Tidbits Political Quotations
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 north.
Bob Jensen


The Young Left’s Anti-Capitalist Manifesto: Its goal is to remake our economic system — and the Democratic Party ---


"In 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 ---
Derek Lowe

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


12 inspiring quotes from Martin Luther King Jr.---


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!” ---

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



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

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 ---
Click Here

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

Today, humanity fabricates 1,000 times more transistors annually than the entire world grows grains of wheat and rice combined  ---

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 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 ---
ensen Comment
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 and economic and population growth.

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
Why a 70% Top Tax Rate Will Miss Its Mark ---

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 ---
Click Here


Insane to Make Women Compete Against Transgenders Who Biolgically Are Still Men
Martina Navratilova


This Olympic Champion's Case Could Change Sports' Gender Rules Forever ---
Click Here


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.--


Scarlet Letter Protections
The Atlantic:  Accused College Students Deserve the Presumption of Innocence ---
Jensen Comment
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 ---
Click Here
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  ---
Click Here

Jensen Comment
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 --- https://townhall.com/tipsheet/laurettabrown/2019/02/24/its-not-about-the-cost-kamala-harris-dismisses-questions-about-how-to-pay-for-medicare-for-all-and-green-new-deal-n2542126?utm_source=thdaily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=nl&newsletterad=02/25/2019&bc

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.
Miles Kimball


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
Click Here
Jensen Comment
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 ---
Jensen Comment
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.---
Click Here

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.

Senator and presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren has been one of the most vocal advocates for a wealth tax and is now trying to make the radical idea more palatable to voters by coupling it with a proposal for a massive federal child care program. That’s hardly the only exorbitantly expensive demand on the Democrat agenda, though.

Economist Brian Riedl calculates that the democratic socialist agenda that leading Democrats are now embracing — which “includes single-payer health care ($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.
his amount leaves out many proposals such as green initiatives ($50 trillion) reparations of African and Native Americans ($10 trillion.)
Hence the cost of Democratic Socialism is conservatively estimated at over $100 trillion to be added to the $100+ trillion in entitlements that already exists (think Medicaid and Medicare and Social Security).

To pay for this extraordinary level of spending, Democrats are pitching the same solution they’ve always favored: tax the rich.

But math doesn’t have an ideology, and that’s where the “tax the rich” rhetoric runs into a roadblock, because even the 70 percent income tax rate that some Democrats are proposing would fall woefully short of generating enough revenue to cover even one of their exorbitant spending demands.

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.

According to Riedl, the Democrat tax hike would raise $22 billion annually, while The Washington Post estimated it would bring in around $70 billion. That means the “wealth tax” wouldn’t even generate enough revenue to cover 1 percent of the $42 trillion that Democrats wish to spend.

Of Course We Can Afford Green New Deal, Medicare For All and 'It's Not About a Cost' ---
Presidential Candidate Kamela Harris
Click Here
Jensen Comment
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.

Bob Jensen

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

Jensen Comment
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  ---

Also see

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.

An hour before the global tariffs took effect, the White House released proclamations signed by President Donald Trump that temporarily exempted select countries from the tariffs that he said were needed on national security grounds.

Some allies’ reactions were mixed: happy to be spared from the duties—at least until May—but wary as talks with the U.S. continued. “People are relieved that we don’t have an immediate confrontation, but the fact that it is time-limited means we are still worried by this approach, which we don’t think is the right approach,” EU Ambassador to the U.S. David O’Sullivan said Friday.

Japan, a top U.S. ally not granted a temporary exemption, and other trading partners, chafed at having their steel exports to the U.S. taxed at 25%, with aluminum taxed at 10%, on top of any other duties Washington already imposes. The brunt of the tariffs will fall on China and Russia, which the Trump administration has identified as national security challenges.


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.”

Mr. Trump announced the tariffs primarily as a way of putting global pressure on China. Defenders of the U.S. domestic industry and trade hawks in Mr. Trump’s administration pushed hard to avoid too many national exemptions from the tariffs. Top backers of the tariffs also want to limit the number of products that may soon be excluded through a 90-day process at the U.S. Commerce Department.

Still, the global tariffs risked alienating allies and trading partners locked in negotiations with Washington, all at a time when U.S. officials are seeking to isolate China over its trade practices.

The excluded countries all made the case that their metal exports don’t impair U.S. national security, the legal basis for the tariffs, but different economies emphasized different approaches. Some threatened retaliation, a tactic that appeared to pay off for those nations, according to a business lobbyist in Washington.

Brazil and Australia claimed their exports of semifinished steel help rather than hurt the U.S. industry. Brazilian Ambassador Sergio Amaral and Brazil Steel Institute Chief Executive Marco Polo de Mello Lopes said they argued that their resource-rich country isn’t “part of the problem” but “part of the solution.”

