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●The more federal 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 ultimately 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.
●The penalty for ignorance is slavery.
●Everything in economics devolves to motive, and the motive is the gap.
In the inevitable irony of incompetence blended with malfeasance, the right-wing Supreme Court is on the precipice of biting the hand that feeds the right wing: Corporations.
In their unseemly zeal to destroy anything Obama and everything liberal, the SCOTUS passed Citizens United, giving corporations the same rights of free speech the Constitution grants to American citizens.
The clear goal was to award the rich millions of times more “speech” than the poor have, thus to widen the gap between the rich and the rest.
And now we have the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood cases, which following the same logic as Citizens United, claim corporations also have freedom of religion, which allows them to avoid civil laws. That a mythical legal construct can have a religion, boggles all logic, but that is today’s right wing.
We discussed the nonsense of this at How one bad legal decision can beget an endless series of bad legal decisions.
There is some speculation that SCOTUS might try to straddle its position, by saying that a “closely held corporation” (i.e. family owned) has religious rights, while a publicly owned corporation does not. So Hobby Lobby, which is family owned, could use its religious beliefs as grounds for avoiding civil law.
And of course, you know what civil law they would like to avoid: Obamacare. It’s an end run by the so-called “religious” (as opposed to scientific or fact-based) right, to stick it to Obama. (Apparently 47 useless House votes weren’t sufficiently stupid.)
Forget about the twisting and turning that would be required to define a “closely held” corporation, and forget what happens when one share of a “closely held” corporation is sold to someone not close. And forget about all those ridiculous religious beliefs that exist, or have existed, through the ages, being used as defense against civil law. (Don’t you dare cut your hair, shave or grow two types of crops in the same field.)
Even the right-wing militant Justice Scalia said (when he wrote the majority opinion in a relevant case,Employment Division v. Smith):
“The rule respondents favor would open the prospect of constitutionally required religious exemptions from civic obligations of almost every conceivable kind ranging from compulsory military service, to the payment of taxes, to health and safety regulation such as manslaughter and child neglect laws, compulsory vaccination laws, drug laws, and traffic laws; to social welfare legislation such as minimum wage laws, child labor laws, animal cruelty laws, environmental protection laws, and laws providing for equality of opportunity for the races.”
Wow, imagine something too crazy even for Scalia! But those problems are mere details in this nutty, SCOTUS-created picture. If SCOTUS yields to its inborn temptation to do the bidding of the rich, this whole exercise might come back to bite the rich in the butt.
If a “closely held” corporation’s rulers have the right to foist their religious beliefs on the public — that is, if a corporation not only has free speech rights but also religious rights — has the corporate veil been pierced?
Remember, a corporation is based on the legality that its shareholders are exempt from punishment for most corporate actions. (Were it not so, you never would buy a single share of stock.)
In fact, the sole reason for the corporate structure, as opposed for instance, to a partnership structure, is the shareholders’ limited liability laws. (That “Ltd.” at the end of British corporate names stands for “limited.”)
As we ask in “How One Bad Legal Decision . . . ” “Is a corporation merely a surrogate for its president? Or its chairman? Or its board of directors? Or its shareholders?”
If a corporation is nothing more than a personal proxy for its shareholders, then how can the shareholders claim immunity from legal redress for wrongs committed by the corporation? If, for instance, Hobby Lobby were to declare bankruptcy, wouldn’t all of its “closely holding” shareholders automatically be liable? If not, why not.
And if an employee of Conestoga Wood were to fire a black man because he married a white woman (violating someone’s religious beliefs), why wouldn’t not only this employee be liable, but each of the CW’s “closely holding” officers also be personally liable, according to the logic of Citizens United?
Like a rabid dog, that bites everything and everyone in sight, friend or enemy, the right wing is in the process of biting its own butt. Corporations are not going to like this one.
The twisting and turning by this most inferior of Supreme Courts, should be fun to watch.
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Nine Steps to Prosperity:
1. Eliminate FICA (Click here)
2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D plus long term nursing care — for everyone (Click here)
3. Provide an Economic Bonus to every man, woman and child in America, and/or every state a per capita Economic Bonus. (Click here) Or institute a reverse income tax.
4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone. Click here
5. Salary for attending school (Click here)
6. Eliminate corporate taxes (Click here)
7. Increase the standard income tax deduction annually
8. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99% (Click here)
9. Federal ownership of all banks (Click here)
10 Steps to Economic Misery: (Click here:)
1. Maintain or increase the FICA tax..
2. Spread the myth Social Security, Medicare and the U.S. government are insolvent.
3. Cut federal employment in the military, post office, other federal agencies.
4. Broaden the income tax base so more lower income people will pay.
5. Cut financial assistance to the states.
6. Spread the myth federal taxes pay for federal spending.
7. Allow banks to trade for their own accounts; save them when their investments go sour.
8. Never prosecute any banker for criminal activity.
9. Nominate arch conservatives to the Supreme Court.
10. Reduce the federal deficit and debt
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:
1. Federal Deficits – Net Imports = Net Private Savings
2. Gross Domestic Product = Federal Spending + Private Investment and Consumption – Net Imports
THE RECESSION CLOCK
As the federal deficit growth lines drop, we approach recession, which will be cured only when the lines rise. Federal deficit growth is absolutely, positively necessary for economic growth. Period.