It takes only two things to keep people in chains: The ignorance of the oppressed and the treachery of their leaders.
Recently, the Chicago Cubs came back from two runs down in the tenth inning to pull off a miraculous win. The manager and the players beat their chests and crowed like conquering heroes, “We won because we never give up.”
Now for the facts. Their heroic pitchers first gave up two runs in the tenth inning. Then, in the most remarkable inning I ever have seen, their heroic hitters struck out twice — on wild pitches.
The pitches were in the dirt and so far outside, the hitters would have needed 10-foot bats to make contact — pitches so bad the catcher couldn’t glove them, which allowed the Cub hitters, who already had struck out, to get on base and later to score the winning runs.
Have you ever seen one inning in which two batters make it to first base by striking out, later to score? I haven’t.
So the Cubs won by being incompetent, and now they hardly can contain themselves with self-congratulatory braggadocio.
I mention this because of an article in today’s Chicago Tribune: “Trump’s real record on race may surprise you,” by Stephen Moore.
Mr. Moore is a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation, one of the nation’s leading apologists for all things right-wing. The Heritage web site says:
Donald Trump and many newly-elected Republican Congressmen promised they’d drain the swamp. And Heritage is here to help them do just that!
We are ramping up our efforts to get them conservative policy solutions that will shrink the size of government, reform the tax code, dismantle Obamacare, and secure our borders.
Yes, they “drained the swamp” by hiring a half dozen swamp critters — Goldman Sachs billionaire bankers — and by giving agency leadership to people who have no knowledge of what the agency does (i.e. Ben Carson, Rick Perry, et al) and/or are in diametric disagreement with the agency’s mission (Scott Pruitt, Betsy DeVos, et al).
And after seven months in office, with a Republican Congress and a right-wing Supreme Court, someone please tell me what Donald J. Trump has done to reform our tax code, dismantle Obamacare, and secure our borders.
Here are some choice paragraphs from the Tribune article:
One lesson I’ve learned from working for Donald Trump is that you have to pay attention to what he does, not what he says.
Apparently, what the President of the United States says is so meaningless you shouldn’t pay any attention to it. When he promises to do something or not to do something, don’t listen. It means nothing.
That’s called “leadership.”
The left and the media are on a rampage accusing Trump of being a racist and Nazi and Ku Klux Klan sympathizer because of his words in response to the horrid events in Charlottesville, Va.
Why would anyone think Trump is a racist, just because he called Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals, Muslims terrorists, and Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan, and white supremacists “good people”?
Let’s all accept two truths: First, that every sane person denounces the violence and racial hatred displayed in Charlottesville by far-right, fringe white supremacists.
And second, that Trump should have shown better judgment in his seeming defense of these crazed groups carrying around torches and Confederate flags as if celebrating a darker period in our history.
Uh, yes. But this wasn’t a case of bad “judgment.” This was a President trying to whitewash the Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan and the supremacists. It wasn’t poor judgment. It was bigotry.
Words matter for sure, but actions do speak louder than words. Leftists believe that good intentions are more important than results.
So we should excuse Trump when his words oppose his actions? And where did the author dream up that BS second sentence about leftists?
If you meant well and your heart is in the right place, that’s what really matters, according to this creed.
” . . . according to Moore’s invented creed.”
So, if you mean ill, and your heart is rotten and bigoted, that’s O.K., so long as things turn out well?
No one cared more about the plight of black Americans than Barack Obama — our first African-American president — who won well more than 90 percent of the black vote.
And now we return to the all-purpose, daily right-wing excuse for every mean, stupid thing Trump does: Obama (or Hillary or the Democrats) were worse.
It’s as though finding something wrong with Obama absolves Trump of everything. It’s the kindergarten response, “Don’t blame me for kicking her. He kicked her first.”
But the sad paradox of Obama’s presidency is that a president who was going to lift up black America economically didn’t deliver. From 2009 to 2015, the incomes of black Americans fell by more than $900 per family adjusted for inflation.
So far under Trump, median family incomes have risen by more than $1,000, according to Sentier Research and based on Census Bureau numbers. These numbers are not broken down by race, but it’s a pretty good bet that black incomes have risen with those of other races under Trump.
Note the weasel statistics. The incomes of black Americans fell, but “it’s a pretty good bet” they rose with those of other races under Trump. “A pretty good bet??”
Well, in fact, the incomes of all Americans rose from 2012 to 2015, well before Trump became President, so was it also “a pretty good bet that black incomes have risen with those of other races” — before Trump?
If the incomes of black Americans rose, it’s because Trump . . . uh, well he . . . uh, what exactly did Trump do to increase their incomes and all family incomes?
