Tidbits Political Quotations
To Accompany the March 28, 2019 edition of Tidbits
Bob Jensen at
Trinity University

My Latest Web Document
Over 400 Examples of Critical Thinking and Illustrations of How to Mislead With Statistics --

Animated  Visualization of the United States’ Exploding Population Growth Over 200 Years (1790 – 2010) ---
A Visualization of the United States’ Exploding Population Growth Over 200 Years (1790 – 2010)

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 ---


While a move is underway to destroy the American Dream of rags to riches (by taxing away the riches) the Chinese dream is on the rise.
The Chinese Dream
How a Chinese billionaire went from making $16 a month in a factory to being one of the world's richest self-made women with an $8.3 billion real-estate empire


Top 50 Billionaires in China ---

Jensen Comment
The question for students to debate is why a supposed communist country allows so many billionaires to rise up from poverty.
That's supposed to happen in the USA where a child growing up in deep poverty (think Oprah Winfrey or Howard Shultz) became a multi-billionaires.
But is it also supposed to happen under communism? If so, why?


One reason is that many billionaires can afford to pour lots of money into high risk ventures. When's the last time you heard about a high risk (think Silicon Valley) venture in Europe?


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' ---


Great fleas have little fleas upon their backs to bite 'em, And little fleas have lesser fleas, and so on ad infinitum ---

Augustus De Morgan

Prior to 1980 what was unique about the year of his birth in 1871?



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 ---


Bernie Sanders’ New Campaign Advisor David Sirota Once Touted Hugo Chavez’s ‘Economic Miracle’ in Venezuela ---


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 ---


Fed up cystic fibrosis patients are threatening to move out of Britain since the health service won't cover a $272,000 drug ---


2020 Democrats are divided over whether to give reparations to black Americans ---


'Why shouldn't I like him?' Trump piled praise on Kim Jong Un in his first interview since their summit collapsed ---
What's to be gained by screaming insults about the volatile Kim Jong Un while he holds a trigger on nuclear weapons and may start nuclear war in a temper tantrum.


Kalashnikov, the maker of the AK-47, has invented an explosive kamikaze drone; Its aim is to “democratize bombs” so they’re affordable for smaller armies, apparently ---


Jensen Comment
Add this to the list of the Malthusian ways of solving the world's overpopulation problem
It will not only make smaller armies more lethal, it will also make them targets for revolutionaries and criminals. Like the AK-47, this will keep revolutions in Africa and elsewhere forever ongoing. There can be no stability wth all those AK-47s and lethal drones. And the thought of these in the hands of terrorists is really scary. Think of the power grid, brimming flood control dams, overcrowded bridges in our largest cities and on and on and on. And then there's Trump's crumbling wall as caravans of 100,000+ people reach the border.


The Chinese Dream
How a Chinese billionaire went from making $16 a month in a factory to being one of the world's richest self-made women with an $8.3 billion real-estate empire


Italy Deports 1500 Migrants, Bulldozes Refugee Camp ---


GOLDMAN SACHS: There's a big misconception surrounding the impact of Trump's tax cuts ---


Cory Booker’s massive overhaul of the Newark schools, explained (critically) ---


NYT:  In 2017, Baltimore recorded 342 murders — its highest per-capita rate ever, more than double Chicago’s, far higher than any other city of 500,000 or more residents ---


ISIS Spokesman: ‘What’s Our Crime? We Just Wanted to Apply Sharia.’---
Is plundering, raping, and heheading Christians on world TV an acceptable application of Sharia?


Islamic Terror on Christians ---


New Terrorism Weapons:  America’s doctors warn Google, Twitter, and Facebook: Anti-vaxxers are weaponizing tech platforms, prompting outbreaks that can 'debilitate and kill' ---


Inside 'vaccine court,' where the US government pays millions to people who say they were harmed by vaccines ---

Mostly it's a cash cow for lawyers:  A 75¢ cent tax on every childhood vaccine and flu shot in the US pays for the program.


