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Why is Donald Trump Covering Up ALIEN ABDUCTIONS?

“We’re gonna launch an investigation to find out. And then the next time, and I will say this: Of those votes cast, none of ’em come to me, none of ’em come to me. They would all be for the other side. None of ’em come to me. But when you look at the people that are registered: dead, illegal and in two states, and in some cases maybe three states. We have a lot to look into.” — Donald J. Trump

I regret to inform you that the nincompoop quoted above is President of the United States. When told that his claim of voter fraud had been debunked, the congenital fantasist-in-chief cited a 2012  Pew study. When the interview pointed out that the author of that study, David Becker, said they had found no evidence of fraud, the wack-doodle accused Becker of “groveling.” Say what? Here is the transcript:

Muir: You say you’re going to launch an investigation into (voter fraud).

Trump: Sure. Done.

Muir: What you have presented so far has been debunked. It’s been called false —

Trump: No it hasn’t. Take a look at the Pew report.

Muir: I called the author of the Pew report last night. He told me they found no evidence of voter fraud.

Trump: Really? Then why did he write the report?

Muir: He said no evidence of voter fraud.

Trump: Excuse me. Then why did he write the report? Look at the Pew Report. Then he’s groveling again. You know, I always talk about the reporters that grovel when they wanna write something you wanna hear. But not necessarily millions of people want to hear, or have to hear

Muir: So you’ve launched an investigation.

Trump: We’re gonna launch an investigation to find out. And then the next time, and I will say this: Of those votes cast, none of ’em come to me, none of ’em come to me. They would all be for the other side. None of ’em come to me. But when you look at the people that are registered: dead, illegal and in two states, and in some cases maybe three states. We have a lot to look into.

This is not even about lying. It is about mental incompetence at lying. The jackass refutes his own alibi two sentences after presenting it.

The Pew report is not the only research paper on voter fraud out there. There are two others. It only gets worse.

One paper by Richman and Earnest was based on an online survey of citizens. It included a question about citizenship. Nearly 19.000 people completed the survey. A relative handful — probably fewer than 100 — non-citizens took the survey. The minuscule number of people who reported both voting and being non-citizens 4 (four!) is extremely likely to be entirely a classification error resulting from less than .1% of the 18,878 citizens checking the wrong box for citizenship status. In short, Richman and Earnest’s estimate was based on a very small sample of non-citizens and was probably entirely an error artifact. The methodological flaw was described in detail in two-page 2015 article titled, “The perils of cherry picking low frequency events in large sample surveys.

Let me repeat the substance of the Richman and Earnest finding: 4 people among nearly 20,000 who completed an online survey identified themselves as non-citizens who voted in either 2010 or 2012. The statistical likelihood of that having resulted from a citizenship classification error is virtually 1 out of 1.

There is a third study of voter fraud that is worth mentioning, “Alien abduction and voter impersonation in the 2012 US general election,” It employed a technique called “survey list experiment” to try to elicit survey responses regarding sensitive or illegal behaviors that people may ordinarily be reluctant to report on a survey. Instead of admitting specific actions, respondents are only asked to report a number of items from a list. Sensitive items are tested for by having a control group that is given only innocuous items while the experimental group is given the innocuous items plus a sensitive one.

The list experiment found that about 2.5% of their sample reported have voted under a name that wasn’t their own. Although a relatively small number, this might seem to be a significant factor in a close election, especially if the impersonations were predominantly on behalf of one party. However, the researchers argued that the result is most likely to be explained by respondent error. Most of the respondents reporting impersonation is accounted for by respondents choosing the maximum number, possibly to complete the survey more quickly. To test whether choosing the maximum number explained their voter impersonation results, the researchers conducted a second experiment, this time including an “impossible event,” namely being abducted by an alien.

