Work    Education    Health   Safety   Poverty

Taxes     Debt    Government   Civility   Populism

2020 Election   Socialism   Terror   Fake News  

The Bottom Line  

Please Share!    See Election Recommendations 8/19/19
Prelude: John Mueller's 1995 statement concerning Retrospection Bias.
“... no matter how much better the present gets, the past gets better faster..."
Golden ages " happen, but we are never actually in them:
they are always back there somewhere.”

American's Work More


Middle-Skill Jobs Disappearing


Outsourcing Moves Medium Wage Jobs

 #1 Manufacturing moved South out of Northeast and Midwest.

#2 Manufacturing and Middle Skilled Work moved out of US.

#3 US Pressure caused Foreign Manufacturing to move to US
low cost locations helping wage growth.

# 4 China created jobs assembling parts from other Asian countries.

#5 Jobs moving out of China to lower cost.
Increased wages resulted.

#6 China began moving up the product value chain.

Finally, Young People Are Beginning to look for Work.


We Failed 15% of Our Young People.


see 1. Who Got the Money  2. Jobs Leave With or Without Outsourcing 3. The Future of Work

See Our Editor's Work Recommendation

More Went to College

But Many Made a Poor Economic Investment

Should College Be More Merit Oriented?
Low Acceptance Schools Graduate < 50% in 6 Years

Is Financial Aid Welfare?

System Works For Most Children    

Some Need Education 2.0

Many of the 15% who stopped Looking for Work were likely didn't finish HS.

Selective Colleges Especially Help Poor and Wealthy Students

Earnings boost from going to a top college, by parents' income

See Top Universities Make a Difference?

It's the real Fake News.
  Source: Manhattan Institute  


2016 HS Graduates With Good Job Georgetown Education

25-44 ≥ $35,000        45 -65 ≥ $45,000

1) HS or Less 12.9 million      2) Some College: 15.7 million graduates had good jobs.

3) Bachelor's Degree or More 36.3 million    Source

Editor's Note: Limiting factor is supply of good jobs, not number of degrees and Increased income variability with STEM/graduate degrees earning much more than median.
Median Income of BS should be required when markets college education.


Are College Marketing Efforts Useful?

The Merit Aid-Illusion

Schools Increase Tuition More Than Needed and
Give More Aid to Top Students, Others are Overcharged.

Some Private School Aid is not Cash, its a credit to the tuition bill. The Less Selective the School, the less aid is cash, the more relevant the following dollar analysis.

Per Student Spending minus Inst.

Aid = Cash Out 35,844 - 14,714 = 21,130

Cash Out minus Gross Tuition = Overcharge

21,130 - 35,844 = 14,714 Overcharge = Funny Money

For some less selective schools this is
a reasonable overcharge estimate.

I checked Yale University years ago and they had
little Funny Money it was contribution applied to tuition.

Some college replaced funny money with college loans. I found their bad debt rate was about 50%. This means more cash since grants mean no cash in.

Step One is always follow the real money, the cash!

Who Pays
When Society Gives Poor Guidance?

Uncle Sam is calling in his chips. 

Collections of delinquent student loans
 increased to $2.9 billion last year.
The fiscal 2019 path is $3.3 billion.
Payments come from borrower tax refunds,
Social Security payments and paychecks.


Source Interesting Thoughts Concerning Education

Editor's Comments:

Admission to a top university
should not be "the" top education issue.

Too many students Invest Too Much,  
borrow too much,  do not finish their formal education
 or are over credentialized for their eventually career.

More college academic education
increased supply causing lowered wages.

How we education average students
is a much bigger issue.

Appropriate liability forgiveness could be beneficial.
Unintended consequences will should be considered.


Learn About
Improving American Education

See Our Editor's Educational Recommendation

Please share!

Many Diseases Cured


Poor Health Habits Hurt Many

An estimated 45.4% of all deaths
caused by heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes
are associated with eating either too much/little of 10 food categories,

reports the Journal of the American Medical Association.




Learn About Healthy Eating Habits

Children are Safer
Autos were Much Safer


Bad Year for School Shooting
 Fatalities Up to 55 in 2018


3,037 Fewer Teenage Fatalities
from Injuries Occurred in 2018.

Learn Which

Violent Crimes Decreased From Early 1990s Peak


Poverty Rate Seems Stuck


Safety Net Helps Many


Few Real Poor Work




Working Means Fewer Benefits

States Determine When Income is Too High to Receive a Benefit
Family Size 100% 133% 138% 250%
1 $12,140 $16,146 $16,753 $30,350 $48,560
2 $16,460 $21,892 $22,715 $41,150 $65,840
3 $20,780 $27,637 $28,676 $51,950 $83,120
4 $25,100 $33,383 $34,638 $62,750 $100,400
5 $29,420 $39,129 $40,600 $73,550 $117,680
6 $33,470 $44,515 $46,189 $84,350 $133,880
7 $38,070 $50,633 $52,537 $95,150 $152,280
8 $42,380 $56,365 $58,484 $105,950 $169,520
For households with more than 8, add $4,320 for each additional person. Note: Eligibility for premium tax credits in coverage year 2019 is based on poverty guidelines for 2018.
FPL = federal poverty line.

 See Food stamps can arrest a falling “floor” of living standards    Little Benefit 2nd Worker Benefit needs more study/analysis.


The Poor are Living Better



Source Economics Exposed


Editor's Notes:

Measuring economic Wellbeing is difficult.
Poor economic measures overstate poverty.
Undervalued Inexpensive Well-Made Asian Products are Undervalued.
Some inflation adjustments makes people look poorer than reality.
Improved Government Imposed Building Standards Are Ignored.
U.S. Poverty Rate is Fake News. Why?
It Ignores Our Safety Net.

The Congressional Budget Committee
should audit economic statistics and
report those that misrepresent wellbeing.


Question:  Should Poverty Rate be renamed to Poverty Rate?

Learn About  Poverty Demographics

See Our Editor's Poverty Recommendation


 Tax Rates Went Down

Government Debt Increased



Federal Share of GDP
Changed Little



Editor's Note: CBO Budget Projections
 Are Notoriously Poor.


IRS budget cuts resulted in $34.3 billion in lost tax large firm revenue.




More Tax Analysis

Prelude: Economic Concerns

A. Politics is in Control

B. Legally Avoiding Taxes


C. Who Cheats and How

D. Tax Where the Money Is!

E. Attitudes Toward Taxes

F. Would Rich Pay?

Federal Debt
Two Kinds

1. Bonds/Notes pay interest to owners.
2. Dollars
pay no interest.

Transactions only occur in dollars which the FED prints as needed.
So what is thought of as government borrowing is selling interest paying debt for cash i.e. non-interest paying debt.
FED borrows dollars and promises to return dollars. Can not run out.

Printing Dollars Means Bills Will  Always Be Paid

You Will Get Your FED Retirement Check.
It's value, by today's rules, will adjust for inflation.

States Can't Print Money, Defaults Happen.
You Might Not Get Your State Retirement Check.

BUT FED Debt Has Risk
 Inflation, Exchange Rate, Interest Rate

Printing too many dollars has historically caused inflation. Citizens who bought War Bonds were paid back with less valuable dollars. FED borrowed a lot on Vietnam war and OPEC raised oil prices. Resulting inflation cause bondholders, pensioners, savers to received less buying power. FED negated inflationary effects by adjusting for inflation.

Debt increases demand. Supply must keep up or inflation results. The less we put into increasing production, the faster current debt will lead to inflation. Currently World Oversupply Keeps Inflation Low.

Editor's Note: Public Debt Concerns are Not Financial.
Who receives the money and what is bought are the concerns.
Symposia Historical Evolution  Money and Debt

Supporters of Debt Say
Interest Cost Are Low

Many Predict Trouble



U.S. Debt: Is It the Calm Before the Storm? podcast: knowledge@Wharton


Inflation/Growth Historically
 Lowered Relative Debt

Many will say "who cares" because they believe Modern Monetary Policy

FED Printing Money Could Cause Inflation Leading to Higher Interest Rates increasing Debt Cost


See Should the Federal Debt be Paid 

from class notes I first wrote in 1966.

Learn About

Who What, Where, When and Why We Borrow

Government Spends
About 21% of GDP


Everyone Got More
But Some Got More Than Others
Lowest two deciles helped lots by S and Investment Income!

Government Spending Grew
17.5% to 21.5% of GDP

People Got More, Defense Got Less

Young People More Socialistic
Perceptions of Socialism

1) Early 20th Century
Government Ownership of Means of Production.
Failed Utopian, Totalitarian System

2) Post WW 2
Government controls key industries such as utilities, transportation and communications. Classic socialism dominated after World War II and still prevails with older Americans.

3) Current Perception
US has Mixed Economy

Government Helps Support Economic Safety Net:
Health insurance, retirement provisions, and access to less expensive higher education. This doesn't replace capitalism, it makes it more humane, egalitarian, and more protective.