United Nations:  More than three times as many people in forced servitude today as were captured and sold during the 350-year span of the transatlantic slave trade ---
Click Here


I Am a Migrant --- http://iamamigrant.org/


Facebook says it removed 1.5 million copies of the New Zealand terror attack video ---
Click Here

It's like trying to hold back the water from a burst dam.
Recording artists like Dolly or Willy have the same problem on YouTube. If a song is taken down at one site it will pop up at ten different sites.
Also see China's reaction to the shooting ---


An Open and Enlightened Libertarianism ---


Finland Tops Global Happiness Index for Second Straight Year — Here's Why
Click Here

Jensen Comment
Not mentioned is that Finland is one of the least diverse nations and the least welcoming country in the world to immigrants seeking to reside in Finland. Those that enter illegally sometimes find themselves shipped off to less-happy Sweden.


In a series of tweets, the Minnesota congresswoman labeled the George W. Bush administration's invasion of Iraq "illegal" and called for those involved in the explanation and lead up to the war to be held accountable ---

Does she want the 297 House Representatives and the 77 Senators who voted for the war to be sent to the Hague for war crimes?


Stocks are fleeing the exchanges in the US. Small and young stocks are disappearing most, with older larger stocks dominating. Less public means more private, not less companies ---


Forthcoming Book?
The Curious History of India’s Relations with Pakistan ---

Note Sri Raman's Comments about the book possibly being previously published in 2018 (the book is now available from Amazon)


Nature:  The Wisdom of Polarized Crowds ---

Jensen Comment
This may be a bit misleading in that it depends upon the wisdom (level of intellectualism) of the crowds and the subject matter and context.


Dark Shadows: Inside the Secret World of Kazakhstan ---


Tax Cut?
What tax cut?
Trump Tax Reform Hits Home in Wealthy New York Suburbs ---



China Welcomes Italy Into Its Sphere Of Influence, Unnerving the E.U. and U.S. ---
Click Here


Maybe China will have better luck than the UISA in bringing capitalism to parts if Europe
Italy will be the first G7 country to join China’s controversial Belt and Road project ---


Nate Silver:  The case against Trump is that he’s pretty darn unpopular. The case for Trump is that the Democratic nominee might be pretty darn unpopular too.

Geoffrey Skelley:  To me, “It’s the economy, stupid.” If the economy remains on its present course, some econometrics models would suggest Trump is an even bet or even a favorite to win re-election.

Jensen Comment
The above article focused too much on the unpopularity of Trump. Sure Trump is unpopular, but will labor unions and other working class Americans vote on a candidate proposing $100+ trillion social spending that could destroy the USA economic engine? Popularity is not so much an issue as fear in my opinion.


A $1.6 trillion credit market could batter the global economy. And you will take the hit if it implodes, not Wall Street.---


What's wrong with social justice warriors?


Show Some Respect for the Women in the Windows
The Guardian:  Amsterdam Bans Tours of Its Red LIght District
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/mar/20/amsterdam-to-ban-disrespectful-tours-of-red-light-district l

Jensen Comment
My wife always accompanied me on my trips to Holland. She never let me go window shopping.


The winners and losers of the Mueller revelations ---


Is market concentration increasing, decreasing, or a complicated mixed bag?

Millennials Want The Big State To Fix Problems Which It Caused ---



Politics:  How America Blew It on Arugula ---


All ISIS Has Left Is Money. Lots of It ---



The eviction crisis is starting to look a lot like the subprime mortgage crisis ---


How did presidential candidates, like Sens. Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Kristen Gillibrand and Elizabeth Warren, supported the the Green New Deal?
Click Here
Actually Alexandria requested they vote this way ---




How to Mislead With Statistics and Biased Media Reporting (the externality of motivating the police to do less and less and less)

Here are the stories about police misconduct uncovered so far by a new media partnership ---
Jensen Comment
It would also be nice if the media partnership also reported good conduct deeds by law enforcement.

