It takes only two things to keep people in chains:
The ignorance of the oppressed and the treachery of their leaders.
Mr. Trump, tear down this wall.
President Trump is right about one thing: We Americans have allowed our former greatness to slip through our fingers, and yes, we have the opportunity to “make America great, again.”
But, that does not mean making America meaner, more frightened, or more selfish.
The way to make America great again is to make America compassionate again.
It takes far more strength of character and moral courage to be compassionate than to be cruel. It’s oh, so much easier to curse at the downtrodden than to help lift them.
It’s oh, so much easier to put forth negative examples as excuses for being mean-spirited, than to look past the ragged clothes and different mores and to see the treasure within.
Do not despise the poor, the hungry, the homeless. They are not the enemy. The enemy is poverty. It is the real root of all evil, and we can help reduce poverty. We have that power. We need only use it.
A brave leader strengthens the moral fiber of his nation with a kind and helping hand. A fearful leader needs a harsh steel fist to maintain control.
Weak nations lead a frightened existence. A great nation is not a fearful people. A great nation does not defend itself with petty malice against the powerless. The measure of a nation is how it treats its last in line.
We Americans were great when we fought evil during World War II. Then, we fought for our existence.
But, we even were greater following the war, when we reconstructed Europe with the wise compassion and generosity of the Marshall Plan.
For you who are too young to remember the Marshall Plan (that may be nearly all of you), here are a few highlights:
The initiative was named after United States Secretary of State George Marshall, who served as the United States Army Chief of Staff during World War II.
The plan had bipartisan support in Washington, where the Republicans controlled Congress and the Democrats controlled the White House with President Harry S. Truman..
The purpose of the Marshall Plan was to aid in the economic recovery of European nations after the war.
The Marshall Plan offered the same aid to the Soviet Union and its allies, but they refused to accept it. In fact, the Soviet Union prevented its satellite states (i.e., East Germany, Poland, etc.) from accepting.
Immediately, you see the vast differences between our formerly great selves and today’s anxious America.
- A Republican Congress and a Democratic President worked together, instead of trying to sow hatred and defeat each other.
- Rather than punishing our enemies, as we did after World War I (which led to WWII), we helped to rebuild them.
- The Soviet Union took the opposite course, building walls and enslaving their formerly enemy populations.
The results of our “clever compassion” vs. the Soviet’s “Iron Curtain,” are widely acknowledged. Compassion proved to be smarter and more productive than grim vengeance.
The result should have been predictable to anyone who understands human nature.
President Truman signed the Marshall Plan on April 3, 1948, granting aid to 16 European nations. During the four years the plan was in effect, the United States donated $17 billion in economic and technical assistance to help the recovery of the European countries.
The $17 billion was in the context of a US Gross Domestic Product of $258 billion in 1948, and on top of $17 billion in American aid to Europe between the end of the war and the start of the Plan.
In just the seven years after the end of the War, we Americans gave Europe $34 billion, about 13% of our GDP.
Today, that same 13% of our $19 trillion GDP would amount to $2.5 trillion.
(Try to imagine today’s weak politicians providing an additional $2.5 trillion to help our own poor, much less the poor of other nations.)
History shows that the Marshall Plan not only was compassionate. It was smart.
The Marshall Plan was replaced by the Mutual Security Plan at the end of 1951; that new plan gave away about $7 billion annually until 1961 when it was replaced by another program.
By 1952, as the funding ended, the economy of every participant state had surpassed pre-war levels.
Over the next two decades, Western Europe enjoyed unprecedented growth and prosperity. Marshall aid had provided the critical margin on which other investment needed for European recovery depended.
The Marshall Plan stimulated the total political reconstruction of western Europe.
By contrast, the eastern European nations, trapped behind the walls of the Iron Curtain, struggled in misery. The Soviets saw no benefits from their Iron Curtain. They continuously had to expend resources guarding their borders, imprisoning violators and defending against sabotage.
The cost was great; the reward, non-existent.
Our compassion was not naïveté. We knew full well that some of the people and some of the nations receiving our dollars had collaborated with Hitler. Consider that Germans were among the largest recipients of our aid.
But rather than take the low road by and using the bad as examples and excuses for punishment, we demonstrated American greatness with compassion.
President Ronald Reagan’s finest line was, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” That line will be remembered, forever.
Walls protect rooms. Walls protect houses, and jails. Walls protect the weak, but walls do not protect great nations. Great nations have neither need nor desire for walls.
By now we should have learned that our southern walls have not protected us from drugs and crime. More walls will do not better.
The drug dealers and the criminals know how to circumvent walls. A wall only deters the powerless and the innocent, the very sort of people who have built America.
Being Monetarily Sovereign, our government creates dollars at will. It has the unlimited ability to provide benefits to you, to me, and yes, to immigrants and foreigners — and contrary to popular belief, this aid doesn’t even cost us taxpayers, one cent.
Our Marshall Plan magnanimity actually grew our economy, created American jobs, increased business profits, and benefitted us all — at no cost to anyone. We cast our bread upon the waters and it was returned to us many times over.
We need a “Marshall Plan for America.
Rather than punishing the poor for being poor, and rather than deporting the homeless and tempest-tossed, we must help them, lift them and make them an effective addition to America’s population.
That is how to make America great, again.
People who have had the strength, courage, and desire to gather up their children and to make a perilous trip from their homes to a strange land — those people remind us of our immigrant ancestors.
What we are proud to call “America” comes from such people, who began with nothing and who created our great nation.
Today, we must remember our heritage. Today, we must remember who we are, what we are, and why we are here.
That is why I say, “Mr. Trump, tear down that wall.” We have the power to feed the hungry and to shelter the homeless, and helping the needy will make us stronger. There is no cost for such kindness. It will benefit us all.
All nations wish to be admired. All Presidents wish to be remembered kindly by history. How will we and our President be remembered?
There is one, and only one, to make America great, again. We must make it compassionate again.
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.