Is the UBI (aka EB) even possible in today’s world? Monday, Apr 24 2017 

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

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

Today, any effort to grow the economy is confronted by the high walls of conflicting claims and biases:

  1. The Big Lie, which falsely avers that federal taxes are necessary to fund federal spending (sadly, believed by the vast majority).
  2. The Libertarians, who claim the federal government should be “smaller” (though no one knows why, or what “smaller” functionally means).
  3. The liberals who claim the federal government should spend more on social programs and tax the rich more to pay for the spending (though federal taxes do not fund federal spending).
  4. The neoliberals, who subscribe to privatization and austerity (though both privatization and austerity always widen the gap between the rich and the rest).
  5. The university and “think tank” economists, who are paid to claim federal deficits and debt are “unsustainable” and lead to slower economic growth (though this counters all evidence).
  6. The conservatives, who tell you that social benefits breed sloth (a false belief that relies on Gap Psychology).
  7. And of course, the socialists, communists, fascists, capitalists and innumerable other “ists,” whose membership often is more the result of blind desire than logical thoughtfulness.

This all comes down to the question: “What is the purpose of government?”

We claim:

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.

But the fundamental purpose of government is to improve the lives of the governed.

Improving the lives of the governed also is the goal of the Ten Steps to Prosperity (below). The specific subject of this post is discussed at: “Ten Steps to Prosperity, Monthly Bonuses for All” and earlier at “The JG (Jobs Guarantee) vs the GI (Guaranteed Income) vs the EB (Economic Bonus)

Here are a few excerpts from an article in the April 24, issue of Time Magazine:

Universal Basic Income: A Utopian Idea Whose Time May Finally Have Arrived
Matt Vellar

Recently economists and policymakers began seriously re-examining the 500-year-old concept of a universal basic income (UBI).

We refer to Universal Basic Income (UBI) as an Economic Bonus (EB), only because the term “basic income” seems inappropriate when dollars go to millionaires and billionaires. Also, the amount paid would not serve as a “basic income” as it probably would fall below most people’s idea of basic.

Instead, it would be a bonus.

The government would pay every adult citizen a salary, regardless of wealth, employment income or if they worked at all.

That is primary — one, simple flat benefit to each person, regardless of need, income, or wealth. It is progressive in that the same amount means much more to the rich than to the poor.

But, lest you believe EB is a liberal notion . . .

The idea can be found in Utopia, Thomas More’s 1516 book. A version had proponents in the likes of Thomas Paine, John Stuart Mill and Bertrand Russell, Martin Luther King Jr. ,and conservative economists, Milton Friedman and Friedrich Hayek.

Starting in the late 1960s, the Nixon Administration studied the idea and tried unsuccessfully to get a basic-income benefit through Congress.

Today, thinkers on the left see the UBI as a way to combat poverty and inequality as well as a potential palliative to the disruptions to workers caused by technology.

To the right, the idea is an attractively simple alternative to bloated social-welfare regimes.

EB, as presented in Step #3 of the Ten Steps to Prosperity, is an alternative to Social Security, but not to all social programs. Monetary Sovereignty views it as coming after the elimination of FICA and the establishment of a federally funded Medicare for All.

Critics come from all sides too: they say the UBI is just a decoy to starve government assistance that boosts universal child care or free college tuition.

EB would be a “decoy” only if one believes the federal government can exhaust its supply of dollars, and that federal taxes fund federal spending.

The federal government, unlike state and local governments, is Monetarily Sovereign. It has the unlimited ability to create dollars, which it does, ad hoc, by spending. The federal government needs no income for spending.

Or it’s one more misguided program bound to result in eliminating work incentives, rendering large numbers of people dependent on the government.

This is the largely discredited notion, promulgated by the rich, that poor people are lazy, and if given any support at all, they will refuse to work. In the past, that propaganda has been used to fight Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, aids to education, poverty aids — virtually every social program.

The irony:  The poor, on average, toil much harder than do the rich. Think of the maids who clean Bill Gates’s offices.  Who works harder, the poor for whom life is a daily struggle, or the rich for whom life is served on a silver platter?

Most UBI skeptics, and some proponents, sooner or later come to the conclusion that the costs would be absurdly prohibitive in any case. One critic puts the figure in the U.S. at $3 trillion annually.

We aren’t sure who that “one critic” is, or how he came up with his figure, or whether the author means $3 trillion is “absurdly prohibitive” politically or financially.

