Wall Street On Parade Financial Literacy

Wall street on Parade

Selective Inflation Increases Financial Gap by Jonathan A Weiss Esq.

2018 Financial Secrecy Score

Federal Reserve Spokesman Explains How It Creates Money Out of Thin Air to Pump Out to Wall Street
https://wallstreetonparade.com/2019/10/federal-reserve-spokesman-explains-how-it-creates-money-out-of-thin-air-to-pump-out-to-wall-street/

The Fed Fears an Explosion on Wall Street: Here’s How JPMorgan Lit the Fuse
https://wallstreetonparade.com/2019/10/the-fed-fears-an-explosion-on-wall-street-heres-how-jpmorgan-lit-the-fuse/

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: October 28, 2019 ~
JPMorgan Chase is the largest bank in the United States with $1.6 trillion in
deposits from more than 5,000 retail bank branches spread across the country.
When it withdraws liquidity from the U.S. financial system, that has a
reverberating impact.
According to the filings that JPMorgan Chase […]

Remembering Mark Pittman, the One Journalist Who Would Have Been All Over the Fed’s Latest Wall Street Bailouts
https://wallstreetonparade.com/2019/10/remembering-mark-pittman-the-one-journalist-who-would-have-been-all-over-the-feds-latest-wall-street-bailouts/

https://youtu.be/GZkLXCZRBKY
By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: October 25, 2019 ~
Today would have been Mark Pittman’s 62nd birthday. Pittman died of a heart attack at age 52 on November 25, 2009 in the midst of a pitched court battle with the Federal Reserve to obtain data on its secret loans to Wall Street.

Quietly, U.S. and Foreign Banks Have Increased their Borrowings from U.S.
Money Market Funds
https://wallstreetonparade.com/2019/10/quietly-u-s-and-foreign-banks-have-increased-their-borrowings-from-u-s-money-market-funds/

Barclays (Green), UBS (Red), Deutsche Bank (Blue) and Credit Suisse (Orange)
— Stock Price Over the Past Decade
By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: October 25, 2019 ~
Memories are apparently very short at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC seems to have forgotten that a run on money market funds holding bank commercial […]

What Are They Smoking at CNBC?
https://wallstreetonparade.com/2019/10/what-are-they-smoking-at-cnbc/

Headline at CNBC, Thursday, October 24, 2019
WSOP Staff: October 25, 2019 ~
Yesterday, the headline above appeared at CNBC. The headline writers there
must be living in an alternative reality.
Let us remind CNBC viewers what 2019 is actually shaping up to be: it’s the
year that the highest priced stock in the price-weighted Dow […]

Betsy Devos found in Contempt fined $100,000 for hurting kids.

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos in contempt of court

STILL Enforcing Loans On Defrauded College Students.

The government will pay the $100,000, and DeVos will not be personally responsible for the sum.

Ten third-party contractors were involved in collecting the loans, and the judge’s opinion notes that the Education Department didn’t do much to make sure it followed the orders, beyond sending a few emails.

It’s rare for a judge to find a Cabinet secretary in contempt of court. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a presidential candidate, has called for DeVos to resign over this issue.

the Education Department was supposed to simply refund all the money borrowed by students who attended Corinthian during the time it was making false claims.

DeVos Won’t stop  collecting loans from former students of a now-defunct chain of for-profit colleges.

$100,000 will go toward various remedies and legal expenses for students who are owed debt relief from the Education Department after Corinthian Colleges collapsed in 2014, according to the ruling.

more

Toby Merrill, the Harvard University lawyer and director of the Project on Predatory Student Lending who brought about the class action suit on behalf of 80,000 affected students against the Education Department. Harvard Law School
https://www.newsweek.com/education-secretary-betsy-devos-contempt-court-student-loan-scandal-1467672

https://www.npr.org/2019/10/25/773334681/devos-held-in-contempt-of-court-ed-department-fined-100-000-in-student-loan-case

The Project on Predatory Student Lending represents the students in the lawsuit.
https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/judge-fines-devos-100000-contempt-court-91521

Top Betsy DeVos appointee abruptly quits, calls for canceling $925 billion in student loan debt

Trump’s top student loan official resigns — and immediately calls for ditching “fundamentally broken” loan system.

