The intent of this blog is to promote human equality, human progress, human peace and justice, and optimism. To accomplish this, to encourage the discussion of ideas after identifying and discovering problems, and then creating positive solutions for "we the people," in order to provide for the "general welfare" and "domestic tranquility" of America now and its "posterity" into the future. To encourage an emphasis on separation of religion and state for all, no matter if this is for those "of faith" in a Maker / Creator (Deists, God-loving people, Christians, various people of spirituality) and atheists or agnostics.

Posts tagged ‘economics’

Economy & Mortgage Interest Rates

Dear Editors:

Paul Krugman says the economy is doing well. There are many facts and figures which back up what he says.

Thinking about that idea that unemployment is down and the economy is doing good, I have to wonder who is fueling the fire behind the younger generations who are wet behind the ear and are complaining about a business cycle which those of us with wisdom of age have seen all the time and work to be prepared as best we can. Shit happens like inflation happens.  Period. It is a tough thing to prepare and yes, sometimes those of us in the older group find it difficult to be prepared. But we try.

Mortgage rates going up after a long hiatus of low mortgage interest rates is not a topic to be used to bemoan the economy, is it? For those of us in the older Baby Boom generation, we paid mortgage interest rates in the double digits, sometimes as high as 13%. Did anyone give one damn about that? Not on your life.

When Sleepy Ronnie in the Cabinet took measures to “reduce the mortgage rates,” his actions benefited the younger Baby Boomers born in the late 1950s. Why? Because Sleepy Ronnie in the Cabinet allowed the use of lower rates for first-time home buyers. By that time, most of us older Baby Boomers had already purchased a home so we were precluded. I tried to obtain a lower interest mortgage rate on a home in Florida in 1982 and was told no because I had already owned a home in upstate New York.  The house in Florida, at the base rate of homes in Florida, was about $20K more than the one we sold in upstate NY. People like us, purchasing a second home after leaving NY faced an increased housing value AND a very high interest rate. Was there anyone who gave one damn about this? And my salary was just about flat when compared t that I had in New York. Sure. It was my choice, right? Wrong. There was a freeze on hiring in SUNY and other education institutions.  Sure. Sure. Republicans came to power and attempted to destroy the work we were doing to improve software development productivity, reliability, and quality for the military. The terrible commander-in-chief was Sleepy Ronnie in the Cabinet.  What did we get instead? This fantasy of “star wars.”  Only a charismatic idiot who believed that the ripping down of the wall in Berlin and our troubles with the Soviet Union were over and behind us. Where was Putin at that time? A KGB agent? What are the left-wing people of East Germany and Hungary, and so forth, doing today? They are on common ground with one idea today: dictatorship, authoritarianism, autocracy. Nothing to do with ideology at all.

The Republican authorities monitored such events better between states than Republicans did to monitor whether Republicans from the north were voting twice in presidential races, once in the north and once in Florida. No wonder Florida became the one-party state, like a Putin state, as it is today.  Sorry. I diverge.

It is more than just mortgage rates. It is the huge increases in the cost of housing due to greedy and selfish ones with their house flipping. It is about corrupt developers and banks working together to price housing very high in many locations. Developers get their money and banks eventually get the homes which people cannot afford due to cost-gouging high prices.  Long-term investment on a slow pace, is gone, in favor of lovers of money and instant gratification.  During the years of high interest rates which hurt the older Baby Boomers and Neil Bush and others were subversively damaging the federal savings and loan programs created by their family’s enemy from the past, FDR. 

If someone is trying to muddy the waters of the younger ones today, by means of inconsistencies for which younger ones are not able to differentiate, then I, for one, ask that such muddying of waters stop. For those of us in the older Baby Boomers had to deal with very high interest rates after our parents had mortgage rates and lower housing prices after World War II.  It was tough on them, but imagine how much we had to withstand the financial difficulties. This added to an oil embargo which caused prices of gasoline to be at high levels, too. 

Paul Krugman is correct. The economy is doing well. It could do better with regard to mortgages and housing. But it needs more of an overhaul of the corrupt individuals involved in developing real estate and in the banking industry, overall. President Biden has already called for increased perspectives about regulating business, but he keeps getting slammed regarding any ideas he has. Or else the media never includes his ideas in discussions about elements of the economy.  This is areal problem for trying to fix the economy and all of us coming together to attempt to do it, even if we play only a small role. 

