STRIFE, FEAR, GREATNESS, AND THE MYSTERY OF TRUMP

STRIFE, FEAR, GREATNESS, AND THE MYSTERY OF TRUMP

STRIFE:

The universe is not favorable for life. Unimaginable cold, unfathomable heat, deadly radiation, crushing gravity, poisonous elements — they all abound.

Even mother earth tries to kill her children. She sends us ice ages, volcanos, earthquakes, windstorms, floods, droughts, and meteors, while her “red of tooth and claw” children try to kill each other.New study estimates the odds of life and intelligence emerging beyond our planet

Every living creature, from viruses (living?), through plants, through animals, all have enemies, living and inert, that threaten the delicate, interconnected web we call “life.”

Survival has required a constant struggle, life vs. anti-life. To survive, fragile life must defeat vigorous anti-life in a battle that continually is lost, or rather, continually almost is lost, every second of every day. We stand on the point of a needle.

Yet, here we are, we humans who have struggled best, survive.

We survive partly because we have the best brains, joined to marvelous hands, and voice boxes for the best communication, and among animals, we are large. We survive partly because good fortune has spared us the worst the universe has to offer.

But mostly we survive because nature has given us the tools to become the greatest killers this planet ever has known.

We are social animals, but we use our sociability to facilitate our killing. We kill them all, from viruses to bacteria, to whales, to fellow sapiens. Even our pleasures, our games, involve a ritualized form of killing called “winning.”

Evolution is based on strife, the survival of the fittest. We are programmed for strife. Throughout history, humans never have been without war.

The vast majority of our games are selfish, competitive, killing games. We win and the other side loses. In essence, we survive and they die. Only the genes that compete best are allowed to fight another day.

Our species is so enamored with strife, we not only wage war, we enjoy watching it. From Roman gladiators to today’s boxers, to all spectator sports, we become emotionally involved in the battles and the victories and defeats.

Watch the passionate fans at an American football game, and you will see bloodlust in action. Even flag football or touch football are not enough. It has to have crushing tackles and broken bodies to titillate the hoi polloi.

Some of us do exhibit compassion and charity, but scientists will tell you the ultimate purpose of charity is to effect species victory. Helping even the weak, the aged, or the ill assures their knowledge will not be lost — beneficial for a society’s survival.

And this is the important point. Though as individuals, we are efficient killers, and killing eliminates competitors for resources, as a society, we do not spend our lives killing. We need our family, friends, and neighbors to find and create resources, and for defense.

Those who show no compassion, and solely are ego-driven, seemingly would have a personal survival advantage, but because they do not contribute to species survival, they often are punished by the species, directly via physical attacks or indirectly via various forms of shunning.

TRUMP

Millions voted for Donald Trump. Why does he appeal to so many people?

Before he became president, he had failed in businesses where failure is nearly impossible: Gambling casinos and real estate. A casino is a guaranteed money-printing device, and real estate generally had increased in value for more than 60 years.

Repeatedly, Trump had been bailed out of his foolish predicaments by his father, only to fall into bankruptcy, yet again.

He was a Democrat who decided to switch parties to one that would accept is morals, a thrice-married womanizer, who never stopped cheating, a notorious liar and con man, whose reputation was so bad he still today is unable to obtain loans from any American bank.

His money kept him from Trump University and Trump Foundation prison.

He has cheated everyone, not only lenders and investors, but also swindled his workers out of their salaries.

Yet he was elected by the self-proclaimed “party of law and order.” During his four-year term, his prime accomplishments included giving tax breaks to the rich, attempting to destroy health-care insurance that protected millions of people, eliminating consumer protection laws, and hiring incompetent agency heads whose main efforts were to sabotage the primary missions of their agencies.

History will find him wanting.

He was impeached by the House of Representatives, and narrowly saved by the Senate, and was voted out of office. But, still he received more than 70 million votes.

Why?

Trump is a pure warrior. Lacking all compassion and human kindness, he is a psychopath, totally devoted to personal victory. He lives for strife.

He deems anyone, who exhibits even an ounce of kindness and mercy, a “loser,” the single worst epithet he can imagine. For a soldier who dies or is captured or wounded fighting for his country, Trump has only one question, “What was in it for him?”

He cannot imagine doing any unrequited kindness; everything must accrue to him, personally.

