An Internet Conversation on Reparations and Statues

By Richard John Stapleton and Courtenay Barnett

Hello Courtenay

Thanks for this well reasoned and presented response. Got to go to town early to get some groceries while it’s fairly early and fewer possible Covid 19 virus carriers in the store. Will get this posted to the article when I get back.

Richard,

Thank you for your thoughtful reply.

Obviously you have given more than a small amount of attention to the issue at hand.

For purposes of argument, we could just confine ourselves to the situation in the US:-

  • Highly regressive tax system.
  • Many large corporations pay little to sometimes zero taxes relative to their huge earnings.
  • The socio-economic system is highly discriminatory, such as in housing in both the private and public sectors.
  • The justice system is skewed against minorities.

Just a few of the realities the ‘Earthians’ in the US face. So, at least there in the US the prospects of equity are not promising at present, for as you correctly observe: “ But if humans should co-construct decent dependable social, economic, and political systems in the future along the lines of what I outline in my essay.”

My mind focuses on equity, for a quite obvious reason – I am a lawyer who defends people’s rights. However, I do not think along ‘utopian’ lines. By that I mean that I am not wedded to an ideological camp within which I hermetically seal my mind thinking that here resides the true solution. Utilitarianism, although not much in vogue these days in intellectual circles, does have a core appeal – the greatest good for the greatest number. In more concrete terms my mind flashes back to a speech of Dr. Martin Luther King in which he drew a contrast between the US and Norway. He was lamenting the high level of riches in the US with some seriously high levels of poverty such as in Appalachia. In Norway we find a high living standard accompanied by high levels of taxation which serves well to provide for the needs of the populace. Therein is the formula, for albeit it a totally different political order had existed in Libya, they too had achieved the highest standard of living on the continent of Africa ( until bombed away in 2011). In both countries the source of the wealth was from oil. The challenge is a will to structure a system which both generates wealth and ensures a social safety next accompanied by fairness within the social order. You encapsulate what I have just expressed when you say this:  “Capitalism in recent decades has led to the creation of a new aristocracy far richer than ever existed and inequality this has created will exist forever barring changes in tax laws, precluding any chance of Earthian peace.”

To bring things right down to earth, so to speak, the combinations of the unsustainable deficit, over expenditure on the military and the determination to print money in the trillions will be the undoing of America.

You have answered my concern about intergenerational wealth transfer, by permitting a portion to be bequeathed to the next generation. However, as a lawyer, I already have a way around your system for I simply effect an inter vivos transfer and that negates the death tax. 

More to the point is the concerns which I sense we both share of a need for some sanity being visited upon human societies, in the sense of provision for all in a world which actually has wealth in abundance. Just reflect for a moment on the Congo ( which I consider the world’s most resource rich piece of real estate). Name it and the minerals are there and consider the use of cobalt in cell phones and where much of it originates. Then reflect on the appalling living standards in the Congo past and present day. Welcome to the world.

We both can live in hope.

Cheers,

Courtenay 


From: Richard Stapleton <rjstapleton@bulloch.net>
Sent: Friday, June 26, 2020 9:11 PM
To: Courtenay barnett <barnett46@hotmail.com>
Subject: Re: In blunt and forceful format – and yes – I challenge. 

I believe the taxing away of family wealth (at least some percent of it) is necessary if Earth is to ever have a level playing field where all humans have decent lives. Inheritance taxes in the US for the richest used to be about eighty percent. Thanks to Republicans it’s now about thirty percent as I understand it for the richest.  Capitalism in recent decades has led to the creation of a new aristocracy far richer than ever existed and inequality this has created will exist forever barring changes in tax laws, precluding any chance of Earthian peace. Why should any human be advantaged because of inherited characteristics of any sort, racial, intellectual, physical, or economic merely because of being lucky enough to have been born to certain parents and inheriting genes, messages, and money? The bottom line is that no one should have unfair lifetime advantages due to inheritance if fair and dependable social, economic, and political systems exist, which has never happened. The world has always been a screwed up place, poorly managed, or not managed at all, dog eat dog, every person for her or his self, and yes it’s been much more unfair for some than others, especially enslaved Africans and native aboriginals, and people of all races with physical, emotional, and behavioral disorders, and low intelligence. If humans could somehow co-construct truly fair, efficient, and effective social, economic, and political systems, unlike what we have now, where one’s life is largely a function of the parents they had due to pure luck, there would be no need for inheritances. As an entrepreneurship and small business professor I have done research with a national survey attempting to find out how successful entrepreneurs will their wealth to their children. I assumed that almost all would will their wealth to their children on an equal share basis. Not so. I asked them in the questionnaire in a strongly agree to strongly disagree question whether they agreed with the statement “Anything I will my children will depend on my feelings at the time I make out my last will.” A clear majority agreed with the statement. I documented it in my book Business Voyages.  Not only is life not fair, many parents are not fair to their children and you can build a case that life will never be fair and the same insanity that has always existed will continue until Earth becomes a dead planet. No, I do not think everything you personally have should be taxed away and given to the common good as matters now stand. Given the sorry state of social, religious, economic, and political systems now I believe willing family estates to children is right and proper (at least some percentage of them). Given the fact parents caused their children to be brought into this sorry world it is morally right that parents should do what they can to protect their own children. But if humans should co-construct decent dependable social, economic, and political systems in the future along the lines of what I outline in my essay “The Evolution of Spaceship Earth, Inc.” there will be no need for parents to will wealth to their children because all children will be born rich, just like a few lucky children born to billionaires are now. And then there is the matter of free will. If it does not exist, as I believe, and thousands of others believe, then no one is to blame or praise for anything, including how much or little wealth they have. If you don’t believe me on this just ask Google “Does free will exist?” You will find thousands of references. I believe everything is caused by infinitely-regressive cause-effect chains.


I have not yet shared the Internet Conversation article with my personal mailing list or any social media. Most likely no one but you has read it. Should I delete it? Or delete your name as a co-author? Or should I add what you and I have said here to it?

On Jun 26, 2020, at 6:32 PM, Courtenay barnett <barnett46@hotmail.com> wrote:

Dear Richard,
I initially went to the religious part of the discussion.
Now I go into the economics of the situation we in the world face:-
You are ultimately  saying  that everything my  father made should be taxed away to be applied to the general good and other people should be allowed to make and enjoy what they are able to during my  lifetime – to hold for their own.  Then any wealth I have accumulated on my own  should be taxed away and when I die then have applied to the general good, but my offspring ( after over 300 years of free planation slavery and Indian ( on my Mom’s side – servitude) should then be allowed to make and enjoy whatever they are able to have on our returns)?   That’s how I read it anyway.  Not to  pass wealth from generation to generation to provide anyone a fair advantage – despite the undisputable fact that Whites have overwhelmingly generated intergenerational wealth to eternity and beyond – and – at whose expense?
Answer if you can.
CB

On Jun 26, 2020, at 1:19 PM, Courtenay barnett <barnett46@hotmail.com> wrote:Yeah – no problem there Richard – we get on pretty well and the world can learn that it ain’t necessarily all black and white.
Cheers.
Courtenay 


From: Richard Stapleton <rjstapleton@bulloch.net>
Sent: Friday, June 26, 2020 10:01 AM
To: Courtenay barnett <barnett46@hotmail.com>
Subject: Re: The USA – cause and effect – REPLY 

Excellent response and article in Danielle’s Garden. I basically agree with you on myths but it still seems to me that religious symbols, pictures, crosses, statues and whatnot will perpetuate historical suspicion, agitations, intolerance, competitions, and hatred among various religious groups.  What do you think of the idea of my publishing this conversation in this thread verbatim in the Effective Learning Report? In an article entitled “An Internet Conversation on Reparations and Statues.” I’m sure it would be interesting and enlightening for a lot of folks, but would it be worth the risk?

On Jun 25, 2020, at 8:29 PM, Courtenay barnett <barnett46@hotmail.com> wrote:

Dear Richard,

Thank you for your thoughtful reply.