Scandinavian socialism popularized by Democrat Sander.
Many associate socialism with totalitarian Communism.

Source Socialism: a short-primer  
Democratic Socialism Basics video

Another example of the unintended consequences of government support is increased Social Security benefits paralleled the decrease in the personal savings rate.
Government Deficits Fund Private Savings

Editor's Government Recommendations

1) Is Median Wealth Understated?

2) Paul Krugman Agrees With Young People


"On fiscal and economic responsibility:

Paul Krugman writes in the New York Times.

Election 2020 Economic Questions


1. More for the Middle Class?

2. Which Sacrifice?

3. Forgiving Student Loans?

4. A Need for Socialism?

 Editor/Author Walter Antoniotti


Editor's Definition: America's Democratic Federal Republic

Republic is a free, equal, self-ruling people.
requires majority rule because
eople disagree.

Possible limits on democracy or majority rule
1. Majority may use representatives to pass laws.
2. All Guaranteed of Individual Rights
3. Constitutional limits to governments

Classical Liberalism Characteristics
a high degree of individual liberties
 and a free-market economy, constitutional limits to government power and  limits on restricting individual freedom.


See Economic Wellbeing

1. More for the Middle Class?

Analysis: American capitalism was too good, too successful.  

Analysis:  So government spent more and took less.


Which Sacrifice?

 Democrats want sacrifices
to lower potential climate change cost.
Trump wants sacrifices
to lower potential
cost of China growth.

Question: Will interest groups affect economic efficiency? 
Writing the Green New Deal?

U.S. Strategic Geopolitical Plan Update
Editor: Cost and Benefit of Both are Unpredictable!


Energy Subsidies: Return on Investment

source: energy subsidies paper

Oil/Gas Got the Most Help

Koch Families Opinions of Interest

Energy Demand Reality
1. Hydrocarbons supply over 80% of world energy
2. A 2% decline in the hydrocarbon share of world energy use
    entailed over $2 trillion in cumulative global spending on
3. When the 3rd world’s poor increase energy use to a third of
    Europe’s, energy use global demand increase by twice
    America’s total consumption.
4. A 100x growth in electric vehicles to 400 million by 2040
    would displace 5% of global oil demand.
14. Batteries to store two-day’s of U.S. electricity demand
      would require 1,000 years of production by world’s
      biggest battery factor.

Realities About Energy Economics
       95 million kWh while $1 million invested in shale wells
       produces 300 million kWh.
19. It costs <$0.50 to store a barrel of oil/natural gas and
      $200 to store the equivalent energy in batteries.
25. The shale revolution collapsed the prices of natural
       gas & coal, but electric rates rose 20% since 2008
       because of subsidies for solar/wind.

Mark P. Mills is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute,
and author of Work in the Age of Robots by Encounter Books.


Energy Physics Realities
26. Transforming the energy economy is not like putting a
       few people on the moon, it's like permanently putting all
       of humanity on the moon.
28. If solar power scaled like computer-tech, a cc postage-stamp
       size solar array would power the Empire State Building.
29. If batteries scaled like digital tech, a battery the size of a
      book, costing three cents, could power a jetliner to Asia.
31. Physics limit for solar cells (the Shockley-Queisser limit)
      is a max conversion of about 33% of photons into
      electrons; commercial cells today are at 26%.
32. No digital-like 10x gains exist for wind tech. Physics limit
       for wind turbines (the Betz limit) is a max capture of 60%
       of energy in moving air; commercial turbines achieve 45%.
35. At least 100 pounds of materials are mined, moved and
       processed for every pound of battery fabricated.
39. A battery-centric grid and car world means mining
       gigatons more of the earth to access lithium, copper,
       nickel, graphite, rare earths,
       cobalt, etc.—and using millions of tons of oil and coal
       both in mining and to fabricate metals and concrete.
40. China dominates global battery production with its grid
       70% coal-fueled: EVs using Chinese batteries will
       create more carbon-dioxide than saved by replacing
       oil-burning engines.

Source: Inconvenient Energy Realities

Trump’s Foreign Policy Requires Sacrifice

Brookings Institute: Thomas Wright

source Trump’s Foreign Policy Is No Longer Unpredictably

Editor's Note:

Because Trump's methods put much of the foreign establishment out of business,
bias concerning Trump and FP is possible.

So, read sources for opinions

Learn About:

U.S. and China Geopolitical Political Rivals?

Trump's New Geopolitical Era?

3. Forgiving Student Loans?

What You Should Know 6/29/19

Probable Forgiving Student Debts Benefits.

Student receiving loan relief reduced credit demand and credit card use resulting in indebtedness reduction by 26%

They were 11% less likely to default on other accounts.

Borrowers' geographical mobility increased, more changed jobs and to and income increased by about $3000 over a three year period.

NBER Working Paper No. 25810. 6/19 Marco Di Maggio, Ankit Kalda, Vincent Yao   purchase this paper on-line  from  $5

A Personal Diary
1. I helped N.H. passes a 1970's Student Loan Program.
2. By 1989, tuition grants at Franklin Pierce College reached
    $1,000,000. Grants go to most desired students, most
    others pay full tuition using state and local loans, grants,
     and scholarships. A check of 990 tax forms revealed
     that most use this financing/marketing. 
4. Consulting firms searched the applicant pool to determine
    which extra curricula activities will generate the most cash.
6. Loans to parents become the first choice of college
    councilors because they can be larger and attended
    colleges are not held responsible for bad debts.
7. Increased Graduate school loans were caused when
    year two loans could begin the summer of year one.

See Economics of Investing in a College Education

See Investing in College

4. A Need for Socialism?

Charles Jones and Peter Klenow proposes an interesting new measure of economic welfare. It is by no means perfect, yet it is considerably more comprehensive than median income, taking into account not only per capita consumption, growth more is better changes in working time. less is better life expectancy more is better and inequality less is better. Analysis: While U.S. has easily the most income per capita, UK is second with 25% less, is only slightly ahead in wellbeing, The French take long vacations and retire earlier so they typically work fewer hours. Their higher life expectancy at birth (80 years in 2005, compared to 77 in the United States),  presumably reflects advantages with respect to health care, diet, lifestyle, and the like. Their income and consumption are somewhat more equally distributed than is the norm in the United States.


Analysis: While U.S. has easily the most income per capita, UK is second with 25% less, but is only slightly ahead in wellbeing.
The French

Take long vacations and retire earlier, and so they typically work fewer hours. Their higher life expectancy at birth (80 years in 2005, compared to 77 in the United States),  presumably reflects advantages with respect to health care, diet, lifestyle, and the like. Their income and consumption are somewhat more equally distributed than is the norm in the United States. Source:

Are Americans Better Off than they were a Decade or Two-Ago B. Bernanke

Learn About Electoral Politics

Conservatism vs. Progressivism

Election of 1795 Begins the Battle

Determining Political Power and "We the People"

Socialism is the Latest Battle

See Our Editor's 2020 Election Recommendation


20th Century Civility Improved

Adolph Ochs bought the NYT in 1898.
He responded to many Yellow Journalism competitors with

"All The News That's Fit To Print."
Result was more congenial media for 100 years.

Recently: Civility Declined, Animosity, and Polarity Increased


 1. Were Supreme Court Actions the Cause?
State Redistricting Plans, Schools Integration/busing/housing, Abortion
Trouble began when Federal efforts went beyond stopping Jim Crow laws.

2. Has Political Control Affected Civility
Political Parties Began to polarize when
FDR kept control of the Democratic Party by
excluded many poor southerners from New Deal.

Northern Democrats began catering to blacks.

LBJ sealed the change with the 1966 Civil Rights Act.
South was Republican, Coasts Were Democratic.

Reagan sealed the breach and political polarity intensified.

How States Where a Party Has Total Control Differ

Please Share

3. Did the Federal Policy Contribute?

The 1987 Communication Industry Fairness Doctrine Eliminated 
Radio Stations were no longer required to present contrasting views.
Conservative and Liberal P
olarization Proliferate
Rush Limbaugh, who had popularized conservative talk radio, now had fewer restrictions.
Talk Radio and Identity Politics Flourished.

4. The Telecommunications Act of 1996
allowed multi station company ownership and national network developed.
As of 2011, Clear Channel Communications

iHeartMediaowned over 800 US radio stations and
 Rush Limbaugh wealth eventually climbed to $400 million.

5. Citizens United v. FEC 
Allowed Increased Political Contributions
Campaign funding increased and sponsorship diversified.
 which  supported both intended and unintended
Fake News.

6. Sports Trash Talking Went Public

Mohamed Ali practically invented this 1960's genre
 as a boastfully Cassius Clay.
Athlete had been formal, cordial, and boring.
Ali changed everything with his elite out-of-ring bantering.
 which was only rivaled by his in-ring dominance.

Larry Bird
and others soon followed.