Response to Guest Columnist RE: Government and Safety Net for COVID-19

Dear Editors:
From the opinion page comes an “opinion” which does not contain facts, but only the aspersions cast upon our U.S. government and with little or no evidence provided. Just speak out about this or that happening.  No facts.  Yet, I have submitted essays time and time again and never get mine printed. I do include facts and evidence. Jerry Russell’s commentary contains none, except his visit to East Germany after the reunification of Germany. 

Let me reiterate after doing so  time and time again. I am a capitalist who believes in government regulated capitalism.  I am pro-democracy and believe that an educated nation is necessary for a democracy to operate. From my observations in this nation and after working almost 40 years in education, have witnessed the downfall of good public education, due to people who express unsubstantiated information, as Jerry Russell does in this guest columnist. America’s grasp of the truth, knowledge, and information has been curtailed and so has democracy. I have to argue this is NOT a “creep into communism,” as defined by Russell in this “guest column.”

Russell’s commentary is based on a bias from Ronald Reagan’s words that “government is the problem.” So, therefore, people like Russell focus on government being the problem, even if it means throwing out to the public unsubstantiated information. The number one point made by Russell was that, due to COVID-19, the government is confiscating property because of the “moratorium on evictions.” That is false. I say it’s false because the writer provides no proof of such actions.

As a capitalist, I can provide evidence of big fat bankers, not government, confiscated property. According to a Palm Beach Post article when the price of housing there increased by `25% in just a few years, the truth was uncovered that developers and bankers worked together to give mortgages to people who were not able to afford them. Brand new homes with balloon mortgages were given to people making $35,000 annual salaries or less when there was no proof that such incomes could pay for such homes. Prices skyrocketed. The bubble then burst, due to these mortgages which suddenly came due. Housing prices came tumbling down and many faced short sales and foreclosures. Flipping of homes began in earnest.  Developers walked away with huge sums of money and were no longer concerned about the houses and the banks swept in and confiscated the property. No regulated capitalism existed to avert this from happening.  Today, there is a huge homeless population in Palm Beach County as prices, once again, have soared. Rent, too, has gone up astronomically in Palm Beach County and other parts of Florida. Russell never mentions this part about unregulated capitalism with its corruption, cheating, and lying. Russell never mentions what happened in Germany when Hitler was in control because he has biased blinders on to only blame the communists of East Germany. As a proponent of regulated capitalism, I, too, don’t like what is described in East Germany. I refuse to believe unsubstantiated information in the USA while the depth of the problem that I describe is ignored. And let me also mention, the son of a Hitler-loving and KKK-loving person, Donald Trump, lives in Palm Beach County and I knew real estate people there who worked for him.  But does my information get published? Not on your life. I am being censored, as a proponent of regulated capitalism and American democracy.

The second point from Russell is absurd and lacks evidence. Our government might support a safety net during this time of COVID-19, but it does not pay people not to work. That safety net is unemployment. Yes, perhaps we need to work to tweak the unemployment benefits a bit. But I refuse to look at this as a means to pay people not to work. That is a false interpretation of what is happening. 

As for bringing in “guest workers” to pay for work Americans don’t want to do,” so what?  Again, living in Florida, I have witnessed migrant workers who work in the sun and heat of Florida because Americans don’t want to do such work. it’s a tough job. Being a professor at a college in Palm Beach County (now retired), I worked with young people of migrant worker families who picked themselves up by the boot straps, created their own businesses to help them get through college, and have ended up in successful positions. Meanwhile, too many American young folks (and it might include white AND black, too), do not have what was once described as American ingenuity, to develop a means of income to help finance their education. For instance, there were Haitian students I knew who developed such businesses as mobile car detailing. They would come to a person’s home and detail a car. I knew those who, in Fort Lauderdale, would deliver newspapers, not just to pre-established customers created by lousy customer service phone numbers housed in foreign lands, but by going to places where people worked or at the off-ramps of the interstate so as to sell the print newspapers. Some might have required gasoline for automobiles, but some of the work could be done on foot, too.  yet, we cannot get white folks in New York to deliver newspapers and, at the same time, the excuses are, “they don’t want to work” or “the cost of gasoline is too high.” Any excuse will do. 

