Wanted: A leader. Monday, May 4 2020 

Recently, I’ve been watching the television documentary, “The Last Dance.” It is the story of the Chicago Bulls basketball team during two three-year periods in which they were a great team — perhaps the greatest ever — with the great leadership of Michael Jordan and Phil Jackson.Bulls Jordan 1984

When these two men were forced out by a greedy, and jealous management, the team which they had rescued from mediocrity, returned to mediocrity, from which it still has not escaped and perhaps never will.

We, in the Chicago area, felt great, chest-puffing pride in having that team as part of us, though we ourselves had accomplished nothing. We were just floating in the current of greatness created by Jordan and Jackson.

Similarly, all mighty nations are composed of weak, or at best, ordinary followers of a mighty leader.

Great leaders lead a nation to greatness. Courageous leaders give us courage. Moral leaders give us morals.

George Washington led us to freedom from Great Britain. James Madison and Alexander Hamilton were among those who gave us the Constitution.

Abraham Lincoln led us to end the moral blight of slavery. Franklin Roosevelt led us to WWII victory, and gave us Social Security. Lyndon Johnson gave us Medicare and Medicaid.

Though leaders all have human foibles, their leadership directs us to be what we are: Wood chips floating with the current.

A few of America’s leaders have been great. Most mediocre. Some terrible.

When America is admired, it is only because we have had enough great leaders to direct the current admirably, not because we, as people, were born admirable.

As humans, we all are born equal, every city, every nation. 

Today, we lack great or even mediocre leadership. The “accomplishments,” (if one can call them that) of our current leadership are to build a useless barrier between the U.S. and Mexico, to foment hatred of minorities, foreigners, and non-Christians, to normalize the illegal, the immoral, and the mean-spirited, and to widen the income-wealth-power Gap between the rich and the rest.

At times in our past, we have been admired — now we may be feared perhaps, but we no longer are admired. Our leadership combines all the worst characteristics of humanity, and so, that is who we are: A psychopathically weak nation.

Yes, we have many rich people and a powerful military, but history will not remember this generation or this decade as great.

Millions of us are poorly educated. Millions have poor healthcare. Millions live in poverty, hunger, and misery. Millions are treated poorly by our laws.

We have the power to overcome those outrages, but we have chosen not to lift even a finger in support.

We were great in WWII when we defeated the fascists and rescued the East from a marauding Japan. It cost us many lives and much money. But we were great.

We were great after WWII when we helped to reconstruct our allies and our enemies (What nation ever does that?)

And now, when misery and poverty and bigotry and sickness agonize so many Americans, our leaders tell us to turn away. They tell us to blame the victims. They divide us into “me” (not even “we”) and “them.”

So we do not provide health care for all, though we easily could.

And we do not provide education for all, though we easily could.

And we do not provide good housing for all, though we easily could.

And we do not provide financial support for all, though we easily could.

As a Monetarily Sovereign nation, we could do all these things without taking a single tax penny from any American. Instead, out of ignorance and meanness, we levy regressive taxes we neither need nor use — taxes that punish the poor and reward the rich.

And no great leader, recently has emerged, to speak and act against these travesties.

As just one, microscopic example in a sea of examples, I give you this Email recently received:

News from Senator Bernie Sanders
Student Debt Relief During COVID-19
Millions of Americans’ economic security is being threatened due to this crisis.

During this difficult time no one should have to worry about going into default or making additional sacrifices to make their student loan payments.

The federal emergency relief bill (the CARES Act) suspends payments and interest accrual for federal student loans through September 30th.

I’ve called on the Department of Education to cancel monthly student loan payments for the duration of the national emergency, and to cancel $10,000 in student loan debt for all federal student loan borrowers.

While I’m proud the CARES Act provides much needed relief for federal student loan borrowers, we must do more for the millions of Americans with private student loan payments.

We must cancel all student loan payments and halt interest accrual for the duration of this crisis.

As we work to address the debt crisis and immediate needs of American families during this pandemic, I will also continue to fight to make college accessible and affordable, and to cancel all student loan debt in the United States.

