I smell the meat a’cookin’. The new privatization scam.

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We’ve posted before about infamous Illinois politician, Paul Powell who when salivating over another crooked political deal said, “I smell the meat a’cookin’”. 

Ah, Illinois, the land of the incarcerated pol, where the tried-and-true political route is: First, get elected; then, steal money; then, go to jail.

The smart ones, like the recent Mayor Daley, don’t go to jail, but rather are rewarded by an insider law firm with a do-nothing, “thank you” job.

Otherwise, from the top — governors — to the bottom — Chicago aldermen — it is a well-travelled path of Illinois political chicanery.

We frequently have posted about another well-travelled path of political chicanery: Privatization.

Examples are:

1. TSA and the great privatization scam: Part II;

2. Why Privatization? Here’s why;

3. PRIVATIZATION: The Road to Perdition in the United States of Koch;

4. Presenting!! The Great Privatization Scam!

And, there are others.

“Privatization” actually can have two, significantly different meanings. One can refer to government contracting out for goods and services. When the federal government builds planes, tanks, bullets, roads, and dams, typically it pays private contractors to do the work.

The federal government acts as a customer, not as a partner.

That is not true “privatization,” which is when the government sells or gives to private industry its toll-roads, its jails, its mail delivery, its policing — functions typically handled by government employees.  That is the kind of privatization where stealing is most rife.

The key question is this: Who owns and runs the business?

The key question is this: Who owns and runs the business? In one sense, it is not possible for there to be a real partnership between the federal government and a private party, because they have different motives and goals.

Ostensibly, the federal government wants some task accomplished in the most efficient, most expeditious manner. That is its primary goal.

The federal government has no need for, nor should it take, profits. If the federal government were to accept profits, those dollars would be taken from the economy and have the same recessive effect as a tax.

By contrast, the primary goal of a private investor is profits. Unless the program is set up for charitable purposes, the accomplishment of a task only is the medium by which profits may be obtained.

The difference between profit-maximization and output maximization is decisive in how the business is run.

If the federal government owns and runs the business, what would motivate an investor to put his money into it? And what would motivate a Monetarily Sovereign federal government to solicit the investor’s money?

If the investor owns and runs the business, the result is not a partnership. Rather, the federal government plays the role of a customer, which it already does for millions of products and services.

So exactly which format is Trump proposing? As with so much Trump, his proposals are vague wishes, with specifics “to follow later.”

The classic example is his border wall. Trump’s “plan” is: “I will build a wall and Mexico will pay for it. You figure out how.” 

There are two facts — excuses really —  repeatedly given for government privatization:

1. The government needs private money. This may be true for state and local government privatization but never, ever is true for our Monetarily Sovereign federal government.

2. The private sector is smarter than the government, so will do a better job.  This is true or not depending on specifics. There are smart and non-smart individuals in the private sector and in government.

Neither sector has a monopoly on brains. Remember, it was federal employees who created atomic energy and the man on the moon, two of the most complex initiatives in human history,

There is a 3rd fact about privatization:

3. Private sector leaders are motivated by personal profits, while government leaders are motivated by votes and bribes.

When the sole motivation is profits, you reliably will see excessive pricing and under-servicing in privatized businesses, which often are given monopoly status by the government.

Privatized jails, privatized toll roads, privatized parking meters, privatized electric service, privatized TSA — all offer examples of excessive pricing and under-servicing by privatized, monopoly businesses.

As is the custom for privatization, governments sell or give public property or exclusives at a discount to rich insiders, while claiming #1 and #2 above, and hiding #3.

Trump’s Plan for Infrastructure, by Michael Likosky

To remain a land of opportunity, all citizens—and many businesses—must have access to state-of-the-art affordable infrastructure.

It includes transportation,  water, communications, schools, public hospitals, community colleges, and public universities. Today, most of us simply do not have this access. Moreover, we cannot attract and retain global businesses with the resources we have.

We are in this situation in part due to dysfunctional politics. The Beltway cannot agree on the basics: how to pay for the needed infrastructure, how to prioritize our needs, and the most efficient way to design and build projects.

In reality, the issue is “how to pay,” and for the federal government, it is no issue at all.  It is a pretend issue. Our Monetarily Sovereign government can pay for anything.

