Beating down the poor to benefit the economy

Do you believe that the poor are born lazy, stay lazy, and are devoid of the desire to lift themselves out of poverty?County struggling to find workers for hurricane shelters - South Florida  Sun Sentinel - South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Do you believe that success has nothing to do with luck and opportunity, but rather is a function of innate character, which the poor lack?

Do you believe that benefits to the poor dissuade the poor from working and serving the rich?

Do you find yourself agreeing with comments such as, “Don’t increase unemployment benefits; the people never will go back to work.” “Stop welfare payments; they keep people lazing at home.”

Do you believe the poor must be whipped, like reluctant beasts of burden, so that “someone” will pick up the garbage or dig the ditches?

If these are your beliefs, be aware that your notion is a function of:

Gap Psychology describes the common desire to distance oneself from those below, on any social scale, and to come nearer to those above. 

Among the prime victims of Gap Psychology are the homeless, who widely are thought to deserve their plight, or worse yet, actually wish to be homeless.

The above beliefs provide the “have-mores” with ready excuses for not assisting the “have-lesses.”

Whether or not these are your beliefs, you may find the excerpts from the following article fascinating:

Surprising silver lining
In fight against homelessness, hotel settings could be a game-changing model, By Charles J. Johnson, Chicago Tribune

When COVID-19 halted the world a little more than a year ago, one group of people appeared to be particularly vulnerable to this new, little-understood coronavirus: the homeless.

Often suffering from poor health and packed head-to-foot in shelters — known as congregate housing — homeless individuals were one of several groups of people who, it was feared, would be decimated by the spread of COVID-19.

While those experiencing homelessness did suffer COVID’s aggressive spread initially, a silver lining has emerged out of the deadly pandemic.

Hotels, abandoned by business travelers and tourists, were used to house people who would otherwise be sleeping in congregate shelters or on pads arranged on the floor of a church basement.

If we provide the homeless with hotel rooms, do you believe they never will go to work?

Social service agencies, doctors and those who stayed in the hotels are now calling it a game-changing model for how to stabilize people experiencing homelessness and get them into permanent housing and off the street for good.

Equipped with a flood of private donations, CARES Act funds and FEMA dollars, local nonprofits and governments — including Chicago and Cook County — were able to house more than a thousand people in these hotel settings.

Private donations should not be necessary.

The federal government, having unlimited funds, should provide state and local organizations with sufficient money to pursue this partial solution to poverty.

Not only is federal support not constrained by money support, but the support stimulates the entire economy.

Nia Tavoularis of Connections for the Homeless in Evanston, a social service
agency, calls the practice of hotel sheltering “revolutionary … an absolutely new frontier.”

Now, agencies and municipalities in Chicago and across the country are looking to acquire hotels, some on the verge of bankruptcy after more than a year with few paying guests, or buildings that could be converted to “hotel-style” shelters.

A battle has erupted in Texas over a plan to convert a former hotel into permanent supportive housing. Oregon is looking to spend as much as $65 million to buy 20 underused hotels, enough for roughly 2,000 people. In California, the practice has been hailed as a success in a state that constantly battles homelessness in its major cities.

While it might seem obvious that it’s preferable to sleep in comfy sheets with cable TV than on a pad, it’s not the creature comforts experts say are revolutionary.

Before we resume sneering at the poor as useless, lazy takers, only too willing to live off the public, let’s examine reality.

The vast majority of the homeless do not wish to be homeless, and it is not character flaws that have made them homeless. Fate and circumstance have dealt them blows from which they do not know how to recover.

Becoming homeless is like falling into a deep hole, from which even the most strenuous effort cannot extricate you:

Those in shelters often face a series of intersecting hurdles before they can find stable employment and housing or access government services:

Some shelters will take only men or women, meaning homeless families are sometimes unable to be housed together. A daughter caring for her elderly father or a mother caring for male teens might be separated.

Many shelters close during the day, requiring residents to leave during typical office hours. Try navigating the secretary of state or Cook County court system with a social worker at 9 p.m.

Doctors and nurses aren’t easily able to treat patients, who often suffer from diabetes, hypertension, substance abuse disorder and mental health conditions.

