The Smartest Guy in the Room: Stories about Fact, Fiction, Good, and Evil: Part One

By Richard John Stapleton

Several times in recent weeks I have been lured into clicking on Internet posts purporting to show the IQ’s of US presidents, including the president-elect now waiting to take over.

You will find over 700,000 results if you ask Google, “What is Donald Trump’s IQ?”

I have scanned several of them but I have yet to find a definitive IQ for any president. Based on one study using biometric data, John Quincy Adams had the highest IQ of all US presidents, 168.  Donald Trump was not included in this study. These IQs are estimates based on biographical data and other historical evidence.

One Internet post asserted Donald Trump had an IQ of 156, which was shown by Snopes, a fact-checking website on the Internet, to be bogus. Most of the posts I read indicate all US presidents have been more intelligent than the average US college graduate.

I have seen Trump in a video extolling his high “aptitude”, which he said he inherited from his parents. He also said in a video he was proud of his German “blood”.

Having little concern about the meaning of words or context, he did not say what he thought his aptitude was for in his video.  One can have a high aptitude for screwing up.  I suppose he was saying he had high aptitude for making money in business and that aptitude would make money for everyone in the US when he took over as president.

I have also read on the Internet Trump only has about a 200-word vocabulary. It’s probably larger than that, but based on hearing him talk many times it seems to me he has the smallest vocabulary of any president I have heard talk, including Bush II.  In general people with high IQs do not have small vocabularies.

Regardless, Trump has told us over and over again in various ways he is very smart because he has made so much money. No one can use the aphorism “If you’re so smart, why aren’t you rich?” against him. At the outset of his presidential campaign he let his Repub competitors for president know he had more money than all of them put together, implying that made him smarter than they were, maybe smarter than all of them were put together.

In the process of running for president Trump talked about the Wharton graduate school of finance as though he went there.  Wharton is a respectable graduate business school, at the University of Pennsylvania, not too many rungs down the business school prestige ladder from Harvard Business School, where Bush II got a master’s degree.  I assumed Trump had an MBA from Wharton.

It turns out Trump does not have a master’s degree from Wharton. He took some finance courses at the University of Pennsylvania, where Wharton is the graduate business school, while earning a bachelor’s degree. It’s unclear whether his SAT, GRE, GMAT or other aptitude test scores were high enough to get accepted into the Wharton graduate school of business, or whether he wanted to get a graduate degree.

We have also been told over and over that Trump is a “billionaire” with no definition of the term and little context. In general a billionaire is a person who has a net worth of one billion dollars or more. Net worth is total assets owned minus total debts owed. There is no way to prove whether Trump is a billionaire because we have no idea what his total assets are worth and what his total debts are. Since most of his assets are land and buildings he can say they are worth whatever he says they are worth, enough to produce a net worth of ten billion dollars, which he has done.

In reality his land and buildings are worth what they can be sold for in today’s market. One analyst said Trump has about two hundred million dollars in cash and liquid assets, not shabby for sure, but that sounds far less “bigly” than billions.

Apparently his parents gave him one or two million dollars or so to play with as a young man after college, telling him he was a king and such, and he lost some of it in failed deals and schemes; but it seems he learned on the job how to function playing a real estate mogul and oligarch role in life, as no doubt his father and mother wished; and eventually apparently some of his deals and schemes paid off, after he smartly learned to always hire the “best” people to make decisions for The Trump Organization.

Trump worked for his mother in her business called Elizabeth Trump & Son, which no doubt included assets inherited from her husband when he died, when the Donald attended the University of Pennsylvania as an undergraduate. He changed the name of Elizabeth Trump & Son to The Trump Organization after he inherited it in 1971.

One article on the Internet posted a few years ago said in the process of borrowing money from a bank Trump was forced to disclose enough verifiable asset and debt data that the bank was able to determine that his net worth was about $700 million, a lot of money, but not enough to be a billionaire, based on a good definition of the term. On the other hand, based on market values for his land and buildings he may be a billionaire now, assuming his holdings could be sold for the asking price.

