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Be Strong (truly) > Be Empathetic. Be and Become YOU

Updated: May 30, 2021


Is truly sad.

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Decent videos:


Wish I could talk and express myself like Russell:



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Went to a people's party zoom conference the other night and it was really good. They actually don't care that much about having small differences or disagreements on certain issues. Want to truly create a third-party option that represents common people and our interests. There's actually a lot of this going on and I shouldn't be surprised.


There's this "party" as well I learned about which looks really good and promising as well: https://joinsam.org/


And also this site: https://www.political-innovation.org/



Their book sounds great: ADDED to the wish-list and must-reads.

https://www.amazon.com/Politics-Industry-Political-Innovation-Democracy-ebook/dp/B07V3NH4DY/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=


"This book could not be more timely, as people in this election year reflect on the future direction of the United States. The Politics Industry makes it clear that we have to roll up our sleeves and look for new solutions to overcome political gridlock and partisanship. Our Constitution gives us the latitude to do that. The reform steps laid out here are just as "constitutional" as the current rules. They promise to unleash much-needed competition for the best leaders and policies." — Mark Schneider, CEO, Nestle


"A revealing perspective on why our $16 billion political industry is failing the American people. The proposed solutions reflect the heart of the American ethos—innovation, determination, courage, and the will to reinvent the status quo." — Howard Schultz, Chairman Emeritus, Starbucks


"Business leaders who advocate for special interest cronyism and corporate welfare do so to the detriment of the larger business community and our country as a whole. This book shines a light on how the current political system enables those in power—both in and out of government—to stack the deck against people who start with little or nothing. The consequences extend far beyond the obvious economic waste to injustices that give rise to civil unrest and division among people that threatens the very core of our democratic republic. Whether you agree with every aspect of the proposed solutions or not, this book makes an important contribution to the conversation about how to change our political system for the better. I applaud Gehl and Porter for taking on such a crucial and timely topic." — Charles Koch, Chairman & CEO, Koch Industries and Founder, Stand Together


Even Charles Koch saying that? That's interesting.


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I'm proud of my site and the things I came up with. Still struggling in the real world. Applied for a zookeeper job and will probably apply for this juvenile assistant part-time job. I got really depressed and negative about the world after Trump was elected as President and started saying to myself "I don't care" "screw this country". These Presidents, all that I have known since becoming even slightly interested which was after 9/11, have all been quite bad in my opinion. Bush Jr., Obama was okay-ish but didn't do anything to change much of anything and he was President for almost all of my 20's, then Trump VS. Hilary, then Biden V. Trump. Is truly sad. I thought Bill Clinton was pretty decent and the national debt was decreased to only 5 trillion, but he did have the dot-com boom under him and we got the WORST president I believe, in American history, with Bush Jr. A lot of Senate and Congress members have been in politics throughout all of this and it just, pathetic really that these people are supposed to be the best people we have in America.


I would like to get a better job doing environmental science work related to water but I messed up in school the last few years and in life. Now I'm wondering what to do. Hard to even find places or opportunities to volunteer at least here in Southeast Kansas anyway. Have my doubts if I can make it through graduate school while working and the results be all good and great and can get the needed experience in the EVRN field, get more schooling done and at a high level and pay for bills and take care of myself. I don't know...I'm glad I found Islam regardless. May I be strong and do good for others and the world, surely money isn't everything and there is a lot of worthwhile jobs and things we can do for people.


Need to get involved more and also start making more of my own videos.


