Tidbits Political Quotations
To Accompany the February 27, 2020 edition of Tidbits
Bob Jensen at
Trinity University

My Latest Web Document
Over 500 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 national debt is a lie
Here's the real federal debt ---

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

Human Population Over Time on Earth ---


Here's a humorous and serious 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 ---



The Singapore Dream:  How Singapore's richest man went from welding in a factory for $14 per hour to owning a $17 billion hotpot restaurant chain ---


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/


Excellent, Cross-Disciplinary Overview of Scientific Reproducibility in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy ---

[Researchers] are rewarded for being productive rather than being right, for building ever upward instead of checking the foundations.---
Decades of early research on the genetics of depression were built on nonexistent foundations. How did that happen?


Bob Jensen:  My take on research validation or lack thereof is at


Tom Lehrer on Mathematical Models and Statistics ---
You must watch this to the ending to appreciate it.


Kobe Bryant:  We need to make the most of every minute we have ---


Hermann Weyl born in Hamburg, Germany. He wrote, "One may say that mathematics talks about the things which are of no concern to men. Mathematics has the inhuman quality of starlight---brilliant, sharp, but cold ... thus we are clearest where knowledge matters least: in mathematics, especially number theory." ---
Also see Mathematical Analytics in Plato's Cave


And nevertheless conclude that the optimum amount of restriction of immigration is zero point zero, zero, zero? Amazing. Economics are generally skeptical models that yield corner solutions ---
Jensen Comment
To the list of questions I would add "Do your talk about the Tragedy of the Commons?"
The problem with open borders is somewhat related to the economic problem of "The Sharing of the Commons" where giving everybody the right to use a free resource leads to everybody losing that resource. At what point will allowing billions of people share in the free medical care, free college, and other scarce resources ruin it for everybody ---


History of United States Immigration Laws ---


Open immigration can’t exist with a strong social safety net; if you’re going to assure healthcare and a decent income to everyone, you can’t make that offer global ---
Paul Krugman


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

The History and Economics of Mexican Drug Cartels ---

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?

Also see

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



Whatever you call it, Elizabeht Warren’s analysis dating back thirty years and the proposals she now promotes reflects an ideology that would make her orders of magnitude more radical than any President in our history ---


Does anyone really think Putin wants Trump instead of Bernie Sanders? Anyone?


Almost anything can be preserved in alcohol, except health, happiness and money

A Brief Animated History of Alcohol ---


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 ---

History of United States Immigration Laws ---

NYT:  American history textbooks can differ across the country, in ways that are shaded by partisan politics ---

Jensen Comment
I remember years ago when an American History textbook intended for all high schools in Texas had hundreds of mistakes including the "fact" that the USA dropped a nuclear bomb in the Korean War. Most of these "mistakes" were not typos. Gone are the days when American History textbooks are factual.


Pew Research Survey:  Political Bias and Anti-Americanism on College Campuses ---
by Walter E. Williams
Bob Jensen's threads on political bias in academe and the media ---



"A More or Less Perfect Union" is a three-part series, produced by Free to Choose Network, that will air on various PBS stations across the nation starting in February ---
by Walter E. Williams


Sweden sentences 19 year old Somolian to 75 hours community service for sex crime (anal and vaginal intercourse) against 13 year old girl.---

There would not even have been community service had the crime been in NYC or San Francisco.


NYC subway thief thanks Democrats after his 139th arrest, release: 'Bail reform, it’s lit!'


Chicago Judge Says His Bail Reforms Were a Success. But Independent Reviews Show Flaws and More Crimes ---


NYT:  Alarmed by Sanders, Moderate Democrats Can’t Agree on an Alternative ----
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/12/us/politics/democrats-new-hampshire-sanders.html?action=click&module=Top Stories&pgtype=Homepage

The problem is that all the Democratic Party candidates, including Bloomberg, to date are far to the left.

