Enough already, with the Debt/GDP ratio Monday, May 21 2018 

It takes only two things to keep people in chains:
The ignorance of the oppressed
And the treachery of their leaders

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Some economists, perhaps feeling pangs of inferiority about economics as a science, try to make it seem more “scientific,” and for them, that requires mathematics.

The belief is: Include a bunch of formulas, then claim these formulas prove economics is a “real science,” like astronomy and physics.

That is why economics papers usually include so much math. It’s part of the desperate hope this pseudo-specificity will justify the WAGs (Wild-Ass Guesses) that too many economics papers include.

That desperate need for mathematical justification is one reason why the Debt/Gross Domestic Product ratio was created — that plus the efforts by the rich to “prove” that social programs are unaffordable and “unsustainable” (a favorite word for debt guerillas).

The Federal Debt/GDP ratio is absolutely meaningless, a useless, designed-to-be-misleading number that has been foisted on an innocent public.

The so-called “Federal Debt” isn’t even “debt” in the usual sense.  It is the word describing the current total of open deposits — similar to bank savings deposits — into Treasury security accounts, made for the past 30 years.

By contrast, GDP is the total of Spending and Net Exports this year. Putting these two, unrelated measures into one fraction yields a classic apples/oranges ratio, measuring nothing.

It’s akin to creating a ratio of Chicago Cubs hits in yesterdays game vs. the number of games the Cubs won last year. Meaningless.

If, instead of misnaming it “debt,” we called it “deposits in T-security accounts,” the entire misunderstanding might disappear.

Here are a few things the Debt/GDP ratio does not indicate:

    1. It does not indicate the federal government’s ability to pay its obligations

      Image result for bernanke and greenspan

      Alan Greenspan“A government cannot become insolvent with respect to obligations in its own currency.”
      Ben Bernanke“The U.S. government has a technology, called a printing press (or, today, its electronic equivalent), that allows it to produce as many U.S. dollars as it wishes at essentially no cost.”
      St. Louis Federal Reserve: “As the sole manufacturer of dollars, whose debt is denominated in dollars, the U.S. government can never become insolvent, i.e., unable to pay its bills.”

    2. It does not indicate the likelihood of inflation

      There is no relationship between Debt/GDP growth (blue line) and inflation (red line).

    3. It does not indicate the health of the economy

      There is no relationship between Debt/GDP growth (blue line) and GDP growth (red line).

    Those are the facts. They are easily obtainable. Yet here is an example of the disinformation that continually has been spread, to brainwash the public:

Forget Debt As A Percent Of GDP, It’s Really Much Worse
Jeffrey Dorfman, Forbes Magazine

When central bankers, macroeconomists, and politicians talk about the national debt, they often express it as a percent of gross domestic product (GDP) which is a measure of the total value of all goods produced in a country each year.

The idea is to compare how much a country owes to how much it earns (since GDP can also be thought of as national income). The problem with this idea is that it is wrong.

The government does not have access to all the national income, only the share it collects in taxes.

The 1st paragraph is correct. The 2nd paragraph is misleading in that our Monetarily Sovereign government’s access to dollars is not taxes but rather its unlimited ability to create dollars (See the statements by Greenspan, Bernanke, and the Federal Reserve, above).

Even if all federal tax collections were zero, the federal government could not unintentionally run short of its own sovereign currency, the U.S. dollar.

Then the article goes completely off the rails:

Looked at properly, the debt problem is much worse.

I collected national debt, GDP, and tax revenue data for thirty-four OECD countries (roughly, the developed countries worldwide) for 2010.

The data are a bit old, but that is actually the last year available for government tax revenue numbers. The debt figures are for central government debt held by the public (so the debt we owe to the Social Security Trust Fund does not count) but the central government tax revenue includes any social security taxes.

Some people hate the notion of comparing a country’s financial situation to a family, but I think it is useful in many cases with this being one of them.

For a family, debt that exceeds three times your annual earnings is starting to become quite worrisome. To picture this, just take your home mortgage plus any auto, student loan, or credit card debt, then divide by how much you earn.

First, he properly reveals that “some people” (i.e. people who understand Monetary Sovereignty) hate improperly comparing federal finance to personal finances.

Then he proceeded to make that improper comparison. What he failed to recognize is:

A family can run short of dollars. A state or local government can run short of dollars.  A business can run short of dollars. You and I can run short of dollars. We all are monetarily non-sovereign.

The federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign, cannot unintentionally run short of dollars.

Economists and central bankers know this is not the same as the family debt to income concept, which is why they warn of danger at the level of 100, 90, or even 70 percent depending on which economist you talk to or exactly how you define the total amount of debt.

Yes, knowledgeable economists and central bankers (like Bernanke and Greenspan, above) know federal finances are not the same as family finances, but ignorant economists warn of “danger at 100, 90, or even 70 per cent.”

The article was written four years ago, when the ignorant economists were, in fact, delivering that warning to an innocent public. Today, the ratio is about 106% and we are entering our 9th year of economic growth, with low inflation.

Sadly, that fact has not penetrated the skulls of the debt “Henny Pennys,” who have been screaming, “The sky is falling” since 1940.

The reason for the different standard is that the government cannot claim all your income as taxes or we would all quit working (or emigrate).

No, the reason for the different standard is that Monetary Sovereignty is different from monetary non-sovereignty.

The article continues spreading disinformation:

A better comparison is to examine each country’s debt to government tax revenue, since that is the government’s income.

This also offers a better comparison because different countries have very different levels of taxation.

A country with high taxes can afford more debt than a low tax country. Debt to GDP ignores this difference. Comparing debt to tax revenue reveals a much truer picture of the burden of each country’s debt on its government’s finances.

All of the above is completely false. The federal government neither needs nor uses federal tax dollars. It creates dollars, ad hoc, each time it pays an obligation.

Tax dollars cease to be part of any money supply measure, the instant they are received. In short, tax dollars are destroyed upon receipt.

The federal government collects taxes, not to provide spending funds, but rather to exert control over the economy and over the voting public.

Federal “debt” (deposits) are not paid back with tax dollars, but rather with dollars that already exist in T-security accounts.

The article’s nonsense continues:

When I compute those figures, Japan is still #1, with a debt as a percentage of tax revenue of about 900 percent and Greece is still in second place at about 475 percent.

The big change is the U.S. jumps up to third place, with a debt to income measure of 408 percent. If the U.S. were a family, it would be deep into the financial danger zone.

Yes, if the U.S. were a family . . . but that is the whole point. The U.S. is not a family. It is the creator of the U.S. dollar by, as Bernanke said, the electronic equivalent of a printing press.

If a family created dollars with its own printing press, it too could pay all its bills, and it would have no need for, nor use of, income.

To add a bit more perspective, the countries in fourth, fifth, and sixth place are Iceland, Portugal, and Italy, all between 300 and 310 percent. In other words, these three are starting to see a flashing yellow warning light, but only three developed countries in the world are in the red zone for national debt to income.

The U.S. is one of those three.

You can see a list of nations according to their tax revenue to GDP ratio here.

Near the bottom of the list are nations with what the author considers to be the “best” ratio, among which are Lybia, Burma, Nigeria, Iran, Haiti, Panama, and similar. Consider what you know about the strength of those economies.

Take a moment to glance at the list, and you’ll see that there is zero relationship between the ratio and any measure of economic success, inflation or any other success criterion.

In short, just like the Debt/GDP ratio, the Tax Revenue/GDP ratio is completely useless, partly because it does not differentiate between Monetarily Sovereign vs. monetarily non-sovereign nations. (Nor does it differentiate between degrees of socialism, which would increase the ratio.)

This does not factor the several trillion dollars owed to Social Security, yet it includes the Social Security taxes collected. If Social Security taxes are not counted, the U.S.’s debt to income ratio rises to 688 percent (still in third place).

This tells you something about the likelihood of increasing Social Security taxes in conjunction with declining Social Security benefits.

Unfortunately, it is true that Social Security taxes will be increased, though not because tax dollars are needed or used.

Rather, FICA, the most regressive tax in America, will be increased because the rich, who control the politicians, want to foster the belief that the federal government “can’t afford” to pay Social Security benefits.

Finally, we come to the misleading summary of a misleading article:

Without quick and significant action on the federal budget, as soon as interest rates begin to rise toward normal the burden of the national debt on the federal budget will become heavy indeed. Something will have to give.

Somebody needs to drag the President and Congress to a credit counselor quick to begin repairs on the government finances. Otherwise, one day sooner than we think, the creditors will be knocking on the door.

What does that goofy phrase, “the creditors will be knocking on the door” mean? Does it mean creditors will want to be paid?