The real problem about reporting alleged police misconduct is that "no action" can easily go undetected. For example, in Baltimore police are now suspected of simply looking the other way in the presence of rising street crimes and traffic crimes. Or the police might create long delays until a relatively formidable armed squad can be assembled before entering dangerous public housing complexes and domestic dispute residences.

And police departments can be simply overwhelmed (think Chicago and Baltimore) by the number of murders and rapes such that "investigations" become badly understaffed and underfunded.

Meanwhile minorities are the most impacted by reduced police protections just like urban school children and their teachers are subjected to more bullying and gang violence by paranoid school administrators and security guards. Teachers in NYC now complain that in some districts inmates have overtaken the asylum ---


Ross Douthat on some reasons for the electoral college ---

**How to Mislead With Voting Laws
Colorado Will Allocate Their Electoral College Delegates Based On National Popular Vote Winner ---
Click Here
Jensen Comment
Since Colorado only has about 1.5 % of the voters that determine the popular vote outcome in the USA it's not clear why a candidate from either party would even visit Colorado or invest in trying to win votes in Colorado. More importantly voters in Colorado lose any clout in influencing candidates on matter particular to Colorado. For example, Colorado is particularly fond on legalization of marijuana. Suppose one of both candidates declares wanting to step of Federal enforcement of marijuana laws. Voters in Colorado have given up entirely on trying to influence a presidential candidate's position of marijuana law enforcement.

In Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, and other corn-growing states there is strong support for increasing ethanol content of gasoline. In fact former candidate Al Gore said his main reason for supporting ethanol legislation was to get the Midwest vote when he was running for the presidency. If the corn-growing states did what Colorado just did with the Electoral College, those states would have virtually zero impact on presidential candidates supporting their wishes.

What makes matters worse is that Colorado just passed the power of electing a president of the USA to the high-population states like California, New York, Texas, etc.
Why do Colorado voters want to lose any influence on electing the President?
Of course it's possible that the popular vote could be divided by a only a small number of votes such that Colorado's rubber stamp helps elect the winner. The important thing to note, however, is that Colorado voters most likely did not decide the winner. Colorado's rubber stamp went to the voters in California, Texas, New York, and other highly populated states of the USA.



3 cities in the U.S. have ended chronic homelessness: Here’s how they did it ---
Jensen Comment
One problem is that the current rate of illegal entry into the USA is 76,000+ undocumented immigrants per month according to the NYT with about 4,000 crossing the northern USA border per month. If El Paso or San Diego or Brownsville or Seattle tried to end homelessness these cities would soon be overwhelmed. Nine cities in the USA to date have ended homelessness for veterans --- which avoids being overwhelmed with undocumented immigrants. The three cities that have "ended chronic homelessness" have done so far away from the northern and southern USA borders and have also done so in a manner that does not advertise homes for chronic homeless people. Many of course have group shelters.


A huge problem of chronic homelessness in places like San Francisco is that many (most?) are also hardcore homeless are alcoholics and drug addicts such that where they are housed (including street encampments) become centers for crimes by addicts in dire need of cash to feed their habits. This is why even addicts don't want to live in group shelters in warm weather because such shelters are unsafe even for them.


The best solution to homelessness should, in my opinion, be accompanied with legalization of drugs. This, of course, is no solution to having 76,000+ new poor people pouring across the borders each and every month in search of jobs, education, and health care. How long can our strained labor markets absorb these poor people seeking work? If the USA stops deporting undocumented immigrants the problem may grow to over a million permanent new residents per per month from Africa, Asia, the Carribean, and points south of the southern USA border. Go figure!




NYC's first-ever Neiman Marcus just opened in Hudson Yards ---

Hudson Yards (the most expensive (taxpayer subsidized) private real estate development in the USA) ---

Jensen Comment
AOC (Alexandria) was the "top villain" who quashed the $3 billion tax subsidy for Amazon in NYC. Please tell her that the opulent Hudson Yards in Manhattan and its condos costing multi millions got a $6 billion deal from NYC ---
Click Here 
The homeless will not find shelter in Hudson Yards. But CNN is locating in a fabulous part of Hudson Yards.