7. Banning Earmarks in 2011
increased polarization as political cooperating to
 “bring home the bacon” ended.

See Avoiding Effects Of Groupthink

8. Anxiety Caused Populism

More than five years ago I began adding
political economy studies to
Quick Notes Economics.
Studied were U.S. history and presidential politics.
Then came biographies of influential presidents.
Today I study the 4th populist-terrorist episode
to attack the post WW 1 United States.

Anxiety increased when blacks increased their economic and political power.
They received a more of our economic pie.
Then Asians got more pie followed in close proximity by women.
Fear from 9/11 amplified our anxiety.
White middle class men and women were no longer the center of society.

Educators had long been acting as if the normal curve did not exist.
Education was the great equalizer. It solved most issues.
Then the Great Recession many hardships to rural areas and the Rust Belt very hard.
But, individual failure has continues.
Equal educational opportunity was not enough.
More Education spending was not the answer.
Unbiased observers knew that nature and
nurture were not equally distributed.
Education Change was needed.

Special blame goes to the politicians, economists and professionals.
Economic success and political stability of 1980-2000 fostered technocrat control.
ut, too often they provided inadequate,
bias Information that was not applicable
 to a particular issue.
There failures are the
real Fake News.

It is more dangerous than the fake news from lies,
Yellow journalism, and Propaganda.

The Great Society created a time bomb.
The explosion was delayed by the Reagan Revolution followed by fifteen years of economic prosperity.
Then the dot com bubble ended prosperity and 9/11 lit the fuse.
Then Gay Rights put a psychological hurt on many middle class whites.
 Finally a black President’s health care plan took many back to the beginning,
 to Great Society animosity.
Trump's election signified a new Populism.
 It is much like our
20th Century Populism episodes.

Democracy is supposed to be troublesome. Those most unhappy raise Cain.
Oligarchs run the show and maximize their wealth from our ever growing economic pie.
Populism caused the Civil War, the Revolutionary War and the King Phillips War.
By accepting more responsibility, Oligarchs could avert a forth devastating event.
Baby Boomers are leaving populist issues to Millennials.
They must take control during what some consider a Fourth Turning

Socialism is Being Considered by Progressives

is collective ownership and management
of equally distributed economic resources

Democratic Socialism of Western Europe is public ownership of key industries such as RR,  transportation and communication. It also has increased concern for the disadvantaged and substantial private property.

Note: Neoliberal economics was used by England's Margaret Thatcher in 1979  to dismantled Democratic and she was followed to a lesser degree in much of Europe. In 1981 Ronald Reagan, President of the United States followed similar policies.


A Socialist Utopia was Imagined
by Socialist who believed political equality required wealth equality. Production was a common good.

The public, using a democratic process, controls the state. States should determine investment goals and resulting strategy. This is accomplished  by controlling property and investment capital. Production will be for the common good and not for state officials.

In Capitalism, wealth inequality was directed by rich private investors wanting the highest capital return. They neglected the low return of social goods.  Socialist believe this limited human possibilities.

Capitalism Not Imagined or Planned
It was a reality emerging with the Industrial Revolution.
It required investment and the reinvested of profit.
Its wealth creation soon dwarf that of European aristocracy.

Unlike socialism, capitalist did not contemplate the virtue of wealth or the effects of industrialism on the human condition.

Not an ideology, intellectuals did not defend it until the 20th century when Hayek and Friedman, among others, sought did so.

Capitalism explainer Adam Smith wrote “The Wealth of Nations.” It described how individual decisions, driven by self-interest, would culminate in an increased wealth of nations. In “The Theory of Moral Sentiments,” Smith argument that moral development resulted from appropriate management.

Capitalism maximized wealth, it did not limit inequality.
Investments were based on capital return expectations.
Capital would move toward maximum creation of wealth.
The process left some serving the system, excluding others.


Characteristics of Capitalism

Private property
-individuals own resources
Freedom of enterprise-own a business

Freedom of economic choice-work/not work, spend/not spend ..
Role of self-interest

Competitive Market System
Laissez-Faire Government let markets operate freely
Questionable Degree of Government Involvement a concern  


Socialism Reallocates Capital

Capitalists creates wealth for a few and allows much suffering.

Socialism places confidence in public control


Source Basic Characteristics of Capitalism









Abolishing Greed and State Minimization fantasies aside,
 the two systems have more or less merged


Both Systems Have Unhappy Voters



A 2020 Watershed Election?


Conservatism vs. Progressivism

Our Fundamental Constitutional Divide

Federal Government Responsibilities





A Quarrel between a Federalist and a Republican in the House of Representatives


Quarrel between a Federalist and a Republican in the House of Representatives Foreign influence on Domestic Politics
Click to enlarge cartoon.


See Our Editor's Socialism Recommendation

21st Century Terror

Homegrown European Terror Decreased

Islamic Terror Hitting Western Europe


Many Causes of U.S. Terror 

Motives Varied



1984 San Ysidro Lone

1986 Edmond post office
work related

1991 Luby's shooting
Hispanics, Gay, Women issues

1999 Columbine HS
no obvious motive

2007 Blacksburg
mental/physical issues


2007 Binghamton NY
self image/career issues

2009 Fort Hood
career issues

2012 Sandy  Hook
obsession with mass murders

2015 San Bernardino
inspired by Islamic terrorists

2016 Orlando Nightclub
many unrelated issues



Right Wing Terror Incident 1993-2017 by Movement

Sources wished

\homegrown-terrorists -were-almost-all-right-wing

9/11/01 Began an Era of Fear
Suddenly Our Invulnerable Nation Felt Dramatically Unsafe

Sources  economic wellbeing    David Brooks

Learn More About  Terror


Fake News

When Professionals Provide Inadequate,
Bias Information.
It is Worse Than

A Modern Name for
Yellow Journalism
and Propaganda,
provided Fodder for
Media, Politicians Think-tanks.

Unbiased News

Look for a date, author, data source,
logical facts, internet domain, writing style...

Fake News Warning # 1 Claiming Trumpisms are Lies



12. The Bottom Line
Most Westerners Live Better Than Ever

A. WW 1 Began Middle Class Wealth Accumulation


Source    Editor's Notes: The author of this source
 has a different interpretation of data.

U.S. Wealth Accumulation Began Much Earlier

Log Scale

Data from Table 3.4: GDP per capita in selected countries, 1820-2010 in Bolt, jutta, Marcel Timmer and Jan Luiten van Zanden (2014),
“GDP per capita since 1820”, in Jan Luiten van Zanden, et al. (eds.), How Was Life?: Global Well-being since 1820, OECD Publishing.

More Specific U.S. Data is needed.

B. U.S. Great Recession/Recovery was Quick


US Spends
much economic growth on
national/world defense
 and the very very wealthy.


source one-picture economics




C. More Goes to Consumption

Investment is down, Is Consumption Too High?

Editor's Note: IMF data always makes me nervous!
Fixed Investment is down but very high quality STEM education
 is now a more important replacement.

Most politicians want more G for infrastructure.
Some politicians want to increase G for education.
Some want more G for entitlements.
Some want a more G for the safety net.
Some politicians want to more G for defense.
All politicians are buying votes.
Until economic growth picks up, all sectors will increase debt.


D. Still Populism Developed

Politicians, the Media,
 and Professionals Can/Have Made
Much Money, Power and Earned Peer Respect
      by Influencing/Creating Negativity!

Fake News   Please Share!

Editor's Note: Knowing how the US poorly measures economic reality,
 I wants someone to determine exactly how well our poor live now
and have lived in the recent past.

E. Over-Hyped
Academic Education Problems

Scores Slightly Up as Tests Get Harder

Trend in NAEP reading average scores
for 9-, 13-, and 17-year-old students
See complete data for age 9, age 13, and age 17.

Trend in NAEP reading average scores for 9-, 13-, and 17-year-old students< - see complete data links below for full data in table format.

U.S. STEM Compared Internationally 2007 vs. 2015

Source: Measuring Innovation in Education 2019.
Note: All of the following results were calculated using TIMSS data.

 1. How frequently do 4th grade students use computers when learning math? 
      U.S. rose    18 - 79 percent     OCED  42 - 51 percent

 2. Do 8th grade students do math homework at least twice a week?
US fell 86 - 75 percent     OECD 56 - No Change

  3. Do teachers of 4th grade science demonstrate experiments with half their lessons?  
       US rose 16 - 36 percent     OECD 13 -  35 percent

  4. Do 4th grade students actually perform science experiments or investigations?
       US rose 45 - 53 percent     OCED 33- to 46 percent

  5. Are Incentives used to recruit and retain STEM 8th math teachers?
         US 7 to 6 percent     OECD 10 to 8 percent

Source: How US STEM practices compare internationally

  Three noteworthy points:
  1. We just don't know if more math homework and experiments are a good thing or not.
  2. US policies and practices don't look all that different.
  3. High-performing STEM countries aren't doing anything that's obviously distinctive.

