Tidbits Political Quotations
To Accompany the January 17, 2019 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 ---

Wikiquote from Wikipedia --- https://www.wikiquote.org/


Corruption in general has a deleterious effect on the readiness of economic agents to invest. In the long run, it leads to a paralysis of economic life. But very often it is not that economic agents themselves have had the bad experience of being cheated and ruined, they just know that in this country, or in this part of the economy, or this building scene, there is a high likelihood that you will get cheated and that free riders can get away with it. Here again, reputation is absolutely essential, which is why transparency is so important. Trust can only be engendered by transparency. It's no coincidence that the name of the most influential non-governmental organization dealing with corruption is Transparency International.
A Conversation with Karl Sigmund:  When Rule of Law is Not Working

Mortgage Backed Securities are like boxes of chocolates. Criminals on Wall Street and one particular U.S. Congressional Committee stole a few chocolates from the boxes and replaced them with turds. Their criminal buddies at Standard & Poors rated these boxes AAA Investment Grade chocolates. These boxes were then sold all over the world to investors. Eventually somebody bites into a turd and discovers the crime. Suddenly nobody trusts American chocolates anymore worldwide. Hank Paulson now wants the American taxpayers to buy up and hold all these boxes of turd-infested chocolates for $700 billion dollars until the market for turds returns to normal. Meanwhile, Hank's buddies, the Wall Street criminals who stole all the good chocolates are not being investigated, arrested, or indicted. Momma always said: '"Sniff the chocolates first Forrest." Things generally don't pass the smell test if they came from Wall Street or from Washington DC.
Forrest Gump as quoted at http://newsgroups.derkeiler.com/Archive/Rec/rec.sport.tennis/2008-10/msg02206.html

Gallup: Americans Say No. 1 Problem is 'Government,' No. 2 is 'Immigration' ---


The Atlantic:  The Swiftly Closing Borders of Europe ---

Italian Minister tells NGO Italy doesn’t want migrants: “Our ports are closed!” ---

The Guardian:  Denmark approves plan to send foreign criminals to tiny island ---
Papillon starring Steve McQueen ---


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



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


19 unforgettable quotes from legendary Marine Gen. Jim 'Mad Dog' Mattis, who quit as Trump's defense secretary ---


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 ---


Tech billionaires Marc Benioff and Jack Dorsey are clashing over a key law that could seriously impact the San Francisco homelessness crisis ---
Jensen Comment
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 ---
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) --- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Sowell
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

I learned long ago never to wrestle with a pig. ... You get dirty and besides the pig likes it ---
George Bernard Shaw

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

21 quotes from self-made billionaires that will change your outlook on money ---

The latest caravan is costing Tijuana so much per day, Mexico may indeed build a wall --- on its southern border
Bob Jensen 

Defense Secretaries come and go. Obama had four of them in 8 years who had some unkind things to say about his leadership or lack of it ---

Commercial whaling will be allowed in Japan again for the first time in 30 years ---

Quantitative Easing --- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantitative_easing
The ECB’s Quantitative Easing Was a Failure — Here Is What It Actually Did ---

Jerusalem Post:  Challenging Ocasio-Cortez’s ‘Sephardi’ claims ---

Chicago Women’s March Events Canceled Under Shadow of National anti-Semitism Controversy ---

Minnesota Campaign Finance Board opened a formal investigation of her after reviewing evidence of several violations. Rep. Ilhan Omar has also made, and defended, anti-Semitic comments as direct and vicious as any spoken by a U.S. politician in a generation ---

Cash-strapped Cuba plans fresh austerity measures and will pressure the sluggish bureaucracy to tighten its belt and cut red tape to address weak growth, falling export earnings and rising debt. ---

Ohio Legislature Defeats Kasich’s Veto On Gun-Owner Rights Bill ---

Sweden’s Parallel Society: Mass Immigration Without Assimilation ---

Shanghai’s stock index ends 2018 as the world’s biggest loser as trade war ---

Australia swelters in record-breaking heatwave ---

The Deprivation of Socialism in the Soviet Union ---

Liberal Democracy and Its Reinventors ---

The US dollar’s unexpected strength stands out in the market wreckage of 2018 ---
Jensen Comment
Employment was not exactly a "wreckage." We may look back at 2018 with envy.

Amazon dominated retail in 2018 — and no one else even came close to touching it ---

Major Stories from The Atlantic 50-150 Years Ago ---

Economists don’t really agree about the merits of ranked choice voting ---

Kamala Harris --- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kamala_Harris
I'm tracking what I believe is the NYT's obvious selection for the 2020 Democratic Party nominee for President — Kamala Harris

Very Popular Law School Blogger Ann Althouse (University of Wisconsin)

Bill Gates says the US has lost its global leadership in nuclear power, and needs to 'get in the game' ---

A rising number of young Americans prefer socialism to capitalism, and it promises to reshape US politics ---

Chinese stocks were the worst on Earth in 2018, losing 27% — here's why ---
Jensen Comment
The article does not mention it, but doubts about accounting integrity must be a continual drag on Chinese stocks.

Mass grave of Christians killed by Islamic State found in Libya (not Syria where many more Christians were tortured, raped, and killed) ---

A Congresswoman Who Puts Palestinians First And Americans Second ---
Jensen Comment
I suspect that if we looked into history we could find a Jewish legislator who put Israel first or a Hispanic legislator who put Mexico first and Americans second. We might even find one or more who secretly put the Mafia first.

The Worst Enemy of Black People
Walter E. Williams

"Here's what I know: Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud," Romney said. "His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University. He's playing members of the American public for suckers: He gets a free ride to the White House, and all we get is a lousy hat."
Mitt Romney
Jensen Comment
This is probably not the best way for Mitt to commence his Senate career among so many Trump-supporting colleagues. What is obvious is that Jeff Flake really did not leave the Senate.