Politically, any figure is prohibitive in the view of anti-deficit, pro-small-government, people. Financially, any figure is affordable for a Monetarily Sovereign government, with the only limit being an inflation that cannot be controlled via interest rate controls.

With 325 million people in America, that $3 trillion figure comes to about $9,000 per person, annually, or $36,000 for a family of four — a bonus of about $9 thousand per person, annually, or $36 thousand for a family of four — perhaps overly large for a bonus.

U.S. GDP is about $20 trillion. Annual spending for total Social Security is about $1 trillion a year.

About 73% of federal spending is for social benefits. That is why Federal spending cuts invariably punish the lower and middle income recipients, not the rich.

In 2017, about 40 million adult retired Americans will receive approximately $670 billion in Social Security benefits, an individual average of about $17 thousand annually. That should continue.retirement benefits, an individual average of about $17 thousand annually.

That should continue.

Step #3 of The Ten Steps to Prosperity, suggests paying adults and children different amounts. If our estimated 245 million adults each received $9,000 annually, and the 75 million children each received $2,000, the total expenditure would be about $2.2 trillion, totaling about $22,000 annually for a family of four. about $22 thousand annually for a family of four. 

This would add about $1.2 trillion to overall SS spending, adding 6% of GDP.

Depending on the Multiplier Effect, changes in government spending create much larger changes in Gross Domestic Product. This is one reason why much larger increase in Gross Domestic Product.

This is one reason why federal deficits are stimulative and federal surpluses are recessive. 

Whatever the spending figures may be, they are affordable for a Monetarily Sovereign nation. The the sole question is inflation, which is why we recommend that the Ten Steps be implemented sequentially.

The inflationary effects of each step can be evaluated before the next step is taken.

Early this year, Finland became the first European country to pay unemployed citizens an unconditional monthly sum. The two-year national pilot program, gives 2,000 unemployed Finns ages 25 to 58 a guaranteed €560 (around $590), money that would keep coming even if they find work.

The country’s social-security agency says the test is intended to cut red tape, alleviate poverty and, especially, reduce unemployment.

Its existing system can disincentivize taking work because even low earnings prompt a cut in benefits.

EB does not advocate benefits substantial enough to discourage employment. Benefits should be considered a bonus rather than as a substitute for earnings and savings.

Similar experiments are moving forward in Canada, the Netherlands and Italy. The Indian government appears to be mulling a small UBI as a strategy to cut the country’s most extreme poverty.

Y Combinator, a startup incubator, is trying it with 100 families in Oakland, Calif., this year, paying each between $1,000 and $2,000 a month.

Big difference: Y Combinator is monetarily non-sovereign, so is much less able to afford EB than is the federal government.

The Monetarily Sovereign federal government should conduct the test, though with the current political makeup, that would be difficult to effect. The anti-big-government, anti-spending, anti-deficit beliefs result in anti-middle and anti-poor legislation.

Tech’s big thinkers, like Bill Gates and Elon Musk, have concluded a UBI is likely inevitable. They see a great wave of job-destroying robots and artificial intelligence on the horizon.

Today, despising the poor as indolent, criminal and aimless has become de rigueur in America’s current politics. This attitude provides the excuse to press the poor down. Read: Gap Psychology and the Big Lie.

But, the poor not only are today’s and tomorrow’s valuable consumers, but they can be tomorrow’s “makers.” Brainpower is not limited to the rich, and if current events are any measure, brainpower often is absent in the coddled rich.

Thus, by Ebeneezer Scrooge standards, government-provided benefits are revulsive, but if government doesn’t provide social benefits, of what value is it?

As the above graph indicates, social benefits plus military and interest account for 94% of federal spending. Social spending and defense, for the welfare of the people, is the primary purpose of the federal government.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

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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.

#Trumpayola at work: Hire American except . . . Saturday, Apr 22 2017 

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

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

#Trumpayola at work: Hire American except . . .

Compare two articles. First:

Donald Trump requested 64 foreign guest workers for his “winter White House”

When US president Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe gathered to condemn a North Korean missile test, they did it just fifty yards from a wedding reception at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago.

The meal with Abe was paid for by the U.S. government, and it profited Trump.

That fees from that wedding, along with any other profits earned at the club, line Trump’s pockets through a trust..

While Trump was profiting from the Abe entertainment, he also was profiting from the wedding. He also was being paid handsomely to be President of the United States — a sweet “triple-header.”