I have news for the author: Creditors always want to be paid, and the U.S. federal government never has failed to pay a creditor. And it never will fail.

The federal government “prints” all the dollars it needs, just as Bernanke, Greenspan and the Federal Reserve said.

I should mention that the article, and its dire warnings, was published back in 2014, and today, while our economy continues to grow, I had hoped the author has learned from reality, and no longer claims the sky is falling.

But, oops. He’s still at it. Here’s an article he wrote just last December, 2017: 10 Things You Need To Know About The Debt Ceiling And Potential Government Shutdown.

In this article he says,

“Spending can be cut to balance the budget, but not without cutting entitlements.”

And there you have the true purpose of the deception, to cut social programs and to widen the Gap between the rich and the rest.

Of the people who spread disinformation in the face of contrary fact, some do it out of ignorance and some are paid to do it.

I do not know which camp Mr. Jeffrey Dorfman lives in.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty
Twitter: @rodgermitchell; Search #monetarysovereignty
Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

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The single most important problems in economics involve the excessive income/wealth/power Gaps between the have-mores and the have-less.

Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics.

Implementation of The Ten Steps To Prosperity can narrow the Gaps:

Ten Steps To Prosperity:
1. ELIMINATE FICA (Ten Reasons to Eliminate FICA )
Although the article lists 10 reasons to eliminate FICA, there are two fundamental reasons:
*FICA is the most regressive tax in American history, widening the Gap by punishing the low and middle-income groups, while leaving the rich untouched, and
*The federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign, neither needs nor uses FICA to support Social Security and Medicare.
2. FEDERALLY FUNDED MEDICARE — PARTS A, B & D, PLUS LONG TERM CARE — FOR EVERYONE (H.R. 676, Medicare for All )
This article addresses the questions:
*Does the economy benefit when the rich can afford better health care than can the rest of Americans?
*Aside from improved health care, what are the other economic effects of “Medicare for everyone?”
*How much would it cost taxpayers?
*Who opposes it?”
3. PROVIDE A MONTHLY ECONOMIC BONUS TO EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD IN AMERICA (similar to Social Security for All) (The JG (Jobs Guarantee) vs the GI (Guaranteed Income) vs the EB (Guaranteed Income)) Or institute a reverse income tax.
This article is the fifth in a series about direct financial assistance to Americans:

Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Employer of Last Resort is a bad idea. Sunday, Jan 1 2012
MMT’s Job Guarantee (JG) — “Another crazy, rightwing, Austrian nutjob?” Thursday, Jan 12 2012
Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Jobs Guarantee is like the EU’s euro: A beloved solution to the wrong problem. Tuesday, May 29 2012
“You can’t fire me. I’m on JG” Saturday, Jun 2 2012

