Mitchell’s laws: The more budgets are cut and taxes inceased, the weaker an economy becomes. To survive long term, a monetarily non-sovereign government must have a positive balance of payments. Austerity = poverty and leads to civil disorder. Those, who do not understand the differences between Monetary Sovereignty and monetary non-sovereignty, do not understand economics.
Has it ever occurred to you that a private, legally “non-profit” organization, selling products to its members, might have conflicts of interest when lobbying Congress? There often will be times when the business interests of the organization conflict with the best interests of its membership. What happens then?
That excellent web site, Naked Capitalism, ran a piece on AARP titled “AARP Back in Bed With Effort to Cut Social Security and Medicare.”
Readers of this blog know I commented on this situation twice last month”
As I said in the first post: “AARP, formerly, The American Association of Retired Persons is a huge organization that peddles many things. They peddle insurance, publish a magazine, peddle insurance, produce radio and TV programs, peddle insurance, offer travel packages, peddle insurance, provide tax preparation services and, oh yes, they peddle insurance. They also publish on-line, various advice bulletins, some of which peddle insurance.”
The one thing, on which AARP does not seem to focus, is representing the interests retired people.
Here are some excerpts from the Naked Capitalism post:
In case you missed this saga (it wasn’t one we posted on till now) in June last year, AARP’s board approved supporting Social Security cuts. That followed a multi million dollar ad campaign against the very same stance. They planned to sell the future of old people living off dog food to the membership via a series of town hall meetings.
And to add insult to injury, the AARP plans a “listening tour” which is of course not at all about listening but selling a “Grand Bargain” which is more Newspeak, in this case the idea of a budget deal that includes retirement program cuts. The Huffington Post does a great job of exposing how the leadership of the AARP is flat out lying to its members about its conduct:
An AARP invitation to a secret “Relaxed and Robust Evening of ‘Salon Style’ Conversation” to be held at a Capitol Hill home on March 27, obtained by The Huffington Post, indicates that the organization is still very much interested in a “grand-bargain” style deal that puts Social Security and Medicare cuts on the table…
The list of invitees to the salon event includes a gallery of powerful Washington establishment figures who are on record favoring cuts to Social Security and Medicare. The only firm opponent of Social Security or Medicare benefit cuts on the list, the Economic Policy Institute’s Larry Mishel, said he wasn’t planning to go and wasn’t sure why he was listed as a featured guest. (AARP also responded to the request for comment by inviting HuffPost to attend the off-the-record gathering, an offer we plan to accept.)
Other listed invitees included business leaders and deficit hawks who have long argued for the cuts, including Tom Donohue of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, John Engler of the Business Roundtable group for corporate CEOs, and David Walker, a noted deficit alarmist and former head of the Government Accountability Office.
Yet the AARP wants its members to believe this sort of tripe:
“AARP is not pursuing any closed door deals or grand bargains,” said an AARP spokeswoman. “Our main focus is hearing from our members. . . .”
This isn’t even a good con. The AARP has no business “hearing from all sides.” Its mission is to represent its members, and they’ve made it clear they have no interest in having their benefits cut. Indeed, having the AARP stand firm would serve to put focus on the right issues which is that the real problem is Medicare, not Social Security, and the problem with Medicare is a broad social problem, that health care costs have and continue to rise much faster than inflation. Determined pushback from seniors and other parties could put focus on the real issue and serve as an important counterweight to the health care lobby.
The HuffPo article points out the fallacy of the leadership’s turncoat logic:
The irony is that while AARP’s legislative team may be convinced that a deal is inevitable, a grand bargain actively opposed by AARP would be effectively impossible for Congress to pass.
If you are a member of the AAPR or have relatives who are members, send this article on and tell them to call or write and tell the organization that you aren’t standing for this. Nor should you. You are about to be sold out by incompetent lobbyists unless you make a stink. You can also join the campaign at Firedoglake to cancel the event.
Because the public does not understand the differences between Monetary Sovereignty and monetary non-sovereignty, and because AARP, the media and the politicians don’t explain these differences, it is fairly simple to fool everyone into believing Social Security and Medicare are “broke” (John Boehner’s favorite lie).
AARP goes along with — in fact encourages — the BS, because a free Social Security retirement plan and a free Medicare are not nearly so profitable as paid-for retirement plans and paid for health insurance.
Did I mention? AARP sells insurance.
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
No nation can tax itself into prosperity, nor grow without money growth. Monetary Sovereignty: Cutting federal deficits to grow the economy is like applying leeches to cure anemia. Two key equations in economics:
Federal Deficits – Net Imports = Net Private Savings
Gross Domestic Product = Federal Spending + Private Investment and Consumption + Net exports