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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..
What is your answer to this question, “What are the goals of the Democrats?” The question is important, because a movement without identifiable goals cannot survive.
A few years ago, there came upon us the “Occupy” movement. Remember them? They were a protest movement, primarily decrying social inequality, financial inequality, excessive corporate power, consumerism, materialism, and corruption in government and industry.
The “Occupy” protest movement was inspired by the “Arab Spring” protest movement — primarily protesting authoritarianism. and corruption.
The two movements had two things in common, which doomed them to failure:
Like Arab Spring, Occupy began with great emotion, and that emotion carried it for a while as it spread across America and parts of the world. But emotion alone has no staying power.
Without specific, focused ideas, and without clear leadership, Occupy, like Arab Spring, faded from the scene, and today exists primarily in the hopes and prayers of a few loyalists, and in the catch line: “We are the 99%.”
And the same thing happened to the Democratic Party.
There was a time when the Democrats were liberals, and there was a time when the liberals were progressive. America’s last truly liberal/progressive President was Lyndon Johnson.
Johnson not only had a belief, even a passion, for civil fairness, but he was a strong leader who executed specific plans to accomplish his beliefs.
He didn’t just complain about injustice. He acted. He gave us the “Great Society” which included civil rights legislation, Medicare, Medicaid, aids to education and the arts, and public broadcasting, among others.
Today, “liberalism” has been re-engineered to “neoliberalism,” which is not liberalism at all. It’s conservatism.
So, with Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, the Democrats slid far to the right, and today the Party has difficulty answering “What are the specific goals of the Democrats other than to regain office?”
The Democrats are a “weak tea” form of Republicans. That is why Hillary lost. She was Trump in a pink pants suit.
The Tea/Republican Party has very specific goals: Cut taxes on the rich, and cut social spending for the poor. These goals are clear, they are strong, they can be defended, and the Republicans have a charismatic leader who has a following.
In 2011, I wrote and published an open letter to Occupy Wall Street. Here are a few excerpts:
O.K., we get it and we empathize with it. You’re angry at the banks. You’re angry at the politicians and the rich and the corporations. You’re angry at the lying, the cheating. You’re angry at the unemployment, and gap between rich and poor.
We empathize with you.
Now, to get from here to there, you have to figure out exactly where “there” is, and that requires focus. Exactly, what do you want to see happen, and who will make it happen?
That is the key question for any movement, any political party, even any business leader: “Exactly, what do you want to see happen, and who will make it happen?”
Occupy never answered that question. Arab Spring never answered that question. And the Democrats don’t know the answer to that question. They don’t even know why they are Democrats, other than they hate Trump, lies, and bigotry, in no specific order.
The open letter continued:
Before you answer, it’s important to know what you’re talking about. Which you don’t.
Ask any ten of your people in the street, “What’s the problem and how should it be solved?” and I suspect you’ll receive ten different answers, all ridiculous.
The reason: They, and virtually all your #OWS followers, do not understand economics. Specifically, you do not understand Monetary Sovereignty.
Not understanding Monetary Sovereignty precludes answering a question the conservatives have no trouble answering: “Who will pay for it?”
The truthful answer is, “The federal government.”
A big Monetarily Sovereign government can pay for anything, never running short of its own sovereign currency, and controlling inflation at any level it chooses. America proves it every day. But this must be explained to the populace. It’s not intuitive.
Being a conservative is easy. All you need do is say, “Cut taxes and cut spending.” Nice and concise. Never mind that the spending cuts sought by the Republicans will hurt the poor, and the tax cuts will benefit the rich.
The voters don’t understand that. For the uninformed, those are benefits, not bugs.
By contrast, when Democrat Bernie Sanders proposes a liberal program like Medicare for All, a wonderful idea that would massively benefit America, he flounders when trying to answer the “Who will pay?” question.
He flounders because, despite his understanding of Monetary Sovereignty, he believes the public is too stupid to learn about it.
So he concedes the lie that deficits are bad, and he pretends his program can be accomplished without them.
It’s like telling starved people you will give them more food, while pretending that farms aren’t necessary.
It is the same for all liberal/progressive programs. Unless the Democrats understand, and then have the courage to explain, the realities of federal financing, i.e. Monetary Sovereignty, they will have no truthful answer to the question, “Who will pay?”
The open letter concluded:
Today, you are seen as leading an amorphous mob, a group threatening to bring down civilization. That’s why the politicians have been slow to back you. They don’t know what you want.
You need to focus, focus, focus, so the world can visualize where you want to go, understand why you want to go there and how you will achieve it, and in that way, join you.
You need to understand, then teach, Monetary Sovereignty, first to your followers, then to the rest of the world.
Those are your next steps. And there are plenty of us who can teach you. You have but to ask.
Of course, they never asked, so they never learned. And even today, they are ignorant about economics, though their protest is all about economics.
Now, we have the current Democrats, who even hired Professor Stephanie Kelton, an expert who does understand Monetary Sovereignty, to be their economist. And still, they don’t have the fortitude to risk explaining the facts.
A real Democrat, i.e. a real liberal, wants the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest narrowed, together with solid economic growth. Those should be the overall goals, which would be accomplished via the Ten Steps to Prosperity (below).
To reach those goals requires a leader who both can and will answer the question, “Who will pay for it?”
Until the Democrats find such a leader, who will present their goals and the means to reach them, the Party will be nothing more than a imprisoned mob, like “Occupy” and “Arab Spring,” forever complaining and forever looking out through the bars of their own making.
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
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 (Guaranteed Income)) 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.
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