Cancel student loan debt “for the duration“? Cancel just $10,000 permanently? Apparently, Senator Sanders timidly subscribes to the realpolitik notion that “Congress would never” do what is right, so he asks for something meager: “For the duration.”

But in doing so, he actually helps perpetuate the notion that the federal government “can’t afford” such “giveaways.”

If he were a great leader, he would propose a law that reads something like this:

Whereas the United States government is Monetarily Sovereign and so cannot run short of its own sovereign currency, the U.S. dollar, and

Whereas, the United States benefits from an educated populace, and

Whereas, there are millions of intelligent people, who otherwise would contribute to America’s greatness, but are unable to afford the education that would make this possible,

Therefore, be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America that every American student of every college or university in the world, shall receive from the federal government a tax-free stipend to equal the tuition, supplies, room, and board paid by that student, and additionally a tax-free stipend as salary for being a student.

In short, it would formalize Steps #4 and #5 of the Ten Steps to Prosperity (below)

It’s not difficult. It’s quite straightforward. It requires money, of which the federal government has infinite.

And all it requires is a leader who is not afraid to tell the truth.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty
Twitter: @rodgermitchell
Search #monetarysovereignty 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:

  1. Monetary Sovereignty describes money creation and destruction.
  2. 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:

1. Eliminate FICA

2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D, plus long-term care — for everyone

3. Provide a monthly economic bonus to every man, woman and child in America (similar to social security for all)

4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone

5. Salary for attending school

6. Eliminate federal taxes on business

7. Increase the standard income tax deduction, annually. 

8. Tax the very rich (the “.1%”) more, with higher progressive tax rates on all forms of income.

9. Federal ownership of all banks

10. 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.

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

Proof there is no limit to what Trump’s GOP toadies will allow. Thursday, Apr 23 2020 

Evidence that the GOP will do anything to turn a blind eye to the disaster caused by the most crooked, incompetent President in U.S. history. As America dies, the GOP is complicit:

Trump fired America’s pandemic response team and other ways he ‘sabotaged’ our coronavirus response

1. Trump fired the pandemic response team

In 2018, the government’s entire pandemic response chain of command was let go.

Trump shut down the global health security unit within the NSC, and the DHS epidemic team was also pushed out. No one was ever replaced.

Why did Trump decide the pandemic response team was dispensable? Simple. It was another part of Obama’s legacy that he felt the need to destroy.

James Buchanan, only the 2nd worst President in U.S. history In the 2018 American Political Science Association ranking, Donald Trump held the distinction of the number one worst American president. Donald Trump has been criticized for inconsistent policies, a lack of political experience, the cutting of funding for social services, discriminatory immigrant policies and more.

2. The CDC is getting its budget slashed

Trump’s budget request for 2021 cuts the budges for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC by nearly 16%. The CDC is responsible for disease prevention and control in the United States.

But Trump isn’t worried about cutting funds to the entity that stops disease prevention because “it will all work out well.”

In addition to the cuts being made to the CDC, Trump is also proposing a cut to the global health fund, lowering it from $571 million to $532 million.

3. Emergency funds are drying up

Along with the missing response team, there is also the lack of a budget to contend with.

The Department of Health and Human Services has already notified Congress that it may need to transfer up to $136 million in funds to help combat the fast-moving epidemic.

This is partially because the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has already gone through the $105 million that was set aside for emergency public-health responses for infectious disease outbreaks.

4. Trump spreads misinformation

President Trump isn’t worried about the coronavirus because “the heat” will deal it, apparently.

Trump keeps repeating a false claim that Americans don’t have to worry because the Coronavirus will be defeated by warm weather.

There’s one big problem with this: scientists say the opposite.

5. The administration doesn’t heed warnings

Experts have been warning the administration, but those concerns have gone completely unheeded.

Ron Klain, for one, has been telling the Trump administration for two years that the United States was not capable of handling a pandemic. Klain served as Chief of Staff for two U.S. Vice Presidents and was also the Ebola response coordinator in 2014.

Even Bill Gates, the philanthropic billionaire, repeatedly met with John Bolton about the issue. Bill Gates warned that ongoing cuts to the global health disease infrastructure would make the United States vulnerable to “significant probability of a large and lethal modern-day pandemic occurring in our lifetimes.”