Seeing acclaim go to someone else is anathema. Trump has fired people whom he thought received more credit than him. His favorites are those sycophants who give him glory for everything good. (See: Mike Pence)

Trump preaches strength and patriotism, while he himself is a weak anti-patriot, who fearfully avoided the risks of battle by claiming heel spurs.

He admires dictators, the more brutal and unforgiving the better. Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-un, Rodrigo Duterte, Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud — murderers all — are Trump favorites.

In rising to power, he has followed Hitler’s playbook.

FEAR

The most powerful human emotions are fear and hatred. They are so closely related that the former breeds the latter.  It is almost impossible to hate someone of whom you have no fear.

Tyrants understand this, thus we see the use of scapegoats, which generates fear and loathing among the populace.

Trump’s scapegoats are Mexican “rapists,” Muslim “terrorists,” the “fake” media, black “thugs,” “extreme” leftists, socialists, whistleblowers, Barack Obama — all the people Trump fears and thus hates — and these are the people he has taught his followers to fear and hate.

When people suffer fear, they seek protection. They are more likely to buy guns. They are more likely to join cults like the white supremacists, that are based on fearing people of color.

When people are in fear, they look to a strong leader who will protect them. Trump feigns strength. He promises to protect his followers from the people he himself fears and hates.Mahatma Gandhi quote: It is weakness which breeds fear, and fear breeds distrust.

We live in fearful times. Many people are impoverished or fear poverty. Many people are jobless or fear joblessness.

Many people fear the “Godless” left, who “kill babies.”

Bigotry is a representation of fear. Trump’s appeal is to bigotry, hatred, and fear.

Trump’s most ardent followers are America’s most fearful people.

Compassion and generosity require the courage to give of oneself — the courage to overcome the Gap psychology that urges us to distance ourselves from those “below” us on any social or economic scale.

And so, despite all his flaws, Trump has retained much of his base. And he will retain them until a principled leader arrives to assuage the fears we all suffer to some degree and teaches us we can be both compassionate and safe.

GREATNESS

Trump promised to make America great, again, then proceeded to make America small.

He promised we could cower safely behind his Wall, though a great people does not cower or need a wall. His promised wall only told the world and us that we are weak.

America was great when we followed Franklin Roosevelt and gave our lives and fortunes against the Axis oppressors.

America was great when, under Harry Truman, we instituted the European Recovery Program (Marshall plan), that gave billions of our dollars to war-devastated European nations.

America was great when under Harry Truman we didn’t wreak vengeance on Japan, a nation that had attacked us. Instead, we made Japan an ally and helped its people recover.

America was great when we followed John Kennedy and courageously flew the dangerous path to the moon.

America was great when we instituted Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society.” to unselfishly help the poor and the weak.

Those were unselfish times. Those were compassionate times. Those were great times.

Those were NOT “America first” times.

Had Trump encouraged the wearing of masks, he could have saved well more than 100,000 Americans. Despite all his other failings, he could have been great, for that alone.

Instead, his personal insecurities caused him to fear looking weak. So he discouraged mask-wearing to prove his strength, and our families, friends, and neighbors died.

Trump poisoned the GOP and drained its strength. Today, it is an assemblage of toadies, fearing to say anything that will crack the ego of the bully.

The bully is not strong. Continual strife is not strength. The weak are those who most fear looking weak.

Trump is a weak man, supposedly diminished by his tyrant father. When Americans begin to understand Trump’s weakness, we will not fear to welcome a wise and compassionate leader, and the age of Trump and fear will end.

Only then will America become great, again.

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. Social Security for all or a reverse income tax
  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

No, it isn’t “the economy, stupid.” It’s another issue, and you know what it is

Image result for freedom

It takes only two things to keep people in chains:
The ignorance of the oppressed and the treachery of their leaders.

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Bill Clinton famously said, “It’s the economy, stupid,” meaning that ultimately, Americans will vote their wallets, with all other issues being secondary.

He was wrong.  There is another, more important, though less logical, issue, and if you think about it, you know what it is.

Toward the end of the 1800’s, the Democrats came to control the Southern states, and it wasn’t pretty.

White Democrats began to use strategies you’ll find eerily familiar today. They made the entire voting process much more difficult for poor blacks, including the passage of poll taxes. Though poor whites fell into the same trap, the poll tax was aimed at the blacks.