A. Wayne Johnson was appointed by DeVos in 2017 as chief operating officer of the Office of Federal Student Aid, which oversees the more than $1.5 trillion in student debt accrued by millions of Americans. He later moved into a different position, leading an effort to overhaul how the agency handles borrowers and lenders.

A. Wayne Johnson appointed by Secretary Betsy DeVos abruptly announced his resignation on Thursday and called for the cancellation of more than $900 billion in student loan debt.

Johnson told the outlet that repayment trends suggest that much of the outstanding debt will never be repaid and called for an overhaul of the entire student lending system.

Johnson  hopes to be appointed to the Senate seat in Georgia  by Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican, but will run for the seat in the next election if he is not selected.

Johnson’s plan would forgive more debt than the plan proposed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., which would cancel all debt up to $50,000 for families earning under $100,000 per year. Johnson’s plan, which has no income cap, would fall short of the plan proposed by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who has called for the cancellation of all student debt.

Rep. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-Va.), chairman of the House Education Committee, is threatening to subpoena Education Secretary Betsy DeVos for more documents related to the department’s role in Dream Center’s actions. Scott says the agency has obstructed the committee’s investigation and refused to answer questions, as emails and letters paint a picture of a federal agency complicit in an effort to place profits before students

Trump administration let nearly $11 million in student aid go to unaccredited for-profit colleges

Mounting evidence shows the Trump administration took extraordinary steps to keep two Art Institute campuses accredited after both lost the designation and access to federal student aid. Now one former student is suing the Education Department for violating its own rules.

https://www.educationdive.com/news/facing-insolvency-dream-center-is-unloading-art-institutes/546114/

Turmoil at Dream Center Colleges Spills Open With Seattle “At-Risk” Designation

#Privacy, #Facebook Coin, Uber, PayPal, Visa to Back Facebook’s GlobalCoin Cryptocurrency

#Privacy, #Facebook Coin, Uber, PayPal, Visa to Back #Facebook’s GlobalCoin Cryptocurrency

Starting with Facebook can’t get into China and 2015 Facebook Announces a Payments Feature for Its Messenger App

2019 #WeChat has become the centerpiece of digital life in China

where people use it to order movie tickets, subway passes, food delivery and rides. If Facebook succeeds in turning its own messaging services into a platform for everything, it could ultimately threaten established services such as Snapchat, Yelp, Venmo, eBay and even Apple and Amazon.

IN CHINA THERE IS NO PRIVACY!

IN AMERICA THERE IS NONE! THANKS TO THE DEMOCRAT$ AND THE REPUBLICAN$

  1. Cambridge Analytica and Facebook: The Scandal and the Fallout So Far Revelations that digital consultants to the Trump campaign misused the data of millions of Facebook users set off a furor on both sides of the Atlantic. https://www.businessinsider.com/cambridge-analytica-trump-firm-facebook-data-50-million-users-2018-3/
  2. Are you ready? Here is all the #data Facebook and Google have on you
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/28/all-the-data-facebook-google-has-on-you-privacy
  3. #Trump linked firm Cambridge Analytica collected personal information from 50 million Facebook users without permission https://www.businessinsider.com/cambridge-analytica-trump-firm-facebook-data-50-million-users-2018-3/
  4. Comparing #Obama Cambridge Analytica https://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2018/mar/22/meghan-mccain/comparing-facebook-data-use-obama-cambridge-analyt/

Facebook can’t get into China and wants to be WhatsApp China’s top app.

#Tencent-owned WeChat is China’s most popular messaging app and has a mobile payments feature known as #WeChat Pay. #Facebook Coin, which would be pegged to the U.S. dollar and allow users to transfer money through Facebook-owned messaging application WhatsApp, according to Bloomberg.

Facebook wants to be America’s version of China’s WeChat

and started developing its own digital currency to make it easier for users to send money to their messaging contacts. Facebook didn’t offer many details on its digital currency endeavors but said a “new small team” was looking for ways to make use of the type of technology powering bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies.