Patients and providers aren’t able to return to the same shelter night after night and an expensive cycle of emergency room visit-shelter-ER is common.

Permanent housing opportunities dry up if caseworkers can’t quickly reach their clients, extending one’s stay on the streets or forcing them into housing that might not be close to work and family support or isn’t handicap accessible.

Many of the homeless have the potential to benefit society, but society puts obstacles in their way. Just one of many examples:

Qwandra Drummer was trying to study for the Illinois bar exam in February 2020 when a worker at a shelter yanked her laptop’s power cord out of the wall. Drummer wasn’t allowed to use the facility’s electricity to charge computer devices.

“I was begging, crying,” Drummer said. “I said ‘can you not understand what I’m trying to do’?

She said, ‘I don’t care what you’re studying for, you cannot use our electricity.’

Drummer, raising six children, graduated with a degree in engineering. She grew up around the now-demolished Robert Taylor homes and Wentworth Gardens on Chicago’s South Side.

She jokes about failing the “foreseeability test” she learned about in law school.

As COVID-19 began to creep into Chicago, she grew scared for her family and bought a tent, a radio and other camping supplies, fearing they would have to live outside. 

Instead, Drummer was placed at the Hilton Garden Inn and the Orrington Hotel in Evanston, where her kids were able to e-learn in a space with two bathrooms, two bedrooms and a living room.

Meals from local restaurants were delivered “with a smile” three times a day, and Connections staff brought clothes, toiletries and games for the kids. One of Drummer’s children is autistic and blankets help. They found an extra thick one for her.

The kids weren’t the only ones studying and taking tests online. Drummer had plenty of electricity for bar exam prep. She passed and was admitted in January.

The example is instructive of the superiority of the hotel system, advocates say. A family was able to stay together. Service providers were able to quickly and diligently meet individual health needs.

And the dignity of a warm bed and some privacy put a bounce in the family matriarch, who gained a major credential she can now use in her job hunt.Porter Ranch Families Living Out Of Hotel Rooms Adjust To 'New Normal' –  CBS Los Angeles

After a stay from April to August, Drummer and family moved into market-rate housing.

Let us not forget that many of the homeless are children, doomed to lives of failure through no fault of their own.

These children have been denied the possibility of becoming productive Americans, who would benefit the nation. How many? We never will know. 

Clearly though, they were not born to fail. They were thrust into a failure box, and once there, we the “haves” helped put a lid on their box making escape unlikely.

The Strange Benefits of the Pandemic

Despite its horrors, the pandemic was not all bad. It had a few, unforeseen benefits.

The pandemic helped us rid ourselves of the worst President in American history, a man who tried to end American democracy, and to become a dictator. 

The pandemic dramatically reduced the world’s air and water pollution by forcing us, and teaching us, to work at home. Though many will return to the old, energy-consuming, tie-cosuming “travel-miles-to-and-from-work,” many will not.

The “hotel revolution” would not have been possible without the pandemic. The rooms would not have been so available, nor would the public funds to pay for them, and hoteliers wouldn’t have had the financial incentive to take in those experiencing homelessness.

In Chicago, occupancy rates at hotels in February 2021 stood at 20%, down from nearly 60% at the same time last year as coronavirus was beginning to ramp up.

As hotels fill back up, the industry isn’t expecting a return to pre-pandemic profitability before 2024 — some propose acquiring hotels that closed, or that owners are looking to sell, and convert them into permanent shelters.

While the investment required to create the fixed-site facilities may cause sticker shock for some taxpayers, advocates point to studies that find the public costs of servicing homelessness — ER visits, police and EMS services — can be higher than simply paying for housing.

Yes, sticker shock for state and local government taxpayers. but if the federal government funds these efforts, no tax dollars would be used. Federal taxes do not fund federal spending.

The majority of the money for the hotels ultimately came from the federal government in the form of the CARES Act and reimbursements from FEMA.

President Joe Biden signed an executive order saying FEMA will continue to reimburse hotel stays for those at risk of COVID-19 because of homelessness through September, and has instructed the agency to reimburse hotel stays retroactively at 100%, up from the 75% the Trump administration ordered.

And now, if only Joe Biden would stop asking “Who will pay for it?” when referring to federal programs. The answer to the question is, “The federal government creates all the dollars needed, each time it pays a bill.

