Barry, My Liege :
Your current foray into economic policy making is well and good, but as we know, the policies you recommend will not solve our problems even if they are all adopted.
Some time ago I created a list of 13 policies which will, if adopted, restore our economy and preserve our Economic National Security.
They are repeated here in the hope that you will address some of them.
Make no mistake, each of these proposed policies gores some sacred cow and will cause a ruckus when it is proposed.
My Liege, be clear in your mind that ALL these policies are required in the United States of America to prevent the further disintegration of American society.
Here is the list :
1. STRENGTHEN UNIONS - Union organizing and negotiating rights are created by Federal labor laws. When unions can organize and press for higher wages, the country benefits from higher incomes going to the middle class. It is true that unions can be messy organizations, but overall they succeed in raising middle class incomes when they can function freely. This will increase middle class purchasing power and help restore Aggregate Demand.
An inevitable result of raising wages through union activity will be that businesses have to raise prices to survive - that will require some adjustments to our trade policies as discussed below.
2. ENHANCE LABOR LAW ENFORCEMENT - Some business owners think they have an economic incentive to interfere with union actions ; they will have to pay higher wages if unions are successful. In our history, blood has been shed in labor disputes.
Henry Ford knew that true national prosperity lies with workers receiving wages high enough to buy the cars he made, but many business owners are not so enlightened.
When there is little labor law enforcement or penalties for labor law violations, then labor law has little effect.
The United States should enforce labor laws vigorously.
3. ESTABLISH ANTI-MONOPOLY LAWS - Monopolies are bad for the country, per se. Such firms have economic incentives to charge higher prices and sell fewer products than firms in competition. Their actions create a deadweight loss from economic activity not undertaken and further transfer some consumer surplus to monopoly profit. This results in less economic welfare for the country and thereby damages our National Security.
The United States should strengthen existing anti-monopoly laws, increase enforcement activity and write additional anti-monopoly laws.
The concept that monopoly is a reward for efficient firms is a false concept which serves to undermine National Security.
4. CANCEL FREE TRADE AGREEMENTS - United States trade policy does not work. We adhere to a low tariff concept that undermines our National Security. It does so by transferring jobs to foreign countries and by facilitating huge trade imbalances which serve to transfer wealth created in the United States to our trade partners.
It is time to change trade policies so that we import only as much as we export.
Our trade partners do not reciprocate our trade encouraging practices and in fact use their trade laws and national customs to protect their domestic industries. It is time to recognize reality in trade.
5. TAX AWAY GREAT FORTUNES AND GREAT INCOMES - Huge concentrations of wealth and annual income harm our economy by diverting money away from risky investments in economic growth and into safety seeking investments.
It is well known that the primary criterion of investing is safety of principal. People with large amounts of money are risk averse and do NOT wish to risk that money in new ventures, preferring to find safer investments.
Our economy will grow faster and we will be more secure when we do not have extraordinarily large income and wealth concentrations. Then will capital have greater incentives to take risks and create growth.
6. CREATE NATIONAL INDUSTRIAL POLICY - The United States should create a blueprint for our future economic growth. We should establish industries in which we wish to participate and then establish policies which encourage and protect companies in those industries.
Industries should be chosen on the basis of the likelihood that they will create good jobs in the future.
Critics argue that the government is unable to make sound predictions in this area since even private companies have difficulty doing so.
While that may be, there are countries which use this practice with great success and many more countries which are beginning to establish this process. The government of South Korea established this practice in the 1950's and was able to convert a nation of rice farmers and fishermen into an industrial powerhouse.
7. EXPAND PUBLIC UTILITY INDUSTRY DESIGNATIONS AND REGULATE EACH DESIGNATED INDUSTRY WITH AN ELECTED COMMISSION - There are some businesses which require a government protected monopoly for some reason ; for example, some industries like electricity generation and distribution require such huge capital investments that investors will not make that investment unless assured of freedom from future competition.
In these cases it makes economic and national security sense to regulate the prices charged to the public so that the company earns a normal profit, which allows a return to investors sufficient to ensure survival and uninterrupted service provision, but does not allow for monopoly profits.
Any industry whose products or services are regularly used by more than one third of the population and in which there are few suppliers is a candidate for public utility designation.
