We are beginning to see the implications of “alternative facts”

Twitter: @rodgermitchell; Search #monetarysovereignty
Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

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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.

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Although all Presidential candidates lie, they try to hide their lies behind a smokescreen of plausible denial.

But, the lies of candidate Donald Trump were unusual, not only in their extraordinary frequency, but in their brazen disavowal of obvious fact. In essence, he asked them, “Are you going to believe your eyes or what I tell you.”

Apparently, Trump had determined that his followers didn’t care whether or not his statements were lies. Even knowing Trump’s comments departed from truth, his followers eagerly accepted what he said.

It was a case of: “I know you’re lying, but I don’t care.  I love what you’re saying.”

They will come to rue that ignorance, while Kellyanne Conway will forever be remembered as the woman who uttered the Trump administration’s slogan, “alternative facts.”

Wikipedia: On January 21, 2017, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer accused the media of deliberately underestimating the size of the crowds for President Trump’s inaugural ceremony and stated that the ceremony had drawn the “largest audience to ever witness an inauguration — period — both in person and around the globe.”

Spicer’s allegations were false. Aerial images showed that the turnout for Trump’s inauguration was lower than the turnout for the 2009 inauguration of Barack Obama.

Washington Metro reported 193,000 riders by 11:00 am on the day of Trump’s inauguration, considerably fewer than the 513,000 who rode the subway in the 2009 inauguration.

Spicer also gave incorrect information about the use of white ground coverings during the inauguration. He stated that they were used for the first time during the Trump inauguration and were to blame for a visual effect that made the audience look smaller.

The white ground coverings, however, had been used in 2013 when Obama was sworn in for the second term.

Trump’s campaign strategist and counselor, Kellyanne Conway, defended Spicer’s statements, telling NBC’s Chuck Todd that the press secretary was simply giving “alternative facts.”

In the first few days of the Trump presidency false statistics were added to whitehouse.gov, the official White House website. The website cited statistics to show that crime had increased when actually it had declined since 2008.

The phrase “alternative facts” was noted for its similarity to a phrase used in Trump’s 1987 book, Trump: The Art of the Deal. In that book, “truthful hyperbole” was described as “an innocent form of exaggeration—and… a very effective form of promotion.”

The book claimed that “people want to believe that something is the biggest and the greatest and the most spectacular.” The book’s ghostwriter, Tony Schwartz said he originated the phrase and claimed that Trump “loved it.”

Journalist Dan Rather posted a scathing criticism of the incoming U.S. Presidential administration. “When you have a spokesperson for the president of the United States wrap up a lie in the Orwellian phrase ‘alternative facts’. . . 

“When you have a press secretary in his first appearance before the White House reporters threaten, bully, lie, and then walk out of the briefing room without the cojones to answer a single question . . .

“Facts and the truth are not partisan. They are the bedrock of our democracy. And you are either with them, with us, with our Constitution, our history, and the future of our nation, or you are against it.

Everyone must answer that question.”

Donald Trump answered that question during his candidacy: Facts are what he says they are, neither more nor less, and his followers simply do not care.

Or at least, they won’t care until those lies come back to bite them. , as surely they will.

We now see the beginnings of what President Trump’s shameless lying will mean during the next four years.

NPR: EPA Scientists’ Work May Face ‘Case By Case’ Review By Trump Team, Official Says

Scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency likely will need to have their work reviewed on a “case by case basis” before it can be disseminated, according to a spokesman for the agency’s transition team.

Doug Ericksen, the head of communications for the Trump administration’s EPA transition team, said that he expects scientists will undergo an unspecified internal vetting process before sharing their work outside the agency.

Science is not supposed to “reflect” an administration. Science is a search for the truth. Trump already has claimed, with no evidence whatsoever, that global warming is a “Chinese hoax.”
Will all scientific findings now be required to “reflect” Trump’s personal opinions?  Have we returned to the time of Galileo?
Will even scientists be required to pitch “alternative facts,” at the behest of our ruler?

Any review would directly contradict the agency’s current scientific integrity policy, which prohibits “all EPA employees, including scientists, managers and other Agency leadership from suppressing, altering, or otherwise impeding the timely release of scientific findings or conclusions.”

Ericksen’s comments come just days after Trump’s team ordered agencies to limit their external communications to the public.  At the EPA, the staff was told not to speak to the news media.

