letter #2 independent voters engage in primaries to save our middle class economic prosperity

Making America Competitive in a Global Economy

Dear Silent Majority Middle Class Voter,

Let’s pick up from last week’s letter 5 December 2011, and revisit the issues we find our country tackling today and try to identify those issues that we the silent majority of independent voters want both political party bases to incorporate in their platforms for 2012. How to lower our debt, how to eliminate our deficits, attack and lower unemployment at its core, create and incorporate in our nation best interest the development of sustainable energy sources to take the place of our fossil fuel and the nuclear hostage hold on the American public, construction of the new national power grid, why we need a major overhaul instituted yesterday in modernizing our infrastructure, what are the differences between climate change vs. global warming, capitalism vs. inequality and socioeconomic disparity- fact or fiction, and finally our fear of sacrifice, the word itself angers many but let’s take a moment and really get to the bottom of sacrifice and what it means to the different segments of our society.

Last week’s letter investigated and identified why independent voters needed to speak up and vote in primaries. With the country so divided, the polarization has not been so vast since the economic issue of slavery in the 1850’s, which we know created the straw that broke the camel’s back once a political party was elected into the executive office who’s platform held to the eventual elimination of bondage, which African-American’s were subjected and suffered through for the first 200 plus years as we colonized and founded these United States of America. Now, I of course do not believe that we will see states succeed from the Union, but metaphorically their representatives have already succeeded with the icy cold polarization of the two major political groups; unable to work on the core fiscal issues on what is best for the country as a whole. We admitted there are at the heart core social value issues that separate certain regions of the nation and even within states; there is geographic differences where rural values and major metropolitan values may not sync up.

The last time the country was so lopsided with the few controlling the majority of income and wealth in our nation directs us to look at the history of how past congress’s and the executive branch worked through these disparity and inequality of capital wealth. What happened in the campaign of 1932 that changed the socioeconomic landscape that lasted over 50-60 years before the last two decades of the 20th century and the first 11 years of the 21st century when we started to feel the inertia of the pendulum change in directions from a capitalism that was ally to the working and middle class vs. the capitalism we now find ourselves participating (where unregulated investment by banks-insurance organizations, the Supreme Courts defining corporations as people with the same freedoms of unfettered free speech, and the reallocation of production at no social cost to the companies relocating), in that created this enormous disproportion of wealth between the top 10% and the remaining 90%? Capitalism is our economic system, before Adams Smith “An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations,” long considered to be the Bible of capitalism; Mercantilism was the economic system utilized in the western European societies which the newly founded colonies of North and South America were included. This was a system that found favor with the monarchs, trust companies and upper class bourgeois who marketed the goods of that time. We will not entertain socialism or communism economic systems since these systems while as a philosophy sounded feasible for the working class; but in actuality, during the previous 100 years those who lived under what could be defined as socialist or communist economic systems, actually practiced a very strict and undemocratic social system that obstructed its people liberties and freedoms to provide self direction.

So my friends, family and fellow citizens I do not speak or propose anything that would incorporate socialist tendencies or a rigid structured economy. But alas, let us visit the meat and bones of what we must consider if we are to make our country great once again.

We are in the middle of a great economic and socioeconomic upheaval that has actually moved us from the industrial society of the 1880’s-1980, and we are now in an information and knowledge base society. The speed of change is greater than ever witnessed on planet earth before now. Where we have seen failure in meeting our debt and deficits is actually the result of our own electorate decisions these past 30 some years. By not holding our government institutions in essence responsible for demanding the regulating of the free markets, by not mandating from our electorate officials to take the ownership and responsibility that created the social consequences to our communities throughout the United States when 50,000 manufacturing plants are eliminated, when tens of millions of good paying jobs are eliminated with no retraining, no mandated supplement payment to the unemployment insurance to off-set societies cost; we created a great drag on our country’s ability to balance its books. Who was replacing those tax dollars from those wages that went off shore? Some say the free market, but an unfettered free market has no soul, no stakeholder responsibility to the millions of workers, their families, their community school districts, the first responders and so forth….

It is really simple Mr. and Ms. Independent worker, when those jobs were being relocated in the late 80’s, 90’s and ‘00’s they did not affect your living standard. Our country has two views on how the economic system should work. There are those who firmly believe that free markets are the only way to go. Laissez-faire, hands off any regulation of the economy unless it has something in common with protecting our multinational corporations security to export and import goods utilizing safe trading routes without fear of pirates or rogue nations hindering these routes. But you must see a fallacy here, in the pure sense of a free market, should not the multinational corporation have to pay for its protection of these trade routes?
The erroneous belief of our missed opportunity these past years has been the lost of moderate independent voters from both major political parties. Besides the affects of having to choose more stringent structured ideologues from both parties after the past three decades we were clueless on creating an economic policy for the country to make the transition from an industrial society to the information-knowledge socioeconomic society. This is quite evident in the sectors that affect the deteriorization and decaying of our nation’s infrastructure. Once the marvel of the global communities through the 1950’s and 60’s, they are now mere shell of those great by gone years.