Sweden:  A sinking Arctic town wants to move itself 2 miles east, and its billion dollar plan is finally becoming a reality ---

MIT:  Universal Basic Income Had a Rough 2018 ---

Women in India formed a 620 kilometer human wall to protest against gender inequality in India ---

Ted Cruz introduced a term limit bill that would end his own career in the Senate ---

Trump is more afraid of Ann Coulter than he is Nancy Pelosi ---

NPR:  "Here in San Diego, we have proven that the border infrastructure system (with a fence) does indeed work," Henry says. "It is highly effective." ---

The euro at 20: An enduring success but a fundamental failure ---

The Atlantic:  A Terrifying Sea-Level Prediction Now Looks Far Less Likely ---

Central American migrants protest closure of Tijuana shelter ---

Corruption Per Usual in Chicago's City Hall ---
Also see
Jensen Comment
It would be a newsworthy item to find that a Chicago council member was not corrupt

Ilhan Omar falsely claims to be first refugee elected to Congress, dishonors 5 predecessors ---
Jensen Comment
However, she appears to be the only refugee married to her brother for criminal intent.

5 Things Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez doesn’t want you to know about the Green New Deal ---

Pelosi Introduces Bill to Force Presidents—But Not Members of Congress—to Release Their Tax Returns ---
Jensen Comment
Her husband became a multimillionaire in some questionable dealings with government.
Do you think it would pass the House if it required members of Congress to release their own tax returns? Yeah Right!

Americans have gone soft...at the first sign of genuine trouble they will cut and run ---
Rear Admiral Lou Yuan, deputy head of the Chinese Academy of Military Sciences

The IRS says it will pay tax refunds during the shutdown ---

Whoopi Goldberg Advises Ocasio-Cortez to 'Sit Still for a Minute and Learn the Job' Before 'Pooping on People' ---

Austria, Norway, Germany, and France are now in the top 25 nations in the world for civilian gun ownership
The London Times:  Europeans take up arms amid fear of rising crime and terror ---

MIT:  When Chinese Hackers Declared War on the Rest of US ---
Click Here

Seven charts that show the world is actually becoming a better place:  Including how global income inequality is declining dramatically (especially in the huge nations of China and India) ---
Click Here

Nicholas Kristof says media too obsessed with Trump: 'There is so much more happening in the world' (NYT columnist) ---

Canada plans to take in more than 1 million new immigrants in the next 3 years ---
Jensen Comment
Canada also gives citizenship to almost any person who can pays the high price ---

Gov. Gavin Newsom threatens to cut state funding from cities that don't approve enough housing ---

A new migrant caravan plans to leave Honduras on January 15, and Mexico's government is bracing for its arrival ---
Not good for Nancy and Chuck and the liberal media

From boom to bust: A timeline of Pennsylvania’s public pension systems ---

'90% of the larger fish in the ocean are gone': Why James Blunt is campaigning for sustainable fishing ---

China's annual trade surplus with the US hits the highest level on record ---

50 Writers on Trump's First Two Years

NYC's mayor takes on private property (again) ---
Jensen Comment
What a great idea for progressives wanting to end private property. Keep property taxes going up up and away while not allowing landlords to to raise rents. Pretty soon NYC itself will own most of the private property.

Steve King's White Nationalism Is Deeply Un-American ---

Kamala Harris’ New Book Tries to Massage Her Record as a Prosecutor, But the Facts Aren’t Pretty
The book neglects to mention all the times Harris' office appealed cases that were thrown out for gross prosecutor misconduct.

NYT Reveals FBI Retaliated Against Trump For Comey Firing ---

Silence of the Moms: Media Refuse to Discuss Angel Families, Victims of Illegal Alien Crimes ---

England's once powerful air force is disintegrating (along with the navy) ---

Slavery is acceptable in Islam. The Qur’an has Allah telling Muhammad that he has given him girls as sex slaves: “Prophet, We have made lawful to you the wives to whom you have granted dowries and the slave girls whom God has given you as booty.”
Texas: Muslim migrant couple convicted of keeping girl as slave for 16 years

Jensen Comment
Why didn't the major media sensationalize this like they would sensationalize non-Islam instances of slavery?

Why do Muslim women wear a hijab? ---

Genetically Modified Food --- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetically_modified_food
The Guardian:  Strongest opponents of GM foods know the least but think they know the most ---
Click Here

Hackers broke into an SEC database and made millions from inside information, says DOJ ---




John Locke --- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Locke

John Locke's Argument for Limited Government ---

Seven charts that show the world is actually becoming a better place:  Including how global income inequality is declining dramatically (especially in the huge nations of China and India experimenting with capitalism) ---
Click Here

1. Life expectancy continues to rise

2. Child mortality continues to fall

3. Fertility rates are falling (exceptions in Africa and parts of the Middle East)
    Pass the cursor over each nation

4. GDP growth has accelerated in developed countries (and some lesser developed countries like China and India)

5. Global income inequality has gone down (are you listening Jagdish?)

6. More people are living in democracies (with questions about voting integrity in lots and lots of places)

7. Conflicts are on the decline

Jensen Comment
To these I might add promising advances in energy technology including "cheap" nuclear fusion. 

Of course there's lot's of bad news as well commencing with 
global warming and rising oceans, 
starving children, 
vicious drug wars (think Afghanistan and Latin America), 
unwanted hordes of immigrants, 
droughts (think Africa and Australia), 
naval arms race in the South Pacific, 
North Korea's threats of Armageddon, 
Donald Trump's deteriorating mental health, 
hugely unfunded entitlements caused by wishful thinking and economics ignorance, 
scary advances in military technology, 
world corruption in the public and private sectors.


And then there's the fall of p-values from grace in statistical inference.


But who wants to hear about bad news today when there's some good news to celebrate?

Why 2018 Was the Best Year in Human History!
by Nicholas Kristof
The New York Times
January 5, 2019

Thank you David Hough for the heads up.

The world is, as everyone knows, going to hell, but there’s still the nervous thrill of waiting to see precisely which dark force will take us down. Will the economy collapse first, the ice sheets melt first, or chaos and war envelop us first?

So here’s my antidote to that gloom: Let me try to make the case that 2018 was actually the best year in human history.

Each day on average, about another 295,000 people around the world gained access to electricity for the first time, according to Max Roser of Oxford University and his Our World in Data website. Every day, another 305,000 were able to access clean drinking water for the first time. And each day an additional 620,000 people were able to get online for the first time.

Never before has such a large portion of humanity been literate, enjoyed a middle-class cushion, lived such long lives, had access to family planning or been confident that their children would survive. Let’s hit pause on our fears and frustrations and share a nanosecond of celebration at this backdrop of progress

. . .

So there’s plenty to fret about. But a failure to acknowledge global progress can leave people feeling hopeless and ready to give up. In fact, the gains should show us what is possible and spur greater efforts to improve opportunity worldwide.

