in foregone opportunities, they’ve made in their training. And that’s not to speak of the legions of nurses, orderlies, custodians, and others who make hospitals hum with life. It is one thing to say you’re going to leverage Medicare for All’s big population of beneficiaries to slash overall health expenditures. It is quite another to be the lawmaker who will be accused, fairly or otherwise, of voting for mass layoffs of blue-collar workers who have devoted their lives to helping others.  

Just about every maddening aspect of how Medicare reimburses hospitals began as an earnest attempt to solve some discrete problem. The sum total of these supposed solutions has left us with an awful mess. Medicare for All is, to my mind, a Year Zero fantasy—it’s all about wiping the slate clean and starting over again, with institutions borrowed from some supposedly more enlightened society. But there is no such thing as Year Zero in a democracy, whether capitalist or socialist. The history of how we got to our present shambles will continue to shape, and deform, our health sector.

Instead of indulging the Year Zero fantasy, we ought to focus insurance subsidies on those who need them most and, just as importantly, shift from provider policies that do little more than shield hospitals from much-needed competition to ensuring that all Americans have the emergency and safety-net services they need. This will likely mean a heavier government hand when it comes to delivering emergency care and a lighter touch with respect to elective-care services, where more vigorous competition could redound to the benefit of the highest-performing hospitals while, over time, helping to contain costs. And how would we get politically powerful medical providers to acquiesce? It’s simple: Warn them that if they don’t, they’ll soon wind up with Medicare for All.

Jensen Comment
Naive voters eager to bring on "Medicare for All" probably don't know a whole lot about Medicare itself today. Firstly, they are probably not aware that Medicare provides only 80% of the funding for patients and that all claims processing are outsourced to for-profit business firms. Medicare is not a government operation in terms of claims processing, services provided by for-profit doctors and hospitals, and medication manufacture and dispensing. "Medicare-for-All" would be an enormous boon for the business sector at the unbelievable expense to taxpayers.

Secondly, when Bernie Sanders asserts that Medicare for All would only cost $32 trillion in the first ten years he's being very vague about medical coverage. For example, currently Medicare pays nothing toward long-term nursing care. Nursing care patients have to first consume all of their savings/wealth and then, if necessary, go on Medicaid. Sanders is vague as to whether patients on Medicare-for-All rather than Medicaid would only get 80% coverage of their medical bills. He's even more vague on whether they would get medication coverage that requires Medicare patients currently to pay extra for limited Medicare D coverage. For example, I'm currently in the infamous "donut hole" where my Medicare D pays almost nothing for my current prescriptions.

My point is that if Sanders adds to Medicare for All the coverage on 100% of medical bills, long-term nursing care, and all medication costs the cost of Medicare is more likely to jump to over $60 trillion rather than the puny $30+ trillion that Bernie Sanders is bandying about.

Medicare for All is a political gimmick rather than intended reality.

GALLUP:  These are the most and least biased news outlets in the US, according to Americans ---
Outcomes vary somewhat for Republicans Versus Democrats

+31 PBS News (least biased in spite of what I think is an obviously biased Judy Woodruff who is offset somewhat by frequent conservative guest David Brooks from the New York Times)

+23 Associated Press (right or left angles depend heavily upon individual reporters)

+12 NPR (public funding means having to include a few conservative segments)

+10 The Wall Street Journal (once accused of being two newspapers --- the opinion page versus the rest of the newspaper)

+05 Tie between USA Today and CBS News

+04 ABC News

-07 Tie between The Washington Post and NBC News

-11 The New York Times (where David Brooks is overwhelmed)

-11 Vox

-22 Mother Jones

-27 CNN

-32 HuffPost


-51 Tie between Brietbart and Fox News

Jensen Comment
The leading newspapers (based on circulation subscriptions) without TV programs are more apt to be respected the most by college graduates, especially those with advanced degrees. These leading newspapers are propped up heavily by billionaires like Jeff Bezos, Rupert Murdock, and Carlos Slim. We should be grateful that these billionaires enable those newspapers to pay the salaries of so many reporters around the world in an era where revenues from advertising are falling off.

Of course all news outlets rely heavily on the Associated Press reporters. The news outlets cherry pick what AP stories they publish or broadcast.

Newspapers of large USA cities are apt to be more biased than the newspapers included in the above Gallup survey, newspapers like the Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, etc. However, Newspapers like the Chicago Tribune are great for muckraking fraud investigations (think of the wonderful city hall crime investigations records  of the Chicago Tribune and Detroit Free Press in this regard).

How to Mislead With Statistics
How median household income has changed (allegedly very little),-yet-inequality-worsens

But Much depends on how "household income" is defined
Vox:  Trump’s White House says wages are rising more than liberals think:  The White House is probably right ---



Bob Jensen's Tidbits Archives --- 

Bob Jensen's Pictures and Stories

Summary of Major 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 ---

Rotten to the Core ---

American History of Fraud ---

Bob Jensen's fraud conclusions ---

Bob Jensen's threads on auditor professionalism and independence are at

Bob Jensen's threads on corporate governance are at 


Shielding 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

Shielding Against Validity Challenges in Plato's Cave  ---
By Bob Jensen

What went wrong in accounting/accountics research?  ---

The Sad State of Accountancy Doctoral Programs That Do Not Appeal to Most Accountants ---


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

Bob Jensen's threads ---

Bob Jensen's Home Page ---