The Trump Administration didn’t listen to the words of Klain or Gates. The CDC’s global health section has been cut so drastically that staff members have been laid off in droves. The section used to work in 49 different countries, but now they have a presence in just 10.

And:

Trump Fires Watchdog Overseeing $2 Trillion in Coronavirus Stimulus Funds

One of Democrats’ most critical hang-ups in passing Senate Republicans’ draft of the coronavirus stimulus package was that the president and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin would oversee a $500 billion slush fund for businesses, leading to concerns that Trump would dip into the money to bail out his own struggling resorts and hotels.

During the process, Trump assured Americans that he could handle the task responsibly: “I’ll be the oversight,” he told reporters in one of his coronavirus press conferences.

Despite efforts to hold him accountable, he has kept that vow, treating it as something between a promise and a threat.

He fired the inspector general leading the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee. Glenn Fine, the acting Pentagon watchdog who had served under both Obama and Bush, was appointed by a panel of inspectors general to ensure accountability for the $2 trillion stimulus.

And:

Trump retweeted a threat to fire Fauci after he said the US’s slow response to COVID-19 has cost lives

On Sunday, President Trump retweeted a call to fire Dr. Anthony Fauci to his 76.8 million followers.

Earlier in the day, Fauci had told CNN that “no one is going to deny” that lives could’ve been saved if the US had implemented containment measures earlier in the novel coronavirus outbreak.

A week ago, at a White House briefing, Trump stopped Fauci from weighing in on using hydroxychloroquine, a malaria drug, for people with COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus.

And:

Fact check: Trump wrongly declares some states don’t have ‘any problem’ with coronavirus

President Donald Trump inaccurately declared at Thursday’s White House coronavirus briefing that some states do not have “any problem” with the virus’s outbreak, minimizing the situation even in the least-affected states.

Trump also repeated his incorrect suggestion that he has the power to decide when governors lift their pandemic-related restrictions. And he argued that “people should have told us” about the virus, omitting the fact that he continued to downplay the virus for weeks after public warnings.

And:

‘They’re killing us,’ Texas residents say of Trump rollbacks

Danielle Nelson’s best monitor for the emissions billowing out of the oil refineries and chemical plants surrounding her home: The heaving chest of her 9-year-old asthmatic son.

On some nights, the boy’s chest shudders as he fights for breath in his sleep. Nelson suspects the towering plants and refineries are to blame, rising like a lit-up city at night around her squat brick apartment building in the rugged Texas Gulf Coast city of Port Arthur.

Ask Nelson what protection the federal government and plant operators provide her African American community, and her answer is blunt. “They’re basically killing us,” says the 37-year-old, who herself has been diagnosed with respiratory problems since moving to the community after Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

“We don’t even know what we’re breathing,” she says.

Under President Donald Trump, federal regulatory changes are slashing requirements on industry to monitor, report and reduce toxic pollutants, heavy metals and climate-damaging fossil fuel emissions, and to work transparently with communities to prevent plant disasters — such as the half-dozen major chemical fires and explosions that have killed workers and disrupted life along the Texas Gulf Coast over the past year alone.

And that plunge in public health enforcement may be about to get even more dramatic. Last month, Environmental Protection Agency administrator Andrew Wheeler, a coal lobbyist before Trump appointed him to the agency, announced enforcement waivers for industries on monitoring, reporting and quickly fixing hazardous releases, in cases the EPA deems staffing problems related to the coronavirus pandemic made compliance difficult.

And:

US high court rejects Trump pro-pollution view of Clean Water Act 
By Mark Sherman Associated Press

Rejecting the Trump administration’s views, the Supreme Court held by a 6-3 vote that the discharge of polluted water into the ground, rather than directly into nearby waterways, does not relieve an industry of complying with the Clean Water Act.

“Wpolluiton.pnge hold that the statute requires a permit when there is a direct discharge from a point source into navigable waters or when there is the functional equivalent of a direct discharge,” Justice Stephen Breyer wrote for the court.