Every other day of the year, go ahead and gnash your teeth about President Trump or Nancy Pelosi, but take a break today (remember, just for a nanosecond!) to recognize that arguably the most important thing in the world now is not Trumpian bombast. Rather, it may be the way the world’s poorest and most desperate inhabitants are enjoying improved literacy and well-being, leading to a day when no mom will again lose 10 children

From a Chronicle of Higher Education Newsletter on January 11, 2019

Higher ed isn't doing so badly after all.

We've been bombarded by headlines like "The Broken Promise of Higher Education" and "The Slow Death of the University," says Steven Brint. Yet despite the joyless chorus of pessimistic professors and an alarmist press, things in higher ed really aren't so bad. In his Chronicle Review cover story, "Is This Higher Education's Golden Age?" Brint takes a step back and looks at hard data on enrollments, research funding, and faculty employment over the past 40 years. His conclusion? American universities are bigger, stronger, and in a more influential position than ever before.

Jensen Comment
To this I might add the thousands of free courses available from prestigious universities around the world. We call them MOOCs, and the learning itself is free. There are fees for students who want certificates or transcript credit, but the learning itself of both free (albeit a very tough task since most of the courses are quite advanced and rapid-paced).

A Part of History Keynesians Don't Like to Mention
Profit Inflation, Keynes and the Holocaust in Bengal, 1943–44 ---


The year 2018 marks the 75th anniversary of the Bengal famine, 1943–44. This paper argues that the famine arose from an engineered “profit inflation,” described by John Maynard Keynes in general terms as a necessary measure for “forced transferences of purchasing power” from the mass of working people, entailing reduction of their consumption in order to finance abnormal wartime expenditure. Keynes had a long connection with Indian financial affairs and, in 1940, became an advisor with special authority on Indian financial and monetary policy to the British Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Prime Minister. Facing trade union opposition in Britain to the highly regressive policy of profit inflation, he gave it up in favour of taxation. But, in India, extreme and deliberate profit inflation was implemented to finance war spending by the Allied forces, leading to the death by starvation of three million persons in Bengal.

Continued in article (not free)

Red States Beat Blue States:  How Does Your State Rank in Terms of Average Charitable Deductions?

Jensen Comment
I'm suspicious that this graph is misleading, but I'm having a hard time finding the reasons? Partly it might have to do with population since the most charitable states have relatively low populations. But the exceptions are troublesome. Why is South Dakota more charitable than North Dakota? Why is Wyoming more charitable than Montana? One might think it's related to state taxation, but why are Vermont and New Hampshire so much alike when Vermont is one of the nation's highest tax states versus the relatively low taxation state of New Hampshire? I suspect Utah's outcome is affected by a high Mormon concentration.

Note that the data apply to 2016 long before Trump's new income tax law kicked in.

Return of the Outhouse ---
A $350 toilet powered by worms may be the ingenious future of sanitation that Bill Gates has been dreaming about ---

Jensen Comment
This is a marvelous invention the environment and people living in warm climates. I'm not so sure about about walking to a privy this morning when it's -6F outdoors. Of course it's possible to have a short heated walkway to the privy.
The savings of precious water alone makes this an intriguing idea.

This could also be an answer to homeless concentrations on the streets.

The worms may be fat and healthy while longing to be free.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez --- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexandria_Ocasio-Cortez

Last night on CBS Sixty Minutes  I witnessed the emotional caring and economics ignorance of the charming Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (when interviewed by Andersen Cooper) ---
Also at

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on January 6, 2019

“But once you get to the tippie tops In the 1960s, on your $10 millionth (dollar of income), sometimes you saw tax rates as high as 60% or 70%.

Jensen Comment
Yes indeed many nations taxed the highest income ("tippie tops") taxpayers 70% or higher in the 1960s. What Alexandria seems to be ignorant about is the economic reason virtually all nations later lowered their top rates by 20%-50%, including the USA, Canada, Iran, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, England, France, and all other European nations. She does not seem to know that they all lowered those top tax rates and the reason for lowering the Tippie Top tax rates. They did so because taxing the tippie tops at such high rates proved counterproductive to a point where their nations' economies were worse off in the 1960s ---
For more details see

Below is  January 6, 2019 blog posting by a Stanford professor that you will never see cited by Paul Krugman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez., or Bernie Sanders.

What do Paul Krugman and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Both Get Wrong About "Optimal Taxes?"

. . .

As you may have noticed, I try very hard not to get in to the business of rebutting Paul Krugman's various outrages. The article "The economics of soaking the rich" merits an exception. I will ignore the snark, the... distoritions, the ... untruths, the attack by inventing evil motive, the  demonization of anything starting with the letter R, and focus on the central economic points.

Paul correctly cites recent work by Diamond and Saez, estimating the optimal top marginal tax rate at 70%, and Christina Romer's concurring opinion.

The howlers are well epitomized by

"Why do Republicans adhere to a tax theory that has no support from nonpartisan economists and is refuted by all available data? Well, ask who benefits from low taxes on the rich, and it’s obvious.

And because the party’s coffers demand adherence to nonsense economics, the party prefers “economists” who are obvious frauds and can’t even fake their numbers effectively."

1) 70% is not carved in stone.

. . .

The other margin is avoidance. Throwing around high statutory tax rates in the 1950s as if anyone actually paid them is past disingenuous at this point, as often as the opposite has been pointed out. (Diamond and Saez engaged at least recognized that nobody paid 90%, but engage in a subtle .. sleight of hand. They assume that all corporate taxes were paid by wealthy people in the 1950s -- the one and only burden or indirect calculation in the paper, and contrary to the usual assumption that capital supply curves are flatter than labor or product demand.)
[Jensen note:  One means of tax avoidance is to shift to the USA's $2 trillion underground cash economy such as when Erika's former dentist gave us a really, really huge discount if we paid $8,500 in cash]

The one thing we should learn from the New York Times and others' probes in to Trump Tax Land is just how far very wealthy people will go to avoid paying taxes. Especially estate taxes -- there is nothing like the government coming for nearly half your wealth to concentrate the mind. I venture that we would have gotten a lot more out of the Trump family with a 20% VAT and no income tax or estate tax!

A 70% or 80% marginal federal income tax would be first and foremost a boon for tax lawyers and accountants. If one were in the mood to match Krugman's attacks of which party has which dark motives to serve which evil interest, the direction would be easy.