If you want to frustrate the 1% put gaudy suits/dresses on some of the most foul-smelling and ugly homeless people on the streets and lead them to the most expensive Hudson Yard restaurants. Give your guests the most expensive meals and wines. Those evenings out will be nutritional for hungry homeless who might enjoy dining out alongside Wall Street's billionaires. A sing-along at your table might be nice as well.



ISIS Spokesman: ‘What’s Our Crime? We Just Wanted to Apply Sharia.’---
Is plundering, raping, and beheading Christians on world TV an acceptable application of Sharia? Is slavery an acceptable application of Sharia?


United Nations:  More than three times as many people in forced servitude today as were captured and sold during the 350-year span of the transatlantic slave trade ---
Click Here


Modern Slavery Goes Beyond the Libya Slave Trade:  It's Bigger Than at Any Time in History --- 
Would this disgrace receive more media attention if it was Christians running the slave markets instead of Moslems?

The auctioneer calls, “Does anybody need a digger? This is a digger, a big strong man, he’ll dig. What am I bid, what am I bid?”

The auctioneer is selling a man, a slave, and that man’s bid goes for $400.

The CNN footage of the slave trade in Libya has shocked the world. For some, this is the first time the reality of modern day slavery has entered their conception of the world and confronting it is horrifying.

The reality is the slave trade is alive and well all over the world, not just in Libya. Human beings are bought and sold and forced into slavery every day. A report by the International Labour Office (ILO) and the Walk Free Foundation estimates that 40.3 million men, women, and children were victims of modern day slavery in 2016.

Though there is no legal definition of modern day slavery, it is a broad term used to cover many forms of coercion in human rights or labor standards. Forced labor, marriage, sexual exploitation and state-imposed labor are terms the ILO uses to categorize instances of slavery. The average cost of a slave is $90.

In the CNN video from Libya, the primary victims of the slave trade are men. While inhumane and urgent, this is not a typical example of how modern-day slavery takes place. Most often though, this process doesn’t happen on an auction block, there are no bids, and the victims are usually women. Seventy one percent of modern day slavery victims are women. Gender-based violence, conflict, and poverty all contribute to women becoming the primary victims of modern day slavery.

Gender-Based Violence

The UN Refugee Agency defines gender-based violence as any act that is perpetrated against a person’s will and is based on gender norms and unequal power relationships. Gender-based violence and slavery are often closely linked, as violence is a defining characteristic of slavery, specifically sexual slavery and exploitation. This is most evident in the sex-trafficking and survivors of rape, sexual harassment and exploitation. In fact, the ILO reports that 99% of victims of sexual exploitation are women. Men certainly fall victim to sexual exploitation but women, are doubly victims of an unequal power dynamic. Gender-based violence is inherent in the violence perpetrated against women victims of slavery.


Slavery is more easily perpetrated in countries that are affected by war and conflict. Slavery happens in all countries, but in countries where the rule of law is broken, there are many more opportunities for women to be forced into slavery. Reports of forced sexual slavery come from countries all around the world such as the Democratic Republic of Congo where rape and sexual violence have reached epidemic proportions and Iraq where ISIS has persecuted Yezidi women. Conflict and war also displaces men, women and children, forcing them to flee their homes in search of safety. Refugees and internally displaced persons are vulnerable to smugglers who buy and sell people, as was the case in the Libyan video. In the search for safety, women can be sold into domestic servitude and forced marriage under the disguise of an option for safety. For example, 24% of Syrian refugee girls in Lebanon are married because of the insecurity that continues to plague their families.


Poverty creates vulnerability worldwide and hinders the education, health and rights of women. Often, poverty leads families to take extreme measures. In the Rohingya refugee camps, young girls are being sold into marriage. Marrying young girls means that families do not have the responsibility to feed that child or will use the money to sustain the family. Poverty also forces women to take on the majority of unpaid care work. These jobs fall outside the formal economy and are not regulated by laws or contracts. As a result, they often end up being forced labor or indentured servitude as women are not paid at all or are paid so little they are unable to escape or change their circumstances.

