Tidbits Political Quotations
To Accompany the September 26, 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/
The published debt is a lie
Here's the real booked debt ---

In September 2017 the USA National Debt exceeded $22 trillion for the first time ---

Human Population Over Time on Earth ---


Thomas Piketty +++ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Piketty

Billionaires (and millionaires)  hurt economic growth and should be taxed out of existence, says bestselling French economist ---


Here's a humorous TED talk that seriously argues why the world needs billionaires



Why did Cuba abandon its socialist/communist dream of equality for everybody?
The Guardian:  This was the egalitarian dream of Cuba in the 1960s: For years in Cuba, jobs as varied as farm workers and doctors only had a difference in their wages of the equivalent of a few US dollars a month.



Here's a somber and serious Guardian article on why the Cuban model of income equality for all is a disaster ---
Fidel Castro says his economic system is failing ---



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/


Gauss wrote Wolfgang Bolyai: "It is not knowledge, but the act of learning, not possession but the act of getting there, which grants the greatest enjoyment." ---


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


Some Fatherly Words of Wisdom from Jack Bogle, Founder of Vanguard Investments, to My Sons ---


Milton Friedman:  The Lesson of the Spoons ---
Chopsticks would be even better


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


I have a complaint about America today, and it is simple: we don’t love business enough ---
Tyler Cowen


The Amazon Rain Forest Is Nearly Gone ---
Amazon rainforest fires: Everything we know and how you can help ---
There Are More Fires Burning in Africa Than Anywhere on Earth ----
If forests go up in smoke, so can carbon offsets ---


"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' ---


"If you open the borders, my God, there's a lot of poverty in this world, and you're going to have people from all over the world. And I don't think that's something that we can do at this point."
Bernie Sanders


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?


Georges Simenon wrote nearly 200 novels. Hitchcock telephoned one day and was told, "Sorry, he’s just started a novel." "I’ll wait,’ came the reply


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


21 outstanding Warren Buffet quotations ---
Also see


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 ---


Walter E. Williams:  Youth and Ignorance ---


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

From John F. Kennedy to Oprah and Steve Jobs, here are 20 of the best commencement speeches of all time ---

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


The Best Advice from 2018's Celebrity Commencement Speakers ---


If the end brings me out all right, what is said against me won’t amount to anything. If the end brings me out wrong, ten angels swearing I was right would make no difference.
Lincoln on How to Handle Criticism ---



Walter E. Williams --- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_E._Williams
Racist Exam Questions?


The Economist:  A new kind of left-wing doctrine is emerging. It is not the answer to capitalism’s problems ---


Illinois hit by record $47 billion loss, ignored by regular media. Why?
How to dress up governmental financial reports with misleading press reports.

Should we dismiss the massive loss as a bookkeeping quirk? Hardly.


Classical music is a high-water mark for culture. Being a classical musician, however, is a job — a crappy job


India is building a mass detention center for illegal immigrants, less than a month after it effectively stripped 1.9 million people of their citizenship ---


California Bill Aimed at Ride Hailing Heralds Change Beyond Tech Firms ---


“It Is Not Just Verbiage”: The Trump Impeachment Pageant Creeps Toward Reality ---
Jensen Comment
If Democrats destroy Trump how suicidal will this be for the 2020 election outcomes of the house and Senate in a USA civil war?


Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Director warns federal spending on ‘unsustainable course,’ risk of national financial crisis growing ---


Biden: “Nobody should be in jail for a non-violent crime”
Set Bernie Madoff and other white collar criminals free even if they stole billions or millions of dollars
Fraudsters should not have to worry about prison even when they are repeat offenders


Monumental Global MBA Career Shifts and Successes ---
Jensen Comment
The global success of prestigious MBA degrees does not mean that the same successes are filtering down to MBA programs in less-prestigious colleges and universities (or their undergraduate business programs). Prestigious MBA programs succeed heavily because their admission standards correlate heavily with with prestigious admission credentials.
Correlation is not necessarily causation. I once heard a Dean from MIT say (in a speech) that MIT students will generally success as long as MIT doesn't stand in their way.