Brazilian steel slab feeds an Alabama plant that rolls finished metal for the southeastern auto industry.

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,

only violence and disruption of social organization can follow. ... Individuals born under these circumstances will be so out of touch with reality as to be incapable even of alienation. Their most complex behaviors will become fragmented. Acquisition, creation and utilization of ideas appropriate for life in a post-industrial cultural-conceptual-technological society will have been blocked.

*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 ---

Jensen Comment
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.

In my 23 years in the State Capitol, three as Budget Director, Amazon was the single greatest economic development opportunity we have had. Amazon chose New York and Virginia after a year-long national competition with 234 cities and states vying for the 25,000-40,000 jobs. For a sense of scale, the next largest economic development project the state has completed was for approximately 1,000 jobs. People have been asking me for the past week what killed the Amazon deal. There were several factors.

First, some labor unions attempted to exploit Amazon’s New York entry. The RWDSU Union was interested in organizing the Whole Foods grocery store workers, a subsidiary owned by Amazon, and they deployed several ‘community based organizations’ (which RWDSU funds) to oppose the Amazon transaction as negotiation leverage. It backfired.

…Organizing Amazon, or Whole Foods workers, or any company for that matter, is better pursued by allowing them to locate here and then making an effort to unionize the workers, rather than making unionization a bar to entrance. If New York only allows unionized companies to enter, our economy is unsustainable, and if one union becomes the enemy of other unions, the entire union movement – already in decline – is undermined and damaged.

Second, some Queens politicians catered to minor, but vocal local political forces in opposition to the Amazon government incentives as ‘corporate welfare.’ Ironically, much of the visible ‘local’ opposition, which was happy to appear at press conferences and protest at City Council hearings during work hours, were actual organizers paid by one union: RWDSU. (If you are wondering if that is even legal, probably not). Even more ironic is these same elected officials all signed a letter of support for Amazon at the Long Island City location and in support of the application. They were all for it before Twitter convinced them to be against it.

…Furthermore, opposing Amazon was not even good politics, as the politicians have learned since Amazon pulled out. They are like the dog that caught the car. They are now desperately and incredibly trying to explain their actions. They cannot.

…Third, in retrospect, the State and the City could have done more to communicate the facts of the project and more aggressively correct the distortions. We assumed the benefits to be evident: 25,000-40,000 jobs located in a part of Queens that has not seen any significant commercial development in decades and a giant step forward in the tech sector, further diversifying our economy away from Wall Street and Real Estate. The polls showing seventy percent of New Yorkers supported Amazon provided false comfort that the political process would act responsibly and on behalf of all of their constituents, not just the vocal minority. We underestimated the effect of the opposition’s distortions and overestimated the intelligence and integrity of local elected officials.

Incredibly, I have heard city and state elected officials who were opponents of the project claim that Amazon was getting $3 billion in government subsidies that could have been better spent on housing or transportation. This is either a blatant untruth or fundamental ignorance of basic math by a group of elected officials. The city and state ‘gave’ Amazon nothing. Amazon was to build their headquarters with union jobs and pay the city and state $27 billion in revenues. The city, through existing as-of-right tax credits, and the state through Excelsior Tax credits – a program approved by the same legislators railing against it – would provide up to $3 billion in tax relief, IF Amazon created the 25,000-40,000 jobs and thus generated $27 billion in revenue. You don’t need to be the State’s Budget Director to know that a nine to one return on your investment is a winner.

The seventy percent of New Yorkers who supported Amazon and now vent their anger also bear responsibility and must learn that the silent majority should not be silent because they can lose to the vocalminority and self-interested politicians.

…Make no mistake, at the end of the day we lost $27 billion, 25,000-40,000 jobs and a blow to our reputation of being ‘open for business.’ The union that opposed the project gained nothing and cost other union members 11,000 good, high-paying jobs. The local politicians that catered to the hyper-political opposition hurt their own government colleagues and the economic interest of every constituent in their district. The true local residents who actually supported the project and its benefits for their community are badly hurt. Nothing was gained and much was lost. This should never happen again.

Even if you think the end result was fine, as I do, this was a political fiasco for New York. Amazon was wise to exit when they did because the pecking of the chickens would only have intensified as they sunk investments.

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.

In an interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd, the host said the tax breaks offered to Amazon weren’t “money you had over here. And it was going over there.”

“Correct,” de Blasio replied. “And that $3 billion that would go back in tax incentives was only after we were getting the jobs and getting the revenue.”

To clarify, Todd said, “There not $3 billion in money…”

“There’s no money—right,” de Blasio said. 

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 ---
ensen Comment
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.

Jensen Comment
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

Bob Jensen's Tidbits Archives ---

Bob 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 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/