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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..
Have you ever asked yourself, “Why do we need a national government?”
Probably not, because except for the relatively few extreme Libertarians, most of us understand that anarchy is a bad solution for human society.
But why? What is the purpose of government? I suggest the purpose of government can be summarized in one word: “Protection.”
Government is designed to protect the weak from the strong, the good from the evil, the domestic from the foreign. Government protects us from bad people, bad water, bad food or no food at all.
If a government doesn’t provide protection, why have a government?
Imagine you find a magic lamp. You rub it and out pops a genie who says, “I am the American Genie. I can do anything for America.
“I can feed, house and clothe the poor, educate the children, care for the sick and the elderly, support the arts, fight crime, and protect the nation from its enemies. No limits.
“And it will cost you absolutely nothing. You just have to tell me what to do.”
What will you tell the genie to do? Anything? Nothing?
Would you have the genie help the unfortunate, or would you withhold help and instead, demand self-sufficiency by the poor? Would you help feed the poor, or would you say that helping them makes them dependent?
Would you let some children suffer and die as a lesson to others? Would you feel that helping them takes away their freedoms?
Would you have the genie fight crime or would you feel that the genie already was too powerful and should be made smaller?
The U.S. government is the “genie.” Being Monetarily Sovereign, its wealth is unlimited. It can afford anything. Its spending costs you nothing. Even if all federal tax collections fell to $0, the federal government could continue spending forever.
Financially, the U.S. federal government has the ability to provide food, housing, clothing and health care for everyone — but should it?
These are the questions that face all governments, even those that are not Monetarily Sovereign. These are the questions that define the fundamental differences between liberals and conservatives.
Here are excerpts from a New York Times article that deals with these questions:
A Republican Principle Is Shed in the Fight on Health Care
By Jeremy W. Peters, http://www.nytimes.comView OriginalMay 8th, 2017
WASHINGTON — As they take their victory lap for passing a bill that would repeal and replace much of the Affordable Care Act, President Trump and congressional Republicans have been largely silent about one of the most remarkable aspects of what their legislation would do: take a step toward dismantling a vast government entitlement program, something that has never been accomplished in the modern era.
All government programs are “entitlement,” in that each program is supported by those who believe Americans are entitled to the service.
Is the military an “entitlement” program? As an American, are you “entitled” to military protection?
Are food, water, and drug inspection “entitlement” programs? Are you “entitled” to clean, food and water, and safe drugs?
Are you “entitled” to protection from dishonest bankers and contractors, protection from tornados, hurricanes, and floods, protection from burglars and robbers?
Are our children entitled to good schools, warm clothing, and a safe, healthy environment, even if we are poor?
Are you, as an American, entitled to medical care and other protections you cannot afford to buy for yourself. Are these the sort of protections you would want your government “genie” to provide?
Which exactly are the “entitlement” programs you feel the government should not provide, if any?
Fighting the expansion of the so-called welfare state is a fundamental premise of the American conservative movement.
“Welfare state” is a term that, like “entitlement program,” is what the government does for poorer people. The term does not seem to include benefits to the rich, like tax benefits and other “first-in-line” benefits, which are “just rewards.”
So conservatives have now cast aside their high-minded arguments of political principle . . . the free market, personal responsibility and smaller government.
If you are a conservative, what exactly is a “free market”? How does it work? Is it similar to a lawless market?
And what is “personal responsibility.” For what should a person be responsible vs. for what should a government be responsible?
And how do you define a “smaller” government? How many people should the federal government employ? How much money should it spend?
What is the purpose of a “smaller” government?
Conservatives had pushed Congress to pass a clean repeal bill in the first days of Mr. Trump’s presidency. They feared that the longer they waited, the more time Democrats would have to argue that Republicans wanted to callously rip benefits away from hard-working Americans.
But if Republicans don’t want to “callously rip benefits away from hard-working Americans,” what exactly do they want regarding benefits to hard-working Americans?
With new government benefits, he said, comes incredible political power.
Is it “political power,” not “entitlements,” that the discussion really is all about?
William Voegeli, a senior editor at the Claremont Review of Books, a conservative journal, pointed to a long list of government programs that Republicans have promised to defund or eliminate — the National Endowment for the Arts, public broadcasting, the Department of Education and, of course, the Affordable Care Act — amid the expansion of the liberal “administrative state,” to use a term popular inside the Trump administration.
You are a citizen of the United States. The government is aMonetarily Sovereign “genie,” so the National Endowment for the Arts, public broadcasting, the Department of Education and Affordable Care Act cost you nothing.
How would your life be better without these programs that cost you nothing?
“You run on election cycle after election cycle with Republicans complaining but never taking the obvious next step,” Voegeli said. “And eventually you’re going to get a lot of restless conservatives out there.”
Who are the “restless conservatives out there”? Are they the rich or are they the rest of us? Is it we “not-rich,” who don’t want the American government “genie” to provide free benefits to the people?
Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer said Republicans had “accepted the fact that the electorate sees health care as not just any commodity, like purchasing a steak or a car. It’s something now people have a sense the government ought to guarantee.”