Apple is mounting a legal challenge against the European Commission over a 2016  order to pay $14.4 billion in back taxes ---


Amtrak accounting tricks cover up losses ---


Bernie Sanders Doubles Down On Promise Of ‘Free’ Healthcare And College For The ‘Undocumented’ (VIDEO)
All the sick and disabled poor people of the world should try to sneak into the USA for free medical care, long-term nursing home care, and free college. The population of the USA could triple in less than a year.



Bernie Sanders: ‘We Are Going to Impose a Moratorium on Deportations’ (until they complete their free college and a lifetime of free healthcare) ---


Elizabeth Warren:  Reparations are essential to eliminating the substantial wealth gap between black and white Americans ---
When free medical care, free medicine, free college, subsidized housing, and guaranteed annual income just aren't enough

Media Reporting of the Saudi Oil Facilities Was Awful

The Strike On Saudi Oil Facilities Was Unprecedented And It Underscores Far Greater Issues ---


Why the tax community should get more knowledgeable about Islamic finance ---


Justin Trudeau Admits to Also Wearing Blackface Makeup in High School Following TIME Report ---

The emporer is wearing no clothes
How Did The New York Times Botch the Brett Kavanaugh Story?



Management Science:  Oversight and Efficiency in Public Projects: A Regression Discontinuity Analysis


Bernie Sanders’s housing-for-all plan, explained ---


Birds are disappearing at an alarming rate


The False Promises of Canada's Health Care System ---


Joe Biden: Male Convicts That Identify As Female Will Be Housed With Women (a whole lot of women will get "conned" by this program) ---


Repurchase Agreement --- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Repurchase_agreement
The   Confusing Repo Market ---


In Finland business pushing for a minimum wage, labor unions opposing it.---


Swedish No-Go Zone Police Say Criminals ‘Laugh at Our Laws’ ---
No-Go zones in Sweden are immigrant communities where Swedish police fear to enter. Sweden is particularly troubled by lawless assaults on women.


U.S. immigration court backlog now exceeds a million cases ---


Big City Media Try To Sell The Myth Of The Death Of Small Town America ---


Amazon says it received more than 200,000 job applications for its 30,000 open positions ---
In this era of widely available job openings, I wonder why Democratic presidential candidates keep saying Amazon is a terrible company to work for


Usually you don't have to retaliate to avoid the second sucker punch --- as long as you're both tougher and no longer a sucker
Bob Jensen


Iran warns Western nations to ‘stay away’ from the Persian Gulf ---
It's a dangerous world if and when you start killing people in Persian Gulf international waters.

Questioning the Dogma of Banned Books Week ---


It took Tesla about 15 years to rack up $5 billion in losses. The company some regarded as China’s Tesla did it in just four---


Apple’s New Mac Pro to Be Assembled in Texas After Tariff Waiver ---


Fidel's Cuba is Long Gone ---


The New Yorker:  The climate apocalypse is coming. To prepare for it, we need to admit that we can’t prevent it ---


In November 2018, Macron announced an increased fuel tax to help pay for France's ambitious green-energy rollout. Thousands snapped in anger, providing the raw ingredients for the Yellow Vests movement to detonate full force . . . Macron scrapped a wealth tax levied on France’s richest residents, trimmed the country’s labyrinthine labor regulations and made it less costly for companies to hire and fire staff. ---
Time Magazine:  France’s President Emmanuel Macron Is Ready to Reset His Troubled Presidency

Jensen Comment
Before the USA imposes heavy fuel taxes and a wealth tax we should first look at the what happened in France.


French President Emmanuel Macron, one of the world’s most ardent supporters of the Paris climate agreement, has come out against a complaint lodged by Swedish climate alarmist Greta Thunberg with the United Nations that accuses France and four other countries of inaction against so-called global warming.



