If you are not rich, the rich do not care about you. Nor do they care about your children and grandchildren. Nor do they care about poverty and hardship. As a group (and yes, there are some exceptions), they care solely about relative status, i.e. the Gap between the rich and the rest.
Without the Gap, no one would be rich, and the wider the Gap, the richer they are.
Bernie Sanders refers to himself as a “Democratic Socialist.” I don’t know why. Perhaps, the reason is that he supports certain “socialist policies” like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and various forms of welfare.
Wikipedia: Social ownership may refer to public ownership, cooperative ownership, citizen ownership of equity, or any combination of these.
Although there are many varieties of socialism and there is no single definition encapsulating all of them, social ownership is the common element shared by its various forms.
While Sanders advocates government benefits for the lower 99% income/wealth/power group, nowhere have I heard of him advocating government ownership, and that is the fundamental difference.
Clearly, Sanders isn’t a socialist, but his silly claim gives the upper 1% leave to paint him falsely as a Stalinist, Castroist communist.
If you like Social Security and Medicare, the rich consider you to be a communist.
The key question is: Are social programs, in capitalist America, good or bad for you, your children, your grandchildren, and for the nation?
In a country where the “S” word has been anathema, Sanders should have been a ready mark for Hillary Clinton, easily Red-baited, branded as an out-of-touch, elderly extremist and consigned to the fringes of political relevance.
But, according to the latest Public Policy Institute of California poll he has pulled to a dead heat with Clinton in the run-up to the Golden State’s critical primary election on June 7.
Part of the reason: Hillary Clinton taps the “unlikable” button among many Americans. While Trump is a blatant liar and seemingly proud of it, Republicans excuse, even enjoy, those lies.
Clinton, by contrast, is seen as a sneak, even by Democrats. It’s a matter of charisma, not honesty. He has charisma. She doesn’t.
Another reason Sanders remains in the fight is that the Red-baiting tactics directed against him largely have failed.
Those tactics—which have been deployed in both overt, traditional forms and in coded, latter-day garb—have been continuous and unrelenting. They have come from Democrats and Republicans as well as from the mainstream media.
Missouri Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill: “I think the media is giving Bernie a pass right now. I very rarely read in any coverage of Bernie that he’s a socialist.”
CNN’s Anderson Cooper: “How can any kind of socialist win a general election in the United States? The Republican attack ad in the general election—it writes itself. You supported the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. You honeymooned in the Soviet Union. And just this weekend, you said you were not a capitalist.”
In the old, cold-war days, saying someone was a socialist, or worse, a communist, was akin to calling him a criminal and a rapist (sorry Donald).
Sanders responded with a class analysis rarely heard on primetime television but that has, nonetheless, become the now-familiar cornerstone of his campaign. “We’re going to win because we’re going to explain that it is immoral and wrong that the top one-tenth of 1 percent in this country own … almost as much as the bottom 90 percent. That it is wrong, today, in a rigged economy, that 57 percent of all new income is going to the top 1 percent.”
The unfairness of today’s system, in which the top .1% own as much as the bottom 90%, resonates with Americans. This is not “the rich are makers, the poor are takers” myth sold to the American public by the rich right wing.
In fact, it is just the opposite, where the rich really are the takers, while the poor are the real makers.
The rich panic at the thought the 99% may at last begin to understand how the rich steal from them. And when the rich panic, the bribed politicians, the owned media, and the funded economists also panic:
New York Times political correspondent Jonathan Martin brought many of their anxious voices together in an article published on Jan. 19. “Here in the heartland, we like our politicians in the mainstream, and he is not. He’s a socialist.”
Apparently, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, federal roads, federal bridges, the military, elementary and high schools, food and drug examination, etc., etc., all of which are government funded, are not “mainstream” enough for the New York Times. Presumably, they are “socialism.”
Missouri Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon said. “As far as having him at the top of the ticket, it would be a meltdown all the way down the ballot.” A Sanders candidacy “wouldn’t be helpful outside Vermont, Massachusetts, Berkeley, Palo Alto and Ann Arbor,” Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., said. Martin also quoted McCaskill as saying: “The Republicans … can’t wait to run an ad with a hammer and sickle.”