The decision came in a closely watched case from Hawaii about whether a sewage treatment plant needs a federal permit when it sends wastewater deep underground, instead of discharging the treated flow directly into the Pacific Ocean.

Studies have found the wastewater soon reaches the ocean and has damaged a coral reef near a Maui beach.

The Environmental Protection Agency under President Donald Trump reversed the agency’s position that Breyer noted has appeared to work well for more than 30 years.

Right-wing Justices Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas dissented. “Based on the statutory text and structure, I would hold that a permit is required only when a point source discharges pollutants directly into navigable waters,” Thomas wrote, ignoring the fundamental purpose of the Clean Water Act.

And:

Trump calls fired IG who sparked impeachment a ‘disgrace’ and says someone should ‘sue his ass off’

Trump fired Michael Atkinson Friday night over the whistleblower complaint against him and urged someone to take legal action against the former official.

Atkinson was the first to tell Congress about a whistleblower complaint last year that described Trump’s pressure on Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son.

The president said “he did a terrible job, absolutely terrible,” at a White House briefing Saturday. “He took a whistleblower report, which turned out to be fake, and he took it to Congress,” Trump said.

He said Atkinson didn’t request to meet with him before sharing the “fraudulent” report. Trump claimed again the conversation he had with the Ukrainian president was “perfect.”

“They give this whistleblower a status he doesn’t deserve,” he raged. “He’s a fake whistleblower and frankly, somebody ought to sue his ass.” Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz issued a statement of support for Atkinson.

He praised the IG’s “integrity, professionalism, and commitment to the rule of law” Saturday.

“That includes his actions in handling the Ukraine whistleblower complaint, which the then Acting Director of National Intelligence stated in congressional testimony was done ‘by the book,'” Horowitz wrote.

And:

Trump Administration Nixed Key CDC Job in China Months Before the Coronavirus Outbreak

Ever since the coronavirus outbreak began, the Trump administration has complained that China was not as forthcoming as it could have been with information in the initial weeks.

But the United States could have had someone from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the ground who may very well have been able to detect hints of the coronavirus outbreak earlier. If the White House hadn’t eliminated the position that is.

The Trump administration nixed the position of the medical epidemiologist who was embedded in China’s disease control agency months before COVID-19 began spreading, reports Reuters.

“It was heartbreaking to watch,” said Bao-Ping Zhu, who served in the role between 2007 and 2011. “If someone had been there, public health officials and governments across the world could have moved much faster.”

Please Nominate FMLA Insights for the ABA Blawg 100 | FMLA Insights

And:

Head of vaccine development alleges ‘cronyism’ after being removed from post

The head of the federal agency charged with overseeing the rapid production of a vaccine to fight the novel coronavirus pandemic said Wednesday he was removed from his post after trying to push back against what he called “cronyism” infecting the federal effort.

Dr. Rick Bright said he was transferred “in response to my insistence that the government invest the billions of dollars allocated by Congress to address the COVID-19 pandemic into safe and scientifically vetted solutions, and not in drugs, vaccines and other technologies that lack scientific merit.”

“I am speaking out because to combat this deadly virus, science — not politics or cronyism — has to lead the way,” Bright said in a statement that came less than 24 hours after the Department of Health and Human Services circulated an internal memo, reviewed by ABC News, saying he had been promoted to a position in another agency. “Sidelining me in the middle of this pandemic and placing politics and cronyism ahead of science puts lives at risk and stunts national efforts to safely and effectively address this urgent public health crisis.”

And the dumb idea winner is:

Doctors condemn Trump idea of treating COVID-19 with disinfectant injections
After a Homeland Security official explained that sunlight and bleach can kill the coronavirus on surfaces, President Trump suggested treating COVID-19 patients by hitting their lungs with ultraviolet or “very powerful light,” or injecting them with disinfectant.

“Is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside, or almost a cleaning?” Trump said during the daily White House coronavirus briefing Thursday.

Doctors said that injecting or ingesting cleaning products was a terrible, potentially deadly idea. “It’s a common method that people utilize when they want to kill themselves,” said Dr. Vin Gupta, a pulmonologist and NBC News contributor.