The tragedy of modern day slavery is that it is more insidious. You won’t see every slave in a video in CNN because the majority of modern day slaves are not auctioned publicly, but sold within their communities and families. This is a time to recognize that women are the primary victims of slavery globally. The video is a shocking reminder that slavery is a very real part of our global society, but we must go beyond the shock factor and tackle slavery in all its forms. Gender-based violence, conflict, and poverty create vulnerable situations for women around the world making slavery a terrifying reality for many.

Continued in article


Rahm Emanuel --- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rahm_Emanuel

Rahm Emanuel says Democrats' hard left turn could re-elect Trump ---

Pelosi Drops a Bomb on 'Medicare for All' --- 
Also see

GOLDMAN SACHS: There's a big misconception surrounding the impact of Trump's tax cuts ---

  • A Goldman Sachs analysis out last week suggests there are misconceptions around the impact of President Donald Trump's tax cuts.
  • Many on Wall Street and Capitol Hill have said the tax cuts are being spent on corporate stock buybacks and not capital expenditures.
  • Stock buybacks have been under attack on Capitol Hill, with some arguing companies should provide better benefits before repurchasing shares.
  • But a Goldman Sachs report found that US companies have sharply increased their cash outlays in growth investments after the tax reform.


Multiple incidents of plagiarism helped doom Joe Biden's first presidential run in 1988 ---

Bob Jensen's threads on celebrity plagiarism ---

Another Blast from the Past
CNN Fires Donna Brazile for Rigging Debates --- Giving Hillary Questions in Advance ---
Jensen Comment
The sad part that comes as no surprise is that Hillary Clinton willingly cheated. Under the pay-to-play policy Donna may even get a high level appointment in the incoming White House.
Bob Jensen's threads on celebrities who cheat ---

Farmers in the USA and Australia say they will continue to spray crops with Roundup in spite of recent lawsuits ---
Jensen Comment
Lawsuits like the recent huge jury awards in California will probably get scaled back significantly after appeals.

Jensen Comment
Suppose there is no herbicide that can be deemed totally risk free. Further suppose that herbicides enormously add yield to food crops around the world. This becomes a classic case for student debates about ethics and morality. It's an extension of the classic Trolley Problem in philosophy ---
I might add that the cancer risk concerning Roundup is still hotly debated in science.

The debate becomes even more interesting if the competition becomes between nations. The USA is a land of lawyers where too many large lawsuits can end use of a product. But in many (most?) other nations lawyers have much less societal power. It may well boil down to a world in which USA farm productivity is greatly curtailed relative to farm productivity in the rest of the world.

How to Mislead With Statistics
Who Got the Better MLB Contract—Bryce Harper or Manny Machado?
Jensen Comment
The above article is misleading because it leaves out taxes. Most financial recommendations are misleading if they don't factor in taxes. Manny Machado gets clobbered with income tax.

Why California's Income Tax is Scary
Bryce Harper Will Save Tens Of Millions In Taxes By Spurning California Teams ---

400+ other examples of how to mislead with statistics ---

What's wrong with social justice warriers?

How to Mislead With Statistics

Research: Better-Managed Companies Pay Employees More Equally ---

Jensen Comment
This article is a mixed bag. It does a poor job of defining "better managed." On the other hand, it does a good job in admitting and explaining that does not understand reasons for the findings.

What is also misleading is that it does not explain that organizations vary a great deal regarding pay needed for expertise. There's a huge difference between Apple Corporation that depends upon expensive engineers in a huge R&D operation versus Blue Cross needing a much greater proportion of lower-paid employees processing insurance claims. It also does not account for different types of pay structures such when pay varies a great deal within a category of employment due to sales commissions and related pay schemes where doctors and lawyers in a firm are paid according to the fees they generate.

