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●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.
●The single most important problem in economics is the gap between rich and poor.
●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.
The current belief is that the universe is expanding faster and faster, and as its expansion speed increases, it will exceed even the speed of light, so the light from the most distant stars no longer will reach us.
One day, if humans still live, the sky will contain no visible stars at all, and the universe will be lost to us.
Imagine that you teach. If, of what you know today, half will be obsolete tomorrow, and half again the next day, how long will it be before you know nothing, and no longer are able to teach effectively, despite your best efforts to keep up?
That is the world in which we live, today, a world of ever-increasing speed of change. And the problem is not being addressed in our schools.
I just returned from attending my grandson’s graduation from Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT).
A high percentage of students there are computer nerds, who do things that weren’t even imagined, just a handful of years ago.
I asked, “How do teachers keep up with changes, so they don’t teach obsolete concepts?”
The answer was: “They can’t. They try, but we learn more by doing and from each other and from the Internet. In many cases, what they know, no longer is correct.”
And that is how education has changed, at least in some disciplines.
Fifty years ago, when I received an MBA, I went out into the world knowing some of business. My knowledge expanded through practical experience, but the basics hardly changed. Comparatively little was new information.
Television was the great advertising medium, and ten years later, it still was. Newspapers magazines and radio were next. There were department stores and large food chains and a few chain appliance/furniture outlets. We kept folded maps in our glove compartments.
Ten years later, it was much the same.
We had the Encyclopedia Britannica, which though revised only every decade, still was mostly current. That tells you something.
Change was slow and marketing was simple. Teachers could keep up. They even could stop learning and still keep up, because those todays so resembled yesterdays.
In the sum of information, the ratio of old to new was heavily skewed toward old. Today, it is much less so.
In 2015, if you’re a marketer, you have TV, radio and print and Walmart, Target, Costco et al. You also have Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Reddit, Linkedin, Google, Pinterest, Amazon, EBay and on and on and on.
If you’re in the world of animation graphics, like my grandson, yesterday you learned how to mimic skin, hair, foliage, clouds, rain, snow, water and myriad forms of live action. Today, you know of programs that can do all that for you. What took you eighty hours yesterday, now requires eight minutes.
There are new programs for interior designers and architects and builders of every sort. New programs for the deaf, the blind and the lame.
The people at PIXAR and Industrial Light and Magic know more about animation than any university professor ever will know — and even what these movie experts know today will be obsolete tomorrow.
One teacher even said to my grandson on graduation day, “You already know more than I know.” While the teacher spent his time teaching what he knew, the pupil spent his time learning what the teacher didn’t know.
All of the above is a prelude to my suggestion that the university, as we know it, is as obsolete as the Brownie camera. The ivied and cloistered halls of knowledge, containing professorial founts of information — all obsolete.
The knowledge and information are elsewhere.
Today, aside from the disciplines that may change slowly — history, philosophy et al — the primary function of a university is a social one, where young people can begin to spread their wings toward maturity, meet and learn by interacting with other young people, and dive into the process of discovery and self-discovery.
Think of a university professor as a sports team coach, no longer able to do what his superior athletes do, but rather guiding and suggesting and critiqueing.
During their college careers, students sometimes are asked to produce theses, papers in which students attempt to prove some proposition. To grant an advanced degree — Masters or Doctoral — most universities require a dissertation, a form of thesis, only longer, more detailed and more original.
Both a thesis and a dissertation are based on:
1) What the student has learned from professors and assigned activities
2) Plus what the student learns via his own research
3) Plus the originality the student creates.
In my ancient experience as a student, #1 was by far, the most important and the most time-consuming. The teacher taught; the students learned what the teacher taught; then we all went home.
Today, even high school students — even elementary school students — may know more, in many cases, than their teachers. The old way not only was limited to what the teacher knew, but was limited to what the teacher imagined.
That is the real crime, for young people have the greatest ability to imagine, an ability that declines with age, as we too often learn what is “not possible.”
To take advantage of the human mind’s abilities, not just to learn and remember, but to change and create, education must change. The teacher lecturing before the class is an obsolete model.
And here is where it becomes difficult for me, because at the age of 80, my own imagination surely has been squandered and dissipated.
But, using what little imagination remains, I suspect that the better educational model is sports.
Consider a football team. There is head coach, a quarterback coach, defensive and offensive line coaches, a defensive back coach, a running back coach, a special teams coach, a kicking coach, etc.
The team may employ a sports psychologist and a physical trainer. Each player might have a financial adviser and a publicist and who knows what else?
The players work with coaches separately, and all together. The coaches provide ideas and suggestions, and each player adds his own creativity, before, during and after each game.
Every game is less a test (which is static) and more a thesis (which evolves and requires ongoing creativity). The Super Bowl is a dissertation.
If the players learned only what they were taught, they might be good. Adding their own personal skills and creativity to the mix, game after game, can make them great.
The analogy is far from perfect, as are most analogies, but I suspect education should operate something like sports teams, where there are multiple coaches, working separately and together, devoted to the members of the team.
Consider a class of students to be the team, and several teachers to be the coaches, all working one-on-one, together. The students would be asked to produce multiple theses, sometimes working alone and sometimes in groups.
Some of the assignments would be theoretical and some practical. The students would be judged on their imaginations and practical development. The teachers would guide, help and suggest, and they would be judged on student achievement.
You might think that’s the way things already work. Students have multiple classes and multiple teachers. But what they don’t have is a team of teachers, working together and separately, helping the students to take the lead in their own educations.
The team is greater than the sum of its individuals, and the individuals are greater than the sum of their knowledge.
Students continuously would tap into the latest information from both within and outside those cloistered halls, from their teachers and from their fellow students, and from others, and bring that information to the team.
It’s a student-directed, rather than a teacher-directed approach, which I believe will ameliorate the increasingly greater problem of information obsolescence.
As humans, most of what we learn, we learn socially. In many disciplines, the world is moving too fast for any teacher to stay current. Perhaps, in those disciplines, the students can help teach each other.
The current system breeds information obsolescence, like the light from the increasingly distant stars, information increasingly is out of the sight of even our best teachers.
To learn the new, our students must chase the new, rather than hoping a teacher will bring the new to them.
We really have no choice.
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
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.
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 growth lines rise. Increasing federal deficit growth (aka “stimulus”) is necessary for long-term economic growth.