As anyone who has studied or done accounting knows, it’s not easy to prove what facts are in large businesses, even if the large business hires certified public accountants to audit their business, and even if the audited financial statements are made public. Almost nobody has seen any audited financial statements for Trump’s mainly rentier businesses since they are not publicly traded. Rentier businesses do not produce products; they mainly collect rents.

The fictive business called Enron, in Houston, Texas, named and spelled to sound like Exxon, back in the Bush II days, was run by what business pundits called the smartest guys in the room, until it imploded, wiping out the jobs and retirement savings of hundreds of employees and stockholders; and two of those smartest guys in the room, who had MBAs from Harvard Business School, were sent to prison for faking facts and cooking the books, books audited and certified by Arthur Andersen & Company, one of the five largest certified public accounting firms in the world, that also did management consulting for Enron, which was a conflict of interest. The smart guys running Enron not only ran Enron into bankruptcy, they caused Arthur Andersen to be broken up.

A relevant question is how much net worth did the Donald inherit from his parents after they died. According to Fortune and Forbes magazines Trump’s net worth in today’s dollars is somewhere around three billion dollars. It’s possible he inherited that much wealth from his parents after you compound what he inherited up to the present using historical inflation rates. If so he has not “made” any money on his own.

Nor is it easy to prove what “smart” is, or what an IQ is. My mother told me once, in our lumber yard and hardware store at Wolfforth, Texas in the 1950s, “You don’t have to tell people how smart you are. If you are they will just know it.”

After proving he was smart enough to get elected, it remains to be seen how smart the Donald will be as president of the United States.  Buying his election only cost him about forty-five million dollars of his own money; how much this deal will pay off for him also remains to be seen.

Richard John Stapleton is an emeritus professor of business policy, ethics, and entrepreneurship at Georgia Southern University who writes on business and politics at www.effectivelearning.net. He is the author of Business Voyages: Mental Maps, Scripts, Schemata, and Tools for Discovering and Co-Constructing Your Own Business Worlds.

 

 

 

 

How Spaceship Earth Incorporated Might Evolve

By Richard John Stapleton

It was Bill Clinton’s fate to sign some deleterious laws for we the people of the US when he was in office as president of the United States. The video linked below explains one of the most egregious laws.  Another law was the Graham-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 that did away with the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 that gave large too-big-to-fail banks permission to gamble with depositor, stockholder, and taxpayer money in global stock and derivative markets, causing the money and banking meltdown of 2008 and the deplorable monetary and economic situation we find ourselves in today.

Clinton did not originate these bad ideas, but he lacked the moral courage to veto them, and thus he is largely responsible for the consequences, having been unable to resist the inexorable forces of greed propelling corporate capitalism toward a one world government run by one corporation powerful and successful enough to consolidate all the others, which might not be a bad thing, given where we are today, assuming that corporation were run by we the people of Spaceship Earth for we the people.

Take a look at this video to see how the consolidation of the media industry has constricted the freedom and consciousness of US citizens. Well worth a look and listen.

Such “consolidating” by large corporations in the US and elsewhere might finally put an electronic noose around all their necks, finally liberating we the people.

To see and hear it all click here at Bill Clinton Paved The Way For Today’s Dumbed-Down Media.

The Ring of Fire

 

 

Toward the Creation of Spaceship Earth Incorporated

By Richard John Stapleton  

I argued in my article “Moving Farther West to Escape Problems at Home is No Longer an Option,” published August 29, 2013 in the Intrepid Report, that capitalism and most religions are now almost obsolete; and, given the advent of modern computers, computer programmers, computer software and the Internet, it is now technologically feasible to construct a new economic system vastly more efficient, effective and fair than what now exists on Earth.

