I'm watching a YouTube video of US Congressman Paul Ryan's response to Barack Obama's terrible 2011 State of the Union Address and making notes as he goes along.
Right off the bat, Ryan said the "high" taxes we have are unsustainable. How wrong he is. The tax rates are very, very low right now, not that I'm for any "taxes" at all. I'm simply saying that low taxes with a capitalist economy or mixed economy always accompany lower standards of living for the vast majority. Paul Ryan also said that the stimulus spending didn't work. Well, it didn't work as well as Obama had said it would, but that's not because stimulus spending does not work. It's because the Obama administration and Congress put the money into the wrong hands. If it had all gone directly to direct public employment for public works directly managed by the government, the current depression would have been over long ago and full-employment would be being enjoyed right now. The one and only thing standing in the way of that having happened was greedy capitalists. A more intelligent society would have use socialism at the bottom rather than as a bailout tool of the superrich.
Let me say that at least Paul Ryan did sort of backhand Wall Street once in his response. He did it while backhanding the government in the same breath. What he didn't do though at all was say anything against Big Business, as in giant corporations that have been consolidating global power to themselves for decades now. He avoided the fact that laissez-faire, per se, would not cure that at all. It would, in fact, exacerbate the trend, magnify it, magnify the evil. We don't here any trust-busting talk from Paul Ryan or his Ayn Rand ilk. Ayn Rand was a sociopath. She despised Jesus. She openly admired mass murderers for their individualism. On account of Rand and Nietzsche and a few other such choices, the planet is struggling with moral issues that should have been decided long ago against Rand and Nietzsche, et al.
Paul Ryan is either incapable or unwilling to look at how the nation would have faired had everything been allowed to tank. Don't get me wrong. Under mundane, current law, the banksters should have fallen. The banks should have been taken over by the government, been cleaned up, reorganized, and run as public utilities for the benefit of all the people, not some capitalism-only-for-the-poor clique of greedy monsters.
Paul Ryan is a laissez-faire, neoclassical economics shill. He actually wants you to believe he's for unbridled capitalism, as if the invisible hand of Adam Smith could or would self-regulate the current class of Robber Barons. Such has never been the case and never will be. Libertarian capitalism is a one-way ticket to serfdom. It's a replay of feudalism with the richest capitalists akin to the landed nobility to everyone else's serfdom/wage slavery at best.
The most prosperous time in the US was when taxes were at their highest, causing the rich to have to share the wealth more. Paul Ryan is offering the worst prescription imaginable: greed with free rein. Just imagine all the pollution if corporations weren't regulated. We wouldn't be able to breathe or drink the water or walk the Earth for fear of toxics everywhere that industry would spew. Even with the pitiful regulation we have now, dangers still lurk everywhere. A survey of the water bodies of the Earth shows it. The air is still polluted. Gas fracking is poisoning ground water supplies all over the world. Uranium leaching is also poisoning land and water, etc. Gold mining and other such pursuits add more to the problems. It's global insanity, and the Paul Ryans of the world hardly have a clue or care about such things. No, they and he emphasize other things, the way Milton Friedman did, leading to a worsening.
It wasn't the marketplace of mammon that curbed that trend in super toxification of the Earth but rather public votes for public officers who swooped in to stop the excesses of selfish, greedy, get it while the getting is good (before you die) private capital. That government didn't go nearly far enough, yet Paul Ryan wants his children to choke to death or wear gas masks everywhere if they live that long. He'd deny it, but it's the logical extension or conclusion of his policies and prescriptions and proscriptions.
As for Ryan's math concerning the healthcare reforms (called by many "Obamacare"), he doesn't have facts to backup his claims. What we need is single-payer medicine in the US and for all the reasons the left was saying during the original debate, which points were not allowed into the Senate hearings because the committee chair was a shill for Big Insurance and for-greedy medical corporations.
Single-payer is vastly better everywhere it is practiced over the US for-profit model. The facts are there. Paul Ryan doesn't want to debate on the hard facts though. He wants his ideology to overshadow the hard facts. I did the research and put the facts on this blog. Take the best of the best from around the world and then improve upon that rather than going to Ayn Rand type despicable selfishness.
You will notice that just as with Barack Obama, Paul Ryan didn't mention United States Notes, which should replace Federal Reserve Notes as the nation's currency because United States Notes would be interest-free and would not increase the debt at all but could be an should be used to pay it off (pay off the National Debt) and then be government-issued on a pay-as-you-go basis. United States Notes could be supplied and maintained in exactly the right volume and circulation to prevent both inflation and deflation. The supply could be and should be pegged to growth and circulation (or velocity, as they say). We know how to calculate inflation and deflation. We have the traditional "basket of goods" concept, but we could do vastly better what with supercomputers and all the networking of pricing around the world. We could know the full inflation/deflation rate in very nearly real time and across all economic and income levels and locally and globally. It would be well worth the effort to pay the Quants to do something productive for a change.