As for “prioritize,” this is something the federal government has to do, whether or not it privatizes.

The same is true for “efficient way to design and build.”  The government sets the standards. It will employ architects and engineers to provide the plans and contractors to organize the work. No “privatization” needed.

However, more significantly, we find ourselves in such sorry shape because for decades we have suffered from a mindset that refuses to recognize that a rising tide, in this case investment in Infrastructure, raises all boats.

At times the wealthy do not want to pay for the infrastructure of the poor, metropolitan areas the rural, the coasts for the Rust Belt, and so on.

Some wealthy may be ignorant of Monetary Sovereignty, so they truly believe they must pay (via taxes).  The majority of wealthy understand their taxes not pay, but they want the poor to believe reasons for not improving infrastructure.  They want to widen the Gap between the rich and the rest.

But, infrastructure projects benefit the 99.9% more than the .1%. The benefits come from added jobs and from improved services. Thus, these projects could narrow the Gap — which the rich don’t want — unless the rich receive inordinate compensation.

President-elect Donald Trump is coming to office with a mandate to fix all this.

These days, losing by more than 2 million votes is considered a “mandate.” Imagine what they would call it if he actually won the popular vote.

The elements of the plan are clear. However, how it all fits together is not self-evident.

It’s neither “clear” nor “self-evident,” because there is no plan.  It’s just a vague wish list.

Before getting into even the elements though, let’s get the sticker shock out of the way. The plan aims to bring $1 trillion of public and private dollars to the table into infrastructure over the next decade.

As for “sticker shock,” all the dollars contributed by the federal government constitute a stimulus to the economy. Why would anyone be “shocked” by that?

His (Trump’s) elements read like a who’s-who of the most innovative ideas in Washington.

They include public-private partnerships, a special bond program, the repatriation of corporate profits sitting overseas, the streamlining of environmental and regulatory review processes, among others.

“A who’s who of the most innovative ideas in Washington”?  How strange, considering the “innovative ideas” either are fuzzy, non-existent, or are conservative-usual: More money in the pockets of the rich.

“Public-private partnerships” generally mean a few, rich insiders receive the exclusive right to overcharge for shoddy services.

“Special bond program” is unnecessary in a Monetarily Sovereign nation, and probably will turn out to be a feeding trough for rich, criminal banksters.

“Repatriation of profits” has no value to America. Corporations do what is best for business, and unless repatriation stimulates American business it is meaningless. Corporations will spend here only if such spending is good for business.

And here is the best one: “Streamlining of environmental and regulatory review processes.”  That, very simply means, don’t regulate business.

It means: “Let the criminal bankers, the overcharging pharmaceutical companies, the dishonest food processors, the cheating car manufacturers, et al do whatever they please without the intrusion of inconvenient rules against deceiving their customers and exploiting their employees.”

The idea is: “Let ’em pollute, overcharge, and steal.  It’s big business first, big business last, and big business always, and the public be damned.”

That is why billionaire, proven cheater Trump has filled his cabinet with fellow billionaires. And amazingly, the public believes these billionaires represent beneficial change or concern about the “little people.”

Remember, we’re talking about the same Donald Trump who has a history of cheating his employees out of their wages. (Does the phrase, “from the frying pan into the fire” come to mind?)

News flash! Trump and his cabal didn’t get to be billionaires by caring about your family’s finances.

The bond proposal is based upon the Build America Bonds which were, according to Alan Kruger, the former Chief Economist of President Barack Obama’s U.S. Treasury Department, the “unsung hero of the recovery”.

In fact, Steven Mnuchin, the president-elect’s choice for U.S. Treasury Secretary, even mentioned recently that the incoming administration was looking at a National Infrastructure Bank, the holy grail of bipartisan politics.

“Bonds are the unsung hero of the recovery”? The only thing that took us out of the recession was federal deficit spending. Period.

Bonds added a few dollars of interest, and benefitted the kind of people who invest in bonds. But that’s about it.

There have been dozens of different proposals for a “National Infrastructure Bank,” so many that today, no one knows what it is.  Supposedly the bank would borrow from the federal government and lend to private developers to build infrastructure — or something.

