bottom & links to all 3 papers
WHY ARE SO
SO ANGRY & SELFISH?
Class Structure and Economic Injustice in the United States
For gun control kids who need
to know what's coming,
and for their Trumped parents
who can't figure out what happened.
McLean, VA June 2018
rev 12July2018, 22Oct2018
dedicate this story of civic breakdown to all the AP Government
students in Broward County, Florida, . . . and to high school
students everywhere who will change gun
laws in the United States. You will discover many problems
besides gun law problems. Some of you will still be working on
them when your own children head out the door with their own best
their first day in high school. Thank you! Better to keep
working than to
leave the country on autopilot only to wake up surprised later.
school kids want gun law change, I want you to
get gun law change, and fighting for it is going to throw you up
against silly people and serious problems. They say, "It's going
to be harder than
you think" and they expect you to fail. I say, "It's going to be
harder than you think, and succeeding will change everything."
You have broad support because big changes lie ahead. I do not
want any one of you to lose
focus on gun law change. I wrote this paper so that every one of
you will enjoy all your own adventures ahead, stick to your own values,
laugh at those who don't have any, and keep going.
I decided that
taking you through the entire banking crisis of 2008 was the best way
to get you laughing at anything the adult world might throw at
you. Changing gun laws changes everything. This is your
My parents and their friends cared about how to build a better society
after The Great Depression nearly destroyed the one they had known and
everyone's faith in capitalism. But today, many adults care about
advancing themselves, and everyone else be damned. To
get gun laws, you will have to push past them. The central
question of this essay is, Why are
there so many such selfish people? The answer to that question
also drives an answer to the question, Why are so many other adults so
largest graduating class of selfish adults came from the banking crisis
of 2008, and I take you through the fraud and gushers of money leading
up to it (the boom before the bust). I want you to glimpse the
magnitude of the wealth these people scrabbled after -- ignoring
you, the country, and our future; ignoring the future even of the
corporations they were destroying. The Big Numbers lesson here is
how wealth and power flow
through society. Understanding social structure like that makes
smart fast as you pursue gun law change.
Understanding how society is put together and works usually begins with
social class analysis, and social class analysis is usually done on a
pat scale of wealth: poor, middle class, wealthy. My social
classes are based more on the psychology and cognitive skills of the
people. People able to model how society works can
create and pursue policies that will reduce gun violence. This is
but you are a minority, and you cannot obtain on this basis -- at this
level -- the support of other people who have never constructed a model
of society and how it
works. For them, society at any level is little more than a
parade of personalities. If something surprising and
unanticipated occurs, there can only have been some plotting of those
personalities that was hidden at the time -- a conspiracy to explain what they
cannot otherwise understand.
We have to discover a different common ground if you, the
policy-capable Model Builders and
they, the Parade of Personalities people, are to come together in a
fight for things you both want.
The third group, whose world
always begins -- and often ends--with themselves, must be
forced out of public life as society is restructured to stop
breeding more of them. The concluding look at the NRA
shows yet another fraudulent institution exploiting its members for
money with fantasies, while doing nothing substantive to help
TL;DR: read contents, it tells the story, skip paper.
-- It was not like this for the Great
Depression (1930s) and World War II (1940s) generation.
THREE DIFFERENT CLASSES, THREE DIFFERENT
JOURNEYS THROUGH LIFE
Builders can figure out policies to pursue
of Personalities people only know whom to hate, and so seal their fate
Worlders feel great every time they get one more step ahead of
With no vision for God & country beyond their own immediate
any path they choose seems a path to
greatness to them.
But greatness for any nation requires visionary
leadership they don’t have.
THE FINANCIAL PYRAMID:
them to crawl out of the woodwork.
financial industry resold the same wealth over and over again -- payments never stopped.
fortunes doing the selling, even if buyers wound up with worthless
1. mortgage loans to buy a house: was the $11 trillion base of
2. bundles of these mortgages were
resold to inject cash back into the mortgage merry-go-round
3. REITs, Real Estate
Investment Trusts are listed on stock markets, pull in more money
from different people
4. Collateralized debt
obligations (CDOs): the bank is debt-free because we turned the
debt into stock. They hold wealth, not debt !
People who buy
CDOs don't own the house, can't repossess if the loan fails --
maybe they need insurance?
5. Credit Default
Swaps -- insurance!
Nothing real inside, it's a concept, it's a "derivative".
Easy to make $32 trillion of them to sell. Remember to collect your commission and fees.
WHY SO MANY LINEAR WORLDERS? Because we
taught these people to be selfish.
1. We paid
Nobody flunked out.
They concentrated the world's wealth.
2. We kept
3. We fixed
everything they broke.
We cloaked the size of The Fix in secrecy.
The corporate form of business organization became degenerate.
We turned our back on the country's infrastructure -- only house-building got done.
We paid off the nations humiliated on the world stage by our
Families were broken and homes held empty as banks carried their
original, fraudulent value on their books.
4. We sent no one to
People paid to think
themselves do not care if you get killed by guns in school.
What now? Tax them!
Fines will never work.
Humiliation is kryptonite for a social climber. Flash the kryptonite!
Sunlight works -- they don't want anyone to know
how rich they are, let alone why.
WHY BANKING IF WE WANT GUN CONTROL?
Because their gun
control responses are
irrational, and you need to know what is really driving them.
If their issue is wealth and power, that is your issue
Because nothing adults can
throw at you will seem surprising after this.
banking crisis payouts enraged a large class of people,
and now you know you have
allies who want to join you,
who do not want to be the
betrayed pawns of the me-only Linear Worlders . . . again.
THE NRA - NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION
1. NRA does nothing for its members.
2. NRA extorts money from
members with fantasies
-- They're coming to take your guns away.
can protect yourself by murdering someone.
-- You can change government policy by pointing a gun at
-- The Germans
couldn't stop Hitler because they didn't have guns like us.
BOYCOTT THE NRA, support companies that
HOW WE FUND ELECTIONS - Hidden funds, foreign
money, porous borders.
501(c)4s make donors
expenditure groups") pool those anonymous 501(c)4 donations
Shell corporations add
The system's near-total
permits foreign players to enter American politics
with deniability. Sunlight, please.
CONCLUSION & GRADUATION
-- You will remove them
and it will be stunning.
-- You won't oil a broken
machine, you'll start fixing it.
-- You will be patient
when told you don't know how complicated this is :-)
THIS WAY FOR MY PARENTS
It hasn't always been this way. "What's the social utility of that?" my
parents' friends would ask each other when everyone was getting first
jobs after college, if ever anyone could
find a job. The country
was in tatters, confidence in capitalism was shattered -- the Great
Depression was tough times for almost everyone. Pulling together
to rebuild it was obvious then. It became more obvious when Adolf
Hitler said his racially superior people with radically superior
weapons would blitzkrieg Europe, and deserved to dominate the
world. Everyone in my parents' crowd, the guys, left to fight for
survival of their country. "No one 'conquers the world' " I once
kidded Dad. "Why did anyone take that kind of talk seriously?"
