Category Archives: American Governance

Is America Sending Young Inner City Blacks False Sonar

beached-whales-australia-photo3463
In capitalist societies, we typically are responsible for the choices we make. Some make bad life choices. But when a massive segment of society continues to make poor life choices, do we not have to question whether or not it is the individual or the circumstances in which they were placed?

For instance, what causes a pod of whales to beach themselves? Are these bad life choices or are they the best choices given the circumstances? If ship sonar signals these whales to turn to shallow waters where they become beached, is it the whales that are too be blamed or is it the ship? And what of baby sea turtles that turn away from the sea, thinking that house lights are the moon, and die of exhaustion?

Given societies signals, are the choices that young, inner city blacks make that end in dropping out of school, turning to gangs, making cash in illegal activities, failing to achieve job skills and living off the system poor choices? If they are, why does such a high percentage of young black make these same choices generation after generation, city after city across America?

I contend that the system provides erroneous sonar, false lights to follow if you will. And our capitalist system works whether the trade is legal or not. Without a legit signal of a living wage to swim toward, our inner city youth strand themselves on the beach. It is this false signal that is the basis of institutional racism that still persists in our country.

Perhaps it is through no fault of any individual. Who is not aware of the probabilities of high crime rates involving black youth. It would be hard not to react to such probabilities and no one can be blamed for self preservation. Yet, these signals create pathways for individuals to interact that in themselves can create institutional racism. It is these false signals which must be broken through conscious effort if we are to reduce its effect on our inner cities.

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Will Knowledge Explosion Lead to Peace…or War?

snowden
Some ask why prognosticators predict war over peace, as if it is blindly an easier and more provocative path to predict, rather than the harder path to achieve of world peace.

The answer lies in the historical pattern of power transitions between nations. While the world superpower period that we are in is unprecedented, regional superpower, empire, and hegemonic patterns are fairly well defined. As such, we are entering what historically has been the final phase of a hegemony, when a competing power grows powerful enough to wage war.

Hegemonies typically last for 3 to 5 generations. We are in the last generations historically of our hegemony. China already has way more people, acceptable manufacturing capacity, burgeoning technological ability, growing military strength, and a breadth of neocolonial trading relationships. The pattern for emerging war within a generation is concentrating.

Historically, when a nation emerges to wield similar capacities as the World’s dominant nation, and is not happy with the world’s economic and political systems that are designed to benefit the dominant nation, it sets the stage for war. The emerging nation attempts to bend the economic system their way, is met with opposing force of the dominant nation, and conflict erupts.

China is winning ground on all fronts. So, examining the historical patterns, the phase of our hegemony and China’s transition, and the pattern of conflict that has occurred consistently over the past millennium, some predict military conflict in the future.

A couple of trends oppose a classical war transition. One is the size of hegemonies involved. The U.S., being the most powerful hegemony that has ever existed, then requires a competitor to extend their capacity for war to unprecedented levels. Yet, China has been highly successful in gutting our military manufacturing capacity, which actually creates a more unstable environment that could lead to war simply because it equalizes power more quickly.

Another has been the resolve by which America pursues protection of hegemonic resources such as oil in the Middle East. Yet, our ten year wars have drawn us into the same economic drain that took down the Soviet Union. China, on the other hand, has been successful in creating new trading arrangements that circumvent the dollar as oil trading currency. These trends ultimately will prove the axiom of the taller you are the harder you fall, for as the greatest hegemony in history, America will fall the farthest if knocked down from our pedestal.

One hopeful trend that I discussed a few posts earlier is that the world is on the vertical slope of the information age, and gains in knowledge are progressing at light speed. It was hopeful that that Arab Spring was born from social media. The world’s citizens are connecting through the internet and are beginning to break down nationalist prejudices. There is the potential that people throughout the world will choose peace through knowledge.

