How not to debate a conservative.

If you plan to debate a conservative, understand first that in today’s conservative world, the important people are rich, and the rest of us are a drag on the economy.

Lew Uhler
LEWIS K. UHLER

So when today’s conservatives present their “alternative facts,” be prepared for an onslaught of deliberately wrong, ignorantly wrong, passionately wrong, and humorously wrong gibberish, masquerading as facts.

The success in the conservative world of QAnon, Tucker Carlson, and many conspiracy theories is a testament to the strange thought processes rampant.

And with that introduction, I present Lewis K. Uhler, of the Heartland Institute.

In case you’ve not heard of the Heartland Institute, let me give you a couple of quotes:

“Uhler has been at the forefront of the national movements for a Tax Limitation/Balanced Budget Amendment to the United States Constitution””Most scientists do not believe human greenhouse gas emissionsare a proven threat to the environment or to human well-being, despite a barrage of propaganda insisting otherwise coming from the environmental movement and echoed by its sycophants in the mainstream media.”

“The claim of “scientific consensus” on the causes and consequences of climate change is without merit. There is no survey or study showing “consensus” on any of the most important scientific issues in the climate change debate.”

By “most”, we assume Uhler is referring to approximately 1% of the world’s climatologists, who think, as Trump does, that global warming is a Chinese hoax.

Balanced federal budgets always lead to recessions

“Every dollar spent by Washington is a dollar earned somewhere else. It matters not that the dollar was earned in Idaho, it is still a dollar extracted from taxpayers who are already shouldering a $28 trillion national debt.”

(Here, the Heartland writer demonstrates its ignorance about the differences between federal funding vs. state/local/personal funding. Federal spending is not extracted from federal taxpayers.)

Now that you understand the Heartland, right-wing mentality, Check out the following article, ostensibly written by Uhler, that is guaranteed to get a hearty laugh from anyone who actually understands economics.

Begin with the hilarious headline:

We need a Reagan tax revolt to counter today’s big-government spending
Lewis K. Uhler

Jack Kemp (R-N.Y.) and Sen. Bill Roth (R-Del.) – significantly cut the top income tax rates from 70 percent to 50 percent, reduced and indexed for inflation business and capital gains, and ushered in more than two decades of unprecedented economic prosperity.

How do the Reagan tax cuts for the rich (aka “tax revolt”) reduce federal spending? They don’t, of course. But Uhler uses the right-wing’s alternative facts, which are based on how he wants the world to have been, not how the world really was.

It’s the typical, GOP, right-wing “trickle-down” theory: Give money to the rich and claim it will trickle down to the rest. Sadly, the “trickle” seems to stop at the top, and the Gap between the rich and poor widens — just as the rich want.

And yes, there was “economic prosperity,” but only if you eliminate Reagan’s first and last years — the 15-month recession that came at the beginning of Reagan’s two terms, and the 9-month recession that came at the end.

Reagan served from January 20, 1981, until January 20, 1989 (vertical gray bars.)

By widening the Gap between the rich and the rest, Reagan effectively made the rich richer and the poor poorer.

(“Rich” is a comparative. The wider the Gap, the richer are the rich).

And that “big-government spending,” Uhler hates: It was for benefits (Medicare, Social Security, poverty aids) to the middle and the lower-income groups. Being a GOP right-winger, Uhler despises giving these groups anything.

These achievements were founded initially in the crucible of the California Tax Revolt which then-Gov. Reagan led. He understood the power of (state) tax cuts and the resultant unleashing of American capital and innovation. In the early ’70s,

Reagan asked me to lead a group to devise a California government spending and tax reform measure, which eventually became Proposition 1 on the 1973 state ballot.

Here, Uhler reveals his intentional or unintentional ignorance of Monetary Sovereignty and the differences between federal government and local government finances.

While there is a direct connection between monetarily non-sovereign finances and taxes — taxes fund state/local spending — there is no connection at all between federal finances and taxing. Federal taxes do not fund federal spending.

Even if all federal taxes were eliminated, the federal government could continue spending, forever, even at double or triple the current level. In fact, all federal tax dollars are destroyed the instant they are received by the U.S. Treasury.

Uhler’s references to “tax revolts” are completely irrelevant to federal finances.