Biden never asked that question when the first trillions of stimulus dollars were spent, but now oddly, he has become a debt hawk, and for no good reason. 

“For suburban Cook County, we’ve been very fortunate that Cook County has some very good people in its planning department who’ve made it work so we can pay for the hotels.”

For all the anger over COVID lockdowns and elected officials violating their own public health advice, service providers generally spoke glowingly of the speed and effort the city and Cook County showed in working with them throughout the pandemic, especially in early days.

“The relationship with the county saved the day. It kept us alive emotionally, financially.”

We love to hate government workers. Trump referred to them as “the swamp.” 

But the vast majority are hard workers, sincerely trying to do a good job. The real swamp was composed of the miscreants hired by Trump and his gang.

IN SUMMARY

The poor are not to be despised. They are people, young, old, smart, not so smart, but they are just people. They have children and dreams for those children. And the children too have dreams.

The homeless are a largely untapped resource, that if given the chance, can become an important asset for America.

The federal government has the unlimited ability to help pull the homeless out of poverty and into productivity.

We have only to believe it can be done, and to give these people the means and the opportunity to succeed.

 

…………………………………………………………………………

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell 

[ Monetary Sovereignty, Twitter: @rodgermitchell, Search: #monetarysovereignty Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell ]

THE SOLE PURPOSE OF GOVERNMENT IS TO IMPROVE AND PROTECT THE LIVES OF THE PEOPLE. The most important problems in economics involve:

  • Monetary Sovereignty describes money creation and destruction.
  • Gap Psychology describes the common desire to distance oneself from those “below” in any socio-economic ranking, and to come nearer those “above.” The socio-economic distance is referred to as “The Gap.”

Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics. Implementation of Monetary Sovereignty and The Ten Steps To Prosperity can grow the economy and narrow the Gaps: Ten Steps To Prosperity:

  1. Eliminate FICA
  2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D, plus long-term care — for everyone
  3. Social Security for all
  4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone
  5. Salary for attending school
  6. Eliminate federal taxes on business
  7. Increase the standard income tax deduction, annually.
  8. Tax the very rich (the “.1%”) more, with higher progressive tax rates on all forms of income.
  9. Federal ownership of all banks
  10. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99.9% 

 

The Ten Steps will grow the economy and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest. 

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

The strange line from Trump through Taiwan to Gaetz

After ethics backlash over Ivanka Trump's posts about Goya beans, her father posts, too - ABC News
The President of the United States at work.

Trump was both an American creation and an ongoing disaster for America and for the world.

America’s “religious” right voted for Trump despite his being perhaps the least religious, the least moral person ever to sit behind the Resolute Desk.

Seventy million Americans voted for Trump despite his global warming denial that is destroying life on this planet.

Increased heat makes some geography unlivable, even for humans.

Rising ocean levels, greater storm intensity, and the combination of floods and droughts impact us all, including the very people who support Trump.

His abrupt exit from a solemn pact has led Iran to accelerate efforts to build the bomb and the ballistic missiles to carry it.

Trump’s actions have taught the world not to trust agreements with America.

Trump encouraged an attempted coup in the halls of Congress, yet the self-proclaimed uber-patriotic, flag-waving GOP — Graham, Cruz, Gaetz, Nunes, Desantis, Collins et al — to slavishly adore him.

So, as a warning to future generations, I would love to document all of Trump’s deranged incompetence.

Sadly, I have neither the energy nor the years ahead of me to engage in such a gargantuan task.

Here are just hints of what could be a very lengthy tome.

