Friday, June 29, 2012

Government control of fat slobs by junk food. Obesity, the Other Gulf War Syndrome

Bloomberg article below says that during the war Kuwait imported the USA practice of control of its population by overfeeding them junk food and then giving them cheap medical treatments such as stomach stapling paid for by Obamacare that will only make them sicker and more dependent on the government. Another nanny state. I just overheard two 30 year old fat slobs discussing the merits of insulin injectors vs. pumps at the Lake visitor center. I see insulin injectors all over town by the side of the road. Obamacare forces healthy citizens to buy insurance to cover treatment of the obese, gays, tattoos, addicts, smokers, and people with other easily preventable problems.

Some are getting rich and powerful from these slow painful executions. Citizens should fight big government + big business + big pharma + big medical assassination of their health and forced government dependency for basic needs: Return to the traditional family farm. Make your own sauerkraut, natto, wine, kefir, yogurt, buttermilk, sour cream and other fermented foods. Family farms also solves the homelessness and child care "problem." Gets old and young people out in the garden doing some exercise in the sunshine. All over the farm belt, USA has large houses falling apart as people abandon them for a city life of ipods, TV, radio, computers, smog, crime, and pollution while stuffed like sardines in Los Angeles, New York, Fresno and other barrios and ghettos. They eventually end up sick, broke, bankrupt, in debt, with kids in worse shape than they are. This pattern is now being spread worldwide by the media, vacationers, student travel, and the military wars and bases in so many far-flung places. Paid for by taxpayers and government debt.

“In the Middle East, people are lazy,” the Kuwaiti government, overflowing with oil revenue, generously subsidizes weddings, marriages, pregnancies, and first-time homes. Last year, to prevent unrest stoked by political turmoil across the Arab world, the government gave each of Kuwait’s 1.1 million citizens about $3,600 and subsidized food. This year, it gave all state employees a 25 percent raise, which only prompted protests demanding more money. All this coddling has encouraged lethargy

“One out of three Kuwaiti adults is obese. Ten percent is morbidly obese.” Actually, the numbers are worse: Only 12 percent of Kuwaitis have a body-mass index (BMI) below 25. (The ideal range is 18.5 to 25.) At least 88 percent of Kuwaitis are overweight. Using data from the World Health Organization, Kuwait is the second-most obese nation in the world, behind the U.S.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Risky bank behavior is growing: BIS

The article linked below is grim news from the Global Association of Risk Professionals. Looks like Banks and Governments did not learn their lesson in the crash. Risk is still increasing. Still too much debt. The too big to fail got bigger. They still pay themselves to much. If they crash the taxpayers will have to bail them out again. Obama is asleep at the wheel. Better buy some acres and cows to survive the coming depression.


Risky bank behavior is growing: BIS
Governments, banks and households struggling with too much debt are dragging down the world's economy and more needs to be done to make the banking system safer, a global organization of central banks warned Sunday....The Bank for International Settlements said in its annual report that the world ...

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Reduce pain, inflammation. Better sleep. Walk barefoot on beach

Ground yourself by a walk on the beach. If Dr. Oz and Dr. Mercola agree then they may be right. After my daily 10 mile walk along the lake I stop at the beach and wade the full length of it. I feel better -- may be the grounding effect. Beach is very crowded with tourists as is the whole region. I have walked and run barefoot on many beaches. As a teenager I remember making special drives to downtown Los Angeles just so I could walk barefoot all over the downtown area. I felt great those days. Older houses and Apple computers are often not properly grounded. More info on the two sets of videos below.

Dr. Mercola Says: Walking Barefoot Cures Exhaustion and Weight Gain

Dr. Mercola claims that a process called “grounding” or “earthing” can significantly change your health. Grounding or earthing refers to contact with the Earth’s surface electrons by walking barefoot outside or sitting, working or sleeping indoors connected to conductive systems, transfering the energy from the ground into the body. Emerging research supports that this may result in reduced pain, better sleep and less inflammation. The logical explanation for the reduction in inflammation is that the Earth’s negatively charged antioxidant electrons enter the body and neutralize positively charged free radicals in the body. To get this benefit, Dr. Mercola recommends grounding or earthing sheets, made with fine thin strands of silver and which connect to an outlet; these cost about $200.

Dr. Oz’s Bottom Line

Before spending money on a device for grounding, try just stepping outside, in your yard. Avoid wood surfaces, as wood insulates you from the earth. See if doing so improves your energy levels.

Watch the following videos to learn more.

Food from 40' Homemade Geometric Dome for $500?

For a long time I have been a fan of domes and greenhouses. This design combines the two for food production. Lots of info on this site.

WARNING: Creating your own green-house dome is extremely dangerous, because you are in danger of becoming FREE for life from the food industry...

"How To Create Your Own Geodesic Dome
Green House And Have Your Own 'Organic Food Factory' Providing You and Your Family With
Incredible Food, Year Round, Even In The
Dead of Winter!"

It’s Easy To Create a Massive Geodesic Dome
Which Produces Food For You And Your Family Non-Stop.
You Don't Need Any Special Skills, It's Extremely Cheap,
And I'll Show You Exactly How To Do It, Step-by-Step...

An Open Letter From Kacper Postawski

Dear Friend:

If you're interested in freeing yourself, and your family for good from the industrial and corporate food beast that is poisoning our food with GMO(Genetically Modified Organisms), pesticides, hormones, fluoride, and many other cancer causing chemicals, then this will be the most important letter you read in your entire life, here's why:

You too can have your very own geodesic green house dome, which produces amazingly nourishing organic food for you and your whole family, year round, no matter where you are on this planet, even in the dead of winter.

Here's What Most People Don't Know
About Geodesic Dome Greenhouses:

greencheck.pngThey're extremely cheap to build. You can build one for pennies compared to the cost of normal green-houses by using regular 2x4s from Home Depot.
greencheck.pngThey're extremely heat efficient. With proper design and covering you can have your own "Eden Dome" with a tropical temperatures inside, even in the dead of winter.
greencheck.pngIt's the strongest structure mankind can build. Geodesic domes can withstand an incredible amount of force, they're Earthquake proof and will withstand hurricane force winds.
greencheck.pngYou can build them to any size, anywhere. No matter what space you have to work with in your back-yard.
greencheck.pngYou can grow an incredible amount of food inside your bio-dome, year round, and have your very own "eden food factory"
greencheck.pngThey're extremely light & portable, you can easily move them! You do not need a permit to build a temporary structure, and can have one whether you own land or you're just renting! Read on...