Europe Embraces Plastic to Fight Climate Change ---


Not All Keynesian Spending Is Equal ---


EU finance ministers have added four places to a blacklist of tax havens: Palau, Panama, Seychelles and the Cayman Islands.---


Politico happy to tell lies on behalf of China ---


Bloomberg: We Can No Longer Provide Health Care to the Elderly ---


Ohio Court Orders Christian Professor To Use Trans Pronouns Or Lose His Job ---


The Atlantic:  The Nuclear Family Is Still Indispensable ---
Rumors of its demise have been greatly exaggerated—and it remains the stablest environment in which to raise children


Pritzker’s (Illinois) accounting gimmicks can’t fix pension crisis, but real reform can ---


Female Inmate Allegedly Coerced Into Retracting Rape Accusations Against Transgender Inmate, Sues Prison ---


Photos of abandoned ski lifts and snowless slopes reveal the toll that rising temperatures are taking on winter resorts ---


Nevada Dems irk caucus volunteers by asking them to sign non-disclosure agreements ---


Bernie Sanders campaign was disappointed to learn that the nearly $6 million in campaign contributions was donated in Bolivars---Venezuelan currency. When converted to US dollars, the Sanders campaign actually raised only $22 ---


Best Books on the Folly of Socialism:  What everyone should know about the practical and moral failures of the socialist project ---



This May Be the Cheapest Way to Quickly Reduce Homelessness:  Nearly 40% of Europeans in their late 20s still live at home ---

Jensen Comment
USA's Dems like to remind us that college education and job training are free in Europe. What they don't tell us is that education and training are funded by taxpayers for the top 35% of Tier 2 (think high school) graduates filtered by intellectual ability and not race or income. Unlike in the USA, European nations do not have capacity (think private and public universities) to educate Tier 2 graduates who are able to pay their own way, The USA has much more low-cost community college capacity for the masses who cannot afford or otherwise get into top USA universities ---

Most of the European training of Tier 2 graduates (nearly half of whom still live at home) takes place in Europe's private sector offering tedious on-the-job apprenticeships that do not pay very well relative to housing costs. Eventually these apprenticeships do pay off and people in the skilled trades finally do relatively well and trainees can at last get apartments in Europe.

The strong capitalist nations of Denmark, Finland, and Sweden have the least young adults living at home per capita --- mostly because of their relatively strong economies. Even these Nordic nations do not provide free education or training to the masses ---

USA's progressives want free college for everybody irrespective of academic ability. Even USA dogs can get student loans and diplomas in some of our for-profit diploma mills. In fairness the Obama administration worked hard to eliminate diploma mill frauds, but President Trump and Betsy DeVos work even harder to perpetuate diploma mill frauds in higher education.


How to Mislead With Statistics

Freedom from Fossil Fuels is Good for Your Health ---

Jensen Comment
This is a very superficial article that mentions many of the benefits of a world without fossil fuels. It totally ignores the costs and risks. For example, is starvation good for health? We don't really know how loss of fossil fuels (think farm machinery) and petrochemicals will affect food production for over seven billion people worldwide, but there are a huge degrees of agricultural productivities and efficiencies that might be adversely affected by abrupt shut down of fossil fuels. Then there's the global distribution of food that currently relies upon fossil fuels from cargo ships to fleets of trucks between farms and markets around the world.

Certainly there are positives about eliminating fossil fuels from heating our homes, cooling our homes, and transporting us to jobs and other places we want to travel. But are there no negatives in the alternatives to replacing fossil fuels? For example, there are tremendous environmental problems with all the battery production needed to accompany solar and wind electricity production. Realistically, nuclear energy is about the only known solution to the massive shortage of power lost with the elimination of fossil fuels. Nuclear energy is getting safer and more economically feasible, but the cost for seven billion people on earth will still be tremendous and require great economic sacrifices on nations trying to do without fossil fuels.

Certainly one day in the future fossil fuels will no longer be necessary (or even available) for any life that remains on earth. However, articles on ending reliance upon fossil fuels must consider the advantages and disadvantages of living without fossil fuels and why it will take so long to do so ---

Certainly our politicians are not doing us big favors by ignoring the carbonization problem or by making political promises that are absurd.

