Euphemisms the rich use to enslave you Tuesday, May 23 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..
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

The desire to distance ourselves from the poor while approaching the rich is a common human affliction. It is “Gap Psychology.”

Image result for blue collar worker

Don’t want poor people moving into my neighborhood.

Thus. the very rich — the upper .1% — wish to widen the Gap between them and you. Without the Gap, no one would be rich — we all would be the same — and the wider the Gap, the richer they are.

“Rich” is a comparative. If you had $1 million, and everyone else also had $1 million, you would not be rich.  But if you had $1 hundred, and everyone else had $1, you would be rich.

There are two ways for the rich to widen the Gap, that is, to make themselves richer: Add to their wealth or subtract from yours.

Giving tax breaks to the rich is an example of adding to the wealth of the rich. Consider payroll taxes:

If your annual salary is $127K or less,  you pay more than 12% of your salary ostensibly for Social Security. (Yes, your employer pays half, but he counts this as part of your salary when calculating his costs).

If your annual salary is $500K you pay only 3%.  If your income is composed of dividends, interest, or business profits, you pay no payroll tax at all. Now that is a tax break.

As for income taxes, this post doesn’t have room to describe the many special breaks the rich receive for offshore and onshore deals.

 

Image result for very rich person

Don’t want you living in our neighborhood.

Perhaps the most insidious method the rich use for widening the Gap, is to enlist you in their efforts, that is, to make you believe the Gap should be widened. This belief protects the politicians who vote for the enrichment of the rich and for the impoverishment of the rest.

 

The federal government’s budget is heavily swayed toward anti-poverty spending.  Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other social programs, together account for the vast majority of federal spending.

So the rich want you to believe that social spending should be cut, and they do this in two ways:

  1. Tell you that the federal government is “too big,” that federal debt and deficits are “unsustainable,” and that social programs, being “unaffordable,” must be reduced, eliminated or privatized.
  2. . Tell you that those receiving social benefits are morally reprehensible “takers,” or “lazy and unmotivated.”

The notion that the federal government is “too big,” has become one of the more ludicrous mantras of the Tea Party/Libertarian/GOP. It is an idea based not on fact, but on emotional symbolism.

One Libertarian website refers to the federal government as “Leviathan,” to draw a picture in your mind of some great primeval monster gobbling up your freedoms.

Consider this article:

Mick Mulvaney says the White House’s budget proposal will help people ‘take charge of their own lives again‘ 

“We’re no longer going to measure compassion by the number of programs or the number of people on those programs, but by the number of people we help get off of those programs,” Mulvaney said. “We’re not going to measure compassion by the amount of money that we spend, but by the number of people that we help.
“That is how you can help people take charge of their own lives again.”

The right-wing tells you that financial benefits for the non-rich are like an addictive illegal drug rather than a helping hand. (By contrast, financial benefits to the rich are seen as justified.)

The GOP has no plan for helping people get off Medicaid, social services for the low-income and disabled, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. The “plan” simply is to gut these programs.

The word “help” is a euphemism meaning “force.” And as for helping people “take charge of their own lives again,” this is the right wing euphemism for tossing families into the middle of a shark-filled ocean and shouting “Swim!”

In another article, “Trump budget to cut $800B from Medicaid“:

The Trump administration stated the “budget strives to replace dependency with the dignity of work through welfare reform efforts.”

What rot! A more accurate statement would be that the Trump budget strives to replace dependency with the dignity of starvation, sickness, homelessness, and illiteracy.

There is nothing in Trump’s budget that provides dignity for anyone. It is a 100% mean-spirited, “punish-the-poor-for-being-poor” draconian document of exclusion.

And continuing:

Trump has already supported cutting Medicaid by sponsoring the GOP’s American Health Care Act.

The $193 billion cut, or 25 percent cut, to the food stamps program, called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, would be achieved by limiting eligibility for food stamps and by requiring those enrolled in the program to work.

Starving the children of the poor always has been a right-wing method for widening the Gap.

And as for requiring work, what kind of work does the government force on the rich to warrant their favorable tax treatments?

The right-wing wants you to believe that the generously bequeathed, retired, yacht-owning, beach-lounging, idle rich deserve massive benefits from the government, while the poor, for whom mere survival is a daily struggle, are sloths who deserve nothing.