So far as I can see, he has done nothing other than spend his time at golf and tweeting, hire incompetents, let many departments run short of personnel, and run the most dysfunctional administration in recent history.
In short, Trump strikes out every day, swinging at bad pitches, and despite his frightening incompetence, family incomes still are rising.
Note how every negative statistic is Obama’s fault, not the fault of the Republican Congress. By contrast, nothing ever is Trump’s fault according to his followers.
Supposedly, it was Congress’s, not Trump’s fault that health care wasn’t taken from many millions of people. Trump had a wonderful plan in mind — he claimed — but Congress didn’t pass it. Right?
And supposedly it isn’t Trump’s fault that his Wall didn’t get funded or paid for by Mexico, our schools haven’t improved, our Afghanistan policy bounces like a yo-yo, we don’t have tax reform, North Korea is even more threatening, and essentially nothing is being done.
But, according to Stephen Moore, Trump somehow, magically made incomes go up.
What about other metrics of black economic progress under Trump? It’s early for sure, but we have some preliminary results since Election Day, when the stock market started its latest bull market run.
No, the stock market began its bull run when the “Great Recession” ended, because Obama, despite struggling with a GOP dominated Congress that hates deficits, was able to deficit spend.
If Trump and the GOP Congress had their way, deficit spending would have declined, and we would be in a recession, today.
The black unemployment rate has fallen by a full percentage point in the last year, black labor force participation is up and the number of black Americans with a job has risen by 600,000 from last year.
Preliminary data show black wages and incomes are up since the election.
The rate of job growth per month for blacks under Trump has so far been 40 percent higher than the monthly average under Obama.
Again, what has Trump done to accomplish this remarkable feat?
Trump has averaged nearly 30,000 new black jobs per month. That’s especially remarkable because Obama was elected when employment was way down.
How did Trump do that? Anyone? Anyone?
Another issue that is critically important to black and Hispanic economic progress is good schools. Trump is advancing the idea of school choice so that every child can attend a quality school, public or private.
In cities such as Washington, D.C., and Milwaukee, the children who benefit from voucher and scholarship programs are predominantly black. Trump wants to increase by tenfold the number of black children who benefit from these vouchers and scholarships.
The goal here is to give every poor or minority child the same range of education choices that wealthy families have.
The same people who denounce Trump for being a racist hypocritically oppose Trump’s plan for better school options for black children.
The entire Betsy DeVos voucher program is suspect: Here are some comments from a 2016 study: School vouchers and student achievement: Reviewing the research
Research on the academic impact of vouchers — often determined using test scores or high school graduation rates — is decidedly mixed; there is no scholarly consensus that they boost student achievement.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) opposes vouchers, reasoning that they benefit a limited few. “Vouchers take critical resources away from our neighborhood public schools, the very schools that are attended by the vast majority of African American students.
“Furthermore, private and parochial schools are not required to observe federal nondiscrimination laws even if they receive federal funds through voucher programs,” the NAACP saidin its 2015-2016 list of legislative priorities.
Vouchers steal resources and the best students from public schools, leaving the neighborhood schools with fewer resources and worse students.
When Trump decided to “increase by tenfold the number of black children who benefit from these vouchers and scholarships,” he and Betsy DeVos didn’t bother to consult with the NAACP.
Hey, what does the NAACP know about black children that pure white Don and Betsy don’t know?
Back to Moore’s article:
Trump also wants more infrastructure spending, more energy jobs and more apprenticeship programs so our youth have access to better jobs and better training.
Disproportionately, blacks and other minorities will benefit from these programs, because fewer have the financial capability to go to a four-year college.
How do we know Trump “wants” these things? Presumalbly, he has said so.
But, as the author himself said, we shouldn’t listen to what Trump says; we should see what he does. And what has he done regarding “infrastructure spending, more energy jobs, and more apprenticeship programs”?
Seven months, and nothing, so far, unless Trump’s endless playing at golf adds to caddy employment programs.
So is Trump a racist who doesn’t care about the future of black Americans? Let’s face it. He’s no Jack Kemp when it comes to talking about race and healing wounds with his words.
Yes, Trump is a racist, and so far as “healing wounds,” all he has done creates wounds. Trump is no healer. He hurts people. Read his tweets.
But Trump is creating more jobs and higher incomes for blacks and other minorities and is trying to give a better education to every disadvantaged black child in America.
By doing what?
Trump should be a Chicago Cub, striking out wildly at pitches in the dirt, and then bragging about his great win.
The Trump mantra: Take credit for what you didn’t do; blame someone else for your failings; and have the government pay your properties millions for all your family’s travel.
Trump is a self-congratulating incompetent, but his followers don’t seem to mind. Thankfully, 2/3 of Americans are not fooled.
Mr. President, did the Cubs win because of something you did?
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.