–The Gap and the myth of the zero-sum game

Twitter: @rodgermitchell; Search #monetarysovereignty
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Mitchell’s laws:
●Those, who do not understand the differences between Monetary Sovereignty and monetary non-sovereignty, do not understand economics.
●The more federal budgets are cut and taxes increased, the weaker an economy becomes. .
Liberals think the purpose of government is to protect the poor and powerless from the rich and powerful. Conservatives think the purpose of government is to protect the rich and powerful from the poor and powerless.
●Austerity is the government’s method for widening
the gap between rich and poor.
●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.
●Everything in economics devolves to motive,
and the motive is the Gap.

We often have written about the “Gap.” It is the distance between the rich and the poor, between the wealthy and the lacking, between the powerful and the powerless.

If there were no Gap, no one would be rich and no one would be poor. The wider the Gap, the richer are the rich and the poorer are the poor.

monetary sovereignty

The Gap is growing.

The Gap is the single, most serious problem facing America and the world. It is the primary source of internal strife and of external wars.

Evolution has made our fear stronger than our desires. We may be thirsty, but we resist going to a river filled with hidden crocodiles.

For every income group, the fear of falling to a lower level is greater than the desire to rise higher.

The rich want to expand the Gap, because it is what makes them rich, and more importantly, a widening Gap keeps them from falling to middle class — their greatest fear.

The middle want to widen Gap below them, because a growing Gap provides comfortable separation from the poor. Even the poor want the Gap, because it allows them to feel superior to the very poor.

Next to sickness, the greatest fear of the retired person is running short of money, and so, falling into a lower wealth group.

Which brings us to an excellent article in the March, 2015 issue of NewScientist Magazine. Here are a few excerpts, plus our thoughts.

Migrants and asylum seekers are not a zero-sum game
06 March 2015 by Victoria Esses

An unfounded fear of competition is driving anti-immigration sentiment in the West.

It’s not exactly competition the anti-immigrants fear. The rich aren’t afraid of competition, because in reality, there is no competition for the rich.

The fear is that the immigrants will narrow that Gap, by being smart, hard-working, motivated people — in short, being assets to America and the American economy. So the rich invent excuses to keep these people down or out.

Of course, the middle- and lower-groups do fear the competition, so they eagerly accept the excuses offered by the rich.

IN SEPTEMBER 2014, tens of thousands of unaccompanied children from Central America had crossed the Mexican border illegally. There were polarised, angry debates on how to respond. President Obama called the issue a “humanitarian crisis” and worked to house and feed the children.

Others opposed using US resources to care for them.

These “others” would have opposed using any resources, even foreign resources. In reality, it was not the resources that concerned them.

Remember, federal tax dollars do not fund federal spending. The notion that federal taxpayers’ dollars support poor immigrants simply is wrong. America could support immigrants with no taxes at all.

Even understanding that would not change the prejudices of the populace.

Around the same time, a row erupted in Europe over migrant ships in the Mediterranean. Italy suspended its rescue missions and the UK refused to support a new European Union search and rescue operation, claiming it would encourage more migrants to attempt the crossing.

Aid agencies and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees retorted that such operations were necessary to save lives.

Saving immigrant lives is at the bottom of the priority list for those who already have been blessed with citizenship. It’s the “I’ve got mine” syndrome.

Anti-immigration activists, the media and political elites have created a crisis mentality in which immigrants are portrayed as “enemies at the gate”.

Even legal immigration has become controversial, with groups such as the UK Independence Party proposing stricter controls on migrants from certain parts of the EU.

Legality is the fake justification for keeping the “enemy” outside the gate. After all, the law easily could be changed to make the “illegal” immigrants legal. The anti-immigrant groups don’t want them to be legal, despite all the complaints about illegality.

As a rule, members of socially dominant groups tend to believe that their group is superior and hence entitled to resources and privileges.

To maintain their dominance, they must fend off “invading” groups who are seen as competing with them for finite resources including jobs, political power and cultural and religious influence.

This can occur irrespective of whether there are indeed limited resources and actual competition over them.

This belief in zero-sum competition is central to attitudes about immigration.

“Zero-sum” is the myth the rich teach to the rest of us. It’s the false claim that somehow, the federal government can run short of its own sovereign currency, with which to pay its bills — the false claim that because of immigrants we will run short of money and ideas.

It’s the false claim that immigrants “use up” jobs, when in reality, immigrants create jobs by being consumers.

It’s the false claim that immigrants are a net drag on the economy, when in reality, America was built by immigrants, and still grows, partly because of immigrants.

There is a widespread belief that any gains immigrants make must be at the expense of members of the host society. This belief is deeply embedded in Western society, even though it is seldom justified.

The upshot of these attitudes is hostility toward immigrants, self-aggrandisement – often in the form of nationalism – and support for the exclusion of immigrants and refugees.

Using aliens as scapegoats for the ills of a nation is an old trick, designed to cover up ills with the governing class.