Thomas Piketty +++ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Piketty

Billionaires (and millionaires)  hurt economic growth and should be taxed out of existence, says bestselling French economist ---


Thomas Piketty's Inequality Slide Show ---


Thomas Piketty’s New Book Brings Political Economy Back to Its Sources --- |



. . .


For the purposes of this review, I divide Piketty’s book into two parts: the first, which I already mentioned, looks at ideological justifications of inequality across different societies (Parts 1 and 2 of the book, and to some extent Part 3); the second introduces an entirely new way of studying recent political cleavages in modern societies (Part 4). I am somewhat skeptical about Piketty’s success in the first part, despite his enormous erudition and his skills as a raconteur, because success in discussing something so geographically and temporally immense is difficult to reach, even by the best-informed minds who have studied different societies for the majority of their careers. Analyzing each of these societies requires an extraordinarily high degree of sophisticated historical knowledge regarding religious dogmas, political organization, social stratification, and the like. To take two examples of authors who have tried to do it, one older and one more recent: Max Weber, during his entire life (and more specifically in Economy and Society), and Francis Fukuyama in his two-volume masterpiece on the origins of the political and economic order. In both cases, the results were not always unanimously approved by specialists studying individual societies and religions.


In his analysis of some of these societies, Piketty had to rely on somewhat “straightforward” or simplified discussions of their structure and evolution, discussions which at times seem plausible but superficial. In other words, each of these historical societies, many of which lasted centuries, had gone through different phases in their developments, phases which are subject to various interpretations. Treating such evolutions as if they were a simple, uncontested story is reductionist. It is a choice of one plausible historical narrative where many exist. This compares unfavorably with Piketty’s own rich and nuanced narrative in Top Incomes in France in the Twentieth Century.


While I am somewhat skeptical about that first part of the book, I am not skeptical about the second. In this part, we find the Piketty who plays to his strength: bold and innovative use of data which produces a new way of looking at phenomena that we all observe but were unable to define so precisely. Here, Piketty is “playing” on the familiar Western economic history “terrain” that he knows well, probably better than any other economist.


This part of the book looks empirically at the reasons that left-wing, or social democratic parties have gradually transformed themselves from being the parties of the less-educated and poorer classes to become the parties of the educated and affluent middle and upper-middle classes. To a large extent, traditionally left parties have changed because their original social-democratic agenda was so successful in opening up education and high-income possibilities to the people who in the 1950s and 1960s came from modest backgrounds. These people, the “winners” of social democracy, continued voting for left-wing parties but their interests and worldview were no longer the same as that of their (less-educated) parents. The parties’ internal social structure thus changed—the product of their own political and social success. In Piketty’s terms, they became the parties of the “Brahmin left” (La gauche Brahmane), as opposed to the conservative right-wing parties, which remained the parties of the “merchant right” (La droite marchande).


To simplify, the elite became divided between the educated “Brahmins” and the more commercially-minded “investors,” or capitalists. This development, however, left the people who failed to experience upward educational and income mobility unrepresented, and those people are the ones that feed the current “populist” wave. Quite extraordinarily, Piketty shows the education and income shifts of left-wing parties’ voters using very similar long-term data from all major developed democracies (and India). The fact that the story is so consistent across countries lends an almost uncanny plausibility to his hypothesis.


It is also striking, at least to me, that such multi-year, multi-country data were apparently never used by political scientists to study this phenomenon. This part of Piketty’s book will likely transform, or at least affect, how political scientists look at new political realignments and class politics in advanced democracies in the years to come. In the same way that Capital in the Twenty-First Century has transformed how economists look at inequality, Capital and Ideology will transform the way political scientists look at their own field.


CBS:  Short Summary of Piketty's new book ---

. . .

The solutions suggested by Piketty in his newest doorstopper would upend the current capitalist system, where corporate boards are largely composed of wealthy, well-connected shareholders, and taxes on capital are lower than on income. His proposals, according to The Guardian, include:

·         Half of the seats on company boards should filled by employees.