MIT:  Pete Buttigieg’s $2 trillion climate plan is infeasible, but less so than most ---



MIT on Promises That are Literally Impossible to Keep:  Elizabeth Warren has a ($3 trillion) climate change plan ---


Jensen Comment
For example how is it possible to replace 300+ million gasoline and diesel vehicles with electric vehicles in a decade (by 2030)? Doing so is sheer fantasy! There's not enough lithium and rare-earth materials available for zero-emission alternatives, and the pollution production of batteries would be massive. Warren ignores the pollution problem of battery production.


Eliminating all carbon emitting electric plants by 2035 is a pipe dream, especially if newer-style nuclear plants are banned as Warren insists. And "renewable energy" is not now defined as pollution free. For example, biofuel plants produce more carbon into the air than natural gas.


And we can kiss many of our export industries goodbye as third world nations with lower carbon emission standards take over the manufacturing of the world. Nations like Norway and Saudi Arabia will continue to supply the oil and natural gas for those nations when Exxon and other USA companies are driven out of business by the USA government.


There's more than one way to destroy the USA --- you can also destroy it with naive socialist economics.


One thing I learned in my 40 years of teaching is that sophomores will believe anything.


The fact that the Chronicle of Higher Education no longer allows commentaries following its articles proves that professors are not all so naive, especially professors watching their CREF account balances and the mass exodus from Venezuela.




Climate Change Needs to Be on the Balance Sheet ---

Jensen Comment
Being on the balance sheet can mean different things from footnote disclosures to measured estimates summed along with cash, accounts payable, and other items giving rise to "total assets" and "total liabilities" on balance sheet. The article above seems to favor putting very soft numbers into the summations. The above article offers no formulas for estimating these soft numbers. Doing so would be quite controversial in most instances, and the IASB and FASB standard setters have thus far resisted putting very soft numbers into those summations. Footnote disclosures are already covered by standards dealing with intangibles and contingencies. Standard setters might, however, address further requirements for climate change disclosures.

One of the huge problems with climate change numbers is that they depend heavily upon future politics that are very uncertain. Bernie Sanders, for example, wants all gasoline and diesel vehicles off the roads by 2030 along with all shutting down all refineries by 2030 ---
But these are just political promises that have no reliable probabilities of ever happening, especially not by 2030 even if Bernie is elected. How do we possibly replace 300 million cars, trucks, farm equipment, construction equipment, etc. in a decade? What is to be gained by disclosing that Exxon and the other oil and gas companies have trillions of dollars in liabilities that are about as uncertain as forecasts of Armageddon.

This, of course, does not mean accounting for some components of "climate change" (think carbon tax) will not affect future balance sheets. Just don't believe that the economic burdens of carbon and other climate change taxes imposed on corporations will be borne by those corporations. Business firms don't pay taxes. The collect taxes from customers. For example, if a huge carbon tax is imposed on oil and gas companies customers will pay for that tax at the pumps and in the prices paid to retail firms.

My point is that a $10 trillion annual climate change tax is imposed on oil and gas corporations this does not mean that their balance sheet liabilities should increase by $10 trillion. Most of those liabilities will be recovered in higher prices paid by customers who cannot do without fuel for their vehicles, heat for their homes, and farm produce on their tables. Higher prices may reduce demand for products, but some things people cannot do without until there are other alternatives to fill those needs. It will take more than a decade to replace all the gasoline and diesel vehicles, to replace all the oil and gas furnaces in our homes, and to replace the natural gas electric plants on the grid.

It is truly sad how liberals think they've "won" when they raise the cost of capital to oil and gas companies by shutting down blocs of investors (think university endowment funds) from investing in oil and gas companies. Then they will blame oil and gas companies when they themselves must  pay $50 per gallon at the pump or pay ten times as much in electric bills.


From the CFO Journal's Morning Ledger on February 14, 2020

McClatchy, the second-largest U.S. newspaper group by circulation, filed for bankruptcy protection, a move that comes as the nation’s newspaper industry is struggling to cope with a sharp decline in print advertising and the challenges of building a robust digital business.

Jensen Comment
This is especially bad news from the standpoint of financially supporting news reporters, especially those covering the local communities. Newspapers are especially important in restraining corruption in city and county governments that will likely run amuck without local newspaper watchdogs (think of Miami without the Miami Herald, Kansas City without the Kansas City Star, California state government without the Sacramento Bee, etc.

