To Accompany the November 15, 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 ---
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?
enemy is fear
We think it's hate
But, it's fear
13 of the (alleged) most famous last words in
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 ---
Tech billionaires Marc Benioff and Jack Dorsey
are clashing over a key law that could seriously impact the San Francisco
homelessness crisis ---
This is not popular among what I think is a majority of wealthy taxpayers. Exhibit A is what happened when Seattle tried the same thing. Jeff Bezos and others made sufficient threats to make Seattle's socialist mayor back down on a soak-the-rich tax. Even worse is when the wealthy won't move their businesses into soak-the-rich cities, and startups choose to start up someplace else.
And if you're landlocked like San Francisco (think the SF Bay) with the highest priced real estate in the USA perhaps you should think about rewarding the homeless to leave rather than move to San Francisco. The same tactic is being used on undocumented immigrants in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Germany where immigrants are paid to leave.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
The Atlantic: The slow, somber end to
the Merkel era
Merkel's Legacy: Refugee Crisis, The
Splintering Of Germany, Brexit ---
MS-13 Reign of Terror: Democrats look
the other way as sanctuary state allows criminal illegals to thrive ---
The unidentified father was leaving the
establishment with his sons when a masked man walked into the Birmingham
fast-food restaurant and started shooting, WBRC-TV reported. The father returned
fire and, during the ensuing shootout, the gunman, the father and one of the
man's teenage sons were struck, according to the station ---
Woman shoots, kills suspected kidnapper during
NorCal police chase, officials say ---
'60s and '70s
radicals get a fresh look in 'Days of Rage'(Flashback!!) ---
SF spends $300,000 to register noncitizen
voters — a whopping 49 sign up ---
Vanity: CNN Lightens the Skin Tone of
Suspected Fake Bomber ---
California Ranks as Poorest State, One of the
Worst for Income Inequality ---
NBC Hid Crucial Information That Would've Cleared Kavanaugh of Rape Allegations ---
Paul Volcker's New Memoir: A Broadside Against his Successors?
Taliban says 5 former detainees who were
exchanged for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl have re-joined its ranks ---
How much energy does bitcoin
A huge problem is that we don't know how many home "factories" there are in the world.
We do know that Iceland is very popular for bitcoins because of cheap geothermal energy.
We don know that the global production of bitcoins is using a massive amount of energy.
America's highways and roads are crumbling —
here are the 10 states that have it the worst
If You Sell a Lot of Oil for the State Revenue Rather Than Impose
Taxation Redistribution (especially read the closing part of this article)
Critics of universal basic income argue giving people money for nothing discourages working — but a study of Alaska's 36-year-old program suggests that's not the case
Note that this article stresses increases in part-time employment, not going to college and trade school to land full-time work. What proportion of state residents did that or become entrepeneurs over 36 years of free money?
Royalties on oil shipments have also helped Alaska to avoid imposing a state income tax, although funding of schools and other services is strained whenever oil prices decline.
Alaska's harsh climate and long days of winter's darkness reduce the magnetic pull new residents seeking free money (and land).
California might be overwhelmed with incoming low-skilled residents with offers of free money and land and low-cost housing.
US worker pay posts biggest gain in a decade
Russia gives Venezuela AK 47 factory and it is now active --- https://www.fort-russ.com/2017/11/russian-weapons-factory-in-venezuela-to/
Chris Farrell discusses his recent trip to
Central America investigating the migrant caravan heading to the United
States–and what the mainstream media is not telling you about it ---
Why Bad Economics Makes Such Good Politics ---
Forget About The Candidates. What Else Was On
The Ballot in November 2018?
Angela Merkel failed, and history won't judge
her kindly for it ---
The US Air Force still can't explain why it
spent $1,280 on a coffee cup ---
How three countries are creating the roadmap
to a cashless society ---
Mapping Student Debt --- https://mappingstudentdebt.org/#/map-1-an-introduction
Dartmouth prof: 'If we don't abolish capitalism, capitalism will abolish us' ---
I think he's an adjunct in gender studies and not on a tenure track. I doubt that this is the position of most (all?) Dartmouth's economics and finance professors, even those that lean to the left.
A more serious threat comes from Rep. Maxine Waters, oft investigated for ethics violations, who stands a good chance of becoming Chair of the House Finance Committee. She threatens to take down Wall Street and insurance companies and redistribute the wealth of America ---
Carbon Tax ---
MIT: USA will never vote for a carbon tax, so let’s stop asking ---
Remember that corporations do not end up paying taxes, Business customers like you and me end up paying for the taxes imposed on businesses.
As His Final Move in Office, Jeff Sessions
Limits Use of Court Settlements to Reform Rotten Police Departments ---
Midterm Voters Punished Anti-Kavanaugh Democrats
What's the enormous difference between Illinois and Indiana?
Answer: The edge of bankruptcy versus a balanced budget
Indiana’s balanced budget amendment, championed by Mike Pence, easily passes ---
Bob Woodward Takes Swipe at CNN: 'More Serious
Reporting' Is the Answer, Not a Lawsuit ---
Hamas Just Launched More Than 300 Rockets Into
Israel, International Community is Silent ---
What's the United Nations doing about this?