“It’s certainly the case that every administration tries to control information, but I think that what we’re seeing here is much more sweeping than has ever been done before,” said Andrew Light, the distinguished senior fellow in the Global Climate Program at the nonpartisan World Resources Institute.

While previous administrations have restricted government scientists’ communications to the public, controlling their scientific conclusions is far more rare.

There’s a growing concern in the scientific community and among environmental organizations that the new administration might take aim at climate change research in particular.

Climate change may be the greatest threat to human survival on this planet, but it is not the only one.  Water pollution is another.

Trump seeks approval to limit liability at S.C. sitePublished: Wednesday, January 18, 2017

One of President-elect Donald Trump’s companies is asking South Carolina to approve a contract that would limit its liability for pollution at an industrial site.

The “Party of the Rich” has a special reason for climate change and water pollution denial. The rich do not want to be prevented from polluting the air (or the water or the ground), in their drive for profits.

Future generations are of no consequence, especially when compared with gathering today’s money.

Soon, we may hear from the Trump administration and its captive scientists that global warming indeed is a Chinese hoax and the pollution of our water by fracking is of no consequence.

Then those who voted for Trump, even knowing that little he said had any substance or truth, will learn that their motivations differ substantially from the motivations of the rich.

And they will learn to their dismay that the motivations of the man to whom they gave their trust and their vote are far more devoted to increasing his personal wealth than to the well-being of the people who elected him.

Trump and his advisors did not become rich by empathizing with the plight of the common folk.

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 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.

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

6 thoughts on “We are beginning to see the implications of “alternative facts”

  1. Trump’s shameless lying is just what the MSM and others like our politicians do, except in his case it’s not disguised. It really is the height of hypocrisy for the media etc to decry Trump’s lies. They are so well acquainted with lies they seem to have forgotten they lie every day! It is of course extremely harmful for society, but society and the economy today well reflect the endless lying in public life . Crazy, but telling the truth is just for the few, like RMM does when blogging about the real economy, and how often does that get realised and action instigated? Let’s hope Trump’s lies gets a change in everyone else’s lying, so we stop hearing about the household analogy and the widening the gap .

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    1. Everyone lies. Adults lie. Children lie. The media lie. Politicians lie. Scientists lie. We all lie. Even dogs lie (really).

      But Trump is in a special category of lying.

      Most people are embarrassed about being caught in a lie. Trump is not. Even when obvious facts contradict his lies, he will dispute the facts. He creates “alternative facts.”

      Some politicians have lost elections when caught lying. Trump’s followers don’t care that he lies. They block it out in their minds. It may be a form of hypnosis.

      I never have seen anything like it in all my four score years.

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      1. What you are saying is true enough, but Trump is not very different from the lie telling we face every day . They are quite sanguine about lying although they don’t want us to catch them out, which doesn’t faze Trump. The “alternative truths” are rampant today. It’s taken Trump to show us the mirror. It might be a catalyst for change.

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  2. There are lies; there is double-talk; and then there is a combination of the two: Trump-speak:

    ABC News’ David Muir told Trump that his claim that three to five million people voted illegally has been “debunked,” telling Trump that a Pew report he has cited does not provide evidence of widespread fraud.

    “Really? Then why did he write the report?” Trump asked, later accusing the study’s author of “groveling again.”

    “You know, I always talk about the reporters that grovel when they wanna write something that you wanna hear but not necessarily millions of people wanna hear or have to hear,” Trump said.

    Huh? Someone, please decode Trump’s comment. What exactly is he saying?

    “Let me just tell you, you know what’s important, millions of people agree with me when I say that if you would’ve looked on one of the other networks and all of the people that were calling in they’re saying, ‘We agree with Mr. Trump. We agree.’ They’re very smart people.

    “The people that voted for me — lots of people are saying they saw things happen. I heard stories also. But you’re not talking about millions. But it’s a small little segment.”

    Uh, Mr. Trump, is it “millions” or is it a “small, little segment”?

    “I didn’t say there are millions. But I think there could very well be millions of people. That’s right,” the President replied, contradicting past statements he has made asserting that millions voted illegally.

    The ABC host later asked, “Do you think that talking about millions of illegal votes is dangerous to this country without presenting the evidence?”

    “Not at all because many people feel the same way that I do,” Trump replied.”

    See, it’s O.K. to lie so long as people believe you.