The social networks and Internet news services that people now read for news are largely re-reporting news dug up by local newspapers. The Associated Press does not send reporters to cover school board meetings and city hall meetings in Littleton, NH.


Economists say that the Venezuelan government's overspending  (under Hugo Chavez) on social programs and strict business policies contributed to imbalances in the country's economy, contributing to rising inflation, poverty, low healthcare spending and shortages in Venezuela going into the final years of the Hugo Chavez presidency



Bernie Admits on CBS 60 Minutes That He Has No Clue How Much His Proposals Will Cost ---


Brian Riedl computed the added $100 trillion cost of Bernie's initiatives (not counting his free pre-schooling for every child,  the collapse of the capital markets, the loss of most USA pensions, and tides through open borders ) ---



Best Books on the Folly of Socialism:  What everyone should know about the practical and moral failures of the socialist project ---


The Many Flavors of Socialism --

. . .


Flavor 5

Reformism or Social Democracy (Europe), also known as Revolutionary Syndicalism (in Italy, France), Anarcho-syndicalism (in Spain), and Guild Socialism (in Great Britain) are non-Marxian currents of socialism, meaning that they did not adhere to the tenets of scientific communism. The main path to socialism is the expropriation of private property from its rightful owners, with its subsequent collectivization and transfer to the management of the labor collective. It was assumed that the fruits of labor would be exchanged in the market between various producers as well as between the villages and the cities. Anarcho-syndicalists managed to gain political power in Aragon, Andalusia, and Catalonia during the Spanish Civil War (1936–39).


Continued in article


Jensen Comments
The transfer of power from the private sector to the public sector in Europe and Venezuela fell short, because labor collectives supposedly in control were unable to raise sustaining capital without depending upon private sector banking. Without some form of private sector partnering socialism runs out of funding needed to sustain an economy. Even Big Oil in Venezuela could not sustain the overspending Chavez reforms. Meanwhile Castro belatedly admitted that his Cuban economic reforms could not sustain his  overspending economy where workers on free food, health care, education, and housing had no incentive to work  ---

Bernie Sanders' Social Democracy Reformism Flavor of Socialism ---



 How to Mislead With Bad Analogies


"Under this plan, 45 percent (tantamount to complete control)  of the board of directors in any large corporation with at least $100 million in annual revenue, corporations with at least $100 million in balance sheet total, and all publicly traded companies will be directly elected by the firm’s workers – similar to what happens under “employee co-determination” in Germany, which long has had one of the most productive and successful economies in the world."
Bernie Sanders

Karl Marx must be dancing on his grave.



Jensen Comment
Paul Krugman recently wrote a piece defending Bernie Sanders' economics and plans for worker control of corporations. Bernie Sanders skates on thin ice when comparing USA corporations with German corporations. A most important difference in these two nations is how capital investment is raised, especially high-risk financial investment.. Germany traditionally never has had a lot of success raising equity capital --- largely because of the lack of control equity (capital stock) investors have on German corporations. Historically up to and including today, German business firms raise most of their capital from private sector banks that limit the power that employees have on spending by corporations in Germany. In the USA a much greatr share of corporate funding is raised from private sector investors who have much more control of corporations and can greatly restrict the power of workers to control how corporations spend their resources. Elon Musk, for example, inhibits all efforts of Tesla employees to form unions.


Bernie Sanders wants to give workers and their unions complete control of how large corporations in the USA spend their resources. Doing so will among other things destroy the stock markets and accordingly all pension funds now dependent upon stock prices. In a large corporation any shareholder bloc that controls 45% of the shareholder vote essentially controls the company (Elon Musk controls Tesla with a mere 22% oif Tesla's shares.)


What Bernie Sanders does not tell you is that he cannot have the corporate democracy that he promises by giving workers control of large companies in the USA. The reason is that those workers will not supply the capital investments needed to create and sustain those companies. Therefore, workers will have to bargain with the private sector to provide capital, and the private sector will demand after-tax returns on their investments just like German banks require after-tax returns on their investments in German corporations.


And the German banks require thresholds of after-tax returns which greatly limits the power of the German government to tax those banks.


