–The magic of partial solutions

Twitter: @rodgermitchell; Search #monetarysovereignty
Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

Mitchell’s laws:
•Those, who do not understand the differences between Monetary Sovereignty and monetary non-sovereignty, do not understand economics.
•Any monetarily NON-sovereign government — be it city, county, state or nation — that runs an ongoing trade deficit, eventually will run out of money.
•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.
•Everything in economics devolves to motive, and the motive is the Gap between the rich and the rest..



Nearly all human problems are solved in increments. It is rare for any problem to be solved entirely, by one all-encompassing solution.

Influenza is a problem. It is not completely solved by vaccination, but vaccination does reduce the number and severity of cases. Vaccination is a partial solution.

The Chicago Bears’s problem is in winning games. A better defensive line, or a better defensive backfield or a better quarterback will not solve the problem. But each is a worthwhile partial solution.

The widening income/wealth/power gap between the rich and the rest is a serious problem. Step #1 in the 10 Steps to prosperity (Eliminate FICA), won’t solve the problem. It’s a partial solution.

The inability of the poor to obtain a college education is a problem. A partial solution is Step #4 in the 10 Steps to Prosperity: Free education (including post-grad) for everyone.

It won’t solve the whole problem. Many poor students don’t receive enough of a K-12 education to allow for success in 13+. And some so need to work for dollars, even free college isn’t enough to attract them. Step #4 is a partial solution.

Each of the Ten Steps to Prosperity is “only” a partial solution.

Every scientific, business and technical advance in history is one “car” in a long train of partial solutions.

Yet some people regard seriously, the quasi-logical objection, “It won’t solve the problem.”

Gun murder is a problem. But any suggestions regarding the evaluation of gun purchasers, stricter gun laws or less lethal guns are dismissed by the National Rifle Association and its gun-manufacturer sponsors as not solving “the problem.”

“It won’t prevent mass murder.” “It won’t stop bad guys from getting guns.” “If someone wants to kill, they can use a knife.” “If guns are illegal, only criminals will have guns.” Etc, etc, etc..

But each gun-control proposal is an attempt at a partial solution, that to some degree will lessen the problem. Problems are solved by partial solutions.

Restricting gun ownership to just a few types of less lethal weapons, won’t prevent all gun-related murders. Some “bad guys” might acquire the more lethal weapons, but some might not. And even less-lethal weapons can kill. But isn’t preventing some gun-related murders an improvement?

And using a national database to prevent gun ownership by the mentally challenged or by criminals, will not prevent all mass school shootings. Some crazies and criminals will get guns. But isn’t stopping some mass shootings worthwhile?

And no, requiring gun owners to belong to that “well-regulated militia” mentioned in the Constitution, will not prevent all “bad guys” from acquiring guns — but it would stop some of them.

And adding an automatic 20-year sentence to any crime involving a gun, will not prevent all gun-related crimes — but it would stop some of them.

We all are born good guys. The first time someone commits a crime, he becomes a “bad guy.” The easy availability of guns turns some good guys into bad guys. Making guns less available is a partial solution to gun crime.

Many gun-related murders are committed in the home, by husbands, wives and other relatives and friends. A law requiring anyone receiving an order of protection, to turn in all guns in their possession, might prevent some of those gun murders.

Gun accidents occur in the home. A law requiring guns to have trigger locks when stored might prevent some gun accidents.

(This begs the question, “Would the NRA’s call for more gun ownership eliminate gun murder?” Of course not. Even the NRA could claim it only would be a partial solution, though in all probability it greatly would exacerbate the problem.)

This post has focused on gun injuries and killings, partly as an example of partial solutions, and partly because partial solutions routinely are demeaned by gun owners.

The need for partial solutions applies to all problems and all laws.

One could argue that even with laws against burglary, “bad guys” burgle, while “good guys” (victims) are at a disadvantage. They lose by being burgled.

Eliminate laws against burglary, and everyone could burgle, which would “level the playing field,” just as allowing everyone to carry a gun supposedly levels the playing field. So, shall we eliminate laws against burglary?

