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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.
To demonstrate the cruelty of a Congress that has lost all sense of decency, consider the latest in immigration “reform.”
The most incremental of immigration bills, known as the ENLIST Act would let immigrants who were brought to the United States illegally as children to enlist in the military. If they serve and are honorably discharged, they would then be eligible for a green card, which would put them on a path to citizenship.
Now consider two children, both 1 year old. The first child was born on U.S. soil a year ago. The second child was taken here from a foreign country, by his parents.
Which of these two, one-year-old children, is a better American?
According to the ENLIST Act, the child born on U.S. soil is the better American. The second child must avoid being deported, until he is old enough for the military. Then he must risk his life in the military and serve honorably. Then by some unknown means obtain a green card, which still does not make him a citizen, because at that point he only is on a “path to citizenship.”
House Majority Eric Cantor said, “If you’ve got a kid that was brought here by their parents — unbeknownst to the child — and that they’ve grown up in this country and not known any other, and they want to serve in our military, they ought to be allowed to do that and then have the ability to become a citizen after that kind of service.”
But Cantor has not even brought up for a vote, this ironically labeled “reform,” this convoluted, cruel maze through which an innocent child must crawl.
And this little law applies only to children. It says nothing about the rest of the 12 million undocumented immigrants in America.
It’s the old story: Political leadership’s use of paranoia to seize and retain power.
Voters (though especially right-wing voters) have been taught they need to live behind personal stone walls of fear and hatred. They are taught to fear and hate black people. They are taught to fear and hate brown people and yellow people. They fear and hate gays, Jews, Muslims, foreigners, Communists, Socialists, liberals, anyone wearing a hoodie.
They fear and hate the poor. They fear and hate the people in the next state. They even are taught to fear and hate the U.S. government, thus the “small government” efforts by the extreme right wing.
They are told to demand to own ever more and ever bigger guns to protect themselves against those they fear. They shoot when they hear a knock at the door.
When they sneak out from behind their stone walls, they feel they must carry guns everywhere they go.
Never mind that we all are immigrants or the children of immigrants. Never mind that study after study has shown that recent immigrants have been just as law-abiding, hard-working, benefit-to-America people as those born here.
Never mind that according to the Center for Naval Analysis:
Non-citizens, once they have joined the military, are also far more likely to complete their enlistment obligations successfully than their U.S.-born counterparts.
Thirty-six month attrition rates for non-citizens are between 9 and 20 percentage points lower than those for white citizens, the largest demographic group in the military.
So craven are our leaders, that even this punitive ENLIST act — and act that would delay citizenship for many years — cannot move forward.
It is the leaders, those cynical little pretend patriots of little morals, whom we sent to Washington to represent America, but who feel their real power comes from building the wall of hatred and fear ever stronger — they are the ones who repeatedly appeal to the worst instincts of a population they intentionally frighten.
During war, fear and hatred bring a nation together under its leadership. So now our leaders have invented wars — wars against drugs, wars against immigrants, wars against alien terrorists — to solidify the power of the leaders.
President Bush created the fear of little Iraq and its little leader Saddam Hussein, so to give himself the power to cause thousands of American deaths and dismemberments — unnecessarily.
The leaders tell a gullible populace, “I am fighting for you, against your fears,” while the populace does not understand that it is the leaders, who have implanted those fears. Fear and hatred are a leader’s greatest weapons.
Now we have about 12 million undocumented, only about 4% of the total U.S. population — certainly not enough to cause great concern. They already live here and will continue to live here. What public purpose is achieved by keeping them in an illegal status?
But our leaders, through exaggeration and caricature, intentionally have spread the fear of this small, comparatively benign group.
One day a law will be passed, and it will be called “reform,” and it will be nothing of the sort. There will be no true reform while paranoids have a strong voice.
We weren’t born to fear and hate. The Paranoid Gun Nuts weren’t born PGNs. They were indoctrinated into the world of fear and hatred by the power-mad. The gun companies use fear and hatred as their marketing too.
One day, Americans will wake up and open their arms, just as the people who really built America did. Those brave, compassionate souls, not the mean, cringing cowards of today, were the real American patriots.
