Can there be a “Theory of Everything” in economics? Saturday, Jun 24 2017 

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

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It takes only two things to keep people in chains: The ignorance of the oppressed and the treachery of their leaders..
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The term “Theory of Everything” has been related to physics.

Quoting Wikipedia, “A theory of everything (T)E) is a hypothetical single, all-encompassing, coherent, theoretical framework of physics that fully explains and links together all physical aspects of the universe.

“Finding a ToE is one of the major unsolved problems in physics.”

The two primary “frameworks” in physics are General Relativity and Quantum Field Theory, which in their current interpretations are incompatible.  A “theory of everything” would unite these two frameworks.

If we class General Relativity as a theory of big things, and Quantum Field Theory as a theory of small things, we might draw an interesting parallel in economics with macroeconomics and microeconomics.

And just as General Relativity is the basis for explaining how gravity affects big things, Monetary Sovereignty is the basis for explaining how money affects macroeconomics.

General Relativity is based on the relationships among mass, energy, time, space, and gravity. Monetary Sovereignty is based on the relationships between money creators and money users.

Consider such subjects as income and wealth distribution, health care, taxation, poverty, education, employment, inflation, deficit spending, and economic growth. Any intelligent discussion of these subjects requires an understanding of Monetary Sovereignty.

Obamacare Vs. Trumpcare:

You’ve been reading and hearing about the Democrats’ “Obamacare” vs. the latest iterations of the Republicans’ “Trumpcare.” Both are attempts to provide health care to Americans, and in different ways, both suffer from fundamental, incorrect assumptions.

The incorrect assumptions are that the federal government’s supply of dollars is limited, and an increase in federal spending requires an increase in taxes,  an increase in borrowing, and/or inflation.

The facts are:

  1. Our federal government, unlike state and local governments, is now Monetarily Sovereign (since 1971, when it went off a gold standard).
  2. It cannot unintentionally run short of its own sovereign currency — the currency it originally created from nothing — the U.S. dollar. It instantly can pay any size debt denominated in dollars.
  3. It needs neither to borrow nor to tax in order to obtain dollars, as it creates dollars ad hoc, by paying creditors.
  4. Being sovereign, the federal government has the unlimited ability to increase or to decrease the value of its sovereign dollar, thus creating or preventing inflation.

Obamacare rightfully is criticized for taxing younger, healthier citizens and for not covering several million people, all because the realities of Monetary Sovereignty have been ignored.

Trumpcare reduces the taxation and the coverage for the same wrong reasons.

The U.S. federal government has the unlimited power to fund comprehensive, no-deductible health care and long-term care for every man, woman, and child in America.

It can fund “Medicare for All” without collecting any tax, and without borrowing, and without price inflation.

Trying to determine whether Trumpcare does or does not outweigh Obamacare, is a fool’s mission. Both are seriously lacking due to their false underlying assumptions about federal affordability.

The Kansas’s Experiment With Tax Reduction:

We discussed this at “Kansas is nothing like America.” An article in THIS WEEK Magazine (6/23/17) illustrates the problem:

“The nation’s most aggressive experiment in conservative economic policy is dead,” said Russel Berman in TheAtlantic.com. Supply-side economics “never works,” saod Eugene Robinson in The Washinbgton Post.

The Wall Street Journal, in an editorial said (Kansas Governor) Brownback was “unlucky in his timing. . .” Said Pat Garofalo in USNews.com, “Conservatives always try to explain away supply-side failures by saying the reforms weren’t quite right.

The big question is whether national Republicans will heed the lessons of Kansas, said Jordan Weissmann in Slate.com. President Trump is being advised by the same economists who engineered Brownback’s disastrous scheme, and he has proposed a similar strategy of massive income tax cuts and pass-through exemptions for businesses. “Kansas has admitted its mistake” — but Republicans may try to repeat it anyway.

Image result for bell-shaped curve

Total tax collections based on various tax rates.

