Well, there goes another excuse for not giving poor people money.

The sole purpose of government is to improve and protect the lives of the people.

Most people would like to have more money. This includes many of the rich, who already have more money than they can spend, but seem motivated to have even more.

How Florida Is Pushing Back Against Government Overreach
The sole purpose of government is to improve and protect the lives of the people.

Gap Psychology describes the human desire to distance oneself from those below, on any social scale, and to approach those above.

Thus, growing “richer” requires widening the Gap. This involves not only gaining more for oneself but also depressing others.

Either approach widens the Gap.

That is why the rich, and the Republican Party of the rich, seem so adamant that giving people money will disincentivize people to work.

Strangely, or perhaps not so strangely, the rich do not feel the “disincentive” applies to them, for they generally claim to work just a hard as always, no matter how much more money they own.

Their story is that the poor and middle-classes are congenitally lazy, who only will labor if whipped by hunger, homelessness, or other deprivations.

The fact that millions of people work at demanding, or even dangerous jobs, for low or moderately low pay, does not seem to occur to those who claim that if people are given money, they will refuse to work.

It is a lie, or if not a lie, then at least an ivory tower misunderstanding by academics.

Ask a police officer or a fire-fighter or a public school teacher why they work. It is in the nature of human beings that most of us like to work, and we feel such emotions as worthlessness and boredom when we are not working.

In fact, lack of “something to do” is a major problem for retirees.

All of the above is the hypothesis. Here is some fact:

When a California city gave people a guaranteed income, they worked more — not less
Stockton’s experiment shows what $500 per month in “free money” can do for employment, mental health, and more.
By Sigal Samuel Mar 6, 2021

The city of Stockton, California, embarked on a bold experiment two years ago: It decided to distribute $500 a month to 125 people for 24 months — with no strings attached and no work requirements.

The people were randomly chosen from neighborhoods at or below the city’s median household income, and they were free to spend the money any way they liked. Meanwhile, researchers studied what impact the cash had on their lives.

The results from the first year of the experiment, which spanned from February 2019 to February 2020, are now in. And they’re extremely encouraging for its participants, and for advocates who see unconditional cash transfers as an effective way to help people escape poverty.

The most eye-popping finding is that the people who received the cash managed to secure full-time jobs at more than twice the rate of people in a control group, who did not receive cash.

Within a year, the proportion of cash recipients who had full-time jobs jumped from 28 percent to 40 percent. The control group saw only a 5 percent jump over the same period.

When confronted with a non-intuitive result, you surely must wonder, “How can that be? How would giving people money increase their desire to work for money?”

The researchers wrote in their report that the money gave recipients the stability they needed to set goals, take risks, and find new jobs.

In other words, when you’re drowning, all you can think about is staying afloat in the moment. That focus on the now, occupies all your energy and resources.

But if you are given a boat, you now can begin to think about getting food, shelter from the elements, finding land, signaling potential rescuers, etc.

One man in his 30s had been eligible for a real estate license for over a year but hadn’t gotten it because he just couldn’t afford to take time off work. Thanks to the freedom offered by the extra $500 per month, he said, his life was “converted 360 degrees … because I have more time and net worth to study … to achieve my goals.”

That’s a short-term example, but it also works in the longer term. Many intelligent youngsters do not stay in school, because their families need money now. So they are forced to find whatever low-paying jobs they can.

Eventually, these low-level jobs are the first to disappear. During any period or hard times, the under-educated are the first to need unemployment compensation.

Given money, they can continue in school, and find even better jobs, and/or create their own companies. They will be less likely to need unemployment compensation, later.

In the research done to date, unconditional cash does not tend to disincentivize work. In several programs — from Alaska and North Carolina in the US, to Finland and Spain in Europe — it has had no effect on employment either way.

In some cases, it seems to embolden people with an entrepreneurial bent; for instance, in Japan, initial survey results have shown that recipients are 3.9 times more interested in launching a new business.

Employment aside, there are clear benefits to unconditional cash programs. The Stockton experiment shows that getting unconditional cash tends to boost happiness, health, school attendance, and trust in social institutions, while reducing crime.

At its basic level, giving people money reduces their poverty, and crime, especially street crime, is an outgrowth of poverty.

(In the Stockton experiment, money) recipients spent most on necessities like food (37 percent), home goods and clothes (22 percent), utilities (11 percent), and car costs (10 percent). They spent less than 1 percent on alcohol or cigarettes.

These numbers offer a counter to harmful stereotypes and faulty assumptions: that people who become poor get that way because they’re bad at rational decision-making and self-control, and that they’ll blow free money on frivolous things or addictive substances. The evidence does not support these beliefs.

As part of its obligation “to improve and protect the lives of the people” government should give people money. This notion has been criticized on moral grounds. It’s as though not helping a drowning person will force a sink-or-swim mentality, which somehow is morally better.

But, allowing someone to drown is the ultimate immorality.

Here are excerpts from an article describing results around the world.

Everywhere basic income has been tried
Which countries have experimented with basic income — and what were the results?
By Sigal Samuel Updated Oct 20, 2020.

The general idea — that the government should give every citizen a regular infusion of free money with no strings attached — has been around since the 16th century. But it’s recently experienced a remarkable resurgence: Advocates ranging from tech billionaire Mark Zuckerberg to libertarian economist Milton Friedman to former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang have endorsed it.

Many people, who otherwise might favor such a plan, are reluctant to “give money to people who don’t need it.” This belief is founded on two concerns:

  1. The false belief that federal taxes fund federal spending, while in fact no one — not you, not me, not our grandchildren — ever pay for federal spending. The concern, “Why should my money go to rich people?” does not apply to Monetarily Sovereign federal spending. The government creates, from thin air, all the dollars it spends.
  2. The legitimate belief that federal spending should help narrow the Gap between the rich and the rest. I suggest that the simplicity of “Give the same amount to everyone” is far more actionable, and just a fair, as an income-based (or wealth-based?). The rich always find a way to game the system, and they would game this system, too.

Alaska: Since 1982, the state has given each citizen an annual check just for being alive, effectively wiping out extreme poverty. The money — which can range from around $2,000 per person when oil prices are high to $1,000 in cheaper gas years — comes from the Alaska Permanent Fund, a state-owned investment fund financed by oil revenues.

Economists investigated whether the payment was leading people to work less and found that “the dividend had no effect on employment” overall.

North Carolina: Since 1997, revenue from a casino on tribal land has been given to every tribal member, no strings attached. Each person gets on average somewhere between $4,000 and $6,000 per year. Economists found that it doesn’t make them work less. It does lead to improved education and mental health, and decreased addiction and crime.

Manitoba, Canada: Choosing one farming town, Dauphin, as a “saturation site” where every family was eligible to participate in a basic income experiment. The basic income seemed to benefit residents’ physical and mental health — there was a decline in doctor visits and an 8.5 percent reduction in the rate of hospitalization — and high school graduation rates improved, too.

Finland: The government chose 2,000 unemployed citizens at random and gave them a check of 560 euros ($635) every month for two years. Participants were assured they’d keep receiving the money if they got a job. The income didn’t help them get jobs, but it did make them feel happier and less stressed. The recipients also reported that they felt more trust toward other people and social institutions — from political parties to the police to the courts — than they did before getting a basic income.

Spain’s “B-MINCOME” experiment started offering a minimum guaranteed income to 1,000 households randomly selected from some of Barcelona’s poorest districts. Under the two-year randomized controlled trial, households could receive up to 1,675 euros ($1,968) per month. There was also a control group of 383 households. Preliminary results showed that the basic income boosted life satisfaction and mental health while making participants neither more likely nor less likely to find employment.

Iran rolled out a nationwide unconditional cash transfer program to compensate for the phase-out of subsidies on bread, water, electricity, heating, and fuel. The government gave out sizable monthly payments to each family: 29 percent of the median household income on average. Economists found that “the program did not affect labor supply in any appreciable way.” The program is still running, and it’s the only such program in the world to run nationwide.

Namibia: All residents below the age of 60 living in the Otjivero-Omitara region of Namibia received a basic income: 100 Namibian dollars ($6.75) per person per month, no strings attached, regardless of their socioeconomic status. As a result, child malnutrition dropped and school enrollment rates went up, while poverty-related crime (like theft) fell.

India: Between 2011 and 2012, a pilot project in the state of Madhya Pradesh gave a basic income to some 6,000 Indians. Every man, woman, and child in eight villages received a monthly payment: 200 rupees ($2.80) for adults and 100 rupees for each child. The results: Receiving a basic income led to improved sanitation, nutrition, and school attendance.

Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa announced that he would give away 1 billion Japanese yen — about $9 million — to 1,000 random Twitter followers. Recipients of the cash benefit are now 3.9 times more interested in launching a new business. Recipients saw a decrease in divorce rates, from 1.5 percent to 0.6 percent. And more than 70 percent of recipients said they experienced a significant increase in happiness.

SUMMARY

Poverty is the lack of money, and the cure for poverty is to supply money to the impoverished.

We use the term “poverty” to describe merely being short of money. It does not need to be the abject, begging-in-the-street form of poverty, to have a negative effect on a family.

Just being unable to afford college or unable to live in a good home, are serious monetary and psychological negatives, not only for one family, but for that family’s economic surroundings.

Poverty does not indicate a moral lack. It is the result of bad fortune, whether at birth or at any time thereafter. Punishment does not cure poverty, because poverty itself is punishment.

Blaming the needy for their situation provides no benefit, moral or monetary, either for the impoverished or for the rest of humanity.

Withholding money from the impoverished is like withholding medicine from the sick.

The U.S. federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign, has the unlimited ability to create dollars. It is infinitely rich. The dollars it would give in the form of a basic income are not tax dollars. No one ever will pay for those dollars. They are created ad hoc, from thin air.

People receiving money are not less likely to work; the reverse is true. And they are more likely to be more productive members of society and less likely to commit crimes.

Giving “no strings” money to people has time and again proved to benefit the people themselves and the rest of the private sector. Everyone benefits.

See Step #3, Social Security for All (below).

There are no downsides.

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

Which party will be remembered as “the party of too-little, too-late”?

Before the virus crisis, the 2020 federal budget looked like this:

BUDGET PROJECTIONS FOR FY 2020

(As of  )

OUTLAYS

$4.6 Trillion

REVENUES

$3.6 Trillion

DEFICIT

$1.0 Trillion

DEBT HELD BY THE PUBLIC (End of Fiscal Year)

$17.9 Trillion

We were here:

Trump says coronavirus is ‘under control’ despite warnings from health officials of ‘severe’ disruptions
Courtney Subramanian, John Fritze USA TODAY 2/25/2020

NEW DELHI – President Donald Trump and White House officials downplayed coronavirus concerns Tuesday, describing the epidemic as “very well under control in our country” despite a sharp increase in cases globally and warnings of “severe” disruptions.

Speaking to reporters in India, where he was taking part in a state visit, Trump noted that few people have been diagnosed with the virus in the U.S. and claimed that the “whole situation will start working out.”

But markets tumbled hours later as health officials warned of a more extensive impact in the United States.

“Disruption to everyday life may be severe,” said Nancy Messonnier, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. Schools could be closed, public gatherings suspended and employees forced to work remotely, she said.

And here:

Schumer counters Trump, announces $8.5-billion proposal for emergency coronavirus funding
Nicholas Wu, 2/26/20 USA TODAY
WASHINGTON — Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., released an $8.5 billion counter-proposal to the Trump administration’s request for emergency coronavirus funding.

“This proposal brings desperately-needed resources to the global fight against coronavirus,” Schumer said in a statement. “Americans need to know that their government is prepared to handle the situation before coronavirus spreads to our communities. I urge the Congress to move quickly on this proposal. Time is of the essence.”

The Trump administration requested $2.5 billion Monday to tackle the virus, an amount Democrats deemed insufficient. According to Schumer’s office, Congress appropriated $6 billion for the 2006 avian flu, and $7 billion for the H1N1 flu in 2009.

Testifying before a subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar defended the administration’s request, saying the amount was “appropriate, and if not, if it doesn’t fund it enough, we’ll come back to you and work with you.”

Now, we are here:

Trump’s coronavirus rescue package could approach a trillion dollars
PA Media: World News
By Lisa Mascaro and Zeke Miller, Associated Press
PA Media: World News, 18 March 2020

Donald Trump has asked Congress to speed emergency cheques to Americans, enlisted the military for hospitals and implored ordinary people to do their part by staying home to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

In a massive federal effort, the president’s proposed economic package alone could approach a trillion dollars, a rescue initiative not seen since the Great Recession.

He wants cheques sent to the public within two weeks and is urging Congress to pass the stimulus package in a matter of days.

As analysts warn the country is entering a recession, the government is grappling with an enormous political undertaking with echoes of the 2008 financial crisis.

At the Capitol on Tuesday, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell vowed the Senate would not adjourn until the work was done.

“Obviously, we need to act,” he said. “We’re not leaving town until we have constructed and passed another bill.”

He said the Senate will vote on a House-passed package of sick pay, emergency food and free testing, putting it back on track for Mr Trump’s signature — despite Republican objections.

Overnight, the White House sent legislators a 46 billion dollar emergency funding request to boost medical care for military service members and veterans, fund production of vaccines and medicines, build 13 quarantine centres at the southern border for migrants and make federal buildings safer, among other measures.

The Trump request also reverses cuts to the Centres for Disease Control and National Institutes of Health that Trump proposed in his February budget for next year and would create a 3 billion dollar fund for unanticipated needs.

Bigger than the 700 billion dollar 2008 bank bailout or the nearly 800 billion dollar 2009 recovery act, the White House proposal aims to provide a massive tax cut for wage-earners, 50 billion dollars for the airline industry and 250 billion dollars for small businesses.

“This is a very unique situation,” said Treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin, exiting a private briefing of Senate Republicans. “We’ve put a proposal on that table that would attract a trillion dollars into the economy.”

And it still is nowhere near enough.

Consider just Steps 2. and 3. of the Ten Steps to Prosperity.

Step 2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D, plus long-term care — for everyone. Sanders’ “Medicare for all” proposal has been estimated to cost $1.38 trillion per year. Other health policy experts have put the single-payer health plan price tag much higher, with price tags ranging from $2.4 trillion a year to $2.8 trillion a year.

Step 3. The cost of Social Security for all would depend on how many people receive it, and how much each person receives. Current SS costs about $1 trillion which is doled out to about 61 million people. There are about 212 million people over 21 in the U.S., so giving all of them the same SS amount would require about $3.5 trillion.

Then add in the remaining Steps and the total easily could exceed $7 trillion. Yet, the 10 Steps are needed to prevent/cure recessions and depressions while improving the lives of Americans. In “Trumpese,” the 10 Steps can “make America great, again.”

Two questions:

  1. Can the federal government afford the Ten Steps?
  2. Would implementation cause inflation?

1. Can the Monetarily Sovereign federal government afford $3 trillion – $7 trillion to give Americans prosperity?

Alan Greenspan: “A government cannot become insolvent with respect to obligations in its own currency.”
Ben Bernanke: “The U.S. government has a technology, called a printing press (or, today, its electronic equivalent), that allows it to produce as many U.S. dollars as it wishes at essentially no cost.”
St. Louis Federal Reserve: “As the sole manufacturer of dollars, whose debt is denominated in dollars, the U.S. government can never become insolvent, i.e., unable to pay its bills. In this sense, the government is not dependent on credit markets to remain operational.”

Perhaps, the real question should be: Can the private sector (you and me) afford to continue paying trillions, and still not receive what the Ten Steps could offer?

Today, the private sector pays or does without. That is how these services are funded. The federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign, has unlimited financial resources. The private sector does not. Question answered.

2. Would it cause inflation? Contrary to popular wisdom, federal deficit spending does not, and has not, caused inflation. Inflation is caused by shortages, usually shortages of food and/or energy. See: Only 450 words answer the question, “Does printing money cause inflation?”

Why then doesn’t Congress budget spending the money?

I suspect the primary answer is: They want to add just enough dollars to prevent a depression, which would tempt voters to throw them out of their cushy jobs — but still stick the public with a mild recession. In short, Gap Psychology rules.

(Gap Psychology is the desire to distance oneself from those considered “below” you in any socioeconomic ranking, and to come closer to those above.)

The richer do not want the less rich to prosper. They resent aid to poorer people who are felt to be “lazy takers.” It is Gap Psychology that demands those receiving aid to seek employment, though there is no financial reason for this.

In Summary: We are in a perilous situation that can lead to many deaths and a financial disaster, perhaps a full-fledged, long-lasting depression.

Both the health and the financial problems can be cured with ample inputs of money, which the federal government can provide at no cost to anyone.

Which political party will be remembered as the “too-little, too-late party”?

For no good reasons, the government drags its feet. With every passing day of inaction or inadequate action, more people will suffer. Who is at fault?

Only the rich will thrive. And that seems to be the point.

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. Provide a monthly economic bonus to every man, woman and child in America (similar to social security for all)

4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone

5. Salary for attending school

6. Eliminate federal taxes on business

7. Increase the standard income tax deduction, annually. 

8. Tax the very rich (the “.1%”) more, with higher progressive tax rates on all forms of income.

9. Federal ownership of all banks

10. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99.9% 

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

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

The text of a speech I never will give to my friends at our country club, because they probably won’t believe me, and who needs the aggravation?

Our country club invites speakers to give presentations about various, interesting subjects.

I could volunteer to present my friends and neighbors with information they don’t have, and should have, and would find interesting.

Sadly, I’ve found that most people want to hear what they already believe, and they tend to become angry at anyone who tells them otherwise.

What follows is the text of a speech I never will give to my friends at the club because they probably won’t believe me, and at my age, who needs the aggravation?

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

TEN THINGS YOU ABSOLUTELY DON’T KNOW ABOUT OUR ECONOMY — BUT YOU SHOULD

I’m going to tell you some things about our economy, and specifically about money — a subject which you already understand quite well because you have lots of it. Image result for money sign

But I’m going to tell you ten things you didn’t know.

The vast majority of you own more than a million U.S. dollars, which used to be a much-respected sum, but no longer is.

Because you own so many dollars, let me ask you this: What does a U.S. dollar look like? For instance, what is the color of the U.S. dollar?

Green, right?

And what is a dollar made of? How big is it?

Paper and about 6 inches?Image result for dollars

And what is the purpose of dollars?

They are a medium of exchange and a measure of value or wealth. OK?

And, if the purpose of dollars is, for example, to act as a medium of exchange, that means you exchange dollars for the goods and services you want, right?

.

Image result for pallet of dollars

So, for instance, let’s say you walk into a car dealership to buy a car.

After proper negotiation, you give the dealer a giant stack, let’s say 75,000, of those green, 6-inch pieces of paper, and he gives you the car keys.

That’s the way it works, right? You schlep big stacks of paper around?

No?? It doesn’t work that way??

Actually, to buy that car, you sign some papers that probably are not green and don’t measure 6 inches.Image result for signing car dealer's documents

And in fact, I venture to guess, that while the vast majority of your life’s purchases do involve dollars, they do not involve green pieces of paper.

You gave that car dealer $75,000. So, let me ask you again, What did those dollars — the dollars you gave the dealer — look like?

The answer is: Those dollars didn’t look like anything. They are bookkeeping entries.

The U.S. dollar is not a physical entity. The dollar is a legal entity. It is a group of laws. You can’t see, smell, taste, feel, or hear a dollar any more than you can see, smell, taste, feel, or hear a law.

Image result for car, house titles
Titles

That green piece of paper is not a dollar; it is a dollar bill. It represents the ownership of a dollar. Just as a car title is not a car, and a house title is not a house, a dollar bill is not a dollar.

A dollar bill is a bearer title to a dollar.

A dollar is a legal entity that exists only in law books. And if there is one thing you know about governments and laws it’s this: A government can make as many laws as it wishes. A government cannot run short of laws.Image result for how many laws are there

Before the year 1780, there were no U.S. dollars. Then, as if by magic, the U.S government created from thin air, a bunch of laws, and among them were laws that created from thin air, millions of dollars.

And not only did the government laws and dollars from thin air, but it created other laws from thin air that gave those dollars a value relative to ounces of silver.

In 1792 the US Congress passed the Coinage Act, which states that the U.S. dollar coin must contain four hundred and sixteen grains of standard silver.Image result for 416 grains of silver

And ever since, the U.S. government has continued to create more and more laws, and more and more dollars from thin air, and has continued to pass laws changing the value of U.S. dollars.

All of this was arbitrary, and arbitrarily changed many times, and it demonstrated the unique sovereign power of the federal government over the U.S. dollar.

The American government proved what so many other governments had proved and continue to prove to this day:Image result for monetary sovereignty

The U.S. federal government has the unlimited ability to pass laws, which means it has the unlimited ability to create its sovereign currency, the U.S. dollar and the unlimited ability to give the dollar any value it wishes. 

The term for that is Monetary Sovereignty.

You now know more than 90% of the people — make that 99% of the people — in America.

You know more than most of the media. You know more than most of the politicians. You even know more than most of the economists.

Why do I say that? Because every day, the media, the politicians and the economists tell you the U.S. federal debt is too high. It’s “unsustainable.”Related image

What does “unsustainable” mean? It means the U.S. government will not have enough dollars to pay off its debt.

It even may mean the U.S. government won’t be able to make payments against its debt or even to cover the interest payments.

And it might mean that the government will have to raise taxes on you and your children to obtain dollars to pay its debt.

And as you now have learned, that is all nonsense.

Think about it, and answer for yourself these two questions:Image result for infinite dollars

  1. How can a government that has the unlimited ability to create dollars from thin air, run short of dollars to pay its debts? (It can’t.)
  2. Does a government having the unlimited dollars to pay its debts, need to ask you or your children for tax dollars? (No.)

What? The federal government doesn’t need your tax dollars?

That’s right folks, those tax dollars you sweat and strain to obtain, and then send to the government — the U.S. government does not need those tax dollars.Related image

In fact, the federal government destroys your tax dollars upon receipt.

Really.

Think of it this way. Have you ever played the board game, Monopoly?

It usually is played with four players, one of whom also serves as the Bank.

Think of the Bank as the federal government and the players as the U.S. economy.

Image result for monopoly dollars
Monopoly money

According to the game rules, or laws, the Bank starts the game by distributing a certain amount of Monopoly money to each player.

One time, my friends and I wished to play Monopoly, but when we opened the box we discover the board, some game tokens, and some instruction cards, but no Monopoly dollars inside.

What would you have done?

No problem. The Bank simply took a sheet of paper and drew four columns, one for each player.

Like the U.S. federal government, the Bank created dollars out of thin air, simply by writing numbers into each player’s column.Image result for four-columned sheet

The Bank has no source of dollars other than the rules or laws of the game.

Obviously, the Bank could have written any starting number at the top of each column.

Like the federal government, the Monopoly Bank has the unlimited power to create Monopoly dollars.

Then, as the game progressed, the Bank kept paying out and receiving dollars.

When the Bank paid out more dollars than it received, this was a deficit for the Bank and a surplus for the players — that is, a surplus for the economy — just like in the real world.

Now here comes the interesting part: At various points in the game, the rules require players to pay money to the Bank, either for properties, for fines, or for taxes.

Let’s say a player must pay a $100 tax to the Bank. In that case, 100 was deducted from that player’s column.

But where did the $100 go? The Bank had no column. The $100 simply disappeared. Those tax dollars were destroyed, just like in the real world.

That is why, if you ask someone, “How much money does the federal government have,” you will not get an answer.  The federal government has infinite money.

If the federal government doesn’t need or use tax dollars, why does it collect them? Two reasons:

  1. To control the economy. It taxes what it wishes to limit and it gives tax breaks to what and whom it wishes to reward.
  2. To control the middle- and lower-income groups. Taxes provide a handy excuse for limiting benefits and preventing the non-rich from asking for benefits.

Why does the federal government wish to limit benefits to the non-rich?

Image result for poor man with a cow
A rich man

The rich run America.

Indeed the rich run the world.

“Rich” is a comparative word. You are rich if you have $100 and everyone else has $1, but you are poor if you have $1 million and everyone else has $10 million.

The rich wish to be richer which requires widening the gap between them and the non-rich.

The gap can be widened not only by giving more to the rich, but also by giving less to the non-rich.Image result for boss, behind big desk, employee

The desire to widen the gap between those below, on any economic measure, and to narrow the gap above, is called Gap Psychology

The rich are motivated by Gap Psychology.

The rich want the gap between you and them to widen.

That is why you are told falsely that Medicare for All, and Social Security for All, and the growing debt all are unsustainable.

And as for that so-called “debt,” it isn’t even a debt — at least not in the way you usually think about debt.Image result for lending officer and poor borrower

Loans are made to those who need money.

But the federal government has no need to borrow money. The U.S. federal government already has infinite money.

Those so-called “loans” to the federal government actually are deposits into T-bill, T-note, and T-bond accounts held at the Federal Reserve Bank.

They are deposits, similar to your bank savings account deposit.

When China “lends” to the U.S government, it actually opens T-bill accounts and directs dollars from its checking account at the Federal Reserve Bank to be deposited into its T-bill accounts, also at the Federal Reserve Bank.

There China’s dollars stay, in its T-bill accounts, accumulating interest until the T-bills mature.

Then, how does the government pay off its Chinese loans? It merely sends the dollars that are sitting in China’s T-bill accounts, back to China’s checking account.

It’s a simple dollar transfer. It does this every day.

No tax dollars involved. No burden on the government or future generations.

If the government doesn’t use the dollars in Treasury accounts, why then does the government issue T-bills, notes, and bonds? Two primary reasons:

  1. To provide a safe parking place for unused dollars, which stabilizes the dollar, and
  2. To assist the Federal Reserve in controlling interest rates

In summary, and contrary to what you have been told, the federal debt is not a burden on anyone, not on you, not on your grandchildren and not on the government.

Why is this important?Related image

Well, for one thing, you repeatedly have been told that the Social Security Trust Fund is running out of money, and to save Social Security, we must either increase FICA taxes or reduce benefits.

In fact, benefits already have been reduced by increasing the qualifying ages.

But the U.S. government has the unlimited ability to create dollars. It cannot go broke, And because the U.S. government cannot go broke, no agency of the government can go broke, unless that is what the politicians want.

The Supreme Court, Congress, and the Presidency all are agencies of the government. Have you ever heard concerns about any of them going broke? No, and you never will.

The idea that Social Security can run short of dollars is false. Even if all FICA collections were zero, the federal government could continue paying benefits, forever.Image result for medicare for all

And then we come to the newly famous “Medicare-for-All.”

In its best case, Medicare for All would lower the entrance age to zero, eliminate deductibles, cover long-term care completely, and pay for all drugs.

Who wouldn’t want all health costs to be free? People want it. Companies — except for insurance companies — want it. The benefits to America would be enormous.Image result for federal government handing out money

And yet, Medicare-for-All  is controversial, primarily because of one question: Who would pay for it?”

And the answer, very simply is, the federal government could pay for the whole thing, without levying even a dollar in taxes. It simply would do what it always has done, to fund every federal expense: Create dollars from thin air.

Oh,” you say. “Sure the government can print money.

“But, remember what happened to Weimar Germany. Remember what happened to Zimbabwe. We’re talking about hyperinflation. People carrying wheelbarrows full of money.”Related image

I’ll let you in on a well-kept secret: Every hyperinflation and nearly every inflation in history has been caused not by deficit spending, but rather by shortages — usually shortages of food and/or energy.

Think of the Zimbabwe hyperinflation. The government took farmland from farmers and gave it to non-farmers.

Predictably, that caused a food shortage, which caused the hyperinflation.

Rather than importing more food, and training people to farm, which would have cured the shortage and the hyperinflation, the Zimbabwe government simply printed currency of higher denominations.

When you hear that the price of potatoes has gone up, do you immediately think it’s because the federal government is spending too much? No, the price of potatoes goes up when there is a shortage of potatoes.

In fact, the best way for a government to end an inflation is to increase deficit spending to cure the shortage.

Potato prices gone up? The solution: More deficit spending to import more potatoes, and/or to pay more farmers to grow more potatoes, and/or

That is the irony of inflations. They can be cured by deficit spending to eliminate the shortages.

The government has other means of ending inflations: It can raise interest rates which strengthen the dollar by creating more demand for dollars.

And it can simply revalue the dollar vs. other currencies, which it has done often in its 240-year history. Being sovereign over the dollar, the government can do anything it wishes with the dollar.

The U.S. government is Monetarily Sovereign.

Your city is not Monetarily Sovereign. Nor is your county. Nor is your state. Nor is your business. Nor are the euro nations. Nor are you, nor am I. But the federal government is. It has unlimited sovereign power over the U.S. dollar, which is nothing more than a creation of federal law.

And that makes all the difference.

And remember that statement at the beginning of this post: “The U.S. dollar is not a physical entity. The dollar is a legal entity. It is a group of laws. You can’t see, smell, taste, feel, or hear a dollar any more than you can see, smell, taste, feel, or hear a law.”

If you don’t believe it, the kindly describe the dollars we Monopoly players used when the game didn’t have any paper certificates. What color were those dollars? What did they smell and feel like?

In summary:

  1. The federal government created the very first dollar, and subsequent dollars, out of thin air, simply by writing federal laws, also out of thin air.
  2. Dollars are not physical entities; they are legal entities, and so to the federal government, they are in unlimited supply.
  3. Even if all federal tax collections fell to $0, the federal government easily could continue spending, and paying all its bills, forever.
  4. Unlike state and local governments, the federal government is Monetarily Sovereign, so it cannot run short of its own sovereign currency, the U.S. dollar.
  5. No agency of the federal government can run short of dollars unless Congress and the President want it to.
  6. Social Security and Medicare are federal agencies. They cannot run short of dollars unless Congress and the President want them to.
  7. Because the federal government is Monetarily Sovereign, it does not borrow its own sovereign currency. The primary purposes of federal debt are to stabilize the dollar and to help control interest rates.
  8. The federal government, being sovereign over the dollar, has absolute control over the value of the dollar, also known as inflation. The government can give the dollar any value it chooses.
  9. Inflations are caused by shortages, most often shortages of food or energy,  and seldom if ever,  by federal deficit spending, which actually can control inflation.
  10. Being Monetarily Sovereign, the federal government has absolute control over inflation, either by raising interest rates, and/or by using deficit spending to eliminate shortages.

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And that is the speech I’d like to give to my wealthy country-club friends.

But have you ever heard the biblical line, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house”?

This prophet doesn’t wish to duck thrown tomatoes, and anyway, who needs the aggravation?

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

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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. Provide a monthly economic bonus to every man, woman and child in America (similar to 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

Why do you need an EB (Economic Bonus)?

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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The previous post discussed Step #3 in the Ten Steps to Prosperity (below), Provide a monthly economic bonus (EB) to every man, woman, and child in America (similar to Social Security for All)

Today, we’ll discuss one of the many reasons why EB not only is important today but will become less avoidable each passing day.

That reason, in a word: Technology.

The Cato Institute, an ultra-right-wing “think tank,” published a paper titled: “Cato Institute Policy Analysis No. 68: Does More Technology Create Unemployment?”  the thrust of which can be summarized in one sentence on the paper’s page 4:

“It is only technological improvement that enables employment to take place at higher-than subsistence levels of output.”

First, when technical change lowers costs in a given industry, the competitive firms comprising that industry must lower their prices, generating larger sales and an even greater need for employment.

In this case, employment goes up, not down, and with the increased competition for workers, wages rise in all industries capturing some of the value of the technological change for workers.

Second, when technical change in a given industry is labor saving, but its downward effect on product prices does not result in larger quantities sold sufficient to provide the same amount of employment in the industry as before the change, then temporary unemployment occurs.

However, jobs are available elsewhere in competitive markets.

If nothing else, wages are bid down enough in other industries to absorb the released labor.

Cato’s idea is that unemployment breeds lower wages in other industries, which encourages those other industries to hire more people.

Only a right-wing writer could look upon lower wages as an effective and worthwhile cure for unemployment. Taken to its logical extreme, universal slavery would be a wonderful way to prevent all unemployment.

It is an idea that has appeal for the “haves” of the world.

But the savings in the industry where the advancement occurs must also be taken into account.

Either more money goes to remaining workers in that industry, so that they raise the demand for other products, thus enabling the released labor to be employed in other industries without lower wages; or product prices are lower in the automated industry, so that consumers can buy the same amount and have income left over to demand more products from other industries, again enabling the released labor to be employed in those expanding industries without lower wages.

In summary: Though technology creates short-term unemployment, it lowers prices, which increases demand, which over the longer term, cures the unemployment.

And, in fact, that is the way things have worked in the past: Technology has cost jobs in the short term and created jobs in the long term.

This may be uncomfortable for those of us — all of us, really — who live our lives in short term segments, but from a long economic standpoint,  it has proven to be efficient.

Thus, while some unemployment may occur when there is technological advancement in competitive markets, it is both temporary and a natural consequence of the ability to change jobs freely.

It is certainly not a social problem requiring any sort of government action.

That last sentence, “It is certainly not a social problem requiring any sort of government action,” summarizes the right-wing attitude about virtually every social program. 

The idea is that government assistance to the poor, the unemployed or low waged worker, the homeless, the uneducated, etc. is not needed. Things will just work themselves out, naturally.

Can President Trump keep his promises to coal country? PBS Newshour

From 2011 to 2015, the coal mining industry lost more than 26,000 jobs, with 87 percent of those losses coming in the Appalachian region. In the last two years alone, several major coal companies filed for bankruptcy protection.

“We’re going to get those miners back to work,” Trump said in May 2016. “The miners of West Virginia and Pennsylvania … Ohio and all over are going to start to work again, believe me. They are going to be proud again to be miners.”

Many economists and energy experts say the current decline, at least in Appalachia, is here to stay.

Increased automation is one of several factors that they point to. Even as the production of coal was peaking in 2008, machines were replacing whole teams of miners, reducing the number of jobs in the industry.

These employment losses are very heavily concentrated. Southern West Virginia now contains five counties — the heart of the coal fields — that are in a deep depression.

Coal miners lose their jobs or move to another county or state in search of work. The subsequent loss in tax revenue, in turn, forces counties with shrinking budgets to cut jobs in government, some of the most stable employment available in these areas.

“It’s just this ripple effect that keeps rippling out to impact all these other layers, so you have less support for county projects, infrastructure development, for anything that supports the county budget,” said Stephanie Tyree, the executive director of the West Virginia Community Development Hub.

“It starts to go at such a rapid pace that it becomes very difficult to step in to mitigate it.”

From a cold, economic perspective, this is the way it long has been. Technology has destroyed some products and some industries, along with the jobs in those industries, and along with the cities, counties and states that rely on those industries.

But it creates new products and new jobs in other industries, cities, counties, and states.

While older workers suffer, younger workers seek employment in the new industries in other locations. A short-term cost with a long-term benefit.

But what do we do in the short term, about the suffering older workers and the job-seeking younger workers, and the suffering locations whose infrastructures have decayed?

Meanwhile, something altogether new has emerged on the scene. We no longer are talking only about a digging machine operated by one man, replacing a dozen pick-and-shovel workers.

Now, we are beginning to discuss AI (Artificial Intelligence) replacing every conceivable type of job: CEOs, CFOs. line managers, doctors, lawyers, baseball managers. One scarcely can imagine a job that hasn’t been, or won’t be, impacted by AI.

One scarcely can imagine a job that hasn’t been, or won’t be, impacted by AI.

The Chicago Cubs, the perennial losers, won in part because of Sabermetrics. Rather than making strictly intuitive decisions, Cubs management evaluates advanced statistics.

But why do we need humans to evaluate statistics, when AI can do it better and faster. Baseball managers, sitting on the bench, soon may be replaced by a computer sitting in another city, altogether.

Fortune Magazine
Mark Cuban: Robots Are ‘Going to Cause Unemployment’

Mark Cuban reiterated his warning that total robot takeover of blue-collar manufacturing jobs could come sooner than people may expect.

“Automation is going to cause unemployment and we need to prepare for it.” Similar warnings (have been made) by Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and Stephen Hawking.

In December, Cuban called on Donald Trump to make America a world leader in robotics, otherwise, “if nothing in the States changes, we will find ourselves dependent on other countries for almost everything that can and will be manufactured in a quickly approaching future.”

That is the “solution” advocated by a very, rich man: Because automation will take over blue collar jobs, the U.S. should invest in automation, so the U.S. can compete with other nations.

While the advice is good for the rich, it leaves out consideration of those unemployed people. What is to become of them?

And, lest you feel safe because you are in an “intellectual” job, it’s not just blue-collar jobs that are at risk.

The Guardian

Machines could put more than half the world’s population out of a job in the next 30 years, according to a computer scientist who said on Saturday that artificial intelligence’s threat to the economy should not be understated.

Expert Moshe Vardi told the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS): “We are approaching a time when machines will be able to outperform humans at almost any task.

Unlike the industrial revolution, Vardi said, “the AI revolution” will not be a matter of physically powerful machines that outperform human laborers, but rather a contest between human wit and mechanical intelligence and strength.

How has human wit done in such machine vs. human contests as chess, Go, and Jeopardy? Not too well, recently.

And unlike people, machines don’t tire, don’t demand raises or vacations, don’t fight or argue.

They not only are physically stronger, but every year become mentally stronger and stronger — and stronger.

Bart Selman , a professor at Cornell University, said: “Computers are basically starting to hear and see the way humans do,” thanks to advances in big data and “deep learning”.

Citing research from MIT, he noted that although Americans continue to drive GDP with increasing productivity, employment peaked around 1980 and average wages for families have gone down. “It’s automation,” Vardi said.

The consultant company McKinsey concluded that 20% of a CEO’s working time could be automated with existing technologies, and nearly 80% of a file clerk’s job could be automated. About 45% of the work people are paid to do could be automated by existing technology.

See those two little words, “existing technology”?

If 45% of the work could be automated by existing technology, how much will be automated by future technologies?

We humans aren’t getting smarter, but our machines are.In 2013, two Oxford professors predicted that as much as 47% of the US workforce, from telemarketers to legal secretaries and cooks, were vulnerable to automation.

In 2013, two Oxford professors predicted that as much as 47% of the US workforce, from telemarketers to legal secretaries and cooks, were vulnerable to automation.

And the professors needn’t feel safe.

What about a professor who knows everything about his subject and all related subjects — a sort of “super-Jeopardy” contestant, who can answer any question. Wouldn’t it be better equipped to teach?

