Astounding similarities: Of whom does this remind you? It’s happening now. Friday, Sep 30 2016 

Of whom does the following remind you?

A host of earlier biographers have advanced theories about Hitler’s rise, and the dynamic between the man and his times.

Some have focused on the social and political conditions in post-World War I Germany, which Hitler expertly exploited — a yearning for a return to German greatness; unemployment and economic distress; and longstanding ethnic prejudices and fears of “foreignization.”

Hmmm . . . “Make America great again,” anti-Muslim, build a wall. Now who is that?

Hitler as a politician who rose to power through demagoguery, showmanship and nativist appeals to the masses.

Hitler was often described as an egomaniac who “only loved himself” — a narcissist with a taste for self-dramatization and what Mr. Ullrich calls a “characteristic fondness for superlatives.”

Do demagoguery, showmanship and nativist appeals sound familiar? And which egomaniacal politician describes everything about himself as “incredible.”

What about this:

A former finance minister wrote that Hitler “was so thoroughly untruthful that he could no longer recognize the difference between lies and truth” and editors of one edition of “Mein Kampf” described it as a “swamp of lies, distortions, innuendoes, half-truths and real facts.”

Which politician not only lies the most of any in recent memory but repeatedly denies the incontrovertible evidence of lies?

And this:

Hitler was an effective orator and actor, adept at assuming various masks and feeding off the energy of his audiences. Although he concealed his anti-Semitism beneath a “mask of moderation” when trying to win the support of the socially liberal middle classes, he specialized in big, theatrical rallies.

Which politician is a professional TV actor? Who boasts about huge rallies with thousands of cheering people?

Which politician breeds hatred of minorities?

And this:

He peppered his speeches with coarse phrases and put-downs of hecklers. Even as he fomented chaos by playing to crowds’ fears and resentments, he offered himself as the visionary leader who could restore law and order.

Which politician yells “Get ’em outa here” when heckled? Which politician promises to enforce “law and order”?

And this:

Hitler increasingly presented himself in messianic terms, promising “to lead Germany to a new era of national greatness,” though he was typically vague about his actual plans.

He often harked back to a golden age for the country, the better “to paint the present day in hues that were all the darker. Everywhere you looked now, there was only decline and decay.

Which politician repeatedly tells us we are losing to the Chinese, losing to the Mexicans, losing to the terrorists — losing, losing, losing — but is vague about plans (sometimes claiming they are “secret.”?)

And this:

Because the understanding of the masses “is feeble,” Hitler said, effective propaganda needed to be boiled down to a few slogans that should be “persistently repeated until the very last individual has come to grasp the idea that has been put forward.”

Seen any political slogans printed on hats and repeated constantly in speeches, to remind the “feeble” masses?

And this:

Hitler’s rise was not inevitable. There were numerous points at which his ascent might have been derailed.

(But) in addition to economic woes and unemployment, there was an “erosion of the political center” and a growing resentment of the elites.

(There was) the belief of Hitler supporters that the country needed “a man of iron” who could shake things up. “Why not give the National Socialists a chance?” a prominent banker said of the Nazis. “They seem pretty gutsy to me.”

Does resentment of elites (aka “the establishment”) ring a bell? What about the need for change, to “shake things up”?

And this:

(Hitler’s) conservative coalition partners believed either that he was not serious or that they could exert a moderating influence on him.

Know of any politicians whose own party continues to try to moderate them? Was there speculation about any politicians not really being serious about running for President?

And this:

Hitler, it became obvious, could not be tamed.

The independent press was banned or suppressed and books deemed “un-German” were burned.

Think. Which American politician  wants to sue the press for unflattering articles?

Germans believed, “It cannot happen here.”  But, as the author asks . . .

What persuaded millions of ordinary Germans to embrace Hitler and his doctrine of hatred?

How did this “most unlikely pretender to high state office” achieve absolute power in a once democratic country and set it on a course of monstrous horror?

It happened in Germany. Actually, it has happened in many countries. People fundamentally are the same, everywhere, and everywhere they can be led like sheep to the slaughter by Hitlerian leaders.

Yes, it can happen here. It, in fact, is happening here, right in front of our noses.

Don’t believe, even for one second, that we are immune.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

===================================================================================

The single most important problems in economics involve the excessive income/wealth/power Gaps between the rich and the rest.

Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics.