But that isn’t the “best” part of #Trumpayola:

He got permission from the US Department of Labor to hire 64 foreign guest workers to wait on his guests, cook their food and clean their rooms during the winter high season in Florida.

According to the kind of economic calculations endorsed by Trump and his campaign team, those 64 jobs were essentially stolen from Americans.

But Trump’s family companies frequently use guest workers and his appointee to run the Department of Labor, Andy Puzder, has defended them in the past.

Sadly, Trumpayola hypocrisy conveniently is overlooked by his brainwashed supporters.

Compare the above article with this one:

Buy American, Hire American
White House message, April 20, 2017

On Tuesday, April 18th, President Donald J. Trump signed an Executive Order aimed at strengthening and enforcing his “Buy American, Hire American” agenda.

The President told those in attendance, “I am proud to announce that we are about to take bold new steps to follow through on my pledge to buy American and hire American.

The President’s Executive Order sends a clear message to the world, that his presidency will always defend American workers, American jobs, and American interests.

(Trump said), “The policy of our government is to promote the use of American-made goods and to help ensure that American labor is hired to do the job.

Yes, Trump strongly believes that Americans should buy American and hire American, and Trump always will defend American workers, except . . . except when it impacts the profits of one Donald Trump.

#Trumpayola and his family care, not about you and not about me, but solely about their own personal wealth.

Trump has said, “The beauty of me is that I’m very rich.” Apparently not rich enough to satisfy his greed.

And we Americans pay, though his followers have yet to catch on.

What does it take?

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

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

Welcome to #Trumpayola, the new Presidential normal Saturday, Apr 22 2017 

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

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

Welcome to #Trumpayola, the new presidential normal.

The fact that he refuses to put his assets into a blind trust as previous Presidents have done, should be a gigantic clue for even the most thick-headed of his admirers.

And, the fact that he promised to release his tax returns, and now refuses to do so, should be yet another clue to his “law-and-order” GOP followers.

After all, the man incessantly boasts about his accomplishments, even things that clearly aren’t true (like the size of his inauguration crowd and his almost non-existent philanthropy).

Everything he does is the “greatest,” the “best,” the most “incredible.” So, when he boasts about his great wealth, as he often has, wouldn’t you think he’d show his tax returns to support those boasts?

He loves to sign papers and hold them up for all to see. So wouldn’t he want to sign his tax return and hold it up for all to see?

Unless . . .

Unless . . .  the tax returns prove once again, he is an unethical, uncharitable liar.

For instance:

THE WEEK
Shell companies are gobbling up Trump properties

An investigation by USA Today has documented more than 400 previously undisclosed properties across the U.S. owned by President Trump’s business trust and companies.

The properties present “an extraordinary and unprecedented potential for people, corporations, or foreign interests to try to influence the president,” USA Today wrote.

Image result for

About my taxes, Mr. President . . .

Just to be sure we are clear, the word “influence” is a gentle way of saying “bribe.” 

Because the properties in question are owned directly by Trump’s companies and not licensed through a separate development company, any sales would directly augment Trump’s wealth.

Of the 14 luxury condos and home-building lots sold since Election Day, “half were sold to limited liability companies” and “no names were listed in deeds, obscuring buyers’ identities.”

Get it? You can bribe Trump by buying his properties, and no one will know.

(Trump) is constitutionally prohibited from accepting gifts from foreign officials. But laws allow shell companies to be set up so that a person can make a purchase without revealing his or her identity.

It’s not the way people normally buy their home  . . . by setting up a limited liability shell company in which the buyer’s name is secret. It’s not the way you bought your home, is it? So why are Trump’s properties bought that way?

But this is barely the tip of the iceberg in #Trumpayola land:

Trump and the Parasitic Presidency— New York Times

Trump appears to view the Treasury as a personal piggy bank and the presidency as a part-time job.

In February, Trump was spend on travel in a month nearly as much as what the Obamas spent in a year. This doesn’t even include the travel and security costs of Trump’s children or the cost of Trump’s wife and son remaining in Trump Tower in New York.

Trump had been a chief critic of the amount of money the Obamas spent on vacations.  Trump tweeted in 2012: “President @BarackObama’s vacation is costing taxpayers millions of dollars — Unbelievable!”

No, what is unbelievable is the staggering nature of the hypocrisy of Trump and his current spending and the near silence of Obama’s conservative critics.

Does the lust for Trumpayola extend throughout the Trump family?

Typically, first ladies do not grub for dollars while in the White House.  Usually, they find a charity to back. But because Donald has been rather stingy with his charity-giving, when it’s his own money, we wonder about Melania. Is she as “frugal.”