Trump appointees blocked EPA from probing local polluters, By Michael Hawthorne Chicago Tribune
Political appointees in the Trump administration blocked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from investigating ethylene oxide polluters and prevented career staff from warning thousands of Americans who live near sources of the cancer-causing gas, according to a scathing new report from the agency’s inspector general.
On multiple occasions, the inspector general found that, Trump political appointees in Washington ordered staff in the EPA’s Chicago office to dramatically scale back efforts to understand the dangers of ethylene oxide.
“They prevented the agency from protecting these communities,” said Nicole Cantello, president of American Federation of Government Employees.
More than a half-million Americans exposed to toxic air pollution face unacceptable cancer risks, according to EPA data.
Ethylene oxide is the chief chemical of concern.
The EPA’s top representative, Bill Wehrum repeatedly promised the Trump administration was moving aggressively to protect the community. But, behind the scenes, Wehrum banned staff in the agency’s regional office from inspecting other ethylene oxide polluters unless asked to do so by state officials.
The inspector general also found that Wehrum and other senior political aides ordered the EPA’s regional office to take down a website outlining health risks from ethylene oxide.
State Sen. John Curran, a Downers Grove Republican. “The U.S. EPA … failed at every turn, and instead placed thousands of area residents in danger.”

Trump has a history of appointing agency heads who not only are incompetent and even criminal, but who oppose the ostensible mission of the agency.

Just one example: The head of Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency was the notorious, anti-environmentalist Scott Pruitt, exactly the person you don’t want protecting your children and grandchildren.

And when Pruitt was forced out in disgrace, who did Trump hire to protect our air and water but the coal lobbyist, Andrew Wheeler.

And then there was: Trump vs. Taiwan vs. COVID-19

How Taiwan Beat COVID-19 – New Study Reveals Clues to its Success
Posted on April 18, 2021 by Jerri-Lynn Scofield By Patricia Fitzpatrick, Full Professor of Epidemiology & Biomedical Statistics, University College Dublin, Originally published at The Conversation.
Taiwan has been widely applauded for its management of the pandemic, with one of the lowest per capita COVID-19 rates in the world and life on the island largely returning to normal.

Taiwan’s population is 23.3 million. The U.S. under Trump had a massively higher, per capita COVID-19 rate, and life is nowhere near returning to normal.

Just 11 people have died from COVID-19 in Taiwan since the pandemic began, an impressive feat for a country that never went into lockdown.

Trump repeatedly denied COVID-19 even was a problem. Who could forget, “Like magic, it will just go away”?

At the start of the pandemic, Taiwan was considered a high-risk country for COVID-19 due to its proximity to China and the frequent travel that takes place between the two countries.
The Taiwanese government acted quickly to close its borders.
It set up a Central Epidemic Command Centre on January 20 2020 to coordinate cooperation across different government ministries and agencies, and between government and businesses.

By contrast, Trump threw away all the pandemic plans Obama left for him, and didn’t create new ones.

And for months, he kept denying it was even a pandemic.

A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association has examined further just why Taiwan did so well at conquering COVID-19.
The study compared the estimated effectiveness of two types of COVID-19 policy in the early months of the pandemic: case-based and population-based measures.
Case-based measures include the detection of infected people through testing, isolation of positive cases, contact tracing and 14-day quarantining of close contacts.

By contrast, Trump ran super-spreader parties.

The population-based measures included face mask policies, and social distancing.

Trump discouraged face masks and social distancing.

Even to this day, despite all available evidence, America’s Trump followers consider face masks and social distancing to be an affront to their “freedom” and evidence of disloyalty to Trump.

The effects of these policies were quantified by estimating the effective reproduction number (R number).

The R number is a way of rating an infectious disease’s ability to spread – it represents the average number of people that one infected person will pass a virus onto.

An R number of greater than 1 means the virus will continue to spread and outbreaks will continue.

An R number below 1 means that case numbers will start to reduce.

A study found that the case-based policies alone, like contact tracing and quarantining, could lower the R number from 2.5 to 1.53.

Quarantine contributed the most to lowering the R number. Population-based policies like social distancing and face masks, meanwhile, reduced the R number from 2.5 to 1.3.

Trump claimed face masks, social distancing, and quarantining were violations of “freedom.” So his follower became really free: They died, the ultimate freedom.

The authors concluded that it was the combination of case-based and population-based policies, along with widespread adherence, that led to Taiwan’s success in containing COVID.

What did Trump do to fight COVID? He insulted the doctors who told the nation that hydroxychloroquine and bleach were not the answers.

Then, after disclaiming the seriousness of the pandemic, Trump falsely claimed he had been responsible for the development of vaccines, while repeatedly ran and encouraged maskless, superspreader events, that resulted in hundreds of thousands of unnecessary American deaths.