Aside from not being a plan with specifics, and aside from the fact that the Monetarily Sovereign federal government never needs to lend  (It only should give), and aside from the Bank having no function that Congress already doesn’t have, it’s wonderfully “bipartisan” (i.e. both parties “smell the meat a’cookin’.”)

So that bipartisanship makes it an “innovative idea” (an idea that has been tossed around for the past ten years.)  It’s the “holy grail of bipartisan politics” because the .1% loves it.

Public-private partnerships are the cornerstone of his plan. Rather than use public outlay of money to pay the entire cost of infrastructure build-out, these partnerships use public money as honey to attract global investor money from pensions, insurers, sovereigns, endowments, and other sources.

Except that the federal government doesn’t need “global investor money,” especially when these global investors are the same billionaires who will be making decisions in Trump’s cabinet.

“Conflict of interest?? Who me?”

Additional partnerships are formed with global design, engineering, and construction firms with astounding capabilities to build the projects themselves.

Astounding capabilities“?? The author has no idea who these firms are, but he is sure they have “astounding capabilities”?  Who really wrote this article?  Does it sound like anyone you know?

My view is that Mr. Trump’s plan, boiled down, is about three things: moving money to market very quickly; raising money from investors who do not expect to be repaid in the near term; and designing and building projects with engineering prowess.

Oh, puh-leeze! “Not expect to be repaid near term”? Who says? And “engineering prowess“?  Gimme a break.

The government can move money to market even more quickly by eliminating FICA than with a convoluted, mysterious “National Infrastructure Bank.”

The plan is a good one, including the spirit of prudent innovation behind it. The question will be whether Mr. Trump can inspire us to pull together as a single community one project at a time.

The “plan” (which doesn’t exist) includes “prudent innovation” (whatever the heck that means), but we should “pull together” (i.e. let Trump and his billionaires steal the house without us objecting.)

The author of the article, Michael Likowsky works for “32 Advisors.” This is what they say about themselves:

“We assist governments and companies in developing, structuring, and financing public-private partnerships and traditional infrastructure opportunities.”

That may explain the hard-sell for Trump’s non-existent programs. If what pays your salary is public-private partnerships, then you will shill for public-private partnerships.  Self-interest is the most powerful motivator.

You will hear much more about phony “public-private partnerships,” those. devices for widening the Gap between the billionaires and the rest of us. The concept is too delicious for the greedy rich and the crooked politicians to forget.

Just, let your politicians know you know what they are doing and you aren’t fooled by this scam.

Sunlight is the enemy of political criminality.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

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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 benefitting 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.

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

13 thoughts on “I smell the meat a’cookin’. The new privatization scam.

  1. According to Ellen Brown, outsourcing government work through commercial banks can double, even triple the end cost. In a way it doesn’t matter for an MS government, but it looks expensive compared to a job where to government itself foots the bill.
    It is of course just a choice, but Bankers smell profit so that’s that!

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    1. Ellen Brown and her numerous disciples insist that no governments create money. Instead. they insist that all money (ALL of it) is created by banks as loans.

      Because of this faulty premise, most of what Ellen Brown says can be ignored.

      However I agree with Ellen that every state should have a state bank like North Dakota has. If federal politicians want to impose gratuitous austerity on us, then state-owned banks (at the state level) can create loan money out of thin air, and lend it to each state for near-zero interest. as things are now, state governments borrow much of their funds from Wall Street banks, which charge extreme interest.

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      1. I’m not sure what Brown’s rationale is, but here is a possibility:

        The federal government creates dollars by spending. The process is for the government to send instructions to creditors’ banks, instructing the banks to increase the dollars in the creditors’ checking accounts.

        When the banks obey those instructions, dollars are created. So one might say, banks create that money.

        It’s the question: “Who digs the hole? Does the man dig the hole or does the shovel dig the hole — or does the man’s employer dig the hole or does the employer’s client dig the hole?.”

        Using the above reasoning, one could say the government doesn’t create dollars, and I suppose even could say banks don’t create dollars. Instead, computers create dollars.

        Then there are dollars that are not in any way created by banks. If you give someone a check, that person has your dollars, and until the check is deposited, you still have the dollars, too. So for that brief time the “float” is money not created by banks.

        Your credit card float is like that. When you use your credit card, you create “float” dollars, before any bank is involved. American Express travelers’ checks are like that, too.