That citizen initiative was our first attempt at reining in government’s penchant for out-of-control spending and tax increases, and although this initiative fell short of passage, it touched a political undercurrent that sparked a much larger (state) taxpayer movement, ultimately leading to the passage of Proposition 13 to limit (state) property taxes and Proposition 4, the Gann Limit, which indexed (state) government growth to population and inflation.

Uhler demonstrates the single biggest problem in economics: The failure to understand the financial differences between the finances of the Monetarily Sovereign federal government vs. the finances of monetarily non-sovereign entities like state/local governments, businesses, and individuals.

If you don’t know the difference between butter and a butterfly, your articles about cooking are apt to be quite wrong-headed, just as Uhler’s article is.

And here, Uhler succinctly displays that ignorance:

More importantly, these achievements had the profound impact of proving the truth of supply-side economics and the power that a national tax revolt can provide to a nation.

Reagan instinctively understood, first as governor of California and then as president, the nature of government spending and its potentially ill effects on people.

Because there is no connection between federal taxes and federal spending, Uhler is half right and half wrong.

A national tax revolt to would reduce federal taxes on the middle- and lower-wealth groups would benefit America. But, of course, that is not what Uhler wants. Being a right-winger, he wants tax cuts on the wealthy.

Rather than doing what is best for the nation — for example, eliminating FICA, America’s most regressive tax– Uhler wants to cut top-level taxes.

And his complaints about government spending and “big government” are directly aimed at benefits for the middle- and lower-wealth groups.

In short, Uhler is trying to convince you that making the richer richer and the poorer poorer will benefit you and all of America.

That is exactly what “trickle-down economics” aka “big government” aka “out-of-control spending” aka “supply-side economics” all mean.

Each time you read any of those terms, realize this: The author is talking about a system that enriches the rich, impoverishes the rest, and so widens the Gap.

I am often reminded of his quote on the dangerous essence of government spending: “No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we’ll ever see on this earth.”

In the right-wing Uhler-world, the federal government is bad (except when it gives tax breaks to the rich).

Big-government advocates, Reagan also once remarked, must be forced to curb their profligate ways.

Why must the federal government be forced to curb spending? No reason is given and none can be given, especially since by formula all federal spending increases Gross Domestic Product.

GDP = Federal Spending + Nonfederal Spending + Net Exports

That was the precept under which we lived as we launched the tax revolt – and we should be reminded of now, as we ponder a modern-day correction to the reckless economic course that Joe Biden’s administration has set for America.

It’s no surprise that big-government tax-and-spenders once again have led our nation into high inflation and economic malaise with outrageous spending. Yet, Reagan’s work charted a course to follow that would steer clear of the rocky shoals into which the left is determined to lead us.

Contrary to popular myth, federal spending never causes inflation. Inflation, and its big brother, hyperinflation always are caused by shortages, most often a scarcity of food and energy.

In short, inflation is not caused by “too much money chasing too few goods and services” as the saying goes. Inflation always is caused by too few goods and services. Period.

How is inflation cured? Not by federal deficit cuts, which actually lead to recessions. Inflations are cured by federal deficit spending to obtain and distribute to scarce goods.

On Aug. 13, we celebrated the undeniable economic prosperity evidenced by Reagan’s signing of the Economic Recovery Tax Act. This anniversary ironically came in the same month that Senate Democrats were moving us in the opposite economic direction with a $1 trillion infrastructure bill and $3.5 trillion budget.

What Uhler “forgets” to mention is that Reagan’s “Economic Recovery Tax Act marked the beginning of the 15-month recession, started in the 3rd Quarter of 1981 and didn’t end until the 4th Quarter of 1981, when increased federal deficit spending cured finally cure the recession.

Gray area is the 15-month recession that began with Reagan’s Economic Recovery Act.

One of the most important legacies of the Reagan tax reform effort were follow-up state pro-growth policies, which are alive and well in many places.

Again, Uhler demonstrates that he does not understand the differences between federal financing and state financing. The two are opposite in that states use tax dollars for spending and can run short of dollars, while the federal government does not use tax dollars for anything, and never can run short of dollars.

In essence, Uhler is using butterflies, when the recipe calls for butter.

“Simple fairness dictates that government must not raise taxes on families struggling to pay their bills,” Reagan said on many occasions. “You can’t be for big government, big taxes and big bureaucracy and still be for the little guy.”

These are words that Democrats would be wise to pay attention to. The supply-side movement he championed 40-some years ago is still right for our nation today – and some would argue, even more urgent.