"Because he nearly did."
Why so many awful adults today? Because
we asked for it, we paid for it, we promised high rank and never
prison for it. I must show this to you, there were just
geysers of cash, the entire housing and financial industries were
in cash. The
nation stood bug-eyed as it went up, and thousands were hurt as it came
back down, rolling over everyone. This was 2008, and we created
all the people you
can't reach and must remove, one by one, from public life.
There are other groups, people who
are on your side and feel they were just rolled out
way like trash. Resentment and getting even
is pleasing for many of them to imagine. Others are blindly
score a life of
wealth. I will sketch these
three groups of people.
The 2007-2008 housing boom-and-bust did more to
create today's social landscape than anything else my parents
ever told me or I ever saw, just as the Great Depression and World
War II created the landscape of their lives.
How will we come together again? When one person
wants to try approaching another, his first step is always finding the
to face himself. But one group doesn't have the tools to do
other won't use the tools they have, and then there is you. We'll
start with you.
THREE SOCIAL CLASSES, THREE DIFFERENT JOURNEYS THROUGH LIFE
THE MODEL BUILDERS.
Model builders understand enough about how society works to devise
social policies that make it work better. Ours is the most
technologically-advanced civilization yet seen on this planet, and
model-builders fill many governing and guiding agencies.
You are one of the Model Builders. How
many factors predict the most likely number of children for families
where you live vs other neighborhoods? The chance each will
finish college? Adult income? Life
expectancy? Likelihood of being stopped by police?
are three groups and -- sorry about this -- your group has the
cognitive skill set for developing working models of society, for
laying out society's key metrics and the principle relationships among
them. You are offering the only working models of society in
town. Change a fee and people change their choices --
concepts from economics quantify this relationship between one thing
and another on curves for us, provide a functional relationship between
the variables. You can fit a mathematical function to the
relationship, interpolate an exact number, extrapolate a
quantitative prediction -- always wrong, maybe not by much, and
People who know how society's moving pieces work do not find it
necessary or personally enjoyable to push
other people around, when they can easily change the behavior of
millions. Build it fair,
build it right, and everything comes out OK in the end. Stop
THE PARADE OF PERSONALITIES PEOPLE.
"Liberals Don't Mind Killing Children as Long as It's Not By an Assault
Rifle" (abortion vs gun laws tweet). Why
are these people so funny, so original, so off the wall? In
simplest terms, we are dealing with (or rather, should attempt to find
other ways to deal with)
people with limited ability for abstract thought,
impaired ability for changing the level of abstraction, difficulty
following logical, cause-and-effect connections at any level of
analysis, let alone across levels. Few skills are evident that
would give them
model of how the society in which they live functions. Their
models of the social and civic world around them have few moving parts
and scant reach. Coal equals jobs. If nobody has to buy
insurance, health care costs less. Lock her
Muslim, safe country. Big wall, no cross-national
problems. Cold weather, climate hoax. To many
people with guns killing students inside schools, add more guns.
Anyone whose model is too simple -- or who
just guesses -- can get surprised. I'll never
forget the New York City program to help poor people burned
out of their apartments in winter by stepping in with a little hotel
to tide them over a rough patch. How much money? Enough, it
turned out, for people to start burning down their own apartments to
it. Who modeled that? But for Parade of Personalities
who don't build good models, failure is the default
destination. There is tragedy here, and this group's tragedy is
THE LINEAR WORLDERS. We
the company of a third group, smart as we are, and a lot more
focused. Like the car behind you that finally gets one car
in a traffic jam going nowhere, these people are focused on success,
and they measure it linearly, one car length at a time.
The world of nature marches on, billions of years at a stretch, as
species come and go, leaving the oceans, climbing up to populate the
staking out territories, establishing social hierarchies, and fighting
over both of them. Territoriality and social hierarchy create a
social world out of the natural one. The
Linear Worlders live exclusively in that social world, where mammals
establish pecking orders, the linear hierarchies which Linear
Worlders must climb.
Linear Worlders are fixated by the converging perspectives of their
social world. For these men of action, the next rung shines
brightly. They always know what they want and what you must not
have. Concepts of global
warming, pollution, extinction -- it is all beyond them because it is
all in another world, the natural world of a larger universe.
years? 200 billion galaxies? None of it matters, they are too
what matters most, with Numero Uno, with themselves; too busy advancing
one more rung on a linear scale of personal power. Their
universe is the social universe, the universe where human behavior has
yet to achieve any sustainable form of social organization. Their
world is the world of personal power; that is the world they think
about first, most, perhaps only.
Worlders are men of action, advancing endlessly on a vivid, straight
line, their noses fixed to one end. Both men and women can arise
to become Linear Worlders, but alpha males rise higher, and women are
Advancing endlessly? Yes, endlessly. The most
expensive house in the world, the most expensive artistic masterpiece?
Sure. Let forty-two
people control more wealth than half the people living on earth?
"Yes, you silly boy," they say, "and my life is not over, my purposes
are strong, I see the next rung."
are destructive of resources. A concept of economic justice -- of
any justice -- is impossible in a world of Self.
No one has found the end of that line, and so no one has ever bent it into
a circle that could include more people than just that one particular
Self. They don't do anything together unless a corporate
organizational chart makes it
explicit who's on top and how to get there. They find
collaborating pointless because
you wind up with joint ownership -- public roadways, public schools,
supply, public prisons, public health care -- and then you have to
privatize it all. Why bother?
Linear Worlders are destructive of civic society. A person
destructive of his country's civic society can never build it
elsewhere, and so their wars are endless, each rung of victory, each
new country, left
mired in chaos.
of AP Government! The biggest problem Linear Worlders have is
you. If you can figure out
how to build solutions that solve problems you are their enemy.
together in common citizenship on any common goal (gun control ! ) is a
threat to them. But that is the world
which Model Builders model, a world of endlessly
rising quality of life for all. It is a bigger and better
reality, and it makes someone trying to grab only what is there today
seem small-minded and
silly. Limited manifest powers of abstract thought make it hard
Worlders to see anything that isn't there.
Linear Worlders don't know how to get rid of Model Builders. They
dressing up lies as logical sequences or building bad models on good
data or taking our models and running them on bogus data -- whatever it
takes to counter our plans for strengthening civic society instead of
selling it to them. Linear Worlders combine destruction of truth
studied unwillingness to see the long-range consequences of their own
actions. Those consequences occur in a
world where galaxies collide, planets form, species rise and
fall. So what? There is no climate change, and if there
were, it would not matter, certainly not for the only world they know,
the territorial world of social behavior and social hierarchies. "You will now get out of my way." Sometimes it's hard
remember that they are smart, cunningly so.
THE FINANCIAL PYRAMID
WE PAID THEM TO CRAWL OUT OF THE
WOODWORK. The number of Linear
Worlders on our streets is abnormally high today. We waved the money
around, and they just crawled out of the woodwork in ever greater
numbers to get it, filling both the
Democratic and Republican Parties.