Reading Buckminster Fuller’s great little book Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth (1969) back in the 1970s stimulated some of these ideas. He was the first person I read to suggest computers are the best hope for human survival on Earth, that humans should never do work that machines can do better, and that unemployment can be eliminated overnight by governments issuing mind grants to all citizens, paying them to think.

Progressives now argue something must be done about poorly regulated quasi-obsolete economic systems, religious systems, legal systems, and production and distribution systems that have resulted in the richest 20 percent of Earthians consuming about 76 percent of all goods and services produced every year on Earth, with the bottom 20 percent consuming about 1.5 percent of all goods and services, while a small free Earthian elite, about 26 million humans own and control about 40 percent of Earth’s wealth, living in luxury with almost unlimited options for travel and entertainment, living cheek by jowl among billions of humans mired in poverty, owning almost nothing, doing almost the equivalent of slave labor day in and day out all their lives, yet living in constant fear of being fired from their jobs for disloyalty or slackness, who are condemned to poverty by their wages, in most cases within miles of where they were accidentally born, where they grew up with little or no opportunity to learn relevant knowledge about how the world works, in many cases not even having an opportunity to learn how to read.

I am not advocating capitalism, communism, socialism, atheism, or any religious ism, or abolishing capitalism; but I think certain aspects of capitalism are humane and beneficial, such as the decentralization of production at the entrepreneurial and small business level and rewarding people for creating new ideas, products and services. On the other hand, I think the inevitable centralizing of wealth and power in large corporations and in the hands of the elite rich caused by capitalism is an incredible abomination causing many of Earth’s most threatening problems, including global warming. But I do not want to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

This article was first published in MWC News (Media with Conscience), on September 9, 2013. Read the article in full at

http://mwcnews.net/focus/analysis/31023-spaceship-earth-incorporated.html.

Recommendations for Waking Up from the American Nightmare

By Richard John Stapleton

Recommendations For Waking Up From The American Nightmare is my ebook showing how to attack the root causes of economic troubles in the US using a dialectical democratic case method discussion process I used 35 years as a business professor.

Take a look at the book by clicking here:

https://www.amazon.com/Recommendations-American-Nightmare-Business-Voyages-ebook/dp/B009TOJVPI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1481483884&sr=8-1&keywords=recommendations+for+waking+up+from+the+american+nightmare+++++stapleton.

Better yet buy it and read it.  It only costs two dollars and ninety-nine cents, less than a six pack of beer.

I am convinced the root cause of American economic troubles is political, economic, religious and social polarization among US voters who since 1980 have voted into office polarized politicians out to feather their own nests and promote idiosyncratic economic interests, beliefs, values, dogmas, doctrines and ideologies.  These politicians have been bought and paid for by the elite rich and large corporations who funded their political campaigns who require lower taxes and other favors in return, regardless of what is best for voters not having the sense to vote in their own interests.

Polarized politicians since 1980 voted for or against legislation based on their predetermined economic interests, ideologies, dogmas and doctrines, not the facts of cases, resulting in the deadlocked dysfunctional government we have today.

Recommendations For Waking Up From the American Nightmare advocates more dialectical democratic case method discussions among people from all walks of life in more and more Town Hall Meetings to foster more discussion of facts of cases and their logical solutions, resulting in more voters concerned about the facts of cases and inducing logical conclusions, resulting in the election of rational politicians voting to do the right thing for we the people based on the facts of cases, not predetermined idiosyncratic ideologies, economic interests, beliefs, values, dogmas, doctrines, etc.

In order for this to happen some process must be devised to bring polarized US citizens together to discuss face-to-face in a serious civil manner relevant political, economic, and environmental problems.

The book describes and explains a recommended dialectical democratic case method process and offers policies I have recommended in published writings for managing the US economy in the short and long run, based on the facts of the case since 1980.  These policies are offered as a basis for discussion, not as absolute truth, to foster the creation of better policies acceptable to a majority of US citizens.