The Magic Of Having Your
Very Own Eden Biodome

Hi there. My name is Kacper Postawski,

I have been searching for a solution to the many problems on our planet, especially with our food supply for over a decade. Recently, with the looming food shortages coming a result of inflation it's become of utter importance to me that I find a solution, because I realized the life and well being of my family was on the line here.

Right around this time, a friend introduced me to Geodesic Domes.... and once I saw what was possible with Geodesic Domes, I was absolutely hooked, and super excited about having geodesic domes on our property to grow our own food year round.

The benefits of geodesic domes are enormous, and almost hard to believe.
With the proper set up you can literally grow your own food year round... and if you do what I tell you, you can even have tropical temperatures and grow tropical fruit, even if you live somewhere as cold and rainy like I do, in Vancouver, Canada.

Just look at this video below to get a feel what having your own dome is like!

Just Look At Some of This Incredibly
Inspiring Video on Geodesic Greenhouse Domes!

You Too Can Have a Beautiful Wooden Bio Dome
Like This, Without Spending Thousands...

After watching countless videos like the one above, I got even more excited and decided to buy one of these domes immediately, even if it was going to cost me a bit more than I expected...

Well... It was A LOT more than I expected!

The first dome company I contacted gave me a quote for $17,000 - the other one for $15,000. It was a lot more than I wanted to pay for a green-house, and quite frankly I just didn't have that much money.

But I still REALLY wanted one... so I decided I would bite the bullet, spend the time and money and learn everything I could possibly get my hands on about the construction of these domes, and try to do it myself...

Dear Patriot,

This odd looking structure can withstand an earthquake, can be used as a greenhouse,
and only costs $500 to a single weekend.
You've got to see this (click on the link below):

Friday, June 22, 2012

Texas chips, software, universities

An alternative to joining the old boys club is starting a new old boys club. Texas has the size and money to do so. Texas has the largest DSP chip company with the fastest DSP chips in the world (found in everything). Texas has some of the largest and best universities in the USA. Texas state government has funded 3 more research universities to join UT and Texas A&M (in contrast to California that is still cutting budgets). Some Texas universities publish their own research journals and books.

College Station Texas is home to a company that makes one of the best Statistical Analysis Programs, STATA $1200 that has several features useful to me. I have several such programs on my computer although I usually have to write my own software due to limited abilities of off-the-shelf software. Some such programs are needed for any serious analysis of the data. I started using such programs in 1970, the UCLA BMDP Bio-med stats using punch-cards and tapes drove the statisticians computer people crazy with jobs that took all night to run. I continued that in Boston through the 1970s, often using 3 computers at the same time and taking computers to bed with me to babysit Monte Carlo integration experiments. The new Intel Ivy Bridge processors have Monte Carlo on-chip.

Stata is extensively and continually tested for accuracy on all supported platforms (Windows, Mac, Linux, etc.). A suite of tests, including over 1.2 million lines of test script, produces over 2.5 million lines of output (as of 26 June 2011). This output is electronically compared to previous runs of the test suite and against runs on other platforms. Any differences are examined and resolved by Stata's statisticians and software engineers before a new release of Stata (or any subsequent free updates) is sent to users

See New in Stata 12—SEM, contrasts, ARFIMA, contour plots, more...

Data management

data transformations, match-merge, import/export data, ODBC, SQL, XML, by-group processing, append files, sort, row–column transposition, labeling, saving results, more

Basic statistics

summaries, cross-tabulations, correlations, t tests, equality-of-variance tests, tests of proportions, confidence intervals, factor variables, more

Linear models

regression; bootstrap, jackknife, and robust Huber/White/sandwich variance estimates; instrumental variables; three-stage least squares; constraints; quantile regression; GLS; more

Longitudinal data/panel data

random and fixed effects with robust standard errors, linear mixed models, random-effects probit, GEE, random- and fixed-effects Poisson, dynamic panel-data models, and instrumental-variables regression; panel unit-root tests; AR(1) disturbances; more

Multilevel mixed-effects models

continuous, binary, and count outcomes; two-, three-, and multiway random-intercepts and random-coefficients models; crossed random effects; ML and REML estimation; BLUPs of effects and fitted values; hierarchical models; residual error structures; support for survey data in linear multilevel models; more

Binary, count, and limited dependent variables

logistic, probit, tobit; Poisson and negative binomial; conditional, multinomial, nested, ordered, rank-ordered, and stereotype logistic; multinomial probit; zero-inflated and left-truncated count models; selection models; marginal effects; more


balanced and unbalanced designs; factorial, nested, and mixed designs; repeated measures; marginal means; contrasts; more

SEM (Structural equation modeling)

graphical model builder, standardized and unstandardized estimates, modification indices, direct and indirect effects, path diagrams, factors scores and other predictions, estimations with groups and tests of invariance, goodness of fit, handling of MAR data by FIML, survey data, clustered data, more

Multivariate methods

factor analysis, principal components, discriminant analysis, rotation, multidimensional scaling, Procrustean analysis, correspondence analysis, biplots, dendrograms, user-extensible analyses, more

Cluster analysis

hierarchical clustering; kmeans and kmedian nonhierarchical clustering; dendrograms; stopping rules; user-extensible analyses; more

Generalized linear models (GLMs)

ten link functions, user-defined links, seven distributions, ML and IRLS estimation, nine variance estimators, seven residuals, more

Nonparametric methods

Wilcoxon–Mann–Whitney, Wilcoxon signed ranks, and Kruskal–Wallis tests; Spearman and Kendall correlations; Kolmogorov–Smirnov tests; exact binomial CIs; survival data; ROC analysis; smoothing; bootstrapping; more

Exact statistics

exact logistic and Poisson regression, exact case–control statistics, binomial tests, Fisher’s exact test forr × c tables, more

Resampling and simulation methods

bootstrap, jackknife, and Monte Carlo simulation, permutation tests, more

Internet capabilities

ability to install new commands, web updating, web file sharing, latest Stata news, more

Sample session

A sample session of Stata for Mac, Unix, or Windows.