I agree with you in the main  but beg to differ on just – one point. That is ‘religion’.

I am not a religious person. I attended St. Georges College in Jamaica and before I departed at age 16 for further education in England, I came to understand a lot. By the age of 14, I raised questions about this ‘God’ – the white portrayed ‘God’ as Jesus and there my intellectual pursuits commenced from the embryo.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, because my mother was a devout believer and I was not, but she loved me dearly and so did I too of her, we agreed to disagree when at a certain point we debated. Maybe that is what led to me writing this nuanced essay:
http://www.daniellesgarden.org/dw-myth.htm

Myth – Danielle’s GardenDanielle’s Garden. TOWER HILL EDUCATIONAL FUND A/C 20067 Bank of Nova Scotia 1-3 Knutsford Blvd. kingston 5, Jamaica. E-mail: INFO@ DaniellesGarden.org . MYTH AS WORLD INSPIRATION. Each person is faced in life with certain primal existential questions.www.daniellesgarden.org

Always happy to hear a learned voice in response.
Kind regards.
Courtenay 


From: Richard Stapleton <rjstapleton@bulloch.net>
Sent: Thursday, June 25, 2020 10:16 AM
To: Courtenay barnett <barnett46@hotmail.com>
Subject: Re: The USA – cause and effect 

Hello Courtenay
I agree serious apologies and reparations to descendants of African slaves and native aboriginals who had lands stolen and were subjected to genocide and inhumane callous and mean exploitation are ethically required and appropriate. Regarding statues being taken down, I think all statues of religious, political, and military figures and characters of any sort should be taken down so as not to glorify past competitive conquests, victories, and losses, of any sort to set the Earthian human race on the march to a truly sustainable and peaceful existence devoid of superstitious tribalisms, which entails abolishing competitive capitalism from the production of the necessities of life around Earth. Competitive capitalism in small business environments can be retained as a form of sport and entertainment provided all booty taken in by winners is taxed away upon their deaths to maintain a level competitive playing field every generation. Plus Earthians must co-construct policies to peacefully reduce the Earthian human population for several generations to eliminate the need for dog eat dog win-lose economic competition around Earth and to put Earthian human production and consumption systems on a sustainable rational footing that will indefinitely protect the Earthian environment and existing species of fauna and flora living aboard Spaceship Earth.
Toward the Co-Constructing of Spaceship Earth, Inc. https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-evolution-of-spaceship-earth-inc/ Cheers, Richard

On Jun 25, 2020, at 7:34 AM, Courtenay barnett <barnett46@hotmail.com> wrote:

Richard,

I agree with you that it is well argued and presented. Some years ago I had watched a documentary on Levitz Town which was making similar points. However, this video welds together a lot more ideas which are clearly explained. 
Sorry, I only have the video as forwarded to me by a friend and do not have a link.
Since we are on the topic of race, I note that quite a stir has been caused by the question of whether or not certain statues should be removed. On that topic I share with you some thoughts I sent to another friend.
” I believe that the sentiments expressed( below – Gleaner letter) might not be as clear as one may state the issues:-

  1.  There are potentially different narratives coming from ‘victor’ versus ‘vanquished’ and this is quite evident in how the British have written their history.
  2.   A ‘villain’  such as Nelson Mandela, once labelled a ‘terrorist’ – versus a world renowned statesman well exemplifies the division of perspectives.
  3.  As with the absence of any statue in honour of Adolph Hitler right across Germany – the idea of not honouring any genocidal  maniac or any enslaver is not actually a ridiculous or outlandish idea. 
  4.  It is a meme where there is the honouring of those who committed genocide or enriched themselves through the enslavement and trading in human beings; its alternative is to have the direct acknowledgement of such persons by removing their place of honour in form of effigy – a statue. 
  5.  The issue is not the rewriting of history, since the documentation of historical events is an interpretative process within which the writer in actuality defines who is or is not the ‘villain’, the ‘savage’ , the ‘hero’ etc. By pointing  to the misdeeds of an individual and factually recording that aspect of the person’s conduct ( person in question Cecil Rhodes)  is therefore not at all any denial of nor rewriting of history – it is stating history is a fuller and more accurate and factual manner.
  6.  Many examples of reparations  being paid/allocated do exist – e.g. Germany to Jews; Native American/Canadians  lands grant in America and Canada; Maoris apology and compensation in New Zealand  etc. – so a Caribbean call for reparations does have legal precedent.
     

http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/letters/20200623/letter-day-take-rhodes-scholarship-form-reparation       “


Then we now have the Shaun King challenge from political iconoclastic to an actual iconoclastic challenge to the portrayal  of Jesus. Another debate for another time.
Cheers, Courtenay  


From: Richard Stapleton <rjstapleton@bulloch.net>
Sent: Wednesday, June 24, 2020 10:20 PM
To: Courtenay barnett <barnett46@hotmail.com>
Subject: Re: The USA – cause and effect 

Best video I have seen about what went wrong with race relations, especially in the US. Agree completely with the analysis here. Jim Crow was bad enough, but the war on drugs was even worse. Well presented information, very relevant information. Yes, we should care. But most of all we should figure out why and how it happened and make it stop.
Do you have a web address for it?  I would like to post it.

On Jun 24, 2020, at 9:43 AM, Courtenay barnett <barnett46@hotmail.com> wrote: Genocide.

<VIDEO-2020-06-24-07-09-09.mp4>

  • RICHARD JOHN STAPLETON is the Editor & Publisher of the Effective Learning Report, a certified transactional analyst, and an octogenarian emeritus professor of management, living and working in the United States
  • COURTENAY BARNETT is a graduate of London University. His areas of study were economics, political science and international law. He has been a practising lawyer for over thirty years, and has argued public interest and human rights cases. He has published several articles in the Effective Learning Report. He lives and works in the Caribbean.

THE EARTHIAN — 17

THE EARTHIAN, Number Seventeen, Effective Learning Publications, https://www.effectivelearning.net/effective-learning-publications.html 32 East Main Street, Statesboro, Georgia, USA, June 13, 2020

THE EARTHIAN is a digest of articles containing facts, perspectives, theories, models, analyses, and recommendations concerned about existential states of affairs affecting all species of fauna and flora around Spaceship Earth. Recent relevant articles written and published by intelligent hard-hitting truth-seeking writers in Internet journals about psychological, social, economic, political, military, religious, and ecological states of affairs around Spaceship Earth are linked below as sources, following a comment by the editor.

“ASK LESS WHAT YOUR NATION CAN DO FOR YOU—ASK MORE WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR SPACESHIP EARTH”

OR SO IT SEEMS TO ME RIGHT NOW

By Richard John Stapleton

The Covid 19 virus is far from conquered, still thriving it seems, despite various countries, including the US, saying it’s not that bad, and therefore the economy should be opened back up. And then you can find numbers on the Internet saying just the opposite, another one hundred thousand deaths in the US by September, etc.

And there’s more climate change bad news, such as the recent cyclone in India-Bangladesh, the first of their season, causing three million people to be evacuated, hopefully not a harbinger of what the 2020 hurricane season has in store for the US.

And then there’s the stock market crash and federal government and Federal Reserve System monetary policy actions trying to stave off another Great Depression, with trillions of dollars of new funny money pumped into markets to stabilize them. Want to buy a little more stock now that the market has gone back up some? Go ahead and do it, may be the thing to do. But maybe not. You’ll lose your shirt some say, just like in the Great Depression of the 1930’s.

And a police squad of three Caucasians and one Oriental in the US killed George Floyd, a US citizen of African descent, callously, heedlessly, and brutishly, whether intentionally or otherwise, and got caught on a bystander’s cell phone video, that went viral. And riots and protests erupted in violence and flames across the US, and around Spaceship Earth.

And then Trump threatened to turn the US into a military dictatorship with himself, Mussolini-like, in “total domination” of the situation, to control the protests, demonstrations, riots, and looting.