        It’s all sophistry, of course.

        What is her bottom line? That the federal government can run short of its own sovereign currency?

        It’s nuts.

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        1. “When the banks obey those instructions, dollars are created. So one might say, banks create that money.” ~ RMM

          Yes, but Ellen Brown and her disciples claim that all money is created by banks as **LOANS.** They claim that every dollar in existence is lent to us by bankers, and that this is the reason for the “national debt.”

          “What is her bottom line? That the federal government can run short of its own sovereign currency?” ~ RMM

          Her bottom line is that we need a U.S. government that has monetary sovereignty, and which can issue “greenbacks” (i.e. issue dollars). In other words her dream is to have what we already have.

          In addition (and here I agree with her) she wants no bank to be privately owned, and she wants each state to have a bank like North Dakota has.

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          1. Because economics is associated with psychology, its language is equally imprecise. One symptom is the word “loans.”

            Because all forms of money are forms of debt, and all debt involves what could be termed a “loan,” it technically is correct that all money is the result of loans.

            That said, all loans are not created by banks.

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          2. I don’t think that all debts involve loans. For example, if I have a dollar in my hand, then everyone is in debt to me for a dollar, even though no one lent me that dollar. The dollar in my hand is a credit for me, and a debt for everyone else. A credit is a claim, and a debt is an acknowledgement of that claim. Being in debt means that everyone owes me an acknowledgement of one dollar’s worth of “full faith and credit.” No loan is involved.

            My point is that mere semantics do not excuse Ellen Brown and her disciples. They cling to the Big Lie, insisting that the US government relies on taxes, and on loans from bankers. Their delusion is utterly incorrigible.

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          3. The dollar in your hand is a debt of the U.S. government, which owes you full faith and credit (See: Full Faith and Credit.

            I agree that semantics does not excuse ignorance or misstatements, and this may be edging into Sophistry, but:

            Debts are loans in that the creditor lends the debtor money. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be a debt; it would be a gift.

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          4. “Debts are loans in that the creditor lends the debtor money. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be a debt; it would be a gift.” ~ RMM

            We are still not in agreement. I say that debts do not necessarily involve loans, or even money.

            I’m harping on this because I think that much of the Big Lie (and therefore gap dynamics) rests on a widespread misunderstanding of the nature of “debts” and “credits.” Rich people and their toadies exploit this misunderstanding to make the lower classes think they are perpetually in debt to the rich.

            Let’s clarify something. If I have a bus ticket for one ride, then I have a credit for one ride. For every credit there must be a debt, and vice-versa. If I have a credit for one ride, then the bus company is in debt to me for one ride, meaning the bus company owes me an acknowledgement of my claim to one ride. No monetary loan was involved. (How I obtained the ticket is a separate issue. Maybe I found the ticket on the ground.)

            Likewise, if I leave my coat in a cloakroom in exchange for a token, then the token is a credit for one coat (i.e. a claim for my own coat). The cloakroom is in debt to me for one coat. No monetary loan is involved.

            If I have a title to a car, then the title is a credit. It is a claim to ownership. If I obtained the title legally, then society owes me a recognition of my claim. Society is in “debt” to me. No monetary loan is involved.

            This is not sophistry. My point is that average people are not careful when they speak of “debts” and “credits.” For instance, when they speak of the “national debt,” who is this “debt” owed to, and who is the creditor? Bankers? China? No, the US government (for spending purposes) has no debts and no creditor, since the US government does not borrow its spending money. Average people don’t think about this, since they don’t think carefully about debts and credits.

            I once took a course in contract law, which delved into exactly what are the terms of obligation and recognition, which may or may not involve money. I learned that many of our assumptions turn out to be false when we look closer. We enter into a legal contract in exchange for a “consideration,” which (again) may or may not involve money.

            Let me pause and say a word about “full faith and credit.”

            >>You and I are not in agreement on this.<<

            You say a dollar is worth a dollar because the US government acknowledges your claim (your credit) to one dollar’s worth of full faith and credit. I say that government acknowledgement is only half of the picture. The other half consists of society’s *voluntary* acknowledgement of my claim to a dollar’s worth of faith and credit.

            I say that a dollar must be backed by [1] government sanctioning and [2] by public acceptance. Neither by itself is sufficient.