Moreover, Krugman gets the benefit of labor to society wrong in an astonishing econ 1 way


If a rich man [or woman, Paul, please!] works an extra hour, adding $1000 to the economy, but gets paid $1000 for his efforts, the combined income of everyone else doesn’t change, does it? Ah, but it does — because he pays taxes on that extra $1000. So the social benefit from getting high-income individuals to work a bit harder is the tax revenue generated by that extra effort — and conversely the cost of their working less is the reduction in the taxes they pay.

If you are paid your marginal product, as you are in a competitive market, then you are paid how much revenue your efforts add to your employer's bottom line. But society benefits by the consumer surplus, the area under the demand curve, and loses that consumer surplus when taxes put a wedge between your effort and your wage. When Steve Jobs worked hard and sold us all Iphones, he made a ton of money, and apple made a huge profit. But we all benefitted by far more than we paid Apple.

No, the world is not a static, zero-sum game.

I think it's time to reactivate my no-Krugman new year's pledge.

John Cochrane
Stanford University

Jensen Added Comment
Alexandria brushed off (in front of Andersen Cooper last night) her getting caught by the liberal media for her economics mistakes such as the time the Washington Post gave her four Pinocchio's when she made a $21 trillion mistake (small change among her radical spending intentions).

No, Economists Don't Agree a 70 Percent Top Marginal Tax Rate Is a Good Idea ---

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's $21 trillion mistake - The Washington Post

Claim: "$21T in Pentagon accounting errors. Medicare for All costs ~$32T. That means 66% of Medicare for All could have been funded already by the Pentagon."
Claimed by: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez secures powerful House committee seat that gives her a huge say over Wall Street ---

Whoopi Goldberg Advises Ocasio-Cortez to 'Sit Still for a Minute and Learn the Job' Before 'Pooping on People' ---

Jensen Added Comment
I think the naive Alexandra is bright and will learn a lot during her four or more years is Congress. She's already learned not to mess with Nancy Pelosi. Andersen Cooper pointed out in the Sixty Minutes interview how Pelosi outwitted this publicity-seeking new House member during Alexandra's first few days in vicious Washington DC. An old dog taught the new dog a totally unexpected trick.

The not-so-bright aging Bernie never learned economics, but I think Alexandra maybe has the gray matter to learn her lessons if she would only avoid reading Paul Krugman's fantasy blog.

In some ways I'm hypocritical about Paul Krugman. I fully agree with him that free trade and  multinational exploitation of low wages is probably a good thing for developing nations ---
"In Praise of Cheap Labor," by Paul Krugman, Slate, March 21, 1997 ---

After all, global poverty is not something recently invented for the benefit of multinational corporations. Let’s turn the clock back to the Third World as it was only two decades ago (and still is, in many countries). In those days, although the rapid economic growth of a handful of small Asian nations had started to attract attention, developing countries like Indonesia or Bangladesh were still mainly what they had always been: exporters of raw materials, importers of manufactures. Inefficient manufacturing sectors served their domestic markets, sheltered behind import quotas, but generated few jobs. Meanwhile, population pressure pushed desperate peasants into cultivating ever more marginal land or seeking a livelihood in any way possible–such as homesteading on a mountain of garbage.

Given this lack of other opportunities, you could hire workers in Jakarta or Manila for a pittance. But in the mid-’70s, cheap labor was not enough to allow a developing country to compete in world markets for manufactured goods. The entrenched advantages of advanced nations–their infrastructure and technical know-how, the vastly larger size of their markets and their proximity to suppliers of key components, their political stability and the subtle-but-crucial social adaptations that are necessary to operate an efficient economy–seemed to outweigh even a tenfold or twentyfold disparity in wage rates.

And then something changed. Some combination of factors that we still don’t fully understand–lower tariff barriers, improved telecommunications, cheaper air transport–reduced the disadvantages of producing in developing countries. (Other things being the same, it is still better to produce in the First World–stories of companies that moved production to Mexico or East Asia, then moved back after experiencing the disadvantages of the Third World environment, are common.) In a substantial number of industries, low wages allowed developing countries to break into world markets. And so countries that had previously made a living selling jute or coffee started producing shirts and sneakers instead.

Workers in those shirt and sneaker factories are, inevitably, paid very little and expected to endure terrible working conditions. I say “inevitably” because their employers are not in business for their (or their workers’) health; they pay as little as possible, and that minimum is determined by the other opportunities available to workers. And these are still extremely poor countries, where living on a garbage heap is attractive compared with the alternatives.

And yet, wherever the new export industries have grown, there has been measurable improvement in the lives of ordinary people. Partly this is because a growing industry must offer a somewhat higher wage than workers could get elsewhere in order to get them to move. More importantly, however, the growth of manufacturing–and of the penumbra of other jobs that the new export sector creates–has a ripple effect throughout the economy. The pressure on the land becomes less intense, so rural wages rise; the pool of unemployed urban dwellers always anxious for work shrinks, so factories start to compete with each other for workers, and urban wages also begin to rise. Where the process has gone on long enough–say, in South Korea or Taiwan–average wages start to approach what an American teen-ager can earn at McDonald’s. And eventually people are no longer eager to live on garbage dumps. (Smokey Mountain persisted because the Philippines, until recently, did not share in the export-led growth of its neighbors. Jobs that pay better than scavenging are still few and far between.)

. . .

You may say that the wretched of the earth should not be forced to serve as hewers of wood, drawers of water, and sewers of sneakers for the affluent. But what is the alternative? Should they be helped with foreign aid? Maybe–although the historical record of regions like southern Italy suggests that such aid has a tendency to promote perpetual dependence. Anyway, there isn’t the slightest prospect of significant aid materializing. Should their own governments provide more social justice? Of course–but they won’t, or at least not because we tell them to. And as long as you have no realistic alternative to industrialization based on low wages, to oppose it means that you are willing to deny desperately poor people the best chance they have of progress for the sake of what amounts to an aesthetic standard–that is, the fact that you don’t like the idea of workers being paid a pittance to supply rich Westerners with fashion items.

In short, my correspondents are not entitled to their self-righteousness. They have not thought the matter through. And when the hopes of hundreds of millions are at stake, thinking things through is not just good intellectual practice. It is a moral duty.


Jensen Comment
Where I disagree with Krugman is his willingness impose high taxes (think 70+%) on the developed nations that are in a convoluted way are probably doing more for the third world than all of its corrupt dictators combined (unless tax rates go so high that capitalist incentives and innovations are destroyed).