And the US state department and military continue to play Games around Spaceship Earth, from eight hundred or so USian military bases, constructed near the borders of countries such as Iran, Venezuela, Russia, Yemen, China, and North Korea, and in Africa, and South America, acting as if the US had nobly and virtuously won World Wars I and II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War, and its recent Middle Eastern wars, and thus has a sacred right to make sure USians and and other Earthian humans stay safe from all economic and political operations on foreign soil not acceptable to the US government.

Yes, of course, capitalism is the right and best economic system. Dog eat dog capitalism really works, doesn’t it, especially for the richest, the too big to fail, and the most powerful.

And just let the USian Federal Reserve System, and other Earthian central banking systems, keep punching more digits into computers and calling the resulting numbers money, and use the resulting funny money to pay military bills, pensions, and salaries for all government and military employees, and contractors, and provide subsidies for anyone who needs one, of whatever wealth level, occupation, race, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, or whatever, MMT it’s called, Modern Monetary Theory, so we can all live happily ever after. Whoopee.

It’s largely a psychological Game, rescuing, persecuting, or victimizing someone or some group or organization, or nation, whatever seems most profitable. Round and round she goes, where she stops nobody knows.

For more information regarding my use of Transactional Analysis  https://www.itaaworld.org/  to create better discussion groups and democratic processes see my book Born to Learn:  A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning.  https://www.amazon.com/Born-Learn-Transactional-Analysis-Learning/dp/0692584331 

For more information on how to co-construct better organizations and economic systems using TA see my book   Business Voyages:  Mental Maps, Scripts, Schemata, and Tools for Co-Constructing Your Own Business Worlds   https://www.amazon.com/Business-Voyages-Schemata-Discovering-Co-Constructing/dp/1413480810

See my article “The Evolution of Spaceship Earth, Inc,”  https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-evolution-of-spaceship-earth-inc/   for some management science ideas on how human Earthians might eventually co-construct an economic system that is viable and satisfying for everyone aboard Spaceship Earth, making it possible for all Earthian humans to develop an I’m OK—You’re OK life position.

This entails Earthians peacefully reducing through natural attrition the human population aboard Spaceship Earth for several generations, not doing work that machines can do better, and delegating the day-to-day management of systems for scheduling, producing, and distributing the necessities of life to artificial intelligence programs and supercomputers.

This can be done using linear programming based on the general algorithmic matrix algebra form

Max CjXj, s.t. AijXj ≤, =, or ≥ Bi

as explained in “The Evolution of Spaceship Earth, Inc.”   https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-evolution-of-spaceship-earth-inc/  

Riding aboard an airliner about to land at night moving at four hundred miles an hour at thirty thousand feet with cloudy and rainy weather below, which would you rather have landing the plane, the plane’s computer system or the pilot and co-pilot looking out their windows at clouds and lightning below with their hands clutching their steering wheels?

In the interests of full disclosure some of these ideas were learned from Buckminster Fuller reading his book Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth.

TO RESPOND:

As usual this edition of THE EARTHIAN  links and cites as SOURCES recent articles written and published by clear deep-thinking hard-hitting independent writers on various Earthian states of affairs.

Some Game playing goes on in the articles, i.e., a writer may be psychologically persecuting, rescuing, or victimizing someone, but it seems to me the writers are generally trying to paint accurate pictures of what they think is really going on.

Unfortunately it seems to me one can build a case politicians spend most of their time playing psychological Games, also wasting time and energy pastiming, and doing rituals (shuffling paper, filling out forms, attending unproductive meetings), and raising money to buy advertising to get reelected. Almost everything done in so-called foreign policy around Earth is a move in a psychological Game it seems to me.

It’s not easy, impossible possibly, to separate relevant from irrelevant focal points in order to comprehend global cases, systems, and processes, while being inundated with fake news and true facts of states of affairs generated daily around Spaceship Earth, made public on the Internet, and elsewhere, to see what’s really going on, using primarily inductive and analogical reasoning, based on probability, not deductive logic. Almost never can anyone prove with deductive logic that a general proposition about psychological, social, economic, or political states of affairs is absolutely true. About the best humans can hope for is to develop consensual answers that are generally acceptable and true based on probability.

It’s better to be honestly wrong than dishonestly wrong. Telling someone something you know is fake as if it were true is worse than telling someone something that’s fake because of genuine ignorance.

It seems to me most lying is lying by omission, people not telling people things they know are true to gain some sort of psychological, social, economic, or political advantage. Whether lying by omission is more or less harmful than lying by commission, telling people things you know are false and fake, is debatable, as is proving whether it’s getting easier or harder for most people to know what’s fake and what’s not. Political parties, Earthian governments, and mainstream media lie by omission with alacrity.

If you have ideas on how to democratically discuss in Game-free ways economic and political problems and opportunities in something like the Ogeechee Economic Forum at  https://www.effectivelearning.net/ogeechee-economic-forum.html go to this blog’s RESPONSES page and let us know about them at  https://www.effectivelearning.net/responses.html .

Feel free to respond with comments and criticisms about any of the SOURCES listed below using the RESPONSES post on this blog masthead at the top of this page; but please refrain from making ad hominem attacks. Criticize and correct any of the facts, data, evidence, reasoning, and conclusions in any of the articles; but please refrain from slandering and defaming the characteristics and reputations of the authors illogically using slanderous or defamatory comments trying to prove their arguments and conclusions in their articles are wrong, and yours are right.

I have no desire to sell subscriptions or advertising or solicit donations for THE EARTHIAN, but I would like to sell more books. If you feel you’ve gained value from THE EARTHIAN and would like to reciprocate go to the Effective Learning Publications page and purchase one or more copies of my books at   https://www.effectivelearning.net/effective-learning-publications.html  .

FOR A FREE SUBSCRIPTION TO THE EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT AND THE EARTHIAN email rjstapleton@bulloch.net and enter the word Subscription on the subject line.     

Feel free to forward, share, post, print, or otherwise circulate The Earthian any way you see fit.  

Richard John Stapleton, certified transactional analyst, educator, writer, editor, publisher, and octogenarian emeritus professor of management. A full career vita is provided on the RJS Academic Vita page posted on this blog’s masthead at the top of this page.

SOURCES:

June 16, 2020

Very sad and scary

“False flags fail to derail national uprising,” by Werner Lange, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/30108.

June 14

Yuk

“Truck Drivers Reject Delivery To Cities With Defunded Or Disbanded Police, by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/political/truck-drivers-reject-deliver-cities-defunded-or-disbanded-police-departments?fbclid=IwAR31nD8_2gLDbSWv_VEHYiJKpoRFhCDXm2qlR9VnMacbRsZILxxsiaKDbss.

June 14

Something new at least

“Republic Of Chaz Begins Reparations; White Participants Pressured To Give Blacks  $10 Each,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/political/republic-chaz-begins-reparations-white-participants-pressured-give-blacks-10-each?fbclid=IwAR3HqwgoqB_yhKORJoIm9nziJk5xsKUrdVxAqNCL1kClB1Brc4ULt5QXp1Y.

June 13

Unfortunately relevant

“The American Press is Destroying Itself,” by Matt Taibbi, REPORTING BY MATT TAIBBI, https://taibbi.substack.com/p/the-news-media-is-destroying-itself?fbclid=IwAR1jKSPvBIhGqHGD43mfFbkH1vwOBJlM0HiUQ2RRUjZXKsHWAl_-A2YvJbs.

June 13

Maybe we USians have had a military coup and don’t know it.

“Removing a U.S. President Without an Election,” by Paul Ryder, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/06/12/removing-a-u-s-president-without-an-election/?fbclid=IwAR0141O9yf6B-ilq9q-G4J2GvPhIoz7EU2EupP1SO0k8X1-8L8z4Q9hema4.

June 13

Not such a bad conspiracy theory site after all.

“Twitter Reinstates Zerohedge After Admitting It Made An ‘Error’,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/twitter-reinstates-zerohedge-after-admitting-it-made-error?fbclid=IwAR2To4BsdLzgDB9Z2qtfL5KK6y-wTCRYWZS4rulz38ysw1k2h2z7W7oLygI.