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Ten 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. Tax the very rich (.1%) more, with much higher, progressive tax rates on all forms of income. (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
Vertical gray bars mark recessions.
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.
10 thoughts on “–What is the real pattern behind immigration reform cowardice?”
More fear and hate instilled by political leaders.
“…some of whom won’t be able to afford the cost of a photo ID.”
Even if poor people can afford the cost of photo ID, they statistically commit more “crimes” such as not paying traffic tickets (since they have little or no money).
State, county, and municipal governments are increasingly putting these “criminals” into debtor’s prison, and charging them for their incarceration. Hence the poor can never get out of the debt-prison cycle.
Photo ID at the voting booth is a way to track down these “criminals” so they can be stuffed into a meat grinder that extracts blood money from them.
The poor increasingly understand all this, and they avoid voting.
Meanwhile the people who do go to the polling stations vote for more austerity, which hurts the poor the most.
So yes… voter-identification is just another way to widen the gap.
Here is some grim irony for Rodger and his readers…
Climate change has caused the rust fungus (hemileia vastatrix) to destroy coffee harvests throughout Central America. No one denies this. Not even the most right-wing blogs.
The problem has been increasing for the last six years. Central America has already lost 40% of this year’s coffee crop, and the damage keeps worsening year after year.
Parts of Central America have extreme violence and desperation. Honduras has the highest murder rate in the world, and it keeps climbing.
Because the rust fungus (known as “roya” in Spanish) wipes out jobs, it causes extreme desperation, which causes the violence to keep getting worse. This is especially traumatic because coffee workers in some places were making seventy dollars per day (!!!) which is stupendous by Central American standards.
Now they have nothing.
Repeat: poverty is always bad, but it is even worse when people are plunged from stability down to nothing.
Therefore, Central America migrants are streaming north to the USA in unprecedented numbers. This year, 48,000 of them have been accompanied children. (Children!) Some are infants, carried by teen mothers.
The four Central American countries where most of the migrants come from are the four countries most staunchly allied with the USA and its neo-liberal model: Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Panama. Few if any immigrants come from Nicaragua, even though the rust virus is devastating Nicaragua’s coffee harvests too. Reason: Nicaragua has a genuinely socialist government (which is despised by America’s ruling oligarchs and their politician-servants).
Five years ago, 83 percent of the nearly 20,000 children caught trying to enter the USA were Mexican nationals. So far this year, 75 percent of the 48,000 children have come from the four countries noted above.
Since right-wingers have sealed off the Arizona and New Mexico borders, the migrants enter through Texas. The Border Patrol, overwhelmed, is now shipping those thousands of migrants (including children) from Texas to Arizona. One center in Nogales AZ has 1,000 migrant children, with many more to come. Some 360 children will arrive today alone. Most are unaccompanied.
>>>>HERE’S THE IRONY…
The USA consumes more coffee than any other country, but produces close to zero coffee. Arizona Tea Party-types who love their coffee are now reaping what they have sown. They hate brown people, they worship greed, they deny climate change, they have closed their border, and now they are being bombarded with the inevitable results. The federal government is sending them thousands of migrants from nations that are allied with US oligarchs.
Arizona governor Jan Brewer (a white racist) is furious but helpless. She has always been fanatically anti-immigrant, and now the federal government is shipping thousands of immigrants to her. The feds gave her no warning about this, and the shipments will continue indefinitely.
Even worse for Governor Brewer, border patrol agents in AZ are being taken off their regular jobs to care for the thousands of Central Americans being shipped to Arizona from Texas, of which half are children under 17 years.
Worse still, Central Americans cannot be easily deported south like Mexicans. Therefore, unless the Central Americans have committed crimes, all of them will be released from detention to join their waiting family members throughout the USA. If they have no family members in the USA, they will be sent from Arizona to holding facilities in Ventura California; San Antonio Texas; and Fort Sill, Oklahoma. They will be educated and then released to halfway houses for eventual dispersal into society.
This is not a promise. It’s a “done deal.” The feds are quite candid about this.
The reason why all Central American immigrants are being accepted is that Central America will explode if the US government does not accept them. The coffee catastrophe and the drug wars have driven millions to madness. Rich drug lords and oligarchs (the beloved of Washington DC) will be executed in droves. All Central America will become socialist like Nicaragua. The US government will lose one of its most valuable drug corridors.
