Forthcoming New Books by Mack W. Borgen

By February 4th, 2015

Forthcoming New Books by Mack W. Borgen – Challenging Facts, Amazing Quotes, and Some Weird Absurdities of American Life

Blog No. 54

February 4, 2015

Challenging Facts, Amazing Quotes, and Weird Absurdities of Our American Life

Ser forth below are excerpts from forthcoming new books

By Mack W. Borgen.

 University of California at Berkeley (With Honors, Economics); Harvard Law School.

Author of The Relevance of Reason – The Hard Facts and Real Data About the State of Current America – Business and Politics (Vol. 1)(408 pp)(2013) and  – Society and Culture (Vol 2)(438 pp)(2013)

Recipient of Four National Book Awards.

 

Forthcoming Books By Mack W. Borgen

 Books 3 and 4

The Relevance of Reason – Business and Politics (2d Edition) (Release Date – 2016)

The Relevance of Reason – Society and Culture (2d Edition) (Release Date – 2016)

 Book 5

It Reads Better Than It Lives

– Essays and Facts About the American Condition

(Working Title) (Release Date – Spring, 2016).

Book 6

“The Trouble With Trouble … Is That It Starts Off as Fun”

The Great Quotes of American Life

Possible Alternative Title: “May The Bridges I Burn, Light the Way”

(Working Title) (Release Date – Fall, 2016).

  Book 7

The Powerful Quotes and Memorable Words of Modern America

 (1957-2015)

(Working Title)(Target Release Date – Winter, 2016)

Book 8

The Second Secession

The Distancing of the Wealthy From the American Community

(Working Title)(Target Release Date – Winter, 2016)

Possible Alternative Title: Winter Money and Trucks Dogs  – What the Rich Just Don’t Get

 Challenging Facts and Weird Absurdities

                During the period 2008 and 2012 approximately 46,800,000 Americans — about 14.9% of our national population — lived below the federal poverty line of $23,800. Due to definitional and qualification bars, about 27% of these Americans were not eligible for food stamps and suffered from the rather sociologically-pathetic condition described as “food insecurity.” The Week, May 2, 2014 and July 18,. 2014, p. 14, citing Vox.com and US Census data.

                 Meanwhile, in February, 2015 the National Retail Federation announced that it was pleased that Americans were finally “coming out of their shells” and would be spending an estimated $703MM on  Valentine’s Day presents this year — for their pets. I have and encourage the greatest love and respect for one’s pets, but $703MM? The NRF estimates that as many as one in five persons are expected to get Valentine’s presents for, once again,  their pets. UPI.com, January 27, 2015.

Amazing Quotes

 “If I knew I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself. “

 Mickey Mantle (B: 1931, Spavinaw, Oklahoma; D: 1995, Dallas, Texas), an American professional baseball player. This quote was frequently repeated by Mantle although it may more correctly be attributed to Bobby Layne — the famous American professional football player who for a time was a Dallas, Texas neighbor of Mantle. Over the course of Mantle’s 18 seasons with the New York Yankees (1951-1968) and for better or worse in light of his tarnished personal life, Mantle became idolized by a whole generation of Americans. As cleverly noted in Jane Leavy’s wonderful book, The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America’s Childhood (2011), it seemed as though “even his aura had an aura.” Throughout his baseball career, Mantle suffered and played baseball with injuries. Throughout nearly the entire balance of his life – until he died in 1995 at the age of 63 – he suffered from and lived with alcoholism. Mantle is certainly better remembered as a hero rather than a role model, but to this day his No. 7 is revered by many, and Mantle still holds the record for the most World Series home runs and RBIs.

 Memorable Words

 Introductory Note

               As used in this forthcoming books, the concept of “memorable words” is different from that of “great quotes.” While great quotes are included due to their wit, wisdom or insightfulness or merely in recognition of their cleverness or humor, the concept of “memorable words” is very different and more complicated.

                Memorable words are component pieces of our history. Sometimes they are included merely as because of uniqueness of their oratory. More commonly, however, these words are included because of the identity of the speaker and the context of the words as summarily described immediately following the excerpted words. Thus, the words are deemed “memorable” not necessarily because of the substance but because of who said them; because of where and why they were spoken; because of their timeliness or their long-echoing impact; and in more than a few cases because of what the words revealed about the speaker or the subject.

 “(An) interesting blend of confidence and commitment to excellence, and an inbred insecurity that drives people to keep working.”

Lloyd Blankfein, Chief Executive Office of Goldman Sachs, describing the work nature of those within his firm (Quoted in Missel, M., The Wall Street Journal, October 10, 2013 (Review of Steven Mandis’ book What Happened to Goldman Sachs (2013)).

 “As long as the music is playing, you’ve got to get up and dance. … And we’re still dancing.”

 Charles O. Prince III (B:  1950, Lynwood, California) to The Financial Times. The New York Times, July 10, 2007. This widely-quoted and highly-criticized statement was made just a year before the U.S. financial collapse and in the context of explaining Citigroup’s continued commitment to investing in leverage buy-out transactions despite the growing fears of some of a forthcoming meltdown of the financial market due to sub-prime mortgages. Just four months after making this statement Prince resigned his position as the CEO of Citigroup. Despite his refusal to foresee the financial crisis and despite the fact that the market value of Citigroup dropped by nearly $64BB during his brief four-year tenure (2003 until 2007), he departed Citigroup with a severance package valued as high as $38MM which also included a $1.7MM pension and office, car and driver for five years. See, The New York Times, April 9, 2010. 

The Second Secession and the Distancing of the Wealthy

           The United States has the fourth most uneven income distribution in the developed world. Of the OECD countries, the U.S.’ income disparity is worse only in Turkey, Mexico and Chile.

Income inequality is measured by what is known as the Gini index. This index measures how much an economy deviates from perfect equality – “where everyone has the same income.” A score of zero indicates perfect equality, and a score of one indicates extreme inequality.”

              There is admitted material complexity caused by fact that Gini index scores can be measured either before taxes or after taxes and transfer payments. The precision of the Gini index is further complicated by fact that measures of social spending and monetary and non-monetary transfers (e.g. the monetary value of free pre-school or after-school or of free or discounted school lunches for low-income families) are notoriously hard to quantify. Nevertheless, parallel tracking by multiple measurements consistently evidences the extraordinary extent of income inequality within the U.S. as compared with other developed countries. 247wallst.com, May 20, 2014 (Evaluation of comparative data of post-tax and transfer Gini scores published by the OECD data from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities).

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