Top Economics Blogs ---
How to Mislead With Statistics: Don't Move to Norway Just Yet
Review: The Mismeasure of Nations: A Review Essay ---
For example, college is free in Norway but college is only available to about a third of the prospects. Most cannot get into the universities. ---
November 13, 2018 reply from Tom Amlie
On a related note, given the dogged determination with which some people try to use the "Nordic Model" as evidence of the desirability of "Democratic Socialism" (obviously an overused, misused, and poorly defined term; perhaps "heavily interventionist" is better), the following is interesting. (From IEA)
FBI and DOJ Updates: Department of Justice News on Crime and Frauds
(including tax frauds) ---
The DOJ in October 2018 is launching a new site on hate crimes
Elon Musk says there's a 'good chance' Ford doesn't survive the next
This is a reckless claim that Musk would not explain after he made the comment. It should be noted that, unlike GM and Chrysler, Ford required no government bailout funding in the 2007 major recession. It's not at all clear why Musk singled out Ford. Ford ranks fourth in world production, slightly under GM that ranks third after being bailed out ---
It could be Musk's fear factor since Ford may partner with Volkswagen to
manufacture electric cars. Ford does lag badly in current electric vehicle
sales, but the electric vehicle sales market worldwide is still miniscule. In
the USA less than 200,000 electric vehicles of all makes were sold amongst the
17.5 million highway vehicle sales in the USA ---
Tesla barely made the Top Five in 2017 electric vehicle sales and lacks the
capital and capacity to compete, in my opinion, when the major car manufactures
get serious about the current miniscule electric vehicle market ---
2017 Electric Vehicle Sales By Manufacturer
- BYD Group
- General Motors
- Other manufacturers
I find the unsupported claim about Ford disgusting from the Tesla CEO that's survived from the beginning on a huge taxpayer subsidy for each Tesla vehicle sold.
The Big Insult: Will technical disciplines grant tenure to minority college faculty who can't teach in those disciplines?
Political correctness/tokenism in hiring: Can't fund a minority Veterinary
Medicine professor? Don't make minority Veterinary Medicine professors teach
Hoping to increase faculty diversity, UC Davis is holding eight open searches focused on candidates' contributions to diversity, instead of narrow disciplinary expertise ---
The University of California, Davis, is launching a pilot hiring program that eliminates the requirement -- typical in department searches -- that candidates have a specific disciplinary specialty.
Davis says the research-backed approach will help it increase faculty diversity.
“Part of having a diverse student body poised for success is having a diverse faculty,” said Philip H. Kass, vice provost for academic affairs. "Part of having intellectual leadership in research and scholarship is having a diverse faculty. Part of bringing students of color into graduate school and academic careers is having a diverse faculty.”
Davis is funding the program with some $422,000 of a $7 million University of California System-wide investment in faculty diversity, in addition to existing campus funds.
The eight school- and college-wide searches that make up the pilot program will, in the university’s words, “cast a broad net and reach out to candidates who are contributing to enhancing diversity and inclusive environments through their research, teaching and service.”
The idea is that a diverse search will lead to a diverse candidate pool. Instead of a focusing on a particular disciplinary expertise, search teams will look for candidates with proven commitments to diversity, equity and inclusion among underrepresented groups, namely black, Latino, Chicano and Native American applicants.
Statements of contributions to diversity already are mandatory for faculty applicants across the California system, but search committees will put greater emphasis on these statements in selecting candidates for interviews. Individual search committees will decide just how to evaluate the documents and other evidence of commitment to diversity, however.
Finalists will be assigned faculty members to serve as confidential advisers and may ask one who has no role in the selection process questions about campus life and climate.
Hires will get up to $12,500 for hiring their own students, traveling or writing workshops, and enrollment in the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity’s program for research productivity and work-life balance.
Participating programs are the Colleges of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Biological Sciences, and Engineering, along with the Graduate School of Management and the Schools of Education, Law, Medicine and Veterinary Medicine.
Deans of all these colleges expressed interest in the program, according to Davis. The College of Letters and Science was participating in a different diversity grant proposal, and the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing received similar campus funding for a new faculty member last year.
Search committees will soon be formed, with the goal of hiring these new professors by July. Davis will pay up to $85,000 toward the salary of each hire. Individual schools or colleges will be responsible for pay above that, and the professors’ entire salaries after five years.
Asked if he had any concerns about these hires upsetting the balance of departments’ disciplinary specialties, Kass said no, as these eight searches will happen alongside 45 traditional faculty searches at the participating programs.
Continued in article
What is unclear in the article is the granting of tenure. Will specialty disciplines grant tenure to professors who can't teach those specialties? It's like certifying pilots who've never flown an aircraft.
Is this really insulting tokenism to minorities rather than legitimate affirmative action?
Relative to New York State, New Hampshire is a lousy place for tax
accountants and lawyers to make a living ---
Ethereum --- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethereum
A cryptocurrency millionaire is buying up land in Nevada’s desert to build
a utopian village run on Ethereum — here are the design plans ---
Bob Jensen's threads on health care ---
On November 22, 2009 CBS Sixty Minutes aired a
video featuring how hospitals and nursing homes rip off the government using
dying patients ---
"The Cost of Dying," CBS Sixty Minutes Video, November 22, 2009 ---
Bob Jensen's Fraud Updates --- http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm
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/