It takes only two things to keep people in chains:
The ignorance of the oppressed
and the treachery of their leaders.
This post describes four strangely related subjects: International Trade, Political Leadership, America’s Tolerance for Ignorance, and National Greatness.
1. INTERNATIONAL TRADE:
THE WEEK MAGAZINE
Trump tells Japan it’s time to reduce U.S. trade deficit
President Trump called for reducing America’s trade deficit with its ally, urged Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday to buy “massive amounts of military equipment” from the U.S.
“It’s a lot of jobs for us and a lot of safety for Japan,”
Trump said. Earlier, Trump told business leaders that Japan had an unfair advantage in trade with the U.S.
Did you buy your car, or did you build it yourself? Chances are you bought your car because it is easier for you to obtain dollars than it would be to build a car.
Now, what if you were like the Monetarily Sovereign U.S. government, that has the unlimited ability to create its sovereign currency, the dollar, at the touch of a computer key? Would you rather expend time and effort building things, or would it be much easier and more efficient simply to buy them with dollars?
A trade deficit occurs when the U.S. ships dollars to a foreign country, and in return receives goods and services (which the foreign country must expend effort and precious natural resources to create).
I short, we give them dollars that cost us nothing to create, and they send us valuable stuff they work hard to create. And this fabulous deal for America is what Trump wants to end.
If Trump thinks U.S. industry is not manufacturing enough guns, bombs, bullets, fighter planes, napalm, and other killing materials, all he needs do is have the U.S. government buy more of these things, using the U.S. government’s unlimited ability to create dollars from thin air.
We have sold weapons to many nations, and we received dollars in return. Sadly, many of those weapons have come back to kill our own soldiers and civilians, while the dollars we received easily could have been created by the U.S. government.
So which is more precious to us: The lives of our soldiers, or the dollars our government can create at the touch of a computer key?
No need to tell Japan to arm themselves to the teeth, so they can become independent of us, and maybe — just maybe — attack us, once again. Only a fool cannot learn from history.
But, some say, Trump wants to create jobs. How about instead of demanding that Japan buy napalm from us, he creates a better life for Americans. See: The Ten Steps to Prosperity (below).
Trump tells Japanese automakers to ‘try’ to build their cars in the U.S.
President Trump asked Japanese automakers on Monday to do something they are already quite familiar with: Manufacture cars and parts in the United States.
“Try building your cars in the United States instead of shipping them over,” he said during a meeting in Tokyo with business executives. “That’s not rude?”
The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association said in its 2017-18 report that in 2016, nearly 4 million vehicles and 4.7 million engines were built by its members in the U.S., and as of 2016, their manufacturing plants have cumulatively invested $45.6 billion in the U.S. economy.
In 2015, JAMA said that 75 percent of Japanese cars sold in the U.S. that year were built in North America, up from 12 percent in 1985.
Trump made his curious demands during the first stop on his 12-day trek through Asia.
O.K., Trump is, as usual, unaware of the facts, so in typical form, he bloviates, inventing a reality known only to him, Breitbart, FOX news, and his followers.
Trump doesn’t get it. Japan builds cars in America, not because that is good for America, but because it is good for Japan.
This “great businessman” (whose father bailed him out of multiple bankruptcies) is too oblivious to understand that the profits from Japanese car manufacture in America go to Japan, not to America.
Trump also promised to counter North Korea’s “dangerous aggressions, saying that “the era of strategic patience is over.”
Oh, really? Strategic patience is over.
The alternative to “strategic patience” is an all-out war.
And what could make more sense than being led by a cowardly draft-dodger (heel spur, you know) who is drooling to send many thousands of brave American children into a foreign land to die?
Trump’s “America first” policy, not only is based on ignorance of facts, but it doesn’t make America a leader.
A leader cares about his followers. He helps them up. He doesn’t ask them to carry him up.
Think of Trump and “America first.” Is Trump the kind of leader who shows concerns for the middle and lower income groups, or does he seem to care more about himself and his rich cronies?
And does “America first” demonstrate leadership, or is it just a statement of “me first, me only” selfishness that is guaranteed to make no country willing to follow our “lead”?
If you are a citizen of any other country than the U.S., do you view America as a nation you would like to follow? Would you follow Donald Trump?
3. AMERICA’S TOLERANCE FOR IGNORANCE
“Tolerance” in biological terms means that organisms adjust over time, and “learn” to live or even thrive in the presence of previously harmful factors.
Bacteria, for instance, have learned to live in the presence of antibiotics that once had killed them. You too, evolve to tolerate; that is the basis for your immune system.
You tolerate heat by evolving to sweat. People who live on mountains learn to tolerate low pressure.
Once we would have been outraged by a politician who lies in the face of obvious facts, admits to repeated womanizing, endangers our children by fostering air and water pollution, denies science, threatens war daily, cheats creditors, boasts, and bullies.
Tolerance is caused by repetition. Keep giving bacteria the same antibiotic, again and again, and eventually they learn to tolerate it.
Today, Trump’s repetitive outrages and massive ignorances have taught us to tolerate a POTUS who is an ass.
Some are not concerned that the President of the United States is a danger to them, to all of America and to the world. It’s as though “Anyone can be President so long as he makes the promises I like, even though he doesn’t keep them, and he hates the same people I hate.”
Trump repeatedly parrots concepts about which he has no understanding:
From The Week Magazine
Trump blames church massacre on mental health problems
When asked whether tighter gun-control laws could help prevent such shootings, Trump said, “Mental health is your problem here.” He said the initial investigation indicates the killer was a “very deranged individual.”
Trump accepts the NRA’s, “Guns don’t kill people; only crazy people with guns kill people.”
So don’t even think about gun-control. Think about crazy-control. And since crazy cannot be controlled, and in fact, we demand that crazy people be allowed to own guns, there can be no solution.
You can expect another mass shooting soon, then another and another and another . . . a continual round of mass shootings, none of which supposedly have anything to do with guns.
And there is not a damn thing you can do about it.
It never will end, for two reasons: Trump, the GOP, and the NRA have blocked all possible solutions, and too many gun owners are blind. They can’t see that they have been conned by the gun manufacturers, who have convinced them they need guns, many guns, many, many guns.
Trump and the GOP have taught you not to be outraged by mass shootings. Instead, you are to be outraged by football players kneeling. Kneeling, not mass gun murders, is the crime Trump and the GOP want you to hate most.
4. NATIONAL GREATNESS
We American voters have received what we, in our ignorance, have voted for: World hatred and scorn, an economy that increasingly favors the rich, and mass killings.
We may like to strut and boast that we are “the greatest county in the world,” and by military power, we still may be — maybe.
But by any other measure — concern about our most vulnerable citizens, concern about our neighbors, crime, health care, political honesty, poverty, hunger, education, the Gap between the rich and the rest — by any measure you use in determining “greatest,” America is well down the list.
Are we America “first”? No, we are despised America. We are “Trump and the American rich first, last and only.”
But we deserve our plight. We vote for it.
It’s just another demonstration of ignorance.
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.