I am convinced Republican neoconservative and Democratic neoliberal ideologies inflicted on the US economy since 1980 are major causes of the economic problems we have today; and, while I am not overly impressed with the Obama administration since 2009 I think this administration has been less harmful than Reagan and Bush II.

I recommended reelecting the neoliberal Obama administration in 2012, being convinced they charted and piloted better policies and courses than those applied and recommended by Republican neoconservatives, such as Reagan, Bush II, Romney and Ryan.

I thought electing Romney-Ryan would be disastrous, leading to a federal debt explosion within three years similar to the debt explosion the US experienced when Ronald Regan started his “voodoo”, deficits-do-not-matter economics, in 1980, and Bush II invaded Iraq in 2003, a debt explosion possibly causing this time federal debt defaults and/or repudiations within ten years, creating chaos and abject depression, possibly culminating over time in a civil war between the US upper class and what used to be the US middle class, in a war reminiscent of the French Revolution of 1789 and the Spanish Civil War of 1936.

Recommendations for Waking Up From the American Nightmare was published on October 19, 2012.

I recommended amending the US Constitution as soon as possible to eradicate Citizens United of 2010, the absurd and abominable 5-4 Supreme Court case in which five predetermined Republican judges ruled corporations are people with free speech, entitled to spend as much money as they wish buying propaganda in mainstream media to influence federal elections in their favor, at the expense of we the people.

I recommend the proposed United States Voters’ Rights Amendment (USVRA) at http://usvra.us, asking readers to sign up as a supporter to get in the habit of doing democratic things to help foster an American awakening.

The Obama administration has been a disappointment, having done little to correct the basic financial and fiscal problems of the US, reduce the global military activities of the military-industrial complex, and create good jobs for the middle and lower classes.

I was a strong advocate of Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic primaries until he dropped out, at which time I switched to Jill Stein of the Green Party.  Stein’s platform agrees with my Recommendations more than any politician I have found.

Assuming Trump gets inaugurated as president after winning the 2016 election thanks to the obsolete Electoral College, all bets are off for the future.

Interestingly, Trump has recommended one of my major recommendations in my Recommendations ebook: creating infrastructure jobs to create livable jobs for the lower and middle classes.  Good luck on getting this implemented.  Obama also recommended this, but he did not strike while the iron was hot soon after he got in office when Democrats had a majority in both houses of Congress.  After nihilist Repubs got control of the House and Senate they sabotaged any hope for real improvement in the economy.  Whether they will go along with Trump on infrastructure jobs now remains to be seen.

The problem is Trump advocates significantly cutting taxes again for the rich, just like Reagan and Bush II did, while borrowing and creating more digital money to finance the increased spending for infrastructure jobs, making another futile attempt at “trickle-down” economics.  I advocated significantly raising the after loophole tax rate of the elite rich, the upper one percent, back to where our wisest ancestors set it before 1980, to seventy percent or so, and using the proceeds for funding infrastructure projects.   Our wisest ancestors knew we have to have progressive income tax rates to prevent income inequality from destroying the economy.

Most likely Trump will increase military spending while I recommended seriously cutting military expenses.

While the Obama administration increased the federal debt about nine trillion dollars over eight years (which is a lot of so-called money, if you stop to think about it), they reduced the yearly deficit by about fifty percent, a bad enough record, but a vast improvement from Bush II.

Trump’s recommendations, assuming he does what he said he wanted to do, will significantly increase the yearly budget deficit and significantly increase the rate of increase of the total debt, causing the deficit and debt to explode astronomically, most likely enough to seriously jeopardize the fiscal viability of the government, probably causing the rate of increase in the US federal debt to accelerate as much as Reagan and Bush II did.

Obama significantly lowered the rate of deficit and debt increase, as bad as his overall record was dealing with the money and banking system and the fiscal affairs of the US government, leaving the US in what appears to be decent financial and economic shape in 2016 after eight years, when it reality in many ways it is in worse shape now than when he took over.  The US economy is now built on and fueled by debt, not real economic growth in terms of real production, and it could fall off an economic cliff at any time.  More and more US citizens have fallen prey to parasitical money and banking policies and practices.

Thanks to Trump’s “victory” the US now faces more threats than ever.

Take a look at Recommendations for Waking Up From the American Nightmare by clicking here:

https://www.amazon.com/Recommendations-American-Nightmare-Business-Voyages-ebook/dp/B009TOJVPI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1481483884&sr=8-1&keywords=recommendations+for+waking+up+from+the+american+nightmare+++++stapleton.  

Three Great Grandchildren

by Richard John Stapleton

This past summer my son Jonathan and his wife Renee made a swing trough Statesboro and stayed a few days for the first time in a year or so.  My wife Debbye and I and took them out to eat several times while they were here, along with their three children, Walker, Emmy, and Orion.

Friends of ours who saw them in restaurants with us were impressed with them, especially the grandchildren.  One lady told me as I was walking back to our table after going to the restroom, “You marked every one of them,” which was a high compliment.

A few weeks ago Debbye and I were having dinner at the Forrest Heights Country Club here in Statesboro with our friends Beth Hardy and Lon Carnes.  A lady whom I have known for a long time from our days at Georgia Southern University, Mouse, stopped by our table to chat with Beth.  She told Beth, a former mathematics professor at Georgia Southern, that she took a math course from her forty or so years ago, and she made a “B”, the only grade she made that was not an “A” at Georgia Southern.

Beth did not remember her in the course but as they were exchanging pleasantries Mouse noticed me sitting across the table, and as she was leaving she came around and told me, “I want you to know you have three great grandchildren.”

I told her I knew that but I appreciated her saying that.  Mouse and her husband live near my former wife Ginny, the grandchildren’s birth grandmother, and her husband Bob.  Mouse had seen and talked with the grandchildren during the summer when they stayed overnight with Ginny and Bob.

Jonathan graduated from Statesboro High School in 1990, the Star Student of our congressional district in Georgia that year, and went on to Rice University in Houston, Texas where he met his wife Renee, from Montana.  Jonathan maxed the math part of the SAT and the GRE exams.  They then went to Seattle, Washington where Renee got her MD and PhD degrees from the University of Washington.  Jonathan taught school and invented things, such as his Reptangles toy, now marketed nationally and internationally by the Fat Brain Toy Company, an educational toy that can be assembled into geometric shapes.

Jonathan and Renee went on to Burlington, Vermont where Renee now researches, teaches, and practices pulmonary medicine at the University of Vermont.  Jonathan teaches senior physics and earth sciences at Essex Junction High School, and invents things.

Their children have done well in school.  Walker is now in the seventh grade, Emmy is in the fifth grade, and Orion is in kindergarten.  Walker’s cross country team has won every track race they have raced in, including the state championship; Emmy is supposedly reading at an eighteen-year-old level; and Orion has already been identified as gifted in mathematics.  Walker plays the piano, Emmy plays the violin, and Orion plays the violin.

I know it’s narcissistic but I could not resist posting this post.

Ad Hominem Fake News on Facebook and Elsewhere

by Richard John Stapleton

I had an interesting experience on Facebook Thanksgiving Day 2016.

I had recently shared a post on my Facebook page written by someone other than me containing some negative allegations about the Clintons. I pointed out in my comments about the post that I had seen the post posted on Facebook several times over several weeks by various people. I also pointed out the post could be fake news.

The allegations in the article were egregious and defamatory, although containing what could be real facts, containing numbers and such. I pointed out in my comments about the piece that if it was fake news something should be done about fake news, fake news having been in the news in recent days, as if people had suddenly awakened to the fact such news exists.

Seems to me there should be some sort of fact-checking device that will block Facebook posts containing made-up facts, numbers, data, etc., unless the piece is clearly labeled as fiction or satire.

Someone read the above-referenced anonymous post I made on Facebook and posted a post to me below the post, presumably after reading the article, telling me I am an idiot. I responded with my reasons for posting the piece and let him know I did not appreciate his fake news ad hominem slur about my intelligence.

I did not explain to him what ad hominem is, as perhaps I should have, an attack on the character, past behavior, intelligence, and persona of a person illogically attempting to prove false what the person said in a current argument. I assumed the respondent would look ad hominem up on Google if he did not know what it was. The argument I was making is that it’s difficult for anyone to know with certainty what is fake news in any media, such as the Clinton post I used as an example.

Over the next three or four hours in the Thanksgiving afternoon eight or so other people then entered the fray on my Facebook page replying to what had been said about the post.

Most of the group generally agreed with the first respondent attacking me for being an idiot and a character-disordered degenerate for posting the post about the Clintons in the first place, however many times it had already been posted by others, elaborating other perspectives on why they were justified in attacking me, asserting that anyone but an idiot should have known that something this egregious and defamatory was fake. It was like someone entertaining the thought Bigfoot was real, one of them said. One of them said he checked my Facebook profile and I lacked “legitimacy”, that I was probably just trying to get attention, and I needed counseling. One said if I was really concerned about fake news on Facebook I should have contacted the people who run the Facebook page and talk to them. One said I was inappropriate and did the wrong thing but he wished me well. One said I was a fool. One said I was beyond hope. One said I did it to piss people off while expecting him to believe I did it out of the goodness of my heart in the interest of truth. One respondent, the last one in the thread, a female, said it was not fake news since it was all over wikileaks.

None of them except the last respondent said anything about my basic point in the argument, that almost no one could know whether the post I posted was fake, however egregious and scandalous it was. I told them I did not know it was fake, and they did not know, eliciting not one response to the basic point of the argument, only unleashing more ad hominem drivel. Apparently what really incensed them was that I would not say I knew it was fake. I admitted most likely it was fake, but that was not good enough. They wanted me to say I knew with certainty it was fake, which I do not.

Another respondent, a female, contacted me confidentially outside the feed line thread on my Facebook page, and asked me to please take the post down, telling me it included misleading information; so I took it down, ending the discussion.

She seemed like a reasonable responsible person and I had no desire to piss anyone off. It never occurred to me the post would piss anyone off. Why was I doing this in the first place? I told one of the respondents in one of my responses I did not know why I did it, that maybe I did it just because I felt like doing it (which is my First Amendment right as a US citizen). I told one of them I did it to educate people.

Posting the article did no harm to the Clintons since few people read my posts and the post had been widely posted by others for some time on Facebook. As much as the Clintons have been defamed and slandered in various media for forty or so years my making this post would not make one whit worth of difference, as I told the group. Unlike Socrates however I have no desire to drink hemlock because of pursuing truth inflaming people in philosophical discussions, however bigoted they might be. It’s better to be smarter than martyr. So I took the post down, dispersing the group, which could have gotten much larger.

In the various responses I made to the group I told several they were making ad hominem attacks and were ignoring my basic point, that few people can know for sure what is fake in media of any sort today. What I did not say is that the more general problem is massive lying in all media and institutions, taking both lying by commission and lying by omission into account.

Lying by commission is making up fake news telling outright falsehoods; lying by omission is not publishing relevant facts that people in a free society need to know. The US government has taken lying by omission to a high level, calling omitted facts state secrets and classified information, making truth tellers such as Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, and Chelsea Manning outcasts and criminals, and threatening Hillary Clinton with prison for mishandling emails.

It’s as if US citizens are supposed to be meek obsequious sheeple lapping up whatever they’re told, never questioning what they’re not told, like grade school children.

I have read in the media lately that Hillary now has her own cult. Cult members could care less about the real truth of anything. They believe whatever their fellow sheeple believe and adore and follow their superhuman leader, attacking anyone who attacks her or him. Maybe the post about the Hillary cult is just another example of fake news; but it’s also possible I encountered some of its members yesterday on Facebook, Thanksgiving Day.

You can build the case Trump also has his own cult, and if one of the negative posts I have posted about him had been read by his true believers on my Facebook page their responses would have been even more venomous than were Hillary’s in the above referenced post.

I don’t have to worry much about Trump’s supporters reading anything on my Facebook page though, since Facebook algorithmic robots try to make sure anyone posting anything on Facebook is not read by sheeple not believing the same thing. I still pick up some Hillary sheeple because I used to support Bernie Sanders, which was tacitly OK with the DNC, for a while. After I came out for Jill Stein after Bernie dropped out I was blocked from most Demo groups, and most of her sheeple are blocked from me. It seems some of them however were not penned up by the Facebook robots as my Thanksgiving experience shows.

Don’t get me wrong. I do not agree with Facebook’s computer programming. I think all Facebook posts and responses should be made to the public at large, which you can click off in your Facebook preferences, as I have. The problem is even if you tell them to post all your posts to the public at large you are mostly locked into your own silo mostly preaching to your own choir, since most sheeple probably choose to only post and listen to their own kind of sheeple. Unfortunately, it seems, sheeple get their preconceptions and biases pleasantly reinforced over and over by what they read on Facebook just like they do everywhere else, as in churches and in most schools.

As you can see on my Facebook page I have about 4,864 Facebook friends aboard Spaceship Earth. I used to have almost 5,000 such friends, the arbitrary limit imposed by Facebook for some reason, almost all of whom requested me to confirm them as friends. After coming out for Jill Stein a little over a hundred of them unfriended me.

Why did I post the above post? Why am I posting this post? Why have I posted all posts I have posted? The bottom line is I think I am as qualified to quarterback the US as anyone else, especially Hillary and Trump, as I pointed out on my Facebook page in a comment above a picture of our 1953 Frenship High School football team, which I quarterbacked in 1953 as the youngest and smallest starting Class A high school quarterback in the US, at 13 years old, 5’3” tall, and 110 pounds.

Furthermore, I think you could randomly select a reasonably bright adult well educated in US public education systems off the streets and send her or him to Washington and she or he could do a better job quarterbacking the US than establishment bought and paid for politicians, as I have pointed out on my Stapleton Gallery of Folk History and Conversation on my Facebook page for many years.

With respect to the allegation made yesterday that I lack “legitimacy” and therefore I am unqualified to make posts as a US citizen such as these on Facebook, check out my credentials in detail on this page by clicking on the options above, especially my RJS Academic Vita.

Worker-owned enterprises: A long-term feasible solution?

Economic Update: The Economics of Trump

Friday, 18 November 2016 00:00 By Richard D. Wolff, Truthout | Audio Segment

Editor’s note:  It’s possible the Trump economic plan will add vitality to the US economy in the short run, adding real jobs through massive spending on infrastructure and through tax cuts for large corporations; increasing interest rates for savers, retirement plans, and banks; increasing sales and profits in heavy industry and transportation; maybe bringing back some US jobs from overseas, and preventing some from being sent overseas; maybe even boosting sales and profits in the small business sector.

I (Richard John Stapleton) have advocated much the same plan in my writings for ten years, emphasizing fiscal policy by the Federal Government rather than monetary policy through the Federal Reserve System, with one major exception.  I would increase taxes on large corporations and the elite rich to reduce the budget deficit and debt increase.
Trump’s plan is almost sure to increase the US budget deficit and add trillions more to the total debt.  And it won’t work for more than a few years.  But we might have at least one more economic party for the rich and maybe even the middle class before the whole thing comes crashing down.
Richard Wolffe’s economic update in this radio broadcast presents a feasible plan that might create stability and sustainability for the long run.
Richard Wolffe is a professor of economics at The New School in New York City who has established a national network of supporters, collaborators, conferences, web sites, and social media outlets for educating the US population about economic issues.  Wolffe’s network is one of the best economic education systems available for US citizens, free of charge, providing economic education sorely needed by most voters.

Give his Economic Update: The Economics of Trump a listen now by clicking here http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/38430-economic-update-the-economics-of-trump.

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Both the demo and repub parties are now corrupt, obtuse, and irrelevant

This article tells us the US has been on the wrong path for a long time, at least since JFK’s time some fifty-six years ago.  Whether it will ever get turned around remains to be seen.

No one won the 2016 US presidential election, including repubs jubilant their candidate “won” the election.  We all lost, since we are all on the same downward slope; and there is almost no chance Trump will stop the slide.

The same goes for Hillary.  There is no way to know which one would slow or accelerate the rate of descent the most, taking everything into account.

Death of the Liberal Class? Death to the Liberal Class!

For as long as I’ve been involved with progressive political movements, activists and organizers have been trying to reform the Democratic Party with little to no success.

Unfortunately, none of this is new as activists have tried to reform the Democratic Party since the 1960’s, only to see the Dems lurch further and further to the right over the past several decades.

In America, we don’t talk about history. If we do, it’s either a bunch of watered down bullshit, or outright myths and fallacies. That being said, it might be useful to talk to today’s young activists about the dark legacy of the Vietnam War, a war many consider to be the worst international crime of the second half of the 20th century.

According to military historian Nick Turse, over 4 million Vietnamese, Laotians and Cambodians were killed as a result of Uncle Sam’s limitless aggression in the pursuit of power. Today, Agent Orange continues to ravage not only U.S. veterans, but most importantly the people in Southeast Asia.

In order to understand today’s Democratic Party, progressives and liberals must come to grips with the history of their party. Consequently, we should never forget who got the U.S. into Vietnam in the first place: namely, JFK and LBJ, two Democratic-liberal heroes, of course.

Read the article in full in CounterPunch by clicking here http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/11/18/death-of-the-liberal-class-death-to-the-liberal-class/

The best thing to do now

by Richard John Stapleton

Here is the best thing to do about the economy now.  Whether Trump and company have enough sense to see it remains to be seen.

There Is a Better Option Than Trump’s $1 Trillion Infrastructure Plan

by Ellen Brown

Thursday, 17 November 2016 00:00 By Ellen Brown, The Web of Debt Blog | News Analysis, published in Truth-Out

Donald Trump was an outsider who boldly stormed the citadel of Washington DC and won. He has promised real change, but his infrastructure plan appears to be just more of the same — privatizing public assets and delivering unearned profits to investors at the expense of the people. He needs to try something new; and for this he could look to Abraham Lincoln, whose bold solution was very similar to one now being considered in Europe: just print the money.

The High Calling of Teaching

November 16, 2016

The High Calling of Teaching

by Winslow Myers

Give The High Calling of Teaching a read by clicking here at http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/11/16/the-high-calling-of-teaching/.

Published in Counterpunch.

This is a great article on how to teach. Let students sit in circles and talk about the assigned content to be learned, be it mathematics, history, economics, stories, politics, religion, or physics, with themselves and the teacher, letting anyone in the class have a chance starting the discussion, by using a Classroom De-Gamer, explained in my books Business Voyages and Born to Learn by clicking here, https://www.amazon.com/Richard-John-Stapleton/e/B001KHS3P6.

We need millions of classrooms such as Winslow Myers describes here scattered around Spaceship Earth.

The major reason most people do not learn as much as they might is because they are rarely given a chance to discuss what they think they know and believe with people who think they know and believe different things, because of having been locked into learning experiences with people who are told the same things by teachers preaching to their choirs prescribing what they call holy writ, dogmas, doctrines, and the like.

If you hear, read, and see the same thing over and over again quite naturally you are not going to learn much about the whole system.

The danger, of course, if you do this you will begin to think you are not only right but morally superior to other people who have been taught different things in the same sort of educational processes, and you will probably eventually hate them.

And you and they may escalate the process to the next level, war and other catastrophes, as history has shown.