Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

All The Gold In California

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, July 6, 2020

Y’know… one thing which I appreciate about the Bloomberg site, is that they don’t seem to be exclusively limited to interests of business, per se.

That is, matters of business MUST, and do, involve people – as employees, and customers – and without either of those two groups of people, no business would exist.

For many years – I don’t know how many, but for a very L – O – N – G time – I have taken exception to, and disagreed with the statement that “the customer is the most important person in any business.”

From my perch in the catbird seat, I demurred, and stated that the EMPLOYEE is the most important person in any business, because a disgruntled employee can cost beaucoup bucks in lost sales/revenues. And many disgruntled employees will sink a company – regardless of who is at the helm. That’s because the adage is true, that the sailors run the ship, not the captain. And they allow the captain to do so (to lead them) by their consent – the consent of the governed. A mutiny is a very serious matter.

Point being, is that happy employees make happy customers, and happy customers buy things, and say good things about the company, and the employees.

It was only relatively recently that I learned that Sir Richard Branson – Founder of the Virgin Group, a privately-held multinational venture capitol conglomerate – says the same thing, that employees are the most important people in any business.

The irony of ironies is that despite the political differences in the many seemingly disparate voices today, is that Republicans, Democrats, and all others, want the same thing: A good job, a decent place to live, secure transportation, ability to feed themselves and their family, education for their children, and to be healthy enough to enjoy it all. Food, clothing, and shelter… those are not hard things to understand. Neither are they difficult to obtain. They’re not like the mythical “unobtainium.”

But we the people, despite what some may say otherwise, are not in a good place in this nation for the long-haul. What has happened, is that within our lifetimes, we the people have been sold a bill of false goods that somehow less is more, that the larger and more populous our nation becomes (we’re right at 330,000,000 – the third most populous on Earth, behind China and India, respectively each with over 1 BILLION more than us), the smaller the government will become, that somehow, mysteriously or magically, at some point, it will eventually disappear – because we’ll all be able to self-govern and therefore do not need external governance.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

And yet, that’s PRECISELY what “the Great Communicator” Ronald Reagan said in his first Inaugural Address immediately after he proclaimed that “government is the problem.”

“In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. From time to time we’ve been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. Well, if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else? All of us together, in and out of government, must bear the burden. The solutions we seek must be equitable, with no one group singled out to pay a higher price.”

Now, my point is NOT to “bash Regan” per se, but to point out the obvious – which is that

in the past 50 years since his two terms in office, radicalized TEA Party types, and Libertarian politics have infiltrated the Republican party, just as much as then-NY Governor Nelson Rockefeller warned in 1964 at the Republican National Convention in Daly City, CA at Cow Palace when he was given 5 minutes to address the delegates, and booed for over 16 minutes.

“The Republican party is in real danger of subversion by a radical, well-financed and highly disciplined minority.”

“At that time I pointed out that the purpose of this minority were “wholly alien to the sound and honest conservatism that has firmly based the Republican party in the best of a century’s traditions, wholly alien to the sound and honest Republican liberalism that has kept the party abreast of human needs in a changing world, wholly alien to the broad middle course that accommodates the mainstream of Republican principles.”

“Our sole concern must be the future well-being of America, and of freedom and respect for human dignity – the preservation and enhancement of these principles upon which this nation has achieved its greatness.”

His worries that well-funded, and well-organized minority groups were in the process of commandeering the Republican Party have come to pass. Consider the commandeering complete.

Mission Accomplished.

The information contained in this well-written, highly-informative article (linked below) is 100% spot-on accurate. And it gathers data/information from a wide variety of legitimate sources to authenticate and validate the argument being made. It essentially encapsulates into one article much of the information which I have independently researched and confirmed.

For example, the chart/graphic entitled “Unrewarded Effort” shows that since the early ’70’s, wages have essentially flat-lined in comparison to economic output/GDP. Up until that time, employees’ wages/compensation tended to keep pace with economic output.

What happened?

In 1972, Richard Nixon unilaterally removed America from the Gold Standard, which was called the “Nixon Shock.” Since removing America from the Gold Standard, the United States Dollar has been a fiat currency – there’s NOTHING backing it up. But the chart doesn’t mention that, though the timing is too eerily ironic to be merely anecdotal or happenstance.

Do we have gold?

You betcha’! We have the lion’s share of the world’s gold supply. in fact, the U.S. has nearly as much gold as the next three countries combined – Germany, Italy, and France.

It’s safe and sound at the United States Bullion Depository at Fort Knox, KY, in West Point, NY, in Denver, CO, and in the Federal Reserve Bank in NYC.

Book Value: The Department of the Treasury records U.S. Government owned gold reserve at the values stated in 31 USC § 5116-5117 (statutory rate) which is $42.2222 per Fine Troy Ounce of gold. The market value of the gold reserves based on the London Gold Fixing as of September 28, 2019 was $388.4 billion. (from: https://www.fiscal.treasury.gov/reports-statements/gold-report/current.html)

Again, point being… you can probably figure it out, that if nothing is backing the money, that creates a problem.

And it has.

Those problems have been expressed and exacerbated in various ways, as well. But the most noticeable one is that wages have stagnated since Richard Nixon removed us from the Gold Standard. And yet, relatively few have ever said anything about monetary or economic policy, or how to correct that, or any of the other problems which have arisen therefrom. Again, these matters tend to get complex VERY quickly, but I’m doing my level best to KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid).

Now, multiply the problem of stagnant wages with increased costs of living, and suddenly, we’re starting to see there’s really a problem – one which a roaring stock market, hedge fund managers, and Wall Street bulls can’t and won’t fix.

To my way of thinking, “trickle-down” economics is not only a disgustingly bad picture, but an even worse policy, because if the people don’t have money, there can be no legitimate economy. (A barter economy, while “legitimate,” is simply unsustainable on a broad scale, thus, it is not “legitimate” in that sense.) All economies are based upon customers (aka “consumers”) being able to buy, and having the power to purchase. The equation “No Money = No Purchasing” is fairly straightforward. The supply of any item could be unlimited, and readily accessible, but if no one has any money to buy those things, what good is it?

And the Minimum Wage?

Those who pooh-pooh the law and principle upon which it’s based, decry “some kid being paid $15/hr to flip burgers” despite the fact that the local franchisee sets wages, and that there have been, and will continue to be millions of people who sell trinkets, baubles, and bangles, as well as a myriad of things that cost much less than the hourly wages or salary of those who sold those things.

If Minimum Wage had kept place with inflation, it would now be about $20/hr. So, think about the folks who’re making $40-50K/yr… suddenly, things’re starting to look really freaky – especially when one considers that Federal Minimum Wage is $7.25/hr.

The only reason why it hasn’t been increased since July 24, 2009, is that those who would abolish many of the safeguards and protections afforded by law, and which are considered anathema to so-called “conservatives” (radicalized elements) who fly their own heretical banner under that of the GOP as TEA Partiers, Libertarians, and the like, have deliberately thwarted every attempt to increase it. (Here is where it should be noted that the adherents to the heterodox economic theoreticians Ludwig von Mises, Murray Rothbard, et al, have set up shop in Auburn, AL along with their ivory-towered ideals and idealists which are not based upon any real-world standards or examples – just pie-in-the-sky theories. They’ve also sunken their teeth deep into Troy State University.)

Those who hold, as John O’Sullivan wrote in 1845, that “The best government is that which governs least” have never been to La Riconada, Peru – the world’s highest elevated habitation – where there is literally no government of any form whatsoever. Drawn by the promise of gold, miners, and those who accompany them, are utterly bereft of any safety protections either from hazardous materials (cyanide, mercury, etc.), or conditions (low oxygen, mine collapses, etc.), where prostitution is common, lawlessness abounds, and theft – if not death – is a daily hazard. And to think that children are raised in such wretchedly detestable and filthy conditions is utterly incomprehensible.