Are you among those conservatives who believe the government “genie” should not provide free health care? If so, why?
Then Mr. Trump, who had campaigned on preserving programs, like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, that his party had aimed at in the past, said on Twitter less than two weeks before Inauguration Day that a replacement must accompany a repeal — much to the surprise of Mr. Ryan and the party leadership on Capitol Hill.
The complexity of unraveling the Affordable Care Act became evident to Republicans even before Mr. Trump was sworn in, as they started planning their legislative agenda for his first 100 days. Led by Speaker Paul D. Ryan, the party assumed that a repeal would be one of the first items — if not the first — on its calendar.
Why would you say that the Republicans had “aimed at” Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid?” How would you have benefitted if these programs had been cut?
What would have happened if ACA simply had been repealed? Why did Ryan want to repeal it, without a replacement?
The health and human services secretary, Tom Price, told NBC News that the goal was something that Republicans usually dismissed as utopian fantasy: universal coverage.
“What we’re trying to do is to make certain that every single person has health coverage,” he said.
How would the Republicans make certain that “every single person has health coverage,” without federal funding? Why have Republicans dismissed universal health care coverage as a “utopian fantasy”? Do they really believe that the U.S. government is not Monetarily Sovereign?
Republicans in the past often framed the debate in terms of personal freedom, choice and liberty — as opposed to the soft tyranny that can come through well-meaning laws.
“The debate over power and authority here is really a slugfest over who makes key decisions,” said Robert E. Moffit, a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation, “and whether the key decisions in health care ultimately should end up in the hands of a government office or in the hands of individuals who are exercising free choice.”
How does single payer health care insurance impinge on “personal freedom, choice, and liberty? What is the “choice” gained by people who financially are forced to do without insurance?
Here are six false beliefs that bedevil the discussion of universal health care funded by the federal government:
1. The false belief that the federal government is not Monetarily Sovereign, that federal taxes fund spending, and that with a federal single-payer system, healthy people pay for sick people.
The reality is that the federal government is Monetarily Sovereign, neither needs nor uses tax dollars, and with federal single-payer, no one — neither the sick nor the healthy — needs to be made to pay for health care insurance.
2. The false believe that a smaller federal government would be less intrusive or oppressive than a larger federal government or a state or local government.
The reality is that life itself can be oppressive, especially for the poor, and providing benefits that otherwise would be unaffordable for the poor does not make a government oppressive. Federal benefits make life less oppressive.
Further, transferring obligations to the states, merely makes the states an extension of the “too big” federal government, and does not diminish the supposed “oppressiveness” of government. Such a transfer actually enlarges government.
3. The false belief that federal financial obligations are more affordable if transferred to state and local governments.
The reality is that state and local governments are monetarily non-sovereign, so their expenses are funded by taxpayers. Unlike federal health care support, when the states fund health care, the healthy do pay for the sick.
4. The false belief that state government provides more freedom of choice than does the local government.
The reality is that each person has their own needs and desires, and a state is even less likely to provide for these needs and desires than is the federal government, because of the financial constraints the states face.
Many states already have proved they care nothing about the well-being of their poorer residents by refusing to expand Medicaid, even when the federal government offered to pay for the expansion.
5. The false belief that the poor and middle-classes are lazy “takers,” who only want “free stuff,” and who need to be taught self-sufficiency.
The reality is that the poor and middle-classes on average, work harder than do the rich. They are not rich for lack of trying, but rather for lack of luck.
6. The false belief that federal benefit spending will cause hyperinflations like those experienced by Weimar Germany and Zimbabwe.
The reality is that the U.S. never has had a hyperinflation — not through wars, recessions, depressions or natural disasters.
Further, the Fed successfully controls inflations via interest rate control.
In Summary: There are no moral or logical reasons for denying federally-funded, comprehensive Medicare to every man, woman, and child in America. The federal government can afford it. It won’t cost anyone anything. And rather than being oppressive, free health care is liberating.
The rich don’t want it. They want to widen the Gap between the rich and the rest, so any benefits to the not-rich are an anathema.
The rich spend billions to brainwash the populace into advocating benefit restrictions on the not-rich. The use terms like “freedom,” “choice,” and “liberty,” when they really mean: The freedom to suffer, the choice of misery, and the liberty to be slaves to the rich.
In a great nation, there is no excuse for anyone being denied the finest health care, just because of finances. Donald Trump was right. We can “make America great again.” But cutting benefits is not the way to do it.
We are fortunate that we have an American “genie,” that can afford benefits to the populace. By what rationale do we reject that free service?
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 A MONTHLY ECONOMIC BONUS TO EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD IN AMERICA (similar to Social Security for All) (The JG (Jobs Guarantee) vs the GI (Guaranteed Income) vs the EB (Economic Bonus)) 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 EVERYONE Five 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 FEDERAL TAXES ON BUSINESS
Businesses are dollar-transferring machines. They transfer dollars from customers to employees, suppliers, shareholders and the federal government (the later having no use for those dollars). Any tax on businesses reduces the amount going to employees, suppliers and shareholders, which diminishes the economy. Ultimately, all business taxes reduce 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 business 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.