Good Morning Ted and Jody:
With no threat of rain, albeit a high cloud cover, today was a good day to show Nancy the Coldwater Learning Center run by the National Forest Service some 10 miles from the mouth of the Mt. St. Helens Crater. The Center has an interesting ceiling. And, it provides a nice view of the Cascades. This one image is a 30-shot panorama taken from the deck at the Coldwater Learning Center. I probably spent too much time messing with images today, but then, I would think not spending the time would be a waste.
I think I mentioned that a friend steered me to a site that deals with folks advocating basic income (guaranteed annual income). Other than one article advocating the monetization of public land (then leasing it out to provide revenue), most proposals do not seem to have a way to pay for a basic income. It is clear my Democratizing Money proposal would pay for it—indeed be a variant of a basic income. So I spent some time working on a draft to publish for that site. It is as follows:
An article in the Economist, Automation and Anxiety, reports a 2013 study by Carl Benedict and Michael Osborne who looked at the probability of computerization for 702 occupations and concluded that “47% of workers in America had jobs at high risk of potential automation.” To simplify, computerized machinery will replace these workers. (The Impact on jobs: Automation and anxiety/ The Economist, www 4/15/17; http://www.oxfordmartin.ox.ac.uk/downloads/academic/The_Future_of_Employment.pdf ). If one had done the same level of analysis in 1760 and focused on occupations at that time the prospects for weavers, pin makers, candlestick makers, rifle borders, and the like being at risk to industrialization would have received a similar risk assessment as truck drivers, fast food workers, shelf fillers in stores, order processors, and vacuum cleaner operators do today. I suspect that there will be some similarities to the Automation Revolution that has already begun to the Industrial Revolution. However, one needs to remember the squalor, hazardous working conditions, the prevalence of child labor, and disease that the Industrial Revolution wrought.
The Automation Revolution is not likely to engender quite the same problems as the Industrial Revolution. However, unlike the Industrial Revolution, the Automation Revolution will carry the seeds of its own growth. Eventually, automatic machines will build their successors, much like humans built automatic machines in the recent past. What the current predictions on machines replacing human workers portend is massive human unemployment.
When the Industrial Revolution kicked off there existed non-domestic markets for the textiles produced by machines that were tended by underpaid workers. The capitalists owning the machines earned a tidy profit. While at the outset of the Automation Revolution there are non-domestic markets for what automation produces, and while the world population is increasing, automated production will be able to more than meet diminishing demand as that proportion of the world’s population with money to spend severely contracts. In short, all but a small minority of human beings will sink into a squalor and poverty never seen in history, not even in the Dark Ages.
There are movements afoot to establish a basic income or guaranteed annual income. These efforts are partly in anticipation of The Automation Revolution. They are partly in response to the perception of the problems with growing income inequality. And they are partly in recognition of the basic equal worth of all human beings. However, all recommendations for a basic income or the like must overcome the costs that arise in providing a basic income from governments when all governments are financed by one form or another by a system of tax and spend laws.
Governments have always taxed economic activities for revenue. Asking why governments get their revenue from taxing economic activities is like asking Willie Sutton why he robbed banks. Economic activity is where the money is! While governments have used tax revenue in a myriad of ways, significant amounts of tax revenues in the past 100 years have been spent on transfer payments to a rapidly growing impoverished class of citizens. Ironically, at the same time governments have also been increasing tax forgiveness to its richest citizens and corporations. The result is an apparent tax squeeze on the dwindling middle class. Nonetheless, policymakers in government are tied to tax and spend policies by two sets of systemic constraints: political elections are financed by private money, and governments create and circulate fiat money using a trickle-down system.
Private money financing elections mean that governments allow private individuals and corporations (regardless of the nationality of shareholders in the corporations) to shape and direct public policy by choosing the candidates who can get elected and then direct the elected officials further using paid lobbyists to guide them. The old adage we have “The Best Congress Money Can Buy” is true. To stop this corruption, we need to make private money payments for elections campaign and to public officials and office seekers illegal and publically finance elections.
The trickle-down money creation and circulation system put new money into banks and wealth securities dealers accounts. Only when banks make loans that result in new construction, new business and the like does any of that money trickle down to the average citizen or consumer. Ironically, 70% of American economic activity, GDP, is due to consumer spending. The folks who get the least amount of new money and then they get it last. To correct this, we need to put new money into the bank accounts of citizens—monetize citizens or democratize money. I had to address this in a monograph, Democratize Money, Monetize Citizens: A Proposal.
Income inequality will be with us. The issue occurs because money and wealth accumulations attract more money and wealth if managed in even a half-way competent manner. If one looks at how any given foundation’s money was taken out of a corporation, and then the fate of the corporation compared to the foundation, it is not unusual for corporations to fold, yet money in the foundations created by those corporations’ earnings lives on forever: The W. T. Grant Foundation and W. T, Grant Stores is one example of a foundation that has, so far, outlived the source of its income by over 40 years. Unlike offering a solution to the private money in politics and trickle down money creation, a solution to income inequality will involve resolving ideological conflicts.