German corporations are not the worker honey pots that Sanders wants for USA workers.


And for those who still argue in favor of the German way to raise capital from the private sector, I remind you that Germany has no Silicon Valley and has a poor track record for developing risky technology companies, new patents for drugs (where over half come from the USA), If you want innovation you have to somehow provide incentives to invest in high risk ventures. German banks are not known for taking on great financial risks.


New startup ventures are not flocking to Germany or trying to sell their shares to German equity investors or German banks.


Bernies' Flavor of Socialism is Really More Like Communism (Workers of the World Unite)
Bernie contends that he wants corporations of the USA to be under the control of workers rather than providers of capital. And to further support this workers would also control the banks (unlike in Germany) ---
Hence Bernies' flavor of capitalism is to have workers control both the corporations and the banks.
Karl Marx must be dancing on his grave.


To add further power to workers, Bernie plans to make all health care workers employees of the Federal government in his Medicare-for-All Plan. He then proposes that all Federal workers, including health care workers and the army, have the right to strike whenever they choose ---


Karl Marx must be dancing on his grave.


Bernie's spending plans go through the rooftops ---


The Socialist Delusions of Bernie Sanders:  Central Planning Kills Economic Growth ---

. . .

Today, when Sanders talks about socialism, he says: "I'm not looking at Cuba. I'm looking at countries like Denmark and Sweden."

But Denmark and Sweden are not socialist. Denmark's prime minister even came to America to refute Sanders' claims, pointing out that "Denmark is far from a socialist planned economy."

Both Denmark and Sweden do give citizens government-run health care and have bigger welfare programs than America has. However,  recently, they've moved away from socialism. Because their socialist policies killed economic growth, they cut regulations and ended government control of many industries.

Sanders probably doesn't know that. He, like many young people, just loves the idea of socialism.

For my new video this week, Stossel TV producer Maxim Lott went through hours of Sanders' old speeches. What he found reveals a lot about what Sanders believes.

When Sanders was mayor of Burlington, Vermont, he went out of his way to defend Fidel Castro. "He educated the kids, gave them health care, totally transformed the society!" Fortunately, Sanders added, "Not to say Fidel Castro or Cuba are perfect."

No, they are not perfect. Castro's government tortured and murdered thousands. By confiscating private property, they destroyed the island's economy. Life got bad enough that thousands died trying to escape.

Even now in Cuba, most people try to live on less than $2 a day

Sanders focuses on other things, like: "They did a lot to eliminate illiteracy!"

Sanders has long had a soft spot for socialist countries. He chose to honeymoon in Communist Russia, where he said people "seem reasonably happy and content." He was "extremely impressed by their public transportation system…[the] cleanest, most effective mass transit system I've ever seen in my life!"

He praised Soviet youth programs: "Cultural programs go far beyond what we do in this country."

He did at least qualify his support, calling the Soviet government "authoritarian."

But Sanders made no such criticism after Nicaragua's socialist revolution. He praised the Sandinistas' land "reform" because they were "giving, for the first time in their lives, real land to farmers so that they can have something that they grow. Nobody denies that they are making significant progress."

Former landowners sure denied it. They'd had their land stolen. Sanders suggested that was OK because landowners are rich.

"Rich people, who used to have a good life there, are not terribly happy," he said. "As a socialist, the word socialism does not frighten me… (P)oor people respect that."

What about the hunger and poverty that socialism creates? Bernie had an odd take on that.

"American journalists talk about how bad a country is because people are lining up for food. That's a good thing! In other countries people don't line up for food; the rich get the food and the poor starve."

After he said he was "impressed" by Sandinista leaders, Sanders added, "Obviously I will be attacked by every editorial writer in the free press for being a dumb dupe."

I join them.

Bernie Sanders is indeed a "dumb dupe" about economics. Or as the Soviet Communists used to put it, "a useful idiot."

Under Ortega's rule, Nicaragua quickly fell further into poverty, and the socialists were voted out in 1990. Ortega later returned as a violent dictator. For most people in Nicaragua, Cuba, and other centrally planned economies, life is hell.

Once Sanders was elected to Congress, he mostly stopped praising violent socialist revolutions.