·         No shareholder should have more than 10% of a company's voting power. 

·         Taxes as high as 90% on the wealthiest estates. 

·         A lump-sum investment of $132,000 provided to everyone when they turn 25 years old.

·         A personalized carbon tax that would be based on an individual's contribution to climate change.

Even so, Americans will have to wait to get their hands on an English-language copy of Piketty's newest book. While it's published today in France, the English release won't be available until March 2020.



Jensen Comment
Although supposedly not wanting to totally replace capitalism with socialism, Piketti wants to destroy the engine that drives capitalism --- the opportunity to become wealthy with innovation and investment.

Here's a humorous TED talk that seriously argues why the world needs billionaires



Fidel's Cuba is Long Gone ---


Why did Cuba abandon its socialist/communist dream of equality for everybody?
The Guardian:  This was the egalitarian dream of Cuba in the 1960s: For years in Cuba, jobs as varied as farm workers and doctors only had a difference in their wages of the equivalent of a few US dollars a month


Here's a somber and serious Guardian article on why the Cuban model of income equality for all is a disaster ---
Fidel Castro says his economic system is failing ---



Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris want to erase student debt and reform healthcare by taxing Wall Street. But a new study shows college and retirement savings would take a serious hit ---


Bernie Sanders Doubles Down On Promise Of ‘Free’ Healthcare And College For The ‘Undocumented’ (VIDEO)
All the sick and disabled poor people of the world should try to sneak into the USA for free medical care, long-term nursing home care, and free college. The population of the USA could triple in less than a year.



Bernie Sanders: ‘We Are Going to Impose a Moratorium on Deportations’ (until they complete their free college and a lifetime of free healthcare) ---

Jensen Comment
If big spending 2020 presidential candidates are trailing Biden think how much they would trail any conservative in the general election opposed to spending  $20 trillion

Chronicle of Higher Education:  Free Public Higher Education is a Horrible Idea ---

Now that the race for the Democratic nomination for president is becoming more serious, it is time to take an equally serious look at the proposal for tuition-free public college that has been explicitly endorsed by candidates including Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Julián Castro and that is likely to feature prominently in the upcoming debates.

Let’s pretend, for the sake of argument, that the proposal is not both unaffordable and unenforceable without an unprecedented level of state cooperation and expenditure. Let’s pretend as well that it is more than bumper-sticker material and actually the product of careful thought. Let’s pretend that it actually could become the law of the land.

It would be a terrible law.

There are many problems with higher education in the United States, but the greatest and most destructive is the significant inequality of access to education on the basis of race and economic status, which are often though not always intertwined. The goal of any good public policy should be to use finite public funds to reduce this inequality.

While eliminating tuition at all public colleges and universities, from the smallest community college to flagships like the University of Virginia and the University of Michigan, would indeed benefit many lower-income students, it would also, and probably to a greater extent, be a boon to students from the upper-middle and upper classes.

Moreover, the policy would not alleviate and would probably worsen the most striking inefficiency in our system of public education: the abysmally low rates of graduation.

In short, tuition-free college would be a hugely inefficient use of public resources and might actually make inequality of access worse.

The median family income at Virginia is $155,500, and 67 percent of students come from the upper economic quintile. At Michigan the numbers are $154,000 and 66 percent, and at the University of Minnesota — economically diverse by comparison — $110,000 and 50 percent. By contrast, the median family income at Minnesota’s private colleges is $83,000, or slightly below the state median.

Unsurprisingly, a recent study shows that affluent students disproportionately benefit from scholarships and grants offered at these flagship public institutions. Over time these universities have become more selective, more dependent on tuition revenue as state funding has been reduced, and thus less accessible to many of the lower-income students they were ostensibly intended to serve. They behave very much like elite private colleges and universities.

Here is almost certainly what would happen if these public universities were to become tuition-free: The absence of tuition would sharply increase the number of applications they received and would make them even more selective than they are now. Already Virginia and Michigan accept fewer than 30 percent of their applicants.