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 afford better health care than 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 AN ANNUAL ECONOMIC BONUS TO EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD IN AMERICA, AND/OR EVERY STATE, A PER CAPITA ECONOMIC BONUS (The JG (Jobs Guarantee) vs the GI (Guaranteed Income) vs the EB) 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 EVERYONEFive 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 benefiting 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 CORPORATE TAXES
Corporations themselves exist only as legalities. They don’t pay taxes or pay for anything else. They are dollar-transferring machines. They transfer dollars from customers to employees, suppliers, shareholders and the government (the later having no use for those dollars).
Any tax on corporations reduces the amount going to employees, suppliers and shareholders, which diminishes the economy. Ultimately, all corporate taxes come around and reappear as deductions from 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 corporate 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

Yet another example of why all banks should be federally owned Thursday, Sep 29 2016 

Visualize this: You go into a bank with a mask and a gun, and you announce, “This is a holdup. All you tellers empty your cash drawers into this bag.”

Then you walk out of the bank, having stolen $3,000.

Later, you are caught, and your sole punishment is that you must give back $500.

See anything wrong with that?

That question occurred to me when I read the following:

Political Pressure Forces Wells Fargo Executives to Give Back $60 Million As Punishment

Wells Fargo was first exposed three years ago by journalists and it has taken this long to finally see some repercussions.

In a first-of-its kind banking scandal punishment, Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf and banking unit executive Carrie Tolstedt will have to give back a total of $60 million.

Although Stumpf initially tried to blame the scandal on his low-level employees, recent political pressure is forcing him to take additional steps.

Wells Fargo is facing enormous scrutiny over routinely opening unauthorized accounts for clients in order to make sales goals. The bank  already has been fined $185 million.

Wells Fargo also fired 5,300 employees, all at lower levels.

The executive in charge of the branch that was responsible for pushing for and implementing the fraudulent accounts, Carrie Tolstedt, was set to retire later this year with a payout of $124.6 million.

But now, after pressure from senators such as Elizabeth Warren, Wells Fargo’s board is forcing the top executives to pay up out of their own pocket.

John Stumpf will have to forfeit $41 million in past compensation and Carrie Tolstedt, who has already resigned, will have to give back $19 million of her own.

Get it? For years, the Chief of Fraud earned millions of dollars and left with $124.6 million extra.  Her “punishment”: $19 million.

The boss, Stumpf, who earned massive yearly salaries and bonuses, will give back the comparative pittance, $41 million.

If that’s punishment, I volunteer. Punish me, PLEASE.

Clawbacks are an important concept for banking regulation. Normally banking executives aren’t affected if their company gets caught bending, or breaking, finance rules to help company stock rise.

Actually, clawbacks are an important part of conning you, the public, into believing banksters are being dealt with harshly.

Are you suitably conned?

I can just visualize the Wells Fargo boardroom: “Well, we got caught, but let’s not kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.

“We stole hundreds of millions, so let’s give back a few million and hope this all goes away. Then it’s back to business as usual.”

Stumpf may claim that he “knew nothing, nothing I tell you,” which is obvious BS.

But let’s take him at his word, and assume he did know nothing. If the president of the bank doesn’t know about systematic criminality in his own bank, how could  regulatory agencies do what the president can’t?

Clearly, the bank president, who works full time at the bank, and is paid hundreds  of millions to know what’s going on in his own bank, is in a far better position to uncover wrongdoing than is some underpaid FDIC accountant, who visits the bank once a month, if that.

Bottom line: If the full-time, bank president doesn’t know his own bank, and the little FDIC accountant surely doesn’t, regulation of privately owned banks is impossible, especially with laughable “punishments” for crimes.

Stumpf, Tolstedt et al were motivated by bank profits and personal greed.

A federally owned bank would be run by salaried federal employees. Our Monetarily Sovereign government has no need for profits. So, it won’t pay outrageous bonuses (i.e. crime motivators) to obtain what it doesn’t need.

Wells Fargo is the poster child for Step #9 of the Ten Steps To Prosperity (below): Federal ownership of all banks.

Now if only we could wean Congress off the bribes they receive from the banks.

Is it too late to ask Elizabeth Warren to run for President?

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

===================================================================================

The single most important problems in economics involve the excessive income/wealth/power Gaps between the rich and the rest.

Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics.