THE TEA PARTY VIEW is that Latinos come to the USA to “get on welfare and take our jobs.” The reality is that these immigrants have no hope, no future, and no way to survive. Their children are starving (literally) and everyone is in despair. They see the USA not as a paradise up north, but as a dark, hostile place that may kill them, if the journey north does not. However they know they will die if they stay where they are. So they are forced to make the perilous trip north, being despised every inch of the way, especially when crossing Mexico. Their mission is to escape, or die trying.
I know all this because I talk to Central Americans every single day. Mexicans too. (I will prove this if challenged.)
Central American coffee is a high-altitude variety, descended from a few trees brought from the Old World centuries ago. The region had no rust fungus until the 1970s, when climate change began to cause higher temperatures and excess rainfall. Since then, the fungus has appeared in multiple waves, and it mutates each time. It also mutates from country to country, appearing in different forms. It can reduce a coffee tree to a drying husk in two weeks, and is thought to have originated in East Africa where — again — climate change is causing devastation. There are now 7,000 species of rust virus, and the number keeps expanding. It is carried by the wind, and on the clothes of workers. The current plague began in 2012, and continues to expand.
Scientists have created coffee hybrids that resist the fungus, but the fungus mutates much faster than the scientists can keep up. And now the mutation rate is faster than ever, because climate change is stronger than ever.
In addition to the fungus, hotter temperatures are a particular menace to Arabica, which comprises 70% of global coffee production and requires cool climes to grow. A recent study predicted that by 2050, global warming will make two-thirds of current farms too hot to grow Arabica—and that is the best-case scenario.
Also, warmer weather accelerates the spread of parasitic insects. In Ethiopia, the cradle of coffee civilization, the coffee berry borer struggled to reproduce in low temperatures. Now, because of climate change, the beetles are grandparents within a year.
The “canary in the coal mine” of climate change is not polar bears, but coffee, which is the world’s second most traded commodity, after oil. People drink 1.6 billion (BILLION) cups per day. Coffee, unlike oil, is extremely vulnerable to fluctuations in weather. Too much water fuels the fungus. Too little sucks the tree dry. Because coffee is so weather-dependent, there are wild fluctuations in the prices of coffee futures. Eventually, because of global climate change, all of us may end up drinking tea instead of coffee.
Central American governments know that the problems will continue to worsen because of climate change (i.e. rising temperatures and excess rainfall). They see depressed coffee futures as a threat to their economies. They know that climate change is hurting the profits of rich oligarchs on their massive plantations. Meanwhile regular people who lose their jobs have no income. Their children starve. The crisis is so bad that government radio stations encourage people to try and make the risky trip north to the USA.
When the rust virus struck Colombia in 2008, it spread from farm to farm, cutting Colombia’s coffee output from 12 million bags to 7 million in a single year. Colombia’s economy sputtered. Some farmers—many with less than a single hectare of land, or 2.5 acres —had no crop at all. Colombia’s ultra-right-wing government was forced to finally make peace with Venezuela, against US wishes.
Colombia’s losses were caused by excessive rainfall. Brazil’s losses this year were caused by drought (not by the rust fungus, which cannot survive without moisture). A fifth of Brazil’s usual 55 million bags of coffee have been lost.
All because of climate change.
Because climate change is destroying coffee harvests, the average price of coffee worldwide has risen from $1.20 per pound to nearly $2.20. Starbuck’s Inc. must absorb this cost, since average Americans (impoverished by austerity and inequality) will not pay ten dollars for a cup of coffee. Therefore, big companies in several industries are losing profits because they deny climate change. (Starbucks tells shareholders than the company is not hurting, but business statistics show that Starbucks is lying.)
There are many places to grow coffee, but the more unstable the weather becomes, the more unstable the coffee market becomes. This instability invites speculators, which drive up prices even more, further destroying jobs. Arabica-coffee futures are already up nearly 70% this year, and Central American coffees are even more expensive.
IS THERE A BRIGHT SPOT?
