–The “culture of dependency,” the deeds of the letter carriers, the words of the bible

Mitchell’s laws:
●The more budgets are cut and taxes increased, the weaker an economy becomes.
●Austerity is the government’s method for widening the gap between rich and poor,
which leads to civil disorder.
●Until the 99% understand the need for federal deficits, the upper 1% will rule.
●To survive long term, a monetarily non-sovereign government must have a positive balance of payments.
●Those, who do not understand the differences between Monetary Sovereignty and monetary non-sovereignty, do not understand economics.

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Recently, I attended a bar mitzvah, a coming-of-age ceremony for 13 year-old, Jewish boys. During the ceremony, the boy recounted good works he had done, as part of his bar mitzvah obligations. He had gone door-to-door collecting cans of food, to be given to the poor.

Little did this boy know he was helping to foster what Mitt Romney refers to as the “culture of dependency.” You see, according to the “religious” right, America was built by self-sufficient heroes, who neither needed, nor asked for, help from others.

“Under a culture of dependency, poverty becomes a trap, and recipients get stuck. Long-term welfare recipients lose work habits and job skills . . .” (Matthew Spalding, vice president of American Studies and director of the B. Kenneth Simon Center for Principles and Politics at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank in Washington, D.C.)

Apparently, those who are poor, deserve their poverty, because they are lazy. They’d rather receive government help, than find a job and work. That is why food stamps and other poverty aids should be cut.

And everyone knows the sick are responsible for their illnesses and for buying their own health insurance, which is why Medicare and Medicaid benefits should be cut and taxed. The elderly, too, are at fault. They should have saved for their future, which is why Social Security benefits should be cut. It’s all part of self-sufficiency.

Poverty is such a pleasant lifestyle, that when you give people help, they cannot resist staying poor. Consider unemployment compensation. The benefits are so generous, it’s no wonder recipients are reluctant to seek work.

For example, if you lose your $50,000 per year job in Illinois, your benefits will be $450 per month, up to a maximum total benefit of $11,700 – well worth lounging at home, wouldn’t you agree? That same job in Alabama will earn you $255 a week and a maximum total benefit of $6,630. Most people receive less, but isn’t that tempting?

Then there’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), aka “food stamps.” In Illinois, your family of four can get a maximum of $668 a month depending on your other sources of income. (The more you earn, the less SNAP you get.) Who wouldn’t want that?

As Robert Samuelson disparaged in the 9/22/12 Chicago Tribune: “America has created a welfare state.” And as the “religious” right know, helping the unfortunate actually does them a disservice, because charity creates a drug-like addiction.

”Welfare is both a consequence and a cause of several conditions best described as social pathologies. These conditions include dependency, poverty, out-of-wedlock births, nonemployment, abortion, and violent crime.” William A. Niskanen, The Cato Journal

As you can see, federal charity actually causes dependency, causes poverty, causes out-of-wedlock births, causes nonemployment, causes abortion, and causes violent crime. Presumably, if we cut back on that welfare, there will be less dependency . . . etc.

The right wing knows this. They are the religious right. They read the bible.

*But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind – Luke 14:13
*Blessed is he that considerth the poor: Psalm 41:1, 2
*As for the rich in the present age, charge them not to be haughty . . . They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share. – 1 Timothy 6:17, 18
*. . . we must help the weak. . . It is more blessed to give than to receive. Acts 20:35
*But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 1 John 3:17
*You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these. Mark 12:31

Hmmm . . . Perhaps, the “religious” right reads a different bible. Or is it more likely that their own greed, selfishness and contempt for human suffering has given them a convenient rationale for not helping the needy?

When Romney receives cheers for saying, “There are people . . . who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it,” to whom was he speaking?

What kind of people claim to be religious, yet despise those in need? Was America built on aid to those in need? Or was it built on so-called, “self sufficiency,” as the religious right wing claims? If so, no one told our letter carriers:

William Bland of Lebanon, KY, rescued a pregnant woman and child after they were involved in an auto accident. Bland waded into waist-deep river water to find the woman and her infant hanging upside down, barely above water, restrained by their seatbelts. When he couldn’t release the buckles, he ran to his vehicle, called 911, and returned with a letter opener to cut the seatbelts. Bland finally was able to get the woman and child out of the vehicle.