No other traitor in American history has been responsible for as many American deaths as has Donald Trump.

That said, the political news is not all bad. The GOP now has discovered sex trafficking and conjugating with hookers is outrageous — not for Trump, of course; nothing is bad for him — but for Matt Gaetz.

In defense of Gaetz, he didn’t kill half a million Americans with his incompetence, and he didn’t lead an attempted insurrection at Congress.

This is the defense Gaetz’s lawyers should present to the judge and jury: “He only did what Trump did, and nowhere near as bad.”

If the jury is packed with Trump’s followers, they might just go along with that.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

[ Monetary Sovereignty, Twitter: @rodgermitchell, Search: #monetarysovereignty Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell ]

THE SOLE PURPOSE OF GOVERNMENT IS TO IMPROVE AND PROTECT THE LIVES OF THE PEOPLE. The most important problems in economics involve:

  • Monetary Sovereignty describes money creation and destruction.
  • Gap Psychology describes the common desire to distance oneself from those “below” in any socio-economic ranking, and to come nearer those “above.” The socio-economic distance is referred to as “The Gap.”

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

Implementation of Monetary Sovereignty and The Ten Steps To Prosperity can grow the economy and narrow the Gaps: Ten Steps To Prosperity:

  1. Eliminate FICA
  2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D, plus long-term care — for everyone
  3. Social Security for all
  4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone
  5. Salary for attending school
  6. Eliminate federal taxes on business
  7. Increase the standard income tax deduction, annually.
  8. Tax the very rich (the “.1%”) more, with higher progressive tax rates on all forms of income.
  9. Federal ownership of all banks
  10. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99.9% 

 

The Ten Steps will grow the economy and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest.

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

 

 

The dirty little secret of federal finances is even revealed on your tax return.

Inflation (blue line) is caused by shortages of oil, leading to price increases (red and green lines).

Let’s set the stage for that secret with a typically misleading article.

The following is THE WEEK magazine’s summary of an article that appeared in the Washington Post.

See whether you can locate the two words that are not just misleading but utterly wrong:

Taxing “the rich” won’t suffice, Henry Olsen, The Washington Post
“Progressives are afraid of taxes,” said Henry Olsen. To pay for trillion-dollar stimulus and infrastructure plans and expand the social safety net, Democrats always say they’re limiting their tax hike to “the rich.’
But “the trouble for the Left is that you can’t pay for the government they want by taxing only the rich.”
Every social democracy in the world has far higher tax rates for the middle class than the U.S. Canada pays for its single-payer health-care system and an extensive social safety net with a national 5 percent sales tax, provincial sales taxes of up to another 10 percent, and a top income tax rate in Ontario of 46.13 percent on income of more than $175,000.
In the U.K., taxpayers get hit with a 40 percent tax on incomes of just $52,100, and 45 percent at $208,600. That comes on top of a 20 percent value-added tax on all goods and services , and a $3-per-gallon gas tax.
In Denmark, the top tax rate of 55.9 percent kicks in at $86,500, and there’s a 2.5 percent falue-added tax.
If progressives want “a social democratic utopia,” tehy’ll have to persuade middle-class Americans “to pony and pay for it.”

O.K., I made it too simple for you clever readers. The words, of course, are “pay for,” because:

Federal taxes do not pay for federal spending.

As former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said,

“There is nothing to prevent the federal government from creating as much money as it wants and paying it to somebody.”

And Greenspan wasn’t the only one. As former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said,

“The U.S. government has a technology called a printing press (or its electronic equivalent) that allows it to produce as many U.S. dollars as it wishes, at essentially no cost.”

So, since the U.S. government can create as much money as it wants, at essentially no cost, and pay it to somebody, why in the world would the government use tax dollars for that purpose?

Not only do federal taxes not pay for federal spending, but no form of federal government income pays for anything. 

For instance, when you or your accountant filed your tax return, did you notice this little box? You, having a reasonable command of English, may think this means there is something called a “Presidential Election Campaign” fund, and by checking the box(es) you are directing the government to send $3 to this fund.

Notice that you are told, “Checking a box below will not change your tax or refund.

“Hey, wait!” you cry. “Even if such a fund exists, where would the $3 come from? If it won’t come from me, and if it won’t come from my taxes. So where?”