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Another good looking book and good quotes: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B008X8L4OW/ref=wl_mb_wl_huc_mrai_1_dp


“In ‘The Parties Versus the People’, Mr. Edwards gets to the heart of what most troubles Americans about our government today. Nothing gets done, our elected representatives play the blame game, and the operative word is gridlock. . . . a well-written, thoughtful and timely book.”—The Washington Times

(The Washington Times)


"Always thought provoking, in The Parties Versus the People, Mickey Edwards has laid out a challenge to the American people to address the polarization that is so damaging to our political process. Rather than just identifying problems, the author outlines steps that can help right the ship of state. It remains to the voters to accept the challenge he has laid out."—Christine Todd Whitman, former New Jersey Governor and EPA Administrator

(Christine Todd Whitman)


"A lucid, important, powerful set of reforms and recommendations for improving the political process."—Marvin Kalb, co-author of Haunting Legacy: Vietnam and the American Presidency from Ford to Obama

(Marvin Kalb)


"Mickey Edwards has made a clear headed and timely contribution to helping America lead itself out of a polarized political swamp. He anchors his book with the political reality that democratic self-governance comes from mutual respect, the energy of ideas and ultimately consensus. Democracies cannot work any other way. Our citizens, not just our leaders, would greatly benefit from reading Edwards’ important book."—Chuck Hagel, U.S. Senator (1997 – 2009); Distinguished Professor, Georgetown University

(Chuck Hagel)


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Another and doing some research now on Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.


https://www.amazon.com/ONE-WORLD-Survival-Species-Century-ebook/dp/B08FYRY85Z/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmy_Carter (Wikipedia, I know)


"On his second day in office, Carter pardoned all the Vietnam War draft evaders by issuing Proclamation 4483.[1] During Carter's term as president, two new cabinet-level departments, the Department of Energy and the Department of Education, were established. He established a national energy policy that included conservation, price control, and new technology. In foreign affairs, Carter pursued the Camp David Accords, the Panama Canal Treaties, the second round of Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT II), and the return of the Panama Canal Zone to Panama. On the economic front, he confronted stagflation, a persistent combination of high inflation, high unemployment and slow growth. The end of his presidential tenure was marked by the 1979–1981 Iran hostage crisis, the 1979 energy crisis, the Three Mile Island nuclear accident, and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. In response to the invasion, Carter escalated the Cold War when he ended détente, imposed a grain embargo against the Soviets, enunciated the Carter Doctrine, and led a 1980 Summer Olympics boycott in Moscow. In 1980, Carter faced a challenge from Senator Ted Kennedy in the primaries, but he won re-nomination at the 1980 Democratic National Convention. Carter lost the general election to Republican nominee Ronald Reagan in an electoral landslide. He is the only president in American history to serve a full term of office and never appoint a justice to the Supreme Court. Polls of historians and political scientists usually rank Carter as a below-average president. Carter's activities since leaving the presidency have been viewed more favorably than his presidency itself.



This man lost by a landslide to Reagan?...some motivational speaker guy turned actor turned politician, for two full terms, who expanded neoliberalism and the "reagonomics" economic policies that are SO huge today in the republican party and he is viewed as a really good president? Even though he increased the deficit, and the federal reserve has a lot to do with controlling inflation? and we're now in $28+ trillion in debt.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronald_Reagan


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronald_Reagan#%22Reaganomics%22_and_the_economy


"During Jimmy Carter's last full year in office (1980), inflation averaged 12.5 percent, compared with 4.4 percent during Reagan's last full year in office (1988).[153] During Reagan's administration, the unemployment rate declined from 7.5 percent to 5.4 percent, with the rate reaching highs of 10.8 percent in 1982 and 10.4 percent in 1983, averaging 7.5 percent over the eight years, and real GDP growth averaged 3.4 percent with a high of 8.6 percent in 1983, while nominal GDP growth averaged 7.4 percent, and peaked at 12.2 percent in 1982.[154][155][156]


Reagan implemented neoliberal policies based on supply-side economics, advocating a laissez-faire philosophy and free-market fiscal policy,[157] seeking to stimulate the economy with large, across-the-board tax cuts.[158][159] He also supported returning the United States to some sort of gold standard and successfully urged Congress to establish the U.S. Gold Commission to study how one could be implemented. Citing the economic theories of Arthur Laffer, Reagan promoted the proposed tax cuts as potentially stimulating the economy enough to expand the tax base, offsetting the revenue loss due to reduced rates of taxation, a theory that entered political discussion as the Laffer curve. Reaganomics was the subject of debate with supporters pointing to improvements in certain key economic indicators as evidence of success, and critics pointing to large increases in federal budget deficits and the national debt.[160] His policy of "peace through strength" resulted in a record peacetime defense buildup including a 40 percent real increase in defense spending between 1981 and 1985.[161]


During Reagan's presidency, federal income tax rates were lowered significantly with the signing of the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981,[162] which lowered the top marginal tax bracket from 70 percent to 50 percent over three years (as part of a "5–10–10" plan),[163] and the lowest bracket from 14 percent to 11 percent. Other tax increases passed by Congress and signed by Reagan ensured, however, that tax revenues over his two terms were 18.2 percent of GDP as compared to 18.1 percent over the 40 years of 1970–2010.[164] The 1981 tax act also required that exemptions and brackets be indexed for inflation starting in 1985.[163]


Conversely, Congress passed and Reagan signed into law tax increases of some nature in every year from 1981 to 1987 to continue funding such government programs as Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982 (TEFRA), Social Security, and the Deficit Reduction Act of 1984 (DEFRA).[165][166] TEFRA was the "largest peacetime tax increase in American history".[166][167][168][169] Gross domestic product (GDP) growth recovered strongly after the early 1980s recession ended in 1982, and grew during his eight years in office at an annual rate of 7.9 percent per year, with a high of 12.2 percent growth in 1981.[170] Unemployment peaked at 10.8 percent monthly rate in December 1982—higher than any time since the Great Depression—then dropped during the rest of Reagan's presidency.[171] Sixteen million new jobs were created, while inflation significantly decreased.[172] The Tax Reform Act of 1986, another bipartisan effort championed by Reagan, simplified the tax code by reducing the number of tax brackets to four and slashing several tax breaks. The top rate was dropped to 28 percent, but capital gains taxes were increased on those with the highest incomes from 20 percent to 28 percent. The increase of the lowest tax bracket from 11 percent to 15 percent was more than offset by the expansion of personal exemption, standard deduction, and earned income tax credit. The net result was the removal of six million poor Americans from the income tax roll and a reduction of income tax liability at all income levels.[173][174]


Equating job and economic growth to just tax policy is short-sighted. The tax reform act of 86 sounds horrible and that is still basically the system that we have today (as old as me). A 40 percent increase in defense spending.


The net effect of all Reagan-era tax bills was a 1 percent decrease in government revenues when compared to Treasury Department revenue estimates from the administration's first post-enactment January budgets.[175] However, federal income tax receipts increased from 1980 to 1989, rising from $308.7 billion to $549 billion[176] or an average annual rate of 8.2 percent (2.5 percent attributed to higher Social Security receipts), and federal outlays grew at an annual rate of 7.1 percent.[177][178]"


Reagan's policies proposed that economic growth would occur when marginal tax rates were low enough to spur investment, which would then lead to higher employment and wages. Critics labeled this "trickle-down economics"—the belief that tax policies that benefit the wealthy will create a "trickle-down" effect reaching the poor.[179] Questions arose whether Reagan's policies benefited the wealthy more than those living in poverty,[180] and many poor and minority citizens viewed Reagan as indifferent to their struggles.[180] These views were exacerbated by the fact that Reagan's economic regimen included freezing the minimum wage at $3.35 an hour, slashing federal assistance to local governments by 60 percent, cutting the budget for public housing and Section 8 rent subsidies in half, and eliminating the antipoverty Community Development Block Grant program.[181] Along with Reagan's 1981 cut in the top regular tax rate on unearned income, he reduced the maximum capital gains rate to 20 percent.[182] Reagan later set tax rates on capital gains at the same level as the rates on ordinary income like salaries and wages, with both topping out at 28 percent.[183] Reagan is viewed as an antitax hero despite raising taxes eleven times throughout his presidency, all in the name of fiscal responsibility.[184] According to Paul Krugman, "Over all, the 1982 tax increase undid about a third of the 1981 cut; as a share of GDP, the increase was substantially larger than Mr. Clinton's 1993 tax increase."[185] According to historian and domestic policy adviser Bruce Bartlett, Reagan's tax increases throughout his presidency took back half of the 1981 tax cut.[186]