How to Mislead With Statistics
How past income tax rate cuts on the wealthy affected the economy ---

Jensen Comment
This article makes three huge statistical mistakes and one huge economic mistake. The economic mistake is that it assumes that the purpose of tax decreases or increases is importantly analyzed in GDP correlations. The GDP is only one of many statistics of importance in the economy, and the GDP index has many, many dangers ---

Distinctions must be kept in mind between quantity and quality of growth, between costs and returns, and between the short and long run. Goals for more growth should specify more growth of what and for what.

Secondly, the article pretends that correlation is causation --- a Statistics 101 enormous error.

Thirdly, it ignores the lags in impact of most any measures used to stimulate the economic exist and can be quite variable in terms of whether the stimulus impacts take months versus years. For example, it is speculated that Clinton benefited far more from the Reagan tax cuts than Reagan.

Thirdly, the relationship between economic performance (however measured on the y-axis) is a multivariate process with enormous multicollinearity, heteroscedasticity, non-stationarity, and most everything you can think of that can go wrong about multivariate analysis in terms of regression and graphics.

Rather than do regression-graphic time series analysis like you see in this article I would rather do a crowd-sourcing analysis.
There must be some reason why virtually all developed nations reduced their tax cuts on the wealthy over three decades following the early 1970s.
Were all nations, including all of Scandinavia, badly mistaken in choosing to hugely reduce tax rates on the wealthy?
For example, lot's of bad things happened in Sweden in the 1960s and 1970s when the Swedes were trying to confiscate almost everything from it's highest income earners.

Especially look at
For more details see

Most certainly the benefit of these tax cuts on the wealthy were not all identical across so many nations and across such a long period of time.
And most certainly the above Politico analysis is superficial in looking at only one nation (rather than a hundred) and one predictor (the highest tax rate) variable of GDP.

Shame on Politico (a very biased outfit to say the least).

From the CFO Journal's Morning Ledger on January 12, 2019

Mortgage rates fell again in the latest week, hitting their lowest point in the past nine months, a move that could propel more activity in the U.S. housing market by prompting more consumers to buy or refinance.

Jensen Comment

It would appear that either Trump or the economy or both is winning in his fight with the Fed about interest rates.

From the CFO Journal's Morning Ledger on January 12, 2019

China and the U.S. are set to hold a round of higher-level talks to resolve the trade conflict, with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He scheduled to visit Washington in late January—though the plan could be delayed by the U.S. government shutdown.

Jensen Comment

At this point the Chinese economy is hurting worse than the USA economy as the trade dispute continues. However, Asians dig in when they are going to lose face.

Jensen comment
Any wall not manned with machine gun towers will never prevent all border crossings. The most effective wall on the Mexico border will be where children and elderly are most likely to cross such as the relatively (90+%) effective wall that now is used near San Diego where over 100,000+ per year try to cross ---
Attempted border crossings in San Diego are especially high because California is a sanctuary state and the 9th Circuit is the most lenient court in the USA.

The least effective wall will be in isolated spots where trails on both sides are difficult and dangerous for children and elderly such as the isolated ranches in Arizona and along the Rio Grande where athletic folks with grappling hooks and heavy blankets are likely to overcome any wall but struggle carrying children along burning hot and isolated trails lacking water and food supplies.

The compromise should probably be to only build sections of the wall near populated checkpoints (think El Pasp and Laredo) and use more advanced technology and many more border guards in the remote areas.

A complete wall is a waste of money. A partial wall can be effective as part of a new and more expensive border security elsewhere if you don't want millions more undocumented immigrants added to millions we have in the USA today.

Of course some USA folks want open borders, but that is no longer the case in Europe.

The Atlantic:  The Swiftly Closing Borders of Europe ---

Chronicle of Higher Education:  Keep Cross-Examination Out of College Sexual-Assault Cases  ---

Requiring cross-­examination in campus sexual-­misconduct proceedings is among the key features of the Department of Education’s proposed Title IX reforms currently open for public comment. The department, relying on an oft-cited 1904 legal treatise, calls cross-­examination "the greatest legal engine ever invented for the discovery of truth." Although this new mandate might seem at first like a good idea, a closer look shows otherwise.

. . .

More broadly, it is a serious question whether cross-­examination is even effective in this setting. Many scholars say that aggressive, adversarial questioning is more likely to distort reality than enable truth-telling. Research shows, for example, that a witness’s nervous or stumbling response to adversarial questioning is more likely an ordinary human reaction to stress than an indicator of false testimony.

Since the Department of Education has stressed its respect for colleges’ expertise, it might consider commissioning a study to test the effectiveness and risks of campus cross-­examination. But to override current, experience-based procedures and impose a national cross-examination rule across all higher-education institutions in the United States would undermine, not enhance, the fair and impartial treatment that all students deserve.

Jensen Comment
It's more interesting, at least to me, to read how other professors commented on the above article

schultzjc • a day ago I guess the author has never been falsely accused of misbehavior. I have, and can tell you that the accused must have some way of defending themselves beyond 'he/she said she/he said'. As it is, the process itself is punishing and the impact on reputation can be severe. In today's charged environment accusation alone is too often taken as an indication of bad behavior, and there is no such thing as a 'neutral administrator'. Accusations can and are used to harm individuals for reasons that have nothing to do with the allegations. The DOE plan may not be the way to do it, but something needs to be done to give the accused some way of defending themselves.

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Richard Gardner • a day ago If there has been a sexual assault, or an accusation of one, the police and court system ought to handle that. Not the school. Just like would happen if those involved were not students.

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Valcour • a day ago I could not disagree more. Time after time federal courts are throwing out cases for lack of due process protections for the accused, including the inability of the accused (or his/her representative) to question those making accusations. These federal judges are making the proper determination that questioning the accused is an important part of a fair and impartial hearing. Professor Goldberg argues that "it is one thing for a faculty or staff member to inform and support a student, as many currently do, and quite another to adversarially cross-examine a student who is also part of his or her own institution." An accusation of a serious offense is, itself, adversarial. Indeed, the adversarial nature the the process was guaranteed when one student (i.e., the alleged victim) accuses another student (i.e., the alleged perpetrator) of having committed sexual assault. The faculty or staff member member enters into an adverserial cross-examination in order to defend another member of the university community who stands accused of a terrible offense. Faculty and staff members have an obligation to "inform and support" all members of the university community, including those who have been charged with a serious offense but who have yet to be found responsible for the charges against them. The failure to permit questioning of alleged victims stacks the deck unfairly in favor of one party over another. I am no supporter of the Trump administration, but this is one area where the administration is getting it right. The revised DOE regulations are wholly appropriate in order to protect both the accuser and the accused and to create fairness of process. Rather than creating a show trial in which the accused is not afforded the full range of reasonable defenses that are part of our system of fair and impartial determinations of responsibility, it is crucial that those accused of serious offenses be given the opportunity to defend themselves, including having their representatives question the person who has leveled a serious accusation against them.