At that time, Communist governments in Europe were collapsing. It was convenient for embarrassed former supporters of those governments to rebrand themselves.

In Congress, Sanders would call himself an independent and, in the estimation of his fellow Vermonter, former Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean, he "votes with the Democrats 98 percent of the time."

But Sanders has never taken back the enthusiastic praise he gave to socialist regimes.


Bernie Sanders' Disturbing History Of Praising Communism ---


The Washington Post:  Bernie Sanders briefed by U.S. officials that Russia is trying to help his presidential campaign ---
Jensen Comment
I doubt that Sanders's history of praising communism is the reason for any (most likely unwanted help) that Russia is giving to Sanders for the 2020 election.
See below.


Does anyone really think Putin wants Trump instead of Bernie Sanders? Anyone?


In the Las Vegas Debates All His Opponents Went After Bloomberg
The Atlantic:  Democrats Went After the Wrong Guy


Wealth Tax --- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wealth_tax


NY Times on Two Liberal Economists Behind the Wealth Tax Debate: They crashed the Democratic primary with their idea — and angered some economists ---

BERKELEY, Calif. — One of the most liberal policy proposals animating the Democratic presidential primaries is the handiwork of two French economists who are not formally advising any campaign and have barely met the candidates running for the White House.

Gabriel Zucman and Emmanuel Saez are the driving force behind proposals for a wealth tax, an idea embraced by Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren as a way to reduce economic inequality by forcing the richest Americans to pay taxes on everything they own and diverting that money to public services like universal health care and free college tuition.

Their efforts documenting a sharp increase in the concentration of wealth at the very top and their outspokenness have vaulted the tax from a fringe idea in American politics to the center of a reinvigorated debate on taxing the rich.

They have also made Mr. Zucman and Mr. Saez the most visible, and polarizing, economists in the 2020 campaign.


Other economists, including some who held top jobs under past Democratic presidents, have attacked Mr. Zucman and Mr. Saez over their research methods, their policy conclusions and their data. Conservative economists say their proposals would cripple economic growth.

Last year, the faculty at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government voted to offer Mr. Zucman, 33, a tenured position. But Harvard’s president and provost nixed the offer, partly over fears that Mr. Zucman’s research could not support the arguments he was making in the political arena, according to people involved in the process. He has since been awarded tenure alongside Mr. Saez, 47, at the University of California, Berkeley.

The pair have won praise from some liberal activists. Felicia Wong, the president of the Roosevelt Institute, a progressive think tank, said Mr. Saez and Mr. Zucman had helped bring large tax increases on the rich into the mainstream, winning support even from Democratic candidates who do not support their wealth tax.

“It’s a very different debate,” Ms. Wong said, “and now we’re having it on Saez and Zucman’s terms.”

The effect was evident in the Democratic presidential debate on Wednesday in Las Vegas. Over two hours that included few concrete economic policy proposals, Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders both promoted their wealth-tax plans. Mr. Sanders leaned on Mr. Zucman and Mr. Saez’s data to denounce “the insane situation that billionaires today, if you can believe it, have an effective tax rate lower than the middle class.”

Continued in article

Jensen Comment

During CBS Sixty Minutes on TV on February 23, 2020 Bernie Sanders announced that his wealth tax will fund free pre-school for every child in America including the millions that will pour across the borders.

One aspect of a wealth tax that seems to be overlooked in the liberal media is its impact on the stock, bond, and real estate markets and the public and private sector pension funds that depend upon those markets. I've not heard one question raised in the Democratic presidential debates about what a candidate intends to to to save stock, bond, and real estate markets and pension funds.


The biggest disaster will be Bernie Sanders who intends to give employees and labor unions control (without stock ownership) of the largest corporations in the USA. For example, Elon Musk with 22% of Tesla would be neutered when Bernie Sanders gives his employees 45% of the voting power (without stock ownership) of Tesla shares. Tesla has never earned a profit for an entire year and probably never would earn a profit for investors if employees could easily increase wages and benefits at will.