Yes. Something happened that surprised me and gave me hope. Arizona has traditionally hated Latinos. Joe Arpaio, (notorious nationwide as “America’s toughest sheriff”) is particularly racist, and has been censured many times by the US government. His deputies did mass stop-and-frisk operations against Mexicans (most of whom were US citizens) until the federal government finally put a stop to it.
Older white Tea Party types have continually marched and held public demonstrations against immigrants. Governor Jan Brewer was elected on an anti-immigrant platform. White vigilantes patrol the border areas.
Mexicans that live in Arizona do not give much support to newly arriving immigrants. Many Mexicans who were born in the USA consider themselves superior to Mexican nationals. But mostly the lack of support is because Mexicans are struggling to survive like everyone else. They do not have the time or energy to campaign for the “Latino cause.”
But now something has changed.
The federal government is flying Central American immigrants from Texas to Nogales Arizona. The planes stop at Phoenix, and the immigrants are bussed south from there. Eventually they will be dispersed across the USA. When the planes land in Phoenix, they are met by groups of whites and Mexicans who bring food, clothing, blankets, medical supplies, and so on.
This is unprecedented. Furthermore, I am not seeing the usual screaming from the older white Tea Party types.
Something has changed on a deep level.
Is it possible that we are seeing the first glimmer of kindness and sanity among the masses? Could average people eventually become open to the facts of Monetary Sovereignty? (Gasp!)
“Fear and hatred are a leader’s greatest weapons.”
Yes, that is why I say the Big Lie (and thus austerity and inequality) are based on fear and hatred. Show me someone who smugly denies the facts of Monetary Sovereignty, and I’ll show you someone consumed by selfishness, itself the product of fear and hatred. (Deniers of MS also include people who are paid to lie, plus hucksters such as “gold” traders, none of whom actually trade gold.)
The “inflation” bogeyman relies on fear and hatred. So does war, inequality, racism, and all forms of bigotry and religious intolerance.
It’s everywhere. Even the “brilliant” people at the NEP blog are racists. For example, they do not want to hear the truth about Zimbabwe. For them, it is simpler to claim that “those blacks don’t know how to run a country.” Their racism is matched only by denial of their racism.
No one is completely immune from fear and hatred. The question is whether we let those emotions completely rule us.
As in all things economics, the Zimbabwe situation is complex. We try to understand complexity by simplifying it — perhaps over-simplifying it — sometimes to the point of misunderstanding.
For instance, what caused the “great recession”? Answer: Bad mortgage lending by criminal bankers. Well, yes, that happened. But there was so much more involved.
What caused the U.S. Civil War? Answer: Southern slavery. Well yes, but there was so much more involved.
What caused Zimbabwe’s hyperinflation? Answer: Stealing farm land from whites who knew how to farm and giving it to blacks who didn’t.
Well, yes, that happened. But Western sanctions played a huge role, and the complexity grows from there.
(Why the sanctions? How effective were the sanctions? Why did sanctions lead to hyperinflation in Zimbabwe but not in other sanctioned nations?)
The only time this blog mentions Zimbabwe is in response to those who falsely claim that if the U.S. keeps deficit spending, we eventually will become Zimbabwe (or Weimar or Argentina).
Because that claim is so ridiculously false, we prefer to provide a simplified (over simplified?) response to the claim, without detailing the long, involved story of white and black racism, imperialism and greed.
Well I was talking about the NEP blog. I don’t think much of those people for several reasons. One reason is that when I used to comment there, they usually deleted my comments, no matter how polite I was. In fact, I was more courteous there than I am here. Another reason (among many) is that I felt you, Rodger, were more or less ignored when you used to comment there.
I don’t read their posts anymore. They don’t know how to write clearly and concisely. And many of their topics are trivial fluff anyway. Often their views are flat-out wrong, but they tolerate no questioning of their dogma.
Whatever. To each his own, aye?
Here is another one about Obama’s student loan debt plan. The premise of the article is that after 20 years there will be debt forgiveness of student loans for low income students. But hold on to your horses, Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief Aaron Task doesn’t like it:
“In 20 years the debt goes away if you haven’t repaid it all and guess who it goes back to? The taxpayer. And I just don’t think that that’s going to end very well for the taxpayer.”
I have a question for Aaron: Will the US look like Weimar or Zimbabwe in 20 years if this plan is implemented?
Sad, isn’t it.