User-written commands

user-written commands for meta-analysis, data management, survival, econometrics, more


line charts, scatterplots, bar charts, pie charts, hi–lo charts, contour plots, Graph Editor, regression diagnostic graphs, survival plots, nonparametric smoothers, distribution Q–Q plots, more

Graphical User Interface

Results window, Command window, Review window, Data Editor, Variables Manager, Do-file Editor, variable properties, Viewer, Clipboard Preview Tool, menus/dialogs for all commands, multiple preference sets, more

Time series

ARIMA, ARFIMA, ARCH/GARCH, VAR, VECM, multivariate GARCH, unobserved components model, dynamic factors, state-space models, business calendars, correlograms, periodograms, forecasts, impulse-response functions, unit-root tests, filters and smoothers, rolling and recursive estimation, more

Survey methods

multistage designs; bootstrap, BRR, jackknife, linearized, and SDR variance estimation; poststratification; DEFF; predictive margins; means, proportions, ratios, totals; summary tables; regression, instrumental variables, probit, Cox regression; more

Survival analysis

Kaplan–Meier and Nelson–Aalen estimators, Cox regression (frailty); parametric models (frailty); competing risks; hazards; time-varying covariates; left and right censoring, Weibull, exponential, and Gompertz analysis; sample size and power analysis; more

Tests, predictions, and effects

Wald tests; LR tests; linear and nonlinear combinations, predictions and generalized predictions, marginal means, least-squares means, adjusted means; marginal and partial effects; Hausman tests; more

Contrasts and pairwise comparisons

compare means, intercepts, or slopes; compare adjacent categories; compare with reference category or grand mean; orthogonal polynomials; adjust for multiple comparisons; treatment effects; graph effects and potential outcomes; more


standardization of rates, case–control, cohort, matched case–control, Mantel–Haenszel, pharmacokinetics, ROC analysis, ICD-9-CM, more

Multiple imputation

nine univariate imputation methods, multivariate normal imputation, chained equations, explore pattern of missingness, manage imputed datasets, fit model and pool results, transform parameters, joint tests of parameter estimates, predictions, more

Other statistical methods

sample size and power, kappa mesaure of interrater agreement, Cronbach's alpha, stepwise regression, statistical and mathematical functions,more

GMM and nonlinear regression

generalized method of moments (GMM), nonlinear regression, more

Maximum likelihood

user-specified functions; NR, DFP, BFGS, BHHH; OIM, OPG, robust, bootstrap, and jackknife matrices; Wald tests; survey data; numeric or analytic derivatives; more

Programming language

adding new commands, command scripting, if, while, command parsing, debugging, menu and dialog-box programming, markup and control language, more

Matrix programming—Mata

interactive sessions, large-scale development projects, optimization, matrix inversions, decompositions, eigenvalues and eigenvectors, LAPACK engine, real and complex numbers, string matrices, interface to Stata datasets and matrices, numerical derivatives, object-oriented programming,more

Embedded statistical computations

Numerics by Stata

Installation Qualification

IQ report for regulatory agencies such as the FDA, installation verification accessibility for persons with disabilities


Section 508 compliance, accessibility for persons with disabilities

Thursday, June 21, 2012

AFA meetings with rich 1% in San Diego, January

Join the AFA (American Financial Association) to learn first-hand what the rich, elite bankers, hedge fund managers, and financiers are talking about and doing.

For $42 per year you get

(1) The right to attend the annual membership meeting. This year it will be in San Diego in January so will attract a lot of rich bankers wanting to get out of NYC and DC for a few days on the beach in sunny San Diego paid for by the bank. Bernanke has attended and spoken at these meetings almost every year. Thousands of the top people in finance get together once per year to discuss issues and research. A very intense learning experience over 3 days from 8am to midnight of speeches, meetings, cocktail parties, etc. You get discounts on city-center hotels, airfare, banquets, spouses programs, etc. To fully understand, it helps if you have a lot of education and work experience in the field but everybody can benefit from hearing what they have to say. The valuable investment advice helps the rich get richer. Make contacts. Build business relationships.

(2) 6 issues of the Journal of Finance, a thick bi-monthly tome on real paper, immaculate printing, easy on the eyeballs because it takes a long time to read and understand but worth it, the best research available on finance.

An amazing bargain. Get your reservations ASAP as San Diego hotels will fill up quickly. Over 10,000 will attend plus many additional spouses, kids,... They want lots of attendees to help educate professionals, media and the general public on how the financial system works. If your boss won't pay it is tax-deductible educational expense. You maybe can write an article on some findings for a magazine or newspaper that cannot afford to send a reporter.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Consciousness in Animals and People with Autism


I saw part of her movie on humane animal slaughter. Her website is also interesting. That article you cite is on her site.

In 2010 I slept 2 nights in Fort Collins where she teaches at Colorado State University. Nice town, laid back but too much traffic on huge streets. Suburb of Denver. Unfortunately some big fires NW of town today is destroying remote upscale homes along that road that leads to the University of Wyoming in Laramie.


You might find this interesting. The author is a well-known autistic.

Monday, June 18, 2012

college ROI Return on Investment.

I am glad somebody is doing this but these numbers are too optimistic. I suspect any colleges have negative return on investment ROI. They use self-reported income and a small sample of winners, not the average student. More importantly they do not include the taxpayer contribution. All colleges get help from federal, state, and local taxpayers. They also do not take into account that students from some apparently high ROI colleges live in expensive zip codes so income adjusted for cost of living would be worse. Probably all of the California State University campuses have negative ROI except for accounting and engineering.


The page that shows tables and rankings for lots of colleges at

The article is partly below and the rest is at

When people talk about the value of a college degree, they mean different things. A report last year by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce pegs the median value of a four-year bachelor’s degree at $2.3 million, which is the average earnings for a degree holder employed full-time from ages 25 to 64. The value of a college investment calculated by PayScale, a Seattle-based compensation data company, for Bloomberg Businessweekis a small fraction of that amount, and to understand why, you need to know a little bit about our methodology.

The PayScale methodology differs from most others in several key respects. Instead of using lifetime earnings, it starts with earnings over a 30-year period. From that figure, we deduct the earnings of a typical high school graduate (since most people who don’t go to college would still have earnings, albeit at a much lower amount). In our return on investment (ROI) calculation, the “investment”—or total net cost—is the amount spent on college over the actual time it takes students to graduate, whether four, five, or six years. Finally, our ROI figures are adjusted using each school’s graduation rate. After all, if you don’t graduate, you’ve made an investment with very little financial return. The result is a return that reflects what incoming students can reasonably expect from their investment.

In 2012, both the cost of a college education and graduate earnings took a bite out of the 30-year college ROI, which fell 2.3 percent to an average of $353,182 when comparing the same set of schools in 2011 and 2012, and fell 7.8 percent to $333,455 when comparing both lists in their entirety, 691 schools in 2011 and 853 schools in 2012. (To view the complete 2012 ranking, click here.)