Dara Kass, associate professor of emergency medicine at Columbia University Medical Center, said a U.S. emergency room will “probably get a bleach ingestion because of this.” [NBC News, The Washington Post]

Had any Democrat President made just one of the awful suggestions and decisions Trump has made, the GOP would be screaming. But now, they sit by, like dogs begging for a tidbit from their crazed, incompetent leader.

And America pays the price for the GOP neglect of duty.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty
Twitter: @rodgermitchell
Search #monetarysovereignty 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:

  1. Monetary Sovereignty describes money creation and destruction.
  2. 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:

1. Eliminate FICA

2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D, plus long-term care — for everyone

3. Provide a monthly economic bonus to every man, woman and child in America (similar to social security for all)

4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone

5. Salary for attending school

6. Eliminate federal taxes on business

7. Increase the standard income tax deduction, annually. 

8. Tax the very rich (the “.1%”) more, with higher progressive tax rates on all forms of income.

9. Federal ownership of all banks

10. 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.

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

State bankruptcy? Another really ignorant idea from GOP’s McConnell Thursday, Apr 23 2020 

From getting rid of “Obamacare” (with no plan for a replacement), to torturing

Sen. Mitch McConnell files for seventh term in Kentucky

GOP Mitch McConnell

immigrant children at the border, to cutting taxes on the rich, to firing the people who were hired to deal with pandemics, to getting rid of anti-pollution laws, and on and on, the GOP is a veritable fountain of truly ignorant ideas.

The GOP ignorant-idea fountain still flows, for here is yet another one: Have states go bankrupt rather than giving them federal aid.

Gov. Pritzker rejects state bankruptcy call
McConnell floats solution to get out of pension debt
By Rick Pearson

Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Wednesday rejected Republican U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s call for a pause in federal coronavirus relief aid to the states and support for allowing states like Illinois to file bankruptcy to unload heavy public employee pension debt.

Asked about the comments during a daily coronavirus briefing , Pritzker said McConnell is “certainly important to the process of getting things done in Washington, D.C.,” but noted that “there are an awful lot of senators on both sides of the aisle that disagree with him.”

Yes, McConnell is “important”  to the process of getting things done. But there’s one problem. He doesn’t actually get anything done.

Instead, he sits on hundreds of bills, mostly because they are Democratic bills and/or are bills that would help the non-rich rather than the GOP’s favored group, the very rich.

He is worse than useless. Things happen despite him, not because of him.

“So, I’m hopeful that as a result of work that they’re doing, those (other) senators believe that states and local governments deserve and need additional support,” Pritzer said.

And seeking bankruptcy protection, Pritzker said, was not an option he has considered. The governor’s remarks came after McConnell appeared on the nationally syndicated Hugh Hewitt radio show .

The head of the Senate’s GOP majority reiterated his belief that there should be a pause to doling out additional federal aid to states to cope with a downturn in local revenues due to the pandemic.

“We’re going to push the pause button here because I think this whole business of additional assistance for state and local governments needs to be thoroughly evaluated,” he said.

“This whole business” is called pumping anti-depression dollars into the economy,” a concept either McConnell doesn’t understand, or he knows it would help prevent a depression, which he actually wants.

Why? The GOP is the party of the rich, and the rich benefit comparatively from recessions and depressions, i.e. the Gap between the rich and non-rich grows during hard times.

The wider the Gap, the richer are the rich, for it is the Gap that makes them rich. (Without the Gap, no one would be rich. We all would be the same.)

McConnell went further during a discussion about states with large public pension shortfalls, saying he would be in favor of allowing them to “use the bankruptcy route.”

Individual states do not have the power to file for bankruptcy to get out from under debt obligations, however.

