It takes only two things to keep people in chains:
The ignorance of the oppressed and the treachery of their leaders.
In the previous post, “How our friends hurt us more than our enemies can,” we explained that contrary to popular opinion, there is no shortage of money to support federal funding of Medicare for every man, woman, and child in America.
Our Monetarily Sovereign federal government never can run out of its own sovereign currency, the dollar. Indeed, the federal government’s method for creating dollars is to spend dollars.
The government sends instructions to creditors’ banks, instructing the banks to increase the balances in the creditors’ checking accounts. When the banks obey those instructions, brand new dollars are created.
In response, reader “Bgray” wrote:
“As the MS/MMT community knows, the real question about single payer universal health care is not how much it costs, as that is irrelevant, but rather are there sufficient resources, namely doctors, nurses, technicians, clinics, and hospitals, to handle the large influx of new patients.
“Let’s be honest, the real issue has more to do with the underlying fear with respect to the reallocation of medical resources away from the rich towards the poor, and how quickly the health care system can adjust to the increased demand.”
I agree and disagree.
Yes, Bgray is correct that the cost of universal health care is effectively irrelevant, as the dollars would be supplied from a limitless source.
But, though some of the rich (the .1%) may fear losing medical resources to the poor, that is unlikely to happen. Resources always follow the money. One cannot imagine wealthy people being unable to obtain services from the very best doctors, nurses, technicians, clinics, and hospitals.
But, I agree with “Bgray” about potential shortages of resources for the 99%.
Every major change leads to shortages. The invention of the automobile required vast changes in the supply of steel, oil, rubber, etc. All-electric cars have led to a shortage of batteries, which is why Tesla is building a giant battery factory.
Federal support of the military has created massive needs for weaponry, leading at times, to shortages of vital materials.
The invention of the smart phone caused shortages of rare earths. Medicine’s increase in human lifespan has created a shortage in elder care facilities.
As for the presumed shortage of doctors, nurses, technicians, clinics, and hospitals to service the 99%, this could be alleviated by:
- Encouraging entry into the medical service professions by paying medical service personnel more. Because “Medicare for All” would not lack for money, there would be no need to skimp on pay.
- Paying students to attend school, and helping to reduce the dropout rate of potential future doctors, nurses, and technicians. (See Steps #4 and #5, below)
- Increasing drug and medical procedure R&D, leading to faster recoveries and more home recoveries. We already have begun that. Most hospital stays today are much shorter than they were 20 years ago.
- Increasing R&D on computer-aided diagnoses and treatment to reduce the number of doctors needed per patient, and lead to fewer hospital admissions, and also to shorter stays.
- Developing better equipment to make doctors, nurses, and technicians more effective and able to service more patients per year
- Reducing personnel-dense intensive care and emergency room usage by making regular doctor and hospital stays affordable and medical services more effective. This would make hospitals able to service more patients per year.
In summary, government funding of goods or services can lead to imbalances — shortages (and excesses) of related goods and services. These imbalances then are addressed by private and public efforts, which cause further imbalances.
There is no doubt that increased federal investment in health care will lead to shortages, but we cannot allow that to become a bar to life improvements.
The road of progress can be bumpy, but the destination has proven to be rewarding.
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.