So, I don’t wish to hear someone like Mr. Russell, with a bias, talk about blaming the government and “creeping into communism.”  I find such bias offensive and perverted. It has actually led this nation into a great deal of chaos with false information. I have written it before and I write it again.  Our governments are human institutions and humans are imperfect.  Therefore, our government is imperfect.  A democracy is better than a dictatorship, which is what Trump and his friends wish to impose upon us, from QAnon to MAGA to Proud Boys, etc.  Whether local, state, or Federal governments, I express my appreciation for the life many of us have been able to achieve, even if, as a black CNN reporter says, “many white folks do not do as well, financially, as their parents did.” I am one of those white folks, but I still appreciate what we all have today and thank our government for our blessings.  I thank God for the blessings, but I do have an appreciation for the humans and governments who came before us and gave us what we have today, as imperfect as it is.
One additional thought.  The truth sometimes hurts and in this case, the truth is that its big business monopolies and lawyers pitting common folk against one another which align more with the ideas of centralized socialist and communist control of economics. I have written about this, over and over again. Many times I have written about this. In the first Century, people listened to a Jew say “the truth will set you free.” The early followers of this Jew tried to establish communes, but the communes failed. Why? Just as with the hippy communes of the 1960s, one thing is important to acknowledge.  “Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Dictatorial power corrupts, whether it is power by dictators Hitler or Stalin. Whether it is power by Mussolini or Castro. Whether it is power by a corrupt government in Kabul or the Taliban with its forced anti-human rights dictatorial powers.  The early followers of that first-century Jew also did not charge interest rates for money which was borrowed and the society had practices of a Jubilee Year in which, every seven years, debts were forgiven.

Today, as a consumer (I always say I am on the demand side of a capitalist market), we are not able to earn interest on high-cost insurance with a 0% return on investment. And this guy in Binghamton is blaming the government for this? He should have lived in Florida with hurricanes where, for nearly 40 years, i paid into this black hole of an insurance money pit and never reaped one benefit, ever, from private corporate monopolistic institutions of finance like insurance companies.  Yet, the money I HAVE earned (or SHOULD BE earning) by investing in Social Security and Medicare is being ripped off from me. This is being done in the name of communist- and socialist-hating people with false information about what capitalism, socialism, and communism are all about. Thank you, Karl Marx for providing false information which too many people have followed and too many others rely on when describing a hatred of communism. All due to the false information of Marx and Engels.    But don’t believe me or try to understand what I say here because one might actually learn from what I say. So I get censored in America, while biased individuals like Russell, with false information, get published quite frequently.

Yes, Mr. Russell, I don’t like handouts. However, I do understand when handouts are necessary as part of a safety net when things get bad for Americans. Things got bad for Americans having to deal with COVID-19, so we need to adjust and create safety nets, but not keep such safety nets “to infinity and beyond.” But I have yet to hear of desires to continue such safety nets indefinitely. In fact, by way of democracy and bipartisanship, in the mid- to late 1990s, there were many efforts to put us on a path towards structuring the safety nets in a way which can benefit Americans when it becomes necessary.  We can do the same thing today and not “creep into communism,” as Mr. Russell’s pessimism touts in a guest columnist article.  Americans need to THINK. Americans need to CONSIDER various aspects of life. Americans need to consider various OPTIONS for our SOLUTIONS. Mr. Russell’s words of pessimism does nothing to help America achieve the goals I just set forth.  I am going to be blunt and state this outright.  
P.S. I don’t get published in the Binghamton newspapers, but have been published in other newspapers in Florida. Why does this happen today? I am a good person with a good desire to help America and its people move forward. Is there something wrong with that? Or am I being tarnished as if I am like everyone else and seeking only individualist desires?  How many times do I have to repeat myself on this score, as well? Oh, well. Even if I get published, I can’t get the morning newspaper delivered here, as it has been done for all my life, up to just prior to COVID-19.  So, why bother when I don’t get the newspaper if my essays get published?  That is what Americans all think. Must be they are too lazy and don’t want to work.

Professor Douglas Willet Cornwell (Retired)

Newark Valley, NY

bibsinger@gmail.com

———————————“Love your neighbor as yourself.” “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” “The problems of the world are not that some people love in a different way. The problems are that so many people don’t know how to love at all (CGA, 1970).” A Puritan is someone in fear that someone, somewhere, is having a good time. “Liberty and justice for all [not priorities on individual and selfish rights].” “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”  “We the people, in order to form a more perfect union [and overall wealth of American society]…” 
Benjamin Franklin: “Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are affected.” Stacey Abrams: “Compromise about actions, but not about values.”  Oscar Wilde: “I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.”  Oscar Wilde: “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” Benjamin Franklin: “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”  Whoopi Goldberg: “To handle this COVID-19 pandemic effectively, we all need to get on the same page.”  Note: To be clear, I do not like being patronized. I do not express my disdain over what happens to my fellow humans just for my own sake and to pursue favors and handouts. I do it in order to gain R – E – S – P – E – C – T for me and for millions of other Americans of any race, ethnicity, religious belief, or sex and sexual identity who try to walk in integrity as they attempt to achieve, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  PERIOD.  One nation under God [our Creator] with liberty and justice for all.

Three-penny Op-ed: Let’s Stop the Lack of Ability to Identify Business Opportunities for the Future by Means of Good Investments in Infrastructure

Once again, we are forced to listen to the news on a station like channel 12 as they bloviate the stupidity of Republicans who are not able to think about the future with an overall look at what it takes to improve the lives of ALL Americans in the future. They are stupid.

This is similar to not re-building a bridge to an area which is flatland and could help in the development of new housing and improve an economy, while the hilly side of a creek is not good for constructing houses on the hill because of the flooding which comes down the side of the hill. Progress does not happen because the development on the side of the hill is halted, due to the flooding, and no one can expand construction on the other side of a waterway, on flat land, because Republicans oppose building a bridge, saying, “there are not enough people on the other side of the waterway.” Stupidity with no concern for, it’s the future possibilities, stupid. Just as Clinton’s advisors, during the Bush-Clinton campaign of 1992, said, “it’s the economy, stupid.” And by the end of Clinton’s second term, working with the Republican side, gave enough money back to the Middle Class that the economy improved AND the Federal budget was balanced.

Today, we hear of the stupidity, once again, from Republicans about “spending too much for infrastructure.” Once again, we can say, “it’s the economy, stupid,” not the accountants shallowness with a ledger book. Accountants opposed to giving money to the Middle Class in the late 1990s were stupid, too, but it paid off, both economically and with the Federal budget.

Do these Americans who challenge President Biden have any brains about what it takes to make a good future for America? You spend the money in the economy and the money can head back into the government coffers and help balance that budget. What the hell is the problem, here?

Economist Paul Krugman says that, when President Obama first took office, he did not spend enough and the money was pitched at the big banks, not at the people who were having difficulty paying off mortgages or being foreclosed. These problems with mortgages were due to banks giving freely to developers who, along with the flipping of houses and extensive increases in prices at a much higher rate during the early Bush years (125% increase in prices over short term or just a few years, not a long-term investment as it always has been). Then, mortgages were given to so many people who really did not have enough income to pay for the mortgages, the consumer got hung, the developers walked away with their money, and the banks could then confiscate property in the same manner as Rubio’s enemy in Cuba (Castro) did to people there (including Rubio’s family). Paul Krugman’s comments in the early years of the Obama administration and the evidence that money was being given to big business, while there was proof that the SAME money could have been given to homeowners who were stuck in situations which I described when they were given mortgages they should NOT have received. Things worked out with the results of all that and the implementation of the HARP program, but could they not have been better had those large amounts been given to the consumers who were suffering with houses “under water” due to values going below the amount being mortgaged and, ultimately, foreclosures with a Castro-style confiscation of property? One could say these big bands were not communists, but were the centrally planned big fat cats no different than communists trying to form communes? I don’t think so.

Although I applaud President Biden for working to improve the infrastructure of this nation, the cost is rather high. But on the other hand, we should have been improving this infrastructure during the years Republicans were in charge and we did not. Working in the 1980s and 1990s for an electric utility, we knew at that time that there were infrastructure problems identified by the North American Electric Reliability Council in their Generating Availability Data System, we were heading for problems in the future. That infrastructure was not fixed and the results were disaster this past winter when snow and sleet hit Texas and other areas of this nation. I recall working, at the time, with friends of Laura Welch Bush at Texas Utilities in Dallas, TX, on gathering statistics and so forth in the industry.

R&D was murdered in the 1990s and after. Why? Because of the greed and selfishness of individualism, deregulation, and the formation of larger monopolistic business ventures which can be comparable to centrally planned economics of the Soviet Union. All of the important matters were passed over in favor of a few people gaining all kinds of wealth at the expense of employees and the small amounts of stock the employees owned. Today, CEO fat cats make an increase of 1000% or more compared to those of the 1970s, but the employees doing the work have come no where near that accumulation and hording of money by a few egotistical and lazy people in the boardrooms of America. Yet, number crunchers destroy ideas for making things better in America and apparently have so dang much power that we all suffer as a result. Many of us lost our jobs, due to the reduction of R&D. Yet, in capitalist Taiwan, we learn that they spent tons of money on R&D and have developed a corporation so good that Communist China plans to invade Taiwan to take control of it. Sort of like the South never being able to develop industry so it stole the established industry begun in the North of the USA. That is another whole story to tell.