Answer: It comes from the same place all federal payments come from: The federal government creates all payments from thin air by arbitrarily first creating a bookkeeping line, in this case called “Presidential Election Campaign,” and then, also arbitrarily increasing the total on that line, whenever it wishes.

You see, money is not a physical thing. All dollars are created by arbitrary laws, and merely are numbers on someone’s books, most often owned by a financial institution like a bank, a securities brokerage, a credit card company, etc.

Federal dollars are numbers on the federal government’s books, over which the federal government uniquely has 100% control.

No, those green pieces of paper in your wallet are not dollars. They are dollar bills. Dollar bills are titles to dollars. They are evidences that you own dollars, which are numbers on federal balance sheets.

Just as a house title is not a house, and a car title is not a car, a dollar bill is not a dollar. It is just a title, a form of contract between you and the federal government which essentially says, “The bearer of this bill owns one dollar.”

Laws forbid banks, brokerages, and credit card companies from arbitrarily entering any notation on their books at whim. But no law restricts our Monetarily Sovereign federal government from doing exactly that.

It’s what the word “Sovereign” means. Why? Because the federal government “owns” all laws regarding its sovereign currency, the U.S. dollar.

Remember Alan Greenspan’s phrase, “creating as much money as it wants”?

Remember Ben Bernanke’s phrase, “as many U.S. dollars as it wishes”?

That’s Monetary Sovereignty. The federal government, being the inventor and issuer of the U.S. dollar, can do anything it wishes on its books.

So, with no “by your leave,” it can create an account called “Presidential Election Campaign,” and put whatever number it wishes next to that name. And that is the dirty little secret:

The federal government has absolute control over all aspects of federal finance.

It can’t run short of dollars because it creates them at will.

After you ponder that a bit, you might ask, “If the federal government creates dollars at will, why am I paying taxes?”

Good, legitimate question. You probably thought (because you were told) that the federal government collects taxes in order to pay its bills.

That’s what Henry Olsen, of the Washington Post, seems to, or pretends to, and wants you to, think. But no, your federal taxes fund nothing.

In fact, they are destroyed upon receipt by the U.S. Treasury. The day your tax dollars are removed from your checking account, they cease to exist in any money-supply measure. Gone. Poof!

This is completely different from your state and local government tax payments. When those dollars are taken from your checking account, they are added to the state/local government’s account at a private bank. They continue to exist as part of what’s known as the M1 money supply.

The U.S. federal government is not constrained by anything regarding U.S. dollars. It can create them and destroy them at will. It can revalue or devalue the dollar, whenever it wishes. It can change the terms of its contract with you, the bearer of dollar bills, simply by passing a law.

The federal government has the legal power to do anything it wishes regarding U.S. money.

Compare that with the monetarily non-sovereign states, counties, cities, villages, and businesses. They don’t have that legal power, nor do you.

GOP leader John Boehner famously said, “We are broke,” referring to the U.S. debt.  He was lying. But, even those who dismissed his lie, did so with another lie that “federal debt is projected to shrink.”

That is not the reason we aren’t “broke.” Federal debt has nothing to do with the federal government’s ability to pay its bills. The reason we aren’t broke is that we create dollars, ad hoc, every time we pay a bill.

And by the way, the federal “debt,” isn’t even a debt. It’s more like a safe-deposit box, where dollars are held in accounts that never are touched. So when President Obama said the following, he either was ignorant or lying:

We need to reduce the deficit by $4 trillion. So what choices are we going to make to reach that goal?
Either we ask the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share in taxes, or we’re going to have to ask seniors to pay more for Medicare. We can’t afford to do both.  
Either we gut education and medical research, or we’ve got to reform the tax code so that the most profitable corporations have to give up tax loopholes that other companies don’t get. We can’t afford to do both.  
It’s math. The money is going to have to come from someplace. And if we’re not willing to ask those who’ve done extraordinarily well to help America close the deficit and we are trying to reach that same target of $4 trillion, then the logic, the math says everybody else has to do a whole lot more:
We’ve got to put the entire burden on the middle class and the poor. We’ve got to scale back on the investments that have always helped our economy grow.
We’ve got to settle for second-rate roads and second-rate bridges and second-rate airports, and schools that are crumbling.
I will veto any bill that changes benefits for those who rely on Medicare but does not raise serious revenues by asking the wealthiest Americans or biggest corporations to pay their fair share. 