While our methodology underwent significant changes last year and this year, those figures represent an apples-to-apples comparison. On the cost side, they reflect the college sticker price for tuition, room and board, and books, without financial aid factored in, which increased 6 percent. On the earnings side, they reflect the earnings of college graduates (which decreased by 1 percent) in excess of the median pay of a high school graduate.

Two important changes to our methodology in 2011 and 2012 had the net result of reducing ROI dramatically. Since many students receive grant aid from their institutions, starting last year we began deducting average grant aid from college costs, which has the effect of increasing ROI. But starting this year, we made a second change that has the opposite effect: using 75th percentile high school graduate pay (instead of the median) to calculate how much each college’s graduates earned over and above the pay of high school graduates. We believe the 75th percentile more accurately reflects the pay of individuals capable of winning acceptance to college or who spent a few years in college before dropping out.

Looked at that way, ROI is only a fraction of what it was last year: on average, $152,114 for all 853 schools on our list, including two separate ROI calculations for state institutions using in-state and out-of-state tuition. Private schools did far better than publics, with 30-year ROI of $222,047, easily surpassing public schools for students paying in-state tuition ($122,987) and out-of-state tuition ($100,155).

Nearly a third of the top 30 schools were engineering schools, including the top three institutions: No. 1 Harvey Mudd College, No. 2 California Institute of Technology, and No. 3 Massachusetts Institute of Technology. All three schools had 30-year ROI well above $1 million, a claim only 11 schools could make. On average, engineering schools had ROIs of $603,362, more than double the ROI for liberal arts schools ($245,943), more than triple that of business schools ($141,014), and more than 26 times that of arts and design schools ($22,328).

The only schools that fared better than engineering schools were those in the Ivy League. Seven of the eight Ivies are in the top 15, and the average ROI for all eight was more than $1 million. While costs for these schools are high, several factors worked in their favor, including generous financial aid and excellent graduation rates—both in terms of how many students ultimately graduate and how long it takes them to do so. The weighted net cost to graduate was $84,241—less expensive than half the schools on the list, and half the cost of the most expensive.

Schools in New York, California, and Massachusetts dominated the ranking, snaring nine, eight, and eight top-50 spots, respectively, with California and Massachusetts claiming half the top 10. New top schools were crowned in six states: Alaska, California, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, and Montana. In California, Harvey Mudd took over the top spot from Caltech (in the state and the nation). In Illinois, an elite private research institution, the University of Chicago, lost the No. 1 ranking to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a state school with far lower costs.

Overall, the cost to receive a degree from the schools on our list averaged $85,276, a figure that reflects not just the tuition sticker price, but also average grant aid and how long it takes the average student to graduate. Private schools ($99,206) and out-of-state students at public schools ($98,538) paid the most, followed by in-state students at public schools ($55,861).

One reason why our ROI calculations differ from many others is that ours incorporate graduation rates in two different ways. First, each school’s ROI for graduates is adjusted, using its six-year graduation rate, to reflect the risk of not graduating. Second, the percentage of graduates who receive their degrees in four, five, or six years is used to determine college costs. All other things being equal, schools that graduate a large percentage of students, and who do so in four years, do a good job of holding down costs and as a result fare well in our calculations. Those who don’t, don’t.

On average, all 853 schools in this year’s ranking only graduate about 59 percent of their students, and less than two-thirds of those receive their degrees in four years. For the top 50 schools in the ranking, graduation rates are a big differentiator. On average, they graduate 88 percent of their students (compared with 51 percent for the 50 lowest-ranked schools) and 84 percent of graduates receive their degrees in four years (compared with 61 percent for the lowest-ranked schools).

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that many of the schools with the best ROI are the kind of highly selective elite private research universities with sterling reputations whose graduates tend to fetch the highest pay. Average annual pay for all the schools on the list this year was $61,426. Of the top 50 schools with the best ROI, 38 also have top-50 graduate pay, with alumni earning $81,000 or more per year. Six of the 10 schools with the highest graduate pay were either engineering or Ivy League institutions.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are 191 schools where graduates had negative ROI. At Fayetteville State University in North Carolina, where only one out of three students graduates in six years, in-state grads earned $289,000 less over 30 years than a high school graduate earning at the 75th percentile, after deducting the cost of the degree. For out-of-state graduates, the figure is $338,000.

At all 191 schools with negative ROI, graduates actually fared worse than those who dropped out after a few years—the financial benefit of earning a degree was so meager that the added expense it entailed was simply not worth it. At these schools, at least from an ROI perspective, dropping out was the smartest thing to do.

Finance Rankings Universities, Journals

Many articles nowadays rank Universities, Journals, Authors, etc. specifically for finance. Ask why they are not on the list. California gets huge funding but still no results except deficits after deficits. Are classes rigorous enough? Why is California sliding backward financially? Have any of them have published in the Journal of Finance or any top journal?

The attached article focuses on publications and citations in top journals. Writers should consider moving to an expensive black slum in New York, Philadelphia or Chicago. UCLA has better weather but lower rank.


