Category Archives: American Politics

Either Trump or Sanders Will Win the Presidency

 

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For decades, Americans have grown increasingly frustrated by what seems either as incompetence or as ideological stubbornness by both Presidents and Congress. After years of being ignored about lost jobs and lower pay, voter anger has peaked.  Americans have finally risen up to elect either Trump or Sanders as President.

We see both men as incorruptible supporters of the 99%.   Both have stood against international trade deals to bring back good paying jobs to America. Both have touted severe prescriptions to help America. Trump supports reversing illegal immigration to open more jobs for Americans.   He’s offered a deep tax cut for billionaires to avoid a political war within the GOP, although to no avail.  Sanders instead has declared a political revolution, vowing to fix America’s corrupt voting process, and to institute major transfers of wealth from America’s billionaires to the underclasses.

Shocked by America’s uprising, establishment politicians of both the Republican and Democrat parties have declared all out war to defeat Trump and Sanders. Party leaders have touted multiple reasons why they want to destroy them. But to be clear, the unspoken, REAL reason for such a blatant power grab is that America’s billionaires want their politicians to keep international trade deals in place, and to not give an inch of political power back to the middle class.

America’s billionaires profited trillions of dollars from military expansion that eased the transfer of America’s factories to other countries, and from trade deals that allowed bringing cheap goods back into the United States, both displacing American workers. Even if they may have their own candidate preferences, America’s billionaires will support any politician that continues to support their “free trade” money system.  Some GOP leaders have even blatantly stated that they will support Clinton over Trump, exposing billionaire objectives.

GOP and Democrat politicians will continue supporting their billionaire campaign contributors in order to maintain their jobs, parties, power and wealth.  They, therefore, will do everything they must to defeat Trump and Sanders.

  1. If that means spending hundreds of millions of dollars in ads to destroy Trump and Sanders, so be it.
  2. If it means trashing up-and-coming establishment star candidates like Rubio to try to stamp out Trump, then trash Rubio they must.
  3. If it means manipulating delegate rules to oust Trump through a contested, rigged election, and stacking Hillary’s campaign with unelected super delegates to ensure Sanders is defeated, exposes both parties as anti-democratic, then the parties must unfortunately suffer collateral damage.
  4. If it means organizing paid demonstrators to disrupt rallies and to create fear of what a chaotic, middle class revolution might do to our economy, then organizing extremists must be done.
  5. If it means even mobilizing party members to vote for the other party’s Presidential candidate, then the party establishment will hold their noses and mobilize their establishment members, if they can.
  6. And God forbid, if it means, as some have suggested, threatening physical harm to candidates or their families if all else fails, some might be so desperate to contemplate such a despicable solution.

2016 has been a naked display of anti-democratic thuggery by party establishments to stop voter insurrection.  But Trump and Sanders are fighting back, David against Goliath.  Trump is beating the drums of democracy against his own GOP as he continues to win a plurality of delegates.  Bernie Sanders is accusing Hillary of being paid off by her billionaires, and continues his winning streak in the traditional Democrat states, proving him to be the clear, best choice for his party.  As both parties and insurgents push forward, this revolution may not end without violent political upheaval.

Most Americans know that either Trump or Sanders must be elected to stop decades of billionaire abusive profiteering and trampling of the middle class.  So a coming voter backlash is building to a fever pitch.  I personally believe Trump’s policies are best to move America forward.  But if either he or Bernie is defeated for their party’s nomination, they must still go forward as independents to represent the will of the American people. Then, America will make its last stand as the House of Representatives, a body meant to represent the people, votes in the new President.  The Constitution will hold firm.

 

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Does Cap and Trade Signal China’s Rise as the World’s New Super Power?

U.S. President Barack Obama (L) and Chinese President Xi Jinping have a drink after a toast at a lunch banquet in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing November 12, 2014. Obama is on a state visit after attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.  REUTERS/Greg Baker/Pool    (CHINA - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR4DTFJ

For the past 40 years, China’s leadership has systematically implemented a 50-year strategy to overtake America as the world’s leading economic and political power.  In the history of the world, no country has ever accomplished this feat without a major war.  Yet China brilliantly planned to dethrone America without bloodshed by disabling America’s ability to conduct war well before our politicians would ever think to drum up a war frenzy.

China strategized that she could accomplish a first ever bloodless transition of superpowers through rapid economic growth, overbuilding industrial infrastructure, cheapening the dollar with massive American debt, building a gold backed Yuan world reserve currency, strengthening her military to protect critical trade routes, co-opting America’s elite to support China over America, and gutting America’s industrial capacity to support a sustained world war.

A critical assumption of China’s strategy was that America’s international investors and financial institutions would scurry to help her grow, given the chance. America’s elites did not disappoint China’s leadership.  With promises of riches, America’s capital investors feverishly rushed in to help China achieve most of her goals in just four short decades.

While both China’s and America’s leaders wanted China’s economy to grow dramatically, the motivations of each country’s leaders were strikingly different.  China’s leadership grew rich while building a massive economic and technological infrastructure to support her people’s future.  On the other hand, America’s leadership grew rich by stripping our citizens’ future to fuel their own personal wealth.  China simply had to offer a gold rush to America’s investors, and they in return blindly transferred America’s wealth for China to overtake the United States.

Knowing that the world could only extract a finite amount of debt from western economies to support China’s growth and that the cash flow from West to East would ultimately create an unsustainable debt bubble, China rapidly overbuilt manufacturing capacity in anticipation of slowing of investments from America and others. Now, China sits atop a mountain of physical assets while the rest of the developed world sits atop a junk pile of debt.

The West is now in the precarious position of either propping up China, or of sending the world into depression.  If the World’s debt bubble bursts, much of America’s investors’ wealth will evaporate. China will also default on her debt, but tens of thousands of new factories will remain in China.  China, will recover from an unprecedented depression with infrastructure, skills, trade relations, and gold to restart a new world economy.

Given America’s amassed debt and gutted manufacturing capacity over the past 40 years, we cannot withstand a long, deep depression. Our central bank has no alternative but to assist China in keeping the bubble afloat.  But, our citizenry must adopt a long term strategy to reverse what has left us in this dire predicament.

With a massive shift in power that the world unwittingly gave China as a backdrop to the issue of global warming, China’s President, Xi Jinping, has now come to America offering his support for pollution cap and trade.  Until now, neither America nor China has been willing to sacrifice economic growth to reduce carbon emissions.  Why then is China now willing to offer pollution cap and trade?  At this stage in the progress of her 50-year strategy, China can now manipulate cap and trade to further her bloodless revolution.

Americans believe that a small consolation of our slowed economy from tens of thousands of factories being transferred from America to China is that pollution was also transferred from America to China.  Our air and water is cleaner as a result.  Yet, in a cap and trade environment, this transfer of pollution now gives China “pollution assets” to either expand her own economy or to sell back to America.   Cap and trade would force America to either trade existing American pollution for new pollution or to buy pollution from countries like China.

Cap and trade thus could give China the ability to manipulate America’s industrial collapse even more.  With a massive worldwide debt bubble already in place, cap and trade would give China yet another powerful lever to either rise through the bubble or to send the world crashing into depression, to then rise through the ashes of world economic chaos as the world’s next superpower.  Adding pollution cap and trade to the mix would give China an untenable political and economic lever to control America’s destiny.

America’s dollar is so diminished, our central banking tools so depleted, our industries so gutted, our trade relations so reduced, our nation so indebted, that we are almost toothless to counter China’s 50-year strategy.  If we do not coalesce around a focused strategy to counter China, our Constitutional Republic could be endangered.  Xi Jinping’s visit should be a wake-up call.  America must not let Cap and Trade have a place in our economy until our economy, national security, and future is placed first in the hearts and minds of America’s investors and politicians.

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Racism as Viewed from the Extreme Right of America Needs to be Understood If We are to Move Forward

TrayvonMartinHoodedYesterday, I spent the day deep within a rightwing chat group that was in the midst of discussing the Trayvon Martin case. Trayvon’s death has created vitriol on both sides of the political divide and once again displays America’s ongoing racial tensions for the entire world. To get a pulse on the extreme right’s 2013 views regarding America’s racism, I engaged the group.

Not wanting sugar coated, political correctness, I stirred the hornet’s nest a bit knowing that angry bees usually sting with conviction. The raw opinions expressed were startling but real. No more startling than those on the left, the right extreme of America sees racism, however, in a vastly different light. Before America can come together to solve our nation’s enduring problems of race, we must first understand that a huge gap does exist, and more importantly, why it exists. Only then can we resolve our differences.

As you will see by the comments, some on the right deny that racism even exists. And when agreeing that it does exist, some say it doesn’t rise to the level of many other problems facing America. I contend, however, that racism is a major cause of many of our other critical issues and that none of these can be solved without reducing the impacts of racism.

Not only does racism tear down the dignity of its victims, but racism also harms its perpetrators. It retards everyone’s prosperity, slows our economy, forfeits jobs, destroys communities, and steals hope and happiness from millions of Americans. Reducing racism’s impact should be is a top priority that demands the attention of our generation.

If racism actually does so much harm, why then do so many think as this group I visited? And if their beliefs are so deeply ingrained, can progress really be made without trying to understand their views? With that question in mind, I share the thoughts expressed yesterday from this right-wing group. The comments have been altered to protect the privacy of the commenters. I caution that you may be dismayed by these comments, yet they are deeply held beliefs of a sizable segment of America.

DOES RACISM EXIST IN AMERICA?

“Racism does not exist today. Racists are long gone and dead.”

“Slavery has been gone for 150 years. How long does it take to heal the wounds?”

“Racism would be nonexistent if the political class and media didn’t get power and money from it.”

“We have no racism in America. Everyone has the same freedoms. Personal responsibility means we each must take advantage of our freedoms.”

“Racism is from older generations, not my generation and younger. We do not know racism.”

“Racism is a blame game that is fostered by the people who profit from the enslaved remaining enslaved.”

“Racism is more with blacks against whites than with whites against blacks.”

“We live in a post racist society”

“Most often it is those that call whites racist that are the racists themselves.”

“Racists are bigots of low expectations for blacks. “

WHAT PROBLEMS DOES RACISM CAUSE?

“Rather than racism, inner city families major issue is poor education caused by drugs gangs, welfare, and broken families.”

“The root causes of racism are bad education, dependency on welfare and denial of God”

“When we pay mothers to have illegitimate babies, they have more. Paying for illegitimate babies destroyed families, and destroyed a worthwhile black culture.”

“High black unemployment is not due to racism. It is due to jail, police records, single parent families, gangs, drugs, and high school dropouts. These problems have nothing to do with racism.”

WHAT SHOULD BE DONE TO SOLVE RACISM?

“Racism is not my problem.”

“Blacks need to take responsibility for their lives.”

“It is time for Black America to clean up their own communities. It is their responsibility to fix their schools, their drugs, and their gangs.”

“There is nothing more that white America can do to fix black problems of unwed mothers, or black’s disdain for education and jobs.”

“The black community is the only one that can fix their own culture.”

“Stop trying to convince us that there is huge racism in this country. People who do that promote racism.”

“Constantly talking about racism and using it to blame others fosters more racism.”

“Blacks need to grow up, get off entitlements and work like all other minorities have done in America.”

“Blacks need to stop following race baiting leaders like Sharpton and Jackson that flame the race issue.”

“Blacks need to stop harboring hatred and racism towards whites for what happened over 100 years ago. This attitude corrupts America.”

“Racism was not caused by my relatives. We immigrated after the Civil War.”

“Quit manufacturing the issue of institutional racism.”

“All that can be done through Congress has been done. In fact, Congress has over legislated to the point of causing reverse racism.”

“Labeling everything as racist is irritating. Let’s stop labeling ourselves racists and instead just label ourselves American.”

“Stop giving people what they should earn. Giving destroys pride and self worth and that destroys drive and hope.”

“Shoving trillions of dollars into the black community did not fix overwhelming poverty and is not the answer.”

“Whites do not make blacks behave badly. Blacks must reduce their crime, illegitimate births, dependence on welfare, offensive behaviors and speech, and their antipathy to education. They must get serious about assimilating into mainstream American culture.

WHAT IS THE PROBLEM WITH LIBERALS REGARDING RACISM

“Liberals believe that blacks cannot succeed without their superior kindness and care. They don’t believe that blacks are their equal. Calling them victims feeds their self-serving benevolence.”

“Liberals would rather provoke race wars that cause deaths of f thousands than admit that blacks bear responsibility for their failures.”

“It is easier for liberals to tell blacks that their problem is caused by hateful whites than that to tell them it is because of their own sloth, dishonesty and lack of moral standards.”

———————————–

There you have it. At one extreme, American whites are frustrated by the existence of racism and deny responsibility for it. They believe that America has done more than any other country to make up for our sins of the past and that blacks must now do for themselves to eradicate irresponsible behavior and join the rest of society.

At the end of the Civil War, Black leaders asked that Lincoln provide freedmen forty acres of farmable land and a mule. They didn’t ask to be fed and clothed and kept in housing without contributing to society. They were asking to be given a hand up to economic freedom with the ability to work their land and to provide for their families through their own labors. Forty acres and a mule represented a living wage at the end of the Civil War. It was a path to America’s recovery.

America has done much to recover from the sins of our past. The impacts of racism are not nearly as great for many as they were at the end of the Civil War. Yet, in all that has been accomplished in past 145 years, the one thing that was asked of Lincoln in 1864 has never been accomplished. Achieving the equivalent of 40 acres and a mule, a living wage by today’s standard, has yet to be accomplished for millions of blacks in America’s inner cities.

What is needed is a level start and a living wage. Until we pair economic freedom with political freedom, America will not have reached closure with our past. The comments above suggest that one segment of our society believes we have more than surpassed that point. Their visceral responses suggest that much more understanding must be sought between America’s extremes.

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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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