It takes only two things to keep people in chains:
The ignorance of the oppressed
and the treachery of their leaders.
Donald Trump says he is all about helping business, to “make America great again.”
He defended tax cuts to benefit business. He has employed business leaders for his cabinet. He himself is a business leader. You could say that Trump is four-square, 100% pro-business.
Yes, you could say that, until you read the following article which appeared in the Washington Post and many other papers:
Trump calls for U.S. Postal Service to raise Amazon’s shipping rates
By Brian Fung The Washington Post
President Donald Trump on Friday called for the U.S. Postal Service to raise the shipping rates that it charges Amazon, the online retailer, in a deal that he said disadvantages the federal agency.
Trump, the cut-government, pro-business, drain-the-swamp, reduce-business-taxes-to-make-them-more-competitive President, wants one of America’s biggest businesses to pay more to the government? What is that all about?
Well, it seems that Trump, the wealthy business owner, the guy who wants to cut his own taxes and to cut the taxes of his many businesses, has less concern for other people’s businesses than with his own ego.
Here are excerpts from the above-mentioned article:
“Why is the United States Post Office, which is losing many billions of dollars a year, while charging Amazon and others so little to deliver their packages, making Amazon richer and the Post Office dumber and poorer? Should be charging MUCH MORE!” Trump tweeted Friday morning.
Trump is likely referring to a partnership between USPS and Amazon in which the Postal Service carries Amazon packages in the last leg of their journeys to customer doorsteps.
Amazon told Fortune magazine that the Postal Regulatory Commission, which oversees the USPS, “has consistently found that Amazon’s contracts with the USPS are profitable.”
Trump also charged that the Internet retailer hurt competitors and local governments by failing to pay sales taxes. The company did not collect sales tax for years, but it does now.
As usual, Trump gets his fact wrong.
Trump has also argued that Bezos is using The Washington Post to advance his financial interests. The Post’s editors and Bezos have declared that he is not involved in any journalistic decisions.
The Post is owned by Bezos personally, not by Amazon.
It was not clear what drove Trump’s interest in the shipping relationship between Amazon and the USPS on Friday morning.
Contrary to that last line, the real reason is quite clear. Trump is an insecure hater. He hates the weak (immigrants, Muslims, the gay, the poor), whom he bullies, and he hates those who don’t fawn over his self-proclaimed “stable genius.”
Back in August, Bloomberg published an article explaining this facet of Trump’s personality.
The Real Reason Jeff Bezos Grinds Trump’s Gears
By Virginia Postrel, August 18, 2017
Why would a supposedly jobs-obsessed president denounce a company that’s in the midst of a giant hiring spree — with many of those jobs going to (Trump’s base) workers without college degrees?
In fact, Trump’s irritation isn’t really with Amazon. Rather, he is obsessed with Jeff Bezos.
Bezos — not Amazon— owns the Washington Post. But Trump regularly attacks the New York Times without mentioning the Ochs-Sulzberger family or Carlos Slim.
Rather, the very existence of Bezos seems to drive Trump crazy. Trump’s image, to himself and his fans, is that of alpha male — the dominant primate in the room.
Bezos is a far more admired and influential businessman than Trump and, of course, immeasurably richer. (Bezos doesn’t have to hide his financial records to maintain the appearance of wealth.)
He’s the opposite of Trump in nearly every dimension. Start with how can someone only five-foot-nine intimidate people into submission? In Trumpworld, intimidation, not value-creation, is what business is all about.
Bezos also has a sense of humor, often at his own expense, and a famously raucous laugh. Trump is humorless.
Trump grew up rich, went to private schools, and had an undistinguished college career. Bezos grew up middle-class, went to public schools, and knocked the top out of Princeton, graduating with highest honors and Phi Beta Kappa in electrical engineering and computer science.
One had a rich father; the other has brains.
And then there are their families. Bezos is famously close to his. Theirs is to all appearances a love match of mutually admiring equals. By contrast, Trump treats his family, and above all his wife (wives), as mere props for his personal glorification.
The biggest difference is that Bezos projects the self-confidence of someone with nothing to prove. Trump, by contrast, projects thin-skinned insecurity.
Why should you care? After all, Bezos can take care of himself. He can buy and sell Trump many times over, and long after Trump mercifully disappears from the public’s memory, Amazon still will be doing just fine, thank you.
And let’s face it, you already knew that Trump was an incompetent, mean-spirited, self-promoting blowhard, who repeatedly has proved his only business success is to put his name on businesses actually run by others — or with daddy’s financial bailouts.
You should care because forcing Amazon to pay more postage, will take dollars from your pocket and send them to the federal government, which will destroy them. The reduction in the money supply is recessionary and the increase in Amazon’s prices is inflationary — two bad things.
You also should care, because rather than charging individuals and businesses for a vital, federal service, the U.S. government should pay for the service.
The GOP cut business taxes (a good idea that adds dollars to the economy) to help businesses; why not cut business postal expenses to help businesses?
The postal service is a federal agency. The federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign, easily can afford to fund one of the most vital agencies, in the same way it funds the military, and without any tax increases.
In summary, Trump bashes Amazon because of his intense jealousy of Jeff Bezos, thereby putting lie to the notion that the “very stable genius” (Trump) is pro-business.
He is pro-Trump, all-Trump, only-Trump, and unless your situation corresponds with his desires, you will pay a price for his self-adoration.
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.