To Accompany the February 28, 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/
History will prove former President Donald
Trump was correct about Mexico one day funding an impenetrable wall --- to keep
out over 2 billion starving green immigrants seeking to enter Mexico from the
Left’s Anti-Capitalist Manifesto: Its goal is to remake our economic system —
and the Democratic Party ---
Praise of Cheap Labor," by Paul Krugman,
Slate, March 21, 1997 ---
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
It is not that machines are going to replace
chemists. It’s that the chemists who use machines will replace those that don’t
Gallup: Americans Say No. 1 Problem is
'Government,' No. 2 is 'Immigration' ---
12 inspiring quotes from Martin Luther King
21 oustanding Warren Buffet quotations ---
The Atlantic: The Swiftly Closing
Borders of Europe ---
Italian Minister tells NGO Italy doesn’t want migrants: “Our ports are closed!”
enemy is fear
We think it's hate
But, it's fear
13 of the (alleged) most famous last words in
21 of Michelle Obama's most inspiring quotes
on work, success, and relationships ---
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 ---
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
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.
There 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.
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.
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
Today, humanity fabricates 1,000 times more
transistors annually than the entire world grows grains of wheat and rice
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.
21 quotes from self-made billionaires that
will change your outlook on money ---
The Best Advice from 2018's Celebrity
Commencement Speakers ---
The Economist: A new kind of left-wing
doctrine is emerging. It is not the answer to capitalism’s problems ---
Alexandria the Politician: Amazon winners and losers ---
Alexandria the Economist: Bill de Blasio
corrects Ocasio-Cortez's claim about spending Amazon tax break money ---
For the GOP Alexandria is a gift from heaven further dividing the Democratic Party after Bernie Sanders started the socialism split
Sir Jim Ratcliffe (worth £21 billion) is leaving the
United Kingdom and the European Union for tax exile in Monaco, depriving the
Treasury of up to £4 billion in tax ---
In 2013 John Cleese (worth a mere $10 million) returned to England from Monaco
Alas, John Cleese left England again (2018)
Buying a house with solar panels can create some
unexpected headaches Third-party ownership, decades long contracts, and soaring
costs are all too common ---
Vox: Secret love child aside, Warren
Harding was a solid president ---
Red State Blues: How the Conservative Revolution
Stalled in the States (Slide Show) ---
The great Equifax mystery: 17 months later, the stolen
data has never been found, and experts are starting to suspect a spy scheme ---
Kentucky universities, colleges could opt out of
troubled pension system under bill ---
How Minneapolis' Somali community became the
terrorist recruitment capital of the US ---
How to Mislead With Statistics
When Top Rates Were So High: Do you really
think Bing Crosby and Bob Hope paid 90 percent of their income to the taxman?
India's Counterforce Temptations: Strategic
Dilemmas, Doctrine, and Capabilities ---
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Green New Deal: A
Bizarre Grab-Bag of Terrible Ideas Q&A with economist Veronique de Rugy ---
Rep. lhan Omar to Fundraise
for Islamic Terror-Linked Palestinian Organization (intent on killing Jews) ---
Will Democratic Party voters nominate a socialist to run against the GOP candidate?
Bernie Sanders Announces He's Running For
President in 2020 ---
Insane to Make Women Compete Against Transgenders
Who Biolgically Are Still Men
This Olympic Champion's Case Could Change Sports'
Gender Rules Forever ---
McCabe Gets Weird on NPR, Refuses to Answer About Lying Under Oath ---
‘NBC Nightly News’ Highlights Churches Using Guns
for Security ---
Mexican businesswoman decapitated after ‘family
wouldn’t pay’ ransom, reports say ---
Four Nordic countries are among seven countries
with the lowest level of public-sector corruption, according to a report. The
USA plummeted out of the top 20.--
The Atlantic: Accused College Students Deserve the Presumption of Innocence ---
Probably the most difficult aspect of this controversy is evidence of consent or lack thereof
Here are 50 campus hate-crime hoaxes The College
Fix has covered since 2012 ---
Why Jussie Smollett Lied – And All The
‘Hate-Crime’ Victims Who Weren’t ---
Empire Star Jussie Smollett Arrested After Being
Charged With Falsifying a Police Report ---
Is it possible to get a Chicago jury that will convict him no matter what the evidence?