Unless those elite universities completely changed their admissions practices, an increase in selectivity would benefit primarily the high-achieving students who attend private and well-funded suburban high schools. Nothing in the "free tuition" plans addresses the capacity of these universities to enroll more students, so the applicants most likely to be squeezed out would be those from precisely the economic backgrounds that the plans are intended to help.

Nor does anything in these plans address the quality and efficiency of education provided at public institutions, so the graduation rates at the less selective, woefully underfunded institutions would remain low or get lower. The current six-year graduation rate at four-year Minnesota state universities is 49 percent. Among students of color it is 44 percent. More than half of the students who would attend such a college free would not receive a degree from that college.

Absent the ability to charge tuition, and given the likelihood that federal and state subsidies would be unable to keep pace with rising costs, the most likely outcome is that these already low graduation rates would decline over time. Absent any plan to address racial inequality, the achievement gap between white students and students of color would persist. There is no simple way to deal with the problem of inequality of access to education in the United States, given the deep and complex roots of that problem in everything from racism to fiscal policies that have come increasingly to favor the wealthy. But any policy change should focus on ensuring that the greatest benefit accrues to those who are most in need, that is, those from the lower income levels.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on how free college in parts of Europe is only available to the elite Top 1/3 of Tier 2 (high school) graduates. No nation in the world offers free college to everybody ---


There are so many things that are more important in university education than tuition cost
Arizona State Business School Abandons Tuition-Free MBAs After Rankings Boost Fades

Arizona State University’s business school used a $50 million donation to bet on a future where its M.B.A. is free. Four years after slashing tuition costs for full-time students to zero, the dean says the cost is still too high for many people.

Turns out, luring talented graduate students to a two-year degree program in the current hot job market requires even more creative financing, says Amy Hillman, dean of ASU’s W.P. Carey School of Business. The sticker price of business school, which can add up to six figures, is just one of several factors that keep millennials from pursuing an M.B.A.

“We thought by announcing that everyone would be getting the same deal on a world-class education, we’d get a very different class,” she says. “We didn’t know how much scholarships were being used by our peer schools” to lure the same small pool of talent.

In 2015 when the university launched its novel experiment to draw a more diverse M.B.A. class, the news of free M.B.A.s for everybody accepted was met with a flood of interest. Admissions officers were inundated with a record number of applications for the inaugural class of fully funded business-school candidates.

The scholarship program successfully paved a path for many early-career workers in the nonprofit sector and education, Ms. Hillman says. But school leaders underestimated the fierceness of the competition from other M.B.A. programs.

Many universities have started to heavily subsidize the cost of a degree—which can top $200,000 with living expenses at highly ranked programs such as Harvard Business School and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania—by awarding millions of dollars in scholarships and financial aid each year. Ms. Hillman says schools like hers, regarded among the nation’s top 50 programs by academic-rankings publishers, attract thousands of candidates eager to pursue an M.B.A. at a fraction of the prices those elite schools charge.

Free tuition alone doesn’t provide a strong enough incentive to return to school for some prospects who might need two years’ worth of living expenses to attend full-time, she says. Other admitted applicants were turning down Carey’s offer for even richer scholarship packages at other business schools, the dean adds, highlighting the value of a more flexible financial-aid strategy.

Jensen Comment
Perhaps free college advocates need to study some of the details of this ASU experiment. I suspect free medical school is an entirely different ball of wax.



Feds paid $1 billion in Social Security benefits to individuals without a Social Security Number ---

Errors occurred because the agency did not keep paper applications supporting an individual’s case to receive benefits

The Social Security Administration paid $1 billion in benefits to individuals who did not have a Social Security Number (SSN), according to a new audit.

The agency’s inspector general found errors in the government’s documentation for representative payees, otherwise known as individuals who receive retirement or disability payments on behalf of another person who is incapable of managing the benefits themselves.