The second experiment found that more people reported having been abducted by aliens than having voted using a name that wasn’t theirs. In fact, nearly the same percentage of respondents (2.4%) reported having been abducted by aliens and being audited by the IRS during the past twelve months as had reported having voted under a false name (2.5%). This was despite the fact that the IRS audit rate for 2013 was a little less than 1%! In short, survey respondent were two and half times as likely to be both abducted by aliens and audited by the IRS in the same year as the general public was to be audited by the IRS. Period.

Donald Trump claims that he is under audit by the IRS. Donald Trump claims that there was massive voter fraud in the 2016 which denied him the popular vote victory. Donald Trump claims that the Pew report is evidence for his accusation of voter fraud. But notably, Donald Trump is SILENT on the vital national security aspect of this whole episode: ALIEN ABDUCTION!

Why is Donald Trump covering up ALIEN ABDUCTIONS?

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Donald Trump is a Miracle Worker

Somehow Trump manages to bring out the best in people. In the January 21 women’s march demonstrations, millions of ordinary Americans peacefully engaged in the political process, expressing a variety of consistent opinions with passion and humour. I was delighted.

But today I am amazed. It seems that Donald Trump has somehow managed to make Jasoh Chaffetz act like a statesman. Chaffetz is chair of the government oversight committee, where he has always acted as an aparatchik hack. He promised years of investigation of President Clinton and won’t “go on a fishing expidition” of President Trump. He decided that the most urgent investigation was of the head of the Office of Govermnment Ethics for critizing Trump’s conflicts of interest and not of Trump for profiting from his office and doing business with foreign governments and [uh oh going of on a tangent on Trump’s corruption which will never end].

I was confident that Chaffetz cared not at all about the truth and was a pure partizan who always placed the interests of the GOP over the interests of the country, honesty about plain facts and all human decency.

But today he said

On the voter fraud issue that really happens at the county level. I don’t see any evidence, but the President has 100,000 people at the Department of Justice that if he wants to do an investigation, have at it. I just don’t see any evidence of it.

Chaffetz caring whether there is “any evidence of it” is almost a miracle.

I honestly never thought there was a crazy conspiracy theory too extreme for him.

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NAFTA and MANUFACTURING EMPLOYMENT

President Trump is not alone in blaming NAFTA for the decline in US manufacturing employment over the last several decades.  Many people on all sides of the political spectrum believe the same thing.  But as this chart demonstrates the economic data tells a very different story.nafta manuf

 

In the decade after NAFTA came into being, manufacturing output growth actually accelerated  to an average annual growth rate of 3.7% as compared to an average annual growth rate of 2.9%  in the decade before NAFTA was implemented. However, while manufacturing output growth actually  accelerated, the average annual growth rate of manufacturing employment weakened from -0.4% to -1.3%.  This was because the rate of growth in productivity or output per employment jumped about 50% from 3.3% to 5.0%.  The big jump in the growth of output per employee or productivity was the dominant factor in the drop in manufacturing employment.  Automation or  information technology accounted for  virtually all of the weakness in manufacturing employment after NAFTA.    NAFTA was a factor, but it was clearly a relatively minor factor.  The way NAFTA contributed was for low productivity industries like textiles and autos  to move abroad while high productivity industries like semiconductors grew rapidly so that the composition of US manufacturing changed drastically.   Because of this, Trumps policy of bring jobs back from overseas is almost certain to fail.

The important question is not why his policy will fail.  Rather, it is what will Trump do after it becomes obvious to everyone that it has failed.

If you want to blame the trade deficit for the drop in manufacturing employment, it obviously played a role.  But Mexico only accounts for some 5% to 10% of the US trade deficit,  so even on this basis, NAFTA played a very minor role in the drop in US manufacturing employment.

 

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Legible version of How have Phillips Curves Shifted in the 15 Countries Which Were in The European Union in 1997 ?