We won't go into turning schools
private, prisons private, water private, veterans health care
public highways private, gutting any regulation that costs a little
money to protect a lot of people -- guns, for example.
We are going to look just at houses. Houses?!
Absolutely. Houses. In the 2007/2008 housing boom and bust,
the wealth of the housing industry -- the nation's total wealth in all
its houses, its "housing stock" -- was resold in differently-named
packages, each one based on the one before, and capped with insurance
that the money would flow perfectly with nothing but minor
problems. Every time a newly-named package (financial instrument)
was invented, the entire housing stock could be resold. Salesmen
made fortunes doing this reselling. The insurance that capped the
pyramid was sold as shares to all comers, and grew to three times the
value of the nation's housing stock itself--a "pyramid" three times
heavier on the top than the bottom.
MORTGAGE LOANS TO BUY A HOUSE - $11
Trillion. Leading up to the Crash of 2008, we let Linear
Worlders play with trillions of dollars and divide billions of dollars
in profits among
themselves as they climbed their ladder rungs.
It is time to get
familiar with big numbers.
A broker's fee
you hardly notice, an innocuous one tenth
of one percent on 10 trillion dollars is 10 billion dollars; 10 billion
dollars is a 1 million dollar bonus for 10,000 lucky people in the
banking industry. That's not exactly how the story
went down, but 11 trillion dollars is the size of the home
mortgage industry which the Linear Worlders put into play. $32
the size of the derivative they created, and sold
for a commission, and traded (Credit Default Swaps, below).
Thousands did take home million-dollar
bonuses. So let's get started.
megabyte, 10E6 (six tens all times themselves; 1 with 6 zeros)
gigabyte, 10E9 (1 with 9 zeros; 1,000,000,000. In 2018 when
Amazon stock was still under $2000/share, Jeff Bezos had one hundred
and twelve of these in dollars.)
If you want new commissions you've got to get new
mortgages or refinance old ones. We will look the other way so
you can sell new mortgages to people who will
never pay them back. That's over two thousand dollars, maybe
five, every time you sit down to
close a new mortgage, and you can charge fees all over again when you
them out of their home later -- unpleasant, maybe, but now you've got
double fees and the home.
MORTGAGE BUNDLES SOLD TO GET MORE CASH
TO LOAN OUT. Big banks don't like pounding the pavement
selling mortgages and
you don't either, so take a seat at a computer workstation in the bundled
industry, put a bunch of already-sold mortgages into a bundle and sell
it to a bigger bank upstream. You collect the fee,
and we ignore the falsified data describing your bundle. They pay
you for the bundle, so you can go back and sell a new round of
mortgages (make new loans) with the cash. If all the good
customers already have mortgages, then
sell to the bad ones. No need to make anyone look bad, you can falsify
the documents about income level (we fixed the regulations) or just
leave out their income data ("liar
loans", "Ninja loans", No Income verification, No Job
not checked either, just sign here). Selling bundles of mortgages
upstream and heading back onto the street with more cash is your basic
mortgage merry-go-round. In the old days, the mortgages never
went past the local bank in town, and, if you the homeowner had payment
could talk to them.
REITs LISTED ON STOCK MARKET PULL IN MORE
MONEY, DIFFERENT PEOPLE. Move up. Create a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT)
corporation out of a bunch of bundles -- we won't tell anyone what's
inside, the corporation's stock can pull in money on stock markets, and
visit fancy pension funds and wealth management offices to sell
them. Now you are an investment broker collecting brokerage fees
-- socially respectable!
COLLATERALIZED DEBT OBLIGATIONS, CDOs.
Run around to different smaller banks, put the debt you buy from
everyone into a pool -- your new company. Call the debt your
"assets" and sell shares to these assets -- an "asset-backed
security". The banks will buy shares too; that makes them
debt-free, they own "assets" instead of "debts". Tell
everyone the assets are backed by real houses somewhere, but no one
will be able to trace which houses, so no one can call them on the
fraud when the ratings agencies rate
your garbage pile "triple AAA". You can sell and trade these
on stock markets around the world. Tell everyone the debt pile
they are buying pieces of is "collateralized" even if you have no right
to repossess the house if the mortgage payments behind your
"collateralized debt obligations" stop rolling in.
People who buy "collateralized" Debt Obligations do not own the house,
and cannot repossess it if the loan fails. Maybe they need
CREDIT DEFAULT SWAPS --
INSURANCE! By now everyone has forgotten that the
mortgages this castle is
built upon are junk, so let's create Yet Another Financial Instrument
based upon them. I can't let
you sell insurance, which is regulated, so lie and call it a "swap"
instead, and, after the first lie, you can lie about anything else you
want to. Don't
worry, once you're rich, people will say you are a genius. We'll
get the people
who bought the CDOs to pay you again for insurance that the CDOs won't
go bust. Call the insurance policy a Credit Default Swap
-- you don't have to put bundles of mortgages inside the swap.
have to put anything inside it, it's a derivative, it derives its value
from people's beliefs that a CDO is collateralized by expensive homes,
and that the owners of those homes take their debt obligations
seriously and will make the monthly payments, but this is insurance
just in case we got a lemon. Since a
derivative has nothing
inside, it's easy to make as many of them as you can sell.
The swaps are like "hands across the ocean": we tell a
bunch of municipalities and county governments who never heard of
anything like this to
hold the insurance policies on the CDOs. If a CDO somewhere
fails, they will have to pay the CDO owner back what he spent on his
shares. We tell them the
CDOs will never fail, they'll only collect the monthly insurance
payments on the policies if they agree to hold ("underwrite") them.
turn around and convince the CDO
although you sold them a safe investment, they should pay you again for
insurance, just in case. You get double fees.
is a concept with nothing inside, so it will be easy to make 32
trillion dollars worth of them. Thirty-two trillion dollars is as
much market value to trade and take
on as the value of all the "real" (company) stocks on all the US stock
exchanges. The nation's largest banks invented a financial
instrument sold around the world and traded on an unregulated
derivatives market that eventually equaled the value and transaction
flow of the entire United States stock market.
A 0.1% transaction fee on 32 trillion dollars will be a million dollar
bonus each for 32,000 financial industry workers,
that's the size of the playing field here. Think of your happy
childhood summertimes -- if the fire hydrant is gushing billions in
flow, and you can just deflect a thousandth of the stream, you can
splash your friends with millions.
WHY DO SO MANY GROWNUPS WANT
TO BE LINEAR WORLDERS?
1. We Paid Them Handsomely
NORMALLY, YOU FLUNK OUT. Normally,
people who do not know how to handle money flunk out of the banking
you build a house with fraud on every floor, if prices are divorced
from value, collapse comes painfully. The 1720 South Sea
Company Bubble (UK)
wiped out a generation of investors, the 1825 Panic (UK) collapsed over
70 banks, the 1896 Overend, Guerney & Co. (UK) collapse caused 200
to default, the 1893 Panic (USA) caused 500 banks to close, 15,000
businesses to fail, and signaled a growing recession and rising
unemployment not overcome until 1897. The Wall Street Crash of
1929 signaled the
impending global Great Depression of the 1930s. Normally, the bust
after a boom is damaging. Normally, pain leads to prudence.
But the United States
is no longer normal. Or prudent.
of 2008 was celebrated lavishly. Enough money was made available
immediately ($700B, the Troubled Asset Relief Program, TARP) that no
big bank had to close its doors (perhaps the only failure, Lehman
Brothers, had poor political pull as well as poor
finances). That year, the nine largest banks gave out $32.9
billion of bonuses
(year-end awards on top of salary). Five thousand bonus receivers
took home checks of one million dollars or more in appreciation for
their services. Not that every bonus was only a million dollars; at
Merrill Lynch, the top four guys split
Since the banks made no money that year -- they lost $81 billion
overall -- you have to wonder where the money came from.
This was after the crash. How did they live
before it? "Vanity Fair reported
former co-workers’ memories of [Joe Gregory, Lehman Brothers No.2]
leaving $1,800 tips on $200 lunch bills and the local soccer field he
underwrote when one of his daughters took a liking to the sport. He was
well-known for personally flying his helicopter and seaplane to and
from his home
in Long Island, although he sold both later in 2008, after resigning in
September. Since then, he has been famous for selling other big-ticket
items, including a mansion in Bridgehampton for $20.5 million.
Remember when looking at the middle photo (right) that this is the
summer home. At his main residence, the furnishings alone went
for $2.7 million (Sotheby's, 2013).
THEY CONCENTRATED THE WORLD'S WEALTH.
If you place a pile of money in front of a Linear Worlder, he will
remove whatever regulations keep him from getting his hands on
it. With government institutions as currently structured,
regulations are futile; these people endlessly gain access to
Tax the wealth so accumulations cannot become
Does the world really need two new billionaires
every three days (2017-2018)? The bottom half of the world makes
much of our clothing, our food, assembles our devices -- do we need to
their poverty constant? These people do the work and grow the
wealth. Is there any point in depriving them of
increased rewards for their increased productivity -- just so all gains
in world wealth for 2017 can flow to the top? What are the
besides power, tax evasion, and corruption, that 61
can own as much wealth as the bottom half of humanity on our planet
(3.7B people)? As mentioned above, by 2018, further wealth
concentration had given 42,
not 61, people the same wealth as half the world.
Your future will be different from my past. The Internet, climate
change, and the human population load on our planet make this the
Globalization Century. Nations still have a monopoly on the right
to kill, but corporations have a monopoly on everything
else. Corporations, still a primitive form of social
organization and governance, are the tools people use to drive wealth
concentration in the United States, and around the world.
Bringing deeper transparency, broader access and brighter legal
checkpoints to corporations is not an attack on capitalism. It is
a push to get corporations' social level and governance structures to
evolve. One should also put in more women, and pull more alpha
male cavemen out of the executive offices.
2. We kept regulations away.
the Kool-Aid: small
government is good government, impotent government is better, no
government is best of all. Deregulation here and there is good
for their kind of
business, comprehensive regulations that look good but can't be
enforced are better, and government out of the way entirely is
best. We promised
them we wouldn't get in the way while they concealed, cheated,
and deceived. Or maybe they didn't -- with no regulatory
framework in place, you can't know, and they claim they didn't.
Linear Worlders are smart like us,
and more focused. Derivatives are a $600 trillion market, ten
times the capitalization of
all the world's stock markets. The mortgage-tied "credit default
swaps" within this $600 trillion pile were the same worth as the entire
American stock market, big enough to crash the global economy in
Like gun regulation (pain, bleeding, death), you would think
financial regulation (bankruptcy, unemployment, homelessness) was
of derivatives transactions that are privately negotiated by
professionals is unnecessary. And participants in financial
futures markets are predominantly professionals that simply do not
require the customer protections that may be needed by the general
public. ... Regulation that serves no useful purpose hinders the
efficiency of markets to enlarge standards of living. "
Greenspan (Chairman, Federal Reserve, 1987-2006; Congressional
The "Federal Reserve" is a big department in a big building that people
call "The Fed".
"The Fed was really
adamantly opposed to any form of regulation whatsoever."
Jr., Chairman, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), 1993-2001
Washington Post, 15Oct08, pg A9
One way to avoid regulation is to pass a regulation bill that doesn't
regulate, and hope nobody notices.
" In 2000, Congress
passed the Commodity Futures
Modernization Act (CFMA)
to provide legal certainty for swap agreements. The CFMA explicitly
prohibited the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) and Commodity
Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) from regulating the
over-the-counter (OTC) swaps markets . . . [also] the SEC was
specifically prohibited from, among other things, imposing reporting,
record keeping, or disclosure requirements or other prophylactic
measures designed to prevent fraud [in the derivatives swap market].
This limited the SEC’s ability to detect and deter fraud in the swaps
3. We fixed everything they broke.
When the wealth proved worthless, 937,840
houses were foreclosed on
their owners in the three months ending 30Sept2009. January 2010
was the eleventh consecutive month with over 300,000
foreclosures per month (widely-cited
Realty Track report). Original mortgages for original amounts
were left to stand over houses standing empty. The amount that the
mortgage was worth on paper
-- the amount printed on it -- could be left unchanged by leaving
ownership unchanged and the house empty. This
meant that the amount printed on loans,
bundled loans, REITs of securitized loans, collateralized debt
obligations and derivatives (swaps) could be kept unchanged also.
And that meant many banks could lie about
their assets, many of which had disappeared.
When assets are less
than the money people think they have deposited or invested with you,
your bank is bankrupt. You need to lock the doors and figure out
what to do next, before your customers come asking for money you do not
have. The choices are, Find more money or declare
bankruptcy. We gave them the money they didn't have. No one
flunked out of banking for breaking their own bank.
Keeping the doors open was expensive (for the rest of us, not
them). The Federal Reserve gave
these banks $7.77 trillion dollars,
and resisted attempts to reveal they were handing out that much, which
made it much easier for the bank
owners themselves to issue misleading
statements about how well off they were.
SECRECY. The size of this
$7.77 trillion reward
for bad behavior only became known after a lawsuit was filed and won to
force release of the information.
The $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief
is widely talked about, but the ten times larger $7.77 trillion
was never presented to the people by their government.
The $7.77 trillion secrecy is
encouraging in a pathetic sort of way. The secrecy suggests that,
down inside, these people (e.g., Ben Bernanke, two-term Chairman of the
Federal Reserve, our country's central bank) know that what they are
doing is wrong, and
breaking secrecy can stop them even when a nation's laws
Secrecy is their weapon; breaking it is ours.