Oooohhh. Medicare for the masses is oh-so-Soviet Union, according to Nixon.
GOP strategist Ryan Williams, who worked as Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign spokesman, said. “Bernie Sanders is literally a card-carrying socialist.”
Well, literally, Sanders is a card-carrying liberal, who believes the rich get a free ride on the backs of the not-rich.
As Sanders railed against sexism and economic, racial and environmental injustice and made his trademark pitch for “political revolution,” it occurred to me over the cheering of the crowd that something genuinely transformative was indeed happening, and that a new movement of the left was being born, if it had not already arrived.
Actually, the so-called “new movement of the left” is nothing more than the left. It’s the knowledge that the purpose of government is to aid the governed — all the governed, not just the rich.
The rich denigrate the poor and anything that helps the poor. They mischaracterize the poor as lazy and deserving of their poverty, though it is the rich that pay for the laws causing and perpetuating poverty.
If you accept Social Security and Medicare, the rich call you a “taker,” though you may have worked your whole life while they lounged on their yachts.
Anything that helps you will be given the epithet, “socialism,” and anything that helps them is the “American way.”
The bought-and-paid-for politicians, media and economists say you should be ashamed to accept so-called “free stuff” from the government, though “free stuff” is exactly what the government is supposed to provide to its people — free military and police protection, free courts, free education, free food and drug inspection, free roads and bridges, free health care.
The rich don’t want you to have what they have, so they use every device to prevent it. They tell you “socialism” is bad, then label every social benefit, “socialism.”
The rich have the best health care money can buy. Bernie Sanders proposes that you have it, too. The rich hate that.
There is a human cost to you, your family, your community and the nation, in following the rich.
Two groups to be wary of, if they say, “I want to help you”: The IRS and the rich.
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Ten Steps to Prosperity:
1. ELIMINATE FICA (Ten Reasons to Eliminate FICA )
Although the article lists 10 reasons to eliminate FICA, there are two fundamental reasons:
*FICA is the most regressive tax in American history, widening the Gap by punishing the low and middle-income groups, while leaving the rich untouched, and
*The federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign, neither needs nor uses FICA to support Social Security and Medicare.
2. FEDERALLY FUNDED MEDICARE — PARTS A, B & D, PLUS LONG TERM CARE — FOR EVERYONE (H.R. 676, Medicare for All )
This article addresses the questions:
*Does the economy benefit when the rich afford better health care than the rest of Americans?
*Aside from improved health care, what are the other economic effects of “Medicare for everyone?”
*How much would it cost taxpayers?
*Who opposes it?”
3. PROVIDE AN ECONOMIC BONUS TO EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD IN AMERICA, AND/OR EVERY STATE, A PER CAPITA ECONOMIC BONUS (The JG (Jobs Guarantee) vs the GI (Guaranteed Income) vs the EB) Or institute a reverse income tax.
This article is the fifth in a series about direct financial assistance to Americans:
Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Employer of Last Resort is a bad idea. Sunday, Jan 1 2012
MMT’s Job Guarantee (JG) — “Another crazy, rightwing, Austrian nutjob?” Thursday, Jan 12 2012
Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Jobs Guarantee is like the EU’s euro: A beloved solution to the wrong problem. Tuesday, May 29 2012
“You can’t fire me. I’m on JG” Saturday, Jun 2 2012
Economic growth should include the “bottom” 99.9%, not just the .1%, the only question being, how best to accomplish that. Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) favors giving everyone a job. Monetary Sovereignty (MS) favors giving everyone money. The five articles describe the pros and cons of each approach.
4. FREE EDUCATION (INCLUDING POST-GRAD) FOR EVERYONEFive reasons why we should eliminate school loans
Monetarily non-sovereign State and local governments, despite their limited finances, support grades K-12. That level of education may have been sufficient for a largely agrarian economy, but not for our currently more technical economy that demands greater numbers of highly educated workers.