One could argue that no law makes sense, because “bad guys” will break the law, and the only people obeying the law would be “good guy” victims. Shall we eliminate all laws?

In a world without laws, the less moral — the bad guys — have a tactical advantage over the more moral. But fortunately in our society, we do have laws, which we base on some elements of our perceived morality, to protect the moral from the immoral.

We pass our laws, not believing they will be totally curative, but rather because we believe they will, to greater or lesser degree, be ameliorative.

Some prevention is better than none.

Bottom line: All laws restrict “good guys” and all laws are partial solutions. But we need laws.

Never demean the power of “only” partial solutions. Partial solutions are all we have.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

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 Click here
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)

The Ten Steps 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

Recessions come after the blue line drops below zero.

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.


4 thoughts on “–The magic of partial solutions

  1. And no sooner do we post “The Magic of Background Checks,” than we read this denial of partial solutions:

    4 Reasons ‘Universal Background Checks’ for Gun Buyers Are a Bad Idea, by Jacob Sullum

    1. Expanding the background check requirement makes no sense as a response to mass shootings, because the perpetrators of these crimes, including last week’s massacre in Oregon, typically either have actually passed background checks or could do so because they do not have disqualifying criminal or psychiatric records.

    I accented the word “typically,” because it is is different from “always.” In short, background checks would be a partial solution, that prevents some “bad guys” from buying guns.

    2. Expanding the background check requirement makes little sense as a response to more common forms of gun violence, since criminals with felony records can always obtain weapons on the black market, through buyers with clean records, or by theft.

    “More common forms” (whatever that means), but not all forms. Some forms of gun violence would be prevented.

    3. Expanding the background check requirement, especially if it is coupled with “improved” databases, compounds the injustice of disarming millions of people who pose no threat to others but are nevertheless forbidden to own guns because they use illegal drugs, overstay a visa, were once subjected to court-ordered psychiatric treatment, or have felony records, even if they have never committed a violent crime.

    We won’t even discuss the blase attitude about illegal drug use, psychiatric treatments and felony records. Rather, let’s point to the misleading concern about innocent people being subject to the law.

    Should I, a licensed driver, be required to carry my drivers license, just because some drivers are not licensed? Why am I, an innocent person, required to go through airport security?

    Yes, innocent people often are inconvenienced by laws. That’s the price of living in a society.

    4. Expanding the background check requirement is not the same as actually compelling people to perform background checks for private gun transfers. Many gun owners will balk at the inconvenience and expense of finding and paying a licensed dealer who is willing to facilitate a transaction.

    Actually, I “balk at the inconvenience and expense” of transferring my title when I sell a car. If we can do it for cars, we can do it for guns.

    In Oregon, which expanded its background-check requirement in August, some local law enforcement officials have publicly stated they do not plan to enforce the new rule, either because they do not have the resources or because they view it as an unconstitutional intrusion.

    The federal government has the resources. And yes, there are people who refuse to obey the law. One notable is the lady who won’t grant marriage licenses to gay couples. Should such refusals determine our laws?

    The Oregonian notes that “there is no centralized registry of guns in Oregon…that could be used to track a gun found in a criminal’s possession.” The federal government has no such registry either, so how can it possibly hope to track transfers and make sure background checks are performed?

    Uh . . . how about, create a registry?

    Even with hefty criminal penalties, widespread noncompliance is a certainty. Consider: Does the theoretical prospect of a 10-year prison sentence deter gun owners from smoking pot or pot smokers from owning guns?

    Answer: Yes, it does deter. Absolutely, 100% prevent? No. But deter, yes.

    In short, Mr. Sullum has quoted all the phony excuses for doing nothing about gun violence. After all, nothing we do will eliminate gun violence, so why do anything? Right, Mr. Sullum?

    Everytime you read or hear a defense of widespread gun ownership, ask yourself, “Does this defense ignore the value of partial solutions?”


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