Ignorance is not stupidity.
While stupidity can cause ignorance, ignorance cannot cause stupidity. We all are ignorant about many things. Each of us is ignorant about all but a minuscule fraction of what there is to know.
Sadly, most of us are ignorant about federal government financing.
Which do you believe:
- The purpose of federal government taxes is to help pay the government’s bills.
- The federal government borrows dollars to help pay its bills.
- The federal government can unintentionally run short of dollars.
- The federal debt should be reduced.
- Our children and grandchildren will have to pay the federal debt.
- Federal spending can cause inflation.
- Federal deficits should be reduced.
- The federal government should run a balanced budget.
- Federal finances are similar to state/local government finances.
- The federal debt ceiling is a fiscally prudent limit.
As the smart and fiscally knowledgeable people know, all of the above statements are false. How many did you get right?
The federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign has the infinite ability to create dollars.
It not only doesn’t use tax dollars; it destroys them upon receipt.
The primary purpose of federal taxes is to control the economy by taxing what the government wishes to discourage.
The federal “debt” isn’t a debt; it’s deposits, and neither the debt nor the deficit is an obligation of the government, of you, or of your grandchildren. No one ever will pay for the “debt.” The deposited money simply will be returned upon maturity.
In short, there is no federal “debt crisis.” It’s a con by the rich that is far bigger than anything Bernie Madoff could imagine. The purpose: To make you accept fewer benefits from the government.
Federal deficits are necessary for economic growth. Shortages, not federal spending, cause inflation. A federal balanced budget would cause a recession or a depression.
Federal finances are nothing like state/local government finances, nothing like business finances, and nothing like your or my finances. The federal government uniquely is Monetarily Sovereign. It never unintentionally can run short of dollars.
Keep these facts in mind as we go through the following article:
America’s giant medical debt
Americans owe at least $195 billion of medical debt, despite 90% of the population having some kind of health coverage, according to new research from the Peterson Center on Healthcare and the Kaiser Family Foundation.
The fundamental purpose of government is to improve and protect the lives of the people being governed.
How does requiring payment to the federal government improve or protect the lives of the people?
Why it matters: People are spending down their savings and skimping on food, clothing and household items to pay their medical bills.
About 16 million people, or 6% of U.S. adults, owe more than $1,000 in medical bills, and 3 million people owe more than $10,000.
The financial burden falls disproportionately on people with disabilities, those in generally poor health, Black Americans and people living in the South or in non-Medicaid expansion states, per the research.
“People living in the South or in non-Medicaid expansion states” live where Republicans govern. This is not a coincidence. The right-wing philosophy is to benefit the rich by widening the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and he rest.
The rich wish to be richer, and widening the Gap makes them richer. The very definition of “rich” involves a wide income/wealth/power Gap.
Nor is it a coincidence that these are the same states enacting laws to make voting more difficult for the poor and for people of color. (See “Gap Psychology.”)
16% of privately-insured adults say they would need to take on credit card debt to meet an unexpected $400 medical expense, while 7% would borrow money from friends or family, per the research, which focused on adults who reported having more than $250 in unpaid bills as of December 2019.
It’s not yet clear how much the pandemic and the recession factor into the picture, in part because man people delayed or went without care. There also was a small shift from employer-based coverage to Medicaid, which has little or no cost-sharing.
While the new federal ban on surprise billing limits exposure to some unexpected expenses, it only covers a fraction of the large medical bills many Americans face, the researchers say.
The solution to the medical debt problem is federal support. The federal government should offer comprehensive, no-deductible, generous Medicare coverage to every man, woman, and child in America.
The plan should be optional. Those who wish to keep their private insurance should be allowed to do so, though one wonders why anyone would wish to.
(Presumably, there may be some anti-government types who would prefer to pay for what they could receive without cost.)
This plan should cover everything that could be considered “medical”: Dental, psychiatric, rehabilitation, home rehab for disability, pharmaceuticals, etc.
The payments to healthcare workers and hospitals should be generous, to attract people into the profession and to encourage the building of more and better hospitals.
