MYTH 1: The public is at the government’s mercy
TRUTH: In a democracy, the government exists to serve and protect its people, and derives its power from the consent of the governed.
When a government ceases to act in the best interest of its people, through consistent behavior that goes against the greater good of its citizens, it is both the right and the duty of the people to “throw off” such a Government and to establish new Guards for their future security.
This basic principle is outlined in the U.S. Declaration of Independence:
“Whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends [or the equal right of all men to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness] it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
As a nation founded by refugees and immigrants, our country was built
MYTH 2: If other Americans can't afford housing, food or medical care it's not my problem, it's theirs.
TRUTH: It's in our mutual best interest to ensure that all Americans have equal rights, equal opportunity and the ability to fulfill basic needs like food, housing and healthcare.
It is important for Americans to recognize that in a specialized exchange economy, our personal survival is significantly more dependent on other Americans than on our own capabilities, machines, foreign exchange or non-defense based military operations. It is thus critical to ensure the health and wellbeing of other Americans, because this is what ultimately ensures our own wellbeing.
In the context of existing technologies, there is no true need for poverty or economic scarcity, and it is therefore in our mutual best interest to implement responsible practices.
Regardless of global economics or existing technologies, foreign investment and offensive military spending leads to an over-dependence on foreign exchange, which can reduce domestic prices in the short term, but eventually creates instability and reduces productivity in the long-term.
Similarly, wealthy Americans would not be able to survive without middleclass and lower class Americans; and it is in our mutual best interest for all Americans to have reasonable economic access to humane living and working conditions.
For example, if all of the low-income workers in the United States suddenly couldn't work due to disease, injury and disability, or had to leave the country because they could no longer afford basic necessities like food, housing and healthcare, economic activity would be significantly impaired or might cease to function altogether.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that about half of all American adults have at least one or more forms of chronic illness, which is largely due to the practices driving wealth inequality, like poor health and safety standards and poor healthcare. Chronic illness is also the main cause of death in Americans, which brings us dangerously close to the above reality, especially in the context of our expensive but poorly functioning healthcare system, which ranks last in quality amongst industrialized nations.
Under extreme inequality, wealth also does not signify who has contributed the most to the economy. Rather, it signifies who is controlling the economy and poor government regulation. When wealth is unequal to a point that people with less money are dying, it moreover implies that those with too much wealth are taking more value away from the economy than contributing value to it.
Because of our extreme interdependence, and because we are each subject to the same vulnerabilities, like youth, infirmity, general adversity and old age, it is also in our mutual best interest to fund public resources and social services, by paying taxes in proportion to our income. This is because communal resources help to mitigate individual risk, which reduces the risk of the economy at large and thereby increases our mutual economic security.
Equal opportunity, economic diversity and education are likewise critical to maximizing any given economy's potential for growth and productivity, and fundamental to building a strong middle class. Historically, a strong middleclass has been an economic catalyst for growth, technological innovation and cultural advancement; whereas highly unequal economies and oligarchical governments have culminated in wars, revolutions and the collapse of civilizations altogether.
Quite logically, when individual members of the economy are given the opportunity to realize their full personal potential, it also maximizes the overall potential of the economy. Likewise, when people are treated well, there is less social tension, less disease and less adverse behavior, like crime, abuse and violence.
Conversely, when there are fewer economic opportunities or when there is less economic diversity, the rate of growth decreases. This is also why monopolistic business practices and high levels of unemployment reduce productivity and growth.
It is also important to recognize that lasting economic value and growth involves the creation of goods and services, which fulfill human or environmental needs. The creation of capital through value manipulations like cost inflation, market inflation and the production of debt with little or no equity, mostly serves to consolidate wealth without adding additional value (via functional goods and services) to the economy. The overproduction of algorithmic capital eventually becomes unsustainable, because it eventually causes productivity to fall so low that the economy can no longer produce the goods and services that it needs to support its own workforce.