    When Muir asked if making unsubstantiated claims undermines Trump’s credibility, Trump doubled down on his beliefs about voter fraud.

    “No, not at all because they didn’t come to me. Believe me. Those were Hillary votes.”

    That fact that Trump has no idea what he’s rambling about will not trouble those who supported him.

    As we have said before, Trump supporters really don’t care what he says, so long as he makes ridiculous promises and blames everything on “Hillary.”

    “Hillary” is his all-purpose excuse for every idiocy.

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  3. Obama was articulate, his demeanor was respectful , he personified the quintesential conservative family values platform, and he claimed to be for hope and change. He also was a liar, but maybe because he was a classy liar, he didnt seem so flagrantly deceptive and gross.
    Trump is crude, maybe even clueless, though in a very strange way, maybe because he has the institution and we so much want to equate success with intelligence and hard work, that his babbling and misdirection is both tragically and comically viewed by some encouraging analysts as evidense for his distinctive genius and committment to excellence. Winning is what matters. As far as how and why, well where and what does truth have to do with anything? Trumps instinctive drive to win and dominate is the matter. . Pufferry being the marketing tool, and whether or not this turns into deception, maybe now and forever a new derivative known as alternative facts, is based on good old opinion.
    Beliefs, feelings, and opinions are what is important. Neo-liberal cultural relevance and maybe identity politics on steroids. Truth is irrelevant, we dont want to upset peoples illogical beliefs. The people arent very appreciative of their emotional connections to falsehoods being rattled, especially if they have to think out of the box and the resulting brain drain of erroneous information is counter intuitive.
    Anyways, unlike Obama, Trump is doing most of what he said he’d do. As far as being truthful to his campaign promises, he wins on that note! On the other hand, we have complaints that attacking Trumps charachter simply reinforces his appeal to supporters. A rabbit hole of subjectivity welcomes us.
    Personally i’m lost. Nobody i know gives a hoot what Trunp says, they think he’s just maligned by the media. We’ve entered a dangerous time. A populist billionaire whom is just some down to earth blue collar celebrity, the guy who is going to give Washington back to the people. Platitudes that sound good but mean little. Whatever the truth was is going to get burried in noise.
    Nobody cares what the truth is because their lives arent going to change anyways. That is what eight years of a” muslim socialist”,who has a wonderful smile by the way, did with his platform of hope and change.
    Just give Trump a chance they say, you’ll see, he’ll make America great again!
    Funny thing is we haven’t a choice. He is President and the alternative wasnt much better. I just cant believe his pitch, make America great again, resonated so well, especially considering how off the cuff and banal it sounds. Forgetting of course that from Trumps perspective America has been great all along. The unequal and unfair advantages our hyper capitalist economy gave those able to access scale and leverage plainly worked for his likes. Now he’s going to give the stupid people exactly what they want , an even more difficult and disadvantaged prescription for success to those unconnected to the elite power structure he railed against. The only truth being he’ll install a slightly differrent elite power structure, a group that doesnt pretend to care about the environment, animal rights, human rights, womens rights, those a bit confused about their gender and their rights, as well as economic freedom for those whom are financially disadvantaged, and of course access to affordable decent medical attention for everybody within this huge embrace.
    Of course he will make America great gain by bleeding the economy through the usual smoke and mirrors of balancing federal budgets, lowering fiscal deficits, decreasing long term federal debt, and correcting trade deficits. Fiscal accountability, responsability, and of course discipline will encourage the sacking of our minimal safety nets- social security, medicare and medicaid. Privitization and tax breaks for the wealthiest will be center stage solutions. . The usual talking points both sides tend to adopt, especially when theyre the loyal opposition, that the federal government is broke, will now be the lefts only brake to The Donalds sacking. Money will be appropriated, but not to make the world a better place. As Donald would say, “so sad”!
    Oh boy! If truth is what sets us free, we’ll be incarcerated forever. Ignorance is bliss, i’m terribly upset and frustrated, maybe it would be better to not know the truth, and Trump could be my merry hero as well.

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    1. And now, he says he will pay for his wall by imposing a 20% import tax on Mexico. Hmmm . . . . Let me think.

      Question: Who pays for an import tax?
      Answer: People who import
      Question: And who would be the people who import?
      Answer: American buyers
      Question: And who are the American buyers?
      Answer: The poor suckers who voted for him.

      Enjoy the next four years, suckers. You asked for it; you have it.

      Like

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