Angela Merkel's Legacy is Chaos ---
Dutch Orchestra walks Out on Muslim guest
conductor (while he gave an unwanted lecture to Holland's Queen) ---
The Biggest Field Yet. No Frontrunner. A Divided
Base. Welcome to the 2020 Democratic Primary ---
Like in 2016 the 2020 nominee will, in my opinion, be the one that the ever-popular Barack Obama endorses. The pressure on him this time around is enormous since defeat of Trump is more important than making a losing anti-capitalist statement.
UCLA Students Sign Petition to Put Trump
Supporters in Concentration Camps ---
Don't fear, all UCLA students are safe
The Economist: How Africa is creating
welfare states ($13 per month safety net and growing) ---
As I noted in “John Locke: Revolutions are Always
Motivated by Misrule as Well as Procedural Violations,” in my experience,
Department Chairs can get away with procedural violations as long as everyone
agrees with what they are doing. On a larger stage, people didn’t get that upset
with Thomas Jefferson for making the Louisiana purchase, even though that action
arguably exceeded his constitutional powers.
Three new governors face old pension disasters
Of Course We Can Afford Green New Deal, Medicare
For All and 'It's Not About a Cost' ---
Presidential Candidate Kamela Harris
Her wants, including reparations for African and Native Americans, the Green New Deal, Medicare-for-All, Housing Subsidies, Free College, etc. could top $100 trillion, but that is of no consequence when you're promising everything for votes ---
Free Riders: Electric cars are supposed to be good
for the environment, but they could make America’s crumbling roads much worse
The problem of not paying road taxes is even worse for trucks since trucks are on the road so much more and pay such a huge amount of road taxes. All eyes are on California to do something about this since nearly half of Tesla sales are in California. Thiese cars are paying zero toward road and bridge maintenance. Taxing charging stations is not the answer since many electric vehicles never use these stations. The fair answer is to tax odometer mileage when car registrations are renewed.
How to Mislead With Statistics
That means the “wealth tax” wouldn’t even generate enough revenue to cover 1 percent of the $42 trillion that Democrats wish to spend.---
$32 trillion), a federal jobs guarantee ($6.8 trillion), student loan forgiveness ($1.4 trillion), free public college ($800 billion), and infrastructure ($1 trillion)” — will cost an astronomical $42 trillion over the next decade.
Democrats are pitching a “wealth tax” as a way of financing their outrageous spending demands. The problem is that even America’s wealthiest people don’t have that much money.
As much as Democrats would like to believe otherwise, wealthy people and business owners are not a bottomless credit card available to finance a socialist utopia — as the people of Venezuela can attest. In fact, wealthy people don’t make nearly enough money to pay for even a fraction of what Democrats want.
Of Course We Can Afford Green New Deal,
Medicare For All and 'It's Not About a Cost' ---
Presidential Candidate Kamela Harris
Her wants, including reparations for African and Native Americans, the Green New Deal, Medicare-for-All, Housing Subsidies, Free College, etc. could top $100 trillion, but that is of no consequence when you're promising everything for votes
Americans Worry About Retirement, But Not as Much as Europeans ---
Anxiety about retirement is a global phenomenon, a new survey finds.
If you’re worried about saving enough for retirement, you’ve got company all over the world.
A new survey shows that even workers in countries with strong social safety nets fret over their financial futures. ING surveyed almost 15,000 people in Europe, the U.S., and Australia, and found the majority worry whether they’ll have enough money in retirement.
Those with the gloomiest outlooks are in Spain and France, where more than two out of three people said they’re concerned. The most optimistic about their retirement prospects are the Dutch. In the U.S., 62 percent of respondents said they worried about having enough to retire on.
As retirement experts have pointed out, working longer makes retirement easier to afford. That goes for both individuals planning their futures and governments struggling to cover the costs of old age benefits. There are practical problems, however: Cutting pensions for seniors can be dangerous for politicians who try to do so. And, for workers who want to delay retirement, it’s hard to know whether their health will hold up or if employers will want to hire them.
Workers’ attitudes toward retirement don’t necessarily reflect financial realities they face. In France, current retirees are doing relatively well, ING’s survey shows. They’re likeliest to say they “enjoy the same standard of living I had when working,” at 69 percent. Just 30 percent of Americans say the same.