Thus, it is in our mutual best interest and also our democratic responsibility to ensure that all Americans have equal rights, equal opportunity and the ability to fulfill basic needs like food, housing and healthcare. It is likewise critical to reinvest in America and American citizens by rebalancing wealth and restoring the middleclass through measures like high-income taxes, wealth taxes, debt-reduction policies and the implementation of a single-payer healthcare program.
MYTH 3: The purpose of an economy is to make money.
TRUTH: The purpose of an economy is to sustain human lives and to enable future generations of mankind.
Over the course of human history, people have developed a wide range of social, cultural, economic and political systems, through which to improve the quality or quantity of human life according to varrying ideologies and values that have evolved over time. This includes systems for commnuication, labor, education, government, economic exchange, technology, religion, science, medicine, farming, transportation and the arts. Collectively, these systems have enabled organized groups of people to optimize their physical environments and natural resources for safety, sustenance and contentment.
In economic exchange systems, goods and services are produced, distributed, and consumed to support the basic and secondary needs of the economic population and their progeny. Individual risk is mitigated through social support systems and collective resources, which increase each person's chances for survival and procreation and are typically managed through some type of social architecture like a democratic government.
In contemporary consumer economies, we use money to exchange goods and services with other people, so we can fulfill both our individual needs and the greater needs of the economic population.
Goods and services are created through use of natural resources and the implimentation of machine technology and specialized forms of human labor.
Retail prices are assigned to goods and services according to qualitative or quantitative factors, or relative to an established hiearchy of socio-economic needs and values. For example, food, a basic need, is often priced at an affordable amount, so that people with less money can still afford to eat.
Money is thus a means of exchange; however, it is not the end purpose of the economy.
Furthermore, both our individual and economic survival are less dependent on money than on other members of the economy and our environmental resources, which provide us with the goods and services that we need to survive, to prioritize money over other people or the environment would be a form of economic suicide.
Money, a standardized unit of exchange, is used to exchange goods and services and Individuals earn money in return for the labor they provide, and goods and services are exchanged
Money, a standardized unit of exchange, is used to assign retail prices to goods and services so they can be exchanged on a universal basis throughout the economy. Prices are established according to qualitative or quantitative factors, or relative to an established hiearchy of socio-economic needs and values. For example, food, a basic need, is often priced affordably amount, so that poorer people can still eat.
Money, however, only bears value in accordance with what is universally accepted.
As a nation that was founded by refugees and built by immigrants, foreign immigrants have always been critical to the U.S. workforce. Not only do immigrants pay U.S. taxes, but they also contribute significant value to the U.S. economy in the form of domestic labor. Immigrants perform many of the under-acknowledged jobs that are necessary to our workforce and often work for below-market rates. Without immigrant wokers, many industires would suffer and would likely have difficulty finding replacement workers.
In February of 2016, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy reported that approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants pay an estimated $12 billion in taxes per year, via sales, property and even income taxes, thus evidencing that even undocumented immigrants pay taxes.
In contrast to this, the American government and larger more established corporations, have long been implementing economic policies and practices, which have significantly reduced the quality of life for a majority of Americans. Not only have such practices lowered our overall global standing and performance in key areas like education, healthcare, science and manufacturing, but they have also Such and low-income and middleclass Americans. Wealthy Americans who evade paying their taxes, deprive public resources and social services of much needed funding Americans who evade tax payments have reduced domestic productivity, taken money away from public resources and created excessively high levels of national debt that have effectively endangered our country's ability to remain globally competitive
This includes subjecting other Americans to disproportionate tax rates, lower salaries with diminished or no quality-of-life benefits, such as vacation days or retirement plans, insufficient access to healthcare, increased environmental toxicity, high levels of corporate and government surveillance, discriminatory legal practices, insurmountably high barriers to business, decreased employment opportunities and inflated costs for housing, healthcare and education. This is esepecially true for younger generations, women, minority demographics and small businesses, who pose a greater competitive threat to established powers that have ceased to have the public's best interest at heart.