Poll taxes were “necessary,” because someone had to pay for the cost of elections, right?

And then there were the literacy tests, which were “necessary,” because if you can’t read and write, how can you cast an intelligent vote, right?

And strict, complex residency tests were “necessary,” because if you weren’t a long-time resident, you shouldn’t be telling residents what to do, right? Today, those residency tests have morphed into citizenship tests, the primary purpose of which is as before: To deny anyone of color, the right to vote.

Blacks even were denied the right to be jurors, because they weren’t “qualified,” so every facet of Southern law was tilted against them.

As blacks were denied the vote, they also were denied representation, so all the national Southern votes went to the then dominant party, the Democrats. In the South, there virtually were no Republican Senators, Representatives, Governors, Mayors, Sheriffs, Judges — it was all Democrats all the time. It was known as the “solid South.”

Because Democrats seldom lost Southern elections, the incumbents controlled the gerrymandering that solidified their positions. This gave them seniority, not only in local and state politics, but in the national arena, where Chairmanships of important Congressional committees were held largely by Southerners.

And all of this enormous political power had its beginnings, and its ongoing expansion, with wall-to-wall racial bigotry.

Then, in the late 1940’s, the Democrats began to adopt some measure of morality, and morality would prove to be their undoing in the South.

President Truman desegregated the Army and the Dixiecrat party was formed, the sole purpose of which was to retain segregation and Jim Crow laws. The Dixiecrats nominated Strom Thurman for president, and he won in South Carolina, Alabama,  Louisiana, and Mississippi.

After Democrat Lyndon Johnson passed many civil rights laws, Thurman became a Republican.

And then came Richard Nixon and the “Southern Strategy,” as cynical a political strategy as ever has been devised. Here is the summary of the strategy, in the words of the man who popularized the term, political advisor, Kevin Phillips:

“From now on, the Republicans are never going to get more than 10 to 20 percent of the Negro vote and they don’t need any more than that…but Republicans would be shortsighted if they weakened enforcement of the Voting Rights Act.

“The more Negroes who register as Democrats in the South, the sooner the Negrophobe whites will quit the Democrats and become Republicans.”

“That’s where the votes are. Without that prodding from the blacks, the whites will backslide into their old comfortable arrangement with the local Democrats.”

To appeal to Southern whites, Nixon pushed two philosophies, “law and order” and “states rights,” which remain popular excuses, today.

“Law and order” were the code words that brought into existence the notorious Southern Sheriffs, in the Joe Arpaio mold. The sole purpose had nothing to do with “law” or with “order,” but rather was to keep the blacks frightened and powerless.

“States rights” were the code words used by the Southern states to tell the federal government, “Don’t interfere with our version of bigoted “law and order.”

After Nixon, no Northerner has won the Presidency . . . until our first 1/2 black President, Barack Obama.

And that is the 2nd part of our story.

ElectoralCollege2012.svg
2012 Presidential Election of Obama

In his first Presidential election, Obama won 68% of the electoral votes. In his second election, Obama won 62% of the electoral votes.

Both were resounding victories, yet in neither case did he win in any Southern state, except Florida.

Remember the description of the Southern Strategy:

“The more Negroes who register as Democrats in the South, the sooner the Negrophobe whites will quit the Democrats and become Republicans. That’s where the votes are. Without that prodding from the blacks, the whites will backslide into their old comfortable arrangement with the local Democrats.”

Obama proved to be the ultimate “prodding from the blacks.” His black face created terror in the minds of whites who already were predisposed to hate or fear blacks.

Though Obama won his second election (by a much smaller margin than the first), he was a special case of a charismatic, only 1/2 black, great speaker with a terrific election committee, and uncharismatic opponents.

And he was unable to extend his election success to the rest of the Democratic party.

The Democratic Party suffered huge losses at every level during Obama’s West Wing tenure. The grand total: a net loss of 1,042 state and federal Democratic posts, including congressional and state legislative seats. Democratic governorships also became a rarity during this eight-year period, slipping from 28 to 16.

Then came Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump: This essentially was a fact-free election, based solely on emotions.

She, an uncharismatic female, a poor speaker and a with a seemingly clueless election committee. He, a charismatic, male TV star and an excellent speaker who used mass meetings as his “election committee.”