First note strong evidence that the rate of wage inflation is mean reverting. This is a pooled regression with data from the Old EU 15 from 1960 through 2015. Indicator variables for countries are included but the coefficients aren’t reported. dw is the percent rate of wage inflation. ddw is the change of dw. The coefficient of ddw on lagged wage inflation is negative. Since wage inflation is not stationary, inference based on the conventional t-statistic is misleading, but it is very hard to defend excluding lagged wage inflation from regressions.

table1

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In all pooled regressions of the 15 countries, country indicators are included, but the coefficients aren’t reported.
Table 2 shows a simple wage Phillips curve regression in which an equal slope for all countries is imposed. ur is the unemployment rate.

table2

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Table 3 adds EcoFin’s estimate of the non wage inflatin accelerting rate of unemployment (nawru). It provides almost exactly zero evidence that the estimated NAWRU is useful when forecasting the acceleration of the rate of wage inflation.

table3

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Another way to present this is to regress the change of the rate of wage inflation on lagged wage inflation, the NAWRU and the difference between the unemployment rate and the NAWRU (ur_cyc_nawru). If the ewstimated nawru is the rate of unemployment corresponding to non accelerating wage inflation, its coefficient should be zero.

table4

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Results are fairly similar if lagged productivity growth in percent (lp00) and lagged personal consumption deflator inflation in percent (infpce) are included in the regression. When these variables are included, there is statistically signficant evidence that the EcoFin estimates of the NAWRU are of some use, but also very strong evidence that their estimate of cyclical unemployment is not correct.

table6

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table78

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table910

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Paul Ryan Can Not Take the Truth So He Hides It with Legislation

Paul Ryan and other House Republicans voted along party lines “Adopting rules for the One Hundred Fifteenth Congress.” The vote was 234 Yeas to 193 Nays. Three Republicans voted with Democrats to block the new rules for the 115th Congress. No big deal, right? and the New Rules passed.

As many of you probably know, I have been writing about the PPACA/ACA/Obamacare since 2008; answering questions, presenting information, and rebutting the stories, outright lies, and silly remarks. I did a lot of Maggie Mahar’s editing to get her columns up on Angry Bear and subsequently became familiar with the healthcare law. Now before you attempt to get into this with me, I will say this; “it was not perfect; but, it was all we had for the time being.” Now we are going backwards. We will be worse off under the new healthcare law.

Typically, this is not big deal except Randian Paul Ryan stuck a couple of sentences into the new House Rules. Before I get there, I want to take this a step backwards and explain. I was angry enough after reading the Rules Change to write my Congressman Mike Bishop. This is unusual for me as it typically is a waste of time. They represent upwards of 700,000 people in high density states. It was never supposed to be that way until Congress decided to freeze the number of Reps in the House. If the number of constituents represented had stayed at 60,000; my vote and opinion would have counted for more when drop kicking him across the room. There is a reason they did this and if they did not do this, the number of Reps would have been much higher.

I wrote Congress Person Mike and started explaining how Senator Sessions with the help of Rep Upton also from Michigan wrote the GAO asking why the HHS could appropriate funds. The GAO said they could not; but, the GAO left an opening for the HHS and the Administration by stating they could transfer funds from other programs into the Risk Corridor program. The Risk Corridor program for the PPACA is a 3-year program. Since there was a lot of risk for insurance companies and Co-ops, it was established along the same lines as the one for Part D Medicare which the Republicans created. An insurance company was limited to 3% profit,. If you made more than that, you kicked into the program a ratio of those profits. The higher the profit, the more you kicked in. If you lost money as the new Co-ops did, the program gave them money if the loss was greater than 3%. The CBO estimated the Risk Corridor program would generate $16 billion over its 3 year life time. Companies were taking on people who were denied insurance before due to pre-existing conditions. It was a higher risk and no one could be sure how many high risk insured they would get. They could not deny insuring them or increase premiums. This worked well for Part D.