Walter Hayes of St. Louis, MO, saw a speeding driver strike a student who was crossing the street. Hayes immediately ran to the student’s aid, lying next to the child to keep the student warm and to help calm him.

Letter Carrier Melissa Kelley saved a customer from two attacking pit bulls. She chased them away using her satchel and dog spray. The man had been bitten on his arms and face and had his front teeth knocked out. Kelley stayed with him until paramedics arrived. Later, he thanked Kelley, calling her his “angel.”

Oakland, CA, Letter Carriers Alan Girard, Rick Quinonez, Gilbert Rangel, Tanya Joseph and Karen Hill bravely helped rescue 100 residents from an apartment fire.

The irony is, these postal workers gave of their own time and physical safety to rescue fellow Americans in need. But, federal support of the poor and lame, federal support of Social Security and Medicare, indeed all federal spending costs you no time, no effort and not one cent.

That’s right. The U.S. government is Monetarily Sovereign. While state and local governments, being monetarily non-sovereign, do rely on taxes to support spending, the federal government does not.

If FICA disappeared, this would have no effect on the federal government’s ability to pay Social Security and Medicare benefits. If all federal taxes fell to $0, the federal government still could continue to pay every bill, forever.

So here is the bottom line:

1. Federal “welfare” costs you nothing. Zip. Zilch. Zero.

2. Federal “welfare” closes the gap between the richest and the poorest among us, which is why a candidate whose wealth is $250 million, sneers at the less fortunate, and resists helping them. He wants that gap widened.

3. There is no evidence a significant number of people would rather be on SNAP and unemployment, than have a decent, paying job. The “food-stamp mother,” who is too lazy to work, and has bunches of illegitimate kids in order to collect welfare, is an extreme rarity. Few people would relish that kind of life. It’s much more difficult than working.

4. Federal “welfare” payments stimulate the economy, benefitting every American, not just the poor. (GDP = Federal Spending + Non-federal Spending – Net Imports)

5. Those who begrudge the social benefits paid by the federal government, simply are mean-spirited, unpatriotic bastards, who don’t deserve to call themselves religious or American.

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

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Nine Steps to Prosperity:
1. Eliminate FICA (Click here)
2. Medicare — parts A, B & D — for everyone
3. Send every American citizen an annual check for $5,000 or give every state $5,000 per capita (Click here)
4. Long-term nursing care for everyone
5. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone
6. Salary for attending school (Click here)
7. Eliminate corporate taxes
8. Increase the standard income tax deduction annually
9. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99%

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 Imports

#MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

8 thoughts on “–The “culture of dependency,” the deeds of the letter carriers, the words of the bible

  1. I have actually lived in poverty, and agree with this post. My work hours, and many others, were being significantly cut, and it came down to accepting unemployment and food stamps, or go hungry while barely affording rent. The aid was certainly very helpful, but it was pittance. I could take care of my bills and groceries, but there was precious little left over for any sort of discretionary spending.

    It fucking sucked. My entertainment budget was practically zero, and I had to just hope that nothing major happened to my health or my car, because I would have been screwed.

    Of course, something did come up, which required expensive dental work. I’m still trying to save up enough to get it taken care of.

    I’ve no doubt that there are those who do abuse welfare, and just simply don’t want to work. But there are many more, especially with 8.5% unemployment, who absolutely NEED the aid. We don’t have high unemployment because millions of people suddenly decided they don’t want to work anymore, they were forced out of their jobs and there is little opportunity right now to land another one. It blows my mind that Republicans actually think that cutting off aid to millions of needy people is going to improve the economy and lower the unemployment rate.

    /rant

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  2. Interesting post…

    I won’t get into the dependency part but it is interesting how people equate the government with the society at large, that the government is society and not just part of it and if people are against government especially government welfare..well that makes them mean and greedy etc…

    Anyway I am curious what passages in the bible does Jesus call on the government to provide “welfare”??