Yet, history has shown that increased knowledge leads to military superiority, which leads to a higher probability of war if gained by the opposing force of the hegemony. This leads us back to why both China and the United States are attempting to fly up the vertical path of the world’s knowledge explosion to gain the upper hand. Hence, we have seen, thanks to folks like Snowden, the massive buildup of knowledge processing capacity by the NSA.

If mankind will make the leap toward removing worldwide bigoted barriers through an explosion of knowledge sharing, then Snowden will have earned a historical place as a true hero of world civilization. If, however, mankind follows our consistent historical pattern of technical superiority leading to armed conflict, then Snowden will be recorded by world history to have been simply another crack in the dyke of America’s hegemony giving way to war.

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Filed under American Governance, China, National Security, Social Media Democracy, social trajectory, War

Detroit is the hole that Mike’s Steam Shovel Dug

mikes shovel
Who here remembers the story about Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel? Detroit’s problem is like Mike’s. Mike’s steam shovel, Mary Anne, wasn’t as nifty as new diesel shovels, just like land-locked Detroit auto plants were not as nifty as new, single story automated ones. But Mike vowed to work hard building a basement hole for city hall, so he and Mary Anne got the job. They dug a great big hole but with no way to get out of it.

Detroit dug a big hole with no way out too! Everything Detroit did to help herself didn’t slow the hole getting deeper, and her city hall was left with a dilapidated steam shovel in its basement. Detroit’s impossible hole is that it needs good paying jobs for its illiterate citizens….period. It’s that simple and that difficult.

As auto jobs left, whites left with them. Blacks could not qualify for federal housing loans because of federally supported racism and could not enter communities built up around the new plants because of restrictive covenants. So the low level jobs that the auto manufacturers allowed them to have went away.

Now, they were left in the city with poorly supported schools with few good paying jobs. Crime got worse. Family situations got worse. Home values plummeted. City revenues dropped. And as the city blight worsened while the outer suburbs improved, new businesses chose to build in growing, safer areas rather than in the city. Dig, dig, dig…

The diesel shovel jobs that competed with Mary Anne steam shovel, those jobs that illiterates in the inner city of Detroit, 47% of her citizens by some accounts, could qualify for, they are growing at 10% per year in Eastern countries but paying well less than the mandated minimum wage in Detroit.

America created an economic infrastructure that produced generations of illiterate Detroiters. Our failure to face institutional racism kept our most oppressed of citizens corralled in the city. Our elites took away jobs that illiterates could have worked. Now, our latest generation of Detroiters sit in a basement hole with no chance at earning a living wage as an alternative to crime and dysfunctional communities.

In the story, “Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel”, because he was stuck in the hole, he created a living wage in the hole by converting his steam shovel into the new city hall furnace, making a living wage to provide the city hall with heat.

America, having created this impossible hole, must now create living wages for our tens of thousands of illiterate unemployed, and we must vow to create a future economic infrastructure that does not dig such impossible holes. Political intransigence must now make way for a willingness to fix the problem.

I wrote an article in 2011, explaining the mechanisms of job transfer to Asia that is worth reading, Called How China Ate America’s Lunch…

http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/how-china-ate-americas-lunch

China was ready to take back its world leadership in 1978 after “150 years of shame” and America’s elite were all too willing to sell out our posterity to help them. Detroit’s bankruptcy was foretold by the decimating our middle class to fund China’s emergence.

Yet, just as was seen in the Arab Spring, it is the fringes of society that break first. While the whole of our middle class is having its life slowly drained, those poor souls on the outer edges, such as our citizens in the inner city of Detroit, are the ones whose life supply of economic blood is the thinnest. They die first.

Detroit is America’s problem to fix.

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Filed under American Governance, American Politics, Capitalism, China, City Planning, Class warfare, Full Employment, Jobs, Racism

Solving America’s Energy Needs Will Take Better Government, Not Less Government

wind-energy-2We search for systemwide solutions that will minimize the cost of competition and that will maximize each citizen’s contribution to society. Many suggest that we eliminate government from the equation and let perfect competition work its way through the economy so that all will have the opportunity to contribute. Yet, America has anything but perfect competition.