But then again, who would such a professor teach? An AI machine “student” promises to be more apt than a human student — instantly learning and no cheating on exams.

And then there are truck drivers:

MIT Technology Review
Self-Driving TrucksTractor-trailers without a human at the wheel will soon barrel onto highways near you.
What will this mean for the nation’s 1.7 million truck drivers? Multiple companies are now testing self-driving trucks.

Although many technical problems are still unresolved, proponents claim that self-driving trucks will be safer and less costly.

Driver fatigue is a factor in roughly one of seven fatal truck accidents.

“This system often drives better than I do,” says Greg Murphy, who’s been a professional truck driver for 40 years. He now serves as a safety backup driver during tests of self-driving trucks by Otto, a San Francisco company that outfits trucks with the equipment needed to drive themselves.

Last October an Otto-outfitted self-driving truck carried 2,000 cases of Budweiser beer 200 kilometers down Interstate 25 in Colorado from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs—while the truck’s only human driver sat in the sleeper berth at the back of the cab without touching the vehicle’s controls.

O.K., truck drivers and baseball managers.  But, what about doctors? We always will need human doctors, right?

MIT Technology Review: The Artificially Intelligent Doctor Will Hear You Now
March 9, 2016

U.K.-based startup Babylon will launch an app later this year that will listen to your symptoms and provide medical advice.

There are about 10,000 known human diseases, yet human doctors are only able to recall a fraction of them at any given moment. As many as 40,500 patients die annually in an ICU in the U.S. as a result of misdiagnosis, according to a 2012 Johns Hopkins study.

What does your primary care doctor do for you? He/she listens to your symptoms and provides medical advice.

So wouldn’t you rather have a doctor conversant with every known human disease, and every known treatment, a doctor whose knowledge increases every minute of every day, a doctor who is available to you for advice 24/7/365?

Clearly, the days of the primary care doctor are numbered.

Well, are surgeons safe?

Autonomous Robot Surgeon Bests Humans in World First
By Eliza Strickland, Posted 4 May 2016

In a robotic surgery breakthrough, a bot stitched up a pig’s small intestines using its own vision, tools, and intelligence to carry out the procedure.

What’s more, the Smart Tissue Autonomous Robot (STAR) did a better job on the operation than human surgeons who were given the same task.

Moving up the business ladder . . .

Could the CEO be replaced by a robot?
This article is part of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2017

With the automation of many everyday activities, could a robot be a more productive addition to boardrooms of the future than a CEO?

In an era defined by the exponential evolution of technology, robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) have come a long way in a short space of time.

Robots can perform surgical operations, build cars, move stock in warehouses, check you into your hotel and serve you drinks. And they can do it quickly and efficiently.

AI is expected to evolve significantly beyond today’s relatively simple machine learning to better understand human behaviour. That means robots making decisions on their own in more complicated situations. And as they get cleverer, they would be able to take on increasingly challenging jobs.

But could they take on as challenging a role as the CEO?

If I’ve had a bad meeting, am suffering jet lag or simply have other things on my mind, my decisions could suffer. Robots don’t face the unpredictability we humans face, so their decisions are more likely to be consistent, based on facts.

Secondly, robots can work all day, every day. They don’t need sleep, weekends or holidays. No mere humans can say the same.

As technology improves, no job is safe for humans. If you believe “robots can’t do this,” or “robots don’t do that,” you may be wrong about today’s robots, and you surely are wrong about tomorrow’s robots.

There is nothing you can think of that robots one day, won’t be able to do better, faster, and cheaper than you can.  And that “one day” may come sooner than you can imagine.

So the world should prepare.

The fundamental purpose of robots is the same as the fundamental purpose of government: To help make our lives better.

Fortunately, we have all the tools we need, for we control the algorithms, i.e. the laws. As robots do more and more jobs, we can make those jobs less necessary for humans to do.

Humans have no innate need to dig for coal, drive trucks, or run companies. The prime motivation for the vast majority of jobs is money.  And we have the unlimited ability to create money.

Yes, some jobs give us satisfaction and pride. But we don’t need to have an employer for us to feel satisfaction and pride.

This all comes together with the Ten Steps to Prosperity.

The step we discussed in the previous post, Step #3, Social Security for All, provides income not dependent on work.  Importantly, it allows us to obtain goods and services, eventually without the need for a job.

Unquestionably, AI will make human labor less necessary. But, until robots are able to provide all of our goods and services, as in the mythical Star Trek “replicator,” we must find another mechanism.

And I believe that interim mechanism must be the distribution of money by Monetarily Sovereign governments via social programs.

Historically, people have toiled more, lived less comfortable lives, and died earlier than they do, today. “Work ’til you drop” was the human blueprint, just as it remains today for all other animals.

Today, our massive brains have given us less demanding work, more comfort, and longer lives — and have created even more massive brains, but of an electronic nature.

In America, Social Security, Medicare and other social programs evolved as small, interim steps on the long path toward a society requiring work only for pleasure.

We have taken those interim steps, those baby steps, and we must continue marching. No creation of Man exists in a vacuum. Every invention demands supporting inventions.

We invented trains, which made railroad tracks necessary. The auto made strong streets and highways necessary. Airplanes made massive airports necessary. The one cannot function properly without the other.

Similarly, AI makes strong social programs necessary. Neither can function properly without the other.

We have opened a Pandora’s box of Artificial Intelligence. We have the tools to control it, improve it, and to make it function properly. But we had better use those tools by expanding our social programs — our Social Security, our Medicare, et al.

To our advantage, we must use AI properly.

Or  AI will use us.

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