Yes, there will be an ideological conflict over outlawing private money as the source of campaign finance. But that struggle will be a matter of deciding if the words in our founding documents are valid: all men are created equal.
The is only an economic argument in monetizing citizens. On the one side, those who oppose it will argue the scheme is inflationary and people will not want to work. On the other side, the arguments will be to finally treat all equally and cease the tax and send treadmill governments are on. A government can continue to tax; but, once they are no longer financing elections with private money for policy favors, they will not need to tax for revenue to support public programs. Monetizing citizens is the way to finance a basic income for all, including the government.
I trust this missive finds you happy, healthy and not too stuffed from Easter Sunday Dinner.
064 Melissa’s Implant Is Removed
Fiction in 769 words by T. Edward Westen, 2017
Special Agent Fleishman, still holding Melissa Hickson by the shoulder and wrist were the first to materialize in Edith Gunderson’s office. Next, Agent Brice Clarkton holding Jessica Ann Hickson by the scruff of the neck arrived. Jessica Ann kicking and still screaming. Agent Brice put her down in a chair and pointing a finger at her said, “Sit!”
Jessica Ann Hickson started to get up from the chair, and Agent Brice, “I told you to sit, young lady. You either stay in that chair or I will tie you down.”
Outreach Simmons arrive with Edith Gunderson just as Agent Brice was admonishing Jessica Ann Hickson to stay in the chair and Edith Gunderson said, “And if he doesn’t tile you down I will have you put in a cage.”
Outreach Simmons stammered, “You didn’t tell me there would be gun play. Someone could have gotten hurt. I could have gotten hurt.”
Special Agent Fleishman replied, “You didn’t get hurt. Where is the syringe so I can neutralize this woman’s implant? I am getting tired of hanging on to her.”
Outreach Simmons, patting his clothing and looking around, “It is here someplace.” Finally, he found it on the file cabinet. He got it took it to Special Agent Fleishman and tried to hand it to him.
“Johnathon, I am holding her. If I let go she will pivot,” said Special Agent Fleishman. “You give her the shot.” With that, he held Her arm up so that Outreach Agent Simmons could administer the load of nanobots that would disassemble Melissa Hickson’s time travel implant.
Melissa Hickson had stopped struggling and was staring at her daughter in the chair to which Agent Brice had consigned her.
As the clock ticked and the nanobots did their job, Agent Amanda and Detective Philipson materialized in the room. “Poor Elmer,” said Detective Philipson. “The Shooting Team will have him up all night until he can’t see straight. And that waitress will need a month to recover.”
Amanda shook her head. “Why did he fire the gun.”
Detective Philipson said, “If I were pointing a gun at someone holding a small child and they both disappeared, I think my finger would have jerked along with the rest of me. We don’t seem many people disappearing into thin air in this century unless they are magicians doing a magic act.”
Special Agent Fleishman asked, “How much trouble will that officer have to face?”
“Once the waitress calms down enough for the shooting team to talk to her and they get the same crazy story from her as they get from Elmer, they will write it off as a freak accident,” said Detective Philipson. “They will have Elmer talk to a shrink until the shrink says he is fit to return to duty. I’d say, given his wife, that will be less than a week.”
“Why is that?” asked Agent Brice.
Detective Philipson shook his head and chuckled under his breath. “Elmer’s wife works night because she says she can’t sleep worrying about him getting shot or worse. So, he would be home during the day when she is trying to sleep. That is going to disrupt her something fierce. She will drive him out and he will go nuts not having the job to do. I figure the shrink will catch on to that.”
Jessica Ann Hickson looked very uncomfortable and said, “I have to go poddy.”
Melissa Hickson said, “She is serious. She will go right there if you don’t get her to a bathroom quickly.”
Amanda took the child by the hand and lead her out of the room.
When the door closed behind Agent Amanda and Jessica Hickson, Melissa Hickson asked, “You are all worried about that man who tried to save me, who are you and what are you going to do with me and my daughter?”
Outreach Agent Simmons said, “You know me. I’m the one that gave you the temporary implant at ATI.” Pointing to Agent Brice and Special Agent Fleishman he continued, “They are ATI agents charged with bringing you in to answer a few questions. The woman who took your daughter to the restroom is also an ATI agent. The other two people in the room are temporal local officials with whom we worked to track you down.”
“What questions could I possible answer?” Melissa Hickson asked.
“For starters, Ms. Hickson, why did you break Alice Beaverton out of the Mission Creek Corrections Center?” asked Special Agent Fleishman.
“I was in and out so fast you can’t prove I . . .” Melissa Hickson heard herself and fell silent.