Institution Country Rank Weighted number of articles

NYU US 1 130.44
U Penn US 2 108.46
U Chicago US 3 102.33
Harvard U US 4 94.17
U Michigan US 5 86.58
UCLA US 6 85.83
Columbia U US 7 65.00
Duke U US 8 59.17
MIT US 9 57.83
Northwestern U US 10 56.83
Ohio State U US 11 56.75
Stanford U US 12 53.83
Cornell U US 13 51.04
U Rochester US 14 48.20
U Southern California US 15 45.67
U Illinois US 16 45.33
U British Columbia Canada 17 40.25
London Business School UK 18 35.67
Yale U US 19 34.78
UT-Austin US 20 34.58
Purdue U US 21 34.50
U Washington US 22 34.17
Arizona State U US 23 33.58
U North Carolina US 24 33.29
UC-Berkeley US 25 32.67
Carnegie Mellon U US 26 32.58
Indiana U US 27 31.92
U Florida US 28 31.67
U Maryland US 29 31.50
Boston College US 30 29.33
Virginia Tech US 31 27.50
UW-Madison US 32 25.58
Washington U US 33 25.17
U Notre Dame US 34 24.90
Vanderbilt U US 35 24.78
Penn State U US 36 23.75
Southern Methodist U US 37 23.25 36
U Georgia US 38 22.50
U Minnesota US 39 22.50
Emory U US 40 22.25
U Utah US 41 21.92
Michigan State U US 42 21.42
Rutgers U US 43 21.33
U Iowa US 44 20.67
Science Technology Hong Kong 45 19.96
Dartmouth College US 46 19.25
Princeton U US 47 19.00
Tulane U US 48 18.17
Georgetown U US 49 17.83
U Arizona US 50 17.50
INSEAD France 51 16.58
LSU US 52 15.75
Baruch College US 53 15.67
UC-Irvine US 54 15.50
U Toronto Canada 55 14.33
U Virginia US 56 14.21
Rice U US 57 13.96
U Oregon US 58 13.67
U Pittsburgh US 59 13.25
UC-Davis US 60 12.83
Georgia State U US 61 12.75
U Missouri US 62 12.50
U Oklahoma US 63 12.33
U South Carolina US 64 12.25
Tel-Aviv U Israel 65 12.21
U Houston US 66 11.71
McGill U Canada 67 11.17
UC-Riverside US 68 11.00
BYU US 69 10.58
Clemson U US 70 10.00
U Colorado US 71 9.92
Santa Clara U US 72 9.83
U Alberta Canada 73 9.58
U Miami US 74 9.50
Case W Reserve U US 75 9.50
Boston U US 76 9.08
Iowa State U US 77 8.83
London School of Economics UK 78 8.67
Texas A&M U US 79 8.58
SUNY-Buffalo US 80 8.50
U Cincinnati US 81 7.58 37
College William and Mary US 82 7.50
HEC France 83 7.33
Georgia Tech US 84 7.17
UW-Milwaukee US 85 7.17
Hebrew U Israel 86 7.03
Syracuse U US 97 6.67
Fordham U US 88 6.42
Oxford U UK 89 6.29
UC-San Diego US 90 6.25
Chinese U Hong Kong Hong Kong 91 6.13
North Carolina State US 92 6.08
UT-Dallas US 93 6.00
U W Ontario Canada 94 5.92
Southern Illinois U US 95 5.83
National U Singapore Singapore 96 5.58
Queen's U Canada 97 5.58
Washington State U US 98 5.33
Erasmus U Netherlands 99 5.29
George Mason U US 100 5.17


investment returns stocks, bonds, bills, gold, silver, houses, farms,...

I spent a year circa 1981 collecting data on investment returns on a wide variety of assets such as stocks bonds bills silver gold houses farms, etc. It is not easy to get good numbers. Professor Ibbotson at Yale has worked on this full time since then and publishes a set of pricey books that he updates each year. Some of his stuff is available online free such as the attached paper. There is more at:

There are several other useful past and present contributors to the field that can be turned up by footnotes and citations although it may be hard to get a free copy of their results. Often they charge astronomical prices as is common in finance where the rich 1% hoard the truth and feed the peons scraps.

The attached Ibbotson paper illustrates some of the difficulties tabulating this data (which is in part why it is so expensive). Then the problem is how to extrapolate these numbers to advise current investments. That requires theory which is much harder than collecting data. None of this easy -- it takes a lot of time to generate such research and then time to learn and understand. It is no accident that finance pays well. There are many similar papers online free but most you pay for. Google the items in the bibliography and some may come up free online. I have the data I collected in 1981 on my computer.

Anyone giving investment advice, the security of retirement plans, etc. should show evidence that they at least know the facts turned up by past investigations. Also their methodology must be consistent with mathematical knowledge of how to extrapolate from the historical to produce investment advice or analyze performance. Gaps in knowledge indicates a crook, a person too lazy to learn the facts, or dummy too stupid to shut up. Finance, diet, and religion seems to attract the most quacks, frauds, and charlatans. You can learn to spot them by studying past high-grade professional work showing what should be expected from quality work.

SSRN-id702341 (1).pdf

Saturday, June 16, 2012

House & Commodity Prices Fall. No TV

Great summer weather. Unusually cool with low humidity. Tourists everywhere having fun. Crowded streets, slow going. Not yet beach weather.

Obama is playing the race card with a new kind of amnesty for illegals. Mitt Romney better find a Latino VP to win battleground states such as Florida.,0,7537786.story President Barack Obama said on Friday his administration's decision to stop deporting some illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children was a "just" move
Hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children will be allowed to remain in the country without fear of deportation and able to work, under an executive action the Obama administration announced on Friday.

Our 8 year cable TV contract expired after 8 years and 8*12*50 = $4800 wasted. My opinion is that most channels are worthless. I do watch some CNBC but don't need it. Traditional wireless broadcast TV is enough for me, 30 minutes per day or so. I may get a Roku to watch some TV news over my internet connection. We may get a new president in a few months and other news I would like to stay informed on. But complete quiet is better for study. I don't have a radio. I get newspapers or magazines. Real paper is still the fastest way to read with the least eyestrain and easier to avoid worthless distracting ads than online, radio or TV.

I have been reading some very good materials from the University of Cambridge on social ontology, a critique of mathematical economics and general equilibrium theory. Much tuition has been wasted on fake, fraudulent professors. I have been skeptical of the deductive approach in general when applied to what should be an inductive study of people.

Are deflating commodity prices a sign that the Obama economy is sinking back into recession despite huge fiscal and monetary stimulus? Or is it a good sign that consumers are not wasting money on on commodities and spend on other goods and services and pay down some debt like the article below says they have been doing. Or will consumers just return to gambling on commodities and houses thereby causing a new bubble and crash?

House prices have been deflating for 5 years are still falling in some areas. Headline of USA Today says numerous cities will continue to bulldoze tens of thousands of deflated houses sitting abandoned. Decreased supply may help house prices to increase.

House prices for some in-demand areas have turned around indicating a new boom may be starting at least in hot markets like Miami and New York. Mortgage rates are very low. May be a good time to buy in the right location. I keep hearing calls for government to try to get house prices to inflate again (implying houses are underpriced? not true in many areas). Maybe they will do it but Bernanke seems unwilling to do much more; no QE3 new stimulus. Bernanke says Obama should do something like getting a plan to deal with long term fiscal deficits. Not likely until after the election.

Looks like to me that there will be weak to falling prices on most commodities and houses at least until after the election except for a few isolated hot markets. Letting both houses and commodities continue to deflate would help people afford them. Consumers could use the money saved to repay some of their debts and buy some other products instead of wasting money gambling on houses and commodities. Sales data says consumers are replacing their old vehicles with higher mileage new models. That may help drive down energy prices further.

The problem is Europe is weakening due to austerity and bailouts. Also China growth is slowing. Middle east is losing revenues due to weak oil price so they will not buying as much. USA is repaying debts and building equity. If there is not much demand for goods and services, then will prices continue to deflate? How can politicians get the world economy booming again?

Prices for a range of goods, including cotton, copper and gasoline, have fallen in recent weeks, a sign of faltering demand.

