The end of poverty in America

Liberals think the purpose of government is to protect the poor and powerless from the rich and powerful. Conservatives think the purpose of government is to protect the rich and powerful from the poor and powerless.

Poverty in America | The Economist

The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. (Mark 14:7)

For there will never cease to be poor in the land; that is why I am commanding you to open wide your hand to your brother and to the poor and needy in your land. (Deuteronomy 15:11)

Is it true that there always will be poor people? Should it be true? Must it be true?

Yes, the poor have been with us in most societies, but it should not be true, and it need not be true.

Mathematically, in any scale of wealth, income, or power, some must be closer to the bottom. If “having less” is your definition of “poor” then yes, the poor always must be with us.

But what if your definition of “poor” referenced “insufficiency” rather than “less” — insufficiency of food, healthcare, education, housing — then perhaps the poor need not all ways be with us.

I suggest that it is not necessary for some people in America to be starving, sick, uneducated, and/or homeless.

Poverty fell overall in 2020 due to massive stimulus checks and unemployment aid, U.S. Census says
By Heather Long and Amy Goldstein
U.S. poverty fell overall in 2020, a surprising decline that is largely a result of the swift and large federal aidthat Congress enacted at the start of the pandemic to try to prevent widespread financial hardship as the nation experienced the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

Federal deficit spending for benefits to the poor “surprisingly” helped reduce the percentage of poor people. Who possibly could have expected that?

After accounting for all the federal relief payments, the so-called supplemental poverty measure declined to 9.1 percent in 2020 — the lowest on record and a significant decline from 11.8 percent in 2019.

The decline in the poverty rate means that millions of Americans were lifted out of severe financial hardship last year, the U.S. Census said. Poverty is defined as having an income of less than $26,250 a year for a family of four.

If you happen to believe that poverty is bad for America, and that honestly religious people wish to help the impoverished, then all that deficit spending opposed by debt-scare peddlers was good for this country.

If, however, you believe that the poor are lazy, good-for-nothing, takers, who deserve their poverty, then you will be saddened at learning the poverty rate declined.

And if you have been told that federal taxes fund federal spending, you will be flummoxed by all that spending with federal taxes staying the same.

And if you believe it’s better for the public to run a deficit with the federal government than for the federal government to run a deficit with the public, then you may be surprised to learn that federal deficit spending has allowed fewer people to be thrust into poverty.

Extensive federal relief assistance passed during the coronavirus pandemic is widely credited by economists and policy experts for preventing another Great Depression.

The stimulus payments provided $1,200 cash payments to most low-income and middle-class Americans last year, moving 11.7 million people out of poverty, the Census said.

Another 5.5 million people were prevented from falling into povertyby the enhanced unemployment insurance aid.

“This really highlights the importance of our social safety net,” said Liana Fox, chief of the U.S. Census Bureau’s Poverty Statistics Branch.

Try to remember the fight against deficit spending, put up mostly by the right wing (with just a couple faux Democrats dissenting). If they had had their way, we would have had a depression.

The annual findings also showed that median income declined by 2.9 percent in 2020 to $67,500. Still, after accounting for the government aid, every age group, racial and ethnic group and educational level saw a decline in poverty.

Some of the largest declines in poverty were reported for families headed by single moms, African Americans, Hispanic Americans and adults without a high school degree.

“The federal government responded quickly and significantly. And it’s very clear that those efforts prevented a sharp rise in poverty,” said James Sullivan, an economics professor at the University of Notre Dame.

“The concern is that we will see poverty rise again because we’ve now seen these relief packages expire.”

Remember also that the Monetarily Sovereign U.S. government has the infinite ability to create its own sovereign currency, U.S. dollars. It never can run short of dollars, and neither needs nor uses tax dollars for spending.

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.”

Despite current debates about “how will it be paid for,” the fact is that all federal spending is paid for the same way: The federal government, creates from thin air, its spending dollars. It can do so endlessly.

President Biden is urging Congress to enact more programs to help the poor and working class as part of a $3.5 trillion package that would make significant investments in many parts of the economy.

Top White House aides point to the success of the pandemic aid as an example of how additional resources can make a dramatic difference in lowering poverty and hardship.

You can be certain that 100% of the GOP will oppose any aid to the poor, though the same politicians will approve of aid to the rich.

All any insurance does is provide money, which the federal government is far more able to do. There is no advantage to your paying for health insurance, when the federal government is able to pay for health insurance.

The census data shows that the rate of uninsured was especially high in a dozen states that have chosen not to expand Medicaid eligibility under the ACA.

Unlike his predecessor, President Biden has been pressing to expand Medicaid in the dozen holdout states, and Congressional Democrats are considering proposals that would allow people frozen out of the program by their state governments to buy private ACA health plans inexpensively.