Clinton campaigned on intellectual ideas and on herself: HER experience and HER being able to make history as the first female President and HER inheriting the Obama legacy.

But while the man, Obama, was much loved, at least in most quarters, his legacy was minimal. Ask people today what he accomplished and they might say, “Obamacare,” (to which, in truth, he contributed little. The Democratic Congress did all the work).

Others might include the recovery from the “Great Recession,” and the “worst” ones (from the standpoint of the “Southern Strategy) were the rights he gave to gays and immigrants. These latter, along with his skin color, energized the unfortunately-large bigot community of America. 

Trump campaigned on viscerals and you: YOUR fears and YOUR hatreds.

Trump said, “I’m going to protect YOU from blacks, browns, gays, foreigners, Muslims and people who will take away the guns YOU need for your protection.”

Today, the Republicans continue to rely on the “Southern Strategy,” nationally. And it works on a public made frightened.

There was a time when the phrase, “It’s the economy, stupid,” was considered the holy script to election success. But no more.  Now, “It’s beware of THEM, and kill THEM,” with “them” including all those who are not white, straight, and citizens.

He is a compulsive liar who has changed his positions on dozens of issues.

Once, being a “flip-flopper” was the formula for public ridicule and political defeat.  By that history, Trump should have zero followers.  He is a compulsive liar, and there were at least 141 Stances Trump Took During His White House Bid) :

–19 contradictory positions on immigration and his wall,
–4 contradictory positions on undocumented children of immigrants,
–16 positions on banning Muslims,
–5 different positions on H1-B visas (for highly skilled workers),
–4 different positions on border control,
–9 different positions on how to defeat ISIS,
–7 separate positions on gun-free zones,
–2 opposing positions on nuclear first-strike,
–8 different positions on minimum wage,
–7 contradictory positions on tax reduction,
–4 opposing positions on climate change,
–8 different opinions about what to do with the national debt,
–4 opposing opinions about abortion,
–9 different comments about Obama’s citizenship,
–2 opposing comments about voting for the Iraqi war,
–5 different opinions about the Libya intervention,
–2 opposing positions on whether Japan should have nukes
–3 opposing positions about accepting political donations
–3 different opinions about military torture
–3 different comments about his relationship with David Duke
–2 opposing positions regarding the Iran nuclear deal
–5 opposing positions regarding Obamacare (also his vow to sign any R&R law)
–8 different positions about whether the election was “rigged”
–3 different promises about accepting the results of the election

And then there’s this:

Over the course of just one day, President Trump declared different positions than he took during the campaign on four issues.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal and at a press conference on Wednesday, President Trump declared that China is not a currency manipulator, entertained the possibility of re-appointing Janet Yellen as chair of the Federal Reserve, asserted that NATO is a relevant alliance and expressed a favorable view of the Export-Import Bank.

None of it matters.

The GOP spent seven years and 50+ votes trying to “Repeal & Replace” ACA, without even having a replacement plan, and then in the 8th year, they proposed several replacement plans that would have disenfranchised millions. In years past, this alone would logically have destroyed them as a party. It did not.

In years past, this incompetence alone would have destroyed them as a party. It did not.

Now, the GOP is proposing tax “reform,” that despite denials, undoubtedly will benefit the rich far more than it helps the rest of us. In all likelihood, this disparity will not cost them any seats in Congress.

To the electorate, it’s not the most important issue.

Having no consistent position, and especially no position that benefits 99% of the electorate, logically would prevent the people from aligning themselves with Trump and/or the GOP.

But the electorate is not moved by logic. The GOP politics of fear and hatred, and the adoption of bigotry and a prime directive, has remained consistent. And that is the real GOP power.

For much of the rest of the country, race is a top-three importance issue. For the South, it is the only issue.

Fear and hatred, our hottest emotions, defeat cold truth and logic. Every dictator in history has known this.

No, President Clinton, it isn’t “the economy, stupid.”

It’s fear hatred, stupid.

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

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The single 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.

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

–If Trump is the symptom, what is the disease?