But when one begins with the ridiculous premise that the federal government should lend to its citizens, rather than simply giving the money, everything that follows is nuts.
And remember who pays Task’s salary. Hint: It isn’t the middle class and the poor.
Why don’t we simply let the children in? What the hell are we afraid of?
These are children who will grow up to be valuable citizens, but the law-enforcement types want to punish them:
“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 asks, “Why don’t we simply let the children in?”
We are, if they come from Central America. The US government refers to them as “OTMs” (Other-Than-Mexican).
Holder’s “legal team” is simply a call for volunteer lawyers to help the migrants pass through the bureaucracy and enter the mainstream US population. This is being done via AmeriCorps, a federally sponsored community service outfit for volunteers.
My Central American contracts tell me that the US government is behind the radio messages in Central America telling people to come north to the USA. And the Mexican government is quietly helping the migrants cross Mexico. Normally it would be impossible for so many migrants to come. 47,000 migrants from Central America were killed in Mexico from 2007 to 2013. In August 2010, seventy-two migrants were executed in one place. Men, women, and children.
Now the US and Mexican governments are running a kind of “freedom train” to the north.
Here are the reasons…
 It’s a safety valve. If the US government doesn’t let them in, then all of Central America will explode into a socialist revolution that could spread to Mexico. And I do mean EXPLODE. That’s how bad things have gotten down there. It’s a powder-keg, caused by accelerating violence and accelerating climate change. The violence is caused by the US-sponsored “drug war,” plus US-sponsored neo-liberalism. Whenever the people down there elect a decent president, the USA removes him via a coup. If that doesn’t work, then the USA pays terrorists to conduct a proxy war, such as Reagan’s war against Nicaragua and El Salvador.
When Manuel Zelaya became president of Honduras, he betrayed his fellow oligarchs by implementing populist policies, and refusing to privatize things like the national telephone system. For a brief moment, Honduras emerged from a nightmare.
Therefore Zelaya was removed via a US-sponsored coup on 28 June 2009. After that, Honduras descended into worse violence and poverty than ever, becoming the world’s murder capital. Most of the murders are perpetrated by government thugs.
Then came the coffee blight (caused by climate change) which wiped out millions of jobs. More jobs have been lost to the global depression, caused by global austerity. Many “maquiladoras” (clothing factories, toy factories, etc.) have closed down.
 In maintaining this safety valve, the US government especially wants children to come north, since children are less likely to have criminal records. Moreover, the peasants in Central America will create a revolution if their children continue to starve.
 There are now so many migrants from Central America (48,000 children so far this year, not counting adults) that if the US government caused them to remain stuck in Mexico, the news photos would cause a global outcry. Some children would join drug gangs. Most would starve to death, or be preyed upon. The girls would be raped, and the boys would be killed, or become slaves. The Mexican government would tell the US government, “If you don’t let them in, then we will stop all drugs from flowing into the USA, and thereby end your drug war.” This would cause panic throughout the USA. Further, the world would start paying attention to the extreme corruption and brutality of US-sponsored oligarchs in Central America.
In the middle of all this, US politicians run on anti-immigrant platforms, in order to keep the masses distracted from the Big Lie. Meanwhile the US Border Patrol is charged with keeping out illegal aliens.
Therefore, contradictions are involved. The Obama regime handles these contradictions by making it a “humanitarian crisis” (which indeed it is). This is done by inviting the corporate media to do stories about the migrant children being held in detention centers.
Bush allowed most Central Americans to enter the USA from almost the moment that Bush entered the White House in January 2001. By “allowed in,” I mean they were released to the US general population. Those who were not let in had criminal records, or were security risks.
However the Tea Party types whined so loudly that in July 2006, Bush had to finally close the gates.
In July 2012, the Obama regime began telling the Border Patrol to use “prosecutorial discretion” regarding OTM migrants. Right-wingers squawked, but when Obama was re-elected in November 2012, he re-opened the gates for Central Americans, for reasons described above. (Obama is a second-term President who cannot run for re-election.)
The US government says it is letting the Central Americans enter because it is “too difficult to deport them.” That’s an excuse for public consumption. The real reasons are those above. It’s only now come to public attention because of the enormous numbers involved.