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Whither Now, Progressive Advocates?

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Robert Cogan       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   1 comment

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The centrist, free-trading coalition of Congress is weakened. The Tea Party fractured the Republican wing. Trump's voters did it to the Clinton-crat wing. How to go forward?

GATT -- WTO, NAFTA, etc. must be revised. All American citizens deserve a secure, satisfactory lifestyle. Revisions must allow government to create incomes policy to satisfy these needs. It's possible. Despite banker propagandists' lies about national debt "danger," America remains the wealthiest, most powerful nation on earth.

Afghanistan and Iraq? Lousy rental investments! We're self sufficient in oil now. Bin Laden, Saddam and Gaddafi are dead. Islam is at war, badly split. Trump should offer a stand -- still truce to all Obama's enemies. If they cease terroristic advance, we stop paying for and killing by proxy war against them. Call a peace conference, repartition those countries, and resettle refugees.

Stubborn, Marginalized Old Peacenik Progressive
Out of Afghanistan, at last!
(Image by Robert Cogan)
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Many Americans were never made even nearly whole from the Crash. Trump could order his Treasurer to create Recovery Greenbacks. They are not taxed from earned income. Spending them for a temporary, direct-jobs program does not add to the national debt. There's a lot of valuable, even low-tech, work needed. Jobs created thus, and worked, are not "free stuff." Congress can go along, or sue President Trump. Greenbacks could also "save" Social Security, etc.

Lincoln's Greenbacks that initially helped the Union to fund its army.
Government - created money was essential to arm the Revolution, and the Union Army. Farmers and laborers wanted them after the Crash of 1873. FDR avoided them in the prolonged Great Depression.
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Suppose an executive agency parceled out these jobs to large needful groups; struggling whites, blacks, Hispanics and for absorbing law-abiding refugee immigrants. Award is means-tested with some pay reserved for required debt repayment by the poorest recipients. It's cheaper than crash-era "stimuli," and more effective delivering income. This can be an experiment. It can be stopped any time inflation is troublesome to many average Americans!

Spent into the economy slowly, inflation (the ally of debtors and exporters) can be limited to maybe a 2% increase in the CPI. I'd take a 2% purchasing-power hit to help fellow Americans and refugees. Bankers can just be inconvenienced to raise interest rates.

Here's a back-of-the-envelope calculation. I want to use greenbacks to produce 1 million jobs at double living wages of $30/hr. for 35 hr. weeks with 4 weeks' paid vacation. That's $30 x 35 = $1050 x 52 = $54,600 per year x 1,000,000 = $54,600,000,000 ($ fifty-four billion, six hundred million). For debtors, let $20 be paid cash and $10 reserve, electronically allocated by guardian-managers who see to it that necessities (e.g. rent, medical bills) and family debt is paid down. Add 10% for stewardship and auditing to assure that people hired actually do the work, plus a transportation grant to get to and from worksites. That totals = $60,060,000, 000 ($ sixty billion, sixty million).

Now let's employ class-based affirmative action for families, to provide up to a million jobs for non Social Security-retiring small-business owners and skilled craftsman, arbitrarily, about 1/3rd each to whites, blacks, and Hispanics. Provide a second million much longer-term for absorption of deserving refugee would-be citizens. Why deserving? After all, we invaded, occupied, and started the giant ground wars they now run from. We also are a main source of global climate change. Let the program run for 3 years, $360,360,000,000 ($ three hundred sixty billion, three hundred sixty million).

Here are comparisons. The cost of Operation Enduring Freedom alone, for Afghanistan, has totaled $686 billion. The cost of Operation Iraqi Freedom has been $815 billion. We're still there fighting and paying corrupt client governments, and the Taliban, ISIS and other opponents are still there too (Congressional Research Service, "The Cost of Iraq"" Amy Belasco, 12/8/2014). The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of January 2009 passed by Congress and signed by President Obama appropriated $787 billion for recovery, 40% in tax cuts. The President's Council of Economic Advisors estimated it would create 3,375,000 jobs. Yet between Dec 2008 and June 2010, instead, 1.38 million jobs disappeared. (Jack Rasmus, Obama's Economy, pg. 38 -- 41.) Later the administration claimed that the Recovery Act saved 640,000 jobs (at a cost of $1.3 million per job, Rasmus, pg. 59). Such programs are so expensive because if you insist on paying private enterprise to create jobs, you have to bribe it with tax cuts and other government subsidies. It's much cheaper to hire income-deprived family-member workers directly and pay them directly!

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I could be Bernie Sanders older brother by similarity. I was born in Manhattan, 1940, he, about a year later, in Brooklyn. I too am a white male American. A retired college professor of philosophy. We both were born of Jewish parents. I was (more...)
 

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