To date, she has done nothing other than crib a previous first lady’s speech, so we can’t tell whether she will follow the Trump family “me-first, me-only” charity tradition.

But we do have a clue with first daughter Ivanka.

Mercury News
Ivanka Trump’s using White House power to promote fashion brand

Ivanka Trump announced her role as presidential advisor. (Meanwhile), a clothing retailer (Modern Appealing Clothing) filed a class-action lawsuit accusing (her) of improperly using the power of the White House for private profit.

The lawsuit cited President Donald Trump’s recent criticism of Nordstrom and other retailers that dropped or downplayed Ivanka Trump’s clothing, shoes and jewelry products.Image result for trump tweet nordstrom

The lawsuit also referred to Kellyanne Conway’s televised endorsement of Ivanka Trump products on Fox News.

Ivanka will be her father’s “eyes and ears” on a broad range of issues. She will also get a security clearance. The concerns are that Ivanka will use this informal advisor role to promote her brand, including when she sits in on meetings with business and political leaders.

Image result for ivanka clothing line white house

Mr. Ambassador, your wife will look marvelous in this. Understand?

Ivanka absolutely will leverage the White House for her own profit. Not even a question. She’s a Trump.

It also will be interesting to see how much Trump’s much-anticipated tax revision plan will benefit him personally though, on second thought, we’ll have no way to determine this, what with his own taxes being hidden.

The Trumps and the Kushners are as greedy and immoral as they are incompetent at governing. They focus solely on one thing: Self-inrichment.

It is the only thing they know how to do.

Welcome to the new normal in #Trumpayola land.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

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 (Guaranteed Income)) 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

The belief trap: How our children are taught “The Big Lie,” tax version Tuesday, Apr 18 2017 

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

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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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A belief trap is a belief so powerful it is not even questioned, much less denied. The notion that gravity attracts was a belief trap until Einstein proved gravity, rather than attracting, changes space-time.”

A belief trap closes ones eyes to anything that doesn’t comport with the belief.

Image result for person trap

The Big Lie” denies the facts of  Monetary Sovereignty. Unlike state and local governments, our Monetarily Sovereign U. S. federal government never can run short of its own sovereign currency, the U.S. dollar. Even if all federal tax collections fell to $0, the government could continue spending, forever.

Thus, federal taxes do not fund federal spending

This is a fact that not taught in the vast majority of our schools — high school or college — nor is it revealed in our media.

Here is a classic example of the Big Lie from today’s Chicago Tribune:

The high cost of being tax-ignorant
By Professor Marjorie E. Kornhauser, Tulane University Law School

Immediately, we see that Professor Kornhauser has law expertise. She sees federal taxes as a law problem and does not present federal taxes as an economics problem and a social problem.

For the past few years, I’ve sat in New Orleans high school classrooms watching students debate the fairest way for government to raise revenue.

No differentiation is made between federal government vs. state and local governments. They all are treated as “government,” though their problems are diametrically different.

While state and local governments must balance spending needs with funding ability, the federal government has no such problem.  It can focus solely on spending.

But Profesor Kornhausers students are stuck in the “it-goes-without-saying” belief trap that “of course governments need to raise revenue,” though this is not true of the federal government.

They role-play — first as management consultants advising legislators, then as lawmakers, weighing what to tax — property vs. sales vs. income. Are there limits on what or who can be taxed? Is a flat tax or a progressive rate structure fairer? Sometimes their discussions are heated.

As we discussed at “Which Taxes Are Fairest? Which Taxes are Least Fair?”  no taxes, local or federal can be called “fair.” But federal taxes are especially unfair in that they have no funding purpose.

These teenagers, however, have an edge that many adults don’t: basic tax literacy. Guided by Tulane law students, the high schoolers explore different philosophies and methods of taxation through TaxJazz, a program I began in 2013.

Students who take the weeklong course study issues of fairness and technical matters such as bases and rate structures. They examine key concepts such as the difference between marginal rates (the percentage of tax paid on the last dollar of income) and effective rates (the average percentage of tax paid).

They learn that narrower tax bases, such as sales tax, need higher rates than broader bases, such as income taxes, to raise equivalent amounts of revenue. They discover that changing the method of taxation increases how much some taxpayers owe and decreases that amount for others.

If more people knew what these students know, we’d have a far more reasonable tax debate and better tax laws.