The audit released Friday found thousands of cases where there was no SSN on file.

Over the last decade, the agency paid $1 billion to 22,426 representative payees who "did not have an SSN, and SSA had not followed its policy to retain the paper application."

"Furthermore, unless it takes corrective action, we estimate SSA will pay about $182.5 million in benefits, annually, to representative payees who do not have an SSN or paper application supporting their selection," the inspector general said.

The inspector general also found the agency paid $853.1 million in benefits since 2004 to individuals who had been terminated as representative payees by the agency.

The inspector general said the errors occurred because the agency did not keep paper applications supporting an individual’s case to receive benefits on behalf of another and did not update its system if their status was terminated.

Only six percent of representative payees had SSNs that were properly recorded, based on the audit’s sample of 100 beneficiaries.

Government benefits are also going to illegal aliens through the representative payee system. 17 percent of representative payees in the sample did not have an SSN recorded because they were undocumented noncitizens, the inspector general said.

Illegal aliens without SSNs are allowed to receive benefits from the government when acting as representatives for their minor children.

In response to the audit, the SSA said it switched to a new Electronic Representative Payee System last year, and transferring representative payee information "may have resulted in applications showing as terminated or not selected."

The government defended the issuance of benefits to noncitizens and persons without an SSN.

 Continued in article



Earned Income Tax Credit --- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earned_income_tax_credit

. . .

The direct cost of the EITC to the U.S. federal government was about $56 billion in 2012. The IRS has estimated that between 21% and 25% of this cost ($11.6 to $13.6 billion) is due to EITC payments that were issued improperly to recipients who did not qualify for the EITC benefit that they received.[38] For the 2013 tax year the IRS paid an estimated $13.6 billion in bogus claims. In total the IRS has overpaid as much as $132.6 billion in EITC over the last ten years.[39] 
The direct fiscal cost of the EITC may be partially offset by two factors: any new taxes (such as payroll taxes paid by employers) generated by new workers drawn by the EITC into the labor force; and taxes generated on additional spending done by families receiving earned income tax credit. 
Some economists have noted that the EITC might conceivably cause reductions in entitlement spending that result from individuals being lifted out of poverty by their EITC benefit check. However, because the pre-tax income determines eligibility for most state and federal benefits, the EITC rarely changes a taxpayer's eligibility for state or federal aid benefits. 
In his book The Rise of Big Government: How Egalitarianism Conquered America, political economist Sven R Larson notes that when the EITC is combined with other welfare programs it can have substantial marginal-tax effects. By 2016 tax rates, for a family of four making $30,000, a $5,000 rise in income would result in a rise in the federal income tax and a reduction in EITC and other benefits equal to the marginal tax rate on an income of $467,000. 

The EITC and the Extensive Margin: A Reappraisal
by Henrik Kleven.  Princeton University and NBER---

This paper reconsiders the impact of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) on labor supply at the extensive margin. I investigate every EITC reform at the state and federal level since the inception of the policy in 1975. Based on event studies comparing single women with and without children, or comparing single mothers with different numbers of children, I show that the only EITC reform associated with clear employment increases is the expansion enacted in 1993.

The employment increases in the mid-late nineties are verylarge, but they are influenced by the confounding effects of welfare reform and a booming macroeconomy. Based on different approaches that exploit variation in these confounders across household type, space and time, I show that the employment effects align closely with exposure to welfare reform and the business cycle. Single mothers who were unaffected by welfare reform (but eligible for the EITC) did not respond.

Overall and contrary to consensus, the case for sizable extensive margin effects of the EITC is fragile. I highlight the presence of informational frictions, widely documented in the literature, as a natural explanation for the absence of extensive margin responses.

Jensen Comment
Possibly some of the reduced benefit of the EITC over the years is due to the simultaneous explosion of fraud in the program that like Medicare became a piñata for criminals.




How a network of Catholic intellectuals is making the case against liberalism ---


. . .