The differences are that:

  1. Big federal government costs taxpayers nothing.
  2. Big federal taxes on the not-rich are bad for the economy, but big taxes on the upper .1% would help narrow the Gap between the rich and the rest.
  3. And big federal bureaucracy is needed for a big economy. Further, federal payments to all those government workers help stimulate the economy, while costing taxpayers nothing.

In short, Uhler is a mouthpiece for the very rich, and virtually everything he says is a lie directed to that purpose. Otherwise, he may be a nice guy.

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

……………………………………………………………………..

THE SOLE PURPOSE OF GOVERNMENT IS TO IMPROVE AND PROTECT THE LIVES OF THE PEOPLE.

The most important problems in economics involve:

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

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

Ten Steps To Prosperity:

  1. Eliminate FICA
  2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D, plus long-term care — for everyone
  3. Social Security for all
  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

How you will be cheated out of your health care insurance

We begin with these, indisputable facts:

Fantasy Writing Diploma Course - Centre of Excellence
The federal government has the infinite power to create laws, and these laws have the infinite ability to create dollars. The government cannot run short of laws or dollars.

A. Federal laws are created from thin air by the federal government. The government creates any, and as many, laws it wants, so long as those laws are in keeping with the Constitution, which also was created from thin air by the government.

The federal government never unintentionally can run short of laws. It has the infinite ability to create laws.

B. Among the many laws the government created from thin air are the laws that created the U.S. sovereign currency: The U.S. dollar.

Initially, the government’s laws created as many dollars as the government wanted, and gave them the value the government wanted.

This infinite ability to create any number of dollars and to specify their value is known as “Monetary Sovereignty.”

The U.S. government is sovereign over the dollar.

This infinite ability to create dollars does not rely on tax collections. Even if the government collected zero taxes, it could continue creating dollars forever.

The federal government never unintentionally can run short of dollars or laws.

Similarly, the federal government has no need to borrow dollars, and indeed the government does not borrow dollars. It pays all its bills by creating new dollars, ad hoc.

The purpose of federal taxes is not to supply the government with dollars, but rather to control the economy by taxing what the government wishes to discourage, and giving tax breaks to what the government wishes to encourage.

C. Having absolute control over all aspects of the U.S. dollar, the federal government has absolute control over the value of the U.S. dollar, i.e. inflation. The government has the power to change the value of the dollar at will, a power it has exercised many times over the years.

Thus, the federal government has the absolute power to control inflation.


Keeping the above facts in mind, we can review the following article that describes how and why the federal government will cheat you out of your health care insurance.

Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB)
Two Ways to Reduce Prescription Drug Costs
July 26, 2021

High and rising prescription drug costs are contributing to the budgetary pressure faced by the federal government. Also, a significant number of patients face very high out-of-pocket costs.

Interesting choice of words: “budgetary pressure.” The government not only creates infinite dollars from thin air; it also creates infinite budgets from thin air. And it changes those budgets at will.

So, yes, the cost of drugs easily could exceed the budget, but since the government never unintentionally can run short of dollars, there is no financial pressure.

Any budgetary pressure the government may feel is self-inflicted and essentially meaningless. (Visualize Jeff Bezos budgeting $5,000 to buy a TV set, and discovering the TV set costs $5,001. He may feel budgetary pressure, but will not feel financial pressure.)

Our two new briefs focus on options to reduce prescription drug prices. They include:

Medicare Part B could inject price competition into drug classes that have clinically comparable options but wide price variation – blunting the advantage that higher-priced drugs have under the current formula.

Injecting Price Competition into Medicare Part B Drugs

Currently, Medicare Part B, which covers outpatient physician services, pays for physician-administered drugs by reimbursing physicians the average cost for each specific drug plus a 6 percent add-on percentage of that cost. This arrangement creates misaligned incentives that blunt price competition and advantage higher-priced drugs – especially within drug classes that have clinically comparable options but a wide variation in prices.

This policy option looks at implementing “clinically comparable drug pricing,” where Medicare payments for physician-administered drugs would be set at a single price for groups of drugs within the same therapeutic class. That price would be set at the weighted average of prices manufacturers charge for each of the clinically comparable drugs.

This reform should encourage physicians to administer lower cost drugs and manufacturers to lower prices to maintain market share. The policy would reduce Medicare costs and would likely result in savings for Medicare Advantage plans and commercial payers.

The federal government pays its bills by creating dollars ad hoc. Thus, the government legitimately can be said to have infinite dollars. Federal taxes do not fund federal spending. Tax dollars are destroyed upon receipt by the Treasury.

So, there is no economic value to price competition. In fact, each penny the federal government sends into the economy is economically stimulative, at no cost to anyone.

However, the CRFB seems to claim that physicians make more money when physician-administered drugs are priced higher, and this can influence the choice of drugs. I am not sure how prevalent this situation is, but in any event, there is no fair way to prevent it.

The “weighted average” approach can penalize patients by making some of the more effective, costlier-to-produce drugs unavailable.

As a rule, price competition shifts costs from the government to the private sector, which penalizes the economy as a whole, while also penalizing drug research and development.

Over the next decade (2021-2030), implementing “clinically comparable drug pricing” could:

Reduce total (gross) Medicare spending by at least $122 billion in just three drug classes.
That includes $56 billion of savings to fee-for-service Medicare, $37 billion in lower beneficiary premiums and cost sharing, and $29 billion in savings for the Medicare Advantage program.

In more accurate words, implementing “clinically comparable drug pricing” could reduce the federal stimulus to economic growth by $122 billion in just three drug classes, while having no financial benefits for the private sector..

The policy would also generate private sector spillover savings. For example, in the rheumatoid arthritis class of drugs, the policy could reduce commercial drug costs by at least $21 billion.

Actually, there could be zero private sector spillover savings, if the government simply would pay, but the pharmaceutical industry would receive $21 billion less from the government.

Limiting Evergreening for Name-Brand Prescription Drugs
To encourage medical innovation, the FDA grants temporary market exclusivities to new name-brand drugs. These exclusivities prohibit generic drug competitors’ access to the market for a limited period.

However, drug manufacturers are often able to take advantage of the current rules, using “evergreening” strategies to extend their exclusivity periods and either delay generic drug market entry or limit the number of patients who switch to a new generic.

One evergreening tactic manufacturers employ involves introducing a new “line” or version of their drug shortly before a generic competitor is released.

This new line can be granted its own exclusivity period. For example, a manufacturer may introduce an extended-release formulation just before a generic of the original immediate-release formulation enters the market. This can allow a brand manufacturer to maintain market share in the face of generic competition – increasing its profits and increasing payer and patient costs.

New FDA exclusivity rules could lead to meaningful savings for consumers, commercial insurers, and government payers. The policy change could also speed up the market entry of brand extended-release and other reformulations, providing clinical benefits to patients.

Under a comprehensive, no-deductible, Medicare-for-All plan, there would be no cost for consumers, and government payers (who have infinite dollars) need no dollar savings. More stimulus dollars would be pumped into the economy by federal spending.

As for commercial insurers, they probably would go the way of the manufacturers of street corner phone booths, horse-drawn wagons, Betamax, and audio cassettes.  Medicare for All could offer better service at no cost (and no need to ask for permission to have surgery).

Over the next decade (2021-2030), this policy could:

Reduce federal deficits by at least $10 billion.

I.e. reduce federal economic growth and job stimulus by $10 billion

Save Medicare Part D $7 billion in drug costs and Medicare beneficiaries $4 billion in lower premiums and cost sharing.

I.e., reduce federal economic growth stimulus by $7 billion. If Medicare for All were free, as it should be, premiums would be cut hundreds of billions of dollars, and there would be no need for cost-sharing.

Reduce federal and state Medicaid drug spending.

Medicare for all would eliminate the need for federal and state Medicaid drug spending.

Reduce private sector drug costs by $9 billion.

There is no economic need for the private sector to spend anything for drugs.

In Summary:
Incredibly, the CRFB seems to prefer saving money for the infinitely endowed federal government at the expense of the money-deprived.

The CRFB suggestions are based on these myths:

  1. Federal finances are like private finances
  2. The federal government is funded by federal taxes
  3. The federal government can run short of dollars.

In truth, the federal government has infinite dollars available, has no need for tax dollars, and never can run short of its own sovereign currency. It needs to run deficits in order to grow the economy and prevent recessions, and it has absolute control over every aspect of the U.S. dollar including inflation.

Spending by the rich encourages the media, the politicians, and the economists to promulgate these myths. The purpose is to widen the income/wealth/power Gaps between the richer and the poorer, aka Gap Psychology.

Here are the CRFB notables, whose mission in life seems to be to help the rich become richer by widening the Gap between the rich and the rest. They have been quite successful.

 

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

……………………………………………………………………..

THE SOLE PURPOSE OF GOVERNMENT IS TO IMPROVE AND PROTECT THE LIVES OF THE PEOPLE.

The most important problems in economics involve:

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

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

Ten Steps To Prosperity:

  1. Eliminate FICA
  2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D, plus long-term care — for everyone
  3. Social Security for all
  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

Just when you’re ready to give up on this world . . .

I’m 86 years old. I already have lost my wife, and even with the most favorable of circumstances, I don’t have much time, and certainly, not much good time, left to enjoy.

So, in the past few years, I had begun to believe in a bleak, short future.

Psychopathic Donald Trump and his immoral, bigoted, hate-mongering acolytes have gained sway.

The amoral Mitch McConnells, the Lindsey Grahams, the Marjorie Taylor Greenes have risen, not on the basis of any good works, but rather because they appeal to the basest instincts of humanity.

Fox News and the loathsome Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity, Qanon, Breitbart, the many other conspiracy theorist websites, all have become so popular, that their brand of hatred threatens to win the next American elections.

Even a vicious and violent attack on Congress, attempting to overthrow the foundation of American democracy — our elections — no longer provokes outrage, at least among the millions who are committed to Trumpism.

The ongoing efforts to restrict voting rights, women’s rights, healthcare, and aid for the needy have received near-unanimous voting support from one of our two, major political parties.

Everywhere I turn, I see acrimony, malice, and prejudice replacing respect, love, and human concern.

So, just when I was ready to give up on the America of “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” — just when I believed that the “Shining city on a hill” of which Ronald Reagan often spoke — just when I believed my America was irretrievably lost, I came upon this article:

Chicago woman goes on a hunger strike for slavery reparations - Chicago  Tribune
Rachelle Zola

‘Am I willing to die for this?

’ By Nara Schoenberg Chicago Tribune, nschoenberg@chicagotibune.com

She’s white. She’s 73. And she’s on a 40-day hunger strike for slavery reparations. Rachelle Zola began the 40-day, all-liquid hunger strike to support HR 40, a House bill that would set up a commission to study reparations.

Ms. Zola had never been to Chicago. She didn’t have friends or family here. But in summer 2019, she bought a 1969 Mercury Sable with no heat and an oil leak, and drove here from Tucson, Arizona, with a single goal.

Zola wanted to live among Black and brown people. She went to the North Lawndale neighborhood on the West Side, and began attending meetings and seminars, theatrical productions, symposiums and conferences.

She accepted every invitation, telling those who were curious that she was there to listen and learn.

“Everybody was like, this white woman keeps showing up,” Zola said, laughing. But Zola, a former special education teacher who joined the Peace Corps at age 59, pressed on. Deeply moved by the stories of racism she heard in Chicago, she started sharing them on YouTube.

And then, on May 16, she took a step that was even more radical. She embarked on a hunger strike on behalf of one of the most ambitious and elusive goals of the U.S. racial justice movement: reparations — or making amends through payments or policy — to Black people for slavery.

This is the point at which the bigots, the haters, and the deniers leave the “shining city.” They try to diminish the true horror of slavery and its long-lasting effects that even today, stain our land.

Bright-eyed and energetic during a recent interview, Zola has made it to Day 32 of her all-liquid diet of water, Pedialyte and bone broth. “My question to myself was, am I willing to die for this? And it became ‘yes’ because of all of the (Black and brown) people I know,” Zola said.

“Am I willing to die for my brothers and my sisters when there’s an injustice? The answer is yes.”

Still, she said, she won’t knowingly put her health in danger, and at this point she’s doing well. Her hunger strike, which she hopes will extend to at least day 40, has received support from Dominican University in River Forest, and she’s being hosted during the day by Cosmopolitan United Church in Melrose Park, where she sits on the front lawn, ready to talk to passersby.

Zola’s specific demand is that Congress pass HR 40, a bill establishing a federal commission to hold hearings on slavery and discrimination, and to recommend remedies.

The bill was first introduced more than 30 years ago.

Zola is a bit of a mystery — sometimes even to her closest friends: She’s an intensely spiritual person who receives callings to go to out-of-the-way places and perform daunting tasks. A world traveler who makes friends — and dispenses hugs — with astonishing speed.

In Chicago, she wants to be a conduit for other people’s stories — a white person who can capture the attention and curiosity of other white people.

She bristles with outrage and hurt as she tells the story of a 17-year-old Black girl who, upon noticing the scared faces of two white passersby, thought there was something terrible behind her, perhaps a mad dog.

But when the girl turned and looked, Zola said, there was nothing, and the girl realized that she, herself, was the object of the strangers’ terror.

We digress, for a moment, to point out the “whataboutisms” and the denials that exist among those who have not personally experienced bigotry. Consider Trump appointee and former Attorney General, William Barr:

By Newshound Ellen: In Bill Barr’s America, racism is a thing of the past and if Blacks didn’t behave so badly, they wouldn’t have problems with the police.

And he cited an old quote from Jesse Jackson as “proof” that being afraid of Blacks doesn’t make you (i.e. him) a racist.

I wonder how many Black people who have been needlessly stopped by the police Barr has actually talked to. I’m going to guess none.

Meanwhile, get ready for your jaw to drop as Barr pointed to racist behavior by Blacks to justify racist behavior by whites. It was part of a lengthy interview with Wolf Blitzer on CNN today.

Barr: “Racism usually means, you know, that I believe that because of your race, you’re a lesser human being than me and I think there are people in the United States that feel that way. but I don’t think it is as common as people suggest.

“And I think we have safeguards to ensure that it doesn’t really have an effect on someone’s future.

BLITZER: “There’s no doubt there’s been a lot of progress. but do you think Black people are treated differently by law enforcement than white people?”

BARR: “I think there are some situations where statistics would suggest that they are treated differently. but I don’t think that that’s necessarily racism. 

“Didn’t Jesse Jackson say that when he looks behind him and he sees a group of young black males walking behind him, he’s more scared than when he sees a group of white youths walking behind him? Does that make him a racist?”

Here we have Trump’s Attorney General, the man who occupied America’s highest Justice Department position, claiming that being “treated differently” because of your skin color is not racism (What is it, then?)

And that racism “doesn’t really have an effect on someone’s future.”

And racism “isn’t common” and “there’s been progress,” (so why worry about it?) and even Jesse Jackson is afraid of black men, but that isn’t racist. (Except if it isn’t racist, what was he afraid of?)

“Whataboutisms” and denials — in short, “Racism is rare, and I’m not a racist, but even blacks are racist, so being treated “differently” is OK.”

It’s the garbled excuses similar to, “I never did it and I won’t do it again.”, 

Zola also recalled the story of a Black man who attended a parent-teacher conference for his son, then in sixth grade. The teacher acknowledged that the man’s son was doing his work and performing well, but still, there was a concern.

The son was rude, the teacher said, asking pointed questions in class. The man noted that his son was just doing what kids are supposed to do in a learning environment. A white boy would have been praised for such curiosity and initiative, he said.

And then there were the injustices closer at hand. On a crystal-clear morning Monday, Zola was joined at a table in front of Cosmopolitan United Church, as she often is, by her friend Mazell Sykes, 71, of Maywood.

The duo met early in Zola’s Chicago odyssey when Zola visited the North Lawndale Justice Community Court, where Sykes leads peace circles. The two women, one Black, one white — both with short hair, long bangs, eye-catching necklaces and “Rachelle for H.R. 40? T-shirts — chatted easily and laughed at each other’s jokes, but the mood shifted when a reporter asked Sykes what had brought her out in the hot sun.

She spoke about slavery in general, and about rape in particular. “The thing that would get me the most is that a white man could take a Black girl, a Black woman, and have sex with her, and she had no rights, and he could do that as often as he wanted. It was nothing,” she said.

“I just want people to just, down in their gut, imagine how that would feel, if someone did that to you. I was raped when I was a kid, so I know how it feels, but it only happened to me one time. But just think that you live in this situation, and you know this man can come and have you whenever he wants you.

Can you just in your gut feel, how would you go on after that?”

Actually, no. The men who run America, particularly the white supremacist, bigoted conservatives of today, cannot feel in their gut what being raped feels like.

They, like Barr, claim it’s rare but also common, non-existent but even blacks do it, and things are getting better, even though they weren’t bad before, so why get upset about it?

Growing up in Mississippi, the descendent of slaves, she had to skip school three days at a time — to pick cotton, she said. “It’s not a game, it’s not a fairy tale. We lived it,” she said.

“The white man would come to my father’s house at night, and he would tell my father, tomorrow I need this whole field chopped. So that means your children aren’t going to school tomorrow.”

She and her siblings would cry, she said, and the other kids would laugh at them as they rode by in the school bus. “When we did go to school, just imagine: me missing three days of class. What can the teacher teach me? Where would she start? And then, if she gave me homework or makeup work, how was I going to do it? It was a vicious cycle, and this — this was my life in Mississippi.”

Has Mississippi changed so much, now? Has Alabama? Georgia? Louisiana?

Is an inordinate number of American blacks being shot by American police? Are police denying and covering up the killings of blacks, even when confronted with body camera footage?

What happens when there is no video to support the black victim’s version?

Zola, who grew up on Long Island, said she didn’t have a Black friend until 2015, and that while she was outraged after the beating of Rodney King by Los Angeles police officers in 1991, she didn’t go out and protest.

The point isn’t guilt, she said; that’s not what she’s about. The point is the depth of the suffering that Black people have experienced and continue to experience, and how easy it can be for white people to look the other way.

“I look at myself as a case study,” she said. “How could I get to be this age and not know the harm? The quick answer is I wasn’t reading those books. I wasn’t reading ‘Just Mercy.’ I wasn’t reading ‘The New Jim Crow.’ I wasn’t reading any of it. What’s amazing now? ‘The Long Shadow’ — that documentary of 90 minutes — if that doesn’t touch your heart, I don’t know what will.”

Zola was 59, married to the love of her life and painting the walls of their rental home in Colorado when she was hit by a deep, unshakable knowledge that she was supposed to leave the country. “It was shocking for both of us,” she said of herself and her then-husband, from whom she was divorced seven years ago.

She felt she had no choice but to go; he said he’d stay — this was her path, not his.

She called the Peace Corps, and within months, the former special education teacher was in Jordan, training teachers. The experience, she said, was intense and transformative. People gave her candy, food and drinks. They watched out for her and helped her.

“I never felt such love as I felt in Jordan,” she said. In 2015, she went on a personal pilgrimage in Shikoku, Japan, walking 700 miles in 67 days with a 25-pound backpack. She went to Ecuador in 2016, after a series of earthquakes hit the country, and worked in a children’s home. She also lived and worked in Mexico.

Jordan, Japan, Ecuador, Mexico, and yet she was being true to the American self-view that proclaims:

 “The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

She is far more true to the America I want to love than is the former American President who told you Mexicans are rapists, and the Chinese spread myths about global warming, and the Muslims are terrorists and traitors, and immigrants (who “aren’t people; they are animals”) come from “shithole countries,” and our soldiers, who give their lives, are “suckers.”

“Things come up that she knows she can contribute to, or help, or be of service in some way, and that’s where she goes. That’s why she’s on the planet, I guess,” said her friend Diana Keck, 78, a psychotherapist in Boulder, Colorado.

“She’s just an extraordinary woman, and I’m pleased to say one of my best friends.”

Zola said she was hoping that, by now, the hunger strike would have gained more traction. She and Sykes got honks and waves Monday morning while sitting at the table in front of the church, but no one stopped to ask questions.

Politicians have been conspicuously absent.

Worse than absent, politicians have been America’s primary deniers and liars. Politicians, more than any other group, have been responsible for the moral decline of America.

Social media response has been uneven, with one TikTok getting 32,000 views, but many getting a few hundred or a few thousand.

Still, she presses on cheerfully, trying to get someone to help her with her TikTok skills and looking forward to a Q&A with “The Long Shadow” director Frances Causey, scheduled for Wednesday.

After the hunger strike ends, she said, she’d like to get a van and go from town to town, speaking about reparations, getting the word out. The details still need to be worked out, but — as is so often the case with Zola — the vision is clear.

“This is phase one, and I’m not going away,” she said. 

So perhaps, in my doddering years, I may — may — have hope for America, for I now, thanks to Nara Schoenberg, have found a real American, a diamond amidst the coal.

She is a voice of kindness and compassion amidst the cacophony of lies and hatred, greed and intolerance, that have become the new normal in America.

I pray Rachelle Zola forever will be remembered as the true American who lifted her lamp of humanity beside America’s golden door.

