It takes only two things to keep people in chains:
The ignorance of the oppressed
and the treachery of their leaders.
Donald Trump’s signature promise was to make America great, again. But what does “great” mean in that context?
If it means militarily strong, we were militarily “great” ten years ago, militarily “great” five years ago, militarily “great” last year, and we will continue to be militarily “great” next year, and Trump has done nothing new to change that.
If “great” means improving the lives of those who live here, especially the lives of those whose lives most need improvement — the poor and middle classes — Trump has worked fervently against that form on national greatness. He has tried to destroy healthcare for the poor, and his tax plan simply pushes the poor and middle farther behind the rich.
If “great” means a more honest, open society, Trump is the embodiment of dishonesty, a man who lies a dozen times before breakfast, and whose promises are broken the instant they leave his lips. (Example: Trump: I’ll Sign Any Immigration Bill Congress Sends Me, then one day later, ‘No. No. No.’ — Donald Trump Says He Won’t Sign DACA Deal Without Wall Funding)
We suggest that “great” is not achieved by a nation supporting bigotry against black, brown, or gay people.
For you who continue to live with the fantasy that someone ignorant of government, someone morally corrupt, emotionally unstable, paranoid, vengeful, and incapable of focusing for more than a few minutes, is able to, or even wishes to, “make America great” (whatever that means), I offer this view from abroad:
The Guardian: World’s confidence in US leadership under Trump at new low, poll finds
Approval for US falls to 30% from 48% under Obama
‘Historic low’ of Gallup poll ‘sets a new bar for disapproval
Global confidence in US leadership has fallen to a new low, and the country now ranks below China in worldwide approval ratings, according to a new Gallup poll.
The survey of opinion in 134 countries showed a record collapse in approval for the US role in the world, from 48% under Obama to 30% after one year of Donald Trump – the lowest level Gallup has recorded since beginning its global leadership poll over a decade ago.
The result comes after a separate Gallup survey found that Trump reaches the first anniversary of his inauguration with the lowest average approval rating of any elected president in his first year.
Germany is now seen as a global leader by many more people (41% of the sample), with China in second place on 31%. Russia has 27% approval for its global role according to the poll.
In just under half of the world’s countries – 65 out of 134 – US standing collapsed, by 10 percentage points or more. Some of the biggest losses were among Washington’s closest allies in western Europe, Australia, and Latin America.
Germany is not the world leader in the minds of the world. China is second. Does this indicate Trump has now made “America great, again”?
As part of his “America First” policy, Trump took the US out several multilateral agreements on the grounds they did not serve national interests, including the proposed Trans-Pacific trade partnership and the Paris Climate Change accord.
He walked out of talks on a new trade and investment deal with Europe and has threatened to leave the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico.
“Our values around freedom, human dignity, the way people are treated – those are our values. Those are not our policies.”
Does defaulting on promises and agreements with nations all over the world, help “make America great, again”? Does cruelty, denying scientific consensus, encouraging pollution, and putting incompetents in charge of vital agencies “make America great, again”?
Does conducting a war against news those news media that include criticism of Trump “make America great, again”?
Does Trump’s repeatedly disagreeing with, and undercutting his own advisors “make America great, again”?
Does the inherent selfishness and xenophobia of an “America first” policy “make America great, again”?
Tillerson is right about one thing: American values include “freedom, human dignity, and the way people are treated.” Does this describe the only person to whom Trump has given a pardon, the infamous Sheriff Joe Arpaio?
Does “freedom, human dignity and the way people are treated” describe Trump’s treatment of immigrants from dark-skinned countries, or his actions against the poor and middle-classes, or his groping of women?
Every country has a reservoir or mean-spirited, selfish, hate-filled bigots, who offer so little to the world, they derive self-respect by dumping on the less fortunate. In them, Trump has found willing and eager acolytes.
With all his lies and broken promises, Trump has managed to break his most fundamental promise. He has not “made America great, again. “
Quite the opposite: He has done his best to turn America, the world’s beacon of freedom and human dignity, into a barbaric, “shithole” country.
You know it. I know it. And apparently, now the whole world knows it.
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Twitter: @rodgermitchell; Search #monetarysovereignty
Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
America was a great nation before Trump, and it will be a great nation after Trump, but here is how to make America greater:
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.