We all are hardwired to demand fairness and to reject unfairness:
Two people, Alice and Bob, play. An experimenter puts 100 one dollar bills on a table.
Alice may divide the money between herself and Bob however she chooses. Bob then decides whether to accept her division, in which case each keeps the money as Alice divided it, or to reject the division, in which case neither receives any money.
If Bob acts rationally, he should accept any division in which Alice offers him at least one dollar, since doing so leaves him with more money than he would have had otherwise.
If Alice knows that Bob will act rationally, she should offer Bob one dollar and keep 99 for herself. In practice, divisions which Bob regards as unfair are generally rejected.
Think about this: If you were Bob, what division would you accept? If Alice divided $95 – $5 in her favor, would you accept it?
What if Alice were poor and you were rich?
We all are together; we all are human. But where we diverge — conservatives vs. liberals — is in what we consider to be fair.
The liberal mind sees the gap between the “haves” and the “have-nots” as being an unfair accident of fate, the “lucky gene” concept. “There, but for the grace of God, go I.”
The conservative mind views the gap as being earned, the result of hard work, honesty and religious faith. They see the rich as “makers” and the poor as “takers,” whom they resent as unfairly receiving government benefits.
The liberal mind feels sympathy and compassion for the downtrodden (whom they feel receive unfair treatment in life) and anger against the rich and powerful who “tread” on the poor.
The conservative mind feels disgust and anger at the poor (who receive unfair government largess) and feels deference to the rich and powerful.
From Franklin Roosevelt through Lyndon Johnson, when liberalism was in vogue, America fought WWII, created Lend-Lease, the Marshall Plan, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the Voting Rights Act and much other legislation of benefit to minorities, the elderly, the poor, the uneducated and other powerless groups.
From Ronald Reagan through Barack Obama today, the nation has turned toward conservatism. Federal spending on social programs is being disputed under the banner of pragmatism and financial prudence, and a record number of voting restrictions (all aimed at the non-white poor) have been proposed by state and local legislatures.
Today’s conservative Supreme Court has enabled laws restricting voting rights and excessive campaign contributions — laws that favor the rich over the poor.
If you dispute including Barack Obama in the conservative “column,” consider this. He:
–Repeatedly proposed a “Grand Bargain,” which featured raising taxes on the poor and cutting Social Security and other social benefits
–Dramatically increased FICA, the most regressive tax in America
–Hired conservatives Simpson & Bowles to support cuts in deficit spending on social programs
–Cut the deficit to its lowest point since 2008
–Deported more immigrants than any American President in history
–Failed to prosecute any criminal “banksters”
–Instituted a health-care program that ostensibly helps the poor, but in fact, unnecessarily asks young people to pay the tab.
Obama may have a liberal mind. I can’t say. But if so, his weakness of character has caused him to submit to the Tea/Republicans in Congress.
The liberal mind is tuned more toward empathy and compassion for the weak, with hostility reserved for the bully:
Protests against police violence block traffic in New York
Reuters: By Robert MacMillan, Andrew Chung and Sebastien Malo
Protests over U.S. police violence against minorities, sparked by grand-jury decisions not to charge officers in two high-profile cases, were peaceful on their third night in New York.
Conservatives lean far less toward empathy and compassion, with fear and hatred being their strongest emotions (thus the primarily conservative support for universal gun ownership).
Conservatives love America (repeatedly presenting the flag and proclaiming their patriotism), but hate the American government and American liberals, gays, poor, blacks, browns, yellows, women, immigrants and people of a different or no religion.
Race resurfaces in conservative protests against Obama
09/13/13, By Benjy Sarlin
That was just one of several especially virulent displays of anti-Obama fury that drew national attention in recent days. In Phoenix last Tuesday, a protest of Obama’s visit included a chorus of “Bye, bye, black sheep!”
According to The Arizona Republic, one person shouted “he’s 47 percent Negro!” while another raised a sign reading “Impeach the Half-White Muslim!”
This weekend, Obama faced a similar greeting in Orlando, Fla., as several dozen protesters lined his motorcade route, including one whose sign read “Kenyan Go Home!”
The “birther” movement questioning Obama’s legitimacy peaked in 2011 after Donald Trump explored a presidential campaign centered around the conspiracy theory.
It is the conservative mentality — that combination of fear and loathing — that built the first border wall in American history.
The Marshall Plan was the American initiative to aid Europe, in which the United States gave $13 billion (approximately $160 billion in current dollar value) in economic support to help rebuild European economies after the end of World War II.
Belgian economic historian Herman Van der Wee concludes the Marshall Plan was a “great success”: “It gave a new impetus to reconstruction in Western Europe and made a decisive contribution to the renewal of the transport system, the modernization of industrial and agricultural equipment, the resumption of normal production, the raising of productivity, and the facilitating of intra-European trade.”
Can you, in your wildest dreams, imagine today’s conservative Congress, voting for the Marshall Plan of 1948? It is doubtful today’s conservatives would vote to give an extra $160 billion to poor Americans, let alone to foreigners.
Though liberals and conservatives argue the logic of their cases — the “makers” vs. the “takers” argument — the real differences go far beyond logic.
The differences are in the fundamental psychological disposition of the two sides. I do not believe these differences relate only to genetic makeup or life experiences.
I believe it is leadership that has created and separated the conservative brain from the liberal brain.
We all rely on our leaders to teach us right from wrong. We are social animals who travel with the herd.
In some decades, our leaders have preached altruism, benevolence and compassion. Other decades’ leaders have pushed us toward selfishness, intolerance and hatred.
At one time, we were, as Tom Brokaw termed, the “Greatest Generation.” We were patriots. We gave “our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor,” for our nation, for our neighbors and for those whom we know and love.
Today, as we hide behind our Berlin-style border wall, topped with spikes and wire, I fear we have become the “Hate Generation,” giving reluctantly and resentfully, if at all, to few if any.
This has become the new American patriotism.
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty Twitter: @rodgermitchell Search #monetarysovereignty Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
THE SOLE PURPOSE OF GOVERNMENT IS TO IMPROVE AND PROTECT THE LIVES OF THE PEOPLE.
The most important problems in economics involve:
- Monetary Sovereignty describes money creation and destruction.
- Gap Psychology describes the common desire to distance oneself from those “below” in any socio-economic ranking, and to come nearer those “above.” The socio-economic distance is referred to as “The Gap.”
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 Monetary Sovereignty and The Ten Steps To Prosperity can grow the economy and narrow the Gaps:
Ten Steps To Prosperity:
- Eliminate FICA
- Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D, plus long-term care — for everyone
- Social Security for all
- Free education (including post-grad) for everyone
- Salary for attending school
- Eliminate federal taxes on business
- Increase the standard income tax deduction, annually.
- Tax the very rich (the “.1%”) more, with higher progressive tax rates on all forms of income.
- Federal ownership of all banks
- Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99.9%
The Ten Steps will grow the economy and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest.