What is the fundamental motive for everything in politics? Friday, Jul 21 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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Economics is a branch of Psychology so, as in Psychology, everything in Economics devolves to motive.

Illinois Senator Dick Durbin is one of my Senators. He actually does not, or pretends he does not, understand Monetary Sovereignty.

He repeatedly sends Emails indicating his beliefs that:

  1. Federal financing is just like personal financing
  2. The federal government can run short of its own sovereign currency, and
  3. Just as state and local government spending are funded by state and local taxes, federal spending is supported by federal taxes.

As those who understand Monetary Sovereignty know, the three statements are false, false, and false.

So, is this “real” ignorance or is it political ignorance? Durbin is a very experienced, and very careful politician, who seldom (never?) strays into controversial territory, so I suspect he intentionally espouses popular political “ignorance.”

Image result for dick durbin

What’s “Monetary Sovereignty”? Hmmm, don’t tell me. I’ve heard of it.

 

After all his years in office, he knows what’s true, and he knows what his voters think is true, and when in doubt, he leans toward the latter. No Galileo he.

His motive is to stay in office, not make too many waves, and to continue enjoying all the perks of being a Senator with seniority.

This lends a small bit of irony to an Email I just received from him:

The Durbin Report: Senate Republicans Are Still Secretly Working To Repeal Health Care For Tens of Millions of Americans

Fellow Illinoisan,

If you asked me what Senate Republicans plan to do with their health care repeal effort, I couldn’t tell you. I bet most of them couldn’t even tell you.

It is incredible to me that Republicans will not tell the American people which version of their cruel repeal effort we’re supposed to be voting on in just a few short days.

Is it the one that throws 22 million Americans off insurance, including one million Illinoisans? Or is it the one that throws 32 million people off insurance?

The one that would increase individual market premiums by 25 percent? Or the one that would increase them by 100 percent?

Every week, it seems like there’s a different ploy thrown on the table, each idea worse than the one that came before it. With failure after failure, Senate Republicans have just pushed the American public further into the dark.

Instead of this secretive, one-sided exercise, they should be rolling up their sleeves and working with Democrats to strengthen our current health care system for all Americans.

Depending on which Senate Republican bill you look at, their plan would throw somewhere between 22 million and 32 million people off insurance, increase premiums between 20 and 100 percent for middle-class families, decimate the Medicaid program which serves one in five Illinoisans, undermine protections for people with pre-existing conditions, cripple our fight against the opioid epidemic, and cut funding to hospitals nationwide, especially rural hospitals.

Not to mention provide hundreds of billions in tax give-aways for wealthy Americans and big corporations.

Senate Republicans have held zero hearings, and every bill of theirs was crafted in secret and opposed by medical and patient advocacy groups from every corner of the country, as well as Governors from red states and blue states.

Secret bills, no transparency, and no input from those who would be impacted the most is how Republicans want to pass a bill that would impact 1/6 of our economy and literally every single American.

This is no way to govern. This shell game must end. Democrats and Republicans should instead come together and strengthen the Affordable Care Act.

Sincerely, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin

Durbin’s letter is factually correct, but it doesn’t address the omnipresent question: Why would any intelligent politician vote for something so immoral, so ignorant, and so obviously wrong for America?

And the answer always is the same:

The leadership, the base, and the rich are more important to the GOP than are the needs of the general public and of the nation.

For the Republicans, the leadership is comprised of Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, and Kevin McCarthy. The base consists of the rich and the most rabid right wingers, who as a group are anti-poor, anti-immigrant, anti-government, anti-deficit, anti-science, anti-gay, anti-abortion, pro-rich, pro-Christian, pro-gun, and pro-incarceration.

So the Republicans continue their practice of voting against anything and everything Obama — at least 60 votes to destroy ACA before Trump became President, and now more votes afterward — not because of any desire to benefit the American people, but rather because the leadership, the base, and especially the rich want it. That is their motive.

There is one, fundamental, common, overriding motive that unites today’s Republicans: Gap Psychology.

The income/wealth/power Gaps between the richer and the poorer have been widening for years. It is these Gaps that make people rich. Without the Gaps, no one would be rich (We all would be the same), and the wider the Gaps, the richer they are.

It is a fact of human psychology that we want the Gap below us to widen and the Gap above us to narrow.

So in voting to deny 20+ million people adequate health care, the Republicans in Congress merely obey the desires of their base, their leadership, and rich to widen the Gap — in this instance, the health Gap.

The Gap the Gap is the motive of motives, the boss of bosses, the king of kings in Psychology and thus, in economics.

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

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

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

The economics you don’t know and never think about, but “this shit is for real.” Wednesday, Sep 21 2016 

Economics: There are many forms, but few are studied. Most economists think primarily of national economics — the economics of nations.

It is as though all economics is derivative, and whether you’re talking about Monetarily Sovereign governments like the U.S. or Canada, or monetarily non-sovereign governments like Germany or Illinois or Chicago, the same fundamentals apply.

Supply and Demand, Risk and Reward, recessions and depressions, debt and deficits, inflation and deflation, GDP and GNP — all the usual suspects are there.

And to some degree, this is true for cities, counties, states, businesses, and nations.

But what about neighborhood governments? What about signs and signals, insults and favors, life and death, borders that change daily?  What about music (music??)

How many textbooks have you read, that deal with gang territory economics?

The September issue of Chicago Magazine published an extensive article titled, “DISPATCHES FROM THE RAP WARS” by BY Forrest Stuart| AS TOLD TO Elly Fishman. Here are a few excerpts from that long piece:

I pulled up a map of Chicago on my tablet and pointed to random intersections. No matter what corner, even miles from their homes, these (gang) kids had an intimate knowledge of gang activity there.

One boy told me, “If I walk down Cottage Grove, I know that in some places I need to keep my head on a swivel. In others, I can relax my guard.”

And I’m thinking, There is no real reason this kid should know this much about gang presence on the South Side, because he’s from another side of town.

It wasn’t just territory they had down cold. They were up on the latest of basically every gang war in the city.

Would that the American voter knew as much about the territorial conflicts going on all over the world, as the kids know about the numerous conflicts among the various gang territories in Chicago.

I asked these kids how the hell they knew all this. They looked at me like I was an idiot. “Music,” they said.

There are hundreds of gangs in Chicago these days, a splintering that occurred in the wake of the collapse of the traditional “supergangs” like the Black Disciples and Vice Lords in the ’90s.

They operate as block-level factions, making the city a complicated patchwork of warring territories.

In a relatively recent phenomenon, many of these gangs produce drill music—a Chicago-born, low-fi version of gangsta rap, full of hyperviolent boasts and taunts.

Drill music is their form of communication, their language, their not-so-United Nations  speeches.

These kids can quickly figure out whose territory they are in. If they are walking through a neighborhood and hear a certain kind of drill coming from a passing car or a phone speaker, they know that corner belongs to the gang Diddy Grove.

If they’re in Diddy Grove territory and notice songs by O-Block, that tells them Diddy Grove and O-Block are likely cliqued up.

That is how treaties are announced.

Zebo (a gang-banger) told me how drill perpetuates gang wars, how it’s an engine of both truces and feuds.

He kept returning to a refrain, one I would hear many times during my field research: ‘This is not just music. It’s not just a game. This shit is for real.”

(Gangs make) three kinds of videos. In one, they talk about nameless, faceless rivals, or haters.

In another, they specifically target a rival gang with lyrics like “So-and-so’s a bitch” or “So-and-so’s a snitch.”

And then there’s an in-between kind, which to an outsider sounds like generic disses but is actually very targeted, with the rapper flashing a rival gang’s hand signs upside down.

That is how wars are declared between “nations.”

It’s surprising how much strategy goes into the making and posting of these videos on YouTube and SoundCloud.

Gang members are constantly considering how to get the most views.  The thinking is that if a video pulls enough, record labels will start calling.

Sometimes the guys will record a video but wait to release it until a rival gang member—preferably one they’ve called out—is shot, so that it seems like (the gang) is taking credit.

It’s all about convincing viewers that the gang really does the violent stuff that they rap about—and often they do.

When the U.S., Russia, China, North Korea, et al parade their military hardware, it’s to  convince viewers they really are capable of “violent stuff.”

Each rapper in the gang has one or two “shooters.” These are the members who make good on the threats the rappers dish out in their lyrics and on social media.

Visualize the U.S. and Russian bombers attacking ISIS over Syria.

Their model is inspired by the local patron saint of drill rap, Chief Keef, who successfully leveraged the persona of a black superpredator.

The more he portrayed himself as a reckless, gun-toting, ruthless murderer, the more attention he got.

Eventually, Interscope Records signed him to a $6 million deal and off he went to Los Angeles. Hardly a day goes by without someone from CBE mentioning Keef.

That’s Economics 101 in Chicago gangdom. You won’t read about it in the textbooks or hear about it in college Economics or Marketing courses.

As one of the rappers would always say, “You know, white people, Mexicans, bitches, those people don’t live the life, but they love hearing about it. People want the Chiraq stuff. They want a superthug ghetto man, and I’m giving that to them. I’m just playing my role.”

That role means being at the nucleus of the gang.  The rappers are designated as the ticket out of poverty. It becomes the responsibility of the rest of the members to support and protect them.

More Economics 101 in gangdom. The rappers have shooters to protect them, while they try to earn money for the gang.

(In the gang), there are about 30 members total. Some act as producers or cameramen. Two, for example, basically serve as the tech department. They do stuff like steal the local school’s Wi-Fi password.

Visualize our NSA decrypting foreign codes, Emails, texts, and the Chinese and Russian hackers doing the same.

(A.J., a gang member) said, “I’m going to show you why I do this.” So he went on Facebook, Snapchat, and Twitter and wrote, “I’m on FT for the next 20 minutes” and gave his phone number.

FaceTime calls immediately started coming in from across the United States and Canada—male and female, ages 12 to 40, white, black, Hispanic—all like, “Oh my God, I love you. Your music is so great.”

He got so many calls that his phone ended up crashing. These are not things your average kid experiences.

A.J. turned to me and said, “I do this when I’m feeling shitty, or when I’m broke, or when I’m bored.”

Every few calls, a woman A.J. thought was attractive would pop up on FaceTime, and he would compliment the young lady, ask to see more of her, then goad her to take off a piece of clothing. Women would wind up getting undressed for him.

The guys have a term for these kinds of fans: cloutheads. The more popular you are as a drill rapper, the more clout you accumulate.

The more clout you have, the more cloutheads—easily exploitable groupies—you have. A.J. has a lot of cloutheads.

And he won’t just ask them to take off their clothes; he’ll ask them for money, meals, new iPhones—almost always in exchange for the promise of sex.

Since most of the guys in (A.J.’s gang) are really bad at dealing drugs, the gang relies on the rappers to bring in cash this way. The whole exchange between rappers and cloutheads is a bizarre modern twist on sex work.

You marketing majors probably have not explored this “medium.”

Junior, an 18-year-old shooter had been arrested for armed robbery—one way shooters make money is by “staining,” or stealing from people or stores in nearby neighborhoods—and had just come off house arrest.

He was broke, his mom had disowned him, and he was on the verge of becoming homeless.

He decided to become a rapper. He’d seen how those guys were excused from the actual violence, and wanted a legal hustle for himself.

About eight months after recording his first tracks, Junior was walking home when he was shot in the shoulder

When I visited Junior the next day, he was in an incredibly jovial mood. He was like, “Man, Forrest, I’m on! I’ve got clout!”

He was tracking his latest rap video on YouTube, and the daily views had tripled. Junior was so excited about having gotten shot and kept talking about how he was finally going to make it as a rapper. And he was right.

That was essentially the moment when his gang accepted him in that role. Another member of the gang stepped up to be his shooter, and a bevy of women started following him around.

Today, he’s a central figure in CBE.

Your high school or college advisor probably did not spell out that route to economic success.

One night Junior received a Facebook message from a 20-something white guy in Beverly Hills named Chad.

Chad wanted to pay Junior to record a verse for his album. To prove he was serious, he wired Junior $800 and uploaded a song that was complete except for Junior’s verse.

At various times during the week, Chad would invite his friends over to his house for informal Q&A sessions with Junior. “How does the drug economy work?” they’d ask. “What do you do on the corner?” “How do you deal with cops?” “Where do you get your guns?” 

Five days in, Chad and Junior had some sort of blowup, and Junior had to get out of town fast. In the end, he walked away with about $2,000 worth of new clothing, shoes, sunglasses, jewelry, and weed. He never did get around to recording that track.

The article goes into much more detail about the realities, complexities, and subtleties of gang life, none of which wind up in the economics, marketing, or general business books.

Yes, Supply and Demand, Risk and Reward, even recessions and depressions still apply. But it’s a lost economy, an invisible economy, though a big economy.

And “it’s not just a game. This shit is for real.”

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

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•Those, who do not understand the differences between Monetary Sovereignty and monetary non-sovereignty, do not understand economics.

•Any monetarily NON-sovereign government — be it city, county, state or nation — that runs an ongoing trade deficit, eventually will run out of money.

•The more federal budgets are cut and taxes increased, the weaker an economy becomes..

•No nation can tax itself into prosperity, nor grow without money growth.

•Cutting federal deficits to grow the economy is like applying leeches to cure anemia.

•A growing economy requires a growing supply of money (GDP = Federal Spending + Non-federal Spending + Net Exports)

•Deficit spending grows the supply of money

•The limit to federal deficit spending is an inflation that cannot be cured with interest rate control.

•The limit to non-federal deficit spending is the ability to borrow.

•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.

•The single most important problem in economics is the Gap between rich and the rest.

•Austerity is the government’s method for widening the Gap between rich and poor.

•Until the 99% understand the need for federal deficits, the upper 1% will rule.

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

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

Is Moody’s a criminal enterprise or just plain ignorant? Monday, Aug 22 2016 

I’ve written about Moody’s before. You may know Moody’s as one of the “Big Three” credit rating agencies that gave high grades to worthless securities, and helped start the Great Recession.

You also may know standard practice for rating agencies is to be paid by the businesses they rate, a clear conflict of interest and an open invitation to criminality.

And, if you are a regular reader of this site, you know that unlike cities, counties, states, euro nations, businesses, you, and me (all of which are monetarily NON-sovereign), a Monetarily Sovereign (MS) nation never can be forced into bankruptcy. Never.

A Monetarily Sovereign nation can pay any bill of any size at any time, simply by creating its money. For MS governments, ability to pay never is an issue. The only issue is willingness to pay. 

Thus, an MS credit rating cannot legitimately be based on the amount of indebtedness. If the MS nation is willing, it can pay any bill.

An MS nation, even with minimal debt, could be given a low credit rating, if it has a history of refusing to pay its bills.  But, an MS nation, even one with huge debt, should receive a high credit rating if it always pays its bills.

To summarize, the “Big Three” credit agencies have a history of mis-rating securities, being paid by the subjects of their ratings and, as you will see, probably not recognizing the fundamental differences between Monetary Sovereignty and monetary non-sovereignty.

Reader “elizabethharris001” brought to our attention, an article in the Jerusalem Post titled, “Moody’s warns Israel new budget could downgrade credit rating.” The article said, in part:

Credit rating agency Moody’s on Thursday warned that the 2017- 2018 state budget proposal could be a step toward undermining Israel’s solid A1 credit rating.

Israel has a “solid A1 credit rating,” because it always pays its bills, in full and on time.

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon swept aside legal limits on spending increases and the deficit target in his budget proposal, which accommodated the many, expensive promises made in coalition deals.

The plan is expected to raise Israel’s debt-to-Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio, which fell below 65 percent in the past year.

This will have no effect on Israel’s ability or willingness to continue paying its bills, in full and on time.

“The rating or outlook could come under downward pressure if the commitment to fiscal discipline over the medium term was to wane,” the agency wrote in its annual Credit Analysis of Israel’s government.

“With the improvement in debt-to-GDP having already slowed compared to the mid-2000s, renewed fiscal easing puts at risk Israel’s credibility for budget discipline,” the report said.

When Moody’s mentions “budget discipline,” it is talking about austerity, the same process that has destroyed the economies of the euro nations — the same process that is responsible for every depression in U.S. history, as well as most recessions.

The Moody’s report was not all gloomy, however. It also praised Israel’s dynamic economy and its relatively strong performance when compared to many other advanced countries, still struggling in the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis.

Israel has a “strong performance,” but its debt above 65% of GDP warrants a reduction in credit rating? Think about the “logic” of that.

By confusing (intentionally??) MS nation finances with business finances (where large debt can impact ability to pay) Moody’s claims Israel’s debt requires a reduced credit rating.

Utterly false and misleading — demonstrating an ignorance bordering on criminal.  Is Moody’s even consistent in its false evaluations?

From Trading Economics:
Government Debt to GDP in Japan averaged 123.60 percent from 1980 until 2015, reaching an all time high of 229.20 percent in 2015.

Moody’s credit rating for Japan was last set at A1 with stable outlook.

Before we continue, Moody’s credit ratings, from top to bottom are: Aaa, Aa1, Aa2, Aa3, A1, A2, A3, Baa1, Baa2, Baa3, and lower.

Japan’s 229 and Israel’s 65 apparently warrant the same rating, and neither Japan nor Israel has been given Moody’s highest rating, despite the fact that both are Monetarily Sovereign and can and do pay all their bills on time.

Let’s look at a few other countries, courtesy of Trading Economics:

Canada: Debt to GDP of 91.50; Moody’s credit rating: Aaa

Canada, an MS nation with a much higher Debt/GDP ratio than Israel’s, and no better record of paying its bills, has an Aaa rating, four levels higher than Isreal’s current rating (which is about to be lowered).

As if that weren’t strange enough, let’s look at really crazy:

“Austria’s public debt reached a new peak of 86.2 percent of GDP in 2015 compared to 84.3 percent in 2014.”  Moody’s credit rating: Aaa, the highest rating.

So Austria, with a “worse” Debt-to-GDP ratio that Israel’s, and no better record of paying its bills, has a higher credit rating — and Austria, unlike Israel, is monetarily NON-sovereign.

Austria is part of the eurozone; it uses the euro, not it own sovereign currency. Austria does not have the unlimited ability to pay its bills. Unlike Israel, Austria could go bankrupt. But it has Moody’s highest rating.

And then here’s another eurozone nation, Germany:

“Germany recorded a Government Debt to GDP of 71.20 percent in 2015.” Moody’s credit rating: Aaa.

Germany too, is monetarily non-sovereign, and could be unable to pay its bills, but has Moody’s highest rating.

Finally, we come to the United States:

The United States recorded a Government Debt to GDP of 104.17 percent in 2015. Government Debt to GDP.  The United States averaged 61.94 percent from 1940 until 2015, reaching an all time high of 121.70 percent in 1946 and a record low of 31.70 percent in 1974.

Moody’s rating: Aaa

I call your attention to that 31.70 lowest Debt/GDP ratio. It comes right before a recession.

Monetary Sovereignty

In fact, there is an uncanny relationship between debt reduction and recessions. Most recessions follow a period of federal debt reduction.

And then there’s this inconvenient fact:

U.S. depressions tend to come on the heels of federal surpluses.

1817-1821: U. S. Federal Debt reduced 29%. Depression began 1819.
1823-1836: U. S. Federal Debt reduced 99%. Depression began 1837.
1852-1857: U. S. Federal Debt reduced 59%. Depression began 1857.
1867-1873: U. S. Federal Debt reduced 27%. Depression began 1873.
1880-1893: U. S. Federal Debt reduced 57%. Depression began 1893.
1920-1930: U. S. Federal Debt reduced 36%. Depression began 1929.

Finally, while Gross Domestic Product is a measure comprising 12 months, Federal Debt is a historical measure comprising the entire life of the United States. In short is the classic apples/oranges, meaningless ratio.

Bottom line: Moody’s (as well as the other two major rating agencies, S&P and Fitch) either do not understand how Monetary Sovereignty works or are paid not to understand.

They evaluate nations as though the nations were monetarily non-sovereign businesses. The rating agencies don’t reveal the basic fact that an MS nation cannot be forced into bankruptcy. It can pay its bills forever, despite its Debt/GDP ratio.

Any credit rating is based on just two factors: Ability and willingness to pay bills.

Because an MS nation has the unlimited ability to pay, Debt/GDP has no meaning when evaluating credit. No matter what its Debt/GDP ratio, any nation may or may not be willing to pay its bills.

The Big Lie states: “Federal taxes fund federal spending.” But for an MS nation, spending is funded by money creation, not by taxes nor by borrowing.

The Big Lie is a carefully crafted story. It is designed by the very rich to convince everyone there isn’t enough money available to narrow the Gap between the rich and the rest.

The Big Lie forces countries to cut the spending that would benefit the lower and middle classes. It caused our too-slow growth following the “Great Recession.” It is the method by which the very rich retain power over the world.

The credit agencies are willing, and well-paid, accomplices to the Big Lie.

Is it ignorance or paid criminality? You decide.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

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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 afford better health care than 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 AN ECONOMIC BONUS TO EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD IN AMERICA, AND/OR EVERY STATE, A PER CAPITA ECONOMIC BONUS (The JG (Jobs Guarantee) vs the GI (Guaranteed Income) vs the EB) 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 EVERYONEFive 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 benefiting 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 CORPORATE TAXES
Corporations themselves exist only as legalities. They don’t pay taxes or pay for anything else. They are dollar-tranferring machines. They transfer dollars from customers to employees, suppliers, shareholders and the government (the later having no use for those dollars).
Any tax on corporations reduces the amount going to employees, suppliers and shareholders, which diminishes the economy. Ultimately, all corporate taxes come around and reappear as deductions from 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 corporate taxes would be an 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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