It’s entirely possible that some combination of government budget cuts, low saving rates, and weak market returns could make future retirees worse off than seniors today. If so, a healthy fear of the future is justified for workers on both sides of the Atlantic.
Four Nordic countries are among seven countries with the
lowest level of public-sector corruption, according to a report. The USA
plummeted out of the top 20.---
Reply to a Valued Colleague Regarding the Corruption of Donald Trump
I don't deny that Trump had a negative impact, but corruption in the public sector was rampant before Trump was born. Exhibits A and B are Detroit and Chicago throughout the 20th Century.
Trump no doubt was corrupt since his days of having to construct hotels with Mafia-ridden NYC labor unions. It's amazing he's still alive since a close friend tells me Trump sometimes used scab labor.
Interestingly Trump's term as President is conducted in the middle of gnarling watchdogs. It's harder for him to make his family richer with graft in office like Pelosi made her husband rich over her years in office with government contracts. Trump had to shut down his abuse of the Trump Foundation largely because of being more in the public eye since becoming President.
Don't take this as meaning I voted for Trump or advocate his re-election in 2020. His corruption as President has more to do with his paranoia than his personal financial graft of public money since being in office.
It would be interesting to view his tax returns. My theory is that they might be more embarrassing to the IRS than Trump since the IRS supposedly has been auditing his taxes continuously for years before and after he was elected.
He's an immoral man and a liar. But as President he operates in a sea of angry whistleblowers.
Functional Finance --- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Functional_finance
How to Mislead With Economics
Printing Money: What’s Wrong With Abba Lerner's Functional Finance? ---
This article may not be free much longer
Abba Lerner had in mine printing money to create money. Most nations do not create money in this manner. For example, the USA Treasury printed the greenbacks in your wallet. But the USA Treasury as a rule does not create money in the USA money supply. Commercial banks create money in the money supply. Suppose you go to the bank to get a $10,000 loan for a new swimming pool. When the bank credits your checking account for $10,000 the bank has created money. You can spend that money without ever converting it into greenbacks. You can simply write checks to the people who build your pool. Those people can in turn deposit your checks into their accounts and spend it without ever converting that $10,000 into greenbacks. But suppose the company that built your pool needed $100 in petty cash. That company could've converted $100 its checking account into $100 in greenbacks. In economics we say that the company simply has made a $100 liquidity preference decision.
My point is that the USA Treasury prints money to satisfy liquidity preferences regarding money that was created previously by commercial banks.
But commercial banks cannot go wild like Zimbabwe when creating money ---
Quantitative easing is a controversial exception that I won't go into here
Abba Lerner's theoretical "Functional Finance" is an entirely different way
of creating money and a very risky way for governments to create money ---
Recent Trade War Timeline: How Countries Won U.S. Tariffs
Exemptions: Retaliation Threats, Intense Lobbying and an Emphasis on Alliances
The Trump administration began punishing imports of steel and aluminum from around the world early Friday—but not metal coming from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, the European Union, Mexico and South Korea.
More than a dozen trading partners complained about the unilaterally imposed U.S. tariffs at the Geneva headquarters of the World Trade Organization. The trade body’s director general, Roberto Azevedo, called on Friday for “restraint and urgent dialogue as the best path forward to resolve these problems.”
Continued in article
Behavioral Sink: What happens when there are not nearly enough roles
to fill for the number desperate to fill those roles? ---
. . .
This formula might apply to rats and mice—but could the same happen to humankind? For Calhoun, there was little question about it. No matter how sophisticated we considered ourselves to be, once the number of individuals capable of filling roles greatly exceeded the number of roles,
*How to Mislead With Statistics
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says that $3 billion in tax credits should be given to Queens NYC residents, not Amazon — and a new poll shows that nearly half of Americans agree ---
For argument's sake suppose that there are 2.5 million Queens residents give or take. I don't know how many of those residents file NY tax returns, but for argument sake suppose that 2 million residents will file NY tax returns. This is a high estimate since some people who do not currently file tax returns (including children) might file for the tax credit if it exceeds the value of being exemptions on their parents' returns.
It's not clear how long the $3 billion would benefit Amazon, but a number
thrown out is 25 years ---
Dividing $3 billion by 25 years averages out to $120 million per year. Dividing $120 million by 2 million tax filers works out to be $60 per person per year. Oops that's probably not enough for some children to give up their value of being exemptions on their parents' tax returns. So let's divide $120 million by 1 million taxpayers to get $120 per year. How wonderful for Queens! Yeah Right!