8. ENSURE FINANCIAL SYSTEM STABILITY BY RESTORING GLASS-STEAGALL - Stability in our financial system is required for our national security.
We know absolutely that the financial system cannot regulate itself without great harm to our economy.
Under Glass-Steagall we had stability for 50 years.
It is the only choice.
9. KEEP SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE - Not only do these programs provide dignity to people who have worked all their lives, they provide significant income to help support Aggregate Demand.
There are pressures to reduce or destroy these programs. The stated reason is the budget deficit, but the real reason is simple greed from the financial system.
Countries which have chosen to reduce pensions and healthcare because of a fiscal deficit problem are now experiencing recessions and high unemployment.
No country in history has been able to cut its way to prosperity. Many countries have found prosperity by borrowing in bad times to sustain employment.
10. INSTALL SINGLE PAYER HEALTH CARE - Regardless of the outcome of the Supreme Court's decision, there is no place for profit in the healthcare system. If we can eliminate insurance company profits, we can pay for our healthcare with current expenditures.
11. MANAGE DEBT TO BORROW IN BAD TIMES, PAY BACK IN GOOD TIMES - With a properly functioning national government, we can use fiscal policy wisely to keep full employment and growth achievable.
The Federal Budget is the flywheel of the economy - it prevents stalls when the engine's speed declines.
12. REDUCE MONEY REQUIRED FOR NATIONAL ELECTIONS BY REQUIRING BROADCASTERS TO PROVIDE FREE POLITICAL ADS - One of the reasons for our corrupt political system is that elections are very expensive.
But, most of the money goes to running political ads on broadcast media. Since broadcast media receives a license from the FCC to use their frequencies, we can require them to run free ads as a condition of their licenses.
This would reduce the cost of running for office and, consequently reduce the opportunities for political corruption.
Other election financing reforms should be pursued as well.
13. RESPECT BUT DO NOT FEAR OCCUPY PROTESTORS - Occupy protestors are about 20% of our people who have been harmed by market failures in our system. They are exercising their Constitutional rights to seek redress of their grievances.
Creating a rigid, militaristic response to a peaceful protest is the opposite of our founding principles.
If they follow our past history of peaceful protest, they may well be the force that helps correct our imbalances.
In conclusion Barry, My Liege, we pray that you will remember these issues in your policy considerations.
Your faithful servant,
Saturday, July 27, 2013
Friday, July 26, 2013
Barry, My Liege :
A recent article by Financial Times reporter Edward Luce restores partially the case in favor of Larry Summers at the FED. read it here :
Here my original comments as posted in July :
With the impending retirement of Ben Bernanke as Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank, you have an opportunity to help restore the middle class and, consequently, the Economic National Security of the United States by choosing the next Chairman.
Folded into the same choice is a danger of perpetuating the weakening of our country by exacerbating the trends toward income inequality and national decline.
Nominating Larry Summers as the next Chairman will lead the United states down a path of decline and financial turmoil. He is a poor choice because he supports policies which have led us into this decline. Such polices will hasten our decline and lead to a poorer quality of life for the entire country.
Mr. Summers is the choice of the Objectivist group which included Alan Greenspan and also includes Timothy Geithner and Robert Rubin - the folks who gave us deregulation and the financial meltdown of 2008.
As Treasury secretary under Bill Clinton, and as deputy secretary before that, Summers was a proponent of deregulating financial markets and helped repeal the Glass-Steagall Act.
It is a clear choice, My Liege, choose an alternative to Mr. Summers and continue toward restoration of the middle class or choose Mr. Summers and reverse today's positive trends and choose the path of deregulation and decline.
Your faithful servant,
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Barry, My Liege :
Now it is official - Egypt has criminalized the Muslim Brotherhood :
In our world, a constant conflict has existed between the Muslim and Western or Christian worlds for more than 1300 years. Ever since the Roman Empire disintegrated, Middle Eastern people have been expandng their territory wherever possible.
Charles Martel and the Frankish people fought and defeated Islam invaders at The Battle of Tours (October 732) near Poiters in North Central France at a time when the Islamic Caliphate covered much of the known world.