Americans See Biggest Home Equity Jump In 60 Years

Home equity in the first quarter rose to the highest level since 2008 as homeowners taking advantage of record-low borrowing costs to refinance their loans brought cash to the table to pay down principal. The gain in percentage terms was the biggest jump in more than 60 years, according to an analysis by Bloomberg of Federal Reserve data.

Residential mortgage debt peaked in 2007 at $10.6 trillion, doubling in six years, according to Fed data. Since then, it has fallen 7 percent as the value all residential property has dropped 23 percent

“When the market was booming, a mortgage was used as a leveraging tool, and now it’s seen as a risk.”

Measured as a share, rather than in dollars, homeowner equity was 41 percent of U.S. residential property in the first quarter, including homeowners who don’t have mortgages, according to the Fed study released last week. The last time the share was that high was in the third quarter of 2008.

‘Bubble Burst’

“People got too overleveraged in the boom years, and that left them with too much debt when the bubble burst,” said Paul Miller, a managing director with FBR Capital Markets in Arlington, Virginia. “Now, they’re trying to put themselves back on solid ground.”

Residential mortgage debt peaked in 2007 at $10.6 trillion, doubling in six years, according to Fed data. Since then, it has fallen 7 percent as the value of all residential property has dropped 23 percent.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

your own web site Mac highway $2.95 per month wind farm electricity

Modern technology makes it easy to spread ideas on the internet. Veterans, experts, pundits, gurus, and wannabes need a web site. Writing a coherent page forces an attempt to think clearly. Readers can quickly see if the writer has done his homework, and can often check the footnotes references online. Facebook is free but is a highly constrained and insecure site that does not work well for such purposes. Mac highway is one of the cheapest, oldest web site hosts that is specifically tuned to mac users and uses windmill power.

I may start a web site on diet and exercise and the economics and ecology of the family farm. Otherwise, I am trying to get out of anything online and concentrate on scientific writing which often does not show up on the internet. The publisher handles the online display of such writing. There is far too much junk on the internet supported by ads not sense. Quality sites are needed. Also a specialized search engine to find quality sites.

I am also going from small closed Macs back to more open large Microsoft Dell computers if I get the time and energy to convert. I don't want portability. I want performance and to swim in the largest pool of users with the most vendors to service needs and work out bugs. Macs have always been quirky and overpriced. iPod touch is what Apple was born to do, not working computers. Also the MacBook Air looks good for students who want to use their college loans for fun and status instead of learning. Mitt Romney may cut the ridiculous student debt industry and that will put a big dent in the growth of Apple iPods, iPhones, MacBooks, etc. Cutting government waste could greatly improve the economy.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

fasting for optimal health

I skip meals all the time, especially when travelling or lots of work. Usually I get 2 meals but often skip breakfast and sometimes dinner too. I used to use coffee as a meal substitute or coffee plus an apple. I now have quit coffee and tea and chocolate and apples.

I had one meal today after a 5 hour walk (breakfast was a quart of water and 500 mg vitamin C). I can feel the benefit from fasting. I think fasting is a key to good health. I started fasting in high school. I did not get over 140 lbs. until after getting Master's degree. Probably I am about 148 lbs. today. I weigh myself once a year unless I forget.

Modern people eat far too much (in addition to eating the wrong foods). Through history and pre-history people have lived on the brink of starvation. Especially in the winter for 6 months nothing but deer is available. The cave man diet should include fasting and deer. We have deer all over the place in Branson, dangerous to drivers. Today, I walked on the train track to downtown, in a canyon right next to the main drag and saw lots of deer.

Do You Need Three Square Meals a Day to Stay Healthy?

As the featured source states, the idea that you need three square meals a day for optimal health has been tossed out the window. Mounting research suggests this may actually not be in your best interest at all.

If you're already off to a good start on a healthy fitness plan, and you're looking for ways to take it to the next level, you may want to consider a form of fasting called Scheduled Eating, or intermittent fasting. One simple way to do this is to simply skip breakfast, unless you're really hungry. Fasting is historically common-place as it has been a part of spiritual practice for millennia. But modern science has confirmed there are many good reasons to fast intermittently, including:

  • Normalizing your insulin sensitivity, which is key for optimal health as insulin resistance (which is what you get when your insulin sensitivity plummets) is a primary contributing factor to nearly all chronic disease, from diabetes to heart disease and even cancer

  • Normalizing ghrelin levels, also known as "the hunger hormone"

  • Promoting human growth hormone (HGH) production, which plays an important part in health, fitness and slowing the aging process

  • Lowering triglyceride levels

  • Reducing inflammation and lessening free radical damage

There's also plenty of research showing that fasting has a beneficial impact on longevity in animals. There are a number of mechanisms contributing to this effect. Normalizing insulin sensitivity is a major one, but fasting also inhibits the mTOR pathway, which plays an important part in driving the aging process. The fact that it improves a number of potent disease markers also contributes to fasting's overall beneficial effects on general health.

Exercising while in a fasted state has also been shown to produce many beneficial changes. To learn more about this strategy, please see this previous article by fitness expert Ori Hofmekler.

Monday, June 11, 2012

fruit fructose blueberries

1 apple, 1 orange, 1 banana per day may not excessive fruit, for example, especially after exercise. Summary article on fructose dangers below.

Blueberries are the most highly recommended fruit by many (I am not convinced)
Dr. Oz - Wild Blueberries. Wild blueberries are a super food rich in antioxidants that help protect the body from free radicals. Although all blueberries offer health benefits, wild blueberries are the most effective for fighting cancer.

Wild berries are organic

I used to drink fruit juice for athletic recovery (fructose is the best for athletic recovery). When depleted of glycogen, the liver uses the fructose to replenish its glycogen stores. If full of glycogen the liver turns the fructose into fat for storage. Unfortunately the liver makes small dense LDL cholesterol molecules that burrow into the arteries and causes hardening of the arteries. (Big fluffy LDL molecules such as in butter are too fat to burrow into the arteries.) Now I am off all juices -- too much fructose too fast will overwhelm and cause problems.

How bad is fructose?