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 afford better health care than 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 AN ANNUAL ECONOMIC BONUS TO EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD IN AMERICA, AND/OR EVERY STATE, A PER CAPITA ECONOMIC BONUS (The JG (Jobs Guarantee) vs the GI (Guaranteed Income) vs the EB) 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 EVERYONEFive 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 benefiting 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 CORPORATE TAXES
Corporations themselves exist only as legalities. They don’t pay taxes or pay for anything else. They are dollar-transferring machines. They transfer dollars from customers to employees, suppliers, shareholders and the government (the later having no use for those dollars).
Any tax on corporations reduces the amount going to employees, suppliers and shareholders, which diminishes the economy. Ultimately, all corporate taxes come around and reappear as deductions from 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 corporate 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

What kind of President will Donald Trump be? Thursday, Sep 15 2016 

Strangely, it can be difficult to determine in advance, what any person will do or become, after first sitting in the Oval Office.

I say, “strangely,” because prior to becoming President or Vice-President, the man or woman receives rather intense vetting by the media, the public, and by the opposition.

Yet, after the election the real person emerges. The pretense ends and under stress of the Presidency, the true essence and fundamental characteristics take over.

Had we known him better, we could have predicted that Harry Truman would become a strong-willed, well-respected President.

Had we known that Dwight Eisenhower reached his power by being a sycophant to those above him, we could have predicted that the “powerful leader” of the combined, allied forces, would prove to be a rather vanilla President.

And given John Kennedy’s family and its moral weaknesses, we might have seen that the great orator would accomplish little, especially when compared to his successor, Lyndon Johnson, perhaps the most productive President since Roosevelt.

And we could have predicted that Johnson’s ego ultimately would destroy his legacy with the ill-conceived Vietnam war.

Richard Nixon surely was predictable. He always was “Tricky Dick.”

Gerald Ford was a sturdy, honest, plain man, who ran a sturdy, honest, plain administration. His essence was there for all to see.

Jimmy Carter, perhaps the weakest President since WWII, was a surprise and disappointment only to those who didn’t know his character, while movie actor, Ronald Reagan, even with his faults, was a pleasant surprise to us if we didn’t know his basic character.

It was in the character of George H. W. Bush to be more effective and wiser than some people anticipated, and “silver-tongue” Bill Clinton was predictably worse than advertised.

But for each, their fundamental character showed through. Situations change, but basic character doesn’t.

George W. Bush was a blithering idiot, and that came as no surprise, but we also should have understood what a liar this draft dodger, he-man pretender was.

Barack Obama was a great liberal hope, though even a cursory examination of his Chicago machine background would have indicated he was a weak-kneed compromiser, more conservative than liberal, willing to do anything for agreement.

He did what his Chicago bosses told him to do, then as President, he did what the wealthy bank executives told him to do. Without someone rich telling him what to do, he was lost.

So, to greater or lesser degree, they all changed, but expectedly, if only we had understood their basic character.

Within each man there was a fundamental — an unchanging essence — that had we understood, we could have foreseen what they were to became.

Which brings us to Donald Trump. What kind of President will he be? What is his essence? What is his basic character?

No mystery.

Because he so often speaks unscripted, we are able to discern the real Donald Trump. He has told us, in so many ways, exactly what he will be.

First, whom has Trump singled out as the one person he admires? He makes no secret of it: Vladimir Putin, the dictator of Russia.

Trump admires Putin’s strength and Putin’s “80% approval rating.” (Remember how Trump loved to talk about his own polling numbers.) Trump considers himself to be a strong man, or rather a strongman, just like Putin.

In true dictatorial style, Trump wishes to build an “iron curtain,” a “beautiful” Berlin wall, around America. Presumably, it would function the same way as the various “walls” Kim Jong Un and his father have built around North Korea.

Dictators love walls, the antithesis of America. Every dictatorship builds strong walls, some to keep people out, some to keep people in, some to do both.

Like dictators Stalin and Hitler, Trump wishes to rid his nation of those he considers undesirable — Muslims, Mexicans, other Latinos, gays.

Like all dictators, Trump is enamored with himself. He plasters his name on everything — buildings, airplanes, businesses. He tries hard to create a “cult of his personality” as did Stalin, Mao, and the Perons.

The Trump Foundation even paid $20,000 of charity money, for a portrait of Trump. (This is charity?) Go to any country ruled by a dictator, and you will see pictures of “The Great Leader” everywhere you go.

Like all dictators, Trump is a thin-skinned egomaniac. Say anything negative about Trump, and you will be subject to a flurry of insulting, even threatening Emails. As President, he will do more than threaten.