Actually, the professor’s students are at a disadvantage, because rather than having no knowledge, they have the wrong knowledge.

Without an understanding of Monetary Sovereignty, and without understanding the differences between a federal tax and a local tax, discussions of “fairness” and “equivalent amounts of revenue” are futile.

We fight about taxes because we disagree about what is fair and what government should do. If we knew more, we’d still have disagreements, but at least our discussions would be more rational and produce more coherent policies.

Amen to that, Professor.

Real-world discussions often occur in a tax-ignorant universe. Many people say that some taxation is needed to pay for the government but that it should be lower and “fairer.”

We suspect that Professor Kornhauser is among those who believe “some taxation is needed to pay for the government,” though this is not true of the federal government.

At the local, state and national levels, lack of tax knowledge hampers the promulgation of rational laws that could help spur the economy and lead to prudent budgets.

A tax-literate electorate could demand that politicians provide coherent tax policy options.

We could not have said it better. Unfortunately, this professor, and with a few exceptions, all other professors, do not provide that knowledge, which is why we do not have coherent federal tax policy options.

How can more Americans become tax-knowledgeable? The first step, of course, is to include more discussion of taxes in schools — not just in high school and college, but even elementary school. This is no less important than the financial literacy programs many schools now incorporate into their curricula.

Without tax knowledge, voters enable politicians who spout inflammatory, empty rhetoric and perpetuate counterproductive, unfair tax policies. Democracies need informed voters to function properly. The cost of tax ignorance is too high.

The irony is palpable.

And the beat goes on. In the same issue of the Chicago Tribune, we found the following article:

Those who skirt ‘fair share’ annoy tax filers most
74 percent vexed by complexity of system, poll finds
By Gail Marks Jarvis, Chicago Tribune

Americans finishing off their tax returns are annoyed by the complexity of the task, but that’s not their top gripe.

Corporations and wealthy people who don’t pay their fair share in taxes are the largest source of frustration among filers, according to a recent survey.

Again, no differentiation was made between Monetarily Sovereign vs. monetarily non-sovereign taxation. In the research, all taxes are the same.

About 80 percent said in a Pew Research Center poll this month that they are bothered when corporations don’t pay “their fair share.” About 60 percent of those polled were very upset when wealthy people skirted their “fair share.”

The populace has not been taught that all taxes paid by the private sector reduce the amount of money in the private sector, and therefore reduce Gross Domestic Product. Asking corporations to pay more, or even to pay a mythical “fair share,” merely reinforces The Big Lie that the federal government needs tax dollars.

There is no “fair share” and the federal government has no need for taxes.

Roughly 54 percent of the filers surveyed this year said they thought they were paying “about the right amount of taxes.”

The “right amount” compared to what? This opinion probably is related not to how much in taxes are needed, but rather to what other people pay.

The popular belief trap ignores the likely fact that everyone pays too much in federal taxes, the fact that reducing federal taxes would grow *Gross Domestic Product (thereby helping everyone), and the fact that state & local taxes are in a completely different category from federal taxes.

*(GDP = Federal Spending + Non-Federal Spending + Net Exports)

The Big Lie has become a religion unto itself. To deny it is considered a heresy that must be denounced angrily. The public has been conditioned to assume federal taxes are necessary, and that’s that. No debate wanted.

Like religion, The Big Lie is taught to us from childhood. It cannot be doubted or even examined.

We are caught in the belief trap from which seemingly there is no escape. 

Where do we go from today? I believe Professor Kornhauser is sincere, but she is putting her children, her students, into the belief trap — and they will put their children in, and it continues.

Nothing enters that world. It is insulated like a religion, from scientific fact.

Great people have broken belief traps — Newton, Einstein. We need one, now.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

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THE RULES

•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 no matter how much it taxes its citizens.

•The more federal budgets are cut and taxes increased, the weaker an economy becomes..

•No nation can tax itself into prosperity, nor grow without money growth.

•Cutting federal deficits to grow the economy is like applying leeches to cure anemia.

•A growing economy requires a growing supply of money (GDP = Federal Spending + Non-federal Spending + Net Exports)

•Deficit spending grows the supply of money

•The limit to federal deficit spending is an inflation that cannot be cured with interest rate control. The limit to non-federal deficit spending is the ability to borrow.

•Until the 99% understand the need for federal deficits, the upper 1% will rule.

•Progressives 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 the rich and the rest.

•Austerity is the government’s method for widening the Gap between the rich and the rest.

•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..

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

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