DEGENERACY OF BUSINESS ORGANIZATION.
levels of wealth and power can only be sustained by degeneracy. Profits
went out the door as December bonuses to employees, not as dividends to
Failures produced no bankruptcies. If neither profits nor risk
were shared across a pool of investors, then there was no
capitalism. Stock investment -- selling shares to get a company
going -- is a way of pooling capital for building or doing something
that grows the entire nation, its wealth, health, and
infrastructure. Capitalism -- how we engage capital -- had
degenerated. The banks had
socialized risk (we fixed everything they broke) and privatized
profit (not even the stock holders got their fair share).
DAMAGED AS A NATION ON THE GLOBAL STAGE.
We embarrassed ourselves before other nations on the world stage.
Arguments over whether or not we had let
salesmen sally forth to cheat our friends were headed off with
cash. TARP billions were wired
to Europe as fast as some American banks got them.
American International Group (AIG) alone got US Congressional TARP
dollars (your income tax dollars) and shipped them overseas (Société
Générale of France, nearly $12B, Deutsche Bank of Germany, nearly $12
billion; Barclay's of Britain, $8.5 billion; and
UBS of Switzerland, $5 billion) as fast as they came in the door.
TARP did not save only American banks, because American bankers were
not satisfied by screwing only themselves. Trillions
more than TARP came out of the Federal Reserve and some of that went
overseas in exchange for dubious Collateralized Debt Obligations and
Credit Default Swaps, or to provide liquidity until what everyone knew
was worthless could be publicly declared as such. Our banks had
peddled trash around the world. Our Federal Reserve sent
trillions overseas to cover for them -- trillions to the consternation
of Congressmen who tried to find out
who got what under which Constitutional authority.
NEGLECT OF INFRASTRUCTURE. The
United States harnessed productive capacity for home
production. Home sizes and price exploded -- 64,300
million-or-more mansions were built in 2007, triple the annual rate
years earlier, and 7,968 of them were in foreclosure by August of the
(RealtyTrac data in Wall Street Jl
We produced little to support our productive capacity as a nation
(factories automated or otherwise; telecommunications bandwidth and
fiber access; rail,
highway and port capacity; power grid modernization).
It is always better to create
tomorrow's wealth than to argue over dividing what seemed valuable
yesterday. Don't privileged people see that all of us are here to
make the same country prosperous, strong, admired, influential in the
world today? We know they think about country and not just self,
because we see them wearing American flag pins.
BUT BROKEN HOMES WERE NOT FIXED.
The trillions flooding out of the Federal Reserve to banks
foreign and domestic, sometimes to hide their near-bankruptcy, stands
in stark contrast to lack of compassion for people with pickup trucks
empty their repossessed homes before they got locked out of them.
personal financial wealth and home equity was destroyed ("mortgage
below water"), sometimes rendering them homeless as well
("foreclosure"). This contrast between the financial top and the
speaks volumes about how this
country imagines it should care
for its own people troubled by gun violence, health, housing,
education, opportunities in
life, even drinking
were bent to protect incompetent people who drove their own
institutions bankrupt. When their dilemma turned out to be
criminal fraud and not merely incompetence, trillions were moved to
protect their place in society. For whom is the government
working? Getting gun laws means getting the
government to care for its own people.
4. We sent no one to jail.
Of course that's not
true, there's always an exception,
one person did go to jail, one out of 744,000 employees in the top four
banks alone (3/2017
data; Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, Citibank, Bank of America). Even
the judge was embarrassed.
Why didn't the U.S. Department of Justice bring more cases? Top
Dept. of Justice lawyers want to score a marquee
victory, avoid anything that looks bad, and "retire" to a second career
in a private company at 10x their government salaries. Even with
only four years in "retirement", not forty, you can double your
lifetime income, and now it is all gravy. You don't
want to lose a case, and maybe they were right not to go forward, right
that the Department of Justice was now too under funded and
to win one.
Some say that all the financial instruments -- loans, Real Estate
Investment Trusts, Collateralized Debt Obligations, Credit Default
Swaps -- contained fraudulent paper totaling $4.8 trillion
dollars. But what about just the basic home mortgages at the
bottom of it all? What about prosecuting mortgage fraud?
indicted a bank for mortgage fraud too. Instead of a hundred
and fifty thousand employees (Bank of America), we picked a bank with
one hundred and fifty. Instead of the banks that needed
$7.77 trillion to balance their fraudulent books we picked a bank that
issued only 3,000+ home loans that never defaulted, except for nine
houses. This family
in Chinatown knew its customers; they didn't default. His
own two daughters defended the bank's founder, Mr. Sung, the jury
acquitted everyone, and the DA gave up and dropped the other eight
charges. The Dept. of Justice never got anyone for mortgage
fraud, but this little
bank story makes a good movie -- ABACUS:
Small Enough to Jail.
There have been some Justice Department agreements with banks to
settlements, but nothing comes before a judge (who can ask the
questions we all want to hear answered) and no one pleads
guilty to any crime and has to go down
the rungs of his social ladder.
In these nobody-pleads-guilty agreements, the bank usually charges
part of the settlement against profits, and so we the public forgo a
hunk of tax dollars that we the people need. We hand the money to
instead (the tax deduction),
to reduce the pain of their punishment.
My favorite fine is the
million that we removed from the Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS) for
letting rich Americans defraud the IRS. They cheated on taxes
instead of helping out like the rest of us. They cheated using
over 52,000 secret (anonymous, numbered) Swiss bank
accounts. The UBS fine (hundreds of millions) was levied
(18Feb2009) about the time the TARP program funneled five
thousand million dollars into
UBS through the American company
AIG. (AIG had sold them junk and needed to make it good again.)
As a society -- collectively, as a nation -- we let these people reward
themselves for failure, and we have not jailed them for fraud.
Without accountability, we teach our ruling elites to abuse the law, to
abuse others in society, to abuse us. To tell students whose
classmates were murdered that the solution to gun violence is more guns
is abusive. Ending one abuse will end the others. Gun
control changes everything.
Masters of the Universe (as they were known) ground an eleven
trillion dollar mortgage business to a halt, invented and ran
thirty-two trillion dollars in credit default swap derivatives that
destabilized institutions around the world, and drove banks here and in
Europe 7.77 trillion dollars
into insolvency. Our Federal Reserve fixed it while these
selfish, cunning, money mania idiots partied with million-dollar,
This is a terrible way to raise children.
Now the world is full of grownups who don't listen to anyone, who
just want to get to the top, who aren't athletic or musical, can't
play anything, and are totally stuck on wealth and power --
Linear Worlders grip the ladder and can't let go.
worlders must learn that there are other people besides them who live
in the United States of America. Tax the Linear Worlders and fix
the country before it is too third-world to make anyone rich.
Linear Worlders who have entered government must learn that public life
is not for them after all. The best way to get
go home and do something else with their lives is
taxation. Tax them.
