America is sick.
The Trump administration, built on lies and bigotry, changed us from that Reaganesque vision of a, “shining city upon a hill,” to a walled-in, back alley filled with spite, hatred, cruelty, incompetence, and corruption.
And now, the coronavirus, which despite (or because of) Trump’s meandering attempts first to ignore and then to downplay it, has become the knife to the heart of America’s economy.
Today, while most nations struggle furiously to minimize the adverse medical and financial effects of the pandemic, America’s leader struggles furiously to minimize the political effects on himself.
“The people be damned, so long as I get elected in November” is the overriding criterion, and that is why Trump runs a “too little, too late” administration.
Our many problems require many solutions, but they all coalesce into two words: Leadership and Money.
For Leadership, we have Donald Trump, the Republican Party, and the right-wing media — in short, none. Trump’s focus begins and ends with himself and what will be good or bad for his continuing in power.
When right-wing hero and information source, Rush Limbaugh said, “ . . . this virus is the common cold,” he expressed the anti-science ignorance of his mindless followers.
Fox & Friends Ainsley Earhardt told us this is “the safest time to fly.” Fox Business’s Trish Regan reported that the virus is a “scam” to “impeach the president.”
The Atlantic’s McKay Coppins summarized today’s conservative message: “Pay no attention to the fake-news fear-mongering about the coronavirus. It’s all political hype. Things are going great.”
The Republican Party is one huge toady, an oily, bootlicking group that has surrendered all its morality, all its functions, and all its power to a proven psychopath (See: A psychopath slipped into the White House . . .).
America would not notice if every Republican in Congress merely stayed asleep in bed and allowed a machine to cast their “Whatever Trump wants” votes. Nothing would change.
With no Leadership to save us, we are left to rely on Money, and here we must pray for common ground between Trump and the Democrats.
The first step is to remove from the dialog any voice for those of Libertarian bent, the folks whose knee-jerk response to any situation is to call for reduced government and reduced government spending. They believe any level of each, no matter how trivial, is too much.
Solving America’s economic problems by cutting government and government spending would be like trying to win a war by eliminating soldiers and equipment.
The Libertarian notion that the federal deficit and debt are “unsustainable” is divorced from reality and ignorant of federal financing and federal deficit spending, which has “sustained” a 50,000% increase over the past eighty years.
Two hundred and forty years ago, American’s Monetarily Sovereign government created from thin air the first laws that created its sovereign currency, and arbitrarily through the years, gave that currency varying values. Today, America’s government continues to own absolute control over the supply and value of the dollar.
Though the government does not always use that unlimited power to create dollars and to control their value, as witness the unnecessary collection of federal taxes, and occasional inflations, the power remains available, like a sheathed sword.
In short, the federal government simply cannot run short of dollars, and it can set the value of the dollar at any level it chooses.
The sole question, with regard to our current crises, is: How shall these unlimited powers best be used?
In searching for a direction, we might look to Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), a philosophy that well understands the federal government’s abovementioned powers.
Sadly though, MMT was founded on, and still remains dedicated to the dual goals, “Full employment and stable currency,” neither of which addresses today’s crises.
From MMT’s standpoint, “mission accomplished.” We already have both full employment and a stable currency — have had them for several years. Further, any “full employment” goal would be achieved by a “government-as-employment-agency,” a concept that is stunning in its ivory-tower innocence. (See: How the MMT “Jobs Guarantee” ignores humanity and MMT’s “Jobs Guarantee”: The final nail in the coffin of this naive, foolish program.)
By contrast, MS is dedicated to the dual goals, grow the economy and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest.
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.
To grow the economy and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest, MS proposes the implementation of the Ten Steps to Prosperity.
Here are links to descriptions of each Step.
The Ten Steps To Prosperity:
3. Provide a monthly economic bonus to every man, woman and child in America (similar to social security for all)
The sole purpose of government is to improve and protect the lives of the people. The Ten Steps will help accomplish the dual goals of growing the economy and narrowing the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest.
Step 1. Eliminate FICA. This step is first because it not only is easily implemented — simply stop collecting this useless, regressive tax — but also because it instantly would begin to add growth dollars to the economy and to the pockets of working (and spending) people. It could be done, today.
Step 2. Federally funded Medicare would address the medical and financial tragedies that will be visited upon the American populace. The deleterious effects of the virus will be physically and financially long-lasting.
Step 3. Social Security for all would address the massive financial impact the virus will have on the American people. It is a way to pump regular infusions of money into a starving economy. It is a controlled version of “helicopter money.”
Steps 4. and 5. Pay for education. Clearly, America needs more medical personnel and others in the sciences associated not just with health, but every human area touched by science. Ironically, the man who preaches “MAGA” is anti-science, and does not understand that science leadership is necessary to make a nation great.
Step 6. Eliminate federal taxes on business. Under ordinary circumstances, this always would benefit the economy, but today the government needs to go further and directly support the industries that have been hit hardest and are most vital. Transportation and food service are notable examples.
Steps 7 and 8. Increase the standard deduction and tax the highest income groups more. Increasing the standard deduction already has begun. It should continue, year after year, until only the very highest income groups are taxed. The federal government has no need for, nor use of, tax income. It creates new dollars, ad hoc, to pay its bills. Federal tax dollars are destroyed upon receipt (See: Federal tax dollars are destroyed).
Step 9. Federal ownership of all banks. In addition to eliminating the rampant and ongoing criminality of the banking industry, this step would solidify government controls over the money supply, interest rates, and inflation. Private ownership of banks offers no social, financial, or economic benefit to the public.
Step 10. General. This can include the many initiatives that would help achieve the twin goals of growing the economy and narrowing the Gap, i.e. improving and protecting the lives of the people. Examples:
A. Free “Meals on Wheels” to those who want them, rich or poor, old or young, sick or healthy.
B. Increased support for science.
C. Increased support for infrastructure.
D. Increased support for housing.
E. Specific to today’s medical crisis:
1. Fully paid sick leave for all Americans
2. Debt relief for those impacted by the virus
3. Massive “Manhattan Project” approach to finding treatments and cures for all communicable diseases. (See: Manhattan Project)
All of the above would improve the lives of the American people. Although they would be costly, there would be no cost to the American people. The federal government, which has infinite money and infinite control over the value of the dollar, could fund them all without collect one extra penny in taxes.
In summary, a vast number of our ailments can be addressed with federal government money, which is free and infinite. We must not let those who are ignorant about federal finances continue to build roadblocks to the improvement of American lives.
The most important problems in economics involve:
- Monetary Sovereignty describes money creation and destruction.
- Gap Psychology describes the common desire to distance oneself from those “below” in any socio-economic ranking, and to come nearer those “above.” The socio-economic distance is referred to as “The Gap.”
We must spend the money to lift us, and we must narrow the Gap to lift us all.
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
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