Then, China is working to strategize for the future, while American Trumpicans complain about it and do nothing substantial to challenge it. According to a Sixty Minutes report many years ago, America was investing in the development of alternative energy sources with renewable energy. When America saw it was going to cost too much for long-term investment before there would be a payoff, American investors threw it all away, while the Chinese picked up the pieces by purchasing the businesses started up with initial “incubation” investments. Why did America want to begin developing alternative energy sources? Because we know that the oil and gas stuff from the ground will be depleted one day, so we work to prepare for the day when our next generations of people have to deal with the eventuality of the end of oil from the ground. Republicans get out their damn accounting ledger books and don’t even consider this. What happens? Such businesses came into the hands of the Chinese, in a free “global” economic system. And Trump thought tariffs would tell those Chinese off. Meanwhile, Taiwan is threatened by China which, like Dixie, wishes to steal the successful technology business developed by those on Taiwan. Dixie and others stole IBM from the North and the Binghamton area, too. The stupidity of Americans who follow the fat cats BLINDLY along, like lemmings being led off a cliff.

President Biden has also identified the need for more funds at the local level and to get back (that sounds CONSERVATIVE to me, not liberal) to the days when there was more control over infrastructure at the local level. Today, big corporations have put in place these lousy computers the customer speaks with and no longer allow the consumer to speak with someone at a local level. Cable television was created in upstate New York, as a “better mousetrap” to deal with the hills of this area in attempting to bring television into the home. It was not regulated by the FCC as much as regulated by the local communities. It was once the same thing with telephone and telecommunications, too. With EMT and fire service, too. Even with the production of electricity, there was often local control. These methods are all superseded today by big corporate conglomerate and monopolies. The electric utility where I once worked with the engineers and many energy R&D efforts, is no longer located in a city in Florida. instead, the control now comes from a big corporate conglomerate based out of state. Same in this area of New York. Rather than control from a corporate headquarters in Binghamton, it is now controlled from out of state and one has difficulty speaking with someone local. I can go on and on, even into the “local” newspapers in Binghamton and Ithaca, which have pulled the plug on local offices and one can never get in touch with a local person. This centrally planned economy, run by big fat cats of industry is supposed to be better? Hell. The USA Today Network is comparable to Moscow Pravda. Why do we do this? Selfish individualistic egotism and love of materialism and love of money, that is why.

At one point in my life, I spoke with a young Cuban man who had come to America with his family in the 1980s. He spoke about he disliked both Castro and what was told about Battista. He said he missed the urbanized America where he could no longer go sit by a waterway, as he did in Cuba, and have no big developments around. He disliked the materialism which permeates America so strongly. However, he was grateful for being in this nation and feeling like he was more free to do things without a dictatorship always watching him.

I agree with this young man’s assessment. Materialism and ledger books, with no plans for the future are what too many Republicans wrap themselves in these days. A Republican objects to spending more money than what we spent in World War II. Stupid jerk. First of all, does he think what the cost of purchasing a car was in the 1940s, compared to today? Did he think what it cost to purchase a home in those days, compared to what it costs today? No. Did he compare the living wages of those days to what it cost to purchase many items, particularly food? No.

Take this stupid jerk a step further. How many Americans died in the 1940s, due to war? How many Americans have died in this war with a virus? What are the overall facts and statistics, rather than just blowing away with ledger line accounting only? It is disgusting to many of us who see a bright future for America, if we only have the investments needed to improve the infrastructure of this nation. We need to work together collectively, but Republicans, as they did with FDR who wanted to meet the problem of war head-on while Hitler was bombing Britain. The Republicans of that day BLOCKED FDR from spending the money so as to help Churchill and the Brits. Then the Republicans later make stupid claims that “it was not the New Deal, but war, which got us out of the Great Depression.” BS to that. There is evidence that the New Deal HELPED, but the war was made worse due to the negligence of the Republicans of that era. To make Republicans of those days look good, what is done? Now make the claim that it was war which got us through it financially. But wait a minute? The Republicans did not want us to spend money and gear up, as what Trump COULD have done by fighting a war on a virus by using the Defense Protection Act. According to an owner of a consumer products manufacturing company in the 1940s, such businesses were awaiting the chance to gear up to build munitions for the British and see the economy begin to boom again with such measures and perhaps win the war and put it behind us. The Republicans of that era blocked such efforts and we spent a longer period of time at war with the Nazis, fascists, and Tojo-loving people than what could have been avoided.