As to the results of the article itself I like Reason Number 3 for explaining the differences. Some firms that limit wages and benefits by outsourcing both high-end and low-end employees. I worked at a university that outsourced its cleaning services. In the case of teaching courses it also outsourced some of the most expensive teachers such as accounting teachers and computer science teachers. Such outsourcing leads to compression of outlier labor expenses thus making it look (misleadingly) like there;s a smaller difference between high-paid and low paid-workers.

I might add that outsourcing itself can be misleading.
Hiring an adjunct to teach tax accounting or PERL programming in a college is not the same as having tenured faculty teach those courses. Tenured faculty serve other missions of the university such as research and service that adjunct faculty do not usually serve. Hence cheaper experts are not always better experts in terms of all missions of the organization.

My point here is that outsourcing the highest and lowest paid workers in an organization is not optimal for the good of society if the only thing it does is make it look like you are reducing the gap between highest and lowest paid employees.


Chicago Politics As Usual
Two weeks ago, Chicago Sun-Times reporters discovered that Obama crony pal and deep-pocketed campaign finance mega-bundler Tina Tchen had inserted herself in the investigation on behalf of Jussie Smollett ---
Motivation to prevent and investigate crime is very low this week in the Chicago Police Department

Chicago Corruption as Usual:  The consummate political insider linked to the burgeoning City Hall corruption probe ---



How to Mislead With Statistics

Here's how much money doctors across the US make ---

Jensen Comment
This article is a great example of how statistical reports can be misleading if they only focus on mean averages without added information about standard deviations and skewness and missing variables. For example, consider neurosurgery. My wife's spine surgeon in Boston is what he calls a "big-back" surgeon. He performs spinal surgeries that 95+% of the back surgeons in the USA refuse to perform. He actually broke Erika's spine into three pieces and then attached four rods from her hips to her neck. Afterwards, however, she can still pick up a tissue off of the floor when bending her spine. Needless to say his rates, sometimes exceeding tens of thousands of dollars per surgery, are greater than the rates of "little-back" surgeons who also work out his office. By the way, he's not on the faculty of the Harvard Medical School. However, every time I've spoken with him he was followed by two or three Harvard Medical School neurosurgery residency physicians who were what I called his "puppies."

By the way, it might be interesting to study details of his malpractice insurance premiums and lawsuits. He's amazing because he has the guts to be a "last-chance" neurosurgeon in spite of the circling lawyers. By last chance I mean when patients can no longer find a neurosurgeon who will operate on their spines he's their "last chance." Erika had over a dozen spine surgeries before she at last found this "big-back" surgeon in Boston.

There are also many other troubles with the above article. For example, malpractice insurance is very high priced in the USA relative to all other nations. And malpractice insurance costs vary greatly with specialties such as being very high for obstetrics (lawyers sue for every bad baby) versus neurosurgery versus psychiatry versus primary care physicians.

Let's consider an example. According to the study the average pay for a neurosurgeon is $617,000. But that does not account for differences in whether that salary is net of malpractice insurance premiums. Such netting out is complicated because many neurosurgeons make this much or much more without having to pay malpractice insurance premiums. My wife's spine surgeon who installed her morphine pump  is an employee of the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center that pays malpractice insurance for virtually all employees and medical school faculty. However, many neurosurgeons who operate in that same medical center are not employees and must pay their own malpractice insurance. Similarly, there's a nearby Veterans Hospital where VA neurosurgeons do not have to pay their own malpractice insurance. But if the VA has to outsource a particular type of surgery that surgeon's bill to the VA will include malpractice insurance.

Incomes of many specialists vary when they must pay for their own staff versus have no expenses for staff. For example, the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center pays for all staff such as receptionists, nurses, technicians, accountants, etc.  It even pays for lawyers when needed. The private-practice physicians who may also perform surgeries at this medical center must pay for their own office space and staff. How do you compare a salaried employee of that medical center with the profits of a private-practice physician?

