It takes only two things to keep people in chains:
The ignorance of the oppressed
and the treachery of their leaders.
Back on (ironically) July 4th, 2015, we compared Donald Trump with Adolph Hitler (Hitler in America. Why a bigot can win the Presidency).
We made the same comparison on December 7th (also ironically) 2015 in the post: Hitler redux.
And again on Sep 30, 2016 (Astounding similarities: Hitler in America. It’s happening now.)
We may not have been the first to call attention to the massive similarities between Trump and Hitler. Over the months, we were not the only ones. And surely we won’t be the last.
Trump is following the Hitlerian playbook and unfortunately, many of us Americans are following the German people’s playbook.
Hitler preyed on discontent. He told the German people they were being treated unfairly, and he alone could save them. They believed what they desperately wanted to believe. Some still do.
Trump is capitalizing on a longing for charismatic leadership, to which even highly developed Western democracies seem very susceptible when democratic structures fail to deliver all the desired outcomes.
There is a very real sense amongst a large part of the population that they have not been on the “winning side” for a long time.
Trump promised: “We’re gonna win so much you may even get tired of winning and you’ll say please, please Mr. President, It’s too much winning! We can’t take it anymore!”
The gap between rich and poor is getting wider, and in the process, the classical attributes of political leadership—education, expertise, eloquent speeches—have come to be seen not as problem-solving strategies, but as the identity markers of a social elite who are looking after their own interests only.
Even where new policies on healthcare, education, or job creation achieve their goals, they are not popular, because they are tinged with that smell of elitism that makes many ordinary people not feel valued by the political classes.
Trump has not been the first demagogue to capitalize on such sentiments.
Thus, when Senator Bernie Sanders proposed Medicare for All, he was ridiculed. It was “too good to be true.” The populace opted for Trump’s empty lies rather than accept Sanders’s substantive proposals.
If Trump is known for anything, it is his repeated use of the words, “Fake news.” Hitler used the term, “Lügenpresse” (lying press).
All dictators hate a free press. In “Trumpworld,” free speech is only for the Nazis, the white supremacists, and the KKK, and of course, for Donald Trump — not for newspaper reporters.
Trump wants news media to fawn over him as Breitbart and FOX do, and like the many, right-wing conspiracy blogs that still excuse Trump’s faults by focusing on Hillary’s Emails, Barack’s birth certificate, and Bill’s affairs. (They never mention Trump’s wife-cheating, his groping, his Trump University con, his compulsive lying, his incompetence, his notorious laziness, etc.)
If Trump had his way, he would bankrupt the mainstream media with lawsuits, or with military action, Putin style, Putin being one of Trump’s heroes.
A cowardly draft dodger, Trump longs for war. Perhaps North Korea will provide him with one. He seems to hope so.
How did we get here? How did the United States arrive at the same place as Nazi Germany?
Perhaps we should ask, why did the Republican party trade its soul for a political victory, knowing full well that Trump was evil for democracy, evil for America, and evil for the middle- and lower-income people?
The lust for power replaced the GOP’ moral center. It led to health care plans that would have cost millions of Americans their lives and tax plans that widen the Gap between the rich and the rest.
I understand and sympathize with Trump’s voters. They were desperate, unappreciated and so, they were consumed with hatred. Trump made many promises everyone knew he wouldn’t keep, but for desperate people, the heart needs to feel hope, even when the mind knows it is all a lie.
And of course, they need someone to blame, and Trump gave them that, too. Just as Hitler offered up for hatred, the Jews, and the Gypsies, Trump offers up the Mexicans, the undocumented, the Muslims, the immigrants, and the poor.
All are to be despised, as a balm to American self-pity.
Predictably, the man who promised to “drain the swamp” filled his government with swamp creatures — billionaires who care nothing for the people, as they try to undo the laws that protect the people — supposedly to provide jobs, but in reality to provide profits for rich investors.
And now, the GOP urgently tries to pass a tax bill that will benefit those swamp creatures most.
Today, 1/3 of America still hopes and prays that Trump’s lies were real, and that Trump’s GOP (Yes, it’s his now), really intends to help them, though that’s an obvious lie.
They gave away two of their most valuable possessions, their votes and their souls, and in return what did they get? The vague hope that poor pregnant women and undocumented immigrants will be punished. That is their sad reward.
In the end, these Trump backers, having closed their eyes to the obvious, will find themselves more desperate, less appreciated, and more consumed with hatred.
Their real reward: Their pockets will be emptier, and their mouths will be filled with ashes.
Here we are, like the people of Nazi Germany, like the people of other nations who traded freedom for a dictatorship, making that same mistake, again.
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Twitter: @rodgermitchell; Search #monetarysovereignty
Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
The 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.
THE RECESSION CLOCK
As the federal deficit growth lines drop, we approach recession, which will be cured only when the lines rise. Federal deficit growth is absolutely, positively necessary for economic growth. Period.