Josh Archambault, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Government Accountability conservative think tank, said Trump’s proposal gives states flexibility to impose work requirements that could usher in changes to programs such as Medicaid and public housing.

“Flexibility” is another right-wing euphemism that means: The Monetarily Sovereign federal government, which can afford anything, and never will run short of money, dumps the costs of social programs onto the monetarily non-sovereign states, which are hard-pressed for dollars.

Why does the right-wing do that? Because they know the states will have to cut benefits, thereby widening the Gap.

A most disingenuous euphemism is “balanced budget.” We all need to balance our budgets, one way or another, or else we will run short of money. The federal government has no such need.

But the words “balanced budget” have such a reasonable and soothing sound, a public that doesn’t understand Monetary Sovereignty believes such a “balance” not only is prudent but necessary.

In fact, however, balancing the federal budget always results in a recession or a depression. Always. The right-wing knows this but relies on the public’s ignorance of economics to endorse a program that would destroy the American economy and especially destroy the lives of the 99.9%.

We’ll end with the observation that while euphemisms are positive, misleading code words, there also are negative, misleading code words, the most common of which are:

Federal “Debt:” Actually should be called “deposits” or “investments” and
Federal “Deficit:” Should be called economic “input.

 

If the correct words were used, the public would not be deceived. One doubts whether there would be a demand to reduce “deposits” (in the Federal Reserve Bank) or cut “investments” (in T-securities). And why would anyone want to stop economic “input”?

Bottom line: The rich run America by bribing politicians (via campaign contributions), the media (via ownership and advertising), and the economists (via university endowments and “think tanks.”)

The rich want to widen the gap between the rich and the rest. They do this partly by convincing the American voter that the poor are undeserving and can be helped only by denying them benefits (while the rich continue to reap benefits).

The fact that the electorate has voted for a Republican Congress, a Republican President, and many Republican state governors and legislatures, proves the scheme has worked.

The people, believing the euphemisms, have voted against themselves, and they will fight you if you try to tell them the truth.

The power of euphemisms is greater than the power of facts.

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

 

Privatization: Legally stealing your money Monday, May 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..
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

We repeatedly have written about government privatization, one of the great legal scams:

  1. I smell the meat a’cookin’. The new privatization scam.I smell the meat a’cookin’. The new privatization scam.
  2. TSA and the great privatization scam: Part II;
  3. Why Privatization? Here’s why;
  4. PRIVATIZATION: The Road to Perdition in the United States of Koch; Presenting!!
  5. The Great Privatization Scam!

In this context, “privatization” does not involve a government buying products or services from a supplier. Privatization does not mean buying tanks and guns from the armaments industry.

Image result for privatization

Privatization and Deregulation

 

Instead, “privatization” means turning over to a private company, a business normally owned and operated by the government.

Examples would be privately owned and operated toll roads, parking meters, and schools, grades K-12.

The excuses for privatization are the government’s need for money (never the case with the Monetarily Sovereign federal government) and the belief that a private operator will “do a better job.”

I am a businessman, now retired.  I’ve owned and managed several companies and brought at least three of them out of serious financial difficulty into financial success. And I cannot imagine why anyone would believe that private industry will “do a better job.”

And when I say “better job,” I mean a better job for the public. After all, it’s the public that is supposed to benefit from privatization.

There can be certain businesses, so specialized, that only a private company has the experience necessary to run them, but even in most of these cases, the private company can be hired as an advisor, not as an investor.

Other than that, people are people; the private sector has no monopoly on brains. It all boils down to the motivation of the leaders, and in the private sector, the motive is profits. Service is provided only when it will produce profits.

In previous posts, we discussed how Chicago’s Mayor Daley sold the city’s parking meters at a small fraction of their value, thereby cheating Chicagoans out of 99 years worth of income. The new owners promptly raised parking prices, cheating Chicagoans further.

We also discussed Mayor Daley’s sale of a toll road. Same thing happened: Worse service and higher prices.

And, we have discussed privatized prisons, where inmates are treated worse and fed less because the owners skimped on salaries and food.

And now we come to new examples of privatization:

Chicago Shows How Charter School Profiteering Bleeds Public Schools With No Performance Improvement and Higher Segregation

Chicago’s public school system has become a showcase for the negative effects of K-12 privatization, according to a new report that tracks how the city replaced struggling local schools with dozens of charters that didn’t perform better, yet deprived traditional schools of funds, students, and public accountability.