Economic growth should include the “bottom” 99.9%, not just the .1%, the only question being, how best to accomplish that. Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) favors giving everyone a job. Monetary Sovereignty (MS) favors giving everyone money. The five articles describe the pros and cons of each approach.
4. FREE EDUCATION (INCLUDING POST-GRAD) FOR EVERYONE Five reasons why we should eliminate school loans
Monetarily non-sovereign State and local governments, despite their limited finances, support grades K-12. That level of education may have been sufficient for a largely agrarian economy, but not for our currently more technical economy that demands greater numbers of highly educated workers.
Because state and local funding is so limited, grades K-12 receive short shrift, especially those schools whose populations come from the lowest economic groups. And college is too costly for most families.
An educated populace benefits a nation, and benefitting the nation is the purpose of the federal government, which has the unlimited ability to pay for K-16 and beyond.
5. SALARY FOR ATTENDING SCHOOL
Even were schooling to be completely free, many young people cannot attend, because they and their families cannot afford to support non-workers. In a foundering boat, everyone needs to bail, and no one can take time off for study.
If a young person’s “job” is to learn and be productive, he/she should be paid to do that job, especially since that job is one of America’s most important.
6. ELIMINATE FEDERAL TAXES ON BUSINESS
Businesses are dollar-transferring machines. They transfer dollars from customers to employees, suppliers, shareholders and the federal government (the later having no use for those dollars). Any tax on businesses reduces the amount going to employees, suppliers and shareholders, which diminishes the economy. Ultimately, all business taxes reduce your personal income.
7. INCREASE THE STANDARD INCOME TAX DEDUCTION, ANNUALLY. (Refer to this.) Federal taxes punish taxpayers and harm the economy. The federal government has no need for those punishing and harmful tax dollars. There are several ways to reduce taxes, and we should evaluate and choose the most progressive approaches.
Cutting FICA and business taxes would be a good early step, as both dramatically affect the 99%. Annual increases in the standard income tax deduction, and a reverse income tax also would provide benefits from the bottom up. Both would narrow the Gap.
8. TAX THE VERY RICH (THE “.1%) MORE, WITH HIGHER PROGRESSIVE TAX RATES ON ALL FORMS OF INCOME. (TROPHIC CASCADE)
There was a time when I argued against increasing anyone’s federal taxes. After all, the federal government has no need for tax dollars, and all taxes reduce Gross Domestic Product, thereby negatively affecting the entire economy, including the 99.9%.
But I have come to realize that narrowing the Gap requires trimming the top. It simply would not be possible to provide the 99.9% with enough benefits to narrow the Gap in any meaningful way. Bill Gates reportedly owns $70 billion. To get to that level, he must have been earning $10 billion a year. Pick any acceptable Gap (1000 to 1?), and the lowest paid American would have to receive $10 million a year. Unreasonable.
9. FEDERAL OWNERSHIP OF ALL BANKS (Click The end of private banking and How should America decide “who-gets-money”?)
Banks have created all the dollars that exist. Even dollars created at the direction of the federal government, actually come into being when banks increase the numbers in checking accounts. This gives the banks enormous financial power, and as we all know, power corrupts — especially when multiplied by a profit motive.
Although the federal government also is powerful and corrupted, it does not suffer from a profit motive, the world’s most corrupting influence.
10. INCREASE FEDERAL SPENDING ON THE MYRIAD INITIATIVES THAT BENEFIT AMERICA’S 99.9% (Federal agencies)Browse the agencies. See how many agencies benefit the lower- and middle-income/wealth/ power groups, by adding dollars to the economy and/or by actions more beneficial to the 99.9% than to the .1%.
Save this reference as your primer to current economics. Sadly, much of the material is not being taught in American schools, which is all the more reason for you to use it.

The Ten Steps will grow the economy, and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and you.

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

The secret of marketing. How the Democrats again will blow a 20-point lead with only 1 second remaining Saturday, May 19 2018 

The Democrats have become inadept at two things: Learning and winning. Hillary Clinton’s outrageous, last-second loss to the most inferior challenger possible, should have been a learning moment, but I suspect it has taught them nothing.

Today, the Democrats are heavily favored to do well in the November elections — possibly take over the House and perhaps even the Senate. There simply is no way they again can blow an election to an unpopular party led by the most dishonest, corrupt, incompetent President in American history — but they will try.

Image result for focus

Focus

Early in my more than fifty years in business, I learned the secret of marketing: Focus.

Ask a friend what they like or dislike about any person or product, and you most likely will receive a short, one-subject response, for instance: “He is strong.” “She is smart.” “He is experienced.” “She is beautiful.” “It really works.” “It’s expensive.”

People in general, have a narrow focus. So to market a product or person, don’t tell a dozen good stories.

Instead, focus on one great story, and tell it repeatedly, until well after you yourself have become utterly bored with it, at which time the public will just start to discover it.

A million years ago, I was a junior partner in an advertising agency that had one major client. The head of the agency was asked whether he was concerned about keeping all his eggs in one basket.

His response: “Put all your eggs in one basket and take care of the basket.” He became rich that way.

Focus.

Our client was the Wrigley Company, the chewing gum people. They manufactured and sold a product named “Doublemint gum, ” for which our agency had written a radio and TV campaign which featured twins and a song with the tagline, “Double your pleasure.”

Within each 30 second commercial, the song repeated the word “double” at least fourteen times.

So there were twins, the repeated word “double,” and high-frequency advertising on TV and radio. Doublemint became the best selling gum in the world.

Today, though that commercial hasn’t aired for many years, millions of people still remember the tagline, “Double your pleasure.”

Focus.

Later in life, I began a career saving moribund companies. Each company had a similar problem: Multiple products and multiple stories had diluted their marketing message.

To bring the companies back to life, I merely shed the weaker products, focused on the one or two strongest and took each company from a struggling, general-purpose also-ran to the profitable leader in a narrow niche — a powerful and lucrative marketing position.

Focus.

Image result for child concentrate

Focus

The Democrats seem not yet to have learned the secret of marketing. Unless they do, I predict one will promote his Job Guarantee plan, and another will promote his Universal Basic Income plan.

