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In our previous post, published on 11/12/16, we wrote;
Do you remember those thousands of people attending Trump rallies? Do you remember how excited they were?
They were the Democratic base, though they didn’t realize it, and Trump was telling them what they wanted to hear.
They were the working class, the less educated, the unemployed, the union members, the production line workers, the honest, compassionate, charitable people who had worked, and worked, and worked, and now no longer can afford to retire, or to send their kids to college, or to pay that outrageous college debt, or to pay their mortgage, or receive what our great economy has to offer.
Don’t search for esoteric and hidden reasons why Hillary lost. The Democratic liberal base, composed of ordinary, working class, compassionate Americans, is far, far larger than is the Republican conservative base of the rich, the bigots, and the religious extremists.
They were the traditional Democrats — the FDR, HST, JFK, LBJ liberal-leaning Democrats, who simply wanted good healthcare, food, clothing, housing, education and retirement benefits.
This massive majority would have voted for an “LBJ” Hillary, but instead were offered an “Obama” Hillary
Hillary lost for one reason, and one reason only. She allowed Donald Trump to take the Democratic base.
While Clinton had told them “Things are good, just the way they are, so stay the course,” Trump had told them “Things are bad; It’s not your fault;” and “I will fix it.”
They believed Trump, simply because things were bad for them and they desperately wanted someone to fix it.
On the following day, 11/13/16, Nation of Change published comments made by Bernie Sanders:
“I am saddened, but not surprised, by the outcome. It is no shock to me that millions of people who voted for Mr. Trump did so because they are sick and tired of the economic, political and media status quo.
“Working families watch as politicians get campaign financial support from billionaires and corporate interests — and then ignore the needs of ordinary Americans.
“Over the last 30 years, too many Americans were sold out by their corporate bosses. They work longer hours for lower wages as they see decent paying jobs go to China, Mexico or some other low-wage country.
“They are tired of having chief executives make 300 times what they do, while 52 percent of all new income goes to the top 1 percent.
“Many of their once beautiful rural towns have depopulated, their downtown stores are shuttered, and their kids are leaving home because there are no jobs — all while corporations suck the wealth out of their communities and stuff them into offshore accounts.
“Let’s rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and create millions of well-paying jobs. Let’s raise the minimum wage to a living wage, help students afford to go to college, provide paid family and medical leave and expand Social Security.
“Let’s reform an economic system that enables billionaires like Mr. Trump not to pay a nickel in federal income taxes. And most important, let’s end the ability of wealthy campaign contributors to buy elections.”
Those not only are mostly true statements , but they are absolutely true in the eyes of the working class Democratic base.
What you, Senator Sanders, didn’t say is how you really would pay for it all.
Trump offered a confused, tax-reform model, that was notable in its misdirection. You offered a more traditional approach, indicating some tax increases that almost would “pay” for it.
But, despite having Professor Stephanie Kelton on your payroll — (She understands that federal taxes do not fund federal spending) — you did not have the courage to tell the real truth. You did not explain the reality of Monetary Sovereignty .
You did not have the political courage to tell the Democratic base why FICA could and should be eliminated, providing an instant pay increase to salaried workers and an instant stimulus to business. (Step #1 of the Ten Steps to Prosperity, below).
You did not have the political courage to explain why every man, woman, and child in America could be covered by comprehensive Medicare Parts A, B, and D, fully paid for by the federal government (Step #2 of the Ten Steps).
You did not have the political courage to tell Americans that each year they could receive from the federal government, an economic stipend, a bonus to help them accumulate savings for the future or to cover bills now. (Step #3)
You did not explain how the federal government could fund free education, all the way through grades 13-16 and beyond, for every American who wanted it. (Step #4).
In short, you were on the right track, but you lacked political courage. Perhaps your fearful advisors told you the public would not accept the notion of a “free lunch.” Or perhaps, the political cowardice was of your own making.
I can understand you, Sen. Sanders, not agreeing with all 10 of the “Ten Steps.” You may have other steps in mind that you consider more important, more effective or more feasible.
But for heaven’s sake, at least be brave enough to tell people the facts. Trust your base enough to believe that most will understand and welcome the beneficial truth.
Tell them why the government has the power to improve their lives, without raising their taxes.
The Democratic base believed Trump’s ridiculous lies, that he had the courage to spew; they would have believed your beneficial facts, if only you had the same courage.
But because you so greatly feared loss, you lost.
As did America.
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
P.S. Within a year, no one will remember voting for Trump — but we will remind you.
The single most important problems in economics involve the excessive income/wealth/power Gaps between the rich and the rest.
Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics.
Implementation of The Ten Steps To Prosperity can narrow the Gaps:
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 can afford better health care than can 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 ANNUAL 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-transferring 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 a 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.