During Barack Obama’s 8-year Presidency, not one criminal bank CEO was arrested, much less prosecuted, much, much less convicted.
Now, Obama is scheduled to receive $400,000 for a one-hour speech at a luncheon organized by Cantor Fitzgerald LP, a mid-sized New York-based investment bank.
Why are you surprised?
I’ve told you for years that our thought leaders are bribed by the rich:
The economists are bribed by contributions to universities and by employment at “think tanks.”
The media are bribed by ownership and by advertising dollars.
And the politicians are bribed by campaign contributions and by promises of lucrative employment later.
And now, the former President of the United States is about to cash in his voucher. It’s all so normal, I wonder why you find this strange or outrageous or unseemly.
Like all crooked politicians (are there any other kind?), Obama always has followed the money. Remember, it was the infamous Chicago pols who put this inexperienced young “community organizer” (i.e. agitator) into office in the first place.
What do the rich get for their efforts and their money? Several things:
- They get to romp with the powerful. (When was the last time you were invited to a private meeting with the President? Ever play golf with your Senator? Ride in Airforce 1? Pay enough, and you will.)
- They get tax breaks, and business advantages, and personal favors, and most importantly:
- They get to widen the Gap between them and the rest of us (aka “Gap Psychology”).
The “Gap” is the distance between the rich/powerful vs. the “others.” And indeed, there are many Gaps. There even are Gaps between multi-billionaires and just plain, ordinary billionaires.
In the old days, Gaps often were based on family heritage. You may have heard the poem:
“Boston, dear Boston, the land of the bean and the cod
Where the Cabots speak only to the Lodges,
and the Lodges speak only to God”
Today, there remains a bit of that in some parts of Europe, with their dukes and earls and counts and princes and all. But in America, money and political power talk, sing, and dance far better than do family names.
The Gaps are what make some people richer and more powerful than others. Without the Gaps, no one would be rich. We all would be the same.
The wider the Gaps, the richer and more powerful they are. If everyone on earth owned a million dollars, there would be no Gaps and no one would be considered rich. But if one person had just a thousand dollars, and everyone else on earth had only one dollar, that one thousand-dollar-person would be considered rich — the richest person in the world.
“Gap Psychology” says that we humans commonly wish to distance ourselves from those below us on some income/wealth/power scale, while aspiring to be closer to those above.
Would you rather be invited to Bill Gate’s house or to the hovel of someone who lives in a slum? C’mon, be honest.
The Gaps are important to all of us, and the rich are prepared to spend mightily to widen the Gaps. They buy yachts and diamonds and huge “show-off” homes, not because the yachts provide a better water experience, or the diamonds are prettier than visually identical zircons, or the “show-off” homes are more comfortable.
The rich buy these things because you can’t. They buy stuff to distance themselves from you. And you, in turn, buy a new Lexus to distance yourself from the guy who can afford only a new Chevy. And he sneers at the guy who can afford only a used Chevy.
It’s Gap Psychology.
And your daughter’s wedding dress that cost you thousands, and she’ll wear only once (you hope) — Gap widening. And what do you think is the real purpose of your wife’s gold jewelry?
And why does she need a designer purse? She could carry her stuff in a shopping bag. Gap Psychology.
Widening the Gap is the single, most compelling goal, not only for the rich, but for most of us. Yes, we have other goals like health, and helpfulness, and joy, and charity, and blah, blah, blah. But the overriding goal of the human species is to widen the Gap below and to narrow the Gap above. This goal is the basis for ambition, progress and winning, and for virtually all fields of human accomplishment.
Widening the Gap is a survival technique for any social animal. Being close to the powerful and far from the weak is smart.
At some level, we all look in the mirror to evaluate what we see. The only way to evaluate ourselves is against some standard. And that standard is other people.
There are two ways you can widen the Gap: Move yourself up or push others down. Either works equally well as a Gap-widening device.
For the rich, Gap-widening means making more money & power and/or making others poorer.
This brings us to The “Big Lie,” the lie that federal financing is like personal financing, in that income is necessary for spending. But, unlike you and me, and the states, counties and cities, the federal government is Monetarily Sovereign.
It creates, ad hoc, its sovereign currency, the dollar, by spending. That is the federal government’s method for adding dollars to the economy. Thus, the federal government never can run short of dollars.
The federal government needs neither to borrow nor to tax since it has no use for income. It creates all the dollars it needs, simply at the touch of a computer key. Whatever the government owes in payment for goods and services, it creates the necessary money simply by sending a wire or writing a check.
Even if all federal tax collections fell to $0, the federal government still could continue spending, forever.
So why have you been told otherwise? Why have you been told that, for instance, FICA funds Social Security and Medicare, when it doesn’t?
Why have you been told the Social Security “Trust Fund” is running low, though in fact, there is no “trust fund.” It is a bookkeeping fiction.
Why have you been told the federal “debt” (which isn’t really a debt) and the federal deficit (which is necessary for growth) are “unsustainable”?
Why have you been told your children owe the federal debt, when the so-called “debt” is nothing more than the total of deposits in T-security accounts at the Federal Reserve Bank — i.e bank deposits no one owes.
Why have you been told that federally funded Medicare for every man, woman, and child in America would be “unaffordable,” so instead you must live with weak, complicated substitutes like partly funded Medicare, Medicaid, and ACA?
Why have you been told the federal government, which can afford anything and pay anything, is too big, and so should transfer some of its financial obligations to the states, counties, and cities, which being monetarily non-sovereign, can afford nothing?
Why have you been told that the poor, if given financial assistance, will cease working because they are lazy, though in fact, the poor already work harder than do the rich?