  Editors Thoughts:
  Almost all students lose interest in math and science.
  Computers and experiments may delay this decision,
but they also increase learning for a very few by a very lot.

  Homework may teach some to be more responsible,
  but again it
 also increase learning for a very few by a very lot.

  More money for teachers is usually good but
  one of the best teachers I have observed since 1950
  was, by almost all measures, a poor teacher.

  Maximize a students reading ability,
  do a little practical math,
  and get out of the way.

Ability and Major Determines Earnings
Top AA Earners Earn More Than Bottom Half of Bachelor's Graduates
More Data Career Guidance       Lifetime Earnings


Starting Pay

 Starting Pay

   Job Type

Bachelor's Premium

With 10 Years Experience










Dental Hygienist






Registered Nurse






Construction Manager






Inside Sales Rep.



Source: Education Libraries

Postscript: We Used Debt to Pay for
1. Revolutionary War
2. The Civil War
3. WW 1

4. Great Depression Poverty
5. WW 2
5. War on Poverty

Today We Spend It On All Voters
Spending Creates Happy Voters Who Vote for Incumbents

Historically, the U.S. Has Succeeded Using Inflation
and Economic Growth to Postpone Economic Pain.

People loved dot-com companies until they didn’t.
They loved credit default swaps until they blew up.
Now, with low interest cost, they love cash-burning companies.

“When the music stops, in terms of liquidity, things will be complicated."
Chuck Prince on debt-fueled private equity deals before the economy collapsed.

Federal Government Prints Money,
Other US Governments May Have to Cut

Infrastructure Will Battle Entitlements

The years 1968, 1969, and 1970 had many noticeable events:
the early baby boomers moving into their 20’s;
the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy;
 the beginning of the women’s movement; the draft, the bombing of Cambodia,
and unrest on college campuses; Woodstock; Stonewall.
Did any of these increase the impatience of the country in a permanent way?
There are likely stories that could be woven, undoubtedly more than one,
but it is unclear whether anything could be tested.
The question is probably too big, but the fact is interesting.

See World Getting Better video
Child Labor Photos    
Longer-Term Economic Questions
The Bottom Bottom Line

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Productivity Gains > Wage Gains

See Understanding US Productivity Slowdown



Profit Gains > Wages/Salaries





Labors Gets < National Income













It Could Get Worse

See Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis and  Unchecked Power

More Earned Higher Incomes
 Fewer Earned Low Income

Source: one picture economics



Wealth of Wealthy Grows Most, Or Did It?

Savings for Retirement are Up.

American Enterprise Institute


U.S. Economic Normality 1945-2015

Would Improve Understanding


Retiree Data:


We will need a safety net until everyone has a Star Track Type Replicators
Even then some will lament only the rich have a transporter.


Prelude: Reshoring Initiative report on a 2-year-145,000 jobs relocation effort.
Some 30,000 of those "reshored" jobs are directly the result of Trump's
bare-knuckle trade policies, or about 1 month's worth of job gains. 



Crime is Down


Few Believe It!


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Poverty Demographics

Official Poverty Rate Does Not Measure People "Living" in Poverty

Poorer States Get Most Federal Help


Is Poverty a Condition or a Position?

Growing up in a rural 1950's Massachusetts Observations

lived with their children, few had health insurance or much income.

Poor Families lived in older house at the end of a dirt road.

Poor Children were skinny, often dirty, didn't finish HS,
 pooped around and then went into military, found a trade or pumped gas.

Almost no one had air conditioning.

Almost all benefited economically after WW 2 but
those in the bottom quintile were economically less well-off.


Retired in rural 2003 Central Florida Observations

live on their own with Medicare and improved SS.
Poor families lived in older lowland house or trailers.
Poor Children, obesity a problem, most finish HS, try college,
go into one of many services, industry and live at home.

Poverty Rate Stuck, which ignores the safety net, is stuck at 15%.
 Liberals misuse poverty data and Conservatives despise safety net.


England's Wealth Accumulation Reveals Much


Some Feel Top Got Most of the Created Wealth

Wealth of Lower Income Cohorts should Includes
Medicare, Medicaid, Safety Net and
Help from Friends and Family.


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Improving America's Education System

"It does not matter how slowly you go
as long as you don't stop."
Source1: Historical Leaders Education Observations
P. Drucker Emphasize what learners do well

Advise from Recent Leaders

More Graduated

But, Economic Wellbeing Changed Little

FED's Get to Set the Rules Without Providing the Money!


Laws Have Unintended Consequences 

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy Executive Order 10988
led to state laws permitting
the unionization of public employees

In 1969, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District,
ruled that the
Constitution forbids local schools from suspending
students who bring political protest inside the schools
 In his dissent, Justice Black wrote:

"I repeat that if the time has come when pupils of state-supported schools, kindergartens, grammar schools, or high schools,
can defy and flout orders of school officials to keep their minds on their own schoolwork,
it is the beginning of a new revolutionary era of permissiveness in this country fostered by the judiciary."

We now have "The Language Police, education historian Diane Ravitch's meticulous but horrifying narrative
of how the major textbook publishers, the testing companies and state education departments have
reduced what public-school kids learn to politically correct, politically laughable..."

In the years since, courts and legislatures gave the neighborhood school yet another big legal obligation:
Mainstream and educate severely disabled kids.

1969 the U.S. Supreme Court, in Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District,
ruled that the
Constitution forbids local schools from suspending students who bring political protest inside the schools
 In his dissent, Justice Black wrote:
"I repeat that if the time has come when pupils of state-supported schools, kindergartens,
grammar schools, or high schools,
can defy and flout orders of school officials to keep their minds on their own schoolwork,
 it is the beginning of a new revolutionary era of permissiveness in this country fostered by the judiciary."

In 1975 Goss v. Lopez,
the Court
ruled in the case of a suspended student, a hearing was required.
 In dissent Justice Powell wrote In 1975 Goss v. Lopez,
the Court  ruled in the case of a suspended student, a hearing was required.
 In dissent Justice Powell wrote "One who does not comprehend the meaning and necessity for discipline
is handicapped not merely in his education but throughout his subsequent life."

Money Did Not Increase Testing Results
Manhattan Institute



Improving test scores should not always be the rule.

Local Community Prioritize Goals which begins the process

Using Individualized Curriculum Design to Educating the Class of 2034



Learn More About Testing



Testing Headlines Misinform

2015 U.S. students ranked
40th in math literacy
25th in science literacy
24th in reading literacy.
Singapore topped all nations
in all three categories.
International Students Assessment

On the World Stage
U.S. Students Fall Behind

Massachusetts PISA Scores
are about the same as Singapore.

 Data on test taker percentages
not provided.
Prejudice for and against
makes all data Suspect


Does Seldom Reported Data Measure Reality?

The Nation's Report Card Unchanged



A line graph shows that the national average mathematics score in 2015 for grade 12 students was lower compared to the score in 2013, but was not significantly different compared to 2005, the first year of the current trend line based on a new framework.


A line graph shows that the national average reading score in 2015 for grade 12 students was lower compared to the score in 1992, the initial reading assessment year, but was not significantly different compared to 2013.

Math Tests Unchanged Since 1971

Image of a line graph with three horizontal lines showing average scores for age 9, age 13, and age 17 students. The X axis is labeled year and shows various years from 1971 through 2012. The Y axis is labeled scale score and shows a range of scores from 0 to 500. Each horizontal line consists of two assessment variations: original assessment format and revised assessment format. 
      There are two data points in the transition year between original and revised formats. 
      For Reading age 9: The original format was used, In 1971 = 208, significantly different from 2012; 
      In 1975 = 210, significantly different from 2012; In 1980 = 215, significantly different from 2012;
       In 1984 = 211, significantly different from 2012; In 1988 = 212, significantly different from 2012; 
       In 1990 = 209, significantly different from 2012; In 1992 = 211, significantly different from 2012; 
       In 1994 = 211, significantly different from 2012; In 1996 = 212, significantly different from 2012; In 1999 = 
       212, significantly different from 2012; In 2004 = 219; The revised format was used, In 2004 = 216, 
       significantly different from 2012; In 2008 = 220; and In 2012 = 221. For Reading age 13: 
       The original format was used, In 1971 = 255, significantly different from 2012; In 1975 = 256, 
       significantly different from 2012; In 1980 = 258, significantly different from 2012; In 1984 = 257, 
       significantly different from 2012; In 1988 = 257, significantly different from 2012; In 1990 = 257, 
       significantly different from 2012; In 1992 = 260; In 1994 = 258, significantly different from 2012; 
       In 1996 = 258, significantly different from 2012; In 1999 = 259, significantly different from 2012;
        In 2004 = 259, significantly different from 2012; The revised format was used, In 2004 = 257, 
        significantly different from 2012; In 2008 = 260, significantly different from 2012; and In 2012 = 263. 
        For Reading age 17: The original format was used, In 1971 = 285; In 1975 = 286; In 1980 = 285;
         In 1984 = 289; In 1988 = 290, significantly different from 2012; In 1990 = 290, significantly different from 2012; In 1992 = 290, significantly different from 2012; In 1994 = 288; In 1996 = 288; In 1999 = 288; In 2004 = 285; 
         The revised format was used, In 2004 = 283, significantly different from 2012; In 2008 = 286; and In 2012 = 287.