Peter Mommsen, editor of Plough Quarterly and a member of the Bruderhof community that hosted the “Beyond Liberalism” conference, told me that while he supports proposing “a robust ‘nonliberal’ vision of the common good,” he worries about the consequences of “pursuing it through partisan politics.” “I’m convinced the ‘nonliberals’ do want communities like the Bruderhof to be able to exist, since such a way of life embodies many of the virtues they prize,” he said. “The irony would be if the political expression of nonliberalism ended up undermining the very rights and liberties on which nonliberal communities and religious groups of whatever creed rely.”


Critics of liberalism on both the left and the right today like to emphasize that liberalism’s purported “neutrality” is a myth. But at least one thing can be said for actually existing liberalism: It is showing itself capable of playing host to a robust discussion about what might replace it. Will the societies that lie beyond liberalism be able to do the same? The historical record is, at best, inconclusive. As one of the participants at the Fox Hill conference pointed out in an anomalous moment, the liberal commitment to pluralism and religious tolerance could be said to be responsible for the fact that members of the various branches of Christianity at the conference were, instead of trying to kill one another, chatting amiably about the decline of liberalism. The line got a good laugh.


Bob Jensen's threads on the liberal biases of the major media and academe ---























Health Insurance



The False Promises of Canada's Health Care System ---



Wildly inflated health care costs are costing California taxpayers $3.3 billion annually ---



Connecticut retiree health care severely underfunded ---


Walmart is launching its first standalone primary care clinic ---


Jensen Comment
It's not yet clear to me whether Walmart is going to provide primary care doctors who will also make hospital rounds when you're hospitalized.


There are considerable advantages to having doctor offices attached to hospitals. One is the convenience for doctors to make hospital rounds. Two is the convenience for patients to have medical lab, X-ray, and other hospital services in the same building and on the same computer networks as the hospital itself --- that's what happens with my primary care doctor. It's also convenient to have other primary care clinics in the same hospital cover for my doctor's partnership when they're out of town for one reason or another. Our local hospital has more than one primary care clinic apart from Critical Care and Emergency Room divisions of the hospital. Conveniently under one roof there are other offices for specialists in ophthalmology, obstetrics, dermatology, orthopedics, cardiology, etc.


The rents provided by doctor offices in the hospital also help our hospital cover losses from charity medicine and limited insurance that does not cover full costs (think Medicaid). I think medical clinics in Walmart, CVS, etc. in some ways make it more difficult for local hospitals to avoid red ink --- especially when Walmart and CVS pass along all their charity patients to the local hospital. Walmart's standalone primary care clinics will skim off the easy profits at the expense of our local hospitals who serve the charity patients.


Hospital funding is complicated and variable. None of my property tax is currently diverted to our local hospital. However, when I lived in San Antonio a goodly share of my property tax was diverted to the Bexar County Hospital to cover some of that hospital's enormous losses from charity medicine.


New Drug Patents by Country ---

Over the past half century, the United States has been the birthplace of the majority of the world’s biomedical innovations.1 Despite a global slowdown in the development of new medical interventions, due to the scientific shift towards more complex biologic treatments, innovation in the U.S. has remained relatively steady thanks to strong financial incentives to invest in research and development (R&D). In fact, the below chart may underrepresent American contributions to pharmacological breakthroughs in the past two decades as a result of U.S. corporations relocating their headquarters to Switzerland and the U.K. to take advantage of those countries’ lower corporate tax rates.

Jensen Comment
This does not justify some of the evil pricing schemes of big pharma in the USA, especially pricing by patent trolls. But it does illustrate how complicated the invention of biomedical innovations (that includes more than drugs) becomes, especially when comparing the USA with the more highly populated European Union. Why doesn't the EU lead in discovery of biomedical innovations? Why aren't Russia and China inventing new biomedical innovations as fast as they are inventing technology innovations?


Fraud:  The Collapse Of A Hospital Empire — And Towns Left In The Wreckage -


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/