And yet, they are.

Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote in part in his 1927 dissenting opinion in Compania General de Tabacos v. Collector, 275 U.S. 87 (1927)) that,

“It is true, as indicated in the last cited case, that every exaction of money for an act is a discouragement to the extent of the payment required, but that which, in its immediacy, is a discouragement may be part of an encouragement when seen in its organic connection with the whole. Taxes are what we pay for civilized society, including the chance to insure. A penalty, on the other hand, is intended altogether to prevent the thing punished. It readily may be seen that a state may tax things that, under the Constitution as interpreted, it cannot prevent.”

But the bottom line of all this even more simple.

It’s greed gone wild, which is properly termed “avarice” – the extreme form of greed.

And who else but the greedy, the selfish, the self-centered – and their supporters – would seek to deprive others?

The fundamental essence of economics is that it is based upon the “scarcity principle,” which states that there is that a limited supply of anything. De Beers has capitalized significantly upon that principle, deceiving people into believing that diamonds are scarce, even though they’re much more common than most imagine. If they can be put upon grinders, saw blades, and emory boards, they must be fairly abundant.

Human ingenuity can make a scare resource abundant. Think of what the fuel injector did for fuel economy by replacing the inefficient carburetor. And now, we have solar and wind power, which is exceedingly cheaper than coal, and more readily available. Soon, buggy whips will be a thing of the past. But we mustn’t let some in Congress know.

The veracity of the principle of representation is self-evident as seen in our Constitution. EVERYONE has an inherent right to have someone represent their interests. That’s a fundamental and guiding principle of our legal system. So why should employees be legally prevented from being represented to their employers? Divide and conquer is perhaps the oldest, and most successful military strategy.

Our nation cannot continue to grow on the scraps which have been thrown to it by our benevolent masters for the past 50 years – which in large part, have been radicalized Republicans.

Government is NOT the problem.

A fair, equitable, efficient, and just government requires taxes to mete justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty of our people.

One needn’t mention America’s myriad social problems. We know them intimately, and unfortunately, all too well.

But, it’s not as if we cannot repeat the processes that made us great to begin with. And one significant part of it all, is taxes.

No one whom has wealth has ever become “unwealthy.” Not the Kennedys, not the Rockefellers, not Bill Gates, not Warren Buffett, not Jeff Bezos, not Mark Zuckerberg, not the Waltons, not even Steve Jobs – no one, and no family has ever come “unwealthy” because of taxes. Rather, their wealth was increased, precisely because of increased efficiencies through economic infrastructure, which expenses were borne by government, and paid for by taxes.

taxes, revenue, GIF, Federal, State, Local

Since 1950, the combined total tax rates – Federal, State, and Local – have been significantly reduced, despite the fact that population has more than doubled from 150,697,361 in 1950, to 330,000,000 in 2020.

But over the years, we have been anesthetized by the siren song of “low taxes” which has lured us near onto the rocks close to the lighthouse. We should awaken from our slumber, and correct our course heading straight toward prosperity. If “government is the problem,” then the obvious solution to that problem is the abolition of it. And what better way to abolish government than to starve it of the resources it needs?

And that is precisely what has happened.

It’s time to repeat the process that followed World War II – increase taxes upon the wealthy and their corporations, eliminate tax loopholes such as the “Paris Hilton Tax Cuts” and others, and build economic infrastructure. The GIF below shows how Personal Income Tax rates have declined, so that effectively, everyone is paying a flat tax. It’s obviously not working.

America’s problems (for the most part) are of our own making.

America’s solutions will be as well.

How Companies Fleeced American Workers Out of Wages and Benefits

https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2020-the-fleecing-of-the-american-worker/

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