US Mathematics & Reading at Grade 12


Reasons Test Score Differ

The Difference: Report Card Tests are Constant
PISA Changes Periodically

See Long and Short-Term Testing.

Testing is Big Business

Standardized Test Sales, 1955–1997


Standardized tests mean large profits to testing companies
Changing from a two-part Scholastic Aptitude Test to a three-part test
 has made a lot of money for a lot of people.

Business Week
2005 reports
"Kaplan, a unit of The Washington Post,
saw SAT-related sales jump up to 50% in the later half of 2004...."
SAT companies got a similar hike in 1994, when tests were last modified."

New curriculums mean large profits for curriculum design companies,
textbook companies and Standardized Testing companies.

The academics who advise these companies receive
substantial consulting fees plus ego enhancements.

Product Line Expanded
More than 25 percent of public high school seniors graduating last May
 took at least one AP test."


Four companies that dominate the business
 of making/scoring standardized tests.
As of 2011, Gaston Caperton,  the president of the College Board, nonprofit owner of SAT,
 was paid $1.3 million.
 Richard Ferguson, former executive officer of ACT Inc., made roughly $1.1 million.
The National Board on Educational Testing and Public Policy at Boston College
reported that the value of the standardized testing market was anywhere between
$400 million and $700 million."

Standardized test exists to create a better life for young people.
 But these tests  hurt young people economically and emotionally.

Epilogue: Education should center on Howard Gardner's
equally valued normally distributed
Multiple Intelligences,
concentrating on a student's
Special Intelligence
not harming  self actualization.

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More Data on Taxes

Prelude : Economic Concerns
A. Politics in Control
B. Legally Avoiding Taxes
. Who Cheats and How
D. Tax Where the Money Is!

E. Attitudes Toward Taxes
F. Would Rich Pay?

Prelude: Economic Concerns

1. Ayn Rand's Predicted a Tipping Point
Which Begins a Slow Long-Term Growth Decline.

Creative Destruction Fuels Our Economic Prosperity    Source
Average of S&P 500 Index ten-year was 33 years, by 1990 it was 20 years.

Since 1955, only 52 companies still have ten-year top 500 membership.

2. Where is the Ayn Rand Point

Do you think higher taxes would have kept Bill Gates at Harvard?
Kept Steve jobs at Reed College and out of the computer business?

3. Do We Over Accommodate Business

4. We Lead the West in Productivity

Editor's Note:
First we were losing to Russia, then Germany, then Japan, then Europe and now China.
It has always been a battle.
It has usually always been a
battle of rivals maybe adversaries, seldom enemies.

5. Key Questions
Are the Most Productive Affected?     Post WW2 Entrepreneurs Pay Much Taxes?   When and How Affected?


A. Politics is in Control

IRS Demanding Billions Less From the Wealthy

In 2009, the IRS had formed a crack team of specialists to unravel ultra-wealthy ax dodges.

A battle had begun. Soon the Republicans in Congress began slashing the agency’s budget.

High-powered tax lawyer and now Trump’s IRS commissioner, warned that the squad was conducting “the audits from hell.”

In 2012 the wealth team embarked on a contentious audit of German billionaire businessman George Schaeffler.
ProPublica reconstruct the key points in the Schaeffler case.
Eventually they determined owed about $1.2 billion in unpaid taxes and penalties.
t after seven years of grinding bureaucratic combat, the IRS abandoned its campaign.
They would accept just tens of millions of dollars.

Having to battle high-priced lawyers and accountants was too much.

summarized from

Congress Has Given Many a Tax Break

B. Legally Avoiding Taxes

Corporations Pay Less So Owners Get More


Dodging Taxes is Easier

See Millionaires and Corporate Giants Escaped IRS Audits in FY 2018

Tax Dodge Lets Investors Save Big

"Typically, when you sell a stock for more than you paid, you owe tax on the gain.
But thanks to a quirk in a Nixon-era tax law,
funds can avoid that tax if they use the stock to pay off a withdrawing fund investor.
Heartbeats come into play when there isn’t an exiting investor handy.
A fund manager asks a friendly bank to create extra withdrawals
 by rapidly pumping assets in and out.

C. Who Cheats and How

The Who

Source: How big is the problem of tax evasion?

The How

Unbiased Third Party Information Provided Income Type

Tax Liabilities Misreported %

Little or none Farm income 71%
  Nonfarm proprietor income 64
  Rents and royalties 62
  Other income 49
  Form 4797 income 42
Some Capital gains 27
  Partnership, S-corp, etc. 16
Substantial Taxable Social Security benefits 19
  State income tax refunds 13
  Dividend income 7
  Unemployment compensation 6
  Pensions and annuities 4
  Interest income 3
  Wages, salaries, tips 1

Specifics Techniques


Wealthy Lead the Parade of Cheats



D. Tax Where the Money Is!

Payroll is Where the Money Is

An 8% payroll tax increase affecting all workers would provide $15.3 trillion over ten years.
Bernie Sanders proposed Medicare for All would cost about $33.3 trillion.
More Tax Increases Required.

  The Math Problem That Could Sink the Bernie/AOC Agenda
See The First-Ever Social Security Check?

A women named Fuller paid a total of $24.75 of payroll taxes for three years.
In the 35 years after her retirement, she received $22,888.92 in benefits.

Do low income retirees with dependents
appreciates what a good investment t return they may receive from social security?


People Want More Taken from the Rich

See Taxation Philosophies

Super Rich Do Have Lots More Money


Editor's Recommended Proposal
A 10 percent surtax on the top 1/10 of the top one-percent
" Our preliminary estimate is that such a surtax
would raise roughly $75 billion in its first year of implementation
 and roughly $800 billion in its first decade. source EPI

First Proposal from Ocasio-Cortez proposed 70 percent marginal income tax rate
 on $10 million and over to finance her Green New Deal
 affects 16,000 people with  income of $245 billion.
 It would
raise $164-382 billion over ten years.

Another calculation from "Mazur calculates that it could raise $720 billion over the next decade,
affecting 0.05% of the US population (around 16,000 households),
although the estimate is likely to be much smaller
because of the changing behavior of the millionaires." Source

Another Proposal from Warren's team says her "wealth tax,"
which would apply to people with more than $50 million in assets,
is projected to raise $2.75 trillion over a decade. This is an estate tax.

A Trump proposal requiring the chained CPI to inflation-adjust the official poverty line would,
over time, lower increases to the poverty line used to qualify for means-tested federal programs.

President Barack Obama’s (failed) 2013 proposal to apply chained CPI to Social Security benefits,
Protections for extremely low-income elderly people were provided. Source:
Washington Post
Editor's note: Forty years ago protectors of the SS fund tried to do this.

See Taxes, Socialism, And Class War
Are Billionaires Fat Cats or Deserving Entrepreneurs? but 
Billionaires take more than they make.
Center for Popular Economics
source one-picture economics


E. Attitudes Toward Taxes

Companies Use Bonus in Place of More Permanente Raises

Just one more reason to be careful when using
economic data for political economy analysis.

Middle Households Helped Least


Would Rich Pay?

Editor's Note: Historically Very rich pay the very educated to avoid taxes.


Would Boxers Box, Musicians Play, Actors Act?



Would Hedge Managers Hedge Like They Did Last Decade?

Would a Wealth Tax Slow Economic Growth?

Most of this Wealth Created With Government t Sponsored Technology.


We Spent Billions to Keep Them Hedging Beginning in 2007

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Who We Owe, Why We Borrow
Meet Our Creditors
1. US Citizens and US Government Owns Most of tithe Debt

2. Is Foreigners US Debt Ownership a Problem?
U.S. Buys Cars, Wine, Electronics ...
Foreigners Get $ and Buy U.S. Treasuries.
Japan Tried to Buy US Assets, Paid Way Too Much, and Stopped.
So U.S. Get Good Stuff at Low Prices,
Foreigners Mostly get U.S. Government IOU's.


When We Borrowed

1. Borrowing Began With the Revolution

Image result for Federal Debt graphs

2. Mostly it was War

3. Human Needs Were Added
by Hoover and FDR During
Great Depression and Continued with LBJ
Bush 2 and Obama continuing.

4. Recessions Caused Deficits as Revenue Drops
Nominal Growth Historically Cured Deficit

Obama continued the Bush policy of fighting the Great Recession with debt
and by 12/16 it was apparent that this policy had worked better than Europe's austerity policies.


