About Me

In writing the "About Me" portion of this blog I thought about the purpose of the blog - namely, preventing the growth of Socialism & stopping the Death Of Democracy in the American Republic & returning her to the "liberty to abundance" stage of our history. One word descriptions of people's philosophies or purposes are quite often inadequate. I feel that I am "liberal" meaning that I am broad minded, independent, generous, hospitable, & magnanimous. Under these terms "liberal" is a perfectly good word that has been corrupted over the years to mean the person is a left-winger or as Mark Levin more accurately wrote in his book "Liberty & Tyranny" a "statist" - someone looking for government or state control of society. I am certainly not that & have dedicated the blog to fighting this. I believe that I find what I am when I consider whether or not I am a "conservative" & specifically when I ask what is it that I am trying to conserve? It is the libertarian principles that America was founded upon & originally followed. That is the Return To Excellence that this blog is named for & is all about.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

New ACTA Website Shows How Colleges Spend Money

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Long time readers of this blog know that from time to time I present information regarding the academic excellence work being done by the American Council of Trustees & Alumni (ACTA) – mostly ACTA's critique rating & grading of over 1,100 American colleges & universities – see WhatWillTheyLearn.  ACTA not only reports the evaluation results of the schools but works with the schools to improve their grades.  The best example is the University of Georgia that improved from an "F" to an "A" & a charter member of this readership has a daughter who is new University of Georgia graduate with countless job offers & unlimited potential – the sky is the limit for this girl.
On January 30, @ the National Press Club, ACTA publicly launched their new website entitled HowCollegesSpendMoney.  Just like the aforementioned website that evaluates the schools' academics this website puts college spending of almost 1,500 schools under close scrutiny.
ACTA reports that two thirds of college students graduate with an average of over $28,000 in student debt & that the price of tuition continues to rise even faster than healthcare costs.  See graphic below.
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The following graphic shows the inevitable result of such tuition escalation - the default levels of the last two quarters have each exceeded $100 billion.
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The new ACTA website shows how colleges spend their money so that not only parents & students know where their money goes @ all of the 1,500 universities studied but so do trustees, policymakers, & other higher education decision makers so there is a common ground of financial understanding for all concerned.
After bringing up the website online you can click on the tour of the website to get a capsule view of everything included.
For each school you will learn how much of tuition goes for instruction & how much goes for administration, the upward or downward trend in inflation-adjusted costs, tuition as a percentage of state median household income, graduations rates, & the all-important full time retention rate.
Who would want to owe a large student loan for a poor education with no job potential only to find out you had given your money to an institution with an exorbitant amount of overhead & administration costs meaning you had financed some bureaucrat's salary.
The above two ACTA websites are resources that help you narrow your selection to find a college that will provide a first rate education @ the lowest price.
How valuable is that? 

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Venezuela Inflation Quiz

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The above graphic shows that the Argentine Republic (Argentina) is on its way to being the next South American financial disaster unless its economy can be turned around quickly.
Inflation in Argentina has risen to a 54.7% annual rate in March from 25% @ the start of 2018 – new price controls were announced earlier this month.  Unemployment is 9.1% & 30% of the people live in poverty.
Argentina's problem is the result of the 12 year rule of Cristina Kirchner & her late husband, Nestor Kirchner, in which they nationalized businesses, raised taxes on Argentina's vital grain exports, financed their deficit by printing money, imposed price controls, & defaulted on the debt.
Argentina's president since 2015, Mauricio Macri, has not been able to turn Argentina's economy around fast enough to suit many people & Cristina Kirchner is planning a comeback with a plurality of poll respondents approving of her return – interventionist socialist policies & all.
Heaven help them.
But Venezuela, the subject of many posts, remains the far worse case of socialist failure – socialism in Venezuela is @ the final stage of poverty, tyranny, confiscation & misery as the Venezuelan government violently attacks its own citizens using armored military vehicles – & neither Bernie or AOC says a word. 
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The above two graphics illustrate how much Venezuela has been wrecked by corruption & socialism.  Independent economists estimate Venezuela is being devastated by an annual inflation rate of 2,000,000%.  The first graphic above shows consumer prices have risen more than 50% per month since November 2017 & consumer price inflation was 261.18% higher in January than December. 
The second graphic shows that the richest 10% of households now receive more than 60% of Venezuela's total income compared to about 30% in 2014.  When countries hit hard times it seems the rich always find a way to wind up on their feet & everyone else ends up worse off.
Of course with such hyperinflation rates the local currency, the bolivar, has increasingly become more worthless every day.  People who have stayed in Venezuela are more & more dependent on U.S. dollars being sent back to their home country by emigrants who had fled Venezuela as the U.S. dollar has become the preferred means of payment.  About one quarter of the people now use the dollar for ordinary transactions.
To clearly see the affects of this type of hyperinflation, like in Venezuela, please use the above information to determine the cost of an item, like one stick of chewing gum, @ the end of January that is priced @ 1,000 bolivars on January 1.
Please let me know how you work the problem – guesses on this one are OK if you have an idea of the answer but are not sure of the math. 
I will post all correct answers or alternatively will send the solution privately to anyone who requests it if no one figures it out – or guesses the right answer.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Part A - 2020 Presidential Election May Turn On America’s Attraction To Democrat Socialist Government Dependent Policies