Supply-side economics, often exemplified by “the Laffer curve,” teaches that tax-rate cuts can pay for themselves by increasing taxable income.

This supposedly will happen because lower taxes will increase both the Supply and the Demand for products and services.

In this vein, Arthur Laffer said that tax rates of 0% or 100% will generate zero taxes, so somewhere between 0% and 100% there is a “best” tax rate that will generate the maximum tax.

“Best” is defined as the point at which taxes collections are maximized, but not the point of maximum benefit to an economy.

Supply-siders fail to take into consideration four facts:

  1. The federal government has no need for taxes, so federal tax cuts always will be pro-growth for the economy.
  2. Federal deficit spending adds dollars to the economy and so is pro-growth
  3. Federal taxes always remove dollars from the economy, but a growing economy requires a growing supply of dollars. Thus, federal taxes always are anti-growth.
  4. State and local governments do need taxes, though complexity prevents knowing what that magical “best” tax rate is. For each state, it could be lower or higher than the current rate. State and local government deficit spending neither adds nor removes dollars from the economy, so may or may not facilitate growth.

Berman, Robinson, the Wall Street Journal, Garofalo, Weissmann, Brownback, and Trump do not seem to understand the differences between Monetary Sovereignty (the U.S.  federal government) and monetary non-sovereignty (the states, counties, cities, you, and me).

The federal government, having neither the need for, nor the use of taxes, should not use the Kansas experiment as a model. Unlike Kansas, the federal government could eliminate all taxes today and yet continue spending, forever.

Kansas needs and spends tax dollars. It can, and has, run short of dollars. Though the Kansas experiment seems to have failed — tax rate reduction did not generate enough taxable income to “pay for itself” — exactly the same experiment might work for other states.

Florida, Alaska, and others have no income tax, simply because they receive dollars from outside sources, Florida from tourism and Alaska from oil. The Kansas experiment may apply to some states and not to others, but it definitely does not apply to the federal government.

The common element among the arguments about Obamacare, Trumpcare, and the Kansas experiment is Monetary Sovereignty, or rather, the lack of understanding it.

A need to understand Monetary Sovereignty is at the foundation of meaningful discussions about education access, federal and local tax reform, income and wealth inequality, poverty, Social Security, immigration, inflation, unemployment, infrastructure, climate change, war, scientific research, states’ rights, charity, business regulation and many other dollar-related subjects.

In that sense, Monetary Sovereignty is the “theory of everything” only in macroeconomics.  It is not a Theory of Everything in all of economics because it barely touches on microeconomics

(Monetary Sovereignty does include “Gap Psychology,” the popular desire to distance ourselves from people below us on the income/wealth/power scale, whom we view as inferior, while wishing to come closer to people above us, whom we deem superior).

Microeconomics, being a subset of Psychology, is like Quantum Field Theory in that both involve predictable unpredictabilities we have yet to master. Thus, like physics, economics will have to wait for its Theory of Everything (though I suspect individual humans will continue to be even less predictable than quantum particles).

In summary:

Those who do not understand and use Monetary Sovereignty, do not understand federal economics, and cannot develop workable economics plans.

They are fixated on cost-cutting and budget-balancing, when the federal government needs neither, and both are anti-growth.

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

 

Are the Dems willing to learn? What will it take? Thursday, Jun 22 2017 

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

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

In the publication, This Week, Ryan Cooper wrote:

The big lesson of Ossoff’s defeat is that Democrats must run on policy 

I suggest that what Democrats need to do is sharply discount predictions about what sort of politics will play best, and proudly run on something substantive.

Oooh, “run on something substantive”? What a concept! Actually give voters real facts!

You wouldn’t know it, but when it comes to something substantive, the Dems hold all the cards:

  1. There are far more middle-income and poor voters than rich voters.
  2. Most progressive initiatives favor those middle-income and poor voters
  3. By contrast, the conservatives have a record of favoring the few rich voters.

So what’s the problem?

  1. The rich are better able to bribe the politicians than are the middle-income and poor.
  2. The rich also are better able to bribe the economists and the media.
  3. Those bribes, over the years, have moved the Democrats from progressivism toward conservatism.

Thus, we endured a faux progressive President in Barack Obama, who repeatedly opted for social spending cuts and deficit cuts. Today, there are few-to-no progressive politicians, and any such will be labeled “socialists.” Our last progressive President was Lyndon Johnson.

And now we have arrived at today, from which we can look back and ask, “How did we get here?”

First, the Dems lost Congress, despite there being more of them registered as voters than the Republicans have.

Then, they lost the Presidency to a semi-literate, rich bigot, who was elected, in part, by the very people against whom he expressed his bigotry.

Image result for georgia people

Trump voters will lose most under Trump

Most recently, the Dems spent mega-millions to lose in Georgia,  whose voters will lose most under Trumpcare.

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton, the perennial presidential loser, and a representative of the old Democratic style, continues to mouth off about Russia, the FBI, and hacking, which may be important to her, but don’t mean a damn thing to the voters.

So the question (or rather the questions) are:

  1. Do the Democrats care?
  2. Are the Democrats brave enough to tell the voters the truth?

Question #1 has to do with motivation.  If you are a leading Democrat in the Senate, you very likely are safe. Aside from being caught in bed with a sheep, you probably cannot lose your seat.

If you are a Democrat in the House, you probably have been elected via Gerrymandering, and are as locked in as a gold bar at Fort Knox.

In either case, you have yours, and they have theirs, and all’s well with the world. The boat will not be rocked by your hand.

For example, here in Illinois, we have a Democratic Senator named Durbin.  He was a House member from 1993-1997 and a Senator since 1997.  That’s 24 years in Congress and currently the senior Democratic Senator from a blue state.  You couldn’t pull him out of Congress with an 18-wheel truck.

Despite his 24 years, you might not have heard of him.  He keeps a very low profile, so low he scarcely comes up for air, at which time he whispers that he’s for all things good, and against all things evil. Then down he goes for another six years.

Do you think Durbin and all the other “Durbin’s” want to learn or do anything different? Not a chance. They have won for themselves by doing what they have been doing.  So they just sit back in that rocking chair and watch the votes come in.

But let’s say you’re one of those rare Democrats who not only cares about the Party, but also cares about the party’s traditional constituents, the men and women of the middle and lower income groups, the minorities and the underdogs.

You know the party needs to change its ways. You know you can’t be the party of the middle and the poor, and at the same time coddle the crooked bankers who caused the recession.

You know you can’t opt for “Medicare for All” while pretending the federal government needs to ration spending. You know you can’t provide the benefit without deficit spending or tax increases. (That was Bernie Sanders’s problem. He denied reality. He claimed he could pull ten pounds of potatoes from a five-pound bag. )

You know you must acknowledge the federal government’s unique and unlimited ability to create dollars while preventing inflation.

But, do you care enough to risk your Congressional seat? Do you care enough, knowing you’ll receive no help from the establishment Dems?  After all, look what they did to Bernie, and he wasn’t even revealing the truth that federal taxes don’t fund federal spending.

Now, my friend, Professor Stephanie Kelton, who understands Monetary Sovereignty, just wrote to me today. She continues her Quixotic effort to find, then teach, the one or two Democrats who might have the courage and the influence to change the trajectory of the formerly left-wing.

God bless her and keep her.

She tried with Bernie, indeed she tried with the whole Democratic Party just last year when she was the Senate’s official Democratic economist. As a result of her efforts, did you hear Bernie, or any other Democrat, say anything resembling, “The federal government cannot run short of dollars, so there is no reason to cut spending“?

No? Nor did I.

Did you hear a single Democrat say, “Federal deficit spending is necessary for economic growth“? Me, neither.

Still, Kelton tries; I’ll give her credit for persistence.

If the Democratic Party is composed solely of people who don’t care about progressivism, and/or are fat and comfortable in their seat, and/or are too stupid to learn or too cowardly to teach, and/or have no influence, what is the Party’s future?

Dire, I fear.

The Dem’s slide to the right makes them increasingly irrelevant,  a virtual GOP-Lite. The poor and the middle will see more Trumpcares, more tax base widenings, more bank regulation cuts, more taking from the poor and giving to the rich.

The title question is, “Are the Democrats willing to learn? What will it take?”

Facts won’t do it. Logic won’t do it. Charts and tables won’t do it.

I believe it will take a charismatic, widely respected, and influential leader, someone rich enough and brave enough to ignore the bankers, and smart enough to understand and defend Monetary Sovereignty,  a person who has true compassion for the poor and the middle.

Know anyone?

I don’t.

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

The AI problem. Do you have the solution? The most powerful machine humans ever have created Monday, Jun 19 2017 

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

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

There is a problem coming at us like a roaring freight train — no, more like a rocket. It is expressed in this article from the June 10, 2017, issue of NewScientist Magazine.

Excerpts:

AI will be able to beat us at everything by 2060, say experts

According to a survey of more than 350 people developing artificial intelligence, there is a 50 per cent chance that machines will outperform humans in all tasks within 45 years.

AI is predicted to be better than us at translating languages by 2024, writing high-school essays by 2026, driving a truck by 2027, working in retail by 2031, writing a bestselling book by 2049 and surgery by 2053.

In fact, all human jobs will be automated within the next 120 years, say the respondents.

The survey, by the University of Oxford and Yale University, took the views of AI researchers around the world.

O.K., there is the problem.  Machines will do everything better than you can. What is your solution?

MMT’s (Modern Monetary Theory) so-called “solution” is for the government somehow to find or create (which of the two, never is clear) a below-minimum-wage job to everyone who wants one. They call it “JG” (Jobs Guarantee).Image result for dig for water in the desert

We already have discussed the many reasons why JG cannot work, even in today’s environment.  These reasons involve location, transportation, skills, salary, benefits, supervision, and effects on current workers.

You can click the link (above) to see the discussions.

Now, consider what would happen to JG in the future jobs environment described by the above article. Imagine a government agency frantically trying to find (or to create) jobs, when fewer and fewer jobs are needed.

It would be like your offering of a shovel to a desert wanderer, nearly dead of thirst, when you simply could give him a guaranteed, unlimited supply of water.

Who has the solution to the impending job shortage?

Surely not the Republicans, whose main interest is in punishing the poor for being “lazy,” and “takers,” rather than in helping them.  Cuts to Medicaid and other social spending are embedded in the fabric of the right-wing philosophy.

Not even the Democrats, who make loud noises about helping the poor, but then agree with the Republicans about “the Big Lie” — the lie that federal taxpayers fund federal spending.

Barack Obama’s Social Security cuts and Bernie Sanders’s attempts to “pay for” Medicare via current taxes provide examples of the Big Lie.

The reality is this:

  1. As machines become ever more adept at doing the jobs people traditionally have done, fewer people will be able to find jobs.
  2. But all people still will want food, clothing, housing, entertainment, health care, and other mental and physical comforts.
  3. In the far-distant future, machines might provide all these human needs free of charge. But until then, they will have to be paid for.
  4. Someone will need to pay for these human needs, when fewer people will be able to find jobs.
  5. The only entity in America with the unlimited ability to pay for anything is the Monetarily Sovereign U.S. government.

Being Monetarily Sovereign, the federal government uniquely cannot run short of dollars.  Even if all federal tax collections totaled $0, the U.S. federal government could continue spending, forever.

The only logical conclusion is that the Monetarily Sovereign, U.S. government (and all other Monetarily Sovereign governments) will have to step in and provide the people with more money and more benefits. 

Humans evolved big brains, and our using our big brains allowed us to adapt to change better than any other animal. We continually have created labor-saving, life-improving machines. It was via our machines — first, hand axes, then increasingly more sophisticated machines — that we separated ourselves from the rest of the species.

It was via our machines — first, hand axes, then increasingly more sophisticated machines — that we separated ourselves from the rest of the species.

Though our machines reduced the need for hand labor, they didn’t eliminate the need for all labor. Instead, they created more consumer needs and these additional needs created more, less-physical jobs.

Until now.

With Artificial Intelligence, and especially with machine learning, machines not only can do more physical work, faster and more efficiently, but they can think, remember, imagine, communicate and learn.

For any given job, no matter how great the intellectual requirement, we will create machines that can do it better than humans.

So, what will become of us?

Our solution is not to create more jobs for human hands.  Our solution is to utilize the Monetarily Sovereign governments our big brains have created.

We now must leave behind the old notions of nobility in sweat labor and dirt under the fingernails, and adapt to our newest machine, the most powerful machine humans ever have created: A Monetarily Sovereign government.

This machine, like all machines, must be used properly, as it can be used for good or for evil. 

But, if the same big brains that were smart enough to invent Monetary Sovereignty, also are smart enough to master Monetary Sovereignty, this greatest of all machines can help us create all we need and all we want.

We have but to understand which buttons to push and levers to pull.

I suggest we begin with the Ten Steps to Prosperity (below).

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

Kansas is nothing like America Saturday, Jun 17 2017 

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

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It takes only two things to keep people in chains: The ignorance of the oppressed and the treachery of their leaders..
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Image result for tennis helmet

What, no face mask?

If a sportswriter told you that tennis players should wear helmets and face masks because football players get concussions, what would you think about that writer?

That thought occurred to me when I read an article in a site called “FiveThirtyEight.

Here are some excerpts:

JUN. 9, 2017 AT 5:57 AM
The Kansas Experiment Is Bad News For Trump’s Tax Cuts
By Ben Casselman, Maggie Koerth-Baker, Anna Maria Barry-Jester and Michelle Cheng

Before commenting on the article, I should tell you:

“Ben Casselman is a senior editor and the chief economics writer for FiveThirtyEight.
“Maggie Koerth-Baker is a senior science writer for FiveThirtyEight.
“Anna Maria Barry-Jester reports on public health, food and culture for FiveThirtyEight.
“Michelle Cheng is FiveThirtyEight’s data reporting intern.”

That’s a great deal of firepower for this one article, and still, they managed to get it wrong.

The Kansas state legislature on Tuesday voted to override Gov. Sam Brownback’s veto and roll back $1.2 billion of tax cuts over two years. The vote marked a bipartisan repudiation of what Brownback had described as an “experiment” in a particular brand of anti-tax fiscal conservatism.

The failure of that experiment has implications beyond Kansas because Brownback’s approach was meant to be a model for conservatives elsewhere, including in Washington.

(It was drafted with the help of prominent conservative thinkers, including former Ronald Reagan adviser Arthur Laffer and Heritage Foundation economist Stephen Moore.)

Brownback aimed  to push personal income taxes to zero and exempted certain kinds of businesses, known as “pass-through” entities, from taxes entirely.

President Trump’s tax plan doesn’t go as far, but it follows the same basic roadmap of sharply lower taxes on both individuals and businesses.

See anything wrong here?

The U.S. federal government is Monetarily Sovereign. It has the unlimited ability to create its own sovereign currency, the dollar. It never unintentionally can run short of dollars.

The federal government neither needs nor uses tax dollars for spending. Even if all federal tax collections were $0, the federal government could continue spending, forever.

A bit of analogy by means of biblical paraphrasing:

In the beginning,  sovereign Men created the Laws of America. Now America was formless and empty.

So the Men said, “Let there be money, and there was money. The Men saw that this was good, so the Men created as much money as they wished, and named the money “dollars,” and the Men gave the dollars whatever value they wished.

And the Men commanded the Dollars: “Go forth and multiply.”

In the years that followed, the Men changed the Laws many times. Dollars were commanded to multiply and the value of the Dollars was commanded to change. Many times.

Today, sovereign Men continue to create new Laws, and the new Laws continue to determine the number of Dollars and the value of Dollars. And whenever more dollars are needed, Men say, “Let the laws change and let there be more dollars.” And there are more dollars. 

As you can see, the men in the federal government were, and are, absolutely sovereign over the dollar.

By contrast, the State of Kansas, like all other states in the U.S., as well as all other counties and cities, is monetarily non-sovereign with regard to the U.S. dollar. Kansas does not have the unlimited ability to create dollars. It can (and has) run short of dollars.

Kansas does need and use tax dollars for spending.

Financially, no two entities can be more different than the federal government and Kansas.

A recent study concluded that the business tax cuts at the heart of Brownback’s plan had little if any impact on the state’s economy. Meanwhile, the state’s fiscal condition fell off a cliff: Tax revenue plunged, creating huge budget shortfalls and leading ratings agencies to downgrade the state’s credit rating.

The budget shortfalls should come as no surprise to you who recognize the name, Arthur Laffer, promoter of what became known as the “Laffer curve.” As an advisor to President Ronald Reagan, Laffer predicted that lowering tax rates would increase tax revenue.

It didn’t happen for Reagan, and it didn’t happen for Brownback. The difference was that Reagan’s federal government could continue creating dollars. Brownback’s state government could not.

Some conservatives have argued that Brownback’s experiment isn’t a fair test of their economic theories because Kansas didn’t pair its big tax cuts with equivalent reductions in government spending.

No, the experiment isn’t a “fair test” (in addition to the fundamental fault with the Laffer curve) because the Kansas government is not representative of the federal government.

Members of the public might not like paying taxes, but they do like the services those taxes pay for.

When it looked like Kansas’s budget gap would lead to big cuts to education and highway spending, voters responded by throwing conservative legislators out of office and replacing them with the Democrats and moderate Republicans who this week overrode Brownback’s veto.

Had exactly the same experiment done with federal taxation, there would have been no need for “big cuts to education and highway spending,” or to any other federal programs.

Though state taxes fund state spending, federal taxes do not fund federal spending.

Whether Republicans in the U.S. Congress learn the economic lessons of the Kansas experiment remains to be seen. But you can be sure that they’ll be studying the political lessons closely.

You can be sure that after all the studying, Congress will learn the wrong lessons.

Being ignorant of, or more likely, reluctant to acknowledge,  Monetary Sovereignty, Congress will “learn” that tax cuts must be balanced with spending cuts — exactly the opposite of the facts.

Ignorance of Monetary Sovereignty has far-reaching, often disastrous outcomes:

Climate change: 

When he announced that the U.S. would be withdrawing from the Paris Agreement, Trump said he had based his decision on data that showed how much the accords, which are designed to slow the pace of climate change, would hurt the U.S. economy.

“The cost to the economy [by 2040] would be close to $3 trillion in lost [gross domestic product] and 6.5 million industrial jobs, while households would have $7,000 less income and, in many cases, much worse than that,” Trump said.

Those numbers come from a single report prepared in March by National Economic Research Associates, an independent consulting firm.

But the report comes with a key caveat: It’s not a cost-benefit analysis. The estimates Trump cited don’t take into account any financial gains, jobs created or costs avoided as a result of implementing energy regulations related to the Paris Agreement.

It’s a gross, not a net.

Thus, not understanding that the federal government has the unlimited ability to create dollars (and thereby stimulate the economy, while paying for carbon reduction, threatens the future of the world.

That similar wrong belief also has greatly damaged the health of Americans:

The totally unfounded belief that federal spending and federal taxes somehow should “balance,” leads to austerity — a process that always, always, always leads to recession.

FiveThirtyEight, is a good site, an excellent site, really. But like the vast majority of sites that include comments about economics, their ignorance about Monetary Sovereignty negates much of what they say about economics.