Tax avoidance is the greatest contributor to today's
off-the-scale wealth. Tax avoidance is how Linear Worlders attack
civic society and starve government until they can control and
privatize it. Tax them! There will always be an intricately
corrupt, sun-drenched country where they can bond once again
with their concealed wealth. Tax what's here and let them
Their drive for corporate
supremacy over everything
Worlders blind to the fascism they foster. (Fascism is
corporate-government unity.) Tax them and let the worst ones
Nothing is more natural in the minds of Linear Worlders than an
authoritarian regime, or even an authoritarian dictatorship --
achieving the top of the only ladder in
town is a natural form of government for them, they will not
oppose it. Tax them, and let the worst ones go.
. . the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the
growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their
democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is Fascism—ownership of
Government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling
President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Message to Congress on Curbing
Monopolies, 29 April 1938
criminal law talks fines to these people, we are telling them that they
understand money and we do not. With
dollars, a person can be fined $5 million. And fined again, fined
monthly, fined $5M forever. Yes, forever, because it's hard for
them to get worse than 6% returns on passive,
investments. (Rich people actually employ investment managers and
aggressive investments; e.g., in a pool of hot startup companies that
later go public and shower them with stock shares.) After twelve
years of five million dollars fines every month, you'll probably decide
and ask him if the punishment taught him his lesson. What will he
tell you? "You know, the market
did 12%, not 6%, and I have to tell you, I'm worth two billion
now. I hope you are doing well too. What punishment were you
Let them play
with their wealth -- go to sports games, own the whole
team, name the stadium, it doesn't matter. If the rule of
were restored, civic society could recover. The present path ends
democracy itself. The present path leaves us standing as the
generation that decided to close down the first major democratic nation
founded in over two thousand years. If it was a democracy when we
entered and not when we left, then we took the decision
democratically, and you and I and all of us in this country at this
time shut it down and shoulder the tragedy in eternity.
NEVER TURN THE PAGE, HUMILIATE THEM
When a white collar criminal is
arraigned and told he is charged
with a crime, put the handcuffs on. One picture in handcuffs is
worth a million dollars. In many cases, one can wait 48 hours
between arrest and arraignment. Schedule the arraignment for next
morning and hold him overnight. One picture coming unshaven out
of jail is worth a ten million dollars. Get him sentenced, not
fined. Get him into
a medium- or low-security prison (it's not the general prison
population, he'll be OK). Let him discover you can earn earlier
parole with community service -- a valuable lesson.
Put him in a world where everyone but he himself can tell others what
to do -- another valuable lesson. Maybe he'll write a book about
it, and teach his friends. Get the criminal, not
the corporation. Get enough of them, and you'll change the
society that sets the social values that drive them all
Humiliation is kryptonite for the social climber. You have wiped
out what he wanted most from his money.
Linear Worlders are proud to be rich, but they don't want anyone to
know exactly how rich they are. Linear Worlders are proud to be
rich, but not as proud of how they made
their money. Their lawyers and financial managers are paid for
everything from multiple family trusts with strange loans and contracts,
to assets either hidden (Swiss bank accounts) or sufficiently laundered
to obscure ownership (search "Panama
Papers" or "Paradise
Papers"; you should know this).
that gets government data onto the Web is valuable. One
can sneak something innocent into legislation to get what looks like a
boring disclosure requirement passed into legislation, then use a
databases to make the information understandable, fun and
accessible to the public, journalists, the rest of us. Use the
Internet. Deny them a life in the shadows.
WHY ARE WE DOING "BANKING" IN A GUN CONTROL
their responses to gun violence are irrational. Something else is
driving them. We need to know what it is. If their
issue is wealth and power, that has to be our issue too.
critics are telling kids, "It's more complicated than you realize," and
your answer must be "No, it isn't. Complexity is my reason for
going forward -- solving one issue solves many. Is complexity
your excuse for doing nothing?"
-- because we needed a 30,000 foot
view, we needed to be too high for Model Builders to see policy
details. Now you see boldly the
degeneracy and flight from core values that drives the Personality
Parade People nuts. You have found your winning alliance.
"Left" and "right" don't matter when the direction to change is "Going
YOU WANT THE SAME THING.
You and those who appear to hate you want the same return to the same
Yes, for Parade of Personalities people, politics has been reduced
to a parade of people whom they should hate. But they were told whom
to hate. Their
energy comes from the
same frustrations as
yours, and someone plugged into that energy and betrayed them . . . yet
again. The Parade of Personalities People don't build
sophisticated models, they don't so
exceptions to any rule. Many live their own lives by
values, and, if you think they are hard and stubborn when they argue
values with you, you
might discover that they are hardest of all on themselves. They
believe what they say and they have lived their own lives by those
At the end of a life lived according to personally held values, at the
end when you see that success and social standing went to others who
had no value save "Self", how do you fix it? Drugs?
At the end, poor and ignored
as others rushed past, how do you fix it? You cannot. But
you can lash out at them and
hope to bring it all down.
Aren't you as angry as they are?
When a Linear
Worlder moves up from wealth to wanting
power, from money to politics, most of them turn to manipulating
Personality Parade People, and they mobilize them to neutralize you,
the Model Builders. Where democracy is still in the way, they
need the numbers. Parade of Personalities people can bring in the
numbers if their desire to humiliate and destroy is focused on the
right political opponent, one election at a time. Linear Worlders
need the misery, frustration, anger and poverty of the Parade of
Personality People to mobilize them against people like you.
Hatred works. Linear Worlders want no constructive achievements,
want nothing that might lessen misery,
frustration, anger and poverty in those they can exploit.
You stand there and say, "But sir, that will increase misery,
frustration, anger and poverty -- we have new survey numbers to prove
it's already happening!" You stand there wondering why you can't
seem to convince them, and they say to themselves, "Ah, good, it's
A smart person who exploits a less gifted person for their own selfish
gain with no concern for other people's place on this planet is a
Do you have a big trip coming up? Don't fly next time, see if you
drive across the country. Drive a little further off the
interstate at day's end, to
a small town motel, go for a walk in the morning before you hit the
again. When both you Model Builders and the Personality Paraders
take a 30,000 foot view of the society we all live in, both of you will
agreement. At 30,000 feet, what has to be
done on the ground will be obvious, and you will do it
together. One thing,
What a person who has never left their state cannot have is
cosmopolitanism. Perhaps some day suddenly you'll write each
other and rendezvous for an overseas trip, fly out of the same airport
together, struggle with an overseas language both of you don't speak
and still get through the days together until the day you're home
again, incredulous at the thought your eyes are telegraphing:
that all of that is still out there, every day, in the country
you've just left, in the ninety-nine others you didn't visit this
The banking crisis of lavish parties, privilege and payouts enraged an
class of people in our society, and now you you've met your own best
allies. The Personality People have the talent in art and music,
have the social warmth, core values, and human decency to complete the
team and drive the social change you both want.
THE NRA, NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION
"I want gun laws, you never told me
about the NRA."
It's very unpleasant, that's a really nasty organization. I wanted
this to be upbeat for everyone. I just ended on an upbeat note
and you want to spoil it for everyone.
"Everyone? You dragged me
through the entire
banking swamp, I'm the only person still reading this. Tell me
about the NRA."