Then there will be those who discuss taxes, marijuana, gay marriage, and incarceration.

Yet others will discuss a method to save Obamacare, or Social Security, or Medicare, or food stamps or the environment, or the Veteran’s Administration.

Democrats will offer education plans, immigration plans, Middle-east plans, gun-control plan, abortion plans, military plans, plans to help farmers, energy plans — the list will be endless — and not just the Democratic National Committee, but each politician, will discuss multiple ideas.

And then, the Democrats further will complicate the stew, and dispute each ingredient, until there are so many messages floating about, the public will not remember who favors what and why anyone should care.

I suggest that the Democrats focus on one marketing message, and that message should be broadcast repeatedly, unrelentingly, morning and night, day after week after month, until everyone in America — everyone on earth — knows the message.

And that message is Donald Trump.

He is the tar baby of American politics. Anyone who touches him becomes disgraced, stuck to Trump’s incompetence and dishonesty, the damage he has caused to America and to the world.

The message should be Trump, Trump, Trump, Trump, Trump, like the ominous, stomping footsteps of doom for each Republican candidate.

Surely, there is no dearth of examples: His crooked Trump University, cheating employees, ongoing infidelities, incredible number of lies,  Putin, Qatar, nepotism, stocking the swamp with millionaire bankers, weakening America in the eyes of the world, draft dodger, hate-mongering, bullying, phony medical reports, anti-science.

Pick the few best (worst?) and keep pounding them, every day in every way.  Associate every Republican candidate’s relationship with this pariah via their votes and their supportive statements.

Force every GOP candidate to admit or deny he/she has been a Trump supporter. Either way, they lose.

Meanwhile, Mueller, the media and surprise outsiders like Stormy Daniels and her team, will continue to provide you with new Trump outrages, while Trump further aids you with his compulsive tweeting.

Diffuse on myriad issues, no matter how meaningful, and you will lose. Focus on Trump and you will win.

That’s called “marketing.”  That also is called “winning.”

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty
Twitter: @rodgermitchell; Search #monetarysovereignty
Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

The Job Guarantee and the “dignity of work” Friday, May 18 2018 

Image result for bernanke
Ben Bernanke: “The U.S. government has a technology, called a printing press (or, today, its electronic equivalent), that allows it to produce as many U.S. dollars as it wishes at essentially no cost.”

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The Week Magazine published an article titled, The hidden dangers of the Democrats’ job guarantee message, by Jeff Spross, May 18, 2018. Here are a few excerpts, plus my comments:

Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Kristen Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and others want to guarantee every American a job: If you want work, and can’t find it in the private sector, the government will hook you up with a job that pays a living wage and benefits.

We previously have discussed, or rather questioned, the realities of, ” . . . hook you up with a job that pays a living wage and benefits.”

What exactly does “hook you up” mean? For instance, does “hook you up,” mean finding you a job in the private sector, thereby taking a job away from some other person?

And if in the private sector, will the federal government force the private sector company to pay $15 hour (the number that has been suggested)? And must that job provide benefits? And if so, what exactly will those benefits be? And how will this affect all other private sector and public sector jobs?

And if you are fired, what happens? Will the government find you another job, even if you were fired for being lazy, incompetent, rude, smelly, or stupid?

Or will “hook you up” mean being hired by a state or local government, and if so, what are the answers to the above questions?

Or will “hook you up” mean being hired by the federal government, and again, requiring the answers to the same questions.

The Job Guarantee proponents seem confused about all of the above realities. But no matter, they simply will forge ahead, without a plan, hoping that somehow, there will emerge a bureaucracy that can make all those decisions, then supervise employment throughout the 50 states, approximately 3 thousand counties, and the nearly 20 thousand cities, towns, and villages in the U.S.

That should be easy.

We have mentioned those concerns before. No need to discuss them further, until we receive answers from the believers. This post is meant to address an even more fundamental question, as referenced in this excerpt:

“There is great dignity in work,” Booker declared when announcing his legislation.

Historically, that rhetoric has been used by Republicans right before they try to cut programs like Medicaid or SNAP or impose work requirements.

ObamaCare means fewer people “getting the dignity of work,” Paul Ryan said in 2014. The unspoken premise is that less fortunate Americans on these programs are just too foolish or short-sighted to recognize the benefits and honor that comes with a job.

So they must be stripped of government aid and driven back into the labor market — for their own good, of course.