Ignorant or lying? I personally believe the man was lying through his teeth. He must have known this line, “We can’t afford to do both,” was an outright lie.

After all, Ben (“. . . produce as many dollars as it wishes”) Bernanke was the Fed Chairman during Obama’s term. Are we to believe these men didn’t communicate?

State and local government taxes fund state and local government spending. But, the sole financial purpose of federal taxes is to help the federal government control the economy, not to obtain spending money for the government.

The government can tax what it wants to discourage, and it can give tax breaks to what it wants to encourage. Period.

There is one other purpose — a not directly financial purpose — for federal taxes, and it is the reason the politicians, the media, and the economist try to keep secret from you: The very rich run America, and the very rich do not want you to narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between you and the very rich.

The wider the Gap, the richer they are, but your receiving federal benefits would narrow the Gap. The rich want you to believe the government can’t afford to give you things like Medicare for All, Social Security for All, College Education for All, better housing, better food, better neighborhoods — all the things that separate the very rich from you.

It’s called Gap Psychology: The desire to distance oneself from those below you on any social scale.

So the rich bribe politicians via political contributions and promises of lucrative employment.

And the rich bribe the media via advertising dollars and outright media ownership.

And the rich bribe the university economists via donations to universities and lucrative jobs on think tanks.

Almost all your sources of information are either bribed by the rich or are brainwashing those who are not bribed.

They lie, to make you think the government is short of dollars.

They lie, to make you think the federal “debt” is, like real debts, a burden on the government and will be paid by you and your children.

They lie, to make you think the federal deficit is something other than a benefit to you.

And now, as you read this, President Biden wishes to pump another $2 trillion into the economy, while the GOP wishes to cut back the amount you receive — for no good reason — and both lie that taxes will have to pay for it.

And on top of those lies, they also lie that federal spending causes inflation, when in fact the only thing that causes inflation is shortages, most often shortages of oil or food.

It’s all a dirty little secret, a lie, the Big Lie.

And so long as you and the public believe it, the Gap between you and the rich will continue to widen.

Now that you know the dirty little secret, what are you going to do about it?

I asked, What Are You Going To Do About It?

…………………………………………………………………………

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell [ Monetary Sovereignty, Twitter: @rodgermitchell, Search: #monetarysovereignty Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell ]

THE SOLE PURPOSE OF GOVERNMENT IS TO IMPROVE AND PROTECT THE LIVES OF THE PEOPLE. The most important problems in economics involve:

  • Monetary Sovereignty describes money creation and destruction.
  • Gap Psychology describes the common desire to distance oneself from those “below” in any socio-economic ranking, and to come nearer those “above.” The socio-economic distance is referred to as “The Gap.”

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

Implementation of Monetary Sovereignty and The Ten Steps To Prosperity can grow the economy and narrow the Gaps: Ten Steps To Prosperity:

  1. Eliminate FICA
  2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D, plus long-term care — for everyone
  3. Social Security for all
  4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone
  5. Salary for attending school
  6. Eliminate federal taxes on business
  7. Increase the standard income tax deduction, annually.
  8. Tax the very rich (the “.1%”) more, with higher progressive tax rates on all forms of income.
  9. Federal ownership of all banks
  10. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99.9% 

 

The Ten Steps will grow the economy and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest.

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

 

Do these lines move together, randomly, or in opposition? What is your opinion?

Would you say these lines move together?   That is, when one goes up, does the other also go up?

Or, do they move randomly, so that when one goes up, the other sometimes goes up and sometimes goes down?

Or do they move in opposition, so that when one goes up, the other goes down? What is your opinion?

I ask because these two lines demonstrate one of the beliefs-vs.-facts arguments we seem to endure all too often in economics. Perhaps because economics is intertwined with psychology, a science notable for guesses trumping facts — or lack of facts — that economics is so filled with myths.

Contrary to popular belief, which is taught in our schools by educated economists, here are some of the facts that are not taught:

Federal “debt” is not real debt. The federal government does not owe it.