This issue of the Journal contains another disturbing article on the biology of fructose
Why is fructose of concern? First, it is sweeter than either glucose or sucrose. In fruit, it serves as a marker for foods that are nutritionally rich. However, in soft drinks and other “sweets,” fructose serves to reward sweet taste that provides “calories,” often without much else in the way of nutrition. Second, the intake of soft drinks containing high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) or sucrose has risen in parallel with the epidemic of obesity, which suggests a relation (2). Third, the article in this issue of the Journal (1) and another article published elsewhere last year (3) implicate dietary fructose as a potential risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

NYTimes: The Risky Rise of the Good-Grade Pill

Large parts of the population are using drugs at early ages. Legal and illegal. This is on top of bad diet and bombardment of radiation from TV, computers, games, ipods, ipads. Many will die young and more will be mentally and physically disabled, parasitic vegetables. Health insurance will become more expensive (Obamacare) We are forced to pay for the drugs and taking care of dysfunctional addicts who cannot win a war or contribute to the economy or even reproduce. This is a recipe for disaster. These brain pills are cheating and will cause long term damage.

At high schools across the United States, pressure over grades and competition for college admissions are encouraging students to abuse prescription stimulants.

The number of prescriptions for A.D.H.D. medications dispensed for young people ages 10 to 19 has risen 26 percent since 2007, to almost 21 million yearly, according to IMS Health, a health care information company — a number that experts estimate corresponds to more than two million individuals. But there is no reliable research on how many high school students take stimulants as a study aid. Doctors and teenagers from more than 15 schools across the nation with high academic standards estimated that the portion of students who do so ranges from 15 percent to 40 percent.

Friday, June 8, 2012

fiscal cliff. Saint Issa. Jesus tax the rich

Why is the media so worried about the fiscal cliff? Isn't that just what is needed to reduce the deficit? i.e. sequestration, eliminate Bush tax cuts, unemployment extension, payroll tax holiday, etc. If our wise politicians think that is too much deficit reduction too fast then they can always slow down these changes for a few months to allow Keynesianism to boost the economy a little more before clamping down on the deficit bleeding.

Jesus was very liberal on taxes. He told the rich to give all they have to the poor (in the USA the rich are not following the commandments of Jesus). Or maybe some liberal changed the Bible. They lost the originals so can't check. If somebody can find the originals writings in a cave in Tibet, that would resolve some controversies and maybe change numerous religions and USA tax policy.Saint Issa? There is an article on wikipedia and lots more online nowadays. Not sure how reliable.

Saint Issa

In 1887 a Russian war correspondent, Nicolas Notovitch, visited India and Tibet. He claimed that, at the lamasery or monastery of Hemis in Ladakh, he learned of the "Life of Saint Issa, Best of the Sons of Men."Isa is the Arabic name of Jesus in Islam. His story, with a translated text of the "Life of Saint Issa," was published in French in 1894 as La vie inconnue de Jesus Christ. It was subsequently translated into English, German, Spanish, and Italian.

Notovitch's writings were immediately controversial. The German orientalist Max Mueller, who'd never been to India himself, published a letter he'd received from a British colonial officer, which stated that the presence of Notovitch in Ladakh was "not documented."

J. Archibald Douglas, then a teacher at the Government College in Agra also visited Hemis monastery in 1895, but claimed that he did not find any evidence that Notovich had even been there. But, there is very little biographical information about Notovitch and a record of his death has never been found.[3] The diary of Dr. Karl Rudolph Marx of the Ladane Charitable Dispensary, a missionary of the Order of the Moravian Brothers, and director of the hospital in Leh, clearly states that he treated Nicolas Notovitch for a severe toothache in November 1887. However, Edgar J. Goodspeed in his book "Famous Biblical Hoaxes" claims that the head abbot of the Hemis community signed a document that denounced Notovitch as an outright liar.[6]

The corroborating evidence of later visitors to the monastery having yet to appear, Notovich responded to claims that the lama at Hemis had denied that the manuscript existed by explaining that the monks would have seen enquiries about them as evidence of their value to the outside world and of the risk of their being stolen or taken by force.[3] Tibetologists Snellgrove and Skorupski wrote of the monks at Hemis, "They seem convinced that all foreigners steal if they can. There have in fact been quite serious losses of property in recent years." [7] Notovitch also provided the names of several people in the region who could verify his presence there.[3]

In 1922, after initially doubting Notovitch, Swami Abhedananda, a disciple of Sri Ramakrishna, and a close acquaintance of Max Müller,[3] journeyed to Tibet, investigated his claim, was shown the manuscript by the lama and with his help translated part of the document, and later championed Notovich's views.[2] Having spoken at Max Müller's funeral, his opposing Müller's assertion that Notovitch's document was a forgery, was no small matter.[3]

A number of authors have taken these accounts and have expanded upon them in their own works. For example, in her book The Lost Years of Jesus: Documentary Evidence of Jesus's 17-Year Journey to the East, Elizabeth Clare Prophet cites Buddhist manuscripts that allegedly provide evidence that Jesus traveled to India, Nepal, Ladakh and Tibet.[3] However, she reprints objections and rebuttals of Life of Saint Issa, citing both sides of the controversy in detail.[3] She observes, "The fact that Douglas failed to see a copy of a manuscript was no more decisive proof that it did not exist than Notovitch's claim that it did." [3][Note 1]

Today there is not a single recognized scholar on the planet who has any doubts about the matter. The entire story was invented by Notovitch, who earned a good deal of money and a substantial amount of notoriety for his hoax.[8]
—Bart D. Ehrman, Forged: Writing in the Name of God—Why the Bible’s Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are

[edit]Christ and Krishna

See also: Jesus myth theory

The Jesus in India idea has been associated with Louis Jacolliot's book La Bible dans l'Inde, Vie de Iezeus Christna (1869)[9] (The Bible in India, or the Life of Jezeus Christna),[10] but there is no direct connection between his writings and those of writers on the Himmis mauscripts.

Jacolliot compares the accounts of the life of Bhagavan Krishna with that of Jesus Christ in the gospels and concludes that it could not have been a coincidence that the two stories have so many similarities in many of the finer details. He concludes that the account in the gospels is a myth based on the mythology of ancient India. [Note 2] However, Jacolliot is comparing two different periods of history (or mythology) and does not claim that Jesus was in India. He spells "Krishna" as "Christna" and claims that Krishna's disciples gave him the name "Jezeus," a name supposed to mean "pure essence" in Sanskrit[10], though it is not even a Sanskrit term at all – "it was simply invented"[11] by Jacoillot.