"Trickle-down" econ. Slashing federal assistance to local governments (authoritarianism rising, more top-down control and rules in effect and reality). Cut taxes on stock market gains and businesses and the top earners while supporting neoliberal policies that ship jobs overseas. Then they say, "look how good the economy is". There is truth in that but at what cost as well in the long term - overall health of the country and its people. What about the trickle-down effects on individuals ($) and industry, such as healthcare, which we know is a for-profit system? What about the dismantling of people's rights and ability to unionize?


The real effects of this ideology place money and profit above everything and give MORE power to the government while also undermining government in reality because it becomes less independent and more beholden to big business. While at the same time, it protects us Americans by keeping up America's status (through the military, keeping oil prices low, and commodities in general - prices more low), but only to a degree...and this protection actually enables us to not produce and build much (service economy, but at least, developments in the world place intelligence at the top in the 21st C. economy, but it also is like protecting and coddling minds because when things are too good and easy, people can become lazy and complacent and like, more just consumers, instead of great innovators, etc. If things are too hard though and when the bottom, or average citizens become distraught and with the odds stacked against them, that's not a healthy mindset...a balance is good. We can afford a lot, I believe, a UBI and a lot more government help of funding education, but it should also encourage employment and work and people should get paid a good and healthy amount especially for hard jobs and hard work. That stimulates the economy and creates lasting benefits for a country even if it doesn't show up in econ numbers in the short term.


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Update 5/30: Upon thinking more...


World history development is interesting though to think about. Playing with a calculator and seeing how impactful higher taxes are as numbers (profits) increase, the effects are really impactful and I can see how trickle-down economics works and has its advocates. If not for these policies, who knows really how/who would have been the richest people in the world in past times (oil CEOs and kings possibly still?).


Like a Lupe Fiasco song title "doing the right thing vs gold", - is interesting when applied to economics. Doing the right thing(s) is best but maybe that entails sometimes making things a bit harder on folks. I question my UBI a lot. Doing the right thing though would have been I believe anyway, a global carbon tax a long time ago (back in 1990 for example), which would decrease that power structure. Changing capitalism fundamentally to include negative but uncounted/unaccountable externalities. Is what's been needed for a long time (IMO).


On the federal level just a sound and more balanced approach. Community (including community building) and social supports. I think it is a lot to ask for any company/corporation or person to pay more than 1/3 of their profits/income to the government, but at the same time, one has to question also then, trickle-down econ and if things really trickle down much at all in the form of raising wages for people...because history doesn't show that that actually really happens in reality. So I think a progressive tax system can be good and a UBI can work, it's really about overall Gov. policy though. Nothing can be taken out of context because it's all interrelated.


But then I wonder if just progressive conservative policies would be best at this time in U.S. history just to reduce the debt and reward hard work etc., with traditional forms of supports like education, etc. but upping those, like making college nearly free, and regulating healthcare through government making it like how utilities work in a way so it's not exploitive of our own people...or setting it more free and more competitive. Either way, it's not good now. I need an econometrist or like a team of them really to understand all these things I feel like, quite complex.


How much would one need to increase taxes on the highest earners to afford say, $4-5 billion on a UBI? Note though, that social security could be phased out and currently, medicare (and related programs) and social security make up the majority of the federal budget.


Look at this:

https://www.itsuptous.org/blog/breaking-down-us-federal-budget-charts-and-graphs


Especially: https://www.itsuptous.org/why-fiscal-policy-matters/solutions


Pretty much all of these support infrastructure spending, a CARBON TAX (not a worldwide proposal even), a gas tax, etc. I like The Economic Policy Institute's plan a lot (just initial impressions) but like the American Action Forum's plan for the trajectory of reducing the debt because I think climate-related costs will be something that will cost a lot of money in the coming years and increase expected expenditures.


