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It takes only two things to keep people in chains: The ignorance of the oppressed and the treachery of their leaders.
I’ve had trouble focusing on economics lately because I keep being distracted by Donald Trump.
Obviously, what the President of the United States says and does has a profound effect on the economy of the United States and of the entire world. But who knows what Trump is liable to do or say next?
The man is the very definition of a loose cannon. Say something unkind about him, and if he learns of it, you will receive a volley of insults — mostly lies. Like a 13-year old, he has zero self-control. He needs a parent to close is Twitter account.
If every country, including the U.S., is in doubt about what the President will do next, what will be the effect on U.S. and world economics?
Obviously, Trump repeatedly demonstrates he is in thrall of Vladimir Putin, whether or not those “Golden Shower” claims are true.
If Putin has sway over Trump, what will be the effect on U.S. and world economics?
Obviously, Trump can change opinions on a dime, and afterward, claim he never really changed at all. Consider the subject of climate change. You tell me what his position is.
(Consider that he has picked Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency [EPA], a guy who denies climate change, repeatedly has sued the EPA to prevent limits to CO2 emissions, gets much of his fundraising from oil companies, and year after year, has opposed efforts to save the environment.)
If there is doubt about what the U.S. government will do about climate change, what will be the effect on U.S. and world economics?
Obviously, Trump also is in thrall of the big banks that caused the Great Recession, and cost millions of Americans their homes and jobs. Yet he talks about being the “greatest jobs President,” and has hired not one, not two, not three, but SIX guys from Goldman Sachs to advise him — and this after criticizing “crooked Hillary” for being too close to bankers.
With all those bankers telling Trump what to do, what will be the effect on U.S. and world economics?
Obviously, he doesn’t concern himself with conflicts of interest. He has refused to disengage from businesses that will benefit from his Presidential decisions. For Secretary of State, he nominated Rex Tillerson, a man whose extensive business ties to Russia and Exxon will present enormous conflicts of interest.
Our President and his Secretary of State will be able to profit financially from Presidential decisions. What will be the effect on U.S. and world economics?
Obviously, Trump doesn’t concern himself with knowledge or experience. He nominated Ben Carson, to be Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. His job involves fair housing laws, affordable housing and access to mortgages, yet he believes poor people don’t need help from the government, and he himself has no governmental or legal experience.
What will be the economic effect of Carson’s ignorance about the fundamentals of his job, and his apathy to the plight of the poor?
Obviously, he doesn’t care about setting a course for his administration. Many of Trump’s appointments claim to disagree with Trump’s own pronouncements. Examples: Jeff Sessions for Attorney General, John F. Kelly for Homeland Security Secretary, James N. Mattis for Defense Secretary, Mike Pompeo for C.I.A. Director, Ryan Zinke for Interior Secretary, Wilbur Ross for Commerce Secretary, and Dan Coats for Director of National Intelligence.
How will having so many people, who claim to disagree with Trump on fundamental issues, affect the U.S.and world economics?
Personally, I still believe we should institute the Ten Steps to Prosperity (below). But I cannot begin to imagine what will become of a nation left functionally leaderless by an indecisive, resistant to learning egomaniac, surrounded by privatizers, deniers, innumerable conflicts of interest, banksters and a veritable rogues gallery of millionaires and billionaires.
And from this, we economists would try to answer the question, “In what direction is America and the world headed?”
It’s impossible to imagine.
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
The single most important problems in economics involve the excessive income/wealth/power Gaps between the have-mores and the have-less.
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 (Social Security for All) (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.
7 thoughts on “Why writing about economics has become impossible”
RMM, Do you read what you write?
“With all those bankers telling Trump what to do, what will be the effect on U.S. and world economics?”
“I’ve had trouble focusing on economics lately…”, REALLY?
Your obsession, lies, and hatred of the 45th POTUS; chosen by 60% of
of the states of this great union, may, perhaps be part of the reason you
“…had trouble focusing.Period.
Could anyone of right mind believe..”those”…”telling TRUMP ! , ‘What to do’???
PLEASE PAUSE till your senses return. Hopefully, late afternoon on 01/20/2017.
“WE MUST REVERSE THE DIRECTION OF THE PRESENT FLOW !
Increase……. Wages, Jobs, the Standard of Living
Decrease…… National Debt, Poverty, Inequality Gaps,
“It’s time to rewrite the rules―to curb the runaway flow of wealth to the top one percent, to restore security and opportunity for the middle class, and to foster stronger growth rooted in broadly shared prosperity.”( Economic Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz )
“You can always count on Americans to do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else.” Winston Churchill
“8 billionaires “as rich as the world’s poorest half.” Maybe, perhaps “Even if he (TRUMP) destroys the federal government…” as it governs now, “And he’s good at the job.);
YES, We Will Reverse “… an economic recovery program that has privileged the recovery of financial markets and corporate profits has fueled the increase in wealth inequality, in the United States and across the world.”… “”This is not merely an economic problem; it undermines democracy… A banking system supported by the people must serve all the people—not merely a subset.”(Mehrsa Baradaran ( How the Other Half Banks: Exclusion, Exploitation, and the Threat to Democracy.)
Perhaps, maybe, “Yes we can” shall become “Yes we will.”
Thanks Justa, As brilliant as always. I’ll remind you of this next year, when you will already have begun denying you ever voted for Trump.
Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry did not realize exactly what the position of energy secretary entails when he accepted Donald Trump’s offer to lead the department, the New York Times reported Wednesday evening. (He is the guy who said he wanted to get rid of the Energy Department, yet another typical Trump nomination. The beat goes on.)
‘…chosen by 60% of the states…’
Or chosen by 46.1% of eligible voters and just 26% of the US populace. Nice spin, CLOWN.
Check out this utter stupidity here, Rodger. I saw this linked at Mike Norman’s today. I think you’d have fun debunking this crap.
The strawman arguments from this clown hurt my brain. I feel I lost several IQ points reading this. It’s from some academic moron trying to debunk MMT, but ends up making the same tired arguments about Zimbabwe and hyperinflation. It’s quite laughable. It’s pure stupidity on this guy’s part and he’s supposed to be an economics professor. WOW.
Yikes! The guy is a Professor of Economics and PLuS Alliance Fellow, UNSW Australia. My heart goes out to his students.
All those who buy into his BS should read: From ticking time bomb to looming collapse.
On the topic of jobs, I have been reading stuff like this:
Pizza Hut cannot create jobs by opening up more stores. Neither can Wal-Mart. The customers that now spend at those stores will spend less somewhere else and just as many jobs will be lost as gained. To create jobs, we need to increase aggregate demand. Step number 1 and 3 accomplish that, though step 1 is more politically feasible, as FICA was reduced without objection at the beginning of Obama’s first term.
Right, particularly if a low-employment, low-pay operation like pizza-hut takes business from full-service restaurants.
Isn’t it remarkable that when FICA was reduced, the public didn’t ask, “If you can reduce FICA to help grow the economy, why can’t you keep it reduced and keep helping to grow the economy?”
And there are the “austerians” who believe that tax increases and/or spending decreases grow an economy. Puzzling.