    I am aware the Jesus called the individual to follow him and provide charity to our fellow man as the passages you posted show and as the kid at the bar mitzvah was doing or the letter carriers were doing but I just cannot put my finger on the passage where he calls on governments, through force (which in the end is what government is), to provide welfare to our fellow man… maybe you can help me out with that.

    I am not arguing or going to go to the extreme that the government should not provide any help, that is another issue but since you mentioned the bible I am just curious as to what passage says the government should provide the help??

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    1. Render unto Ceasar’s what is Ceasar’s, render unto God’s what is God’s.” I’m curious ,perhaps you can point out in the Gospels where Jesus prohibits Caeser from providing aid to the poor.

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      1. What is Ceasar’s and what is God’s??

        I can’t. There maybe a scripture somewhere but I am not aware of it.

        However you could say stealing is prohibited and since the gov uses force to tax then it is prohibited but that might be outside of what you are asking.

        The point is even though god may not prohibit it he does not call on the gov to provide it but on individuals.

        The post suggest that those who want to cut gov spending especially if they are the “religious right” are not acting biblicaly and it is trying to use the bible to justify the spending.

        Again that does not mean that we should not help those who need help, (with the current form of gov and monetary system we have, that is we do not have a true free market, I believe the gov should help), just don’t try to use the bible to justify it nor accuse those who are against it of being mean or greedy etc.

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  3. Not really…it is not from the bible…at least I could not find a verse related to it…any ideas?? In fact I think he borrowed that from an abolitionist preacher. In any case that is a fairly broad statement to use to justify goverment welfare…a little like using the welfare clause..

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  4. thank you for your thoughful insight on deeds of letter carriers who are currently caught up in the debaucle of the congress attack on the usps, for information sake here are some links : free google book to read or amazon.com, search inside this book , The post office, its past record, its present condition, and its potential relation to the new world era, Daniel Calhoun Roper, chairperson of the United States Tarriff commision , and first assistant Post master general, 1913-1917, in 1917 congress was ignoring the plight to the United States Post Office workers, and collective bargaining was formed, along with that the right to unionize followed in 1935. In 1970 the great postal strike took effect, and changed the United States Post Office into the United States Postal Service, and with the effect of the strike collective bargainning was re enforced but also the no strike law was put in effect. In 2000, 2001 according to nalc legislative fact sheets, postal workers were made to pay in an extra 15 percent to their federal retirement systems, fers and csrs, or federal employee retirement system for those hired after 1990 and civil service retirement system for those hired before 1990, in effect this was a tax increase under the 1997 budget reconcilation act , both the President and congress thanked the postal workers for their sacrifice. The increase was removed from the Presidents budget in 2002. Meanwhile new legislation ensued, called the Postal Accountibilty and Enhancement act, of 2006. Which allowed for pay per performance bonuses for the Post Master General ( a leading republican) under that currant admistration that gave a 72 thousand a year bonus and then also a doubling of salary worth twice what the President gets yearly, and a retirement in 2010 worth 5.5 million, meanwhile postal craft workers were slashed from the employment rolls due to non repalcement of attrition for the effect of the PAEA which prefunded after there were two fully paid and fully funded retirement funds, fera by over 15 billion and csrs by 140 billion. AWPU 3800 Pa first area tricounty local, library stress in the workplace , artical ‘ how the ongoing violation of the usps guiding principals are creating a toxic work enviorment is an inclusive read on the matter of effect of the paea in 2008. http://www.billburrasjounral.org-misc, ( search google to find with all words) go to elevator page, scroll and read ‘ phoney excuses for diverting usps revenues and myths versus facts, 2010, then go forward and search for ALEC/Koch Cabal The Privitization of USPS for Ups and FedEx, bob sloan, vltp.net, aprial 2012, examiner.com Tim McCown artical June 2012, ‘ behind all the schemes and lies of the privitization of USPS, Michigan American Postal Workers Union, ‘ the truth about the postal crisis’ and http://www.savethepostoffice.com

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