The NRA? I need eye contact. Look at me.
THE NRA DOES LITTLE FOR ITS
Start by understanding that the NRA does little for its members.
The NRA does not fight for longer hunting seasons, easier license
applications, raised game limits. Olympic sponsorships and
support of Olympic marksmanship -- a part of the Olympics since 1896 --
are weak. The
recurrent problems raising funds from its membership, a
Republican National Committee and NRA fund raiser I once knew told me,
as he headed off for a meeting with Wayne LaPierre. The NRA's
main roll is political fund raising and most funds go to politicians,
with shooting range construction a distant second.
Instead of doing anything for members, the NRA extorts money from
its membership with irrational fantasies.
The NRA's central fantasy is that
the government is your enemy, and you should pay the NRA to protect
you. It is a world where democracy does not exist, you need a gun
to protect yourself against your own government, and, at any moment,
government thugs will beat down your door and barge in to take your
guns away. It is a fantasy that works -- donations
soar after a mass shooting rouses calls for better gun laws, as do gun
But only 3% of adults own half of all America's private guns, and these
gun purchase spikes may be coming from a devoted few.
FANTASY: You can protect yourself by murdering someone.
There are 300
million guns in America, you will have one of them, your mugger or
house robber will not. All killing is justified, and there are no
consequences for murdering the
FANTASY: You can protect
yourself with a gun: against
identity theft? car accidents? against the legislature that takes your
union or pension away? against health care or job loss?
against the top 1% of the
American population getting 25% of the the income and owning 50% of the
wealth? "Protect yourself with a gun, and don't pay attention to
everything I am stealing from you."
FANTASY: You can change government
policy by pointing a gun at your government. The Founding Fathers
gave us guns
to protect our democracy. If we hear that tyrants have taken
we will go get them and restore our democracy. The Constitution
arms citizens so they can stop a government gone wrong, even
though it has a defense
budget greater than the next eight
countries combined. Overcoming those armaments is not problem
because of another fantasy: a guy with a gun is omnipotent.
FANTASY: The Germans had to accept
Hitler because he took their guns away
-- no guns, no fight, no choice. When citizens lack guns, tyrants can
triumph over them. Answer: There were four
elections of 1932,
and, in the two parliamentary ones, the German people gave the Nazi
party so much of the vote that the Nazis would have to be invited to
form a ruling coalition. So they were.
Germans could not defend themselves from the dictatorship of a
tyrannical government because they did not have guns.
Because of their victories in two successive 1932 parliamentary
elections, Hitler was invited (parliamentary democracy!) to form the
country's multi-party, coalition government and was appointed
Chancellor to lead it by von Hindenburg 30Jan1933.
Hitler got an emergency legal decree 28Feb1933 to round
up terrorists like the one who had set fires in the capitol and it was
great that Hitler took care of it so fast -- very tough, strong, not
going to happen again, believe me. Because of the
fire, he cut short trials by biased judges who should have recused
themselves anyway, which enabled the country to move swiftly forward,
and that was great. Because of the fire, he made sure the legal
decree gave him the legal authority to shut off the fake news
media, and he shut newspapers down, and that was great too, why should
I want to change that? CNN, fake news.
security was restored after the fires, so Hitler could pass the
Enabling Act of 23 March 1933, so laws wouldn't have
wait on the legislature that couldn't pass
anything anyway. Now
the country was ready to move forward again, and that was great.
the country moving again, because now he could run it as a one-party
state -- it's just like
my buddy Lani said at the Harrisburg rally (PA, 29Apr2017). "I
wish we had no parties
-- they just lock into left or right, and nothing gets done. [Trump]
wants to fix stuff." Well, Hitler fixed stuff, it was
decrees, maybe not as many as Donald Trump's 30
executive orders in 100 days, but the difference is, Hitler got rid of
congress too, the legislative log jam, so he could do a lot more with
each order, and that was
great. Why stop that?
If they had guns, Germans could have protected themselves
against a power-hungry government, sure, but this government wasn't
hungry. They were too busy getting things done, fixed, running again,
finally! Just one funny thing was one night long after the
government was back on track, the next year (30June/1July1934).
The Munich Chief of Police must have had a gun, but Hitler
had him executed.
The Sturmabteilung "Storm Troops" all had guns,
I mean, really, storm troopers!
But Hitler murdered them too.
So now you hear all the Monday
quarterbackers saying that was the
moment when the one-party government turned into a dictatorship.
those dead bastards were traitors like Edward Snowden, they had turned
against the state. You look at what people who were there at the
time said, and you see the big name people congratulating Hitler,
saying he nipped the traitors in the bud. Get the History
Channel, 2005 Season, Episode 25 and see for yourself; but, for the
full Monty, I mean, to really see what it was really like back then,
drown yourself in decadence with Luchino Visconti's The Damned,
1969. But it's not going to happen here because Americans have
guns. We've read up on this stuff,
a lot of us have, and we know how it all went down. There's the
truckload of them already stripped naked outside
and one of them, beautiful, naked, a dancer with stage experience, she
sees where an SS guy's eyes are looking and dances for him, dances
around him, gets
his gun and kills him.
So we need guns to protect ourselves and our families, to protect
democracy, but sometimes it makes you think that what you need most of
BOYCOTT THE NRA
NRA. They exploit their members with fear and fantasy.
Without discounts from corporations who need no NRA favors, the
membership, now stalled at 5 million, will shrink.
According to romper.com,
these corporations have already left the NRA. Tell them you you
noticed, you love it, it looks good on them:
-- Delta Airlines
Gov. Nathan Deal signed a retaliatory cancellation of Atlanta-based
Delta's fuel tax exemption, an act of revenge and punishment that will
cost Delta $40-$50 million a year. Delta Air Lines CEO
Ed Bastian is standing strong and needs to hear from you.
-- Enterprise, Alamo, National car rental discounts went first, before
Hertz & Avis
-- Best Western
-- Wyndham Hotels
-- First National Bank of Omaha (Visa card with 5% bonuses on gas and
-- MetLife (group discounts on car insurance)
-- Chubb accident insurance, for backing up NRA members who shot
someone "in self-defense".
According to Mother
Jones, additional early NRA severances came from:
-- Teledoc, a telemedicine company
-- Allied Vans
Tell these companies how much you appreciate their common decency, tell
them not to worry, tell them we are a great nation of 325 million
the NRA has a stalled membership stuck at 5 million. Tell them
they look good.
HOW WE FUND ELECTIONS: HIDDEN FUNDS,
FOREIGN MONEY, POROUS BORDERS
When you need more than a bank account or GoFundMe
for your money to
do a project, you need a C-corporation, S-corporation, LLC or
other form of "business organization" to put your money in if you
are profit-making, and a 501(c)3, 501(c)4 or other form of
charity-like "Non-Governmental Organization" if you want to be
non-profit and not have to pay taxes. You deserve tax exemption
if none of you are
generating wealth and you claim that your organization itself works
for something good in civic society, the same kind of goodness that
would have accomplished if you had paid them into the system.