I'll dub this the Usher Rule, after the Taylor Rule.
Why doesn't this Paul Ryan mention any of this? Well, it doesn't work to his deficit-hawk, privatizer advantage. That's why.
What Paul Ryan says about government spending and investment as having never worked is a total falsehood. The New Deal, which also included military Keynesianism, worked only too well. At the end of WWII, due to all the government spending/stimulus, the US was actually 50% of the world economy. Yes, other nations were severely destroyed, but that does not account for where the US was after much of the rebuilding had taken place. Much of that rebuilding was the result of US funding, although it wasn't all as noble as the propagandists would have one believe.
After the New Deal started, non-farm unemployment fell from about 25% to 15%. Then the deficit hawks, then as now, started moaning (because socialism was working). FDR stopped his programs. What happened? The economy started slowing and the reduction in unemployment stopped improving. FDR started up his program again. What happened? The economy started improving again and unemployment kept coming down to about 10%. That's 10% in U6+ terms too, not in the phony measurements being used now. Current unemployment, contrary to Paul Ryan's ridiculous 9% figure is likely double that 9%.
Anyway, the little stimulus that Barack Obama's crew put in place and pumped often in the wrong direction still managed to put the breaks on the slide down. With it, things would be about half again worse — no small thing that. Now if it had all gone in the right direction, we'd be at least half again better off than where we sit right now. If the stimulus had been three times larger on top of that, we'd be out of the depression and unemployment would be less than half what it is right now.
The fact is that Keynesianism does work, although it is not a panacea, not the end-all-be-all of economics. By the way, neither is Marxism; but I won't go into that right now.
The greatest slide in that 50% figure I mentioned above (1950) has come from these main sources:
1) Lack of American protection for American labor, resulting in US corporations rushing off to hire labor where environmental and worker safety and collective bargaining and wages were and remain very low or nonexistent
2) Massive deregulation of finance capitalism ("investment" houses, hedge funds, etc.), and
3) Artificially low Federal Reserve interest rates.
That's what Obama inherited. He's done an extremely weak and bad job of putting stimulus money in the right places or in reining in finance capitalism or in bolstering labor, but even his bad job has kept a deflationary-depression spiral from being otherwise worse. He's no FDR though, not even close; and FDR was about 1/3 or what we needed back when.
Frankly, the US should have at least become the leading mixed economy. FDR took it about 1/3 of the way there. He saved the capitalists from themselves but killed the common people's chance at a really great life in the process.
One certainly can't blame everything on FDR or Barack Obama or Paul Ryan, etc., though. I'm only speaking about them as representative of whole swaths of people.
Also, contrary to Paul Ryan's overly simplistic statements about them, not all of the Founding Fathers of the US were small-government oriented. Yes, they largely believed in limited government mostly because they were rent seekers themselves. They were aristocratic-minded empire builders where the empires would be their own personal, private estates and businesses. They were often huge slave owners (owning many Whites, as indentured servants, and Blacks outright) and mega land-grabbers/thieves (just like the Zionists in Palestine), extremely brutal and deadly (genocidal if it meant getting more for self), and offensively unfair to the Indians, who often had perfectly legitimate claims to being allowed to stay right where they were.
The Founders were hardly the paragons of virtue or brilliant-minded men many people claim them to have been. In fact, I find that much about them was rather dimwitted and certainly unethical. I don't think the American people have done themselves any favor building temples to them and turning them into demigods or etching the US Constitution in stone as if there is nothing conceivably better. I think here about Barack Obama's lame statement that the Sermon on the Mount shouldn't be followed because it would mean the end of the Pentagon. Of course it should be followed and precisely for that and other reasons. Of course we should do away with war and study war no more. Only a fool would think otherwise. Only idiots think that there's no reasoning with the "enemy." The enemy feels the same way in reverse, and a pox on both your houses, as you bring woe upon yourselves and the world with your utter stupidity!
Paul Ryan is preaching that we need to look at what's happening to Greece and Ireland as what we can look forward to if we don't do what he's suggesting. He has it exactly backward. Those two nations are in trouble because they have done what he is suggesting. They have chopped their public sectors and listened to the asinine banksters rather than cutting the umbilical cord of usury via their own versions of United States Notes or even actually using United States Notes as the world's new reserve currency. We would have had to convert in time for that to have happen though. We sit on our hands while the Plutocrats that Paul Ryan's mentality protects buy up the world via the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, etc.