The report, “Closed by Choice: The Spatial Relationship between Charter School Expansion, School Closures and Fiscal Stress in Chicago Public Schools,” tracks 108 charter schools that opened between 2000 and 2015, a period when Chicago Public Schools (CPS) was shutting struggling schools, cutting district funding and reducing staff.

It details and confirms what many charter critics have long said, that lobbying from pro-privatization forces swayed the city’ political leaders to impose top-down reforms that riled neighborhoods, undermined traditional K-12 schools, increased segregation and did not lead to schools with better academic results.

In Chicago, and perhaps in your area, “lobbying” is a synonym for bribery. Charter schools are a big, profitable business, and convincing the pols to vote for them is a matter of dollars exchanging hands.

Perhaps most insidiously, the report describes in great detail how the CPS system aggressively shut down struggling schools in neighborhoods where student numbers were dwindling, while allowing better-funded charters to open up nearby, taking a greater share of taxpayer funds that might have been used to rescue struggling schools.

Being privately owned does not magically create a motive for providing better education. The real motive is profits, and the drive for profits does not create better teachers, better curricula, or better facilities.  Quite the opposite.

Here is an outline from the article:

1. CPS charters are privately run. Charters do not have to abide to the same accountability and transparency standards that public schools are expected to follow. Charters are largely autonomous from the Chicago Board of Education, CPS central office mandates, elected Local School Councils, and public accountability standards regulating traditional public schools.”

2. The city shut under-used schools. The Chicago Board of Education (CBOE) closed schools with fewer students than might otherwise be optimal, and then situated new charters in those same neighborhoods.

3. The mayor sided with billionaire privateers. The report describes how the city’s political elite fell under the spell of the charter industry’s billionaire sponsors.

4. Many charter impacts, starting with more segregation. The report found what is often the case in communities with charters; that they lead to more segregated schools, as low-income parents seeking the best for their kids respond to industry marketing efforts. The schools, in turn, cherry-pick students, which means they are frequently rejecting special needs children, whether those with disabilities or whose primary language is not English.

5. Charter academics no better than public schools. While there have been charter success stories, the industry as a whole has not met its over-hyped results. In the aggregate, Chicago’s charter and neighborhood public schools have similar levels of student test performance.”

6. Charters seriously disrupt neighborhoods. This finding is the one that most often gets overlooked. Instead of taking steps to improve struggling schools, the city imposed a heavy-handed solution that in many cases did not even include serving the neighborhood’s children.

7. Charters undermining surrounding K-12 schools. This pattern is not unique to Chicago, but it’s happening on a large scale there. Because the city placed its charters in neighborhoods with shrinking student populations, they are drawing some students away from nearby traditional schools. That, in turn, undermines programs in those traditional schools by virtue of diverted per-pupil taxpayer funding.

To no one’s surprise, the GOP has placed a charter school advocate, billionaire Republican donor Betsy DeVos to serve as Secretary of Education. Donald Trump’s rich friends must be pleased.

We also have discussed the disgraceful student loan situation, in which middle and lower income families are doomed to endless servitude by their desire to give their children the same educational advantages the rich kids receive.

For a Monetarily Sovereign government, a government that never can run short of its sovereign currency, the dollar, there never is a need to lend dollars to its citizens, when it can and should give those dollars.

But, the federal government’s lending of its sovereign currency is not the worst of the student loan debacle:

Trump to offer exclusive contract to service U.S. student loans 
By Lisa Lambert

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump’s administration will soon offer an exclusive contract that will give one company the right to service billions of dollars of outstanding federal student loans now handled by four companies, officials said on Friday.

Under President Obama, much of the $1.3 trillion business of student lending was moved from banks and other companies to the federal government.

Four companies still handle servicing the loans. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a consumer financial watchdog agency, is fighting one debt servicer in court over allegations the company deceived borrowers about repayment options and their rights.

DeVos wrote the Obama administration’s servicing requirements created a “chaotic system” that generated numerous consumer complaints and was not sustainable. She added the single servicer will establish a user platform and a standardized process for handling customer calls.

But Natalia Abrams, executive director of the advocacy group Student Debt Crisis, said, “With zero competition, we are concerned about a ‘too big to fail’ student loan company that has zero incentive to work for students, borrowers, and their families,”  she said.

Trump recently lifted limits on fees debt collectors can charge some defaulted borrowers. The Washington Post has reported he eliminated a program that erases student debt for public-sector workers after 10 years of payments.