Why have you been told these lies by the bribed politicians, media, and economists?
To rule a people requires the cooperation of the people being ruled.
To widen the Gap between the rich and you, the rich need your participation in their game. The rich need you to believe and to defend the idea that Gap-widening is necessary and beneficial and natural.
The rich need you to believe and to defend the idea that federal benefits are unaffordable, inflationary, and undeserved. The rich need you to believe and to defend the idea that it is only right and logical for their lives to be better than yours.
The rich need you to believe you must pay FICA so that Social Security and Medicare can exist. And that your healthcare must be unaffordable. And your children’s education either must be unaffordable or must put you deeply into debt. And that the government cannot survive without your tax dollars. And that you deserve to struggle to feed, clothe, and house your family.
The rich need you to believe inflation — even hyper-inflation — is the inevitable result of federal deficit spending on benefits to you, though the rich have been saying this for more than 75 years without evidence, and a Monetarily Sovereign government has absolute control over the value of its sovereign money.
The rich need you to believe that those “below” you on the totem pole of life, are congenitally inferior and both intellectually and morally deserve their lowly status.
The rich need you to believe this so you will believe you yourself deserve your inferior status compared with the rich.
The rich need you to believe these things because the rich fear that if ever you discover the truth, you will demand more from the federal government and more equality from the rich.
And that will narrow the Gap between you and the rich, which would make the rich less rich by comparison.
By keeping you in ignorance, the rich make you a co-conspirator in their Gap widening program.
Perhaps you have joined them in saying those poorer than you are lazy, or stupid, or criminal, or immoral, or in many other ways, subhuman.
If you have joined the rich in their bigotry, you have played right into their hands, and have helped assure yourself and your family of an increasingly lower status, compared to the rich. You have done their dirty work by helping to widen the Gap.
So don’t be surprised when Obama suddenly rakes in $400,000 for a one-hour speech that undoubtedly will produce less information than your morning newspaper.
The speech is just payback for valuable services rendered — payback for helping the rich widen the Gap between them and you, and for telling paeons The Big Lie.
“Thank you, Mr. President, for keeping me out of jail and for helping me get even richer. I told you I’d take care of you. Now, you and your wife can join us billionaires. And, I’ll hire your daughter, too.”
The rich have succeeded in their promulgation of the Big Lie, which is why when someone tries to explain the facts, they will be met with anger and mockery.
It is you, America, who allowed this.
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
•All we have are partial solutions; the best we can do is try.
•Those, who do not understand the differences between Monetary Sovereignty and monetary non-sovereignty, do not understand economics.
•Any monetarily NON-sovereign government — be it city, county, state or nation — that runs an ongoing trade deficit, eventually will run out of money no matter how much it taxes its citizens.
•The more federal budgets are cut and taxes increased, the weaker an economy becomes..
•No nation can tax itself into prosperity, nor grow without money growth.
•Cutting federal deficits to grow the economy is like applying leeches to cure anemia.
•A growing economy requires a growing supply of money (GDP = Federal Spending + Non-federal Spending + Net Exports)
•Deficit spending grows the supply of money
•The limit to federal deficit spending is an inflation that cannot be cured with interest rate control. The limit to non-federal deficit spending is the ability to borrow.
•Until the 99% understand the need for federal deficits, the upper 1% will rule.
•Progressives think the purpose of government is to protect the poor and powerless from the rich and powerful. Conservatives think the purpose of government is to protect the rich and powerful from the poor and powerless.
•The single most important problem in economics is the Gap between the rich and the rest.
•Austerity is the government’s method for widening the Gap between the rich and the rest.
•Everything in economics devolves to motive, and the motive is the Gap between the rich and the rest..
6 thoughts on “Gap Psychology: Why are you so surprised, America? It is you who allowed this.”
As seems to happen so often, no sooner do I write the article than someone comes along to verify all I’ve said:
And that, dear friends, is why the rich work so hard to brainwash you, so they can widen the Gap between the rich and the rest.
And then, there’s this: Why Obama’s Big Cash-In Matters, which we have been writing about for years.
Malcolm, I started reading you about 6 months ago and now I read every word you write. I’ve been saying for years that the #1 problem is the gap between the rich and and poor but I ddin’t understand monetary sovereignty and now I do. You’ve educated me, you’ve enlightened me. I’ve got my wife and several friends reading you daily. I feel like I’m getting a degree in economics when I read your posts.
Thanks for the education, thanks for explaining what no one else is talking about. For years I was so confused about why people would vote against their own self interest, but now my understanding of gap psychology makes all that much clearer. This, by the way, was an excellent post.
Please don’t get tired of explaining the same things over and over. It has to be said. Someone has to say it. That someone is YOU. Maybe in a post you could provide links to other economists who are on the same page as you.
You are my economic/political hero. Keep up the good work. I consider you to be a public service!!!
Very kind of you.
I like Warren Mosler and the people at the University of Missouri, Kansas City economics department.
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
You say, “The only way to evaluate ourselves is against some standard. And that standard is other people.”
This is probably true for most people.
I Judge myself according to Proverbs 6:16-19
16 These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
Maybe if more people tried being the best they can be instead of trying to be like someone else.
Be Yourself. We are all different for a reason.
And further to prove my point that the populace is being brainwashed to believe the middle and lower classes “deserve” worse health care than the rich:
All you Republican Congresspeople: Please raise your hand if you think going to the emergency room to fix your newborn child’s heart defect is your good alternative to going to a heart surgeon.
No one?Is it just that the poor “deserve” worse healthcare than you do?
Good article: The “Market Forces” Behind the Obamas’ Record-Setting Book Deal