On 21Jan2010, our corporate-oriented -- not people-protecting -- Supreme Court made it
cleaned up by Speechnow v. FEC)
put into politics the same
amount of wealth that rich people themselves think is reasonable:
unlimited amounts. This led to a new kind of "charity," the
SuperPAC (Political Action Committee) or "independent expenditure
Applications to create 501(c)4 organizations
skyrocketed, as rich people began pumping their money into SuperPACs
(which have to disclose their donors) through 501(c)4s (which
don't). 501(c)4s make donors
anonymous, and SuperPACs pool 501(c)4 donations. The NRA is itself a
501(c)4, and the NRA has created a
SuperPAC into which the funds are transferred, once the donors
identities have been masked by the 501(c)4. The wealthy have an
entire branch of the legal and banking profession devoted to
serving them with "tax-efficient" investing and financial
services. These professionals
masking of who you really are when you are pumping up a
advise American SuperPAC donors to form
a shell corporation and instruct the
shell corporation to donate to
the 501(c)4 that donates to the SuperPAC, since sometimes 501(c)4s
screw up, run afoul of state or
federal government regulations, and are forced to disclose donors
after all. With a shell corporation, that disclosure would then
disclose a company that doesn't have your name on it.
Form a shell company? It is easy to get it done. One shell
corporation is called hiding you
identity A string of shell corporations is called money laundering
-- even the tax man can't find out who you are. The tax man sees
(hollow) corporation performed a financial transaction with another,
and your name is not associated with either -- not the Board of
Directors nor the CEO of either company that was set up for you by the
offshore investment industry.
ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT (c)3s vs (c)4s:
Small people want tax deductions for their donations. Groups form
501(c)3 charities for them. The wealthy,
entire branch of the legal and banking profession devoted to
serving them with "tax-efficient" investing and financial
not help with tax avoidance. So
lots of organizations add a 501(c)4 "foundation" for non-deductible but
anonymous donations, and run their old tax-deductible 501(c)3 "charity"
as well. Donors large and small are welcome.
Our laws have
created a pipeline into American politics that can take infinite
amounts of cash (Citizens United, U.S. Supreme Court) and mask
the donors' identities (501(c)4s; IRS rules). Rich Americans
wanted this; they only thought about themselves, about domestic
politics. Now there have been FBI
investigations into whether Russia
pumped money into the NRA to throw American politics
against the enlightened
values of Western
These values have been the basis of our
world leadership. Anyone can appreciate the optics of a "wall" at
the "border", but the Supreme Court and legislative branch have
border without a wall when it comes to letting wealthy,
powerful, sources push our elections around with anonymity.
It is odd that Russian and GOP political interests are again aligned
for the 2018 election.
Democracy thrives on sunlight. The problem with Citizens
with SuperPACs, the 501(c)'s, "tax-efficient" investment advisors, the
offshore investment industry -- with all of it -- is not that
Russia can pump money into the NRA or Trump, or that CEOs and
corporations can take taxable money out of the system. The
that we'll never know.
CONCLUSION & GRADUATION
story of where we are today and why we don't have to stay there is
dedicated to all the AP Government
students in Broward County, Florida, and to high school students
everywhere who are going to change gun
laws in the United States. Stay with gun laws. Changing gun
laws changes everything. I worked on civil rights, on getting
black kids into my white college. This is your time, your
You will get
politicians to renounce NRA support, or you will vote them out of
office -- one by one. We will help you, and you will get smart
fast as they tell you:
"Concentrate on laws about guns,
that's all you need to know."
the contrary, forcing even a small gun law change breaks a central
power structure in money and politics, challenges the patriarchy in our
midst. That is why it is hard, that is why it changes everything,
that is why so many people support you.
And you will hear people saying,
"You won't succeed."
At what? Succeed at repeating all the mistakes that got us here?
You're right, you are absolutely right.
And you will be told,
"It's more complicated than you
career never led to a full professorship, but Robin and I have great
friends around the world, having worked in great places: the Institut
National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale in France, the Max
Planck Institute for Brain Research in Germany, what was then the
Institute for Advanced Studies of the national university of Australia,
the Technological Institute of Northwestern University, departments of
biophysics, biology, ophthalmology. We solved puzzling questions
by proving answers with data. A scientist was respected for
prove himself wrong -- strong results (data, numbers) that usually
held up made you a good scientist in the eyes of others.
Eventually I got down the Ivory Tower stairs and out the door at ground
level. I blinked twice in the glaring world of cherry-picked and
fudged data, of strained logic and outright nonsense, always in
the service of an agenda, never in a
quest for the best answer to anything. What a society! What
a civilization! It is not acceptable to me, and this can't seem
normal or acceptable to
any high school student either. What are the moving parts of this
machine? Where is this ride taking us?
This was the best I could do -- an explanation of how we
got stuck in this together, and what we are going to have to do
together to get to a different and
better place. . . starting with getting gun laws or sending home
opponents who had no business in public service in the first
To get a friend's opinion on this, tell them to search:
That search takes you here, to "Gun Control is Hard Because It Will
It would be heart-warming to hear from high school students, especially for clarifications,
disagreements, and of course especially from McLean High School,
VA here in town, where I am Class of 1960.
anger at them for pushing more guns as the country's solution to gun
2. Anti-Patriarchy Signs at the Gun March (The March for Our Lives, WashDC, 24March2018)
3. Class Structure and
Economic Injustice in the United States - Why Are so Many Adults so
Angry & Selfish? <--- You are here.
An essay for gun control kids who need to know what's coming,
and for their Trumped parents who can't figure out what
home for this Website, such as it is
a happier Website
with travel photos from Oz, Germany . .
Rev 8Mar2018 Hitler rallies his base at the 1938 Nuremberg
rally. 1.3M people came, but the "Rally for Peace" the next year on
Saturday 2Sept was canceled when the German blitzkrieg forces invaded
Poland on Friday 1 September 1939, starting a world war.
15Mar2018 - the kids have sent out their map for the march.Rev
18Mar2918 - link to Miami Herald introducing AP Gov teacher Jeff Foster
Rev 12Apr2018 Headings make 3-part structure more obvious
Prior banking essays integrated here:: 2008yes, 2010long-yes,
Prior banking essays removed from home page / &server /
&archived in own
folder on storage array: 2008no, 2010long-no, 2010short-no
Rev 9May2018: better TOC headings.
Rev 22May2018 - split into three separate essays.
Rev 1June - comments from SW in France
Rev 12June - Headline: this is for kids getting rid of guns and for
adults getting rid of Trump
Rev 13June - better cross-links in all 3 essays
Rev 12July - Linear Worlders **want** misery, anger & frustration;
why fix anything? Better NRA text.
Rev 30July - TOC text
Rev 22Oct - Move PREFACE to AFTERWORD so we can just get going with INTRO
Rev 9Jan2019 - TOC clarity,btm links