“The changes will certainly increase profits for the industry, but will do nothing to tame the high levels of default in the program,” said Rohit Chopra, senior fellow at the Consumer Federation of America and former CFPB assistant director.

The CFPB says 1.2 million student-loan borrowers have defaulted in the past year and 90 percent of the highest-risk borrowers are not enrolled in affordable repayment plans, even though student-loan companies are supposed to inform borrowers about them.

Let’s put it all together:

  1. Rather that provide free education, the government provides loans, thus indebting lower-income students and their families and discouraging college attendance by the poor.
  2. Most student loans, unlike most loans, cannot be discharged in bankruptcy, which hurts the lower income groups.
  3. The Republicans want one private company to have a monopoly on servicing the loans. The rich love monopolies.
  4. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)  is fighting a private company that is alleged to have deceived borrowers about their rights.
  5. President Trump wishes to restrict the power of the CFPB, an important defender of lower-income people.
  6.  President Trump also lifted limits on fees debt collectors can charge, forcing the lower incomes to pay more.
  7. President Trump eliminated a program that erases student debt for public-sector workers after 10 years of payments.
  8. Most of the highest-risk borrowers are not enrolled in affordable repayment plans, even though student-loan companies are supposed to inform borrowers about them.

If you were a politician who wishes to afford every possible advantage to the rich, and every possible disadvantage to the poor, you couldn’t come up with a better program than the one described here.

Student loans is privatization on steroids. 

The entire, GOP’s historical push for “small government” is based on taking wealth from the middle and poor, and giving wealth to the wealthy. (Example:  GOP President G.W. Bush’s attempt to privatize Social Security.)

Unless you’re in the upper .1% income/wealth/power group, do not fall for the Tea Party/Libertarian/Republican small-government, privatization line. Small government and privatization always benefit the rich and punish the rest.

When you hear a pol talk about small government and privatization, ask yourself just one question: Who is bribing this guy?

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

Would you rather have a job or equally-paying unemployment? Saturday, May 20 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..
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

If ever you have wondered about the differences between Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) and Monetary Sovereignty (MS), the title question provides a good clue.

While MMT and MS are built on the same factual foundation —  i.e. federal taxes do not fund federal spending — the two economic philosophies diverge by what they suggest be done with that information.

MMT believes there is an unemployment problem while MS believes the corresponding problem actually is a lack of money.

Thus, MMT proposes to solve the unemployment problem via a Jobs Guarantee program in which the federal government guarantees a job to anyone who wants one.

Image result for bad job

Don’t give me money. I prefer “the dignity of work.”

 

MS, by contrast, proposes the Ten Steps to Prosperity, with most of the Steps directly or indirectly addressing the lack-of-money problem without the need for the federal government to provide jobs.

Interestingly, “MMTers” generally subscribe to a minimum wage, which clearly is a money problem, while the objections to a minimum wage are the potential for it to cause unemployment.

Thus, MMT seems to acknowledge that unemployment really is a money problem, but insists the money problem must be solved with jobs.

This all came to mind when I read a few excerpts from the following article referencing the Center for American Progress:

Toward a Jobs Guarantee at the Center for American Progress (!)
Posted on May 17, 2017 by Lambert Strether

How would the JG work from the perspective of a working person (not an owner?) Or from the perspective of the millions of permanently disemployed? The MMT Primer:

If you are involuntarily unemployed today (or are stuck with a part-time job when you really want to work full time) you only have three choices:

1. Employ yourself (create your own business—something that usually goes up in recessions although most of these businesses fail)
2. Convince an employer to hire you, adding to the firm’s workforce
3. Convince an employer to replace an existing worker, hiring you

It is the “dogs and bones” problem: if you bury 9 bones and send 10 dogs out to go bone-hunting you know at least one dog will come back “empty mouthed”. You can take that dog and teach her lots of new tricks in bone-finding, but if you bury only 9 bones, again, some unlucky dog comes back without a bone.

The only solution is to provide a 10th bone. That is what the JG does: it ensures a bone for every dog that wants to hunt.

It expands the options to include:

There is a “residual” employer who will always provide a job to anyone who shows up ready and willing to work.

It expands choice. If you want to work and exhaust the first 3 alternatives listed above, there is a 4th: the JG.