It appears that some of the Islamic peoples want to continue that expansion today. Perhaps some Muslims wish to restore a Caliphate to some portions of today's world.
Your approach, My Liege, has been to suggest that we are 'not at war' with Islam while searching diligently to find spokespeople for the moderate elements of Islam who simply wish to live in peace.
On the other hand, some careful observers argue that elements of Islam are in fact at war with Western Culture in general and with Israel and the United States in particular.
As Americans, we hope that you and your administration pay careful attention to this question as a matter of National Security.
And a part of this question is the idea that some Muslim adherents who wish us harm may very well lie about their intentions, hoping that we will listen to their speeches and ignore their real objectives.
After all, much of Western Society has a limited exposure to or understanding of Muslim philosophy and objectives. If there were a group of people intent upon weakening Western Society from within with the ultimate objective of establishing a caliphate, it would be logical to assume that they would conceal their real objectives in any manner possible.
This is the argument made by Erick Stakelbeck in his new book THE BROTHERHOOD: AMERICA'S NEXT GREAT ENEMY, Regenery Publishing, Washington D. C., 2013.
Mr. Stakelback is both knowledgeable and strident. It does require some patience to read through his political diatribes to the meat of his argument, but it is an effort worth making.
His core argument is that the Muslim Brotherhood [MB] is a Trojan Horse concealing a violent and murderous intent behind a facade of urbanity and democratic rhetoric. Today's situation in Egypt reflects this.
If he is correct in only some of his claims, then it is a matter of National Security to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization, as has Russia.
Unfortunately, it is very difficult to designate a domestic organization as a terrorist organization. It appears we have no policy or procedure for that.
“The United States does not have a universally accepted process for defining and designating domestic terrorist individuals or groups which [is] shared throughout the law enforcement and homeland security communities,” according to David E. Heller, Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Anchorage Division, Federal Bureau of Investigation
But, My Liege, before we offer any further support to the MB or its individual spokespeople, we should investigate the motives of the people with whom we work.
Perhaps we could ask for an oath that such a spokesperson renounce the part of jihad which requires murdering civilians, renounce sharia law, swear to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States and, finally, agree to prohibit women from wearing face covering garments in public as the law in France reads today.
Mr. Stackelback provides a list of domestic organizations which are supported by the MB and which work to overthrow our society; here is that list:
1. ISNA - Islamic Society of North America
2. MSA - Muslim Students' Association
3. MCA - The Muslim Communities Association
4. AMSS - The Association of Muslim Social Scientists
5. AMSE - The association of Muslim Scientists and Engineers
6. IMS - Islamic Medical Association
7. ITC - Islamic Teaching Center
8. NAIT - North American Islamic Trust
9. FID - Foundation for International Development
10. IHC - Islamic Housing Cooperative
11. ICD - Islamic Centers Division
12. ATP - American Trust Publications
13. AVC - Audio Visual Center
14. IBS - Islamic Book Service
15. MBA - Muslim Business Association
16. MYNA - Muslim Youth of North America
17. IFC - ISNA FIQH Committee
18. IPAC - ISNA Political Awareness Committee
19. IED - Islamic Education Department
20. MAYA - Muslim Arab Yourh Association
21. MISG - Malasian Islamic Study Group
22. IAP - Islamic Association for Palestine
23. UASR - United Association for Studies and research
24. OLF - Occupied Land Fund
25. MIA - Mercy International Association
26. ISNA - Islamic Circle of North America
27. BMI - Baitul Mal Inc.
28. IIIT - International Institute for Islamic Thought
29. IIC - Islamic Information Center
We pray you protect us from those who wish us harm.
Your faithful servant,
Sunday, July 21, 2013
Barry, My Liege :
The Federal Reseve Bank is considering revoking permission for banks - Barclays, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley - to own and trade commodities like oil, natural gas and food products.
Read it here : http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-20/fed-reviews-rule-on-big-banks-commodity-trades-after-complaints.html
According to Sherrod Brown, United States Senate Subcommittee Chairman, there is "a potential for anti-competitive behaviour and manipulation.”
My Liege, it is something we can do to break the stranglehold of big banks on the economy.
We pray you suport this regulatiion change.
Your faithful servant,