Here are the states whose political majority is Republican, and who do not consider poverty and lack of medical care to be a problem.

FROM KAISER FAMILY FOUNDATION

What happens next to family incomes and poverty will depend largely on how many Americans are able to return to work in the coming months and whether the U.S. government extends some aid to low-income Americans.

Contrary to popular wisdom, federal deficit spending does not cause inflation. All inflations have been caused by shortages of key goods and services, most often food and oil. Today’s inflation results from shortages of labor, food, and oil.

Sadly, some voters have so little regard for humanity that they vote against the federal financing to ease poverty — financing that costs them nothing, but that will lift their neighbors from agonizing poverty and free children from starvation, homelessness, illness, and lack of education.

SUMMARY

  1. The U.S. federal government has demonstrated how federal deficit spending can reduce poverty in America.
  2. The federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign, has the unlimited ability to deficit spend, without collecting taxes. It cannot unintentionally run short of dollars
  3. Federal deficit spending never has caused inflation; shortages of key goods and services are the sole cause of inflation.
  4. People who are homeless, uneducated, ill, and hungry are a drag on the economy. They are less able to produce and to consume.
  5. Poverty in America could be cured by the adoption of the Ten Steps to Prosperity (below).

The U.S. federal government has all the tools it needs to end poverty in America. All it needs is the will.

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

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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

Not enough guns in America

From the 7/16/21 Chicago Tribune:

It’s still unknown why an Iowa man allegedly had a rifle with a laser scope in his hotel room overlooking a downtown Chicago beach

Guns a security concern? You think?

Casteel, 32, of Ankeny, Iowa, was arrested at the hotel in the 600 block of North DuSable Lake Shore Drive on July 4 and charged with two counts of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. In addition to the rifle, police recovered several rifle magazines and a .45-caliber handgun from his 12th-floor room, prosecutors have said.

“See, it’s like this. I’m going to Chicago on a vacation, so I decide that for . . . uh . . .protection . . .  I need to take my rifle plus its laser scope, along with a few loaded magazines. 

“Oh, and to be doubly safe, I even took, my .45-caliber handgun.

“So, if I’m walking down Michigan Avenue, and someone wants to rob me, I just can whip out my rifle, and get him sighted in my laser scope, and start blasting away. And then, if that doesn’t do the job, I can finish him off with my .45. 

Ripper Street - Internet Movie Firearms Database - Guns in Movies, TV and Video Games
Guy in a high-rise hotel room with a sniper scope, several loaded magazines, and a .45 handgun. What could possibly go wrong?

“Really, it’s all for . . . uh . . . protection.”

OK,  Casteel didn’t actually say those words.

Click the link at the top of this article. You won’t believe the real reason why he came to Chicago, packing major heat.

And then think about how all the gun-nuts, in cahoots with a right-wing Supreme Court and its claim that the “well-regulated militia,” mentioned in the Constitution, what just so much garbage, so fire at will — think about all the deaths and suicides this intentional misreading of the Constitution has cost America.

Thousands of murders and suicides, but the real danger to America is what . . . Mexican families at the border? The federal debt? Liberals? Black people?

Does it all get any more stupid than this?

 

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

Congress is just like professional wrestling

If you ever have watched professional wrestling, you know it is a sham — a lie to please the audience. The “wrestlers” (i.e. actors) play their roles.

They express anger, hatred, and agony in their feigned attempt to win.Professional Wrestling | Bleacher Report | Latest News, Rumors, Scores and Highlights

The audience screams in delight when the good guy (the better-looking one) wins, and the bad guy (big, fat, sneaky cheater) claims it was he who has been cheated.

It’s all an act. They are professional liars. It’s theater.

This brings us to the U.S. Congress and the following article:

GOP senators ready $1T infrastructure counteroffer to Biden

By LISA MASCARO and JONATHAN LEMIRE

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republicans revived negotiations over President Joe Biden’s sweeping investment plan, preparing a $1 trillion infrastructure proposal that would be funded with COVID-19 relief money as a counteroffer to the White House ahead of a Memorial Day deadline toward a bipartisan deal.

Immediately, we come to the sham — the lie. Federal spending cannot be funded with COVID-19 relief money. That “money” exists, not as money, but only as a law, passed by Congress.

The law says the federal government and its various agencies are allowed to create dollars from thin air, to be spent on COVID relief. Some COVID relief dollars do not yet exist; the rest already have been spent. 

More accurately, the paragraph should read: “Congress would arbitrarily change its law to create fewer dollars for COVID relief and more dollars for infrastructure.”

The administration and the GOP senators remain far apart over the size and scope of the investment needed to reboot the nation’s roads, bridges and broadband — but also, as Biden sees it, the child care centers and green energy investments needed for a 21st-century economy. They also can’t agree on how to pay for it.

Congress will pay for it the same way they pay for everything. They will pass a law that says [fill in the blanks] “The following agencies __________ shall spend __________ dollars, created from thin air, for the purpose of __________ .”

The agencies then will pay for goods and services by sending checks or wires to suppliers’ banks, telling the banks to increase the balance in the supplier’s checking accounts by __________ dollars. At the moment the banks do as they are instructed, new dollars are created and added to the nation’s M1 money supply.

That is how your federal government creates U.S. dollars.

Biden had dropped his $2.3 trillion opening bid to $1.7 trillion, and Republicans had nudged their initial $568 billion offer up by about $50 billion late last week, but talks teetered as both sides complained the movement was insufficient.

The wrestlers circle one another, growling fake threats. It’s all for the show to impress the audience (i.e. the voters). No one in Congress cares how much money is spent. But they pretend to care because the voters have been brainwashed to care.

The Republicans have uniformly rejected Biden’s plan to pay for the investments by raising the corporate tax rate, from 21% to 28%.

Though state/local taxes pay for state/local government spending, federal taxes pay for nothing. The government creates all the money it spends ad hoc, by sending instructions to banks, not by collecting dollars from the private sector.

Instead, the GOP senators want to shift unspent COVID-19 relief funds to infrastructure, which may be a nonstarter for Democrats. Republicans also want to rely on gas taxes, tolls and other fees charged to drivers to pay for the highways and other infrastructure.

More fakery. The federal government does not “shift” dollars, nor does it “rely” on taxes, tolls, and other fees. It simply creates all the money it uses by passing laws.

“We are anxious to have a bipartisan agreement,” said Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., who is leading the group of GOP negotiators.

“Bipartisan” means, “I get to take credit for the things my voters like, while I blame the other guy for the things my supporters don’t like.”

A GOP aide who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the private talks said the price tag would be $1 trillion over eight years, paid for by tapping funds that have been allocated as part of COVID-19 relief but not yet spent. The aide said about $700 billion remains in unspent virus aid.

If it’s unspent, it doesn’t exist. Money exists only when the federal government sends instructions to banks, telling the banks to credit checking accounts. It is impossible to tap funds that have not been created.

The GOP aide really means new laws will have to be written, and if new laws are written, those laws can specify any amount to be spent in any way Congress deems.

Congressional lawmaking and spending are not limited by anything, so there is no reason to cut COVID-19 relief.

Psaki declined to comment on the forthcoming GOP proposal, but Democrats on Capitol Hill were quick to rebuff dipping into coronavirus relief funds, particularly money that had been sent to the states and local governments that now seems less urgent as some jurisdictions reported better-than-expected balance sheets.

In the GOP world, Democrats doing “better-than-expected” is cause for change. Heaven forbid a Democrat’s federal program does better than expected.

The White House is expecting the Republican counteroffer by Thursday and doesn’t want to prejudge what’s in there. But a GOP plan to tap into rescue funds, aides believe, doesn’t work because much of that money has already been exhausted, and it could also diminish the COVID-19 response.

Diminishing the COVID-19 response is the whole point. It would allow the GOP to claim that the Democrats did something wrong. What are a few people’s lives compared to political talking points?

“My view is that we gave that to the cities and states and counties with the understanding that it may take a little time for them to spend it,” said Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., a longtime congressional budget expert. “I think it’d be a big mistake to try to claw that back.”

It’s a huge mistake, especially since the federal government has no need for the money, and in fact, the government destroys all dollars it receives.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, who tapped Capito to lead the GOP effort, gave a nod to the latest offer, saying the idea of repurposing the COVID-19 funds was “good advice” from Larry Summers, a Harvard professor.

Larry Summers is a perfect example of the Peter Principle, a man who has risen to his level of incompetence and stayed there.

McConnell has said repeatedly that “100% of my focus” is on stopping Biden’s agenda.

This is the same obstructionist McConnell who prevented a vote for Merrick Garland, and who said his first goal was to make Obama a one-term President, and who is famous for preventing votes on dozens of bills. He is 100% power politics and 0% America.

Today’s GOP is compiling a record of mean-spiritedness (immigration policies, abortion policies, hatred of the poor and people of color) and just plain stupidity (Rep. Greene, denying the results of the election, denying global warming, COVID-19, and mask-wearing).

They are the people who believe professional wrestling is real, and who cheer for the phony pain being inflicted, not understanding that it is all theater for fools, and that they are the fools.

Stupid is sad. Mean is bad. But stupid mean is Republican.

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