When migrants are allowed to settle in a new country, they are often faced with a dilemma. If they are economically successful, they are seen as having taken jobs or opportunities away from local people; if they are not successful, they are seen as a drain on the system.

Sound familiar? It’s the conservative mantra.

Refugees and asylum seekers are especially likely to be treated with hostility. Research has shown that common themes in the media – including claims that asylum-seekers are “bogus” and associated with criminals, terrorists and disease.

This perception allows some in the host nations to assert that refugees deserve the unfair and inhumane treatment they receive.

The Ebola outbreak, for example, helped to fan the flames of anti-immigration sentiment against Hispanics in the US, even though there were no cases of Ebola in Latin American countries.

The “immigrants are diseased” incantation has been refuted repeatedly, though facts seldom overcome motivated belief. Consider this article:

America’s Long History of Immigrant Scaremongering
Conservatives claim that the young immigrants crossing the border are diseased and pose a dangerous public health risk. It’s a sad American tradition.

Conservative media figures have stoked tensions with wild and dishonest rhetoric on the supposed threat of new arrivals.

“Dengue fever, 50 to 100 million new cases a year of dengue fever worldwide. In Mexico, it is endemic. It’s a terrible disease, for anyone that’s had it,” said Fox News host Marc Siegel, who continued with a warning. “There’s no effective treatment of it. It’s now emerging in Texas because of the immigration crisis.”

Likewise, on her radio show, Laura Ingraham declared, “The government spreads the illegal immigrants across the country, and the disease is spread across the country.”

Rep. Louie Gohmert told conservative publication Newsmax that “we don’t know what diseases they’re bringing in.”

But we do. While a handful of reports suggest there are incoming children with illnesses like measles and tuberculosis, the vast majority of these minors are healthy and vaccinated.

Moreover, according to the Department of Homeland Security, border agents are required to screen “all incoming detainees to screen for any symptoms of contagious diseases of possible public health concern.”

In short, the odds that migrant children would cause a general infection of anything are slim to none, right-wing claims notwithstanding.

These facts are easy to find, but it’s not a surprise that immigration opponents would claim otherwise.

It’s not a surprise, because people will believe what they wish to believe, and conservatives ardently wish to believe anything and everything evil about immigrants, despite the facts.

American University professor Alan M. Kraut in an essay titled “Foreign Bodies: The Perennial Negotiation over Health and Culture in a Nation of Immigrants,” wrote, “the Chinese community of San Francisco found itself under siege (for) fear of bubonic plague.”

“The Irish were charged with bringing cholera to the United States in 1832. Later the Italians were stigmatized for polio. Tuberculosis was called the ‘Jewish disease.’ ”

In 2005, an episode of Lou Dobbs Tonight falsely asserted, “We have some enormous problems with horrendous diseases that are being brought into America by illegal aliens,” including 7,000 cases of leprosy in the past three years.

On his radio show, Bill O’Reilly agreed that immigrants were crossing the border with “tuberculosis, syphillis, and leprosy,” and in 2006, Pat Buchanan claimed “illegal aliens” were responsible for bedbug infestations in “26 states.”

(All) draw from a long history of ugly nativism and prejudice dressed as concern for public health. And you don’t have to be a liberal, or support immigration reform, to see that it’s a disgrace.

Prejudice itself is nothing more than disguised fear of the Gap below, being narrowed. Conservative broadcasters rely on the fear and ignorance of their audiences. Even when lies are discovered, conservative audiences forgive them. (Think of how little, if any, Bill O’Reilly’s repeated lies have cost hom.)

Returning to the NewScientist article:

Countries that integrate immigrants successfully are less likely to feel the stress and more likely to reap the benefits.

Those countries that simply try to slam the door shut are asking for trouble.

Would America be better off without the Chinese? The Japanese? The Germans? The Irish? The Jews? The Eastern Europeans? The Russians? The English?

We are not in a zero-sum game. Immigrants don’t subtract; they add ideas and effort and energy. We need immigrants continually to invigorate the American gene pool.

“Fortress America” is a doomed America.

Remember that the next time you watch or listen to FOX “news” et al. But you are smarter than that, aren’t you.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

The 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. Federally funded, 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. (Refer to this.)
8. Tax the very rich (.1%) more, with higher, progressive tax rates on all forms of income. (Click here)
9. Federal ownership of all banks (Click here and here)
10. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99% (Click here)

Initiating The Ten Steps sequentially will add dollars to the economy, stimulate the economy, and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest.

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.
1. A growing economy requires a growing supply of dollars (GDP=Federal Spending + Non-federal Spending + Net Exports)
2. All deficit spending grows the supply of dollars
3. The limit to federal deficit spending is an inflation that cannot be cured with interest rate control.
4. The limit to non-federal deficit spending is the ability to borrow.

Monetary Sovereignty

Monetary Sovereignty

Vertical gray bars mark recessions.

As the federal deficit growth lines drop, we approach recession, which will be cured only when the growth lines rise. Increasing federal deficit growth (aka “stimulus”) is necessary for long-term economic growth.


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