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David • a day ago Sure, throw students out of school and ruin their reputations without due process. There are so many reasons that it's the easiest, cheapest and smoothest way for almost everyone!

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princeton67 • a day ago "I have heard some advocates propose that colleges provide students with lawyers when charges are serious even if they do not do so for other serious misconduct cases. Even the Department of Education has not gone that far, however, perhaps recognizing that most American colleges could not do this without diverting funds from financial aid, faculty hiring, and other core educational needs." Colleges came up with funds for Diversity Officers and for Title IX Compliance officers. Of course, these are politically correct issues aimed at justly empowering women. Affording accused (predominantly) males equal power in a sexual-assault hearing counters this agenda. Fortunately, the courts, sometimes with harsh criticism, are reversing college's handling of "sexual-assault cases." Go to the article "Out of Balance": Colleges lose series of rulings in suits brought by male students accused of sex assault. In stinging decisions, judges fault lack of due process. https://www.insidehighered.... To whet your appetite, some excerpts: The federal court concluded that the student was not given an opportunity to defend himself when the university failed to notify the student of all the charges against him, and that an assistant dean had “made up his mind so definitively that nothing [the accused student] might have said could have altered his decision.” Earlier this month, a federal judge in Boston rejected Brandeis University’s attempt to dismiss a lawsuit by a student disciplined over sexual assault allegations there. The Brandeis student was accused of sexually assaulting his long-term partner. After the two broke up, according to court records, the former partner "attended two sessions of university-sponsored sexual assault training, which began (in his words) to change his 'thinking' about his relationship." He then reported his partner for sometimes awakening him with a kiss and persisting even when told to stop, for performing unwanted oral sex on him and for touching his groin while the two watched a movie. In his harshly worded opinion, the judge, F. Dennis Saylor, wrote that the university failed to provide sufficient notice of the charges against the student and did not allow him to cross-examine the complainant or his witnesses. The judge expressed concern that the university allowed the same official, a former lawyer for the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights, who investigated the complaint to also serve “as prosecutor, judge and jury” in the case. “Brandeis appears to have substantially impaired, if not eliminated, an accused student’s right to a fair and impartial process,” Saylor wrote. “And it is not enough simply to say that such changes are appropriate because victims of sexual assault have not always achieved justice in the past. Whether someone is a ‘victim’ is a conclusion to be reached at the end of a fair process, not an assumption to be made at the beginning.” Also this month, a judge ruled that a similar lawsuit against James Madison University can proceed. In that case, according to the judge’s decision, the accused student was not allowed to receive a copy of the charges against him or to make copies of his own. Instead, he was only allowed to take notes as he read the complaint. A three-person panel ruled in favor of the accused student, but the student was suspended for five years after an appeal. During the appeal process, according to the decision, the accused student was again unable to make copies of any file materials involving his case. The student was given no prior notice of the appeal board’s meeting date, nor was he allowed to appear before the board. He was suspended without any explanation as to what led the appeal board to reverse the hearing board’s original decision.

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Marc Domash • a day ago The author states: To be sure, some students will hire lawyers or find a family friend to help. For many, though, that option will be unaffordable or unavailable. This disparity between students may not be as significant when advisers play a quiet, supporting role, but it almost certainly will amplify inequities and increase the risk of obscuring efforts to learn the truth of what happened when a lawyer questions one student and a nonlawyer questions the other. I will just point out that our current system of criminal jurisprudence has created exactly these disparities the author is concerned about--low income individuals, disproportionately minority, are represented (at best) by an overworked and underpaid public defender who cannot even begin to handle his or her caseload and provide effective counsel. The author's solution is to import (or rather, continue) this unfair situation into the university but to apply it to all the accused, a reverse parody of Antoile France's remark on the law on rich and poor and sleeping under bridges. Goldberg also states that "Nearly all courts to consider the issue have found fairness can be fully achieved through questioning by a neutral college administrator." She is surely aware that there are now hundreds of cases where colleges have not found that. First, the are innumerable examples of biased administrators who have been struck down, and a growing number of cases where cross-examination is deemed necessary due to there being no evidence aside from the testimony of the accuser and accused. The central issue that Goldberg does not even address (and if discourse analysis has taught us anything, it is that the questions not asked are as or more important than the ones that are) is the consequences of a conviction on the accused. At a minimum, it is expulsion from an institution to which hundreds of thousands of dollars in tuition have been paid and the potential loss of years out of the life. Moreover, the current societal trend is to remove these individuals from the middle class permanently. Such severe punishments require a more stringent set of procedures than most university conduct violations. It is ironic that those who support ban the box on most transgressions view this entirely differently.

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FaithInAmerica • 2 days ago It's not clear to me from reading this: Is the accused the only person who should be questioned?

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Pr_Hank_Devereaux_JR • 2 days ago Two points: To elaborate on the author's comments above: A frightening scenario is the angry father, uncle, or older brother of a female complainant cross examining a male student respondent, while the angry mother, aunt or grandmother of a male respondent cross examines a female complainant. How quickly is that likely to get emotional and out of control -- as compared to a court-room scenario with trained attorneys and a trained judge and rules on court room procedure? Second, how is it NOT sex discrimination to have different investigation and adjudication procedures for student code of conduct violations (either criminal or civil) that involve sex vs. those that don't. Suppose student A is accused of violating the code of student conduct by sexually assaulting another student. And student B is accused of violating the code of student code of conduct by selling fentanyl to other students on campus. Both acts are criminal and one might argue that the student accused of selling fentanyl poses a more serious threat to other students (i.e., death). All of the criminal code of conduct violations that occur on college campuses cannot be "out-sourced" to police departments because despite assertions to the contrary the police do not have the resources to investigate and the courts do not have the resources to adjudicate all of them. The criminal legal system utilizes triage to decide which cases to prosecute. Likewise, despite assertions to the contrary colleges investigate and adjudicate a wide variety of *criminal* student code of conduct violations (grand larceny, battery, passing bad checks, using or selling illegal drugs, purchasing alcohol for minors, vandalism, hazing, etc.) and have been doing so for decades, regardless of whether or not the police are involved. As a philosophical question why are policy makers especially worried about a student being suspended or expelled for a sexual assault charge adjudicated by the college disciplinary system, but they have demonstrated very little (no?) concern about students being suspended or expelled for other felony crimes adjudicated by the college disciplinary system (e.g., selling drugs, etc.)? Don't both situations merit equal levels of concern??? Isn't the sale of an illegal drug, or purchasing alcohol for a minor, or hazing, a "he/she said -- he/she said" crime?