Our country became so entrenched in lowering the tax rate across the board we ourselves created the obstacles to balance our budget. On top of that we followed the one political party’s rhetoric that government was the problem, that government was too big and that government is what got us in this mess. I guess creating a Social Security Policy that lifted almost 90% of the poor elderly out of the trenches and alley’s of despair was not something a free market economy had any responsibility addressing. The same goes for the advent of the creation of Medicare. This free ride to provide affordable health insurance once someone reached the age of 65 again had no place in a free market economy. I would take another point of view, a moral point of view, a point of view that is more kinder, more caring for our fellow citizen, a point of view that believes capitalism is the best economic system so far utilized in the global work force but a capitalism that must be regulated so as not to allow the citizens of our country to fall through the trap door of despair and inequality. The words Thomas Jefferson penned back in the late 18th century ring ever so true today as it did back then; “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

Government is there to make sure the tyranny of the people do not tread on the rights of the minority; the minority of races, elderly, children and impoverished. Government is an organic institution just like our Constitution is organic. Through the generations of America’s growth we became by the 20th century the largest economic power in the world, our country as a nation has only prospered when all the people in America could grab on to the hope that if they worked hard, if they went to school and studied even harder that their generation could make more of themselves then the previous generation. We are so close to losing that belief with the way things are today. We have no one else to blame, but we also have the right, the ability and especially the duty to become more engaged in the political-socioeconomic process. We need 100% of the voters who can vote to start now in the primaries to vet out the candidate you feel will give you and our country the best chance to once again become the greatest most powerful nation of the world.

Jobs will pay down the debt. Jobs will balance the budget. In a free market the “job creators” will not put any of the $1.5 trillion they have in cash reserves here in America nor will they bring back to our country the other $1.2 trillion dollars they have over there due to the tax structure. They say they do not want to be hit with a double whammy tax (one paid to foreign country where this revenue was made and America who would tax them to bring home their dollars), but remember independent voter, these multinational corporation never paid for the social cost of leaving our communities in the first place. The fact is they were given very lenient tax deductions to offset their other revenue when relocating.

This period of time in our nation’s history is very similar to the crash of 1929 that lead to the Great Depression when we compare notes about the same hording and inequality of money in the hands of a very few and the disparity and inequality felt by the middle and working class, the elderly, children, our students, and the very poor. Through the past 30 year period those citizens and electorate regressed in their spending power while the top 1% of our citizens and electoratehave made a 275% gain in income.

Eventually what is going to happen independent voters if this type of inequality continues to exist is this; are infrastructure will collapse so badly our ability to be competitive in the global market place of the information-knowledge economies will not be adequate, we will lose our competitive edge to produce those quality products and services our nation is known for, the safety and health issues in products manufactured elsewhere will become common place, our electorate will regress back to a type of mercantile economy where the modern monarchs, rich and traders control 90% of our wealth and the lower class will fend for the remaining 10%. We are already at unacceptable poverty levels in such a wealthy nation where 1 in 7 live in poverty every day and where 1 in 5 children go to bed each night worried about where their next meal will come from. This all happened on our watch, we are the electorate responsible for voting in the representatives of our legislature and executive office that changed our countries policies for less economic regulation, less government protection of the elderly, our schools, our middle class ability to continue in the search and obtainment of the American dream and as one of our former President’s described in his State of the Union in 1991,and what gave lots of us the ok to dream the impossible a society of free giving, as he said, ”a shining purpose, the illumination of a thousand points of light. It is expressed by all who know the irresistible force of a child's hand, of a friend who stands by you and stays there—a volunteer's generous gesture, an idea that is simply right. The problems before us may be different, but the key to solving them remains the same: it is the individual—the individual who steps forward. And the state of our Union is the union of each of us, one to the other: the sum of our friendships, marriages, families and communities. We all have something to give. So if you know how to read, find someone who can’t. If you’ve got a hammer, find a nail. If you’re not hungry, not lonely, not in trouble-seek out someone who is. Join the community of conscience. Do the hard work of freedom.” How’s that working today, how are those thousands of twinkling lights feeding our poor, educating our children, and building our nation for the 21st century?