I might point out a political problem related to all of this. There's an old saying:  "Show me a bad doctor, and I'll show you a rich professional." The point is that even at the lowest end of the income distribution medical doctors in the USA are well paid.

The Democratic candidates for the 2020 presidential nomination have created a paradox.
Most, not all, students are drawn to medical school in anticipation of relatively high after-tax incomes. The politicians advocating Medicare-for-All want to fund this $30+ trillion cost with greatly increased taxes (think 70% of a physician's income). At the same time more than twice as many physicians will be needed to staff Medicare-for-All, especially with 76,000 new patients crossing the border each month at current rates estimated by the NYT ---
Eventually, the progressives will also legislate free medical school education. But how many students will flock to medical schools even if they are free? My guess is very few if you are gong to tax or regulate away 70% of their income when they at long last begin to practice medicine.

The problem with becoming a physician is not just the cost of medical school. The problem is the ordeal --- those years of education and training needed to become masters of their crafts. The time needed varies with specialties, but you don't become a neurosurgeon without years of ordeal in training before you can bill your first paying patient. And there's a lot of blood, sweat, and tears in those training years. Even worse is that there's a lot of weekly tension and risk of burn out in the years of practice that follow. Tell that to the advocates of Medicare-for-All combined with soaring taxes.!

If you want to double the number of physicians in the USA you not only have to make medical school free; You have to let them be the highest paid professionals on average after taxes.

You can read more about Erika's ordeal with pain and surgeries at
I might add that the electronic pain stimulator installed eventually proved to be worthless. The same surgeon who installed it removed it and replaced it with a morphine pump. The pump is no magic bullet, but its more effective than the electronic wiring up and down her spine.



Hi Elliot,


You must also realize that when the wealthy people fund the new ventures they are also taking on highe financial risks. For some the payout is more wealth. For others there are huge losses. Bill Gates and Warren Buffet and other billionaires lost big time in Theranos. But Theranos and other more successful ventures got a chance that they would never get in Europe due to all the regulations and red tape entanglements and high taxes. 



How many innovative ventures that succeeded and failed have been funded by European nations like the Nordic nations? And in China and Russia these new ventures probably could not get started without having the best ideas stolen/hacked from the USA.



You raised the question:
"At what point do most people take Sen. Warren or Rep. AOC more seriously and consider
their solutions as reasonable instead of fringe?"


Do you really think Warren and AOC have thought out "their solutions" even to the satisfaction of their own party?



Most Democrats consider AOC and Warren economics fringe and worry that at adding $100+ trillion in social spending might destroy the USA economic engine.



Consider Medicare-for-All.



The sensible liberal press argues as follows:



The New York Times' David Brooks:  ‘Medicare for All’: The Impossible Dream ---



Washington Post:  You can’t have it all — even with Medicare-for-all ---


If the nation were building a health-care system from scratch, single-payer might be the rational choice. Even now, with many Americans reasonably satisfied with their employer-sponsored coverage, politicians can make an argument that they’d be better off in a different system. But they should not make that argument by exaggerating the benefits or lowballing the costs of single-payer, as Medicare-for-all advocates so often do. Any system will demand tradeoffs and constraints.




Pelosi Drops a Bomb on 'Medicare for All' --- 
 Also see



Kaiser Family Foundation:  People love Medicare-for-All until they're told it'll raise their taxes to  the $30+ trillion cost:  Then support nosedives  ---




The Democratic Party is Split
“You have to make decisions that you’re going to reach certain goals, and some of our goals
we think are achievable
Nancy Pelosi (when criticizing Alexandria's Green New Deal and Basic (Guaranteed) Income Medicare-for-All)
Click Here


What do you see in the Warren and AOC solutions that are sustainable from the standpoint of economic reality?
Yes we can move toward universal healthcare in a number of ways, but certainly not in the way that the fringe candidates want to do by eliminating all private sector insurance
in two years.




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Enron --- http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudEnron.htm

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American History of Fraud --- http://faculty.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudAmericanHistory.htm

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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

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


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