Who Paid the Federal Debt

 1. Total Stays the Same

End of
Fiscal Year
US Gross Debt
in Nominal USD billions
US Gross Debt as % of GDP Question Answer
1940 43.0 52.4 No One
1950 257.4 94.1
1960 290.2 56.1
1970 389.2 37.6
1980 930.2 33.3 No One
1990 3,233 55.9
2000 5,674 58 TBD
2005 7,933 64.6
2007 9,008 65.5
2008 10,699.8 74.6 (EST)
2009           11,046.2   TBD
United States public debt - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


2. Who Finances Deficit Rollovers?

3. Trump's Unorthodox Tax Cut Step #1 of Trouble?
In an Already Expanding Economy
Really High Nominal Growth Will Be Needed


Entitlements Pose a Problem

Summary Definition Who Benefits from Most to Least Problems


Medicare Subsidized healthcare
for the elderly
All benefit are the same, high income earners pay most Required additional health care cost difficult for many

Longer life especially for poor people who now also have subsidized health care will increases cost. Free cases poorer health. Solutions, later eligibility, less coverage, higher deductibles currently not acceptable to electorate.

Social Security Retirement income, partial at 62, max at 70, Low income earners receive ha higher investment return, some receive death and spousal benefits See  Table 1 and  Table 3 Deficit concerns until baby boomers die, retirement age raised or young people vote.
SS Benefits are 100% Secure bur their real value depends on economic success..
Solution just time or later retirement but politicians will not act until forced by electorate Increased negative cash flow should add political pressure.
Tax Expenditures Legal deductions and exemptions from income decrease tax collections Employee sponsored health insurance,401K, long-term capital imputed rental income, mortgage interest, earned income tax credits, deferred income from controlled foreign corporations Table 2 Tax payers don't appreciate
 their benefit (entitlements?)
Solution of decreasing them by a third is unacceptable to electorate though this would have increase tax collections $400 billion in 2015 when the deficit was $439 billion.

When forced to, politicians will sole the problem with the least possible pain.


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Measured Poverty Has Changes Little

See Why Poverty is Controversial?  


BUT After the Safety Net
Poverty is Down to 4.8% Over Fifty Years 




This chart "...provides a first approximation of how correcting the 2013 poverty rate for noncash food and housing benefits, refundable tax credits, and not using the upward [inflation] bias of the CPI-U would change the 2013 poverty rate. This adjusted poverty rate falls from 14.5 to 4.8 percent, making the 2013 rate roughly a quarter of the 1964 rate (19.0 percent). If we were to lower the poverty threshold for cohabiting couples to match that for married couples the 2013 poverty rate would have fallen even more." Examples of noncash benefits include food stamps SNAP), discounted school lunches, subsidized rent, Medicaid, and Medicare. See Source Editors Comments are in red.



Work is Not Encouraged as Real Minimum Wage Falls
Unintended Consequence of Safety Net Increases?



Government Support Increased Prices

Return to Index Please Share!



Skilled Medical/Profession Workers Were the Big Winner



Learn About

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Conservatism vs. Progressivism
as see through the eyes of George Will

"We hold these truths to be self-evident,
that all men are created equal,
that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,
that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. —
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men,
deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed..."

American Conservatism:
Preserve the Founders Thinking
as custodians of the classical liberal tradition.

Rights are natural. They preexist acts of human will and can not be nullified by such acts. Therefore if rights are natural, so to is government limited and government's main purpose is to "secure these rights."

Human nature is permanent and statesmanship is to develop a political system that is conducive to and in accord with the nature of humans.

Progressivism: Everything is in flux with various human natures. Human nature that is always in a state of becoming and statesmanship is the understanding and directing of shaping forces.

Today's Conflict: 
Conservatives want the Founder's Thinking Preserved, Progressives want
directing of society's shaping forces.

Source: Conservative Sensibility

Classical Liberalism : the creative arena of human affairs is society which is distinct from government whose proper function is to protect life/liberty primarily for the individual's private pursuit of happiness. Now called Conservatisms, it is the Jeffersonian spirit of Democratic.

New Deal Progressivism of FDR saw society changing with the industrial revolution. A Progressive, he believed in a changing human nature. He expanding government beyond providing conditions for perusing happiness to providing economics rights to supplement Political Rights.

Determining the final arbiter is always contested.
Men say it's them, Relegion say it's God.
Who is the final arbiter on economic rights?
For now it is the Supreme Court

Managerial Progressives of the 1960's believed policy elite managers would direct government operations from above and end the business cycles. 

Our Fundamental Constitutional Divide

Conservatives Want a Republic Constitution

First Comes Rights, Then Comes Government

"We the People" Viewed as Individuals
where majority can lose if Judicial Review
determines an action impedes a fundamental right.


Progressives Want a Democratic Constitution

First Comes Governments then Comes Rights

We the People Viewed as  One Group
where majority rules and Judicial Review
can not impede majority desires.

The Constitution was Designed to put checks and Balances on Majority Rule and as time as passed, the fear of anarchy from majority rule as lessened.

Federal Government Responsibilities
A Brief US Political History Defining Federal Problem Problem Disposition
From the Founding to Civil War Legitimacy in Relations to States Superior
Civil War to New Deal Power Limits to Federal Operations None
New Deal to Recently Meet Needs of all Constituencies Deficits Do Not Matter
Today Making Appropriate Collective Long term Choices Voters Not Interested in
Delayed Gratification
In response to Hamilton's desire for national direction of economic development, Madison foresaw an Administrative state which would

damage Federalism by claiming responsibilities belonging to state and local governments and

the resulting increase in new responsibilities would  then take its limit the affect of separation of powers moving power from legislative branch to the executive department. 

Thoughts from James .Q. Wilson, American academic, political scientist, and an authority on public administration
as reported by George Will in The Conservative Sensibility


The Judicial Supervision Difficulties of Democracy
Counter Majoritarian Difficulty

In U.S. Federalism, Governing is Divided between the Sates and the Federal Government
Federal Government, Responsibilities are divided among the Legislature, the Executive and the Supreme Court

Declaration of Independence

Goal: Secure Unalienable Rights

Affirmed Natural Right of the Individuals

Implies Democracy

Limits to Majority Rule

United States Constitution

Purpose: Define Constructed Rights of the Community

to Make Laws the Majority Deems Necessary and Proper.

Created Tension

Majority Rule is Limited and Moderated
 by the Constitution

Joining a community requires giving up a share of liberty and Supreme Court must protect the natural rights of  liberty.

The Legislature writes the laws, the Executive administers laws
 and the Supreme Court protects Unalienable Rights.

More Civility Data

A. Engagement with “Fake News” on Facebook is Declining
The National Bureau of Economic Resources measured the diffusion of fake news stories on Facebook and Twitter between 1/15 and 7/18. False content rose steadily on both Facebook and Twitter through the end of 2016 but dropped by measurably from Facebook but not for twitter.

B. Politically  “teams” will accumulate grievances..."
"...lose any interest in communicating across party lines."

"This happened in the 1850s: We know what happened..."
 "Things...could get plenty bad..."  with a "...serious recession or the stock market..." crash. "

and ... as a nation we are no longer capable of making preparations for such events."

  "Political Polarization: The Rise and Decline of America's Postwar Political Order"

Editors Note: With democracy, very difficult to sacrifice before the pain. Think WW1  WW2  Gilded Age Greed




C. U.S. Supreme Court Job Approval Rating Ties Record Low

Trend: Do you approve or disapprove of the way the Supreme Court is handling its job?

It's Political

Trend: Supreme Court Job Approval, by Political Party

D. Individual Behavior Norms Are Expanding


Legality of Behavior Norms Also Up



Attitude Toward Abortion Unchanged

Public views of abortion: 1995-2018


Why the Difference?
It's About Relegion!


It's About Politics

There is a substantial partisan and
ideological divide on abortion
with Democrats
much more likely than Republicans
to say it should be legal in all or most cases.

This gap is even larger between liberal Democrats
 and conservative Republicans:
Nearly nine-in-ten liberal Democrats (88%) say abortion
should be legal in all or most cases, compared with only
about three-in-ten self-described conservatives in the GOP (27%)

It's enhanced by

Roe v. Wade
Poisoned Our Politics

Michael Barone New York Post

Today’s “partisan chaos” is a direct result of Roe v. Wade,
said Michael Barone. The all-out war over Brett Kavanaugh’s
appointment to the Supreme Court would not be so heated if
people on both sides didn’t think Roe might be at stake.

In 1973, 16 states with 41 percent of the nation’s population
had already liberalized their abortion laws
and America would have had different laws in different regions,
depending on the democratic process.
But then seven justices delivered “an unusually sweeping”
ruling that made abortion legal in almost all circumstances

and the country’s defining wedge issue.

While public opinion on cultural issues like same-sex marriage
has shifted markedly this century, “opinion on abortion has
scarcely budged.”