Thus, we can conclude that Republicans are pulling these stunts so as to support autocratic and dictatorial government on the level of a Hitler. It takes money to make money. That does not apply solely to the individualistic materialistic fat cats of America, but for the “wealth of a nation” overall and based on “moral sentiment” for humans, as well as justice for all humans in America. This is the land I love and have hopes for achieving such measures in the future. (See Adam Smith and his writing in The Wealth of Nations and Theories of Moral Sentiment; Smith is the brains behind the development of capitalism).

Three-penny Op-ed: Democracy and Economics (17 Apr. 2021, The Economist)

Recently, I wrote about Queen Victoria, based on dramatization of her life. At one point in her early years of ruling during the 19th Century, Queen Victoria addressed protestors who were part of mobs attacking the palace where she lived. The scene depicted incendiary weapon of the time which was hurled through the windows of the palace. Those devices made one think of the “Molotov cocktails,” used in the 20th Century and derived the name from Vyacheslav Molotov. The name comes from a time period in which comes after the reign of Queen Victoria. When used in London during the queen’s reign, it approximates to the time of the residency of Karl Marx in London. Due to the time period, I come under criticism for using the words, Molotov Cocktail when they did not exist. People dwell too much on use of words and not on the fact that the name used in my writing referenced a weapon which was generic and could help understand what was actually used by the protestors.

Wording is so important when it comes to the false ideas passed down to our day from the likes of Karl Marx and Adam Smith of Scotland. Marx falsely claimed capitalism was “the problem” in the same way Reagan claimed “government is the problem.” People, particularly the lovers of Fox News, just grab at what was said and don’t give a damn about those of us who speak out about the false ideas which permeate the “herd” mentality from a Nazi propaganda machine like Fox News and other extreme right-wing news outlets.

Marx was wrong in blaming capitalism as a problem because capitalism was like a “new kid on the block” and barely understandable to others. The aristocracy grabbed at the ideas of Adam Smith with gratitude and simply twisted the ideas of capitalism to suit their ideas of aristocratic supply-side economics which disdains the demand side of the market. What would have happened if Marx had actually identified what the true problem was? What would have happened if the media of the day had revealed Adam Smith’s turnaround AGAINST the ideas of “free markets” because he felt humans did not have a natural human ethics and morality (The Theory of Moral Sentiments), so therefore there needs to be a “referee” with a third-party group regulating supply AND demand for the purposes of checks and balances in economics. (Also see Economics professor, Dr. Jonathan Wight’s book, Saving Adam Smith). After all, Adam Smith was a contemporary of the American Deists and Forefathers who saw a lack of chaos in the universe due to a Creator who worked with checks and balances, so they devised a political system and U.S. Constitution with checks and balances. Interesting to note that too many Americans grasp at Marx’s theory that “religion is the opioid of the masses” rather than what Jesus Christ said which applies to Adam Smith’s ideas about “moral sentiment.” Why? I ask. What if we changed this false notion? Shameful that human beings claim to follow Jesus Christ (as Smith was a Christian theologian, too), but really don’t grasp his notions.

Smith promoted the idea that ultimately, “free markets” end up giving us monopolies, regulation of an economy by autocratic big corporations (“deregulation,” as Reagan proclaimed) to their self-serving interests which destroy competition and small business. This is similar to what happened in Ancient China when the small business Mandarin class was destroyed and China imploded on itself (see Zakaria).