Health care:

In a speech earlier this week, Trump once again described a grim scene where “premiums are skyrocketing, insurers are fleeing, and the American people are paying much more for much worse coverage.”

While there is little doubt that premiums will go up again this year in many states, or that insurers are leaving the markets, there is also growing evidence that the Trump administration is largely to blame this time around.

In Ohio, for example, Anthem announced it would stop selling plans on the ACA marketplace, potentially leaving people in more than a dozen counties without a way to buy subsidized insurance.

The insurance giant cited market volatility and uncertainty, not a failure to turn a profit, as its reason for leaving.

All, and I mean all, of the conflict about the Affordable Care Act, centers on money — the ability to cover all Americans at the lowest cost possible.

But, because the federal government can afford anything, cost should be the least of our worries. Our attention should be focused on the quality of Care, not on Affordability.

America should institute a comprehensive, federally funded “Medicare for All” plan (Step #2 of the Ten Steps to Prosperity [below]).

Education and Jobs:

Trump’s proposed $59 billion budget slashes the Education Department’s overall spending by $9.2 billion.

The department faces widespread reductions to meet that spending goal. One area of bipartisan opposition was the budget’s proposed cuts to career and technical training programs.

Slashing funding for technical education is a bit of an odd choice for Trump, who campaigned on a promise to create jobs for blue-collar workers — exactly the people these programs are meant to help.

Trump’s education budget proposes a $166 million, cut to state grants for vocational education programs in high schools, technical schools and community colleges.

It also includes a $95 million cut to state grants for adult education programs that teach literacy and provide training in other basic skills people need to find jobs.

Related programs from other departments also face cuts; the Labor Department budget, for example, would cut job training programs by 36 percent.

Everywhere you look — taxation, climate change, health care, jobs — you see ignorance about Monetary Sovereignty diminishing America.

The people of the upper 1% income, wealth, and power foster this ignorance in order to widen the Gap between the rich and the rest.

The rich bribe the politicians via campaign contributions and promises of lucrative employment later; they bribe the media via ownership and advertising money; they bribe the economists via “think tank” employment and contributions to universities.

Tennis players need nothing like the protections of football players, and monetarily non-sovereign Kansas is nothing like the Monetarily Sovereign U.S. government

Until America learns that, we will drift down, down, down to 2nd class status.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

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

The single most important problems in economics involve the excessive income/wealth/power Gaps between the have-mores and the have-less.

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

Implementation of The Ten Steps To Prosperity can narrow the Gaps:

Ten Steps To Prosperity:
1. ELIMINATE FICA (Ten Reasons to Eliminate FICA )
Although the article lists 10 reasons to eliminate FICA, there are two fundamental reasons:
*FICA is the most regressive tax in American history, widening the Gap by punishing the low and middle-income groups, while leaving the rich untouched, and
*The federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign, neither needs nor uses FICA to support Social Security and Medicare.
2. FEDERALLY FUNDED MEDICARE — PARTS A, B & D, PLUS LONG TERM CARE — FOR EVERYONE (H.R. 676, Medicare for All )
This article addresses the questions:
*Does the economy benefit when the rich can afford better health care than can the rest of Americans?
*Aside from improved health care, what are the other economic effects of “Medicare for everyone?”
*How much would it cost taxpayers?
*Who opposes it?”
3. PROVIDE A MONTHLY ECONOMIC BONUS TO EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD IN AMERICA (similar to Social Security for All) (The JG (Jobs Guarantee) vs the GI (Guaranteed Income) vs the EB (Economic Bonus)) Or institute a reverse income tax.
This article is the fifth in a series about direct financial assistance to Americans:

Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Employer of Last Resort is a bad idea. Sunday, Jan 1 2012
MMT’s Job Guarantee (JG) — “Another crazy, rightwing, Austrian nutjob?” Thursday, Jan 12 2012
Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Jobs Guarantee is like the EU’s euro: A beloved solution to the wrong problem. Tuesday, May 29 2012
“You can’t fire me. I’m on JG” Saturday, Jun 2 2012

Economic growth should include the “bottom” 99.9%, not just the .1%, the only question being, how best to accomplish that. Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) favors giving everyone a job. Monetary Sovereignty (MS) favors giving everyone money. The five articles describe the pros and cons of each approach.
4. FREE EDUCATION (INCLUDING POST-GRAD) FOR EVERYONE Five reasons why we should eliminate school loans
Monetarily non-sovereign State and local governments, despite their limited finances, support grades K-12. That level of education may have been sufficient for a largely agrarian economy, but not for our currently more technical economy that demands greater numbers of highly educated workers.
Because state and local funding is so limited, grades K-12 receive short shrift, especially those schools whose populations come from the lowest economic groups. And college is too costly for most families.
An educated populace benefits a nation, and benefitting the nation is the purpose of the federal government, which has the unlimited ability to pay for K-16 and beyond.
5. SALARY FOR ATTENDING SCHOOL
Even were schooling to be completely free, many young people cannot attend, because they and their families cannot afford to support non-workers. In a foundering boat, everyone needs to bail, and no one can take time off for study.
If a young person’s “job” is to learn and be productive, he/she should be paid to do that job, especially since that job is one of America’s most important.
6. ELIMINATE FEDERAL TAXES ON BUSINESS
Businesses are dollar-transferring machines. They transfer dollars from customers to employees, suppliers, shareholders and the federal government (the later having no use for those dollars). Any tax on businesses reduces the amount going to employees, suppliers and shareholders, which diminishes the economy. Ultimately, all business taxes reduce your personal income.
7. INCREASE THE STANDARD INCOME TAX DEDUCTION, ANNUALLY. (Refer to this.) Federal taxes punish taxpayers and harm the economy. The federal government has no need for those punishing and harmful tax dollars. There are several ways to reduce taxes, and we should evaluate and choose the most progressive approaches.
Cutting FICA and business taxes would be a good early step, as both dramatically affect the 99%. Annual increases in the standard income tax deduction, and a reverse income tax also would provide benefits from the bottom up. Both would narrow the Gap.
8. TAX THE VERY RICH (THE “.1%) MORE, WITH HIGHER PROGRESSIVE TAX RATES ON ALL FORMS OF INCOME. (TROPHIC CASCADE)
There was a time when I argued against increasing anyone’s federal taxes. After all, the federal government has no need for tax dollars, and all taxes reduce Gross Domestic Product, thereby negatively affecting the entire economy, including the 99.9%.
But I have come to realize that narrowing the Gap requires trimming the top. It simply would not be possible to provide the 99.9% with enough benefits to narrow the Gap in any meaningful way. Bill Gates reportedly owns $70 billion. To get to that level, he must have been earning $10 billion a year. Pick any acceptable Gap (1000 to 1?), and the lowest paid American would have to receive $10 million a year. Unreasonable.
9. FEDERAL OWNERSHIP OF ALL BANKS (Click The end of private banking and How should America decide “who-gets-money”?)
Banks have created all the dollars that exist. Even dollars created at the direction of the federal government, actually come into being when banks increase the numbers in checking accounts. This gives the banks enormous financial power, and as we all know, power corrupts — especially when multiplied by a profit motive.
Although the federal government also is powerful and corrupted, it does not suffer from a profit motive, the world’s most corrupting influence.
10. INCREASE FEDERAL SPENDING ON THE MYRIAD INITIATIVES THAT BENEFIT AMERICA’S 99.9% (Federal agencies)Browse the agencies. See how many agencies benefit the lower- and middle-income/wealth/ power groups, by adding dollars to the economy and/or by actions more beneficial to the 99.9% than to the .1%.
Save this reference as your primer to current economics. Sadly, much of the material is not being taught in American schools, which is all the more reason for you to use it.

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

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

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