We could easily put back to work over 14 million American’s during the next two to three years and create for future years the jobs necessary for stable economic growth if we would only demand from our elected officials to create the initiatives and revenue available by making the rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure our #1 priority. Funding is available already plus we can create new investment instruments that would bring Wall Street into the process by creating a Infrastructure Bank tobring the additional funds needed to create such a large endeavor. Our country has done these types of large investments before; with the initial intersate highway construction, the rallying around the space program that raised our education standards and had us on the moon 11 years after Russia’s first satelight was launched into space. Independents, today we are at that point in our countries history where we must come together again and make sacrifices to our single issue social issues and vote for economic stimulus, to vote for the growth in America’s economic sectors, to become engaged in what our politicians need to be doing and working together in a collaborative sustaining mode of operation. We must not look at the morally correct entitlement programs of Social Security and Medicare to fund these projects either. Our military spending is just unrealistic, we can redistribute some of those funds into the infrastructure of our country; they actually will do more for the security of our country in the long run anyway. A little known fact that the hawks and military industrial complex doesn’t want you to know; America spends more money on its military then ALL the rest of the countries on earth combined.

Global warming is a fact, calling it climate change does not change reality, if we do not do something to neutralize fossil fuel carbon waste that envelopes our bio-sphere there are going to be drastic changes to our coastal communities; the Arctic and Antarctica glaciers will continue to disappear turning from a solid mass to a liquid mass raising sea levels. Our ability to raise crops to feed the now 7 billion inhabitants of our world will become more difficult. We are going to have a hard fought battle ahead of us; there will be billions of dollars spent by the proponents of free markets, but we can prevail if we stick together in a broad coalition of middle class independent voter caucus. We must demand that a plan of action be put forth to rebuild, modernize and make our infrastructure the envy of the world once again. We need to take the billions of dollars we give to the oil and coal industries every year and reallocate them into the sustainable non-polluting green energies such as solar, wind, tidal and geothermal sources of energy to create our electric needs. The advances have been amazing but when the oil industry is looking to utilize the rest of the reserves of oil they can sell when it harms our environment is not smart economic planning. The cost socially to fix the harm to our environment as well as the cost to the security of our country becomes senseless money spent when we have the technology available to go green. Besides the benefits to the environment the economic benefit for the millions of jobs that will be created once we take the leap into this new information knowledge age technology is a win-win for all of society.

One and a half megawatts of wind power will supply up to 400-500 homes with enough electricity for the year. This past year the state of Iowa produced over 3600 megawatts of wind energy. Now MidAmerican Energy the power supplier sent approximately 80% of that power out of state on the grid system but there was still enough power left over for 20% of the homes in Iowa to be powered by wind energy. Thousands of jobs were created not only from the construction of these wind turbines but thousands of jobs were created to operate these new wind energy sources. Our leaders in congress will only change their support for renewable energy and the jobs it will create if and only if we the electorate demand them to do so. We are going to have a hard fought battle; these fossil fuel energy sources are going to spend billions of dollars to protect their industry. But if we demand that a plan of action be put forth to follow, that the guidelines necessary to become renewable energy sufficient are incorporated; that when we move from 80-90% fossil fuel to 90%+green energy we demand that the workers in fossil fuel industry are retrained to transition into renewable sources; we can create new jobs up and beyond the jobs that will eventually be lost in the fossil fuel sector.
Nuclear energy should be eliminated and phased out over the next 4-5 decades. It is not a safe way to produce electricity; it may be a cheap way but by no means does a spent fuel rod that takes 250,000 years to lose its deadly effects upon biological man and creatures is this a rational alternative unless you have investments in that sector.

America to be great and to be able to succeed through its journey in the 21st century must adapt to the competiveness of those other emerging economic markets. We must act with equal trade penalties if one country incorporate tariffs to protect their industries exports and internal markets, they too should be made to spend that same amount in tariffs for their products sent to our country. This will give India and China the incentive need to grow their internal markets; they also will need goods and services from our nation’s production as well. It cannot be a one way street where we pay the bulk of the tariffs to offset emerging consumer spending. Free trade means both parties practice free trade not just one. We also must understand that thousands of multinational corporations that have residency in the United States and who take full advantage of our military protection, do not feel an obligation to pay tariffs for their products produced in those other nations when they import those goods back to America. Is it fair to continue to allow them to not pay some consequence or cost in tariffs and or taxes for bringing these products back to our market? Why should we pay the social consequences of retraining workers or supplementing unemployment insurance for those workers who lost their jobs when these companies’s went overseas?

One of the hardest issues to talk about with any type of civility is how our economic system has become upside down not overnight, but since the 1980’s in the economic disparity between the top 1 to 10 percent and the other 90 percent. People become very defensive when they talk about their tax base, especially when they feel government waste money every year. Waste does exist there is no doubt. What we must understand though is that there is sacrifice along every level of our socioeconomic spectrum, those that have been blessed with the wealth and success monetarily. We all though owe an obligation to our country, a country with over 300 million citizens at a period of time when the baby boomer generation is entering the retirement age of 65 will create a bigger burden on our Social Security and Medicare, a burden we all know has been approaching but one that we would not address due to our polarization in our political parties. These promises should not be broken though; our nation must find the way through economic growth to continue to fund these programs and our electorate should understand that these are minor cost to live in a country where life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is our nation’s creed.