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antiutopia • 2 days ago I was prepared to disagree with this article, but I find I agree with most of it once I get into the details. We don't need faculty, students, or even campus administration to be involved in cross-examination, and we never need that cross-examination to be adversarial. The one exception might be a Title IX coordinator with extensive training, but that person should be engaged in non-adversarial questioning from a neutral position. I would still assert that both sides need to be questioned in a neutral, non-adversarial way, but preferably by an outside party with expertise in this area. The consultant in the Kavanaugh hearings serves I think as a very good model. On larger campuses, of course, this might well be a full time position. And in the cases of actual sexual assault? Why aren't the police being brought in?

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average_joe • 2 days ago You write, “Many scholars say that aggressive, adversarial questioning is more likely to distort reality than enable truth-telling.” Many scholars will say just the opposite and will uphold the dictum of defendant’s right to aggressively protect his integrity and honor. Only through fact-checking and verifying inconsistencies through cross examination, truth can be flushed out beyond a reasonable doubt. The current climate is so toxic and one-sided that allegations of a sexual nature will ruin the career, legacy, family, and even the opportunity to make a living of the accused. The American system of justice allows the accused to confront the accuser. The American jurisprudence has until recently relied on the sacred principle of “innocent until proven guilty.” The Kavanaugh circus played out recently in Washington, DC made many of us feel that powerful elected officials, many of them lawyers, can apply double standards in public view and continue with impunity. Most legal scholars will agree that 30-year old alcohol fueled vague memories will be shredded by competent defense attorneys. Yet, the US Senators were soft on the accusers to score political points. The good name of a person was destroyed in spite of being appointed to the SCOTUS by a determined President. Universities are also bastions of political correctness, petty tiffs, jealousy, vendetta and a whole lot more, eager to settle scores without due process. Without an opportunity to cross examine the accusers, the accused will not get justice. And, many innocent people will be ruined forever. I am appalled that a law professor would feel that yet another study is needed “to test the effectiveness and risks of campus cross-examination.”

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12069838 • 2 days ago That's all very reasonable Suzanne...except how would you ensure that a male accusee receive a fair hearing? It is not enough to say that colleges are not courtrooms (granted) or that it's not right to take resources away from financial aid to ensure accused students are properly defended. Ask Duke, who paid tens of millions, some say $50 million, over the Lacrosse scandal. Or Amherst about what one student who didn't get a fair hearing cost them. And that's all before one considers the reputational damage done to an individual who has not received complete representation, including provision for the accuser the to be fully questioned. Ultimately there is no escaping the fact that these cases are adversarial proceedings and that both parties are entitled to a full examination of what took place.

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apache78 • 2 days ago There are reasons for retaining cross-examination as the best way to get at the truth. Accusations should never equate to guilt, outside of revolutionary France or the Salem witch trials. Defendants should never be put into a position of having to prove their own innocence. "and even fewer (just over 200) have accredited law schools with faculty members or students who might pitch in." Would it matter? In the Duke lacrosse case, the university had a nationally ranked law school on the premises, with a couple of its professors considered as possible SCOTUS picks. But despite that, the school expelled its falsely-accused students without any process at all (despite what was promised in the school handbook); not a single law professor or law student joined their defense; the president of the university refused repeatedly to examine evidence of their innocence; while the District Attorney conduced one of the most blatant attempts at railroading ( the defendants were cleared by DNA testing before any arrests were made) in recent history. But all that mattered was that the defendants were accused of a sensational crime (much touted by the sensantionalist media) They could never garner support for a fair and unbiased examination of the charges. Which shows why need more, not less,protections for defendants, in order to prevent future such abuses and miscarriages of justice.

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Gregory Smith • 2 days ago Universities cannot have it both ways. Either they have the authority to impose life-shattering consequences and accept the burden of responsibility that comes with that authority or they do not. What we have currently is a system where an accusation is enough to have a student expelled and their transcripts permanently marked with a notation marking them as a sexual predator, whilst the institution has no obligation to make the process fair, transparent or reliable. If they don't want to be burdened with the need to establish procedures that are fair to all involved, then they can simply put in place a policy framework that says "we are not in the business of being finders of fact. If a student is charged with a crime of violence, we will suspend them pending the outcome of the case. If they plead guilty or are convicted, we will expel them permanently". If on the other hand, they want to establish an independent, parallel system, then they cannot complain about the administrative and financial burden of doing so fairly and transparently.

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KiteFlyer89 • 2 days ago “But campuses are not courtrooms” Agreed completely. Have the police handle all of this instead of kangaroo court adjudication boards.

Continued in article

Good News for 49 States
California Gov. Gavin Newsom threatens to cut state funding from cities that don't approve enough (affordable/free) housing --

Jensen Comment
The biggest question is who benefits and who loses from California state funding of cities. To extent that state funding of the homeless presently attracts homeless migration  to a town or city, some residents probably think less state funding is a good thing since a goodly percentage of the homeless are lousy workers and scary neighbors. To the homeless of course sleeping and pooping on the street adds pain to misery compared to free or almost-free housing.

To the extent that state funding of a city attracts more quality labor (think of how hard it is to attract workers at California's Tesla plant close to Silicon Valley), state funding of housing probably helps the Tesla company and Tesla customers nationwide. And  affordable housing is essential for workers like the police, fire fighters, trash haulers, and teachers. Palo Alto and other Silicon Valley cities now provide subsidized housing for these essential workers who could not otherwise afford Silicon Valley prices. But the housing quality is marginal at best.