"A system of pure, unregulated laissez-faire capitalism has never existed anywhere." – Ayn Rand writing in Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal
"Wherever the free market has been permitted to operate, wherever anything approaching equality of opportunity has existed, the ordinary man has been able to obtain levels of living never dreamed of before.  Nowhere is the gap between rich & poor wider, nowhere are the rich richer or the poor poorer, than in those societies that do not permit the free market to operate." - Professor Friedman writing in Free To Choose
"America has been more than fifty percent socialist for many years & we are not getting our money's worth." – Professor Friedman in 1996
"A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul." – British playwright George Bernard Shaw
Hillsdale College reports:
1.  Only 51% of high school students think America is the greatest country in the world (no word as to which country they think is).
2.  Only 11% of high school students could name the specific rights enumerated  in the First Amendment, & 87% of high school students flunked a five-question test on basic knowledge of American history (I hope they remain in high school until they don't flunk the test).
3.  A Harvard University poll in 2017 showed that 51% of young people said they oppose capitalism, & 44% would prefer to live in a socialist country.  (They don't have to leave America to find another country because they are winning - changing America to suit their preferences.)
4.  Just 19% of Americans younger than forty-five could pass the U.S. Citizenship Test (then why are the 81% citizens?).
For those of us still breathing the above statistics are not surprising because we know that long ago progressive statists' teaching of socialism infiltrated American education & now dominates it.  Civics, & our American history & heritage, long a staple of government school education, are no longer taught in far too many American schools.  The latest example is the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point which recently announced a cut in both faculty positions & six programs including history – source ACTA.
Far-left celebrities & professional athletes openly reject our nation's founding principles, deem America "racist" & "sexist" & distort our history, effectively turning our youth against their own country without ever saying what other country is better.  Second string football players dominate media coverage for years, kneeling in protest as our national anthem is played but the CBS TV cameras quickly turned off the locker room cerebration when Texas Tech coach Chris Beard knelt in prayer with his entire team after winning the semi final NCAA basketball game on April 6.
Self proclaimed socialist Bernie Sanders received 13 million votes in the 2016 primaries & more millennial votes than Hillary & Trump combined.  Since that election nearly 200 socialists have been elected to school boards, city councils, & state legislatures all across America – & even to the U.S. Congress where socialist AOC partners with Bernie to lead their government dependent effort. 
Although Bernie has a pathetic record of sponsoring bills that pass into law it is more important to realize Sanders has successfully cosponsored more than 200 bills & holds or has held six committee appointments including Health, Education, Labor & Pensions where he can do damage promoting Medicare for All & free college education – two of his pet projects that have taken hold with far too many Americans.  Bernie is also the Ranking Member on the Senate Budget committee reviewing Trump's budget issued in March.
In short socialism has taken hold in a group of young people who have never known an economic system other than the ones presided over by GW Bush &/or BO - & those systems were not capitalistic.
See Parts B & C below for continuation of this post.