MMT sees the problem as not just “unemployment,” but “involuntary unemployment,” so naturally its solution becomes “employment.” They’ve indicated the solution by their statement of the problem.

But why is the problem “involuntary unemployment” rather than simply lack of money? Here is the answer given in the article:

Research by Pavlina Tcherneva and Rania Antonopoulos indicates that when asked, most people want to work.

Studying how job guarantees affect women in poor countries, they find the programs are popular largely because they recognize—and more fairly distribute and compensate—all the child- and elder care that is now often performed by women for free (out of love or duty), off the books, or not at all.

Enough of this crap jobs at crap wages malarky!

See if you can follow the “logic:” People want to work. The proof is that women in poor countries now work for free, but would prefer to work for money. Huh?

That’s proof?

And as for the last sentence regarding “crap jobs at crap wages,” that is exactly what JG promises. How could it be otherwise?

Before you try to answer that question, here are a few questions I have asked JG proponents, and never seem to get consistent answers.

(As you investigate JG, you’ll find it means different things to different people, and no sooner do you object to one feature, they change the features. It’s almost like objecting to auto pollution and being told the subject was bicycles, but when you object to bicycling dangers, you are told the subject is autos.)

Here are the questions:

  1. Who exactly would be the employer: The federal government or the private sector?
  2. If it’s the federal government, exactly which jobs would it provide, and where in the country would it provide them?
  3. Who would create and supervise those jobs? How would JG be different from current federal employment?
  4. If the private sector is to supply the jobs, how would the government find those jobs in every town, all over the country?
  5. Would JG employees take jobs from non-JG employees? What would be the qualifications for a JG employer?
  6. Why do local newspapers and online job services advertise hundreds of thousands of jobs, if the problem JG supposedly solves is a shortage of jobs? Why aren’t those jobs filled?
  7. What are the criteria to remain a JG employee and who would supervise those criteria? Who would do the hiring all over the country?
  8. What would JG employees be paid, and how would that compare with non-JG employees?
  9. Who would determine raises, promotions, and firings?
  10. Who would handle employee complaints? Would there be unions?

If you feel you know the answers to those questions, please add them to the Comments section so we all can learn.

Now, we return to the elephant in the room: The notion that people want to work, or more accurately, people prefer to work vs. not work.

That “10th bone” to which the author referred (above) needn’t be a job. It just as well could be an alternative source of income.

I don’t work for a living. Most of my friends don’t either. And none of us wants to. We prefer not working. I believe this desire not to work is common.

So why is the problem stated as “involuntary unemployment,” rather than “involuntary lack of money”?

Unknowingly(?), MMT has based its JG on a kind of  righteousness, even a spiritualness that says labor is noble and virtuous, while idleness is a deadly sin (sloth). By that idea, anyone who prefers to receive money while not working is a sinner, a “taker.”

It is a belief promulgated, ironically, by the people who most indulge in idleness: The very rich.

The lifestyles of the rich and famous are anything but “work,” unless you consider clipping coupons, receiving dividends, sailing yachts to sunny islands and being waited upon hand and foot by faux-adoring sycophants, to be “work.”

Yes, many people enjoy their jobs, just as they enjoy playing a backyard game of volleyball, but those jobs probably would not be the jobs offered by JG.

The reality is that the sole purpose of JG is to provide a “legitimate” source of money, not to provide inner joy and satisfaction.  But that purpose can better be satisfied via gift vs. job slavery.

Why then, have the rich implanted the Auschwitzian idea that “arbeit macht frei” (work sets you free)? Because that is how they maintain a ready supply of workers — especially lower-wage workers — to the factories and businesses owned by the rich.

Get people to believe that they cannot be “good” unless they work, and they will work. Faith is the most powerful of motivators.

Implant the belief that the poor are lazy sinners, who do not deserve the fabulous lives enjoyed by the rich, and they will claim to want work.  But few people awaken looking forward to an emotionally empty day, forced endlessly to repeat “Want fries with that?” rather than kicking sand on a beach.

The idea that people cannot be satisfied with their lives unless they labor, is utter nonsense, a notion my friends and contemporaries, and indeed, many millions of people disprove every day.

Not only do the rich want a ready source of laborers, they want to distance themselves from the poor (aka Gap Psychology), and what better way than to contrast the life of the working poor with that of the leisure rich?