It’s hard to win converts on such a fundamentally moral issue
about “the way people live their lives”: Pro-choicers,
who are largely secular, think their “personal autonomy”
is at stake, whereas pro-lifers, who are mostly religious,
believe abortion amounts to “extinguishing human lives.”

Rather than settle the abortion debate, Roe inflamed it
because neither side believes it can afford any compromise
As a direct result, every Supreme Court nominee battle
has literally become a matter of life and death.


U.S. and China Are Geopolitical Political Rivals?


U.S. Has a Strong Geopolitical Position
Power and Global Disorder 22 min video 11/8/18
Peter Zeihan

1. Largest strip of high-quality arable land in the world

2. Most Navigable Waterways in the world

3. Control best parts of a continent with moats on either side

4. If US trading system breaks down, US suffers the least!  

5. Trade subsidizes the Global system so NAFTA must work.

6. US is delusional  when thinking China is the next super power.
    She has only managed to hold together for 300 years.

Water, Energy, Soil and Food--and a Shared National Purpose Matter

Requirements for Success

U.S very good Geography that is productive and well protected.

Economically Favorable Demography for high growth with
younger members spending and mature members earning and investing.
US doing well as baby boomers had the Millennials.
Financial burden of the US is relatively small as baby boomer demographic will end while China, Japan, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, and Spain now have the highest tax paying work force. Only Spain and GB are not past the point of Demographic regeneration. French and New Zeeland may have a favorable demographic. The others are "terminal countries."

Happening faster because Obama did less than expected.
He acted as if he did not want to have conversations with people.
Near the end he new how important factors were interconnected.
How well is China's economy working.
Why Russia interfered with the election system.
Solar energy needs a backup.
What a good tax policy would look like.

But Obama did not care enough to have related policies.
He had understanding but no policy.
With Trump, no understanding but a commitment to some policy.
Which is worse? Actually, he is following a neoconservative policy.

US has forced an acceleration of world player adjustments.
1. Brexit as the European Union disintegration accelerates.
2. China's needs US managing World security to maintain rapid growth.
3. Xi tries to cooperate as without free trade, China will fall apart.

Withdrawing as world's protector means
Containing China
is Japans concern.
Containing Iran a is concern for Turkey/Saudis.
Nukes could be used, but not against the U.S. as no, one except Russia, is a nuclear concern.
Containing Korean delivery of nukes is a South Korean/Japanese worry.

Editor's Question: Is US as protector a requirement for US business and finance to control the world?
Factors Indicating a New International Order
See Videos Peter Zeihan on Power and Global Disorder in 2018
The Accidental Superpower and
The Absent Superpower

Responding to China: A Strategic Plan
U.S.-China Relations in 2019 video
  Kevin Rudd


U.S. Government Not Designed for Governmental Grand Strategies
a. Separation of powers requires compromise.
b. Many want limited government.
c. Private Sector Renewals solve problems.

Recent Exception After WW 2
a. The 1946 Long Telegram described a very aggressive Soviet Union.
b. A 40-year multi-administration policy of containment resulted.
c. It worked-The Cold War ended peacefully

Containment Success
a. Fragility of Soviet economy and society caused implosion from within.
b. China is very different.

Trump Would Say We Have a Strategic Policy
1. National Security Strategy issued in 12/17
2. National Defense Strategy issued in 1/18
3. Future of US Defense Manufacturing Industry issued mid 2018

US Strategic Plan

Era of Strategic Engagement Replaced by Strategic Competition
a. Engagement-you engage and one side backs down.

b. Competition is more adversarial but no US guidelines given.

c. Rules to be determined

Washington's Latest Attitude Toward China Not Positive.
a. It makes any kind of convergence of societies difficult.

b. McCarthyism in U.S. and Australia is not good Foreign Policy.

Geopolitical Factors for Next Four Years
a. China under Xi Jinping will resist any forces: economic, social, political, or foreign challenges to the long-term survival of the Communist Party.

b.  Assistant Vice Premier Li Keqiang, a strong-man and long-time party member, move toward markets rankling some politburo bureau members.

Well Conceived Grand Strategy
a) Based on a clearly defined policy purposes

b) Situations are through, observe in detail in relation to historical trends

c) Set a new direction

Recent Changes

a)  Communist Party and Ideology was enhanced
to counter China's lethargic corrupt state bureaucracy
b) Ideological Confidence has increased.

c) More Sharply Focused Chinese Diplomacy

d) China to Lead/Improve Global Government Reform



Trump's New Geopolitical Era?

1. Three Main Forces Blowing Up Global Politics     2. Recent Supreme Court Jurisprudence

3. Foreign Affairs    4. Cultural Wars    Source Geopolitics

1. Forces Blowing Up Global Politics

 by Summary from editor  Walter Antoniotti
Three Independent Disruptions

Opposition to immigrants, globalization, and establishment's leaders/institutions
created disruptions. America's 1990 dissatisfaction spread to Europe causing two years of
volatile pubic fury. This compounded the possible of disruptions to
Europe/Western Culture.
Status and Social Cultural Apprehensions

contributed to these disruptions and caused  many to lash out in a tribal like response.
US Led and Financed Post WW 2 Moderation Ended

Great power conflict has returned to early Cold War levels
Declining world wide economic prosperity, including the west

Disruptions Could Last Years
Axion reports #1, #2, #3
Optimistic leaders thought and even hoped Trump, Brexit, or something else
would help moderate disruptions.

Voter Anxiety and Migrating Immigrants Are Difficult
1. No forthcoming opposing force seems likely.
Aging and shrinking developed world's population reinforces disruptions.
AI is increasing worker employment anxiety.
3. Climate change is increasing anxiety.


A Longer View
More Radical View of Democracy

Can Democracy Survive Global Capitalism? 100 min video

See U.S. Russia, China: Rivals or Adversaries?

Saving liberal democracy from the extremes  by the FT's Martin Wolf

2. Recent Supreme Court Jurisprudence.

2000 Bush v. Gore installed their partisan choice as President of US
stating decision should not be cited as precedent

2012 NFIB v. Sebelius blew a giant hole in the ObamaCare Medicaid
expansion stopping Congress coerced state expansion.

Shelby County v. Holder stopped voting rule preclearance neutered
the Voting Rights Act, US Constitution not cited.

Citizens United v. FEC allowed near-unlimited corporate election spending
but the rich have publically matched dark contributions.

3. Foreign Affairs

China's Aggressive Strategic International Plan

Older Plan: Hide Strengths and Bide Time was Replaced because
A. Xi now has more centralized political power
B. US decline continues and she will not overreact to Chinese militarism
C. China now an indispensible global economic power for many
nations who will support/accept her increase power projection
D. Xi has grown impatient with slowness of Chinese bureaucracy
and relaxed nature of international governance "players"

New Plan shows Confidence, Independence, International Activism
A Expanded South China Sea Militarism
B. Build a New Silk Road to
1. increase trade
2. provide foreign investment
3. provide infrastructure
C. Asian Infrastructure Development Bank launched and capitalized
D. Multilateral Diplomatic Activism launch/participation in world-wide initiatives
E. New Navel Bases in Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Djibouti

F. Military exercises with Russia
Editor's Note:
In a liberal Democracy, this is often done by business expansion.
In 2017 U.S. Invested > $100 billion in China alone. Source

U.S. - China Relations, North Korea & the Future of the Global Order

A Well Conceived Grand Strategy
A. Clearly defined policy purposes
B. Situation analysis, detailed and considers underlying historical trends

Recent Changes

A. Enhanced role of Communist Party and Ideology
to counter China's lethargic corrupt state bureaucracy
1. Enhanced CP authority by replacing state control of Foreign Diplomacy with
party controlled Foreign Relations Power
2. Strong Marxian, Nationalistic, Authoritarian model to counter liberal democratic capitalism
3. Install Xi's concept of future world community
4. Invigorate a more creative diplomatic community centered on Communist theory over policy.       
5. New State Diplomacy with enhances State Capitalism
6. Pragmatism is gone, national interest must be enhanced with a national vision
B. Ideological Confidence increased because history now favors Chinas
according to Marxian dialectic analysis. 
1. Nothing random about what is unfolding, it is the result of the immutable laws
of economic development Based on a Marxian Dialectic Turning Point indicated by
relative decline of US/West and China's rise. 
2. Current historical juncture represents a strategic opportunity for China.
3. How a one-party state ideate using political 
topic/lingua franca is important
C) More Sharply Focused Chinese Diplomacy
D) China to Lead Improve Global Government Reform
1. Impending struggle for the future of International Global Order
2. China must now control the reform of existing international order
a. organization like UN, WTO ...
b. US system of global alliance ensures her own definition international security  
3. Change U.S. Control Global Governess now based on a  complex web of
world organizations using international based treaty law and shared sovereignty.
4. Global Governance Improvement
5. Reasons for success
a. Diplomacy based on Chinese Socialism will lead to more fairness and justice
b. US Ignoring World Order, Paris Climate Accord, UN Refuge System, WTO
6. Controlling international institutions is first step

E) Is China Backing off a bit as Worlds, especially US, reacts

4. Cultural Wars

Neoliberal globalization four processes:
1) accumulation by dispossession  
2) de-regulation
3) privatization
4) upward re-distribution of wealth
Together they have increased
economic insecurity and cultural anxiety by
1) the creation of surplus peoples
2) rising global inequality 3)  threats to identity.
Anxiety from neoliberal globalization has armed right and left populists.
r Norris and Inglehart nor Laclau adequately account for such insecurity
in their ordination of populism.