            [1] Government sanctioning means government laws and enforcement.

            [2] Public acceptance means that people must become accustomed and habituated to using dollars for everyday transactions the way people use words. People must regard dollars like air or water, i.e. something “natural” in their environment.

            Government power, and social recognition of that power, are mutually dependent. They are yin and yang; chicken and egg.

            This is why the US government issued “gold certificates” and “silver certificates” after the US civil war. The certificates were supposedly “backed” by precious metals. This was a lie. The illusion of being “backed” was necessary to make average Americans habituated to using dollars, and only dollars. For example, government sanctioning was necessary but not sufficient for people living in the “Wild West."

            Therefore “full faith and credit” must come from both [1] the government and [2] society. Government laws are necessary but not sufficient. If China conquered the USA and declared that all Americans must thereafter use Chinese yuan, average Americans would *not* fully acknowledge the yuan’s value until they became fully habituated to using the yuan for everyday transactions. Until then, they might secretly barter, or secretly trade in some other currency.

            WHERE PEOPLE RUN AFOUL is in their misunderstanding of “faith and credit.” If I have a dollar in my hand, then other Americans, no matter how rich and powerful, owe me a dollar’s worth of “faith and credit.”

            And yet, the lower classes are brainwashed to think they are perpetual debtors, and rich people are perpetual creditors. They think that whoever pays them a salary is their master. They trade their labor for their salary, and yet they subconsciously regard their salary as a “gift” from their master. Thus, they think like servants.

            ALL I’M SAYING is that

            [1] One reason why the Big Lie continues is that average people don’t think carefully when they discuss “debts” and “credits.”

            [2] Debt and credits may or may not involve money and loans. It depends on the circumstances.

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          5. The federal debt is dollars owed by the FRB to depositors. When you deposit dollars in a bank account that is a loan. Thus, the federal debt is a loan.

            Your car title is not money or dollars. It is a certificate of ownership for a car. Cars are not money. Nor are houses. They may be worth money, but in themselves, they are not money.

            Public acceptance reflects the perceived value of the issuer’s full faith and credit. If you issue “Lizbucks,” they constitute money, the value of which is partly based on the full faith and credit of Elizabeth.

            See the requirements for full faith and credit at: https://mythfighter.com/2010/02/23/understanding-federal-debt/

            Re. the bus ticket, you are the creditor; the bus company is the debtor. Someone — you or the person who lost the ticket — lent the bus company money. The loan will be paid off when the ticket is redeemed. Instead of “bus ticket,” think “IOU.”

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          6. [1] “The federal debt is dollars owed by the FRB to depositors. When you deposit dollars in a bank account that is a loan. Thus, the federal debt is a loan.”

            Obviously. This is not what I was discussing.

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            [2] “Your car title is not money or dollars. It is a certificate of ownership for a car. Cars are not money. Nor are houses. They may be worth money, but in themselves, they are not money.”

            Obviously. But I don’t see your point.

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            [3] “Public acceptance reflects the perceived value of the issuer’s full faith and credit. If you issue ‘Lizbucks,’ they constitute money, the value of which is partly based on the full faith and credit of Elizabeth.”

            Thank you for (finally) admitting that it is only partly based. The value is also partly based on the full faith and credit of everyone who accepts “Lizbucks,” as I said above.

            Quite simply, FOR A CURRENCY TO BE VIABLE, IT MUST INVOLVE THE FULL FAITH AND CREDIT OF BOTH THE ISSUER AND THE USER.

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            [4] “Re. the bus ticket, you are the creditor; the bus company is the debtor. Someone — you or the person who lost the ticket — lent the bus company money. The loan will be paid off when the ticket is redeemed. Instead of ‘bus ticket,’ think ‘IOU’.”

            It is true that a bus ticket can be thought of as an IOU, as I wrote above. The bus company owes you a recognition of your claim to one ride. However a monetary loan need not necessarily be involved. A ticket can be counterfeited, or given away free as a promotion.

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            Therefore, once again, debts, credits, and IOUs do not necessarily involve money and loans. A dollar bill is a debt, a credit, and an IOU, even when it is not a loan.

            I brought up this entire topic to explain that Ellen Brown and her disciples do not understand the nature of debts, a credits, and IOUs.