Institute the MS Ten Steps to Prosperity, and there will be neither demand for nor need for the emotionally cruel, impossible-to-execute, MMT Jobs Guarantee — crap jobs at crap wages for those who have no good choices.

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.

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

When will reason return to the political discourse? Thursday, May 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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Liberals shake their head in wonderment at polls showing that the vast majority of Republican voters still back Trump.

“How,” they wonder, “can otherwise intelligent people support such an obvious, incompetent, lying, egocentric, unprepared, unqualified petulant, childish, nepotistic leader?” Image result for petulant child

The reason may be simple. Liberals read and hear only negative news about Trump — supporting what they already believe. Conservatives read and hear only positive “Trumpnews,” plus negative news about liberalism, supporting what they already believe.

Go to breitbart.com, a right-wing site, and you will believe you have entered an alternate universe, where every law or behavioral rule Trump breaks is justified or excused, Image result for petulant childusually by a variation on “Obama was worse” or “Hillary would have been worse.”

If a reference is made to any of Trumps innumerable lies, a conservative immediately will turn the conversation to Obama, to Emails or to the Clinton Foundation.

(Never mind that the Trump Foundation was the one to be fined for criminality, or that Trump University was a massive scam, or that the potential security problems with Clinton’s Emails pale in comparison to the potential security problems of Trump’s and his associate’s connections to Russia.)

If all you see and hear confirms your already established beliefs, you become accepting of all that those sources tell you.

So you are primed to be victimized by a source such as “Right Wing Voice.” Here is the text of an Email I received:

Trending News: Chinese Assault On USD Begins… Trump, Former U.S. Congressman Issue the Following Warnings:
– Former U.S. Congressman: ‘The End is Coming’
– Chinese Yuan to Replace The US Dollar by Summer of 2017?
– Federal Government to Steal our 401Ks & IRAs to Solve Fiscal Crisis?
– Warning: Economists Expect an 80% Stock Market Crash to Strike in 2017
– National Debt Approaches $19 Trillion, Total value of IRA’s $25 Trillion… is your retirement account safe?
– Former U.S. Congressman Warns of Imminent Currency Collapse by Summer of 2017
– Trump Warns US Financial Collapse Is Coming
– How to Invest for the Imminent Dollar Collapse
– These Billionaires Are Betting BIG on a 2017 Market Collapse

To say that the above headlines are nonsense, would be to do a disservice to the word, “nonsense.” Read each headline, one at a time, and after each, ask yourself, could any clearheaded person actually believe this “sky-is-falling-Henny-Penny” stuff?

(If you couldn’t tell, these folks want to sell you gold, a favorite conservative con job.)

Right Wing Voice readers are predisposed to read and believe the conservative press and the words of conservative politicians.

The source is believable, even when the content isn’t.

The conservative press is where conservatives read, and thus believe, conservative stories about Trump’s greatness. It also is where they read conservative rumors, conservative scare stories, and conservative conspiracies — and one of such is that America is on the edge of total destruction.

(So, therefore “buy my gold, and make me rich. Then, when America is destroyed, good luck trying to find someone who will buy it from you.”)

Bottom line: So long as the Republican politicians support Trump, the Republican voters will follow along, no matter how badly he screws up. Always remember his famous Truth: “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.”

That being the case, what will bring some semblance of sanity to the political discourse?

Only when and if Republican political leaders sense that they will be punished at the polls for supporting Trump, will they tell right-wing voters the other side of the argument.

(At that point the leaders will say they “always knew” Trump was bad and “never really” supported him. Depend on it.)

Politicians are not concerned with right and wrong. They are concerned with votes and money.

Our hopes survive with the fact that only a relatively small number of Senators, and a larger, but still comparatively small, number or Representatives need to switch sides, in order for the tipping point to common sense begin.

Until then, don’t be frustrated at the seemingly intractable ignorance of the Trump stalwarts.

They know only what they see, and they see only what they know.

Change is difficult because it requires the tacit admission of possibly being wrong and having made a mistake.

But eventually, self-interest will triumph over ideology; Republican donors will begin to stop giving their good money for no return; Republican pols will fear for their political lives, and Trumpism will drift away like the stink of a rotting corpse when exposed to a very strong wind.

Meanwhile, hold your nose and pray for the tornado that already is forming.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

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THOUGHTS

•All we have are partial solutions; the best we can do is try.

•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.

•Everything in economics devolves to motive, and the motive is the Gap between the rich and the rest..

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

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