Another:


https://www.thebalance.com/u-s-federal-budget-breakdown-3305789#:~:text=President%20Trump's%20budget%20for%20FY,federal%20revenues%20by%20%24966%20billion.


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"President Donald Trump released a would-be record $4.829 trillion federal budget proposal for fiscal year (FY) 2021 on Feb. 5, 2020.1 The U.S. government estimates it will receive $3.863 trillion in revenue, creating a $966 billion deficit for Oct. 1, 2020, through Sept. 30, 2021.


The Congressional Budget Office predicted that the COVID-19 pandemic would raise the FY 2021 deficit to $2.1 trillion. The FY 2020 deficit will be $3.7 trillion.

Government spending is broken down into three categories: mandatory spending, budgeted at $2.966 trillion; discretionary spending, forecasted to be $1.485 trillion; and interest on the national debt, estimated to be $378 billion. Each category of spending has different subcategories.


Key Takeaways

  • President Trump’s budget for FY 2021 totals $4.829 trillion, eclipsing all other previous budgets.

  • Mandatory expenditures, such as Social Security, Medicare, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program account for about 60% of the budget.

  • For FY 2021, budget expenditures exceed federal revenues by $966 billion.

  • Most of these revenues come from taxes and earnings from quantitative easing.


Revenue


The federal government estimates it will receive $3.863 trillion in revenue in FY 2021. Most of the revenue is in the form of taxes, paid by taxpayers, either through income or payroll taxes. The estimate for each type of revenue is as follows:1


  • Income taxes contribute $1.932 trillion or 50% of total receipts.

  • Social Security, Medicare, and other payroll taxes add $1.373 trillion or 36%.

  • Corporate taxes supply $284 billion or 7%.

  • Excise taxes and tariffs contribute $141 billion or 4%.

  • Earnings from the Federal Reserve's holdings add $71 billion or 2%. Those are interest payments on the U.S. Treasury debt the Fed acquired through quantitative easing.

  • Estate taxes and other miscellaneous revenue supply the remaining 1%

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Currently, corporate taxes are way too lax. Period. 7%. That's a paltry amount, they can definitely do more than that. Not to say that, maybe, my proposals would be necessary (too high of taxes probably, possibly), but that number is ridiculously low and they can afford to pay way more -> Like to balance that budget. To call that budget conservative and these policies implemented by so-called "conservatives" I think it's absurd. How is that conservative? That's just corporatist, laissez-faire capitalist. The Democrat party is corporatist. They don't fundamentally change much and often the increases in Gov. power are then used by Republicans. Presidential powers for example. Where is all that, that was advocated for Mr. President Biden? A new party and options are needed, sensible things...


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How the Deficit Contributes to the National Debt

Each year, the deficit adds to the U.S. debt. To raise funds to cover the deficit, the government issues securities such as Treasury notes, which are purchased by many investors. Japan and China are two countries whose governments have purchased large amounts of U.S. debt, in a manner of speaking owning the U.S. debt.6


An anticipated budget deficit can slow economic growth. It influences rising interest rates, as investors demand more return. Eventually, investors may become hesitant to purchase Treasury notes because they fear the U.S. government may not be able to repay the debt.


Budget Process

Congress created the budget process in 1974. The process is supposed to follow four steps:


  1. The Executive Office of Management and Budget prepares the budget.7

  2. The president submits it to Congress on or before the first Monday in February.

  3. Congress responds with spending appropriation bills that go to the president by June 30.

  4. The president has 10 days to reply.


Congress has followed the budget process only twice since creating the FY 2010 budget. Since that time, the process and deadlines within it have been ignored, due to political disagreements, posturing, and government inefficiencies.


The hard deadline for budget approval is September 30. If Congress doesn't approve it by then, the government can shut down. It did just that in 2013, in January 2018, and in December 2018. To avoid shutdowns, Congress usually passes continuing resolutions.8

If the government does shut down, it signals a complete breakdown in the budget creation process.

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