Why then do progressives echo these conservative talking points?

Well, first off, because it’s a great way to turn one of the right’s favorite rhetorical weapons against its wielder.

There’s also a lot of sociological evidence that unemployment really does wreak havoc on people’s psychological well-being and even their physical health. “Dignity” might not be the ideal way to express this, but it’s a term within reach.

And there it is, the claim that work not only is a moral imperative, but is necessary to provide psychological well-being and physical health.

This arrogant, condescending crap is what the rich want you common plebians to believe, so that you will accept a job, any job, and reject the notion of government “handouts,” especially if given to common plebes poorer than you.

The fact is that it is lack of money, not unemployment, that wreaks havoc on psychological and physical health.

I haven’t had a job in more than ten years, but I am quite content to enjoy my life playing tennis, writing the occasional blog post, reading, attending various forms of entertainment or even lazing about like a slug when the mood strikes.

Image result for filling potholes

“This makes me feel dignified. You, too?”

Why? Because I have enough money to do it. I have owned several companies and have had a variety of jobs, and never did I feel that it was my labor that gave me “dignity.”

Anyone who believes working, much less working for a boss, is necessary to provide dignity, never will have it.

Think of your employment. Does your job give you “dignity”? Would you do your job without pay, just to acquire “dignity”? Can you even imagine what “dignity” means in the context of working for a salary?

I looked up “dignity” in the thesaurus: decency, decorum, grace, grandeur, greatness, honor, morality, poise, prestige, quality, respectability, self-respect, stature, status, virtue.

Now try to visualize the minimum wage jobs with which the bureaucracy will “hook you up.”  Will that low-wage labor provide you with decency? Decorum? Grace? How about morality? Prestige? Quality?

If anything, won’t it be the money that provides you with a modicum of self-respect and virtue?

The idle rich want you not only to hate the notion of receiving money and benefits without labor, but to despise seeing others receiving such “welfare” — except for the idle rich themselves, whose entire lives are devoted to receiving benefits from minimal to no personal effort.

The article continues:

Finally, there’s the fact that work improves communities, especially when it’s not geared towards maximizing returns for the 1 percent.

That is the first job criterion I ever have seen from JG adherents — a job that “does not maximize returns for the 1 percent.” That would seem to eliminate all private sector employment.

I suspect Mr. Spross didn’t consider that.

“I would say the dignity potential of work stems in the first instance from its communal implications,” wrote leftist commentator Max Sawicky. We look with favor upon those who contribute to the general welfare.

More pompous nonsense. Decency, decorum, grace, greatness — who feels those attributes in your community? The guys who pick up your garbage? They contribute a tremendous amount to the general welfare. Does their job give them poise and prestige? Is that what you would feel?

How about the people fixing potholes in your street?  Decency, decorum, and grace?

Your plumber, electrician, painter, and roofer all contribute far more to the general welfare than does Mr. Uppercrust who inherited millions and now lives in that mansion up on the hill. His labor consists of cutting coupons from his huge bond investments.

But who has the grandeur and gets the honors? The guy with the money.

The article continues:

All that said, you really don’t want to denigrate those who can’t work because they’re young, old, disabled, sick, or caring for children or other family members.

Spross just has admitted that if you are young, old, disabled, sick, etc., your psychological well-being won’t be impacted by lack of labor? Why them and not the rest of us?

Continuing the article:

There are a few things I think job guarantee champions should do to avoid falling into this trap.

The first is to pair any job guarantee legislation with bills to strengthen the country’s various cash aid programs.

We already send cash to retirees, via Social Security, but the program’s generosity needs to be increased. We also have a cash aid program for the disabled, but it’s extraordinarily meager and patchy.

For children, and for people caring for children or parents, we have basically nothing at all. This all needs to be fixed.

Finally, toward the end of the article, we approach reality.  Rather than the government providing jobs, the government should provide money.

Mr. Spross actually is suggesting his version of the Ten Steps to Prosperity (below).

Job guarantee advocates also need to forcefully communicate, over and over, that the purpose of the program is to ensure a universal right. Booker, to his credit, is already thinking along these lines: “Both Martin Luther King, Jr., and President Franklin Roosevelt believed that every American had the right to a job, and that right has only become more important in this age of increasing income inequality, labor market concentration, and continued employment discrimination.”

A right to a job doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone will exercise it, but it should be guaranteed nonetheless.

