Generally, a scam requires the active participation of the victim.
The victim is told something that so appeals to his/her desires, the victim ignores all common sense. Once hooked, the victim defends his decision vigorously, often angrily.
A classic example is the Nigerian scam, in which the victim receives an Email informing him he has an opportunity to receive a share of many millions of dollars if he helps move that money out of the bank in which it now resides.
Once the victim agrees, there ensue “complications,” which require the bribing of officials and other costs. The victim is asked to send funds — again and again.
The victim, deprived of logic, continues to send money, and of course, never does receive a share of the mythical millions, while the scammers are enriched.
The Nigerian scam relies on two psychological attributes: Greed and our strong human desire to believe what we wish to believe, both of which can be so powerful as to overwhelm our ability to reason.
Which brings us to what we call the “Nigerian” gun scam”. It has the same attributes as the Nigerian scam — a scammer, a victim, and the transfer of the victim’s money — except instead of greed, it uses another powerful human emotion, perhaps the most powerful of all: fear.
Like the Nigerian scam, the “Nigerian gun scam’ enlists the strong desire to believe what we wish to believe. And this scam too, enriches the scammers at the expense of the victims.
A shooting, believed to be a murder-suicide, has become another example used in the nation-wide conversation on gun violence and overtook media and social media for hours. But what about the recent series of shootings that failed to reach such national attention in Chicago?
At least 62 people in Chicago were shot during Memorial Day weekend. Six of those victims died.
One 18-year-old victim was standing on his porch when he was shot in a drive-by. Another 26-year-old victim was driving when she was shot.
About halfway through 2016, more than 1,500 people have been shot so far in Chicago.
The scam is the claim by the gun manufacturers (using the NRA as their mouthpiece) that sending them money will make you safer. The scam appeals to your fear and to your desire to believe what you want to believe, no matter how ridiculous.
Think of all the illogical beliefs you must adopt, to override your common sense, and to make you send your money to the gun manufacturers. You are told to believe:
- Guns are not dangerous killing machines; the strangers around you are reliable, responsible, and sane enough to carry a device that could kill you instantly.
- If both of the two victims of the murder/suicide had sent their money to the gun manufacturers, they would not have died.
- If the 18-year-old, standing on his porch during a drive-by shooting, had sent his money to the gun manufacturers, he would not have been shot.
- If the 26-year-old woman, driving her car, had sent her money to the gun manufacturers, she would be alive, today.
- Chicago would be a safer place if more people had sent their money to the gun manufacturers
- The words, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,” have absolutely no meaning. They are the only words the framers included in the Bill of Rights for no reason at all.
- The gun manufacturers have your best interests at heart, and do not fund the NRA (which also has your best interests at heart) for the sole purpose of selling everyone more guns.
- Politicians are not bribed by the gun manufacturers to interpret the law in a way most favorable to gun sales.
Pretty crazy, huh? And that’s only part of it. You also must suspend your intelligence and believe:
- Despite all evidence to the contrary, you must believe that sending your money to the gun manufacturers, and having a gun in your home, makes you safer.
- Having killing machines in your home makes your children safer
- You will be in less danger of being shot if all of your neighbors and strangers send their money to gun manufacturers, and carry guns.
- You will be in less danger if you, your neighbors and strangers, all have the most powerful guns available.
Like all scams, the “Nigerian gun scam” turns otherwise intelligent people into ardent believers of nonsense, willing — no demanding — to send their money to scammers whose sole goal is to separate the victims from their dollars.
Typically, if you try to tell a scam victim he is being scammed, he will deny it.
And so it is with the “Nigerian gun scam.” Tell a victim of the “Nigerian gun scam” he is being scammed, and you will receive angry invective, justifying his nonsensical belief in the scam.
Fear, greed and the desire to believe what we wish to believe are powerful motivators. Strong emotions cloud our judgement.
So, tell the truth now: Are you now, or have you been, a victim of the “Nigerian gun scam”?
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..