Twitter: @rodgermitchell; Search #monetarysovereignty
Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

Mitchell’s laws:
•Those, who do not understand the differences between Monetary Sovereignty and monetary non-sovereignty, do not understand economics.
•Any monetarily NON-sovereign government — be it city, county, state or nation — that runs an ongoing trade deficit, eventually will run out of money.
•The more federal budgets are cut and taxes increased, the weaker an economy becomes. .
Liberals think the purpose of government is to protect the poor and powerless from the rich and powerful. Conservatives think the purpose of government is to protect the rich and powerful from the poor and powerless.
•The single most important problem in economics is
the Gap between rich and poor.
•Austerity is the government’s method for widening
the Gap between rich and poor.
•Until the 99% understand the need for federal deficits, the upper 1% will rule.
•Everything in economics devolves to motive, and the motive is the Gap between the rich and the rest..

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What does it mean to be an American? How would you describe an American? What kind of people are we? How do we compare with others?

On a scale of 1-10, are we:

Dishonest..1..2..3..4..5..6..7..8..9..10..Honest _______________
Mean-spirited..1..2..3..4..5..6..7..8..9..10..Compassionate _______________
Stupid..1..2..3..4..5..6..7..8..9..10..Intelligent _______________
Selfish..1..2..3..4..5..6..7..8..9..10..Generous _______________
Intolerant..1..2..3..4..5..6..7..8..9..10..Tolerant _______________
Hostile..1..2..3..4..5..6..7..8..9..10..Friendly _______________
Bigoted..1..2..3..4..5..6..7..8..9..10..Open-minded _______________
Hating..1..2..3..4..5..6..7..8..9..10..Loving _______________
Hurtful..1..2..3..4..5..6..7..8..9..10..Helpful _______________
Fearful..1..2..3..4..5..6..7..8..9..10..Brave _______________

Where on the above scales would you rank the following lines from the poem, “The New Colossus,” on the Statue of Liberty:

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me.
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

And, on the above scales, where would you rank the following lines from the Declaration of Independence?

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

And the following line?

“O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?”

Then, what about the following lines?

Trump: Deport children of immigrants living illegally in US

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump wants to end “birthright citizenship” for (immigrants’) children.

He would push to end the constitutionally protected citizenship rights of children of any family living illegally inside the U.S.

Trump’s program for “immigration reform”: Force Mexico to pay for a permanent border wall. Mandatory deportation of all “criminal aliens” (i.e. all undocumented immigrants) and deport their children.

And the following Trump lines:

“The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else’s problems. When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people that (are) bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime.

“They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.

“I don’t think it’s a small percentage, it’s a lot.

Something has happened in America. It didn’t start with Trump. He is just a symptom of a disease.

Exactly four years ago, the lead Republican was none other than Michele Bachmann, who made such comments as:

“If we took away the minimum wage we could potentially virtually wipe out unemployment completely because we would be able to offer jobs at whatever level.”

“The thing that I think that is getting a little tiresome is, the gay community thinks that they’ve so bullied the American people and they so intimidated politicians that politicians fear them, and so they think that they get to dictate the agenda everywhere.”

And before the Donald and before Michele, there was Sarah Palin, who combined lies and ignorance into a Tina Fey performance.

“(Obama) is . . . palling around with terrorists who would target their own country.”

“Dr. Laura: don’t retreat…reload!” (Defending Dr. Laura Schlessinger, the talk radio host who used the N-word on the air 11 times in 5 minutes.)

During the recovery from WWII, Americans were proud of our compassion and of our special moral place in the world.

Our Marshall Plan (officially the European Recovery Program, ERP) was an American initiative to aid Europe, in which the United States gave $13 billion (approximately $120 billion in current dollar value) in economic support to help rebuild European economies after the end of World War II.

The plan had bipartisan support in Washington, where the Republicans controlled Congress and the Democrats controlled the White House with Harry S. Truman as president.

Can anyone imagine the possibility of such a plan today, when it has become de rigueur for any act of generosity or kindness sneeringly to be termed “liberalism” or “political correctness”?

Today, especially among the right wing, cruelty is admired as being “strength,” insults are “candor,” and bombastic lies are “honesty.”

The solution to every problem is guns, more guns, and guns everywhere. Don’t help ’em. Shoot ’em. Or wall ’em out. Or lock ’em up.

It’s not clear when the American public turned toward the cynical and the angry.

I’m tempted to say the change in America began in the 1950’s, with Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy. His fear-mongering of communism created the notorious “McCarthyism.” Innocent people were punished by an entire nation mad with fear and suspicion.