Because state and local funding is so limited, grades K-12 receive short shrift, especially those schools whose populations come from the lowest economic groups. And college is too costly for most families.
An educated populace benefits a nation, and benefiting the nation is the purpose of the federal government, which has the unlimited ability to pay for K-16 and beyond.
5. SALARY FOR ATTENDING SCHOOL
Even were schooling to be completely free, many young people cannot attend, because they and their families cannot afford to support non-workers. In a foundering boat, everyone needs to bail, and no one can take time off for study.
If a young person’s “job” is to learn and be productive, he/she should be paid to do that job, especially since that job is one of America’s most important.
6. ELIMINATE CORPORATE TAXES
Corporations themselves exist only as legalities. They don’t pay taxes or pay for anything else. They are dollar-tranferring machines. They transfer dollars from customers to employees, suppliers, shareholders and the government (the later having no use for those dollars).
Any tax on corporations reduces the amount going to employees, suppliers and shareholders, which diminishes the economy. Ultimately, all corporate taxes come around and reappear as deductions from your personal income.
7. INCREASE THE STANDARD INCOME TAX DEDUCTION, ANNUALLY. (Refer to this.)
Federal taxes punish taxpayers and harm the economy. The federal government has no need for those punishing and harmful tax dollars. There are several ways to reduce taxes, and we should evaluate and choose the most progressive approaches.
Cutting FICA and corporate taxes would be an good early step, as both dramatically affect the 99%. Annual increases in the standard income tax deduction, and a reverse income tax also would provide benefits from the bottom up. Both would narrow the Gap.
8. TAX THE VERY RICH (THE “.1%) MORE, WITH HIGHER PROGRESSIVE TAX RATES ON ALL FORMS OF INCOME. (TROPHIC CASCADE)
There was a time when I argued against increasing anyone’s federal taxes. After all, the federal government has no need for tax dollars, and all taxes reduce Gross Domestic Product, thereby negatively affecting the entire economy, including the 99.9%.
But I have come to realize that narrowing the Gap requires trimming the top. It simply would not be possible to provide the 99.9% with enough benefits to narrow the Gap in any meaningful way. Bill Gates reportedly owns $70 billion. To get to that level, he must have been earning $10 billion a year. Pick any acceptable Gap (1000 to 1?), and the lowest paid American would have to receive $10 million a year. Unreasonable.
9. FEDERAL OWNERSHIP OF ALL BANKS (Click The end of private banking and How should America decide “who-gets-money”?)
Banks have created all the dollars that exist. Even dollars created at the direction of the federal government, actually come into being when banks increase the numbers in checking accounts. This gives the banks enormous financial power, and as we all know, power corrupts — especially when multiplied by a profit motive.
Although the federal government also is powerful and corrupted, it does not suffer from a profit motive, the world’s most corrupting influence.
10. INCREASE FEDERAL SPENDING ON THE MYRIAD INITIATIVES THAT BENEFIT AMERICA’S 99.9% (Federal agencies)Browse the agencies. See how many agencies benefit the lower- and middle-income/wealth/ power groups, by adding dollars to the economy and/or by actions more beneficial to the 99.9% than to the .1%.
Save this reference as your primer to current economics. Sadly, much of the material is not being taught in American schools, which is all the more reason for you to use it.
The Ten Steps will grow the economy, and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and you.
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
THE RECESSION CLOCK
Recessions begin an average of 2 years after the blue line first dips below zero. A common phenomenon is for the line briefly to dip below zero, then rise above zero, before falling dramatically below zero. There was a brief dip below zero in 2015, followed by another dip – the familiar pre-recession pattern.
Recessions are cured by a rising red line.
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.
•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..
•No nation can tax itself into prosperity, nor grow without money growth.
•Cutting federal deficits to grow the economy is like applying leeches to cure anemia.
•A growing economy requires a growing supply of money (GDP = Federal Spending + Non-federal Spending + Net Exports)
•Deficit spending grows the supply of money
•The limit to federal deficit spending is an inflation that cannot be cured with interest rate control.
•The limit to non-federal deficit spending is the ability to borrow.
•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 the rest..
•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..