“There are two reasons why state governments currently cannot use the federal bankruptcy system to reorganize their debt. First, the federal bankruptcy code does not allow—and has never allowed—state governments to declare bankruptcy. Since 1937, the bankruptcy code has allowed ‘municipalities’ to declare bankruptcy.
The term ‘municipality’ is defined in the bankruptcy code as a ‘political subdivision or public agency or instrumentality of a state.’ This definition is broad enough to include cities, counties, townships, school districts and public improvement districts. It also includes revenue-producing bodies that provide services which are paid for by users rather than by general taxes, such as bridge authorities, highway authorities and gas authorities. But it does not include state governments.
“The second reason stems from the U.S. Constitution. The contracts clause of the U.S. Constitution prohibits state governments from ‘impairing the obligation of contracts.’ As originally understood and enforced, this clause prohibited state legislatures from passing any laws to relieve either private debt or the state government’s own debt.
Beginning in 1934, however, the Supreme Court began to interpret the contracts clause more flexibly and not as an absolute bar to state debt relief laws. Even under the flexible modern approach, however, the Supreme Court in 1977 reiterated that ‘a state cannot refuse to meet its legitimate financial obligations simply because it would prefer to spend the money (on something else.)’
Thus, were Congress to amend the federal bankruptcy code to authorize states to repudiate debt, the Supreme Court would then need to decide the novel constitutional question of whether such debt repudiation would nonetheless violate the contracts clause of Article I, Section 10.”

And then we come to the really ignorant part.

“There’s not going to be any desire on the Republican side to bail out state pensions by borrowing money from future generations,” McConnell said.

“My guess is their first choice would be for the federal government to borrow money from future generations to send it down to them now so they don’t have to do that,” he said. “That’s not something I’m going to be in favor of.”

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is st-louis-fed-quote.pngIf you understand the previous, ignorant paragraph, please let me know what it means.

The federal government does not borrow. As the Fed says, the federal government (unlike state and local governments) is not dependent on credit markets to remain operational.

What wrongly is termed “borrowing” actually is the acceptance of deposits into Treasury Security accounts (T-bills, T-notes, T-bonds).

The deposits remain in the accounts, earning interest, until maturity, at which time they are returned to the account owners. No taxes or taxpayers are involved.

The federal government never touches these deposits. Why? Because being Monetarily Sovereign, the federal government has the unlimited ability to create U.S. dollars. It never can run short of dollars.This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is greenspan-quote-2.png

So why does the government issue T-securities, if it doesn’t need or use the money? Two reasons:

  1. To provide a safe place to park unused dollars, which helps stabilize the dollar, and
  2. To help the Fed control interest rates, and thereby control inflation.

McConnell either knows all of the above, in which case he is lying to the American public, or he doesn’t know it, in which case he is far too ignorant to be a U.S. Senator, much less the Senate Majority Leader.

Illinois has a worst-in-the-nation $138 billion unfunded public employee pension liability. Some Republicans have discussed whether the state should ask the federal  government to allow it to file for bankruptcy.

At present, such a move is prevented by the “sovereign immunity” clause against states afforded by the U.S. Constitution.

It also would be fraught with complications, potentially increasing costs for states to borrow if investors were not protected for bonds taken out for things like road construction.

More importantly, McConnell’s idea (if one can call it an “idea”) would transfer dollars from one part of the private sector and give it to another part of the private sector.

This would bring no net value to the economy, and do nothing to prevent recessions or depressions.

By contrast, if the federal government financially supports states, it creates brand new dollars, a net benefit to the entire economy and part of the effort to prevent recessions and depressions.

You can decide which.

Democrats in Washington, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have said federal dollars for state and local governments have to be part of the next coronavirus relief package.

The House is scheduled to vote this week to approve a measure to replenish the federal Paycheck Protection Plan aimed at helping small businesses keep workers on the payroll.

McConnell and Senate Republicans rejected Pelosi’s attempt to inject federal aid to states in the small-business funding measure.

The GOP doesn’t want to help the states for two main reasons:

  1. The states having the most difficult financial problems are those having the largest cities, where minority voters are given voice, i.e. “blue” states. The GOP states are the ones doing the most to prevent minorities from voting.
  2. Helping the states would help the non-rich, thus narrowing the Gap between the rich and the rest. The GOP, being the party of the rich, does not want the Gap to be narrowed. As the GOP demonstrated with its tax revisions, it wants the Gap to be widened.