June 12

Say it aint so Joe

“Engineering a race war: Will this be the American police state’s Reichstag fire?,” by John W. Whitehead, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/30078.

June 12

Wise words from Bill Moyers

“We hold this truth to be self-evident: It’s happening before our very eyes,” by Bill Moyers, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/30056.

June 12

Some sad numbers in this article.

“What George Floyd’s dying breaths tell our fractured nation,” by Michael Winship, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/30084.

June 12

How could anyone think the US could function without police?

“Defund the police, defund the military,” by Medea Benjamin and Nicholas J S Davies, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/30086.

June 12

Several wrongs do not make a right. Kneeling on the man’s neck and killing him while handcuffed was off the chart cruel and inhumane, and punishments for the crime should ensue; but as this article points out there are other considerations. Things have been taken out of context to serve various purposes. Here is a quote from the Berkeley article posted below:

“In the extended links and resources you provided, I could not find a single instance of substantial counter-argument or alternative narrative to explain the under-representation of black individuals in academia or their over-representation in the criminal justice system. The explanation provided in your documentation, to the near exclusion of all others, is univariate: the problems of the black community are caused by whites, or, when whites are not physically present, by the infiltration of white supremacy and white systemic racism into American brains, souls, and institutions.

“Many cogent objections to this thesis have been raised by sober voices, including from within the black community itself, such as Thomas Sowell and Wilfred Reilly. These people are not racists or ‘Uncle Toms’. They are intelligent scholars who reject a narrative that strips black people of agency and systematically externalizes the problems of the black community onto outsiders. Their view is entirely absent from the departmental and UCB-wide communiques.”

What is “agency”? Basically it’s believing that humans have the capacity to make independent decisions, which is not the same as saying free will exists and humans consciously choose to do what they do on the spot, poof, as if my magic, deciding what to do instantaneously, instead of being caused to decide and do what they do by preexisting causes linked in unbroken cause-effect regressive chains. If you ask Google “does free will exist?” you will find thousands of references for and against the idea that free will exists. No one can prove that free will exists, for Earthian humans of any sort, race, sex, gender, sexual orientation, or whatever.

One can build a case that no race is more to blame for what has happened than any other since all were caused to do what they did, or, as the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein propositioned in his book Prototractatus, “Everything that happens happens by accident.” I discussed this problem in my book Business Voyages: Mental Maps, Scripts, Schemata, and Tools for Discovering and Co-Constructing Your Own Business Worlds.

If free will does not exist then no one is to blame or praise.

“Anonymous Berkeley Professor Shreds BLM Injustice Narrative,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/political/anonymous-berkeley-professor-shreds-blm-injustice-narrative-damning-stats-and-logic?fbclid=IwAR3qjX2MPhqziS1neSkvGbV3xuA8nEz7bhkeglLuAyXfHMVRci_qmKy7OEA.

June 11

Another article on white privilege.

“Meditations on whiteness,” by Caitlin Johnstone, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/30062.

June 11

No telling what kinds of considerations for money making are happening within pharmaceutical corporations caused by the need for a vaccine to prevent Covid 19.

“When profits and politics drive science: Rushing a vaccine to market for a vanishing virus,” by Ellen Brown, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/30076.

June 11

Say it aint so Joe

“Stocks suffer their worst day since March, with the Dow plunging more than 1,800 points,” by Fred Imbert and Yun Li, CNBC, https://www.cnbc.com/2020/06/10/stock-market-futures-open-to-close-news.html?__source=sharebar%7Cfacebook&par=sharebar&fbclid=IwAR2lDu5faR-KYzD1UyvNshuXE2tsRLU240kwF13OdXI6EF8d4A9jz06ObEw.

June 11

Seems true to me. I have been saying for fifteen years the US needs more fiscal policy action rather than monetary policy action at the macro level, as this article points out. Chickens are comin’ home to roost. It’s past time to start using fiscal policy to enrich the poor by significantly increasing the taxes of the rich to create infrastructure jobs rather than continue to enrich the rich using monetary policy. Rabobank is a large international bank headquartered in the Netherlands.

“’Stupid and Ridiculous’: Rabobank Says The Fed Will Cause Everything To Come Crashing Down In Epic Ruin,” Michael Every, ZEROHEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/stupid-and-ridiculous-rabobank-says-fed-will-cause-everything-come-crashing-down-epic-ruin?fbclid=IwAR3z-jjh9-edompnfPnU3lXwItuhm_xS9iJKy9VK1kFhY4cJuYHCkaCL9_c.

June 10

Saying lowlifes and losers caused the riots is appallingly low class and low life-like loser language for a president of the US to use, especially when irresponsibly Tweeted when the US is in a serious crisis, as if trying to fan the flames of fires already lit. It’s hard to believe someone like this got elected president of the US. He’s got to go. Joe Biden will probably be a disaster as president but surely not be as disastrous as Trump, thanks to Dem voters in their primary not having enough sense to vote in their own best interests for Bernie Sanders, in a rigged corrupt primary from the git-go.

“NYC Bans Cars Below 96th Street As Riots Go Global,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/political/tensions-erupt-nation-burns-following-trump-threats-military-force-against-protesters?fbclid=IwAR3hU87_K6Yf67OaHw09ifdX8JqIAszhrn6TOZnbLyB7cdo9CaYYoqNRaRM.

June 10

We’ll see

“’This Time is Different,’ – Senate GOP Releases Draft Police Reform Bill,” by Tyler Durken, ZEROHEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/political/time-its-different-senate-gop-releases-draft-police-reform-bill?fbclid=IwAR0nCPyVsma3BKkjXi8j0dVm7JUV_6I70womJ1EYaUQvV7eopmYNKgyNJ20.

June 10

One way to rewrite history.

“History is ‘Gone With The Wind’ As Protest Movement Sparks Virtue-Signaling Show-Cancellations Worldwide,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/political/hbo-removes-gone-wind-erasing-first-black-woman-win-oscar?fbclid=IwAR03Zycfs9b-GiykiW5R1BGif972bL72A-raRrrPBk7FxUdJXNtN81Y0ypc.

June 8

Interesting

“Gundlach Warns Stock Market Likely To Fall From ‘Lofty Perch’ Despite ‘Superman’ Powell, Says Buy Gold,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/superman-jeffrey-gundlach-live-webcast?fbclid=IwAR2g4CRlO8BtEb5RtU_odiU9DGv7GIXP5QYHZkdNV2qtOj8iXJza9dJnKV8.

June 9

Straight talk from the son of the late great economist John Kenneth Galbraith.

“The Illusion of a Rapid US Recovery,” by James K. Galbraith, PROJECT-SYNDICATE.ORG, https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/united-states-economy-illusions-of-reopening-by-james-k-galbraith-2020-06?fbclid=IwAR1lpQevBlBalQs6lW_xLzWCJOtcbmlW_Dbg9wEF3kxNUC9b0rdht6ert68.

June 9

Well said

“Donald Trump is Afraid of Us All – His Barricaded White House is Proof,” by William Rivers Pitt, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/donald-trump-is-afraid-of-all-of-us-his-barricaded-white-house-is-proof/?utm_campaign=Truthout+Share+Buttons&fbclid=IwAR3JwE4FKoIPbFu_2welLioxMNEDK_r6e7v3D1BfRW6qBIolJU4PLUfLxy8.

June 9

Seems to me fascism similar to that of Franco that grew in the Spanish Civil War of the 1930s is more likely to happen in the US than fascism similar to that of Hitler that grew out of the Weimar Republic in Germany in the 1920s and 1930s.

“Weimar 2020 — Gilad Atzmon and music,” by Gilad Atzmon, https://gilad.online/writings/2020/6/8/weimar-2020?fbclid=IwAR18Q-aoXQlVmJpSIdSbY7zc-EujHhTqRpjXM17hy6aSF4QPBvhWOdVaefk.

June 9

Yuk

“A ‘Biblical’ Plague of Locusts Has Put Millions On The Brink of Famine,” by Michael Snyder, THE ECONOMIC COLLAPSE, http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/a-biblical-plague-of-locusts-has-put-millions-on-the-brink-of-famine-we-have-never-ever-seen-what-we-have-in-the-last-six-months?fbclid=IwAR3UPGB4jYV9CiBqB9iphLmHxa16TOxkjhOOc-WUOmlM2D8aGbys7VM9rJU.

June 8

Massive personal article artfully written and informative about environmental threats caused by climate change, based on the first cyclone this year in India-Bangladesh, hopefully not a harbinger of what the 2020 hurricane season has in mind for the US.

“An Unknowable Tragedy: Sundarbans After Cyclone Amphan,” by Subhankar Banerjee, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/06/08/an-unknowable-tragedy-sundarbans-after-cyclone-amphan%e2%80%8b/?fbclid=IwAR16AHUsegfltK3t6n21-usKjS77jjuLgnOw0R9ALtxh7zKp5s3M6vtVVps.

June 8

Say it aint so Joe

“’Light ‘Em Up’: Warrior-Cops Are the Law-and-Above the Law- as Violence Grips America,” by William Astore, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/06/08/light-em-up-warrior-cops-are-the-law-and-above-the-law-as-violence-grips-america/?fbclid=IwAR10GMQqzf2-QRrBxYtA7ogLT9QI0YB7ZooIv5Z1DQG3ufc_YzEmymV7cgc.

June 8

Say it aint so Joe

“The Shallow Deep-State Goes Deeper as it Moves Toward Martial Law,” by Edward Curtin, OFF GUARDIAN, https://off-guardian.org/2020/06/07/the-shallow-deep-state-goes-deeper-as-it-moves-toward-martial-law/?fbclid=IwAR2znoeiNYKP0DTfabjCM3fj03QOolunTIAt9jPiAtYh4o5zi-FSJn70Zzc.

June 8

Politics around Spaceship Earth

“John Pilger: The Forgotten Coup Against ‘The Most Loyal Ally’,” CONSORTIUM NEWS, https://consortiumnews.com/2020/06/01/john-pilger-the-forgotten-coup-against-the-most-loyal-ally/?fbclid=IwAR0FmiQpJiMN5Ga9WmwzJXDzdmkuwrykJz8j3fqAKaVdL4VWytNkvhK9L6s.

June 7

“As CO2 Levels Hit New High, Earth Experiences Its Hottest May on Record,” by Andrea Germanos, Common Dreams, TROUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/as-co2-levels-hit-new-high-earth-experiences-its-hottest-may-on-record/?utm_campaign=Truthout+Share+Buttons&fbclid=IwAR0I-4aq0uQN8ybJXsSLqj8tooTkF9gWi_cZ0o2Li2pjoTjkwdVEGGRDirk.

June 7

Largely nonsense. First of all governments and central banks are not printing money: They are just just punching digits into computers and calling the resulting numbers money, and then putting resulting funny money one way or another into banking systems and government treasuries, to be used to pay for military bills, pensions, and other things causing huge national deficits and debts. As to capitalism not being to blame for the whole problem, yes that’s right. It’s not to blame for the whole problem, but a lot of it. Capitalism, is nothing but a dog eat dog system of competition, which in some cases can motivate corporations and people to work harder and better, producing more. True, there has never been a fully successful socialistic or communistic system; but nor has there ever been a fully successful capitalistic system.

Capitalism has not been destroyed by federal governments, however much they contributed: The major culprit is large corporations, especially large too big to fail banks, that sold their workers down the river outsourcing jobs and who gambled their way to ruin in so-called “markets”, requiring federal governments to bail them out and rescue them with funny money, Yeah, right, dog eat dog competition for everyone but the biggest, the most powerful, and the richest, that’s capitalism for you. Capitalists at the top, not labor unions, worker-owned cooperatives, and welfare recipients at the bottom, are destroying capitalism.

Revolution into what if not socialism, communism, or capitalism? No, there won’t be any real revolutions, because there is nothing that has not been tried to revolt into. Any economic system would work if it was well managed, but that has never happened. All large economic systems have collapsed, most winding up run by fascist dictators near the end before they fully collapsed, which is where they are all heading now, once again, as in the 1930s, around Spaceship Earth.

“Governments Have Crippled the World’s Economies. Revolution may soon follow,” by Thorsten Pollett, MISES INSTITUTE, https://mises.org/wire/governments-have-crippled-worlds-economies-revolution-may-soon-follow?fbclid=IwAR3R4atRnuYwQnQwpC05rh31gfxEgCA96787Fcso7KYjGhA8tpQwcAmPf3k#.Xt11FmpaCKg.facebook.

June 7

Tradeoffs, tradeoffs, tradeoffs, including freedom of speech to decrease hate communications of all sorts that might dehumanize and militarize countries. Switzerland is probably the most democratic and peaceful nation on Earth and now it is having problems with hate communications. Do we need something like an American ECRI, an ACRI, to decrease hate speech, especially coming from US presidents?

The acronym ECRI in this article stands for European Commission against Racism and Intolerance.

Unfortunately Trump is the most read journalist in the US. All he has to do is impulsively tweet something, no matter how dumb and lowlife-like, and millions will read it. No other Internet journalist comes close to being that successful as a writer.

“Killing Free Speech in Switzerland,” by Judith Bergman, GATESTONE INSTITUTE, https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/15859/switzerland-free-speech.

June 5

Rout Logger leads his group again

“The Group—To Save Spaceship Earth—Episode Four,” by Richard John Stapleton, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT, https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-group-to-save-spaceship-earth-episode-four/?fbclid=IwAR36YeRHvujbDFhsFXGbZFlzmNWZmZmD50jZyJbQtDjcxYTMEapKjeVQXYg.

June 3

Unfortunately we don’t seem to be getting governments as good as most people.

“Dehumanizing people debases us all—Jimmy Carter releases statement on George Floyd protests,” by Ursula Perano, AXIOS.COM, https://www.axios.com/jimmy-carter-george-floyd-protests-34acbc8c-fc18-4424-be24-c02467a0f820.html?utm_campaign=organic&utm_medium=socialshare&utm_source=facebook&fbclid=IwAR02JvtlpiZ2JHGwY_nngkJxXlb-2UZe7LTWQHLARWoGFKAoBK-cBncyhCE.

June 3

Say it aint so Joe

“The Sadism of American Power,” by Kinn Orphan, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/06/03/the-sadism-of-american-power/?fbclid=IwAR2Wx6kJS8sRQ6mI9z4Cnn70XFjetAK_ciHTo5I4o5TguXEF_89Uqx55atI.

June 3

Scary alright, this “total domination” fantasy of Trump’s

“’Total Domination’: Popular Rebellion in the Shadow of Trumpism-Fascism,” by Paul Street, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/06/03/total-domination-popular-rebellion-in-the-shadow-of-trumpism-fascism/?fbclid=IwAR3o4a0DYj9uWKl6htwZNEusvqG5DtSUPdyVyUm-qFvNKdJDc27dXnQc1jo.

June 3

Very sad state of affairs

“Poll Finds Clear Majority of Americans Want Military to Help Police With Riots,” by Paul Joseph Watson, SUMMIT NEWS, https://summit.news/2020/06/02/poll-finds-clear-majority-of-americans-want-military-to-help-police-deal-with-riots/?fbclid=IwAR0z0vYgmGAL8l0HWnTGCmNn_aZcbNVvzbUhXRoSAAKb7EfVxZ3CMppLJH4.

June 3

Getting insaner and insaner, as the Fed pumps more and more funny money into asset markets for the rich.

“’The Disconnect is Getting Wider and Wider’: Futures Storm Higher As America Burns for 8th Night,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/disconnect-getting-wider-and-wider-futures-storm-higher-america-burns-8th-night?fbclid=IwAR1QwcmstpINYzvr92uHQBvQo3xnn_yR6zyN-6v-8ubeN4pkk3NinsXlxfA.

June 3

Let’s hope not.

“This is Not a Revolution. It’s a Blueprint for Locking Down the Nation,” by John W. Whitehead, RUTHERFORD INSTITUTE, https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/john_whiteheads_commentary/this_is_not_a_revolution._its_a_blueprint_for_locking_down_the_nation.

June 2

Say it aint so Joe

“Democracy is Broken: Why 51% of Sanders Supporters are Considering a 3rd Party,” DUE DISSIDENCE, https://duedissidence.com/2020/05/08/democracy-is-broken-why-51-of-sanders-supporters-are-considering-a-3rd-party/?fbclid=IwAR0WK39ftn_4oXUn6DLDxYX9bsfD8EinE0nNq_Vi1UB0iCM6kV75dgBFVhc.

June 2

Say it aint so Joe

“’America’s Moment of Reckoning’: Cornel West Says Nationwide Uprising is Sign of ‘Empire Imploding’,” DEMOCRACY NOW, https://www.democracynow.org/2020/6/1/cornel_west_us_moment_of_reckoning?fbclid=IwAR17GR6elz6Y0ol4I2bhV-P6oxX8A38LPoi1on2m1MEAd4uX5cRVt92pP9c.

June 2

Say it aint so Joe

“Will Zombies Feast on America’s Covid-19 Flesh?,” by Andrew Moran, LIBERTY NATION, https://www.libertynation.com/will-zombies-feast-on-americas-covid-19-flesh/?fbclid=IwAR3MZxXHSeV1W0xc1uZHhyXg5O-gAt7_IBBowgxpl7Y203hIYyRAfAsItqA.

May 31

In Japan the Bank of Japan, owned by Japanese citizens, will wind up owning more stock in large corporations than anyone else in Japan. In the US the Federal Reserve System, owned by private banks, will wind up owning more stock of US corporations than anyone else, if current policies should continue indefinitely. Is this a good way to nationalize all large corporations to run them to benefit all citizens? If so the US needs to set up a Bank of the United States to buy stock and other corporate assets to stabilize markets rather than let the Federal Reserve System do it.

“Here is the Stunning Chart That Blows Up All Of Modern Central Banking,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/here-stunning-chart-blows-all-modern-central-banking?fbclid=IwAR3cPN-biysXAZ0dJ0kSnCYGM-BQXAOEglXQsZNVtsDMVI1gglpXfEPl8y4.

May 31

Mainly caused by Repugs and neoliberal Dems relentlessly cutting taxes for the rich and gutting every social program they could get their hands on while relentlessly increasing military expenditures and giving funny money bail-out money to the big banks, while aiding and abetting large corporations sending USian jobs overseas to low wage countries.

“America Bravely Marches Towards ‘Failed State’ Status,” by Sam Pizzigati, COMMON DREAMS, https://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/05/30/america-bravely-marches-towards-failed-state-status?utm_campaign=shareaholic&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=facebook&fbclid=IwAR04dfH-embmBbnZj_jK6FkpEtCV6gHXhokJAytXjKTEC_XeJXVwom543Rw.

May 30

Seems spot on to me.

“Sheldon Wolin and Inverted Totalitarianism,” by Chris Hedges, TRUTHDIG, https://www.truthdig.com/articles/sheldon-wolin-and-inverted-totalitarianism/.

May 30

Great talk by Cornel West.

“America is A Failed Social Experiment, Neoliberal Wing of Democratic Party Must Be Fought,” by Ian Schwartz, REAL CLEAR POLITICS, https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2020/05/29/cornel_west_america_is_a_failed_social_experiment_neoliberal_wing_of_democratic_party_must_be_fought.html?fbclid=IwAR0QKehSdtG9yPMUOVA96Ld12msAHf9L3RsGs_5IuW5NISgwMoOkZmh7-ts.

May 30, 2020

“A Transactional Analysis of Economic and Political States of Affairs Around Spaceship Earth,” Richard John Stapleton, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT, https://blog.effectivelearning.net/a-transactional-analysis-of-economic-and-political-states-of-affairs/.

THE GROUP—TO SAVE SPACESHIP EARTH—EPISODE FOUR

THE GROUP—TO SAVE SPACESHIP EARTH

INTERNET EPISODE FOUR

The Group: To Save Spaceship Earth is a novel work in progress. While settings, plots, theories, objects, and narratives in this novel may be analogous to what has happened in various realities around Spaceship Earth, the names of characters cast herein are fictional. All parts of this novel will be published in the Effective Learning Report at various intervals on the internet, subject to revision at any time, hopefully culminating in a final print edition offered for sale to the public.

Richard John Stapleton, Writer, Editor, and Publisher

Copyright 2020 by Effective Learning Publications. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be copied or printed on paper without permission. Share on the internet as you wish.

If you want to refresh yourself about what supposedly happened in earlier episodes, go to the following website addresses:

Internet Episode 1, https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-group-to-save-spaceship-earth-part-1/.   

Internet Episode 2, https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-group-to-save-spaceship-earth-episode-2/.

Internet Episode 3, https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-group-to-save-spaceship-earth-episode-three/.

The Truther selected Henry.

Henry—“Before we change the subject I would like to say there are plenty of folks these days who do not believe in any kind of god or religion, at least not a normal kind of religion.  Apparently some scientists believe it is possible the universe just happened from, poof, a big bang, caused by nothing, a spontaneous explosion, ten to twelve billion years ago, spewing gases, matter, electrons and what have you in all directions causing billions of galaxies of stars to form, some with planets, including ours, Earth.  I cannot imagine how such a thing could have happened but we know for a fact the universe exists and contains billions of stars and probably millions of planets.  It seems obvious to me a human-like creature called god could not have possibly created the universe.  If a god did it he, she or it had to be nothing like a human being.  There is no way in hell a human-like creature could do such a thing.”

Rout—“Ok, any other comments about religion before we move on?”

Matilda—“There are people who believe there is a god but it is nothing like the typical god of a mainstream religion, a jealous, vengeful father-like figure making his children obey and love him to earn the privilege living with him in heaven forever. 

       “They believe this god is rational and loves people unconditionally.  They believe this god really understands why people do what they do, how they are caused to be what they are and do what they do, feeling sorry for humans, but not judging them, making no pretense of being all-powerful or all-loving, that sort of thing.

       “Some of these people also believe in an afterlife of total bliss and happiness.  Frankly, I don’t believe in this sort of thing.  I think when you die the electricity in your brain is shut off and nothing works from then on.  You are like an unplugged computer, except your biological parts disintegrate and decay to nothing.  It’s like having a dreamless sleep from then on.”

Luke—“I now see, my lord, with all my heart, I am in the midst of unbelievers and deceivers, foolish men and women who dare to question your holy word thinking in their hearts they are superior to your word and your sacred gospels, full of pride and vainglory, on the road to hell.  I pray for their immortal souls and I beseech you to have mercy upon them.  In Jesus’s name.  Amen.”

Steve—“For whatever it’s worth, I don’t think it does any good to talk about religion.  Seems like no one ever really changes his mind about religion.  People believe whatever their parents believed, they get brainwashed into it at an early age, and they pretend to believe it from then on, however simple minded it might have been.  I don’t think most people professing to be religious really know diddly-squat about religions, or anything else for that matter.  All they know are a few sayings they have picked up here and there, such as Jesus loves you and such, or hell is hot and you better get right with god.  Almost none of them ever read the Bible they hold so sacred to see what it really says.

       “I would like to bring our discussion down to earth and talk about what I consider the most relevant problem facing us today, the erosion and decay of family-owned small businesses in the US. I work in our family business.  We manufacture metal stock tanks, hog feeders and other products for farmers.  We have been in business over 50 years.  I have a degree in business and I would like to continue the family business and pass it on to my children.

       “Up to the past few years we did not have that much foreign competition, for various reasons, transportation costs were too high, foreigners did not understand our technology and processes, whatever.  But now we do have serious foreign competition, thanks to NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, and we may not be around much longer.  We still make a profit, albeit a declining one, and our sales are going down. It’s almost impossible for small American manufacturers to compete with products made in low-wage countries.

       “Thousands of small manufacturing businesses like ours have been driven out of business in the US since 1980, and especially since NAFTA was passed in 1993.  And now we have to contend with problems caused by Trump’s trade war that caused the price of some of our raw materials to go up, while giving little relief from our foreign competition in our markets.

       “It may get to where there are no small family owned manufacturing businesses like ours left in the US. Thousands have been wiped out in the last 30 years. I’m worried sick about it, worried about my future and our family and worried about the future of our employees, who we really do care about.

       “Seems like there are no answers.  The problem has been getting worse and worse for years and it just keeps getting worse.  As much as I hate to say it, I think we would be better off with tariffs to protect our manufacturers and workers.  There are billions of poor people in the world willing to work for a pittance compared to what Americans have been paid, and if you allow free trade around the world American wages will inevitably gravitate down to the lowest level, if the companies they work for can stay in business.

       “This is already going on.  We still have some car manufacturing in the US, but wages for automobile workers are now about half what they used to be.  I read the other day an Indian textile company with 12 plants in India is now setting up a textile mill in a small Georgia town in the US to make yarn using American workers, in a town that had an American-owned textile mill up until five or so years ago.  At the ground breaking ceremony with the Georgia governor the Indian owner of the new plant, to be built from scratch on some industrial park, said his people had figured out with tax breaks, low land cost, and transportation advantages they could make a profit using American workers still living in the town that were laid off five years ago.  No mention was made of what kind of wages are to be paid, but you can bloody well bet they won’t be as high as they were in the American mill that shut down. 

       “America is being thirdworldized.  Wages in US manufacturing are being driven down toward the average level of the whole world, apparently now on a par with India.  Maybe manufacturing will return to the US, but if it does, America will begin to look more and more like India, with a rich corrupt political and economic elite at the top, a small percentage of doctors, lawyers, engineers and such and untold millions of poor people living in abject poverty and squalor.

       “Things got better in the US from about 1950 to 1980, but it’s been downhill ever since for everyone but the elite rich, and it remains to be seen how far we’ll fall before we hit bottom.

       “I recommend bringing back tariffs to protect US wages and manufacturing, and punishing US companies with much higher taxes for abandoning their employees and facilities in the US and sending US jobs overseas.”

Helen—“As you know nurses don’t make that much money, and we work hard for our money.  My take home pay has stayed about the same for a long time.  I get a raise every now and then and I don’t complain.  I enjoy helping people.  But I also don’t need higher taxes and tariffs to keep my job.  I worked to get an education and built my skill set to where I was worth something to an employer.  Anybody in America can still do that.  All it takes is being willing to work hard and get yourself the training you need to make yourself worth something to an employer.  I don’t understand why people expect taxpayers to keep on spending more and more money on welfare to help people when they can help themselves.  I think we should lower taxes, not make them worse.  And I don’t think we need a minimum wage. You ought to be paid what you’re worth, not what the government says you’re worth.”

Steve—“I agree with you about the minimum wage but I don’t think the problem is people not being able to work hard and get training.  It does no good to get training for a job that does not exist.”

Jimmy—“I agree with you, Steve, about the working hard part, but I strongly disagree about the minimum wage part.  As you may recall from our initial introductions, I am a labor union organizer.  I deal with these problems day in and day out, and I agree with much of what Steve said about the most relevant problem today being the outsourcing of American jobs.  Whew, where do you start?  This problem has been around in some form, but got going in earnest after Ronald Reagan got elected in 1980.  The root cause is greed and inhumanity to man on the part of rich capitalists, not caring about your fellow man, only caring about your own selfish hide.  On the other hand, you have the satisfied bystanders like Helen who do not have a clue what it is like to work in an industrial or big business setting as a wage earner alongside thousands of other workers doing jobs requiring specialized skills that can only be learned on the job.  Most people who have never worked in places like this have no idea what it feels like to be treated like a machine and watched over constantly by a supervisor who is paid for his blind obedience to a boss who is paid a salary to force those below him, or her, to work as hard and long as possible, for as little money as possible.

       “Skill sets, my ass, you don’t need a damn skill set to work in most businesses as a worker.  All you need is the ability to remember a few mental and manual manipulations peculiar to your job.  And this is true pretty much all the way up to the top, except in staff areas, such as engineering, accounting, marketing, law and such.  All general supervisors and managers all the way to the top spend the vast majority of their time simply watching others, bullshooting with cronies, brownnosing with bosses, and enforcing rules and regulations passed down to them by their bosses.  About the only skill set you need is the ability to talk and do what you are told.  As to so-called higher order thinking skills, forget that.  Nobody thinks in a corporation, except maybe those at the very top at times, but even they spend most of the time bullshootng and brownnosing, which are, I suppose, skills, the most important skills there are in business for those making the most money.

       “As to being paid what you are worth, who the hell knows how much someone is worth?  Do you really think you’re worth $5,000 a month to sit here and bullshit six hours one day a month?  Give me a break!  You are paid what you are paid because some idiot has decided to pay you that much, and this has nothing to do with what you are really worth.  Do you really think a corporate CEO can be worth $20 million a year?  You think you are well paid at $5,000 a day?  Some CEOs are paid $100,000 a day for bullshooting and brownnosing.

       “Worth what to whom?  You are worth a lot to your children and pets if you have any, since they depend on you and need you, but how much are you really worth?  Especially to a large corporation that could care less what you’re really worth, a heartless, soulless institution existing for the sole purpose of enriching its stockholders and higher management as much as possible by paying everyone else working for the place as little as possible, with every manager and supervisor in the joint being rewarded for putting the screws to everyone below them in the chain of command, or what I call the chain of obedience.  You think corporations are free and democratic?  Think again.  There’s almost no freedom in a corporation.  Prisons are freer than corporations, since inmates in prison can think for themselves.  Inmates in corporations can only think for the corporation.  The corporation owns your mind and brain when you are supposedly at work, even after work sometimes.

       “Corporations are freer than prisons mainly in the sense workers can go home at night, and move around in corporate facilities during the day in some cases, and do whatever they want after they get home, and they can quit any time they want, assuming they can find another job, which is damn near impossible for about half the people in the US right now who would like to work if they could find a job paying a livable wage. So most people working for corporations are not free to quit any time they might want to. Sure, they can quit any time they want to, and ruin themselves financially.

       “And those unemployed people are not able to find jobs because they are lazy and don’t have ‘skill sets’.  No, they can’t find jobs because jobs do not exist.  Some jobs do require so-called skilled sets, such as nursing jobs, and there might be some openings for those kinds of jobs now in the US, but I’ll assure you there aren’t enough of them.  No, dammit, we don’t need jobs requiring skill sets, we need jobs anyone can learn on the job that provide a decent income, like we used to have, if we are to have a decent country, like we used to have in the US. 

       “And I’ll assure you, you need people like me who will work to make sure ordinary workers are paid as much as possible by people who are out to pay them as little as possible, and your real worth be damned.

       “That’s just the way the system works, my friends.  The capitalist system that is.”

Harrison—“I’m angry and insulted.  I happen to be a corporate CEO and I can tell you this fellow is straight out of lulu land. Sounds like a commie.  Yes, corporate CEOs are paid a lot because they are worth a lot. Most of them are so valuable they could leave at any time and find similar paying jobs working for competitors. The market sets the price for anyone in the real world.  You are paid what you are worth in the market, and the only way you can find out what you are worth is try to sell yourself in the market.  Whatever you are able sell yourself for is what you are worth in reality.

       “On the other hand I don’t think any CEO is worth $100,000 a day, as this union sympathizer just told you.

       “As to a union sympathizer like you being able to raise the wages of workers, you might be able to raise them to some extent in a company that has excess profits, but in a competitive business with a standard profit margin there is no way you can go in there and significantly raise wages without ruining the company.  Significantly higher wages all of a sudden will cause the company to significantly raise prices for what it produces which will cause it to go broke because it will not be able to sell what it produces.

       “If a company is producing something in global markets its labor costs can’t be significantly higher than the labor costs of any competing company in any country or it will go out of business because nobody will buy what they produce. Too expensive.  If wages are lower in other countries than US living standards if you have free competition then goods in that industry cannot be produced in the US or the living standards of US workers must be reduced to the level of the foreign workers they are competing with.  That is the truth of the matter, my friends. 

Jimmy—“I’m so sorry you’re angry Harrison.  It’s a real shame someone as high and mighty as you would be subjected to my opinions.

       “By the way, I’m a union organizer not a union sympathizer.  As to your monetary pay being what you can sell yourself for in the market, I agree completely.  If there are plenty of jobs your pay will go up.  If there are no jobs you receive nothing, but that is not what you are worth as a human being, and what you receive has nothing to do with skill sets or what you are really worth. You are a mere commodity paid what supply and demand in the market determines.  Corporate CEOs are not paid millions of dollars per year for skill sets. They are paid as much as they are as bribes and hush money to make sure they enforce rules, regulations, policies and procedures that enrich their higher ups writing their paychecks, making sure the higher ups are paid what they want at the expense of underlings in the system.  In other words CEOs are paid as much as they are for having a greedy grasping dependable loyal system, with respect to those who write the checks, not skill sets.

       “As to no CEO being worth $100,000 a day, I could not agree more, but I happen to know some of them are paid more than that, counting all their pay, salary, stock options, profit sharing, what have you.  I saw in USA Today several years ago an article in which they reported a CEO had been paid $33 million that year.  I figured out that was about $100,000 a day.  How many days a year do they work, 300 maybe?  You do the math.”

Helen—“I don’t believe it.  Nobody could be paid that much.”

Steve—“Well, I can tell you nobody in our family subchapter S corporation makes anywhere near that much.  I’ll be lucky to take out $100,000 this year, as president, CEO, and owner for a year’s work.

       “I agree part of the problem is that people at the top are paid too much, but that is a minor part of the overall problem I brought up.  CEOs being paid too much is not causing family-owned manufacturing businesses to be wiped out.”

Bob—“A lot of people think we physicians make a lot of money, but it’s nothing compared to what some of these CEOs make.  I saw on the Internet the other day that the CEO of Walmart had been paid some $116 million dollars in one year in what they called performance pay.  That would work out to over $300,000 per day..

       “The highest paid physician I ever knew was an old fraternity brother of mine, a cardiologist.  He developed such a reputation as a chest surgeon that he could sit in his office and cut deals with rich prospective patients.  He said a billionaire once offered him so much money to travel to the home country of the billionaire to operate on him that it took his breath away.  I assume it must have been a million or more dollars for one surgery.

       “But I assure you that is not going to happen to most doctors.  In fact some of them are having a hard time of it now, paying back their student loans and finding good situations.”

Julia—“That can’t be right.  Why that’s insane!  Nobody could be paid that much for one day’s work.  You must have made some sort of arithmetic mistake.”

Mikhail—“I happen to be an accountant, and I have my calculator with me, which I just used to do the math.  If you divide $116 million by 300, which is probably about all the days a CEO works per year, the answer comes out to be $386,666 per day.”

Adam—“I think you have a pretty good grasp of things, Steve, especially your thesis that the worst hit of all have been small manufacturing operations in the US, that were essentially sold down the river by NAFTA and the World Trade Organization, and, I might add, by most economists and politicians.

       “Adam Smith back in the eighteenth century published his seminal economics book An Inquiry Into The Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations in which he discussed the benefits of free trade among nations.  He essentially argued all nations and peoples would become wealthier if free trade, and unfettered competition, existed among nations, since this would cause all nations to specialize in producing raw materials, goods and services at the lowest prices since competition would force them to produce what they had the greatest comparative advantage for producing, which would also cause the yearly output to be maximized, the assumption being the more goods and services produced, the greater the wealth of nations, and, presumably, the citizens therein.

       “This makes for a good story and it made The Wealth of Nations one of the most famous books in history, the most famous economics book.  It may be true that free trade and unfettered competition would maximize production, but we will never know for sure because it will never happen and never has happened.  There have always been trade restrictions, tariffs, subsidies, quotas and what have you, in the US and whereever.  Recent trade agreements have reduced or eliminated some of them, but free trade, even today is a myth.  The US has all sorts of tariffs and so does every other country.  NAFTA, the North America Free Trade Agreement eliminated some of them and bilateral trade agreements with China and others have eliminated some of them, and, it seems this has caused the problem Steve alerted us to, namely the loss of manufacturing jobs in the US, caused by smaller US manufacturing businesses forced into bankruptcy by foreign competition, and by the outsourcing of US manufacturing jobs by large corporations.

       “Whether the elimination of trade restrictions has caused the wealth of nations to be reduced is doubtful.  It may they have actually increased the wealth of nations and people. More goods may actually have been produced for more people.

       “The problem for Steve and people like him in the US is that they paid the price of the progress.  Their incomes and wealth went down so the incomes of and wealth of the poor in third world countries could go up, and so the incomes and wealth of American CEOs and stockholders could go up.  The incomes and wealth of CEOs and stockholders of large corporations went up because of the outsourcing of US manufacturing jobs brought about by replacing high wage blue collar jobs in the US with slave-labor-equivalent blue collar jobs in impoverished countries.

       “Was this fair? Well, it turns out, fairness is in the eye of the beholder. Was it fair some of the dirt poor of poor countries should have their incomes increased by freer trade and competition between the US and its trading partners? Yes, of course. Was it fair the US CEOs and their bosses and stockholders who made this happen should have their incomes and wealth increased significantly, while workers of the US had theirs decreased? No, it’s not fair, but that’s the way things go under dog-eat-dog capitalism.

       “Obviously, something went wrong, or maybe a lot of things went wrong. Should US tariffs be reinstated as Steve recommends to correct this unfairness?  That is a tough one.  Maybe a little, maybe not, depending on how you look at it.  But one thing is for sure; we need new rules and regulations to deal with this in the US, such as higher taxes on large corporations and the rich who reaped the windfall they fostered, and something should be done to improve the plight of those cast aside.  We need a jobs program to provide decent jobs providing decent incomes in the US for those cast aside, ordinary workers, as Jimmy called them.

       “I agree there is no way millions of unemployed people are going to learn new skills and magically find millions of unfilled job openings out there.  This is absurd.  Those openings do not exist. The jobs do not exist because aggregate demand is not high enough to cause entrepreneurs to create new products and services that would make enough jobs happen. The major problem since 1980 or so is that US economic policies enacted by US politicians have kept aggregate demand low, by decreasing the taxes of the rich and increasing military expenses, and not investing in domestic infrastructure and social programs, which has caused federal debt to explode. Monetary policy has been used instead of fiscal policy to take care of the Wall Street economy, not the main street economy. 

       “The unemployment problem is actually much worse than the officially stated employment rate, since the number of people officially defined as unemployed by the US government is people currently looking for work, not counting those who know it would do no good to look for jobs that do not exist. There are millions of unemployed people in the US who have given up looking for a job, who are not counted as unemployed. And there are millions more who would work if jobs existed. The actual labor force participation rate in the US for over ten years has been about 60 percent.

       “The only way this can be cured anytime soon is by creating a massive government funded jobs program in the US creating infrastructure jobs that will put incomes in the hands of ordinary workers who will spend the money with small businesses, including small manufacturers and construction companies, that will create a multiplier effect sufficient to produce economic growth and full employment.

       “Economic conditions during the Obama and Trump administrations markedly improved for the rich, and some jobs have been created for the poor, but the situation for millions remains dire. What’s especially ominous is there are no signs the situation will be significantly improved for the middle and lower classes anytime soon.

       “Unfortunately most of the new money created by the Fed wound up in the hands of bankers and the rich, who saved the money, much of it being moved offshore to tax havens in the Cayman Islands and elsewhere. If you want to significantly stimulate economic growth and help the poor you need to put new money in the hands of the poor, not the rich.

       “That’s what I recommend.”

END OF EPISODE FOUR

To be continued…