Similarly, say something complimentary, and he will reciprocate. He already has said that because Putin speaks well of him, he speaks well of Putin.

Imagine how that would affect international relations. A few kind words could get Trump to agree to anything.

Like most dictators, Trump’s primary appeal is to the less educated, the people who are more susceptible to lies, bluster, and fraud — the people who are more likely to find appeal in bigotry.

And like all dictators, Trump wishes to control the media. He has vowed to widen libel laws, to make suing the media easier. Melania Trump has threatened to sue The Daily Mail, Politico and at least eight other news outlets for defamation.

Trump has barred some media from his speeches, while insulted some media people because they asked questions he didn’t want asked — a dictator’s usual approach to the media.

In any dictatorship, the first freedom to disappear is freedom of the press. Why? Because once the media are under control, the people know only what the dictator wants them to know.

This is why Putin has that “80% approval rating” Trump admires. Kim Jong Un probably has 100% approval.

Imagine what Trump would do without the media asking him embarrassing questions, like why has he not released his promised tax returns (for which he has given at least eight excuses:)
1) He’s being audited
2) As soon as Hillary releases her Emails
3) There are 12,000 pages
4) His financial disclosures more than make up for lack of releasing tax returns
5) The American people don’t care about his tax returns
6) It’s none of your business
7) “I released the most extensive financial review of anybody in the history of politics.”
8) “It would raise too many questions.”

Too many questions?

No dictator would give out his personal, crooked, financial information. Trump follows that lead.

Also, dictators love to demonstrate physical invincibility. No dictator ever gets sick. All are in absolutely perfect health. Putin, for instance, removes his shirt while riding horseback, to demonstrate his virility.

And then there was Mao:

Mao swims in the Yangze

On July 16th, 1966, amidst persistent rumors that he was ill or suffered a heart attack, Mao staged a media event to indicate that he was still vigorous and capable of leading China. It was a swim in the Yangtze River at Wuhan.

The Chinese press spared no adjectives in its account of Mao’s dip; the report said. Mao contested energetically with waves stirred up by 20-mph winds. His cheeks were “glowing” and “ruddy”. Mao “swam with steady strokes”, “cleaved through the waves” and “floated to view the azure sky above.” “Our respected and beloved leader Chairman Mao is in such wonderful health” and “this is the greatest happiness for … revolutionary people throughout the world.”

The international media was more skeptical. Time reported that Mao swam “nearly 15 km in 65 minutes that day–a world-record pace, if true.”

Like dictators Mao and Putin, Trump is in “perfect health.” In fact, he would be “the healthiest individual ever to the presidency.”

We know this, because his doctor, Harold Bornstein (who falsely claims to be a Fellow of the American College of Gastroenterology) jotted a quick note while sitting in a limousine, telling us so.

Now, after pressure from the media, the very same doctor, who admitted he was influenced to write what Trump wanted, — this doctor the public now is expected to believe — has come up with more data to “prove” that a clearly overweight Trump still is the “healthiest individual” ever.

Bottom line: Donald Trump has told us again and again, in many different ways, that he admires dictators and will be a dictator if we elect him.

Should we fail to listen with our own ears and fail to see with our own eyes, what Trump has made obvious, we and our children will join in the misery seen by the people of Russia, China, Argentina, Germany, Italy, Cuba, and other dictatorships.

Yes, friends, it can happen here.

And we will have only ourselves to blame.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

===================================================================================
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 afford better health care than 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 AN ANNUAL ECONOMIC BONUS TO EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD IN AMERICA, AND/OR EVERY STATE, A PER CAPITA ECONOMIC BONUS (The JG (Jobs Guarantee) vs the GI (Guaranteed Income) vs the EB) 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 EVERYONEFive 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 benefiting 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 CORPORATE TAXES
Corporations themselves exist only as legalities. They don’t pay taxes or pay for anything else. They are dollar-tranferring machines. They transfer dollars from customers to employees, suppliers, shareholders and the government (the later having no use for those dollars).
Any tax on corporations reduces the amount going to employees, suppliers and shareholders, which diminishes the economy. Ultimately, all corporate taxes come around and reappear as deductions from 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 corporate taxes would be an 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.

As the federal deficit growth lines drop, we approach recession, which will be cured only when the growth lines rise. Increasing

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

Follow-up: The end of private banking Friday, Sep 9 2016 

Back in 2012, I posted: “The end of private banking: Why the federal government should own all banks.”