[edit]Bhavishya Maha Purana

Holger Kersten suggests[citation needed] that the Hindu Bhavishya Maha Purana, in the Pratisargaarvan (19.17-32), a 19th century redaction of a text purporting to tell future events, describes the arrival of Jesus thus:

"One day, Shalivahana, the chief of the Shakas, came to a snowy mountain (assumed to be in the Indian Himalayas). There, in the Land of the Hun (= Ladakh, a part of the Kushan empire), the powerful king saw a handsome man sitting on a mountain, who seemed to promise auspiciousness. His skin was like copper and he wore white garments. The king asked the holy man who he was. The other replied: 'I am called Isaputra (son of God), born of a virgin, minister of the non-believers, relentlessly in search of the truth.' O king, lend your ear to the religion that I brought unto the non-believers ... Through justice, truth, meditation, and unity of spirit, man will find his way to Isa (God, in Sanskrit) who dwells in the centre of Light, who remains as constant as the sun, and who dissolves all transient things forever. The blissful image of Isa, the giver of happiness, was revealed in the heart; and I was called Isa-Masih (Jesus the Messiah).'"[citation needed]

[edit]Ahmadiyya views

See also: Jesus in India (book)

According to the Ahmadis, the further sayings of Muhammad mention that Jesus died in Kashmir at the age of one hundred and twenty years. Ahmadis have advocated this view for over 100 years, started by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. Muslim and Persian sources purport to trace the sojourn of Jesus, known as Isa, or Yuz Asaf ("leader of the healed") along the old Silk Road to the orient. The books, Christ in Kashmir by Aziz Kashmiri, and Jesus Lived in India by Holger Kersten, list documents and articles in support of this view. They believe Yuz Asaf to be buried at the Roza Bal shrine in Srinagar, India.[citation needed]

[edit]The Urantia Book

Main article: The Urantia Book

The Urantia Book claims to be a revelation of the life of Jesus. It offers a detailed account of his childhood, adolescence and early adulthood and provides a comprehensive narrative of later events as recorded in the Gospels. According to the Urantia Book, Jesus never visited India; instead, beginning in his 28th year (AD 22, according to the Urantia book) he travelled with a wealthy merchant from India and the merchant's son. Jesus was invited, on a number of occasions, to visit India by the wealthy Indian merchant, but Jesus declined, citing responsibilities relating to his family in Palestine.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

war finance Re: Conservative

What Buchanan is implying is that the numbers do not seem to add up. If Romney is increases military spending as he announced, then how is he going to reduce the deficit without cutting Medicare, Social Security, college loans and other benefits to millions of people?? The sheeple may see this fleecing coming and vote Obama!

My question is what is the benefit to the taxpayer of recruiting gays into the military and send them joyriding tanks around in parts of the world that may not even like gays? It is cheaper to let them goof off in college, jail or the peace corps. Better yet, why not let them get a job and pay taxes instead of wasting taxpayer money? To reduce the federal debt eventually USA will need to reduce government spending and pay more taxes. Republicans and Democrats have a bad history and neither has a good plan for the future to reduce the trajectory of increasing debt.



Ann Romney asks the right question

by Patrick J. Buchanan
June 1, 2012

When Hillary Rosen said that Ann Romney had “never worked a day in her life,” it was among the better days of the Romney campaign.

For Rosen — present whereabouts unknown — both revealed the feminist mindset about women who choose to become wives and mothers and brought Ann Romney center stage.

Before a Connecticut audience recently, Mrs. Romney spoke of her reluctance to see her husband pursue the presidency a second time and said she resisted, until she got an answer to one critical question.

“Can you fix it?” she asked Mitt. “I need to know. Is it too late?”

Mitt Romney replied, “No, it’s getting late, but it’s not too late.”

Yet Ann’s question lingers. Is it still possible to turn this country around? Or has a fate like that of Europe become inevitable?

If one focuses on the deficit-debt crisis, and what a president can do, the temptation is to succumb to despair.

Consider. The U.S. government spends a peacetime record 24 to 25 percent of gross domestic product. Most of that is expended on five accounts: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other Great Society programs, interest on the national debt, war and defense.

Now assume the best of all worlds for the GOP. Mitt wins, and the party captures the Senate and holds the House.

Would that assure a rollback of the federal budget? And, if so, how?

As Romney is committed to expanding the armed forces by 100,000 personnel, to growing the Navy by 15 ships a year, from today’s nine, to raising defense spending to 4 percent of GDP from the present 3.8 percent, defense spending would not be going down but up.

What about interest expense?

Given the Federal Reserve’s present policy of holding interest rates near zero, the only way interest on the debt can go — is up.

Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and the Great Society would have to sustain almost all of the cuts if the budget is to move toward balance.

But if the Republicans cut current benefits, they would antagonize 50 million seniors already on Social Security and Medicare.

If they cut future benefits, they will anger the baby boomers who are reaching eligibility for these retirement programs at a rate of 300,000 a month, 10,000 a day, and will continue to retire at that pace until 2030.

Would a President Romney and Republican Congress roll back benefits for scores of millions of seniors, raise the retirement age for Social Security and Medicare, reduce funds for Medicaid, Head Start, Pell grants, student loans, primary and secondary education, and shed federal employees by the tens of thousands?

Republicans argue that the corporate tax rate of 35 percent, highest among advanced nations, and the personal rate of 35 percent should be cut. The other piece of tax reform is the elimination of deductions and credits so a lower rate on a broader tax base will yield the same or additional revenue.

Looks good on paper.

But today 50 percent of all U.S. wage-earners pay zero income tax. Will that half of a nation reward a party that ensures that many of them, too, contribute? Free-riders on the federal tax code are voters, too.

Again, the crucial question: Does the Romney Republican Party have the courage of its convictions — to carry out a fiscal program consistent with its conservative philosophy?

For when, ever, has the modern GOP done that?

Richard Nixon funded the Great Society. Gerald Ford bailed out the Big Apple. George H.W. Bush increased spending and raised taxes. George W. Bush gave us No Child Left Behind, free prescription drugs for seniors, two wars, tax cuts and the largest increase in domestic spending since LBJ.

Even Ronald Reagan ruefully conceded that he failed to do what he had set out to do in cutting federal spending.

Now, we are assured that this generation of Republicans has come home to the church and confessed its sins, and is prepared to face martyrdom in the name of fiscal responsibility.

Well, perhaps.

Yet, if it is difficult to see how the GOP advances toward a balanced budget, it is impossible to see how President Obama does.

Would the party of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, triumphant, scale back programs that are the pride of their party — Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid? Would Pelosi, Reid and Obama cut the number of bureaucrats and beneficiaries of federal programs, thereby demobilizing the unionized armies on which they depend at election time?

When FDR came to power in 1933, after his running mate, “Cactus Jack” Garner, accused Herbert Hoover of taking us “down the road to socialism,” the Federal government was spending 4 percent of GDP.

Today, it spends 24 percent. Under both parties, under every president since FDR, domestic spending has moved in one direction.