History has shown that the wealthy has made great sacrifices over the years. In the 1930’- and 1940’s their tax base after the first $2 to 3 million dollars of income rose from the 30ish percentile to the 80 to 90 percentile. This was done back then for those individuals to reinvest their higher tax base back into the markets in order to keep our nation’s economic growth on track to be more prosperous than any other economy known to man at that time and even today. Today with write offs and capital gains tax rates our very wealthiest do not even come close to paying the percentage of taxes their employees, or our first responders and even our politicians. This keeps our country from succeeding since where now can we have the funds to pay for our infrastructure modernization, where are the revenues to build modern schools, where are the funds to pay the teaching profession, our first responders? It cannot fall to the 90 percent; they just do not have the amount of wealth combined that the top 1 to 10% possess. There are many different studies out there that describe the income percentages of the wealthiest and the other 90 percent. Frankly it has not been this lopsided since the late 1920’s when we had the beginnings of our Great Depression.

The top 1 percent income is between 27 and 35 percent of all income for the year, that’s 3.5 million Americans. When you take the top ten percent of wage earners in America it becomes obvious what has happened in the inequality of wages. The top ten percent have between 80 and 90 percent of the income which means 35 million Americans control up to 90 percent of all income each year leaving the other 270 million Americans with 10 to 20 percent of the income.

Adam Smith, remember him, the father of capitalism had two important themes that made a capitalist economic system successful. We do not hear these two very important themes discussed by the one major party and the reality is both parties have done a great injustice by not following these themes due to their need to be reelected no matter I am afraid to say at whatever cost it does to our overall countries health. Theme 1- Labor takes raw materials and creates a productive good or service for the betterment of the society. Theme 2- Consumer spending by the working and middle classes is what creates the demand within capitalism which inspires “job creators” to become entrepreneurial, to take the risk to spend their capital to create addition production of the goods and services used in the society. This creates more jobs, more jobs create more revenue to spend on more goods and services, more revenue in the way of income tax, sales tax, Social Security Tax and Medicare Tax is produced for societies (us) agent to manage; that agent is the government. If the government continues to elect members to the legislature and executive office who only represent the very few, then of course we will have continuing debt and deficits.

Cutting taxes does not, let me repeat does not give the “job creators”, business or the financial institutions the incentive to put their capital at risk. If it did then our tax breaks and the often referred trinkle down theories of 1928-1932, the Reagan tax cuts through his 8 years and those of Bush I for another 4 years (1981-1992) and the tax cuts of the Bush II era 2001-2008, would have shown positive job growth, it did not, this is the facts, this is what every major respected economist except for Milton Freidman’s of the late 20th century espoused. We did see economic growth occur when the government policies coming out of the New Deal and the policies we had to institute after WW II when our debt to GDP was 125%. Roosevelt slipped up in 1937, when he thought the economy was on track and he eliminated a lot of the government policies only to see us slip back into an economic recession. Truman was faced with a debt of 125-125% after WWII; did he cut programs to balance the budget? No he did not. He even tried to pass Medicare in 1947ish only to lose the other parties support. The country in fact thought that Dewey was going to win the ‘48 Presidential election, but old Harry, the last president to not have a college degree snookered the other party by communicating that the other parties unwillingness to create the programs need to pay our debt down by creating policies the government had to fund to create the consumer spending. When Mr. Truman’s second term was up General Eisenhower was elected our president. Being from the same party of Reagan he still understood the need to collaborate with the legislation. We saw the largest greatest expansion in our interstate highway system, our institutions and schools, the upgrading of our sciences and math to compete with Russia who had beaten us into space with Sputnik in 1957. These policies all created enough consumer spending to pay the debt and to cut the deficit.

The only thing different today are our independent voters do not participate in primary elections. When they come to vote in November they have one of two people who typically are on opposite sides, their 180 degrees apart in how they envision our country. Do we want to continue with the inequality, the inability to make something of one’s self that was better than the previous generation or do we want 10 percent of the population to control 90 percent of the countries income? This election cannot be any more important than the election of 1932, the battles fought in WWII, the elections that guaranteed the GI Bill, the VA programs after WW II, the great modernization of our infrastructure in the 1950’s and 1960’s when we once and for all made people of color equal under the eyes of our constitution and society. We need your engagement independent middle class, we need you to know the issues about where we came from, what happened when we did a 180 from the years of the New Deal, stimulus programs after WW II, the infrastructure build up, when our universities became world renown, when the Great Society introduced Medicare to our most vulnerable the aging senior citizens of our great nation. Can we really afford just 10 percent of our country rule the other 90%? I faithfully and with great earnest ask you to engage, vote and protect the American way of life for the future generations.

JND

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