Quotes for The Day

By September 16th, 2014

Humorous Quotes for The Day; Open-Mindedness; Aging; Annual Cost of College Education vs Annual Cost of U.S. Prisoner Incarceration; U.S. – World’s HIGHEST Incarceration Rate.

Blog No. 48

September 16, 2014


Noted During My Research for Forthcoming Books

Mack W. Borgen, University of California at Berkeley (Honors in Economics), Harvard Law School.


“You mustn’t be so open-minded that your brains fall out.”

 Marianne Moore (B: 1887, Kirkwood, Missouri; D: 1972, New York City, New York), American modernist poet and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for her Collected Poems. Ms. Moore was also a personal friend of e.e. cummings, and this quotation is from Susan Cheever’s fine article about cummings. Cheever, S., Vanity Fair, February, 2014, p. 117.


“The older I get, the better I used to be.”

 Lee Trevino (B: 1939, Dallas, Texas), an American professional golfer who won six major championships during his career – but never the (cursed) Masters. Trevino, sometimes known as “Super Mex” or “The Merry Mex” in recognition of his Mexican ancestry and his famous sense of humor), is an icon of many Hispanic-Americans. He co-authored his autobiography (They Call Me Super Mex, and in 1981 he was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine, Florida. Golf Digest has ranked him as the 14th greatest golfer of all time.


And On a More Serious Note …

 Maybe Something Just Isn’t Right

Some Tough Data and Dubious Distinctions About American Society

 It costs nearly twice as much to incarcerate an adult in the United States as it does to send them to a four-year public university.

Nearly 25% of the world’s prisoners are incarcerated in U.S. prisons – even though we have only 5% of the world’s population.

Excepting only (for some reason) the Seychelles (a tiny 155-island archipelago off thre eastern coast of Africa with a total population of about 90,000 people), the United States has the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world. The U.S. incarceration rate is more than four times that of China and ten times that of Germany. No other developed nation comes close, and Israel, which comes in a distant second behind the U.S., has only about one-third the U.S. incarceration rate.

The following is a brief presentation of some other sobering, side-by-side data about college education costs and number of students, criminal offenses and drugs, and incarceration costs and rates in the United States.

$28,900                Average annual cost per U.S. federal inmate for 2011.

$28,500                Average college tuition and required fee costs (excluding room and board) of four-year private universities.

$15,000                Average college in-state tuition and required fees costs (including room and board) at four-year public universities. (Note: This amount decreases further by approximately $3,050 per year after adjusting for the receipt of institutional grants and scholarships).

13,700,000           Estimated number students who will attend four-year universities in 2014.

  7,100,000            Number of adults incarcerated or on probation or parole in the United States (All federal and state prisons and county jails as of 2011).

 3 Times                Number of  adults in the U.S. prison system as in the U.S. armed forces.

   25%                   Minimum percentage of persons in the U.S. criminal system (federal and state incarceration, probation, or parole) due to drug or drug-related offenses.


Sources: Borgen, M., The Relevance of Reason – The Hard Facts and Real Data About the State of Current America – Society and Culture (2013); The Wall Street Journal; U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics; Time, September 8 -15, 2014, p.76; National Center for Education Statistics at nces.ed.gov.; and drugwarfacts.org. All number and percentages have been rounded.

One of my next blogs (Entitled “Drugs in America: Looking for That Card So High and Wild”) will focus on the subject of drugs in our society. I hope that it will propose – humbly for your consideration — some useful ideas for our collective assertion of a new style of “aggressive citizenship” in combating the scourge of drugs and other societal problems.


Mack W. Borgen, The Relevance of Reason – The Hard Facts and Real Data About the State of Current America  Book One – Business and Politics (July, 2013) (408 pp): First Runner-Up, Best Business Book of the Year2014 Los Angeles Book Festival;  Finalist (Political Science Category) – ForeWord Review’s 2013 National Book Contest. 

Author, The Relevance of Reason – Society and Culture (October, 2013) (438 pp): Best Book of the Year – Popular Culture Category – Bronze Award  – ForeWord Review’s 2013 National Book Contest as Announced at June, 2014 Annual Convention of the American Library Association; Awarded Top 10% Finalist, Eric Hoffer 2014 Book Award

Please get your copies today — for yourself or for your friends, associates, or book clubs. Books available at Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, SummerlandPublishing.com and ask for these books at your local bookstores and libraries. Bookstores and academic and public libraries can obtain copies through Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Quality Books, or Follett.

Your comments are always welcome and to inquire about business, politics, and popular culture speaking engagements with Mack W. Borgen, about The Relevance of Reason book events, or about future books by Mack W. Borgen, please email to mackwborgen@live.com. Thank you.  


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