The federal debt is infinitely sustainable. Federal “deficits” are economic gains.

The federal government neither needs, keeps, nor uses federal tax dollars or any other form of income.

The federal government cannot run short of dollars. The federal government creates new dollars, ad hoc, by spending.

The federal government does not borrow. T-bills, et al, do not provide the government with dollars. “How will you pay for it” never is a legitimate question regarding federal spending initiatives.

Gold is not, and never has been money. It is, and always has been, nothing but an ore. Federal government spending grows the economy. State/local government spending does not.

The debt ceiling does not put a ceiling on federal debt. Federal “trust funds” are not trust funds and they do not pay for federal spending.

Lately, because of massive spending by the federal government, you have begun to hear about the menace of inflation. The wrong belief is that federal spending causes inflation by increasing the money supply. It’s what you have been told thousands of times.

And it makes intuitive sense. After all, when you increase the supply of something without increasing the demand, the relative value declines. And you surely have seen photos of people, in hyperinflation-ravaged nations, carrying loads of currency in wheelbarrows.

But, in this case, intuition is misleading. Increasing the supply of money does not decrease its value. In the above graph, I do not see any sort of “together” movement. I do not see a cause/effect relationship.

Here is the same graph, except with labels attached. The blue line shows changes in prices. The red line shows changes in federal debt. I see peaks in one corresponding to valleys in the other.

Blue = price annual % increases. Red = federal debt annual % increases.

From the above graph, it would be very difficult to deduce that increases in federal debt cause increases in prices. In fact, a better case could be made that increases in federal debt cause a decrease in prices, and that decreases in debt caused an increase in prices.

How is that even logical? I can visualize one possibility. Federal debt, which results from federal deficit spending, stimulates the economy, i.e. it stimulates business’s anticipation of demand.

Even today, businesses are ramping up production in anticipation of increased sales due to projected federal stimulus spending. Is it possible that this anticipation causes businesses to overshoot their production, leading to excess supply and reduced prices?

Perhaps, but for whatever reasons, federal deficit spending has not caused inflation, at least, not inflation above the Fed’s arbitrary, 2% goal.

Over the long term, prices have increased. There has been some inflation. And we know that federal debt has increased. Is this the cause/effect we have been told about?

Here are the same data viewed from another perspective, and with the addition of Gross Domestic Product (green). Since 1970, prices (blue line) have risen slowly, GDP (green) has risen faster, while federal debt (red) has risen massively. This indicates three things you will not hear from the media, the politicians or the expert economists:

  1. Even during massive debt increases, prices have moved up moderately, actually below the Fed’s target.
  2. As federal debt increases, GDP grows faster than inflation.
  3. The growing debt is not a burden on the government, on taxpayers, or on the economy.

Sadly, these facts will not sway those whose motive clearly is to widen the Gap between the rich and the rest.

By claiming that federal spending to support the poor and middle-income groups is unsustainable, the purveyors of the “Big Lie” help enrich the rich and impoverish the rest. 

That is what the “Big Liars” are being paid to do. Rodger Malcolm Mitchell [ Monetary Sovereignty, Twitter: @rodgermitchell, Search: #monetarysovereignty Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell ]

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

THE SOLE PURPOSE OF GOVERNMENT IS TO IMPROVE AND PROTECT THE LIVES OF THE PEOPLE. The most important problems in economics involve:

  • Monetary Sovereignty describes money creation and destruction.
  • Gap Psychology describes the common desire to distance oneself from those “below” in any socio-economic ranking, and to come nearer those “above.” The socio-economic distance is referred to as “The Gap.”

Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics. Implementation of Monetary Sovereignty and The Ten Steps To Prosperity can grow the economy and narrow the Gaps: Ten Steps To Prosperity:

  1. Eliminate FICA
  2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D, plus long-term care — for everyone
  3. Social Security for all
  4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone
  5. Salary for attending school
  6. Eliminate federal taxes on business
  7. Increase the standard income tax deduction, annually.
  8. Tax the very rich (the “.1%”) more, with higher progressive tax rates on all forms of income.
  9. Federal ownership of all banks
  10. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99.9% 

 

The Ten Steps will grow the economy and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest.

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY