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March 19, 2016
The Daly Walk with Miracles
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My Honest Views on Economics
A Simple Economic “Fix” for America
The Daily Walk with Miracles, March 19, 2016, by Paul Evans and Dan Hershberger. One video suggested is Economic Inequality and the Middle Class. Our featured video is a Weekly Address by Barack Obama offering Easter and Passover greetings. (This from a Donald Trump supporter. Bipartisanship LIVES in America!) I want to get in my own two cents worth on just what exactly I believe in and what I’d do to fix America, economically.
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I want to end the speculation about exactly what economic policies I support and what I believe it would take to “fix” America. In the first place, I have said repeatedly that I would die to prevent Communism from taking hold in America. To be clear, I mean I dislike Stalinist systems such as include dictatorships and political prisons. 35 million people died in WWII. 60 million died in Stalin’s gulags, and most of us would die to prevent something like that from occurring here. Socialism is something like that, but plus or minus the dictatorship and always including government ownership of the means of production, but can be democratically empowered. I am not overall in favor of that either. (Note: I am an economic pragmatist who feels, as did Deng Xiaoping in China, that “I don’t care if a cat is black or white as long as it catches mice,” and that it is important, as does capitalism, to empower those who try harder and reward their entrepreneurial initiative and discipline.)
In recent years in the world as a whole, we have developed a situation where there are too many people and too few resources. Obviously, then, we must start sharing those resources better. But this begins with each of us, and could be simply things as simple as carpooling. The website Shareable and and the book, “Share or Die: Voices of the Get Lost Generation in the Age of Crisis,” provide great resources to the people for the purpose of sharing what we have.
The overall system of capitalism (which in America is unique and slightly fascist as well as socialist, too) in the United States is NOT a bad system. People perform best, and the economy does best when (admittedly selfish) initiative (entrepreneurship) allows individuals to profit from their own labor in such a way in which hard work is rewarded. It is stifled in today’s regulatory climate. Did you know that the average American family pays out an annual cost of $14,400 a year to pay for just the regulations government has today? But the real problem is the excessive greed of banks and corporations. Our corporate world itself is NOT hurting, but rather sits on more accumulated capital than at any time in American history. They are NOT investing it in America and American industry or new jobs but rather spending it on buying quantities of their own and other companies’ stocks. Right now in America the tail is wagging the dog. Our corporations are telling the government what to do, and that’s just wrong, it should be a much more equal partnership.
What’s wrong is the perversion of our system by the greed of investment banks and of Congress by lobbyists. It is NOT THAT HARD to fix, either. We are the ONLY Western nation without nationalized banks, and I strongly believe that these banks are so very greedy that nationalizing them is the only acceptable fix, long term. President Obama tried to create a legislative restraint on the regulations governing the big investment banks. What happened is simply that the banks’ lobbyists eviscerated that corrective legislation with lobbyists and threats. Did you know that at this moment America has about $127 trillion in basically unfunded obligations or “mandates” (Forbes, January 17, 2016)? And few are aware that, right now, there is one big American investment bank that is $74 TRILLION in debt (due to greed in mortgage and derivative bets they made and lost) and is more than 70 times more over-leveraged than was Lehman Brothers just before it went belly up.
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I am sorry to say we are about to be in huge trouble, trouble which in fact has lingered sine the bust of 2007-2008. It is NOT the President’s fault but is because of the Rubinite economic advisers (Summers, Bernanke, Geithner) he was probably forced to appoint and has relied on, and the lobbyists who mark up legislation in Congress. When the up-to-80 percent over-valued currency and stock market DO go bust, which could be at any time, I urge all Christians and conservatives to support Barack Obama in the breech. I KNOW of Obama’s Christianity and that he is a good man who CARES about ordinary Americans.
Yes, there are FEMA camps set up around the country, and the purpose is to HOUSE and FEED the poor when the economy goes bust, as is very likely. How are parents going to feed Johnny when the Social Security checks are cut in half, or as is happening all across the country, our benefits as a whole are slashed? Even now, about 75 percent of us live paycheck to paycheck. Americans and our government have lived far beyond our means, and the chickens are coming home to roost. We simply don’t know how bad it will get, but in the worst case scenarios, Obama stands ready to provide us with housing and food. Let us pray that it does not come to that.
I DON’T think that much is structurally wrong with America’s economy. I think we need just two fairly “doable” reforms besides nationalizing the banks. Whoever becomes President needs desperately to have a “fair and flat” tax, hopefully one which is slightly progressive. Rand Paul calculated the necessary level as a 14.5 percent tax rate. However he would have made major structural cuts to government I do not (all) agree with or feel necessary. I personally have the idea that a “global” taxation rate at a 17.5 percent level with two steps of 5 percent each are good, and this would be with hardly ANY loopholes. I believe this would allow the government to continue to provide the services Americans have come to count on. But how can we hope to fund the government when a giant like General Electric hires 500 or so accountants and the largest manufacturer of electronic components and appliances pays ZERO taxes? My fellow countrymen, in what way is this patriotic or fair? A “near-zero-loophole” taxation system would allow for a considerably LOWER taxation rate, and the money that the average Americans save would be plowed straight back into the economy. There would be REAL GROWTH and much better jobs would begin to be created.
A true “fair and flat tax,” by its very nature, cannot suffer very many big loopholes, or it’s whole purpose of an equal sharing of the burden of government is defeated at the outset. Secondly I think it is clear to both the conservatives and the liberals and left that lobbyists are perverting and ruining our government, specifically legislation in Congress. The main reason why lobbyists are so poisonous for our future has nothing to with the decency or Christianity of those representing us in Congress, but exists because Congressmen must be re-elected and are forced to turn to corporate lobbyists to get the money they must spend on that. So… simply institute publicly funded elections and lobbyists are taken entirely out of the election process, and Congressmen become un-mortgaged to corporations’ fiats and can once again start truly represent Americans.
Conservatives at large across America need to realize that it is absolutely true that money spent on true stimulus is returned to the government in a more than 1-for-1 basis. However because of corporate and lobbyist influence in crafting the last stimulus package, a huge chunk (I think maybe about 40 percent) of this went to tax cuts for the rich, which benefited only them. We DO need some big money spent in some kind of stimulus and infrastructure spending, which WOULD provide jobs and NOT cost much in the long run, but NOT with the sort of influenced Congress which exists right now. We must change just one major factor in the way all legislation gets crafted.
I believe that, since both liberals and conservatives dislike injustice and, (although they have different visions for America’s future), want a fair and just legislative process, that we can agree on publicly funded elections as something we badly need and that both “sides” can support. Such a left-right coalition already exists in the Senate, where Rand Paul led a winning 78-18 vote to limit NSA surveillance powers. Let’s get the left and the right together to reign in the influenced center and as soon as possible vote in publicly funded elections. In that way, the legislation Congressmen craft will be fairer and less influenced. That alone will go a long way to fixing America.
Easter is once again upon us. Let us celebrate our beliefs and listen to an address offering us President Obama’s thoughts on this wonderful holiday, and see for ourselves Barack Obama’s faith, and how much he loves all Americans.