In stating, “business and politics are growing closer in America, with worrying consequences,” there is agreement with what is proposed in the text above. The fact that American business in the late 19th Century created a rich commerce for America makes quite a bit of sense. However, with J.P. Morgan and others in the 20th Century, America began to steer away from such a pathway. Teddy Roosevelt, the “trust buster,” worked to regulate the huge corporations. This continued after World War II, even as corporations became larger. International Business Machines (IBM) was created by Thomas J. Watson. However, he and the other executives at NCR where he originally was employed, worked to destroy competition and the government came down hard on them. In the process, Watson became a benevolent autocratic CEO at IBM and the company flourished. But once benevolent ones depart this life, they are often replaced with barbaric, ruthless, and vicious dictators. It is seen that IBM was later headed by such vicious men and this became the norm in America, as we watched as CEOs increased their salaries and bonuses so astronomically that it has been a 1000% rise since the 1970s. Ayn Rand and others promoted, with Reagan, supply-side economics and deregulation. Teams of lawyers in big corporations and the proliferation of so many lawyers in the American economy (creating jobs for themselves as ambulance-chasing vicious ones who attack one against the other in a destructive and greedy manner) meant corporations could better protect themselves than the small little business person. As with what happened to the Ancient Chinese Mandarin small business class, these people were put out of business. Fast food magnate like ruthless and vicious Ray Kroc hired people to scout areas with small mom and pop diners and place McDonald’s near those areas, for the purpose of destroying the competition, with the same regard as Republicans under Trump destroy and destroy and destroy, beginning with the ACA which has a goal of extending competition in health insurance in order to help lower the prices which are ripoffs and nickel and diming the demand-side of the capitalist market.

Rick Scott in the U.S. Senate is responsible for the Hospital Corporation of America which is a huge corporate conglomerate begun during the Reagan years with the purpose to destroy the “competition” of public health facilities. The loss of such public facilities really hurt the American people during this pandemic. People like Rick Scott, Jeb Bush, Ron DeSantis and Trump Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, had designs on creating big corporation in America which could be called “Education Corporation of America.”

Jeb Bush and other Republicans like him also privatized the prison system of Florida. The net result has been, to make a profit, by putting more people in jails (concentration camps?). Most of those people are black people who then are removed from the voting rolls. In a recent referendum in Florida, the voters of Florida voted to stop that type of treatment of those who served their time in jails by getting them back on the voting rolls. This applied to non-felony criminals or minor criminal activities, particularly possession of marijuana or cocaine, etc. This push to get black people in jails from these minor offenses is reminiscent of what was portrayed which happened to Billie Holiday when latent homosexual, J. Edgar Hoover, headed the FBI. (See the movie, The United States v. Billie Holiday).

It was very eloquently stated in The April 17 Economist article: “we also believe that concentrations of power are dangerous. Business people will always lobby for their own advantage, but the closer they get to the government, the more harm they threaten to both the economy and politics.” However, to frame this issue as “classic liberals” really puts this too much on the political spectrum, when I know many conservatives who support this ideal, too. As Dr. Howard Dean, one-time candidate for president of the USA, said, “we need to frame the issues to make them more acceptable to more people.” Putting in the word, liberal, sad to say in today’s world, gives ammunition to the fat cats of America who follow fascist Trump and push their own agenda with lies and the re-telling of lies. It is bad enough that they have ammunition with guns and the NRA, let alone words used as ammunition.

Speaking of Dr. Dean. He comes from a state which puts restrictions on big box corporate retailers, not allowing them to build in low density areas where they can become more monopolized by destroying the small business competition. Current U.S. Senator, Bernie Sanders, is from the same state and should nix what Rick Scott of Florida says in his fascist white racist business-loving, greedy, selfish way.

George W. Bush may have had SOME good ideas (i.e., use of switch grass as a renewable energy source). But the worst thing he said, as applied to this article in the Economist about the “political CEO,” “what’s good for business is good for America.” I am glad to read this article which does a good job at shooting holes in this asinine statement made by a former president.

The examples of successful challenges to the pandemic were in nations which were democracies which worked together in good alliances with business and health systems to defeat the “war” of the pandemic.

In the late 19th Century, one could have said, “what’s good for government is good for business.” Ronald Reagan, in his stupidity, destroyed that notion and we are being forced to live by such destruction. It needs to change and we need to rid our economic system of the words of individualist, selfish, greedy, lovers of money and materialism. We need to work on the same principles of checks and balances which our Forefathers used in setting up our political system.

There is evidence that Adam Smith recognized the same thing for our economic system, but the autocratic aristocrats in the monarchies of his day proclaimed they had a “divine right to rule” and grabbed and used Smith’s ideas to their own advantage. They twisted Smith’s ideas in order to keep the status quo of the system they controlled, while playing lip service to the Smith ideas about “capitalism.”

The result was that Karl Marx gave capitalism a bum rap rather than acknowledging how the system of supply-side economics was the problem. In essence, Lenin and Stalin set up the same type of centrally planned supply-side economic system in Russia. The Ancient Chinese did the same thing many years ago. These systems of supply-side economics failed. When will people recognize this?