We recovered as a nation, though many individuals’ lives were ruined.

Later came Republican Richard Nixon and his political strategist Kevin Phillips, who popularized the “Southern Strategy” based on fear and bigotry:

“From now on, the Republicans are never going to get more than 10 to 20 percent of the Negro vote and they don’t need any more than that…but Republicans would be shortsighted if they weakened enforcement of the Voting Rights Act.

“The more Negroes who register as Democrats in the South, the sooner the Negrophobe whites will quit the Democrats and become Republicans. That’s where the votes are.

“Without that prodding from the blacks, the whites will backslide into their old comfortable arrangement with the local Democrats.”

The Southern Strategy took advantage of the South’s fears and worst instincts, and essentially told silently bigoted people it was smart to be bigots. Nothing to be ashamed of, they should be proud.

And the Southerners dutifully, like little robots, did exactly as Phillips said they would.

Later still came 9/11 and xenophobia.

Today’s America continues to suffer a disease. Trump is the symptom and the disease is fear and hatred. We were made afraid by 9/11 and by the Great Recession and by so many mass murders.

We fear terrorists. We fear Muslims, blacks, Mexicans, criminals and drugs and rapes and murders. We fear losing our jobs and those we think are taking our jobs. We fear gays, who “convert our children” and “take our religion.” We fear the poor, who “drain our wealth.” We fear the government.

We fear our lack of control.

And where there is fear there is hatred. And from the dark cesspools of our population emerge the fear and hate mongers — the people who preach danger from which “only they can save us.”

The libertarians preach fear of government. The Tea Party preaches fear of the poor. The religious right preaches fear of “them taking our religion.” The NRA preaches fear of “them taking our guns.”

And we have arrived here. A rich man, who spews lies and hatred and fear, leads the Republican Party, with the rest of the pack yelping behind him, sounding their own lies and hatred and fear.

Now we have leaders who actually take pride in their bigotry. Hating has become “realistic,” and those who don’t hate enough are themselves hated for being “liberals.”

Every Republican now bases his/her candidacy on the diseased twins: Fear and hatred.

And that is what has become of America. The land of the free and the home of the brave has become “the land of fear and the home of hatred.”

Our flag flies in tatters.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

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Ten Steps to Prosperity:
1. Eliminate FICA (Click here)
2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D plus long term nursing care — for everyone (Click here)
3. Provide an Economic Bonus to every man, woman and child in America, and/or every state a per capita Economic Bonus. (Click here) Or institute a reverse income tax.
4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone. Click here
5. Salary for attending school (Click here)
6. Eliminate corporate taxes (Click here)
7. Increase the standard income tax deduction annually
8. Tax the very rich (.1%) more, with higher, progressive tax rates on all forms of income. (Click here)
9. Federal ownership of all banks (Click here and here)

10. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99% (Click here)

The Ten Steps will add dollars to the economy, stimulate the economy, and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest.
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10 Steps to Economic Misery: (Click here:)
1. Maintain or increase the FICA tax..
2. Spread the myth Social Security, Medicare and the U.S. government are insolvent.
3. Cut federal employment in the military, post office, other federal agencies.
4. Broaden the income tax base so more lower income people will pay.
5. Cut financial assistance to the states.
6. Spread the myth federal taxes pay for federal spending.
7. Allow banks to trade for their own accounts; save them when their investments go sour.
8. Never prosecute any banker for criminal activity.
9. Nominate arch conservatives to the Supreme Court.
10. Reduce the federal deficit and debt

No nation can tax itself into prosperity, nor grow without money growth. Monetary Sovereignty: Cutting federal deficits to grow the economy is like applying leeches to cure anemia.
1. A growing economy requires a growing supply of dollars (GDP=Federal Spending + Non-federal Spending + Net Exports)
2. All deficit spending grows the supply of dollars
3. The limit to federal deficit spending is an inflation that cannot be cured with interest rate control.
4. The limit to non-federal deficit spending is the ability to borrow.

THE RECESSION CLOCK
Monetary Sovereignty

Monetary Sovereignty

Vertical gray bars mark recessions.

As the federal deficit growth lines drop, we approach recession, which will be cured only when the growth lines rise. Increasing federal deficit growth (aka “stimulus”) is necessary for long-term economic growth.

#MONETARYSOVEREIGNTY