Wrong, wrong, wrong. The purpose of a government, any government, is to improve the well-being of its people.

This does not mean putting everyone to work. It means providing benefits that improve the health and happiness of the populace.

This would be the polar opposite of the conservative view: That work is something bestowed on the poor by the good graces of the rich.

Instead, a job guarantee should declare that it is society’s moral obligation to provide work. And it is everyone’s right to join in it — but only if they so choose.

Finally, the author admits that if you don’t “join in,” i.e accept a minimum wage job, you won’t receive, and don’t deserve those government benefits the JG workers will receive. This is exactly the religious right-wing position, moralistic position.

Forget providing dignity; give the people real benefits. The Ten Steps to Prosperity.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty
Twitter: @rodgermitchell; Search #monetarysovereignty
Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

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The single most important problems in economics involve the excessive income/wealth/power Gaps between the have-mores and the have-less.

Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics.

Implementation of The Ten Steps To Prosperity can narrow the Gaps:

Ten Steps To Prosperity:
1. ELIMINATE FICA (Ten Reasons to Eliminate FICA )
Although the article lists 10 reasons to eliminate FICA, there are two fundamental reasons:
*FICA is the most regressive tax in American history, widening the Gap by punishing the low and middle-income groups, while leaving the rich untouched, and
*The federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign, neither needs nor uses FICA to support Social Security and Medicare.
2. FEDERALLY FUNDED MEDICARE — PARTS A, B & D, PLUS LONG TERM CARE — FOR EVERYONE (H.R. 676, Medicare for All )
This article addresses the questions:
*Does the economy benefit when the rich can afford better health care than can the rest of Americans?
*Aside from improved health care, what are the other economic effects of “Medicare for everyone?”
*How much would it cost taxpayers?
*Who opposes it?”
3. PROVIDE A MONTHLY ECONOMIC BONUS TO EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD IN AMERICA (similar to Social Security for All) (The JG (Jobs Guarantee) vs the GI (Guaranteed Income) vs the EB (Guaranteed Income)) Or institute a reverse income tax.
This article is the fifth in a series about direct financial assistance to Americans:

Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Employer of Last Resort is a bad idea. Sunday, Jan 1 2012
MMT’s Job Guarantee (JG) — “Another crazy, rightwing, Austrian nutjob?” Thursday, Jan 12 2012
Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Jobs Guarantee is like the EU’s euro: A beloved solution to the wrong problem. Tuesday, May 29 2012
“You can’t fire me. I’m on JG” Saturday, Jun 2 2012

Economic growth should include the “bottom” 99.9%, not just the .1%, the only question being, how best to accomplish that. Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) favors giving everyone a job. Monetary Sovereignty (MS) favors giving everyone money. The five articles describe the pros and cons of each approach.
4. FREE EDUCATION (INCLUDING POST-GRAD) FOR EVERYONE Five reasons why we should eliminate school loans
Monetarily non-sovereign State and local governments, despite their limited finances, support grades K-12. That level of education may have been sufficient for a largely agrarian economy, but not for our currently more technical economy that demands greater numbers of highly educated workers.
Because state and local funding is so limited, grades K-12 receive short shrift, especially those schools whose populations come from the lowest economic groups. And college is too costly for most families.
An educated populace benefits a nation, and benefitting the nation is the purpose of the federal government, which has the unlimited ability to pay for K-16 and beyond.
5. SALARY FOR ATTENDING SCHOOL
Even were schooling to be completely free, many young people cannot attend, because they and their families cannot afford to support non-workers. In a foundering boat, everyone needs to bail, and no one can take time off for study.
If a young person’s “job” is to learn and be productive, he/she should be paid to do that job, especially since that job is one of America’s most important.
6. ELIMINATE FEDERAL TAXES ON BUSINESS
Businesses are dollar-transferring machines. They transfer dollars from customers to employees, suppliers, shareholders and the federal government (the later having no use for those dollars). Any tax on businesses reduces the amount going to employees, suppliers and shareholders, which diminishes the economy. Ultimately, all business taxes reduce your personal income.
7. INCREASE THE STANDARD INCOME TAX DEDUCTION, ANNUALLY. (Refer to this.) Federal taxes punish taxpayers and harm the economy. The federal government has no need for those punishing and harmful tax dollars. There are several ways to reduce taxes, and we should evaluate and choose the most progressive approaches.
Cutting FICA and business taxes would be a good early step, as both dramatically affect the 99%. Annual increases in the standard income tax deduction, and a reverse income tax also would provide benefits from the bottom up. Both would narrow the Gap.
8. TAX THE VERY RICH (THE “.1%) MORE, WITH HIGHER PROGRESSIVE TAX RATES ON ALL FORMS OF INCOME. (TROPHIC CASCADE)
There was a time when I argued against increasing anyone’s federal taxes. After all, the federal government has no need for tax dollars, and all taxes reduce Gross Domestic Product, thereby negatively affecting the entire economy, including the 99.9%.
But I have come to realize that narrowing the Gap requires trimming the top. It simply would not be possible to provide the 99.9% with enough benefits to narrow the Gap in any meaningful way. Bill Gates reportedly owns $70 billion. To get to that level, he must have been earning $10 billion a year. Pick any acceptable Gap (1000 to 1?), and the lowest paid American would have to receive $10 million a year. Unreasonable.
9. FEDERAL OWNERSHIP OF ALL BANKS (Click The end of private banking and How should America decide “who-gets-money”?)
Banks have created all the dollars that exist. Even dollars created at the direction of the federal government, actually come into being when banks increase the numbers in checking accounts. This gives the banks enormous financial power, and as we all know, power corrupts — especially when multiplied by a profit motive.
Although the federal government also is powerful and corrupted, it does not suffer from a profit motive, the world’s most corrupting influence.
10. INCREASE FEDERAL SPENDING ON THE MYRIAD INITIATIVES THAT BENEFIT AMERICA’S 99.9% (Federal agencies)Browse the agencies. See how many agencies benefit the lower- and middle-income/wealth/ power groups, by adding dollars to the economy and/or by actions more beneficial to the 99.9% than to the .1%.
Save this reference as your primer to current economics. Sadly, much of the material is not being taught in American schools, which is all the more reason for you to use it.