Even General Douglas MacArthur, as Supreme Commander of Japan, following World War II, worked to destroy two things in Japan: (1) the communist party and (2) the aristocratic autocratic supply-side economic system which had existed for many years. This system made the Japanese so ruthless that they refused to abide by the international humane rules for POWs, often murdering American POWs and stuffing the genitalia down the throats of dead men (see Ken Burns documentary about World War II, The War).

If America does not wake up, learn and gain wisdom about these circumstances today, then the negative components is described in this article about the “political CEO” might happen.

It’s About Time: Someone Who Addresses TRUE Capitalism (CBS News Story, 60 Minutes)

God bless Darren Walker, head of the Ford Foundation. Thank you Leslie Stahl and Sixty Minutes for your story about Darren Walker. What a delightful story! What a delightful bit of information about the same love of capitalism which I have written about quite frequently over the last 20 years or more and finally brought to the attention of people. I have frequently tried to point out that the capitalism identified by the wealthy today is really not a capitalism, but merely supply side economics favored by wealthy people and big corporate giants. Thus, we have now ended up today, as Mr. Walker said, with a problem not only for black or Latinx people, but also de-evolving wealth for white people, too. That a small number of the wealthy own as much as 90% of those at the bottom rung of the economy. That capitalism is about opportunities, not just jobs. This last thing, I have spoken out against the liberals and union folks who ONLY talk about jobs, eeven though I am a lifetime union person.

Having lost my stock in a corporation, due to the wealthy supply-siders and friends of Reagan in the 1980s and 1990s, Mr. Walker’s ideas about profit-sharing, not stocks really rang the bell loud and clear for me. It reminded me, too, about the fact that friend of Ayn Rand (lover of the virtue of selfishness), Alan Greenspan, during the Reagan era, had a truly good reason for changing his mind about whether supply-side economics is any good. For many years, I have been saying, over and over again, that supply-side economics is NOT capitalism. The wealthy refuse to buy into this position, out of fear of losing.

I have been stating that capitalism, with the pandemic threat, could be saved by using the example that we once had for war bonds, in order to gain money to fight the war with Hitler and Mussolini. Today, we heard Mr. Walker talk about investment bonds for the Ford Foundation. This also goes along with ideas about raising money through a group like March of Dimes, to pay for the war on polio. Our thanks for the uplifting words by Mr. Walker, as he acknowledged this concept about bonds and other means for raising money for investments.

Mr. Walker, you mention that such actions which means wealthy give their money away and it might mean a loss to them, is “against human nature.” You are darn right about that. However, in stories about the development of the National Parks system in America, there were people such as Steve Mathers who worked within the government, as a wealthy man, to GIVE money to finance this effort AND to pay government employees who did it.

My ancestor for whom I have been admitted to the Sons of the American Revolution, Capt. Frederick J. Schoonmaker, gave money to finance the war effort against the British Crown in the 1770s and 1780s because the fledgling American government was broke.

My point about Mathers and Schoonmaker are about how there are examples which made this nation GREAT of people who DID go against human nature, as does Mr. Walker, and gave their money to efforts to help establish this nation and then one example of building our national parks system and preserving the wilderness in America. Thus, when speaking with Leslie Stahl and saying this sort of action “goes against human nature” and it is correct. But we do need to find all the examples of those who DID go against human nature and helped build this nation to be what it is today, in spite of the imperfections and blemishes over time.

Donald Trump and the Trumpicans and Proud Boys (and others) have no idea what it means to make America great in this respect. They have no clue.

Again, thank you Darren Walker, for the enlightenment provided tonight in the interview by Leslie Stahl on Sixty Minutes. Kudos and bravo to you! Keep up the good work!

Republicans Have Occupied the White House More Years than Democrats

If there truly is the problems the Republicans say exist, then those problems are NOT due to Democrats, but to Republicans.  Republicans have occupied the White House more years since the 1950s than the Democrats have occupied it.  It was Bill Clinton, a Democrat, who balanced the Federal budget after inheriting a deficit from a Republican president.  Bill Clinton wisely recognized the approach suggested by super-wealthy (for his day) tycoon, Andrew Carnegie:  “Wealth is not created by individuals, but by society.”

Why do I say this?  Because Bill Clinton recognized that the Middle Class invested in the economy and a strong economy could boost revenue for the Federal government.  The wealthy do not invest in the American economy.  Despite the efforts of the wealthy oligarchy to sabotage what President Obama has proposed, the economy STILL shows signs of recovery.  Think how much better it would be had voters not been suckered by the propaganda money (aka, BOUGHT OUT) of the Republicans in 2010.

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