“the people” are differentially deployed by right and left and they themselves
must be understood in terms of the respective enemies through which
“the people” is constructed, a decisive dimension of populism.

Neo Liberal's Caused Financial Collapse

Neoliberal Economic Orthodoxies wrong,
   A. Finance does affect real economy.
   B. Finance system can falter.
   C. Many economist wrong because of politics.
Stability Requires Dollar Supremacy

A. World trade is stable because the world, through Europe's banks,
completes the circular flow of dollars back to the US by investing in U.S. companies.
B. Dollar investments dependent on high Intellectual Property
generated corporate profits and U.S. economic growth.
1. Substantial portion is in monopoly power companies
Apple, Google, Facebook, Pfizer and Johnson/Johnson.
2. Profits are politically dependent on intellectual
property rights which are dependent on trade treaties
C. Distribution of these profits has resulted into an increase inequality of income.
D. Called the Trump astric, has many academics apprehensive
E. Source:
The New Financial Geopolitics-Europe: Helper, Spoiler, Risk Generator? video
Democracy Failures Caused Latest Popularism

1. Foreign Policy Failures of Developed Democracy enhanced by U.S.
foreign policy failures i.e. Middle East  wars
2. Non-Liberal Democracy success, especially China
3. Poor Liberal Democracy Performance

Understanding Right and Left Populism
Right populism defines "the people" as those confronting an external enemy.
1) Islamic terrorism 
2) refugees  
3) the European Commission,
4) International Jewish conspiracy ...

Left populism defines “the people”
as social structures/institutions
1) state and capital that thwart its aspirations for self-determination
2) allows hospitality towards the other
Right populism defines the enemy in personalized terms as believing
insecurity and anxiety are necessary, unavoidable, even a favorable
product of capitalist social relations. This generates acceptable fear of
the stranger and a punitive state
Left populism defines the enemy in terms of socio-economic structures believing
insecurity and anxiety are caused by a dismantling of the welfare state and
workforce casualisation.
These egalitarian solutions that can also turn authoritarian.


More Terror Information


German recorded 1,800 anti-Semitic crimes in 2018, a 20 percent annual increase. Most were perpetrated by right-wing groups.

US Targets Varied

Racist Trend
"White supremacy groups such as the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), neo-Nazis such as the National Alliance, and skinhead groups such as the Hammerskin Nation."

Anti-Federalist Trend
The anti-federalist “militia” or “patriot” movement) in the early to mid-1990s with new groups in Montana and Michigan. Anti-government sentiments existed from the birth of the nation were  anti-taxation, gun rights, and a “survivalist” lifestyle. The “farm crises” of the 1980s,  and rapid cultural, technological and normative changes, gun control and environmental legislation caused a fairly ideologically cohesive movement, as well as its rapid growth.

Fundamentalist Trend
Mainly Christian identity groups such as the Aryan Nations, merges religious fundamentalism with traditional white supremacy and racist tendencies. It promotes ideas of nativism, exclusionism, and racial superiority via a unique interpretation of religious texts that focus on division of humanity according to primordial attributes.

The Iceberg Model and American Far Right Violence
In the early 1980s, the Israeli political scientist Ehud Sprinzak published a paper on the irredentist Israeli religion-political movement Gush Emunim (The Bloc of the Faithful) entitled “The Iceberg Model of Political Extremism.”


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Under Construction



here is the link.  And here is the source with explanation, p.48.


Huston "We Have a Problem"

We propose a preliminary but plausible story in which cumulative disadvantage over life, in the labor market, in marriage and child outcomes, and in health, is triggered by progressively worsening labor market opportunities at the time of entry for whites with low levels of education.

This ac-count, which fits much of the data, has the profoundly negative implication that policies, even ones that successfully improve earnings and jobs, or redistribute income, will take many years to reverse the mortality and morbidity increase, and that those in midlife now are likely to do much worse in old age than those currently older than 65. This is in contrast to an account in which resources affect health contemporaneously, so that those in midlife now can expect to do better in old age as they receive Social Security and Medicare. None of this implies that there are no policy levers to be pulled; preventing the over-prescription of Opioid is an obvious target that would clearly be help-


Note: Scale is a little off.





The Problems

Illegal from Central America Counterbalanced Decrease in



Here is Why


U.S. Customs and Immigration Services reportedly told its staff Tuesday that it would shut down all 21 of its foreign offices by the end of this year. The move could delay processing of paperwork the offices handle, including family visa applications, foreign adoptions by U.S. citizens, and citizenship petitions from members of the military. The offices also investigate visa fraud. The employees who provide these services will likely be transferred to the State Department as the offices are shuttered, USCIS Director Lee Francis Cessna said in an email to staff obtained by The Washington Post. Relocating international employees to U.S. offices and foreign embassies will help "address backlogs in the United States," Cessna wrote. [The Washington Post]




Immigration as a Problem Solver  


The U.S. is headed toward a large dependent population of children and retirees and a much smaller workforce, which would slow economic growth.

Immigration could help mitigate the negative impact of falling birth rates.





While the number of H-2B worker visas is capped by law at 33,000 semiannually, Congress can allow up to 69,000 additional visas to be made available—if the White House agrees.


30,000: According to the UN, just over 30,000 refugees have reached Europe by boat across the Mediterranean so far this year. That compares with 114,000 for all of 2018, 171,000 in 2017, 363,000 in 2016, and more than 1 million at the height of the crisis in 2015.




The big picture:

Claims of domestic abuse or gang violence no longer qualify for asylum claims after a decision by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions

  • requests for more evidence of sex or labor trafficking have increased for T visa applications,
  • There have also been more wrongful denials of asylum and T visas, which Chan attributes to overburdened court
    The reality
    is that our asylum system is being abused by those seeking economic opportunity,





Immigration Problems










The Data  







G20 Members Dole Out Coal Subsidies Despite Climate Crisis Talk




Global Warming


Energy Cost


Understanding US Productivity Slowdown

Current Slow Down id Not Unprecedented


With Asian Competition,
Some Manufacturing Became Less Profitable


Service Productivity Improved
Because Fewer Workers Needed




The Future of work 11/26/18

The World Economic Forum reports that over the last century, Technological Progress has transformed living standards. Life expectancy has gone up, basic health care and education are widespread, and most people have seen their incomes rise. And yet, fears of robot-induced unemployment often dominate discussions over the future of work.
The Changing Nature of Work (World Bank 2019) argues that concerns about robot-induced unemployment appear to be unfounded. Instead, the future of work is driven by the competing forces of automation and innovation, the other ‘AI.’

Technological enables growth as firms to automate (replacing labour with machines in production) and to innovate (expanding the number of sectors, tasks, and products).  Overall, technology created more than 23 million jobs across Europe from 1999 to 2016.

The report focuses on the changing nature of the firm, its impact on skills and the terms on which people work, and how government policy should response.

A Gig economy needs only a broadband connection to trade worldwide.
A physical presence is not needed.
Products created abroad generate domestically owned value.
Companies locate assets/profits based on tax benefits.
Foreign investments more easily compete with domestic investments.
Less domestic capital accumulates.

Gig technological accelerate firm growth.
Fewer employees and tangible assets are needed to generate value.
Increased employment volatility results from world-wide Gig competition.

Demand for middle skills drops as technology replaces workers.
Demand for advanced skills increases as cognitive skills,
socio-behavioral skills and adaptability skills increase in importance.

Gig economy worker requirements remains small.
Data from Germany and the Netherlands indicate that Gig workers make up only 0.4% of the labour force.
World-wide demand is less than 3% of the global labour force.
Two-thirds of 57.3 million freelancers  the US hold a traditional job

Nature of work changes have been more pronounced in more developed labor markets
where the uptake and penetration of technology are greater.
Better lifelong learning, from early childhood development through adult learning programs,
may help some workers make required labour adjustments.

A Gig economy blurs the divide between formal and informal work.
Typically low-productivity workers are employed where labour laws are unclear on employer versus employee responsibilities. This group of workers often lacks access to benefits so social protections like  formal wage employment contract,  social insurance, a minimum wage, severance pay....

Government responsibility has changed because of the increased employment volatility cause by the Gig.

see The Changing Nature of Work
5 ways Denmark is preparing for the future of work, and

The working world is changing, thanks to freelancers