But she told Bloomberg Television on Wednesday that the Senate GOP leader had pledged not to exceed $250 billion in funding in the latest measure and “now, we are up to $480 (billion),” including assistance to hospitals and for enhanced coronavirus testing.

The above paragraph merely demonstrates that McConnell has no real plan for growing the economy, but only wishes to obstruct anything the Democrats propose.

In summary, there are no good reasons why the federal government should not support the states. In fact, such support would cost taxpayers nothing, while helping fend off recessions and depressions.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty
Twitter: @rodgermitchell
Search #monetarysovereignty 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:

  1. Monetary Sovereignty describes money creation and destruction.
  2. 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:

1. Eliminate FICA

2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D, plus long-term care — for everyone

3. Provide a monthly economic bonus to every man, woman and child in America (similar to social security for all)

4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone

5. Salary for attending school

6. Eliminate federal taxes on business

7. Increase the standard income tax deduction, annually. 

8. Tax the very rich (the “.1%”) more, with higher progressive tax rates on all forms of income.

9. Federal ownership of all banks

10. 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.

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

Non-transitive dice and where your intuition fails you Sunday, Jun 30 2019 

The universe has an infinite number of facts. We can’t learn and process them all, so we compensate. We learn about the universe by analogy, and by inference, and by reference:

Analogy: A comparison of two otherwise unlike things based on the resemblance of a particular aspect.
Inference: If two or more things agree with one another in some respects they will probably agree in others
Reference: The words of trusted people.

Think of the factual statement: Dogs have four legs and teeth. Spot is my dog. Therefore Spot has four legs and teeth.

Image result for crocodile

Spot

Knowing that Spot is a dog, you infer a picture of him.

You visualize details about Spot without ever having to see or hear him.

Often though, what we think of as analogy and inference can deceive us:

Dogs have four legs and teeth. Spot has four legs and teeth. Therefore Spot is a dog.

Wrong.

Your inference threw you off because it wasn’t a true analogy. It was a misleading “intuition.”

Because the universe is so big, the vast majority of what you “know” is based on your intuition.

Here is another example of where your intuition fails you. As you “know,” when

  • “A” is bigger than “B” and
  • “B” is bigger than “C” and
  • “C” is bigger than “D” then
  • “A” must be bigger than “D”

Right? Do you know any exceptions to this? Actually, there are many exceptions.

Here is one example. It’s called “non-transitive dice.”

Non-Transitive Dice by MathArtFun

These are not ordinary dice. As you can see that they are numbered differently.

The numbers are:

A. Blue Die: 6 6 6 6 5 5

B. Black Die: 4 4 4 4 12 12

C. Red Die: 10 10 3 3 2 2

D. Green Die: 7 7 7 7 1 0

When rolled, die “A” will beat die “B” 2/3 of the time. “B” will beat “C” 2/3 of the time. “C” will beat “D” 2/3 of the time.

And counter-intuitively, “D” will beat “A” 2/3 of the time. No one die is the greatest.

We often see non-transitiveness in sports, where the winningest teams do not always have winning records against the poorest teams. Your favorite team may win the World Series in the same season as they have a losing record against a last-place team.

Politicians repeatedly create false analogies and false inferences. President Barack Obama, in his weekly radio address, July 2, 2011, said, “Government has to start living within its means, just like families do. We have to cut the spending we can’t afford so we can put the economy on a sounder footing.”

This is misleading on multiple levels.

The federal government is Monetarily Sovereign. It has a sovereign currency, the U.S. dollar, of which it can create an infinite supply. By contrast, you and your family are monetarily non-sovereign. You do not have a sovereign currency nor can you create an infinite supply of dollars.

The federal government can pay any debt denominated in dollars. You cannot. The federal government never unintentionally can run short of dollars. You can. The federal government needs no income to pay its bills. You need income to pay your bills.

Although you have a “means,” within which you must live, the federal government does not. And, unlike you, the federal government does not need to cut spending so it can afford to spend. Even if the federal government collected zero taxes, it could continue spending, forever.

And finally, it is federal spending, not spending cuts, that grow the U.S. economy and “put it on a sounder footing.”