Will $120 per year tax credit for each Queens taxpayer have the same impact
as the Amazon deal will have on Queens?
According to the state, Amazon will generate $27.5 billion in state and city revenue over 25 years, a 9:1 ratio of revenue to subsidies—an arrangement Cuomo called “the highest rate of return for an economic incentive program the state has ever offered.”
Even if we complicate the analysis with time value of money Alexandria's proposal is what I call Democratic Socialist economics.
NY State Budget Director on Amazon ---
The open letter on Amazon from Robert Mujica, New York State’s Budget Director, is on fire. It shines an unflattering light on many people involved in the Amazon decision but it’s analysis of twitter mobs goes well beyond Amazon.
Alexandria the Economist: Bill de Blasio: Alexandria Didn't
Understand Amazon Deal...at All ---
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio suggested Sunday that Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY) had no idea what she was talking about when arguing that Amazon pulling out of its deal to build a new office complex in Long Island City would’ve freed up money to fix the subway system and hire more teachers.Todd played a clip of Ocasio-Cortez’s reaction to the news Amazon was backing out of its deal to build the complex.
Continued in article
Alexandria the Politician: Amazon winners and losers ---
Alexandria is a big winner in Amazon's back out, because this way she keeps her low-income voter support that might've been diluted by higher wage earners
The Young Left’s
Anti-Capitalist Manifesto: Its goal is to remake our economic system — and the
Democratic Party ---
Faced with a housing shortage and skyrocketing rents, Oregon is poised to become the first state to impose mandatory rent controls, with a measure establishing tenant protections moving swiftly through the Legislature ---
House Speaker Tina Kotek, a Democrat, said 30,000 housing units must be built per year to meet the state’s current housing deficit and to build for the future as more people move to Oregon.
Is Tina Kotek the comedian of the day?
What's the incentive to build new rental units? What prospective landlords would want to invest in long-term housing subject to rent control limits on revenue and unrestrained risk on expenses?
Short-term returns may not sound to bad in this era of low interest rates, but over the long-term you've got to be stupid to invest under these rent-controlled restrictions.
One year in the future Oregon will at last legislate landlord incentives to invest, but not today.
This is not the answer to providing shelter for the homeless, many of whom are addicts and/or on welfare.
Here's what left-leaning Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman says
about rent control ---
. . .
The analysis of rent control is among the best-understood issues in all of economics, and -- among economists, anyway -- one of the least controversial. In 1992 a poll of the American Economic Association found 93 percent of its members agreeing that ''a ceiling on rents reduces the quality and quantity of housing.'' Almost every freshman-level textbook contains a case study on rent control, using its known adverse side effects to illustrate the principles of supply and demand. Sky-high rents on uncontrolled apartments, because desperate renters have nowhere to go -- and the absence of new apartment construction, despite those high rents, because landlords fear that controls will be extended? Predictable. Bitter relations between tenants and landlords, with an arms race between ever-more ingenious strategies to force tenants out -- what yesterday's article oddly described as ''free-market horror stories'' -- and constantly proliferating regulations designed to block those strategies? Predictable.
And as for the way rent control sets people against one another -- the executive director of San Francisco's Rent Stabilization and Arbitration Board has remarked that ''there doesn't seem to be anyone in this town who can trust anyone else in this town, including their own grandparents'' -- that's predictable, too.
None of this says that ending rent control is an easy decision. Still, surely it is worth knowing that the pathologies of San Francisco's housing market are right out of the textbook, that they are exactly what supply-and-demand analysis predicts.
But people literally don't want to know. A few months ago, when a San Francisco official proposed a study of the city's housing crisis, there was a firestorm of opposition from tenant-advocacy groups. They argued that even to study the situation was a step on the road to ending rent control -- and they may well have been right, because studying the issue might lead to a recognition of the obvious.
So now you know why economists are useless: when they actually do understand something, people don't want to hear about it.
Bob Jensen's threads on health care ---
NYT: Choosing the Right Health Savings Account ---
NYT: Fixing Medicare
Top Pelosi Aide Tells Insurance Industry Medicare for All Would Be Costly,
Politically Perilous, and Difficult To Implement ---
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/