The Ten Steps will grow the economy, and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and you.

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

Message to America: Torture the Children Wednesday, May 16 2018 

Each day, the Trump administration breaches a new low in morality and honesty. Lying, cheating, bullying, hate mongering . . . the bottom was violated many months ago.

Now, as you wallow ever deeper in the sewers of a deranged mind, Trump and his serfs have decided to torture the children, to protect you:

Trump administration to house undocumented children on military bases

The Trump administration is moving ahead with plans to separate migrant children from their parents in cases where the family has crossed the border illegally, The Washington Post reported Tuesday, citing an email notification to Pentagon staffers.

The controversial plan is part of a new “zero tolerance” policy announced by Attorney General Jeff Sessions earlier this month. “If you don’t want your child separated, then don’t bring them across the border illegally,” Sessions said at the time.

The Department of Health and Human Services, which is responsible for the underage migrants, is preparing to house children on military bases, probably in Texas and Arkansas, until an adult relative can take responsibility for them.

One can assume that Trump’s followers in cruelty — you who believe there truly are no limits to barbary done in service of “national defense” — you will find this latest repugnance perfectly acceptable.

You have not objected, before. Nothing can shock you. You will not object, now.

Hitler would be proud.

The immigrants did not come here to hurt you. They, like your ancestors, perhaps even like you yourself, came here to build a better life for their children and themselves.

They, not the self-serving beast who now rules you, are the people who have built the America of which you are so proud.

If torturing terrified children and their terrified parents — and yes, separation from loving parents is torture — if this doesn’t protect you sufficiently, perhaps you should waterboard them all — the youngers first, of course.

Then the craven Jeff Sessions can announce,  “If you don’t want your child waterboarded, then don’t bring them across the border illegally,” much to the cheers of the very religious right.

Is this mistreatment of children an example of America becoming great, again?  If cringing cowardice before foreign children, what makes you American? Can you justify everything by fraudulent “national security”? Have you no limits?

Apparently, the deportation of innocent families hasn’t been sufficiently cruel. If torturing children proves not to adequately brutal (which undoubtedly will be the case, because nothing ever can achieve total purity), what next?

Starve them? Line them up and shoot them? What finally will wall you off safely enough?

How far down will your America sink in its quest for absolute whiteness?  The world gasps in astonishment as its self-proclaimed moral leader bathes in evil.

Say goodbye to pride and admiration. Say goodbye to decency. If you allow this, you deserve what surely will follow.

There is a pounding at your door . . .

MAGA.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty
Twitter: @rodgermitchell; Search #monetarysovereignty
Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

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