Mostly there's an enormous definitional issue of what is "enough housing" and "affordable housing"" If the affordable housing is an enormous deal in San Francisco you will never have "enough housing," because hordes of people needing affordable housing and welfare support will make their way all the way to San Francisco from Chicago, Miami, St Louis, Sugar Hill, and wherever.

A lot of the businesses having HQ 1 in California will seek HQ 2 elsewhere just like Apple is investing a billion dollars for HQ 2 in Austin, Texas.

What's affordable housing? Tesla builds cars in a massive tent for assembly lines because massive new concrete factory buildings are just not affordable at the moment. A tent is "affordable."

Affordable homeless housing will be like having new Atlantic City casinos for gambling addicts, free booze on Bourbon Street, and free services at Nevada brothels.

San Francisco is the poop-street capital of the USA in large measure because it's one of the most famous sanctuary cities for undocumented immigrants, good pickings for pan handlers, and the drug-partying culture of the USA. You're never going to get enough affordable housing in SF for the homeless if more and more and more keep flocking to SF for housing, freedom from ICE, and high times on the streets.

California has a lot of great universities who seemingly have tremendous influence on hearts and dysfunctional influence on heads.

Having "enough affordable housing" a very human way in theory to clean up the poop on San Francisco streets, but with tens of millions of new residents there will never be enough housing and more housing will make PhD poop --- Piled Higher and Deeper.

Why is San Francisco ... covered in human feces?
Nathan Robinson
The Guardian

A 1% property tax at a 1% (after-tax) interest rate is equivalent to a 100% tax on houses. That $1,000,000 house is really going to cost you $2,000,000 ---

Jensen Comment
Sort of makes you think even more at higher interest rates. For some people living where property taxes are more than 1% and/or where real estate is very expensive, the new tax law limiting property tax deductions to $10,000 is a disaster.

It's amazing how some people adding real estate investments to their portfolios really don't understand the future burdens of property taxation, especially when there's little or any cash inflow between the date of purchase of real estate and the distant date that the real estate is sold. There's a huge difference between buying an Iowa farm (having cash inflow) and buying bare suburban development land outside of Santa Fe.

Suppose you win $2 million after taxes in a lottery. Your financial advisor should make you think twice about buying a $1 million house up on top of hill overlooking the town.

Denmark: Evidence That High Minimum Wages Can Raise Unemployment

This paper estimates the long-run impact of youth minimum wages on youth employment by exploiting a large discontinuity in Danish minimum wage rules at age 18 and using monthly payroll records for the Danish population. We show theoretically how the discontinuity in the minimum wage may be exploited to estimate the casual e ect of a change in the minimum wage of youth on their employment. On average, the hourly wage rate jumps up by 40 percent when individuals turn eighteen years old. Employment (extensive margin) falls by 33 percent and total labor input (extensive and intensive margin) decreases by around 45 percent, leaving the aggregate wage payment nearly unchanged. Data on ows into and out of employment show that the drop in employment is driven almost entirely by job loss when individuals turn 18 years old. We estimate that the relevant elasticity for evaluating the e ect on youth employment of changes in their minimum wage is about -0.8.
Keywords: Minimum wage policy, employment, regression discontinuity

Jensen Comment
The relationships between wages and employment are so complex that analysts must scour many, many studies and critically evaluate underlying research data and analysis assumptions. For example, wages are generally low when skills needed for the job are low and number of applicants is high such as skills needed to wash dishes in a restaurant or to load/empty a dish washing machine. Wages are generally high when skills required are high and supply is low such as skills of neurosurgeons. But during the learning process interns and resident neurosurgeons went through years of starvation wages before becoming fully certified to go it on their own at very high wages.

What makes life more complex, however, and is high and high --- when skills are high  and supply is high among academic applicants. For example, when the Department of History has a tenure track opening 200+ applicants may apply. When the Department of Engineering has an opening l0+ applicants may apply. When the Department of Accounting has an opening zero+ applicants may apply if the minimum requirement is a Ph.D. in accountancy. This does not mean that accountants are more skilled than historians. It mostly means that all the Ph.D. programs in accountancy in North America only graduate around 200 or so per year in North America whereas there are thousands graduating in history doctoral programs each year. Engineers also graduate thousands, but most of those graduates prefer higher paying jobs in industry leaving a smaller proportion seeking higher education careers than history Ph.D. graduates who have fewer alternatives in industry and government.

The real worry in the future is automation that will eventually affect so many areas of expertise from dish washing to brain surgery. Probably last workers to be displaced by automation will be those that deal with people such as when students need their teachers to be role models for so many areas of life. A black kid from the ghetto gets so much more from a black college professor that a robot teacher cannot deliver in the college classroom.

Universities and medical centers must resolve the issue of minimum wages in the context of supply and demand. If the only way to get Ph.D. applicants for an accounting tenure track position is to offer $150,000 per year should the minimum wage be set at $150,000 for every tenure track opening in the entire university? Or, as is often the case, should the tenure track opening in accounting be filled with a temporary cheap adjunct instructor of accounting who does not have a Ph.D. Revenue sources are much too limited to pay a $150,000 minimum wage for all faculty in all specialties within a university.

This begs the question of why there are thousands of engineering Ph.D. graduates per year and only around 200 accounting Ph.D. graduates. The reason is that there's a high demand for engineering Ph.D.s in industry and government. There's virtually zero benefit for a professional accountant in industry to get a Ph.D. unless that accountant wants to track into a career in academe. Companies want all sorts of specialists in accounting but the demand is more for technical expertise apart from research skills such as expertise in tax law or computer systems. Companies want engineers with research skills. Engineers solve problems. Accountants create problems.

This also begs the question of why there are so many humanities Ph.D. graduates relative to demand in industry, government, and academe. I don't know how to answer this without getting into trouble.





Bob Jensen's threads on health care ---

NYT:  Choosing the Right Health Savings Account ---

NYT:  Fixing Medicare

Association of Medicaid Healthy Behavior Incentive Programs With Smoking Cessation, Weight Loss, and Annual Preventive Health Visits ---

Democrats’ 8 plans for universal health care. Here’s how they work ---

Obamacare funneled a significant amount of money to hospitals and insurers, while a single-payer system like the one proposed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-V.T.) would cut provider payments and largely put private health insurers out of business ---



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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 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  --- http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/TheoryTAR.htm
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 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/