Obama’s two short sentences were 100% wrong, and the inferences they were meant to draw were 100% misleading.

But to the average person, they sound logical, reasonable and prudent.

Because so much of what you know is based on what seems logical, reasonable, and prudent, you have learned to trust your intuition. You will fight mightily against anything that violates your intuition, despite powerful facts supporting the opposition.

You will believe your intuition especially if it supported by comments from a leader. You might more readily believe that vaccination causes autism, and immigrants cause disproportionate crime, and global warming is a Chinese hoax, if these ideas are supported by the President of the United States.

You have been primed for these beliefs by the knowledge that many medicines cause unpublicized problems, strangers are more responsible for crime than are friends, and China is an economic foe.

Nearly every politician, economist, and media writer tells you that federal financing is just like your personal financing (so debt is a danger and living within one’s means is prudent). The brainwashing comes at you from all sides.

Add such retorts as, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch,” and “Why are you the only one who knows this,” and you have created a powerful belief system that cannot be shaken by facts.

The federal government has increased its debt almost every year for the past 80 years, yet still, you are told that federal debt is a “ticking time bomb.”

Belief is less logical than emotional. You believe what you feel comfortable believing.

If, to help you visualize Monetary Sovereignty, I show you why federal finances are very much like those of the Bank in the game of Monopoly, you may dismiss that as being unrealistic, and “just a game.”

But by rule, the financial parallels between the Monopoly Bank and the federal government nearly are perfect. In the Monopoly rules, you will find this:

“The Bank never goes ‘broke.’ If the Bank runs out of money, the Banker may issue as much more as may be needed by merely writing on any ordinary paper.”

You didn’t question that rule in Monopoly, yet the vast majority of people’s intuition questions exactly the same rule for our Monetarily Sovereign federal government.

Finally, we come to inflation and the brainwashed belief that federal money “printing” causes inflation.

Let’s say you go to the store, and you find that the price of apples has gone up. Do you immediately think, “The government is printing more money,” or more likely do you think, “There must be a shortage of apples”?

In any capitalist economy, supply responds to demand, and prices result from an imbalance between supply and demand.

If supply is less than demand, there will be shortages and price increases, upon which producers will respond by creating more product, alleviating the shortages and lowering prices.

Here is the normal sequence leading to low amounts of inflation, and then inflation moderating:

  1. Shortages develop —>
  2. Prices rise —>
  3. Production increases to meet demand —>
  4. Shortages are eliminated —>
  5. Prices fall.

This process creates the average low inflation that has been the norm for decades.

Here is the process leading to large inflations and hyperinflations:

  1. Shortages develop —>
  2. Prices rise —>
  3. Production is unable to increase sufficiently to meet demand—>
  4. Shortages continue to grow —>
  5. Prices continue to rise into hyperinflation —>

All inflations and hyperinflations are caused by shortages, usually shortages of food or energy, never by federal money “printing.”

In the following graph, note how peaks and valleys of inflation do not match peaks and valleys of federal money “printing.”

In summary, the universe contains more facts than you can absorb. You are forced to develop shortcuts that allow you to bypass the vast majority of facts and to come to conclusions about the reality around you.

These shortcuts include analogy, inference, and reference, the guidance of other people.

Despite common belief, the federal government cannot run short of dollars with which to pay its debts, and federal money creation does not cause excessive inflation (which is caused by shortages.)

And yes, the federal government easily can pay for the Ten Steps to Prosperity (below), without causing inflation.

So why not?

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty
Twitter: @rodgermitchell
Search #monetarysovereigntyFacebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

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The most important problems in economics involve the excessive income/wealth/power Gaps between the richer and the poorer.

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

2. Federally funded Medicare — parts a, b & d, plus long-term care — for everyone

3. Provide a monthly economic bonus to every man, woman and child in America (similar to social security for all)

4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone

5. Salary for attending school

6. Eliminate federal taxes on business

7. Increase the standard income tax deduction, annually. 

8. Tax the very rich (the “.1%”) more, with higher progressive tax rates on all forms of income.

9. Federal ownership of all banks

10. 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 you.

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

 

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