I pray she, not Trump, will make a permanent difference in America.

 

 

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

THE SOLE PURPOSE OF GOVERNMENT IS TO IMPROVE AND PROTECT THE LIVES OF THE PEOPLE.

The most important problems in economics involve:

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

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

  1. Eliminate FICA
  2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D, plus long-term care — for everyone
  3. Social Security for all
  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

 

 

A bit of dark humor to lighten your day: Phony GOP patriots ignore the Constitution

If you enjoy watching weird hypocrisy in action, you’ll love this.

Watch Trump Fondle an American Flag at CPAC
Draft-dodger “patriot” hugs and kisses flag and calls American war dead, “suckers” and “losers.”

States Move To Force Sports Teams To Play the National Anthem
Three states have advanced constitutionally questionable laws.
JASON RUSSELL | 6.16.2021 5:20 PM

For the first time, some states are moving to turn the decades-old cultural norm of playing the national anthem before a sporting event into a legal requirement.

Remember that these are the same Trumper conservatives who claim that the government intrudes too much on our freedoms. (Or does that apply only to guns?)

Trump Supporters Storm Capitol: 'As Close to a Coup Attempt as This Country Has Ever Seen' - Michael Foust
Right-wing “patriots” bearing flags while attempting a coup against the American government.

On Wednesday, Texas’ Republican Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law Senate Bill (S.B.) 4, which will require professional sports teams to play the national anthem at the start of each preseason, regular season, and postseason game hosted in Texas.

Hey, what about amateur sports teams? Why are they not required to be “patriotic.”

Why doesn’t this apply to checkers and chess? Kids playing tag in the schoolyard?

And why only at the start of games? What about during and after games?

And why only sports? What about all TV and radio shows? Plays and concerts? Every workday?

Trump claims he tried to salvage trip to French cemetery for U.S. troops -  POLITICO
Chief of staff John Kelly and Gen. Joe Dunford were there. Not “patriot” Trump. Too rainy.

We mandatory patriots need to know.

And by the way, does singing the National Anthem make one a patriot? Hmmm . . . If only Benedict Arnold had sung, “Oh, say can you see . . . “

The law requires all financial agreements between pro sports teams and state and local governments to include written verification that the team will play the anthem.

What instruments must be used? Will a harmonica do? Drumming on a garbage pail? Are undocumented immigrants excused from playing?

And how much of the National Anthem will be required by law. Just a couple of notes? Or all four verses?

Anyway, must it be sung, or just played without the words? Are we required to look at a photo of Donald Trump holding a Bible, while we sing?

A photo op as protests swirled: how Trump came to walk to the church | Donald Trump | The Guardian
This very religious man, who never attends church, and breaks with the Ten Commandments at every opportunity, is showing you the Bible

A similar bill was signed into law in Louisiana on Monday that would require the playing of the national anthem before all sporting events at venues that were subsidized by state or local governments.

Does receiving unemployment or working for the DMV count as “subsidized” by state or local governments? Public school teachers running a spelling bee contest?

Hey, how about requiring everyone to recite the Pledge of Allegiance before and after every game? Now that would be patriotic.

The right-wing Wisconsin Assembly passed legislation nearly identical to the Louisiana law, but it has since sat dormant in the Wisconsin Senate for more than a month.

So does the Wisconsin GOP seem to be kicking the can down the road? Does can-kicking count as a sporting event?

The Supreme Court has, time and time again, set precedents that the government can’t compel speech, even as a condition of doing business with the government.

Now that we have a super-majority conservative SCOTUS, will it ignore precedent as it is predicted to do with Rowe v. Wade?

Three QAnonesque Questions:

  1. What is the secret reason why the freedom-loving politicians of Texas, Wisconsin, and Louisiana voted to require teams to play the National Anthem before games?
  2. Why is Trump hugging the flag and showing you the Bible?
  3. In one word, what do all these patriots have in common?

.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

Monetary Sovereignty

Twitter: @rodgermitchell Search #monetarysovereignty

Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

THE SOLE PURPOSE OF GOVERNMENT IS TO IMPROVE AND PROTECT THE LIVES OF THE PEOPLE.

The most important problems in economics involve:

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

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

Ten Steps To Prosperity:

  1. Eliminate FICA
  2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D, plus long-term care — for everyone
  3. Social Security for all
  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