Bernies' Flavor of Socialism is Really More Like Communism (Workers of the World Unite)
Bernie contends that he wants corporations of the USA to be under the control of workers rather than providers of capital. And to further support this workers would also control the banks (unlike in Germany) ---
Hence Bernies' flavor of capitalism is to have workers control both the corporations and the banks.
Karl Marx must be dancing on his grave.


How to Mislead With Statistics


The mother of all cognitive illusions:  The belief that having to pay higher taxes would make it more difficult to buy what you want



Jensen Comment

What a terrible article. The title of the above paper should read "The mother of all academic illusions."

The above article is a combination of lousy research and slight of hand. An example of slight of hand is the comparison of 1940s highest marginal tax rates with those of the 1980s. Consider the quotation:

In World War II, the top marginal tax rate in the United States was 92 percent. By 1966 it had fallen to 70 percent. In 1982 it was 50 percent, and it is now just 37 percent.

This is a slight of hand because the author knows (but does not tell us) that the USA marginal top tax rates of the 1940s are not directly comparable with the marginal rates of the 1980s. No high income taxpayers in the 1940s were paying 92% of their incomes in taxes. For example, very favorable tax rates on capital gains were exploited by wealthy people to greatly reduce taxes owed from since 1921 ---

Beginning in 1942, taxpayers could exclude 50% of capital gains on assets held at least six months or elect a 25% alternative tax rate if their ordinary tax rate exceeded 50%.[11] From 1954 to 1967, the maximum capital gains tax rate was 25%

Secondly taxpayers during World War II had various alternatives to earn income tax free such as Series E, F and G U.S. Treasury Bonds ---
There were and still are various other ways to exempt or reduce ncome from taxation ---


Probably the worst thing about "The Mother of All Cognitive Illusions" is the total ignoring of why virtually all advanced nations (and most others) greatly reduced highest marginal tax rates between 1979 and 2002, because high marginal top tax rates were counter productive to economic growth and prosperity.

Those nations like Sweden that did not offer lower capital gains rates and other tax avoidance alternatives took terrible hits by confiscating high incomes essential to their economies. When they at last discovered how counter productive these high tax rates were to their economies they quickly reduced the top marginal rates. Also remember that some nations like Denmark that still have relatively high marginal rates are including more services in with their tax dollars like free medical care and free college and job training (for the top 35% of the students).


Table 1 Maximum Marginal Tax Rates on Individual Income

*. Hong Kongs maximum tax (the standard rate) has normally been 15 percent, effectively capping the marginal rate at high income levels (in exchange for no personal exemptions).

**. The highest U.S. tax rate of 39.6 percent after 1993 was reduced to 38.6 percent in 2002 and to 35 percent in 2003.

































Canada (Ontario)








































Hong Kong








































South Korea




















New Zealand




















Puerto Rico
























Trinidad and Tobago








United Kingdom




United States




Source: PricewaterhouseCoopers; International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation.




Benefit Corporation (B Corp) --- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benefit_corporation


B corporations are pushing to change the way the world works ---


Jensen Comment
This is an extension of what for decades is known as corporate social responsibility. The concept, however, is not without controversy. For example, there are two sides to almost any issue faced by legislators elected by the voting public to represent their viewpoints. There's no democracy in terms of voting representation in a B Corp. Hence, when a B Corp puts resources into most any social initiative it most often is taking sides such as when it funds and promotes abortions, gun controls, anti-war efforts, etc.


One of my best examples is Tesla Corporation. Many investors are attracted to Tesla because they feel they are investing in a green initiative to save the planet by replacing traditional fuel vehicles with battery-powered vehicles. However, at the same time they are supporting Tesla's aggressive  anti-union policies, questionable worker safety concerns, environmental damage and pollution from battery production, increased dependency of the USA on foreign suppliers (think lithium and rare earth elements needed in Tesla's batteries), and adverse economic impacts of aggressive replacement of over 300 million vehicles in North America.


My point is that when corporations become more political it's not always for the betterment of society and can interfere with an electoral process. And it's not always for the benefit of shareholders themselves when their returns on investment become adversely affected by political activities of B Corporations.



Vermont Governor Vetoes Minimum-Wage Bill ---


A Vermont bill that proposed increasing the state’s hourly minimum wage was vetoed Feb. 10, 2020, by Gov. Phil Scott (R).