The reason Thomas Paine’s pamphlet was so important to the Revolution was that it laid out in clear, laymen’s terms the true purpose of government in the evolution of society to be that merely as a representative extension of man through a larger society and not an ordained right of an individual to rule other men.

It was inspired by and dedicated to the writing of James Thompson’s “Liberty” that exclaimed society should not exist in the extreme of every man for himself. This is to a greater or lesser extent what we have today, built on the economic structure of imperfect capitalism. Why imperfect? many reasons….

One involves our energy system. It’s history is anything but perfect competition as you may know. In the beginning, utilities were something of wild west type competitors. Some emerged through mergers but most went the way of petitioning government to set up regulated monopolies to avoid duplication of assets. What then developed were cost plus entities that served local geographies. Some made better economical choices and were better run than others, resulting in much lower costs to their customers than might be experienced just 50 miles in either direction

And grids were designed to manage a local infrastructure as well. For protection against blackouts, utilities connected to each other and began to devise ways to allow physical power to flow between utilities, but the emerging transmission line structure was haphazard and contained many bottlenecks.

Much later, within the past couple of decades, a means to sell excess power to other utilities as a profit center developed, but it was hampered by several physical and political realities. First, power flows through least resistance physically and not by how utilities sell it. Therefore, there are few financial reasons to fix bottlenecks to the grid. Second, utilities are not purely for profit, they are cost plus, and do not have real competitive reasons to optimize profits, only to ensure they make annual targets to meet dividends and to allow the regulators to grant further expenses to continue building and expanding the utility. Therefore, the nation’s true supply optimization does not occur in a regulated environment.

And with such a regulation hindered system, no utility has the economic incentive to build electric grids to areas that could house wind or solar farms to sell to other utilities. And no utilities have the regulatory incentive to buy from such an economically optimized, national asset. For their incentive is not to optimize profits but to meet barely and consistently their annually set, regulated cost targets so they may increase next year’s costs and gain additional “plus” for their investors who invest for the consistent dividend returns.

America is not designed for perfect competition regarding a major segment of our energy needs. We have been hamstrung by government systems of regulation from the beginning and no outlet exists to fix this monstrosity but by redesign of the government infrastructure.

These are the simple facts that cannot be covered up by free market rhetoric. Every problem must be managed within the complexity of a systemwide solution set that pursues societal optimization.

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Filed under American Governance, American Innovation, American Politics, City Planning, Energy Policy, Jobs, U.S. Energy Policy

Divine Law Sets the Boundaries Between the Social Contract and Natural Law

220px-Thomas_Hobbes_(portrait)The limits of human interaction are bounded by the state of nature and the state of the social contract. Each of these limits, however, is further limited by Divine Law.

In the state of nature, there are no rights of man and no laws to govern him, only freedoms to take what he can by force to enable him to extend the longevity and happiness of his life. In the state of nature, man has boundless freedom to take from others what he can, but the ensuing chaos leaves all but the strongest few with less happiness, less safety, and less life.

To improve the likelihood of achieving most men’s divine and natural goals, over time they entered into social contracts with others to establish societies. Through social contracts, man gave up natural freedoms that allowed him to take whatsoever he desired by force, but in giving up his natural freedoms, he gained the structure through which he could increase safety from having his happiness and life taken from others. The essence of the social contract became law, and the process of creating law was embodied in political society.

An uneasy balance between the social contract and natural rights has been our struggle of human existence ever since. Power struggles within tribes for dominance have shifted this balance through the many political systems to which we have subjected each other. And between tribes, the social contract was neglected and wars pitted tribe against tribe, executing organized natural law to shed blood for profit.

Within tribes, the struggle between social contracts and natural rights is bounded by the limits of authoritarianism and anarchy. Kings and priests shared authoritarianism in early societies. Today, most society’s powers are divided amongst representative governments and the “new kings” of the international, powerful, financial elite. Yet whether by kings, priests or financial elite, power is still bounded by the opposite limits of totalitarianism and the threat of revolution or devolution into anarchy.

Within the realm bounded by these firm human limits are the limits required by Divine Law. Divine Law suggests that neither of the limits of authoritarian control or of the natural state provide optimum communion with God. Both extremes take away from man’s divine purpose on Earth.

The Declaration of Independence recognized that Divine Law should govern man well before he ever is subjected to the extremes of human law. The founders agreed by signature that men are:

“endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights…That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness”

Declaration of Independence, 1776

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Franklin D. Roosevelt Supported the Unalienable Right to a Living Wage

U.S. Presidential PortraitsFranklin D. Roosevelt made the leap, incorrectly I believe, that Constitutionally derived rights contained in the Bill of Rights were unalienable rather than manmade. Unalienable rights are not derived by men, but can only be stewarded by him..

Nonetheless, he correctly enumerated, once again in my opinion, additional unalienable rights in his speech to Congress in 1944 of a second Bill of Rights that should be established for the people. He said:

“In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all—regardless of station, race, or creed.
Among these are:

The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;

The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;

The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;

The right of every family to a decent home;

The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;

The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;

The right to a good education.

All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being.

America’s own rightful place in the world depends in large part upon how fully these and similar rights have been carried into practice for all our citizens.

For unless there is security here at home there cannot be lasting peace in the world.”

Now some, knowing what transpired under FDR, would say this list of rights is somehow socialist or even communist. Far from it…

My priorities set about to provide for these same unalienable rights and I am neither socialist or communist. I see the twists and pulls from both the right and left extremes that attempt to prevent these rights of man. FDR’s Second Bill of Rights demonstrates just how much America has gone astray.

If God is real, has created Earth and placed man on it, then as all the major religions suggest, He created man and Earth for communion with him. Then unalienable rights were given to man by God that cannot be taken away, even from the individual himself, for they are rights that God gives to man to use only as a steward of these rights, in that these rights enable man to commune with God.

All these rights rest on the big “IF” God is real. If he is, then we act out in antiauthoritarian ways when we pass laws that diminish man’s ability to commune with God. Life, for instance, is an unalienable right. Without it, we cannot commune. Liberty is as well for God suggests we are his slave only. Logic would suggest that God then placed man with the ability to sustain life through his toils and that anyone who would step in the way of that contract with man would be acting in antiauthoritarian ways against God.

With this as a basis, one can peruse FDR’s Second Bill of Rights to examine how each supports communion with God, and how interference with these rights attempts to thwart man’s communion. One might argue that since man finds a way to commune whether he has the exercise of these rights taken from him or not, that they are not unalienable. However, just because God can commune even through the greatest of man’s interference in the rights of others, it does not mean that interference isn’t desecrating those rights.

So if God is real and if communing with God is man’s greatest purpose on Earth, then a nation should create the greatest opportunity for unalienable rights to exist. The Declaration stated “that among these” meaning it did not enumerate all unalienable rights. FDR enumerated more of these rights. America has moved far away from protection of these rights. And, moving toward them is our greatest priority.

Among these rights is the right to a living wage. A system wide approach to correcting the failings of government can not only shrink antiauthoritarian policies that cost us all so much, it can also produce life, liberty and a more viable path toward the pursuit of happiness.

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Reforming Congress is the Answer to Fair Taxation

No skin in the gameTax reformists argue that everyone needs “Skin in the Game”. But how is skin defined? In the days of kings, peasants owned no land to tax and kings paid no taxes, of course. A portion of the yield of the land peasants worked was given as tribute each year and passed up the chain of title. Coins were used in exchange between serfs and craftsmen to make taxation easier.

After the plague, serfs attempted to assert themselves by moving off the land from which they were bound to work for the highest paying lords. To stop this “chaos” the crown imposed laws that made it illegal for lords to pay above historical wages and for serfs to leave their lands. Serfs revolted and their leaders were brutally executed (broken record).

In those days, the government was not of the people, Government was of the church and of the aristocracy. Serfs were forced to pay the church and aristocracy to govern them and revolted when the governing or taxing became too harsh. America’s republic created a government of the people and by the people for the people. We determined our own taxation, which did not include a tax on our production for 140 years.

But Congress had a “better” idea. Previously America had sin taxes and war taxes, and then taxes on imports/exports, presumably helping domestic business to compete, but not until 1913 did we have a permanent income tax. Yet, as they say, kill the fish by first starting at its soft underbelly. The people did not protest the first permanent income tax because 90% made so little income that they slid under the minimum income required to be taxed.

Yet, think about it. Congress defined income as that derived from salaries and wages. These are not how America’s elite derive their wealth. They do not toil for wages?!?! How could it be that this soft under belly would stay fixed on the incomes of the elite? From this starting point, the class battle began.

In Eisner v Macomber, the Supreme Court expanded income to include that derived from capital, score one for the working class. In Helvering v Bruun, the Court decided increases in wealth alone could be taxed. Score another…Something clearly had to be done to reverse course. In Commissioner v Glensaw, the Court helped the elite in distinguishing capital income from ordinary income. Ordinary….as in ordinary people and their ordinary income….aaahhhhh.

Once taxation had begun, first applied to the wealthy, the paradigm was set. Then, all that was needed was to transfer the limited income taxation paradigm to the lower classes through the courts, shifting the tax rates toward ordinary income and away from other forms, and we have the principles we have in place today, taxation of a minor portion of wealth, heavily proportioned on the labors of the middle class.

The wealthiest of America’s middle class decry that 47% of Americans pay no income taxes. Why not rise up in arms about the fact 99% pay no deer license fees? Here is a closer figure to the population that pays no income tax. 48% of the adults in the United States do not pay any alcohol taxes for they do not drink alcohol.

There are many forms of taxation in the Country and many different levels of taxation as well. Income tax is just one of those. The very first permanent form in 1913 was structured so that 90% of Americans did not pay it. Somehow that figure, through manipulations of Congress, has now settled into the 47% level.

Yet, the proportion of taxes compared to total wealth that the underclass pay is quite high when compared to the total wealth of the elite. Those that reside in the upper ranges of the middle class get the greatest rub to their wealth, but perhaps that is the penalty they pay for being the stabilizing buffer between the wealthy and the downtrodden.

Pointing to this 47% figure as if it is the light of truth is a story that has been fed to those of us who pay the most. It is our compulsion to either puppet the story or to search for a more enlightened truth and to herald it above the others.

Government is bloated and should be put through the deadwood cutting process that most businesses go through in hard times to cull out the inefficient and ineffective. In fact, this should be an ordinary process structured into our government process. Yet, these costs though significant, are only a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of programs that have been put in place by Congress.

Of the restructuring that needs to occur, reform of Congress itself is the highest priority. As I spent the past two years connecting the dots and devising systemwide solutions for our economy, the simple fact was that all changes kept reverting back to Congress, and Congress now has in place a system that will not allow it to make needed changes.

Congress has now gerrymandered itself into extremism. It has limited the representation of the house so that it no longer represents the people as originally intended. It has structured campaign financing to favor the wealthy and in fact 90% of campaign funds come from the elite and 87% of campaigns with the highest campaign funds win their elections. Congress now over-represents the 1% and vastly under-represents the 99%.

Without restructuring Congress to fairly represent the balanced needs of the Country, no reasonable solution will be resolved to move America toward a thriving path. And without reform of Congress, an important step of tax reform will continue to be a classless battle of classes.

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America Should Put All Assets on the Table for Taxation

tax policyI wish for society to be as free of government as is can be, that government be limited to those functions enumerated in the Constitution such as providing for the national defense.

National defense – what is it? America is a group of people clustered together by geography under a common set of laws that we have crafted over time for the protection of our rights from attacks by outsiders and insiders. We have a common economy that provides for our people and a common military that protects us from state led, organized attacks. We have a judiciary that protects us from overt abuses of our laws by our executive and legislative branches. We have a common legislative branch that should strengthen our other institutions through commonly agreed upon laws of engagement for the national defense of our people and an executive branch that acts upon these laws fo our common defense.

How well is our government performing its duties of national defense? Our defense of state organized attack is from another era. Our defense of terrorism has overtaken our liberties. Our defense of attacks on our infrastructure, such as against nuclear and cyber attacks, is in its infancy and struggling for balance. Our three branches of government have been commandeered by America’s elite to provide for their defense against interference from the rest of our society.

Is the middle class defended? Is the working class defended? Are our unemployed and underclass? What is the balance that must be obtained in a defended society?

Some argue that Government is too big, that it takes too much of our money to manage this leviathan. Certainly, our government has too many people and assets and these are costly. But cutting the size of government is only a drop in the bucket compared to the excessive costs of our programs and regulations, and thus cutting the size of government will do very little to curb our deficits and lessen our debt. It is not the size of government that is at issue but the size of expenditures that have been agreed to by past legislators and that have been enacted by past executive branches. It is the size of our agreements that is bankrupting our country. More than anything, we must prioritize cost reductions and government must not be cut to the point of disfunctionality in the process of cutting costs.

Once America’s spending priorities have been readjusted to fit our abilities to pay and our government has been resized to manage those priorities, those priorities and the new size of our government still has to be paid. We still have to agree how each of us will contribute to the funding of our government. Each of us has assets that can be taken to pay for government. We have assets that were purchased in previous years and assets that have been acquired in the current year. We have assets that have been made through investments and assets that have been given to us as compensation for our labors. Some of our assets are liquid and some are hard assets not so easily converted to money.

Government must now come together to represent the people in deciding which of these assets will be assessed for taxation. The best we can hope is that our legislators are balanced in their representation of the people. Who of us believes that regarding economics, our legislature is balanced in representing all classes of people?

The largest of our nation’s costs are military and social safety nets. Both of these costs were agreed to by past federal legislators as the best compromise, given the structure of our society at the time. Our military was structured for hegemonic offense, to thrust America’s economic interests abroad. Our social safety nets were structured to care for those of our citizens whose labor was set aside to maximize the profits of capital owners.

Fast forward to today. Our elite’s financial interests are in even more need of hegemonic military protection, as a much greater percentage of their assets are abroad. Even more of our citizens’ labor has been left idle by their decision to invest abroad, and now our social safety net program costs are excessive. We now balk at having such high government program costs, yet we are unwilling to cut or hegemonic military or to bring back investment to employ our citizens. So instead, we sit stupefied watching our legislature do what we expect them to do, stall on our behalf.

Now, our elite wants to cut the costs of social safety nets that are caused by foreign investment and our poor want to cut the costs of our hegemonic military that exists to protect those foreign investments. And if neither will budge on cuts, then each wants the other to pay for the excessive government program costs that we will incur.

However, the economics of America are driven by the investments of our elite. If America’s elite choose to situate their assets in foreign lands rather than in domestic businesses that will employ our people and that will minimize safety net and defense costs, who then should be responsible for covering these costs? Are my words socialist or are they simply recognizing that every economic choice has cost consequences?

I am not advocating going back to the days of kings, back to the beginnings of our nation, when America’s lands were given to the elite families of America by the crown, and restructuring them to give all an equal share, nor of reconfiguring the lands taken from indigenous peoples and given to the governors, financial, and political elite of the time. I am not advocating correcting these historical manmade injustices.

However, all men should have a living wage and our national defense calls for maximizing the outputs of all in our society through the investments of our elite that have been given the blessings of historical circumstance as well as those that have made their fortunes nurtured within the defensive infrastructure of the United States.

The elites’ assets are mostly in excess stores of value, above what are required to live and to consume. The middle class have assets that were mostly created through their labor, 0-3 years worth of labor in liquid assets and a house, maybe two. The working class might have a home and few liquid assets, plus current assets from recent labor. The underclass have few assets to speak of. Which of these assets will be taken to pay for the requirements of government?

The vast majority of assets that America owns are left untouchable by government. Why is that? Is land that has been in a family since it was bestowed upon them by the King of England any more valuable than a dollar that was made by the sweat of labor in 2013? If a working class man has no assets but $5,000 in a bank made by his labor this year, why are those assets what should pay the bulk of the nation’s governmental costs while the assets of land in a 50,000 acre estate are deemed off limits?

Do I want the government touching any of my assets, or those of the laborer with $5,000, or the American lord with 50,000 acres? Well I realistically know it must to function. If it must, are any of these assets more sacred than another? Why is it that we have conditioned ourselves to accept that recently acquired assets are acceptable to tax but those that have been in a family for centuries are not?

The argument has been structured so as to only compare recently acquired assets, for to look at all assets would be to see how amazingly imbalanced ownership of assets is in America. My proposal of taxing only assets that are not being productively used in the economy, while impossible to enact, is intended to break through this manufactured paradigm. Whether America has a flat tax, a fair tax, or a progressive tax, we should compare all assets, not just those recently acquired. And we should not create false paradigms that differentiate between that were acquired through investments, those acquired as payment for the use of capital, or those handed down through generations from the King.

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If I Were Running For President…

voteIf I were running for President of the United States, I would act bold. My ten point platform would include:

10 point platform

1. Reform Congress

End gerrymandering, end revolving door to lobbying opportunities, increase representation of the House, apply same laws to Congress as to all citizens, repeal Citizens United through the vote, end Congressional insider trading.

2. Immediately turn around economy

Enact my job auction plan that eliminates minimum wage yet targets a living wage of at least $12 per hour for all able citizens and full employment by end of one term, required housing shared equity for debt, credit amnesty

3. Re-secure America’s role of providing the world’s reserve currency

Ensure it through debt reduction, gold securitization, reinstituting separation of retail and investment banking, downsizing too big to fail institutions, and ending the Fed

4. Correct trade imbalance and secure America’s military industrial capacity

Provide it through protecting America’s intellectual property through property rights reform and incentivizing domestic manufacturing, initially targeting moderate labor intensive manufacturing for inner city, functionally illiterate citizens to increase city livability, reduce crime and provide incentives for school graduates.

5. Reform both primary and secondary education

Primary education now fails miserably, secondary costs three times what it should. 100% of students should graduate functionally literate and college should be affordable. I have a detailed plan earlier in my blogs.

6. Enforce budget prioritization

Systematically reduce federal budget based on compromised priorities to balance within two terms. To help accomplish balancing the budget, reform tax structure without raising income taxes or taxing any income producing assets. Fairly tax holding of real assets such as land, minerals, and raw energy that are not encumbered in income producing ventures. Reduce military budget a minimum of 30% through reprioritization of future goals toward securing our trading routes and reducing threat of nuclear terrorism. Finance restructuring through selling of unneeded military lands and bases.

7. Secure our freedoms through Congressional oversight

Provide Congressional and judicial oversight of the myriad of secret agencies that are eroding our Constitutional freedoms. Require Congressional vote of all military offensives that are not emergency actions.

8. Require comprehensive evaluation of cost/benefit of regulations

Provide direction with the intent of dramatic reduction of exorbitant costs to the economy.

9. Invest heavily in alternative energy and energy conservation

Invest not just in production, but in demand. Financing and legal structures must be reformed to make consumer investment in alternative energy both economically feasible and portable.

10. Provide sensible reform to immigration

Open borders to all foreign workers. Provide work visas to all illegal aliens. Change laws that to be an American citizen, you must be born in America and have an American parent, or go through the naturalization process. Ensure that all workers, foreign and domestic pay taxes and have rights to all services available to taxpayers. Work subsidies through job voucher auction program will not be available to foreign workers.

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Divine Law requires Private Land to Be Placed in Highest Use Toward Full Employment

kingThe idea of land ownership, capitalism, and money all tie back to Divine Law. In the progress of man, nomadic cultures were replaced ultimately with communities that stayed in placed to work communal land. These cultures eventually developed into kingdoms typically governed in the physical realm by kings that derived power from the spiritual realm governed by priests.

Feudal systems developed in which land ownership was deemed the divine right of kings. These concepts were similar from Polynesia to Europe. In many societies, the use of land was partitioned off to lords under kings. Yet property rights came from gods through kings to their minions. The idea was that the minions required enough land to provide for their families and to provide tribute to rulers to be used in governance and in defense. These earlier forms of land use supported the idea of divine law.

In the 17th century, this idea of property rights was challenged in Europe. John Locke’s ideas of property, expounded in his Two Treatises of Government, written in 1690, were as basis of modern property rights. His ideas were of God given rights to property that were not derived through the king but were derived directly from God.

His idea was that man’s cultivation and improvement of land was what intertwined the divine nature of land with man’s improvement to make ownership of that land his. Locke’s ideas that land use must be in accordance with God’s permissible use of land were then developed into the modern land ownership laws we have today.

America, and most other countries, have land ownership which is not allodial, or complete. Instead, we have fee simple land, or land that is owned by us at the pleasure of the state. Our land is not completely ours but is ours as long as we submit to the dictates of the state, pay taxes for instance. The concept was derived from Locke’s concept that land held in private should be able to produce for the good of society or be turned back to the state.

Nonetheless, great estates were created both in England and later in America, as governors of lands seized from the indigenous peoples of America were first given in fee ownership to governors and other high ranking originating families of America’s colonies. And taxation of land, the justification of holding land for higher use, became highly differentiated between owners of vast estates and those of small plots.

Examine taxation of private lands owned by vast land owners versus those small plots in town for instance. Why is it that small home owner plots owe vastly more per acre than huge land holdings owned by elites? In order to maintain such small fee simple plots then, the owner of such plots must provide a much greater land use to pay the land taxes or subsidize those taxes from other sources in order to maintain ownership of their paltry estate. Yet the same is not true for the vast land owners of land that is not developed.

This inequity in land taxation then is a means by which wealth is acquired, kept, passed on to heirs. Land, minerals, metals, raw energy, and other resources derived from the land such as lumber, these are true wealth. Money is simply a place holder in the distribution of true wealth and transitory wealth such as that added by mans labor to combine with the offspring of land into products.

Our elite then aspire to acquire and maintain true wealth, including vast acreage of land. Much of this land held as assets then is not tilled or developed and thus could not be held for long if it were not for inequitable taxation. This concept of excess land holdings went against Locke’s concepts of inalienable rights to land.

It is the development of raw materials that spring from land, combining them with man’s labor, that create transitory assets such as cars and houses, those assets that eventually return to the earth.

Capitalism is the combining of assets in equity, land, raw materials, and their place holders of money, with funds borrowed on the promises of future labor to create transitory assets such as automobiles. This system relies on owners of real wealth to provide it as a guarantee of the success of enterprises that develop transitory assets.

Owners of real assets then are paid a portion of the transitory assets, or their place holder of money, for use of their real assets in the venture. Generally, this portion of transitory assets or money is then retransferred into the acquisition of more real assets, thereby increasing the holdings of land and other real assets by the real asset owners. This is how capitalism concentrates wealth.

Since at the start of the American revolution, we had a concentration of real wealth by just a few land owners, with more than 60% of Americans at the time non-land owners, this capitalism system then continues to concentrate wealth. Then every three decades or so, economic crises occur that redistribute wealth somewhat and the process begins again.

If, as Locke suggested, land, capital should be in the hands of those that will develop it for the good of society, why then are we subjecting our nation to the whims of vast capital that sits dormant while millions suffer in idleness?

Modern capitalism then should consider how owners of real assets within a nation put those assets to highest use for the benefit of a nation.

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Filed under American Governance, Capitalism, City Planning, Full Employment