There is nothing wrong with doctors, nurses and hospital personnel getting rich. Even if some might get rich for doing little, that is better than Americans being impoverished, through no fault of their own, by the cost of disease.
Federal support of medical research should be increased, and rather than trying to cut prescription costs, the government should encourage research by rewarding successful drugs.
Federal spending costs you nothing. It is the ultimate free lunch. The reluctance to spend is an artificial limitation placed on the government by the very rich, who do not want the rest of us to receive the same benefits they receive.
The rich can afford the best doctor-care, the best nurse-care, the best hospital-care, the best pharmaceuticals, the best rehabilitation.
The rich can afford to travel for abortions, while the rest are required to have unwanted and unaffordable babies.
The rich also can afford the best schools for their kids. They receive tax breaks on their homes while you pay for your rental. They write off their meals and their transportation, even their clothing and their vacations, all as business expenses.
And while the rich go years without paying any taxes because they receive tax breaks of which you can’t even dream, they complain about your receipt of Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and poverty benefits.
Why is this happening?
Because they have convinced you that federal deficit spending for your benefits somehow will be bad for you and for America. In short, this is happening because of your ignorance.
I’m sorry to put it so bluntly, but there is no other way to say it. You could have the same benefits the rich take for granted, but you have been sold the bill of goods that says, “They deserve the best and you don’t.”
Because of your ignorance of the facts, you meekly sit back and accept crumbs. You vote for the people who lie to you. You can’t even visualize having what the federal government easily can provide to you.
You are so ignorant you will become enraged at, and ridicule, anyone who tries to tell you the truth. You excuse your ignorance by claiming federal benefits are “socialism” or “communism,” though they are neither.
You demand to lead a lesser life, and when you receive that lesser life, you grumble about it.
You simply cannot bring yourself to believe that the federal government can afford to give you the same, beautiful life benefits it gives to the rich, without collecting a dime from you in taxes.
Because you think of yourself as “lesser,” you receive less and sadly, you deserve what you receive.
And to keep those below you on the income/wealth/scale from climbing up, you’ll vote against their benefits, too, because you don’t understand that a vote against the poor rebounds as a vote against you.
Ignorance does that.
You are the people who buy lottery tickets, hoping for a mathematical miracle, when the federal government has the power to give you the life you pray for, and it wouldn’t require a miracle.
All you need do is learn and demand, and if enough of you do that, you will win life’s lottery, courtesy of your government.
Or, stay ignorant.
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
P.S. This doesn’t apply to citizens of France, Italy, Spain, Greece, and the other euro nations. Your government gave away its Monetary Sovereignty many years ago.
You might do better buying lottery tickets.
Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
THE SOLE PURPOSE OF GOVERNMENT IS TO IMPROVE AND PROTECT THE LIVES OF THE PEOPLE.
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.”
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 Monetary Sovereignty and The Ten Steps To Prosperity can grow the economy and narrow the Gaps:
Ten Steps To Prosperity:
- Eliminate FICA
- Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D, plus long-term care — for everyone
- Social Security for all
- Free education (including post-grad) for everyone
- Salary for attending school
- Eliminate federal taxes on business
- Increase the standard income tax deduction, annually.
- Tax the very rich (the “.1%”) more, with higher progressive tax rates on all forms of income.
- Federal ownership of all banks
- Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99.9%
The Ten Steps will grow the economy and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest.
9 thoughts on “Ignorance is costing you. It’s what you want.”
I disagree with your statement that the government shouldn’t worry about high prescription costs but should reward successful research.
High prescription costs are the major driver behind the power of pharmaceutical companies and their over-paid executives. That power needs to be constrained, notwithstanding the government’s ability to pay. In the US we pay more for pharmaceuticals than almost any other country and the excess profits are monopoly rents (due to patents) that distort the political economy. Adam Smith is spinning in his grave.
Although the government already funds most basic research leading to new drugs, it could do a lot more, that’s true. The Big Pharma companies aren’t really doing much research anyway. They spend far more money on dividends and stock buybacks than they do on R&D.