The measure (S. 23) proposed raising the minimum wage to $11.75 from $10.96 on Jan. 1, 2021, and to $12.55 on Jan. 1, 2022.

Scott, in statement, said an analysis showed that a higher minimum wage would lead to job losses, decreased employee hours, and increased costs for goods and services.

To override the veto, a two-thirds majority vote is needed in both legislative chambers, each of which has a Democratic majority.

 Continued in article

Jensen Comment
Vermont is perhaps the most liberal (blue) state of the union. It, therefore, shocked me that the Democratic governor vetoed a rather modest minimum wage hike. To me this makes sense in a rural state having very low population. Many of Vermont's small businesses in agriculture (think dairy farms) and tourism (think inns and restaurants) are operating near the point of bankruptcy due heavily to seasonality of revenues and economic decline of the Vermont in general. Nevertheless the liberal legislature may well override this veto.



Pritzker’s (Illinois) accounting gimmicks can’t fix pension crisis, but real reform can ---

. . .

The truth is all of these accounting games cannot come close to solving the pension crisis or freeing up resources for government services and tax relief. As credit rating agency S&P Global Ratings put it, Illinois needs a “practical reduction in liabilities,” which means a reduction in the value of expected future pension benefits.

The only way left to accomplish that is with a constitutional amendment allowing for reductions in the growth of future, not-yet-earned pension benefits. A deeper dive into Pritzker’s original five-point plan shows the proposals range from ineffective to counterproductive.

Continued in article



The Atlantic: What Democrats Aren’t Admitting About Trump’s Record

. . .

As Robert Blackwill of the Council on Foreign Relations noted in a 2019 assessment of Trump’s foreign policy—in which he memorably likened the president’s policies to “a large bowl of spaghetti bolognese dumped and spread on a white canvas”—many criticisms of the president’s conduct in the world are related to the manner in which he makes, announces, and explains decisions and to the policy incoherence within his administration. Rarely, however, is it acknowledged that “the president has disrupted a whole series of conventions in the international system, some of them undoubtedly needed.”

“Not a single U.S. politician,” Blackwill observed, “has a coherent and convincing set of policies to cope with this eroding world order, but Trump receives nearly all the slings and arrows.”



The trends that will transform the TV and digital video industries in 2020 ---
Business Insider Newsletter:  TV and Video Trends to Watch

The TV industry analysts at eMarketer have put together the 2020 TV and Video Trends report, which lists out eight bold predictions for the year ahead:

1. More Fractured Viewership Will Make It Harder to More Reach Viewers

2. 'Bundled' Cable Packages User Growth Will Slow

3. TV Advertising Will Continue to Decline... After 2020

4. Connected TV Viewership Will Ad Buyers to Scale

5. Video Ads Will Account For Almost 50% of US Programmatic Spending

6. Facebook's Social Video Ad Market Share Will Decrease

7. Ad-Free Viewing Will Give Rise to Product Placement

8. Tracking Universal Video Metrics will Remain Difficult

Jensen Comment
Interestingly in the 20th Century we had newspaper advertising on the decline due to radio and ten television.

In the 21st Century we will have radio and TV advertising on the decline due to Internet alternatives such as the social media sites that are increasingly vulnerable to fake news.

The biggest loss is the process is newspaper investigative reporting when advertising paid for much of the local discovery and reporting in virtually all towns and cities of the USA.

It's hard to get local news (think school board and city council meetings) if somebody does not report and analyze this news at its source. Think of all the crime discovered and documented by aggressive newspaper reporters for the Detroit Free Press, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, etc

In the 21st Century who will pay for reporters muck raking for truth discovery on the streets?

Updates on Medical Insurance



Random Critical Analysis on Health Care ---


Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania:  Bernie Sanders 'Medicare for all' plan could shrink GDP by as much as 24% ---


Open immigration can’t exist with a strong social safety net; if you’re going to assure healthcare and a decent income to everyone, you can’t make that offer global ---
Paul Krugman



Bob Jensen's threads on health insurance (including Obamacare and Medicare-for-All)



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/