Friday, November 17, 2017

Labor Force Participation

The above is the CBO labor force participation rate percents. This should be worrisome. There is a continual decline and thus we have fewer people capable of working actually working. The details behind this are nor complete but in the long term this must change. There are too few people bearing the total burden for those not working.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Show This to AMTRAK or NJ Transit, or MTA

In Japan they take things seriously. As the Guardian notes:

t was an admission that would no doubt raise a sardonic smile among many commuters, and perhaps have them dreaming of relocating to Japan.The operator of a private railway firm that serves the Tokyo suburbs has issued an apology after one of its trains departed 20 seconds ahead of schedule. Passengers boarding Tuesday’s 9.44.40am Tsukuba Express from Minami Nagareyama station, just north of Tokyo, were unaware anything was amiss when the train, which had arrived on time, pulled away from the platform at 9.44.20am. The train’s operator, though, believed the foul-up was serious enough to warrant an apology. “We deeply apologise for the severe inconvenience imposed upon our customers,” the Metropolitan Intercity Railway Company said in a statement.

Having gone through AMTRAK's closing of Penn Station, multiple failures of NJ Transit and the ever occurring delays and breakdowns of the MTA, this is amazing. One enters the NY City subways and it is like entering Hell. Filled with various characters, filth, decay, collapsing infrastructure, and union employees perpetually delaying things, or worse AMTRAK, who could not get a watch to be correct twice a day, or NJ Transit who has the habit of stopping trains randomly and shoving all the passengers off to find their way home from some drug infested parking lot.

The new Tax Bill does not address any of this. In fact it makes the cost of living in this Dante like level of the Inferno just a bit more costly.

Thanks folks.

Ginkgo; Good or Bad

I have a dozen or more Ginkgo trees, all from seed from the New York Botanical Garden trees, which were allegedly grown from seeds from the surviving Hiroshima ginkgo. The seed have just dropped and they do smell a bit rancid but after a month or two they disappear almost over night, the squirrels. Now allegedly the ginkgo increases brain capacity. So am I allowing for the evolution of brilliant squirrels?

In a recent paper by Oliveira et al they note:

Despite the ancient use in Chinese popular medicine and, more recently, in western modern medicine in many European countries, the biological effects of extracts of G. biloba (GBE) are still not clearly known. In modern medicine GBE has been used for tinnitus, to reverse memory loss, for dementia, and Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases in elderly people. Besides reports on improvement of blood circulation in the brain, there are a number of studies pointing to complex cellular effects, involving signal transduction pathways and epigenetic modifications. Evidence are presented from recent reports concerning genotoxic and antigenotoxic properties and the corresponding mechanisms underlying such activities, mostly regarding the prooxidant and antioxidant activities of the extract. However, several examples of direct interaction of the extract and its components with specific proteins are provided, especially for DNA damage repair, contributing for antigenotoxicity. Evidence of epigenetic effects of GBE are also presented from approaches involving transcriptomics, detection of activity of histone deacetylases, and screening of plant extracts with cell-based systems for detection of posttranslational modifications. The modulation of chromatin-remodeling enzymes by GBE and their interaction with proteins involved in DNA damage repair, apoptosis, and signal transduction are discussed in the context of neurodegeneration.

It is not clear what the implications are. But I have noticed my squirrels borrowing some books from my library. The works all related to editing human DNA. Should we be concerned?

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Sent to Congressman

The proposed taxing of Grad School tuition for Research Students would drive the 20% of American Grad students to 0% It is the "Make America Last" Act. We would be left with 100% Chinese, Iranian, Indian, Vietnamese etc students who will get all of our ideas paid by Government dollars and take it home to demolish our economy. Frankly this is one of the dumbest ideas I have ever seen. I managed to succeed due to Eisenhower and his innovations. Remember Admiral Yamamoto went to Harvard, he then bombed Pearl Harbor. We do not want to repeat that!

How to Destroy America's Future

The proposed new Tax Plan as many destructive elements. It helps the rich but destroys our future. For example, Nature states:

Graduate students, who receive the lion’s share of tuition waivers, would be most affected. And 60% of the 145,000 students who get tuition reductions each year are working in science, engineering, technology and mathematics fields, the US Department of Education estimates. The amount of money that the government would reap from these taxes would be minuscule, given the $20.5-trillion national debt. But it could weigh heavily on young scientists. Take a hypothetical PhD student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, in receipt of a $23,844 NIH stipend. Under the current system, she would pay very little in taxes. The new law would add her $49,000 MIT tuition bill to her taxable income as though she were paid a $73,000 salary — an amount she never actually sees. This would add thousands of dollars to her tax burden. 

Thus, a student would get about $24,000 plus an imputed say $50,000. Under the old plan they paid tax on $24,000. On the new plan it tax on $74,000. Namely with a $12,000 deduction it would be 15% of $62,000 or $9300. That is a 39% tax rate! Plus 3.5% for FICA plus 3% for Medicare plus in Massachusetts an added 8%. This is a 53.5% Tax Rate!

Now we already have 80% of the Grad students funded by their Governments, China and Iran. The remaining 20% are US and are paying the burden. So what will happen. Drug development, high tech development etc will all migrate to these countries. Not to mention weapons development. Eisenhower saw the need for a strong technology core. Team Trump wants to destroy whatever future we may have had.


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Night of Terror

A hundred years ago today, my grandmother, Hattie F Kruger, and several other women petitioned the White House, Woodrow Wilson specifically, for the right to vote. Wilson in his classic manner had them arrested and jailed. It became what is known as the "Night of Terror".

My grandmother and six other women were placed in cells, hosed down in the freezing weather of the unheated prison, force fed by hose, and generally brutalized by command of Wilson. Yet today we still have Wilson "this and that" including a collection at Princeton. So we take down Lee, a person who I am not fond of since he defied his oath as a soldier, but Wilson remains at a pinnacle. Wilson, a man who was both a racist and anti-Semite, and who personally took a hand in torturing these women who asked for nothing more than the vote. They just asked, with a sign, and Wilson had them dragged and tortured well beyond Guantanamo.

Thus as we seem to be aghast at Hollywood, which should be no surprise if one looks at their products, we should also be aghast at this man. Woodrow Wilson.

Just a reminder of things past.