One of the things the government could do is insist that drugs developed with its basic research be sold for no more than the cost of production plus a reasonable profit. Not a price based on what the market will bear or what insurance companies and Medicare/Medicaid are willing (or required) to pay.
There are better ways to get money and benefits into the hands of the public than covering the cost excessively high-priced drugs. Your Ten Steps are the best examples.
Whole lot of rent-seeking in our economy. I saw something a couple years back about how a group of farmers in Florida growing sugar cane got like five billion in subsidies [was buried in one of W’s farm bills in the mid 00’s] in return for five million spent on strategic lobbying and campaign donations. 1000 to 1 return
So long as Congress seems determined to live within some sort of budget — kind of — sugar subsidies are counterproductive. However, they are not what the article claims:
It is not a transfer from consumers and businesses. It is not a hidden tax. It costs Americans nothing. And there are no hidden costs. If (big “IF”) the $50 billion is correct, that’s $50 billion stimulus dollars pumped into the economy.
What’s bad is if the money is going to the rich rather than to the poor, thus widening the Gap. Other than that, even wasteful spending benefits the economy.
Costs Americans nothing? Obesity and diabetes are mighty expensive for tens of millions in part due to this parasitic regulatory capture to attract constant subsidization of a crop which would otherwise be wholly unprofitable in this country. https://promarket.org/2016/09/19/sugar-industry-buys-academia-politicians/
Just surprised Trump and those penny pinching Pritzkers weren’t in on this gravy train too. https://www.etd.ceu.edu/2021/suresh_rahuldev.pdf
All politicians, most media, and many university economists are bought by the rich. The politicians are bought by campaign contributions and promises of future employment. The media are bought by advertising dollars and ownership. The economists are bought by university gifts and promises of employment in think tanks.
So everyone is bought, and every decision of Congress is PAID FOR by the rich.
Since every Congressional decision is paid for and also is disliked by some group, I suppose one could argue that all Congressional decisions are costly. But, when I say that federal spending costs Americans nothing, I assume you know exactly what I mean.
I agree with your concept. The devil is in the details, however:
“. . . the cost of production plus a reasonable profit” is quite vague. What exactly counts as the cost of production? Does it include R&D? Does it include management? Does it include department personnel? Transportation? Marketing?
If not, why not?
And what exactly is a “reasonable” profit? Is the profit calculated for the entire company or for individual products? And when does that profit occur?
There also is the issue of patents. How long should they be allowed and what should they cover? Does one tiny change amount to a whole new patent?
The biggest problem is not federal spending but rather widening the Gap. Making richer people richer should be avoided, but I suspect the prevention/cure lies somewhere in the area of giving more benefits to poorer people rather than taking benefits from richer people.
Medicare for All, College for All, Social Security for All, and the elimination of payroll taxes and income taxes is the direction I suggest.
Maybe KFF should do an expose on the shitty Kaiser Family they are named after. Deny deny until they die is what happened to all the Rosie the Riveters who ended up with Mesothelioma from the asbestos that fell like snow at times inside the building halls of the Kaiser Shipyards up and down the west coast.
The less care they give them, the more money they make. America’s healthcare in a nutshell. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PA3kETvUXJg
Re: But, when I say that federal spending costs Americans nothing, I assume you know exactly what I mean.
Yes I know what you mean. But there can still be a spectrum of growth dollars added to the economy. Gap-widening ones and gap-narrowing ones.
Would of been better plowing those $50 billion growth dollars for sugar into basic and applied research on solving our energy problems [half or more of all inflation these last fifty years came down to short supply of oil for ever growing populations and their economies]. https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2018/01/laser-are-getting-ten-times-more-powerful-every-3-years-soon-exawatt-lasers-will-unlock-fusion-and-more.html
Mark, I agree that some uses of dollars may be “better” (by various criteria) than others.
The point is that dollars are infinite, so we can make “less good” uses without concern that we are using up dollars on less good efforts. The supply of dollars is not the real issue. The effect of a project is the real issue.