Whenever the Paul Ryans have gotten their way, things have always gotten worse and a New Dealer has always had to step in to clean it up. The more New Dealer that person, the better the results — but it has to be stayed with. Caving in prematurely is a sure-fired path to collapsing back into the old failed pattern of the deregulators for the sake of deregulating and to Hell with facts. There's an ideology at stake. The goofy, anti-Christ Austrian School of Economics must be defended regardless of the massive iceberg dead ahead.
Also, the last thing we need is a gold standard. Paul Ryan didn't say it, but he did say "sound money." When taken in the context of everything else he was pushing, that usually means the gold standard. The rich have the gold and the money to mine more of it — polluting things in the process. The gold standard has never ever been good for the common people. The neoclassical types claim it has, but every time the historical facts are rolled out to show otherwise, they don't want to talk about it.
What is called fiat currency (even though gold is a fiat currency if that's what's declared by government to be the currency) is fine so long as it's backed by a constitutional amendment that we all agree to adhere to requiring that currency to be pegged exactly to defined real productivity. It would be vastly better than anything we have ever had before. The government of, by, and for the people rather than banksters and plutocrats could and should pay for government with created United States Notes that would be then put right into circulation increasing economic growth with no interest to pay to anyone. Goods and services would still be produced. The people just wouldn't be beholden to the banksters. They'd decide the level of everything via their government. The trillions going into the pockets of the superrich would be spread out across the whole population. Elitism would be a thing of the past. All boats would rise with the ever-rising tied. Only truly natural disasters would cause set backs and those would become much more manageable even in the most mundane senses.
Only poor suckers are falling for the gold talk now. If nothing else is done, the gold market will become a huge, huge bubble that will burst and blow away all the supposed built up wealth of the poor suckers who buy and buy and buy and end up holding the bag when the big guys (the insiders) take their profits in other currencies unleashed from gold. Gold is no leveler. It's an elitist concept. We don't need that mentality. We don't need people gloating while those without the means right now to even get in on the bubble don't get to reap the gains by being sellers before the bust. Why play gambling games on the backs of each other when society could be beneficial for one and all? Why promote evil rather than what is best for everyone?
United States Notes don't need to be tied to anything. We just need a constitutional amendment to peg it to properly define growth (real growth), not bubble growth, not finance capitalism, but industrial capitalism where industry is whatever is truly beneficial — a matter of debate, yes. Who can argue though that the bonuses of casino capitalism on Wall Street is truly beneficial to society? It's resulted in a nightmare for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Nothing good has ever come out from it and never will. Such selfishness and greed are inherently evil and result in nothing but more evil.
All of these ideas about United States Notes though are only stepping stones to get to the moneyless economy that we will end up with if righteousness is to prevail over evil. To get there will require the Sermon on the Mount mentality. Nothing short of it will do. Jesus was and remains right. No one has put forth better, ever.
It's the exact opposite of what Paul Ryan is preaching. He's preaching an ideology of self-centeredness. He's a humanist, a licenser of evil. He doesn't like sharing enough to agree that non-coerced socialism (which I am advocating) is the right direction for humanity. He doesn't like group-consensus decisions except within his clique of laissez-faire capitalists.
How do you have a fair, unregulated bunch of capitalists? The market will not limit the creation of expansion of monopolies. They are either busted up by the people (government) or the people become slaves to the top monopolist. It's a monarchy in the making. It's a private global empire under the single richest person. Paul can't prevent it via his spirit. I can via mine though.
Then Paul Ryan goes and tells the standard whopping lie that the US economic system has done more to remove poverty than any other economic system ever designed. There is less poverty per capita in the more democratic socialist nations than in the US. That's a fact, and the only mistake those nations have made is in listening to the greedy bastards lurking around in the shadows lying to them that less sharing and more so-called individualism is better. Of course, this is just more of Paul Ryan's ideology getting in the way of hard, substantiated facts.
Capitalism exports poverty. That's what it does. Most societies living pre-capitalism had it much better than after capitalism's arrival. That's a fact. Capitalism rapes the people and the land. Coercive socialism put up by equally greedy control-freaks has only been on offer because of the capitalists that want it all for themselves. Paul Ryan isn't interested in all the examples where non-coercive socialism unmolested by the rabid capitalists has done vastly better for the people. It's a rare thing where anyone manages to escape the greedy pigs coming around trying to ruin everything for the people so those swine-hearted ones can take everything for themselves.
Again, he says nothing about United States Notes! He talks about slashing government services instead. That would be a nightmare.
Then he even goes into "American Exceptionalism" by way of saying that the more laissez-faire the better while, in fact, the more laissez-faire the worse is the actual case.
I can't believe the people of Wisconsin voted this guy into office. What happened to Wisconsin as one of the leading states in terms of real Populism? Have they lost all historical knowledge about who the Austrian School economists represent?