Often, in an argument, much can be learned by looking closely and honestly at the other side, to see what elements of truth might lie there.
Consider, for instance, Gun Violence
What if the weapons manufacturers and their paid lobbyists, the NRA, are right after all? What if it’s true that “guns don’t kill people; people kill people”?
What if limiting gun purchases and stronger gun-control laws don’t work? What if allowing everyone own a gun makes you safer?
I personally don’t believe these things, but what if they were true?
Hold that thought, as we move to the next problem:
The Gap between the rich and the rest.
Have you noticed that the wealthier parts of town have fewer gun murders than do the less-affluent neighborhoods?
Is there a genetic difference between poor babies and rich babies, that makes poor babies more desirous of shooting people?
Is there a genetic difference between poor babies and rich babies, that makes rich babies grow up to be more honest and compassionate?
Does a genetic difference cause rich babies to grow up more ambitious and harder working? Is it a genetic difference that causes poor fathers to run away from home more often, leaving poor children without role models?
Are there cultural and traditional differences? Is there a common culture among poor blacks, poor whites, and poor Latinos, a common culture that is different from the common culture of all rich people (some of whom are black, white and Latino)?
What is the one common element among poor blacks, poor whites, and poor Latinos? The answer is clear.
The single common element among all poor people is they all are poor.
Poor people may be black, white or brown, more or less intelligent, lazy or hard working, happy or sad, caring or uncaring, honest or dishonest, good parents or bad, ruthless or compassionate, religious or not — but the one thing they all have in common is a lack of money.
And therein lies the solution to two problems: Gun killings and the Gap.
Because all poor neighborhoods, of all colors and faiths, are more subject to gangs and gun violence, and the only common element among all poor neighborhoods is poverty, then one partial solution to gun violence is to reduce poverty.
Rather than try to attack gun violence at the level of gun ownership, or blather on about Constitutional rights, perhaps we simply should attack the most fundamental cause.
If we reduce the Gap between the rich and the rest, we automatically can reduce gang warfare and shootings.
I don’t need to keep a gun for protection. I live in an upscale community where gun violence is quite rare. Some of my neighbors may have or even carry guns; I don’t know which ones may.
But, mathematically, I would increase my odds of being shot if I kept a loaded gun in the house or carried one in the street.
I’m sure there are plenty of drugs in our schools, but drug gang warfare is non-existent and shootings unheard of.
It’s not that my neighbors and I are morally superior, or more intelligent, or harder working. Far from it.
The difference is we don’t have to commit street crime in order to make ends meet.
I have no trouble paying for food, clothing, and lodging. I don’t need to rob anyone, and my neighbors don’t need to rob me.
The vast majority of the few burglaries in our town are committed by people who come from a neighboring town, where poverty is far more common.
You seldom hear of a rich man committing burglary or robbery. Rich people may commit white-collar crime, but not gun crime.
Yes, there can be exceptions, but historically the most common gun crimes are committed by the poor, so a partial solution to gun crime is to reduce the number of poor people.
The best protection you can give to your family and yourself is not to own a gun, but rather to help lift the poor.
This may be counter-intuitive to those who despise the poor, and who attribute to the poor all sorts of demeaning characteristics.
But this much is true: If you lived in an area where there were no poor, you wouldn’t need to own or carry a gun for protection.
(And no, carrying a gun will not protect you from a government-orchestrated military takeover. So puleeze, no conspiracy theories.)
Here we have a straightforward partial solution to gun violence and to the Gap, all rolled into one. No need to even argue about the 2nd Amendment.
Simply institute the Ten Steps to Prosperity (below).
It’s a much more moral and surer way to protect your family and yourself.
Rather than writing to your Congressperson, asking for a loosening of gun laws, ask him/her to read the Ten Steps and to implement them.
Protect your self and your family by helping others.
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.