(The issue also is addressed in Step #9 of “The Ten Steps to Prosperity” [below]).

You might refer back to that post to get the full flavor of the argument, but the essence was:  Crime requires opportunity, reward, and risk assessment.

  1. The banks’ absolute control over dollars, provides ample opportunity for criminality.
  2. The vast amount of dollars controlled, provides ample reward for criminality.
  3. The risk of apprehension and punishment of banksters is low. Though determined regulation wouldn’t entirely prevent banking criminality, the banking industry’s wealth and current finance laws and the resultant bribery of politicians, discourages even minimal regulation.

The “Great Recession,” beginning early in 2008 (or late 2007, depending on definitions), which was caused by bank criminality, provides ample proof of #1-#3, above.

Crime involves the interaction of opportunity, reward and risk. Given plenty of opportunity, ample reward, and low risk, crime is inevitable.

Wells Fargo Fined $185 Million for Opening Phony Customer Accounts, Charging Fees Without Consent; Executives Go Scot Free

Wells Fargo employees opened roughly 1.5 million bank accounts and applied for 565,000 credit cards that may not have been authorized by customers, the regulators said in a news conference.

This was an astonishingly brazen, large-scale effort, clearly a systematic, institutionalized campaign.

It is virtually impossible for senior executives not to have known what was going on.

The big reason that Wells has managed to cultivate the myth that it is better managed than other large banks is that it is largely a traditional bank, as in it is not seriously involved in free-wheeling, high-risk, hard to manage investment banking activities.

But traditional banks, and above all retail banking operations, are extremely routinized. Customer-facing staff have virtually no discretion. 

In other words, there is no way to defend the lack of punishment of executives in a fraud of this scale that extended over five years.

Either they were in on it, or somehow lower level employees cooked this up and were able to hide it from the top brass. The latter would represent a massive control failure.

Under Sarbanes Oxley, the CEO and CFO are required to certify the adequacy of financial and operational controls. There is no way the Wells Fargo’s can have it both ways. Either they were in on the ripoff or they were not even remotely on top of what was happening.

But, in keeping with the half-hearted enforcement culture that has become normal in the US, the executives were allowed to get away with crooked conduct that unquestionably was their responsibility, whether by omission or commission.

Wells Fargo’s criminality involved all three problems: Opportunity, reward, and risk.

  1. The quantity of money private banks control which provides the opportunity for stealing and for political bribery.
  2. The profit motive,  which provides the reward for criminality
  3. And weak law enforcement, which eliminates the risk of apprehension and punishment.

And everything devolves to the profit motive:

Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer sued Wells Fargo last year and accused the bank of high-pressure quotas for workers that encouraged them to skirt the rules.

“When I worked at Wells Fargo, I faced the threat of being fired if I didn’t meet their unreasonable sales quotas every day, and it’s high time that Wells Fargo pays for preying on consumers’ financial livelihoods,” Khalid Taha, a former employee, said in a statement..

If Wells Fargo were not privately owned, but instead were a federal government agency, there would be no profit motive to create “unreasonable sales quotas.”

Nor would there be a profit motive to galvanize political bribery.

Nor would there be a profit motive to create weak laws, and non-enforcement, and non-punishment of bank executive criminals.

Whatever your feelings about the mythical “superiority” of private industry over government agencies, and whatever your feelings about the federal government supposedly being “too big,” no public purpose is served by allowing privately owned banks. 

If the banking industry continues to be privately owned, criminal bankers will continue to invent ways to bribe politicians, cheat the public, and cause recessions.

If nothing changes, nothing will change. 

You know it; I know it: the Wells Fargo executives know it.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

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 afford better health care than 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 AN ANNUAL ECONOMIC BONUS TO EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD IN AMERICA, AND/OR EVERY STATE, A PER CAPITA ECONOMIC BONUS (The JG (Jobs Guarantee) vs the GI (Guaranteed Income) vs the EB) 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 EVERYONEFive 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 benefiting 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 CORPORATE TAXES
Corporations themselves exist only as legalities. They don’t pay taxes or pay for anything else. They are dollar-tranferring machines. They transfer dollars from customers to employees, suppliers, shareholders and the government (the later having no use for those dollars).
Any tax on corporations reduces the amount going to employees, suppliers and shareholders, which diminishes the economy. Ultimately, all corporate taxes come around and reappear as deductions from 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 corporate taxes would be an 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

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