Session and Upton were able to make the Risk Corridor program budget revenue neutral so the HHS and administration could not appropriate funds for it. They enlisted the aid of Rep Jack Kingston Appropriations Panel Chairman who stuck a sentence in Section 227 of the 2015 Appropriations Act (dated December 16, 2014). The sentence said; no

“funds made available by this Act from the Federal Hospital Insurance Trust Fund or the Federal Supplemental Medical Insurance Trust Fund, or transferred from other accounts funded by this Act to the “Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services–Program Management” account, may be used for payments under section 1342(b)(1) of Public Law 111-148 (relating to risk corridors).”

If you are wondering why Co-ops went bankrupt, healthcare premiums started to go up, insurance companies withdrew, and insurances companies lost millions; here is the reason why. So I laid this treachery on Congressman Mike Bishop.

I then proceeded to tell him that under reconciliation, you can not create a budget deficit. This would happen with the repeal of the PPACA. In Summer of 2016, the CBO estimated it would be ~$350 billion.

Now, back to my Roll Call on New House Rules. Randian Paul Ryan stuck a few sentence into the House Rules for the 115th Congress. Here is what they said:

“This subsection shall not apply to any bill or joint resolution, or amendment thereto or conference report thereon –

(A) repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and title I and subtitle B of title II of the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010;

(B) reforming the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010.”

In simple English here is what it meant; the CBO could not review the Repeal of the PPACA and the costs associated with it. My question to Congressperson Mike Bishop was; “Why did you vote yes to this knowing you were covering up the truth and creating a budget defict?”

Not that I will get one; but, I asked for a return reply.

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Garrett Jones Reviews the Literature on Immigrant Success

Recently I put up a few graphs showing that the income of immigrants is correlated with the income of the country from which they hailed, and that this relationship is especially true for immigrants who have been in the US the longest

Garrett Jones has been covering the same ground, and here he provides a bit of a review of the literature:

Recently, a small group of economists have found more systematic evidence on how the past predicts the present. Overall, they find that where your nation’s citizens come from matters a lot. From “How deep are the roots of economic development?”published in the prestigious Journal of Economic Literature:

A growing body of new empirical work focuses on the measurement and estimation of the effects of historical variables on contemporary income by explicitly taking into account the ancestral composition of current populations. The evidence suggests that economic development is affected by traits that have been transmitted across generations over the very long run.

Does that sound familiar? It should. It’s what I keep getting excoriated for writing around here.

More from Jones:

And finally, from “Post-1500 Population Flows and the Economic Determinants of Economic Growth and Inequality,” published in Harvard’s Quarterly Journal of Economics:

The positive effect of ancestry-adjusted early development on current income is robust…The most likely explanation for this finding is that people whose ancestors were living in countries that developed earlier (in the sense of implementing agriculture or creating organized states) brought with them some advantage—such as human capital, knowledge, culture, or institutions—that raises the level of income today.

Hmmm… that too seems familiar.

Moving along, since many of today’s immigrants to the US hail from countries with very different institutions than their adopted home, this next paragraph from Jones is also very interesting (and also parallels quite a bit of what I have written):

If migration shaped institutions in the past, perhaps migration will shape institutions in the future. Or perhaps not: while violent European colonizers imposed their institutions and their culture on lands that had belonged to Native Americans, perhaps peaceful mass migration in the 21st century will leave today’s institutions and culture undisturbed. Perhaps, to coin a phrase, this time really is different.

The danger in all of this is that Americans are pretty bad at picking their bedfellows. If you doubt that, ask any of the nice women who attended the March on Washington this weekend what they think of cliterectomy-enthusiasts. Then ask them if they favor restricting the immigration of people from cultures where cliterectomy-enthusiasts are especially prevalent. Even if you point out this isn’t a case of a few bad apples giving the the rest a bad name – according to UNICEF there are countries where over 9 in ten women have been subjected to FGM – I am going to guess a lot of Americans find restricting immigration to be more icky than FGM. The result is that according to the CDC, in 2012 half a million women or girls in America were at risk of FGM.  The CDC attributed that to immigration from countries where the practice is rampant. Now, this behavior is still illegal here in the US, but that can change. After all, the people who would do such things to their daughters also vote.

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