            This is one of those topics that Rodger and I will never agree on. Another example is the vast and crucial difference between the financial economy and the real economy (aka Wall Street vs. Main Street). I can think of many more.

            Actually Rodger and I disagree about most things. However I keep coming here because our agreement about the gap and the Big Lie is absolute, and its importance (for me) outweighs all other issues.

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  2. A one-week vacation begins today, meaning fewer-to-no new posts. We’ll see what time permits.

    Meanwhile,

    Health Exchange Enrollment Jumps, Even as G.O.P. Pledges Repeal, By Robert Pear, Dec. 21, 2016

    About 6.4 million people have signed up for health insurance next year under the Affordable Care Act, the Obama administration said Wednesday, as people rushed to purchase plans regardless of Republican promises that the law will be repealed within months.

    The new sign-ups — an increase of 400,000 over a similar point last year — mean the health care coverage of millions of consumers could be imperiled by one of the first legislative actions of Donald J. Trump’s presidency.

    Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the secretary of health and human services, said the number of sign-ups was remarkable in view of “headwinds” created by premium increases for 2017 and by the uncertainty of the entire health law after Mr. Trump takes office on Jan. 20.

    Americans remain divided over President Obama’s most significant legislative achievement, even as 20 million people have gained coverage under the law and the percentage of those without insurance has dropped to record lows.

    “We want to make it clear that the ACA has provided significant benefits to New Mexico,” New Mexico’s Republican governor, Susana Martinez, wrote in a letter to congressional Republicans this month with the state’s insurance regulator, John Franchini.

    “We compel you during your discussions to make sure that New Mexicans have viable options for affordable health care and that our state does not have the burden of taking on the uncompensated care costs for the under and uninsured.”

    See folks, it’s like this: Politics is more important than your health care. Get used to it.

    Anyway, this whole FUBAR could be eliminated by adopting Step #2 of the Ten Steps to Prosperity (above).

    Like

    1. “See folks, it’s like this: Politics is more important than your health care. Get used to it.” ~ RMM

      Actually it is the *gap* that is most important.

      Politics is a product of gap dynamics.

      +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

      “This whole FUBAR could be eliminated by adopting Step #2 of the Ten Steps to Prosperity (above).” ~ RMM

      Agreed. Until that point, RomneyCare will remain a scam to further enrich the private insurance industry.

      The RomneyCare scam was not made any less a scam when a Democrat (Obama) signed RomneyCare into law.

      No Republican scam becomes less heinous when Democrats support the scam, which Democrats always do. Bernie Sanders says he no longer supports Single Payer, because he says that Single Payer is not important compared to “Democrat unity.”

      +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

      Two words are harmless when taken separately, but lethal when combined together: “mandatory” and “private.”

      An example is mandatory purchasing of private insurance (or private retirement accounts, or private anything else).

      Like

  3. “I don’t see your point.”

    Despite your claim, a car title is not a credit. The car itself may be a credit on a balance sheet, but the title merely is a piece of paper (or not) proving ownership. The title is nowhere on a balance sheet.

    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….

    ” A ticket can be counterfeited, or given away free as a promotion.”

    A bus ticket is not money, nor is it a debt. It is evidence of a debt. Same is true of a dollar bill.

    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………..
    “A dollar bill is a debt, a credit, and an IOU, even when it is not a loan.”

    A dollar bill is neither a debt nor a credit. It is an IOU, which is evidence of a loan.

    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

    “Ellen Brown and her disciples do not understand the nature of debts, (and) credits, and IOUs.”

    A common problem, apparently.

    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

    ” FOR A CURRENCY TO BE VIABLE, IT MUST INVOLVE THE FULL FAITH AND CREDIT OF BOTH THE ISSUER AND THE USER.”

    Yesterday, I gave a dollar bill to the guy selling newspapers. He doesn’t know me from Adam. Total stranger. My full faith and credit means nothing to him. He accepted the bill only because he believes it represents the full faith and credit of the federal government.

    Money is debt. The value of debt is based on the full faith and credit of the debtor, plus collateral, if any. It has nothing to do with the full faith and credit of the creditor.

    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………

    Not sure why you take such inordinate pride in disagreeing with me. It’s not much of an accomplishment. A reader named “Danny” did the same. Remember him?

    Like

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