Facebook has reportedly lined up Uber, PayPal, Visa and others to invest $10 million each in the consortium governing its secretive crypto project.
https://www.coindesk.com/report-uber-paypal-visa-to-back-facebooks-globalcoin-cryptocurrency

Tencent, is more than just a messaging app. It’s what some analysts dub a “super-app” because it offers everything from mobile payments to the ability to book flights and even play games — all without leaving the app. ‘WeChat of the West’
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/03/13/facebook-wants-to-copy-wechat-pay-with-facebook-coin-payments.html

The reason why FB wants these partners. To turn every single account holder into a new banking account. Personal and business at the same time. Very centralized indeed. Multiple privacy concerns and contracts. Personal data is at risk.
Facts: 1. Facebook is issuing its own ‘cryptocurrency’
2. Evan Cheng is Facebooks’s Director of Blockchain engineering

One of Facebook’s most senior engineers just became Director of Engineering, Blockchain


3. Evan Cheng is advisor of #chainlink
4. Facebook will need an oracle for the purpose they’re looking for.

Facebook Gave Data Access to Chinese Firm Flagged by U.S. Intelligence

“https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/06/03/technology/facebook-device-partners-users-friends-data.html

Sarah Jamie Lewis ‏@SarahJamieLewis
Can’t wait for a cryptocurrency with the ethics of Uber, the censorship resistance of Paypal, and the centralization of Visa, all tied together under the proven privacy of Facebook. I’ve always said the thing that cryptocurrency was missing was consortiums of corporations fully invested in the existing financial sector. Who, seriously, looked around the room and said, “shit, we really need to invite PayPal”
Do you trust 2/3 of paypal, visa, uber and facebook <insert other corps here> not to collude to publish contradictory checkpoints? What does byzantine consensus even mean in that scenario? “Facebook won’t control the coin” it will just develop the coin and then assemble the initial members of the consortium after which point the power will be distributed to the consortium members, that Facebook picked, and who are all large corporations.

See, decentralized. “Facebook won’t directly control the coin, nor will the individual members of the consortium — known as the Libra Association. Some of the members could serve as “nodes” along the system that verify transactions and maintain records of them, creating a brand-new payments network, according to people familiar with the setup.”
In the future, Paypal will verify your transaction behind the scenes as you pay for your Uber seamlessly using your phone, just top up your Facebook Libre account with Visa or Mastercard. So much innovation.

Roxana Nasoi @roxanasoi

Ever wondered how PayPal shares your Data? And to who?
Let’s go with the major funnels:
1. PayPal shares your data with Auditors. Internal and external, due to its nature.
2. PayPal shares your data with Customer Services. In the process of handling claims, customer services need access to your account history – so basically they need your historical data information. In case of disputes, they can access the last 30 to 90 days. Maybe even more?
3. PayPal shares your data with Fraud agencies and AML services. You will discover that after $1k to $2k, you need to KYC in order to continue using your account. If you use PayPal for business purposes, but your account is a personal one, you can end up with funds frozen.
4. Next is Financial Products. All those business and personal finance tools you see inside your PayPal dashboard can’t be used without your financial data. To add more, new products are created based on user data patterns. Unknown the extent of external financial products.
5. Don’t forget about your data being shared with Commercial Partnerships. Don’t worry, banks do the same. Apps do the same. Nothing new here.
6. PayPal uses your data for Marketing and PR. Need another example? Try Facebook, Google (Gmail) etc. Data sells, and we can’t really talk about performance and customer experience without backing claims with data reports.
7. PayPal (along with 95% of systems) shares your data with Operational Services.
8. Group Enterprises also have access to your data. Blame it on group dynamics if you want to or on contracts you’ll never have a say in.
9. Commercial Partners (to no surprise) can access your data, as well through a service called PayPal for Partners (Merchants use it).
10. Legal. From disputes to payment protection to lawsuits, to internal or partner legal firms – yes, they can access the data. Or have access to it in some form.
11. Other services and agencies. At some point they argued that government agencies cannot claim access to a user’s data. However, this is an overstatement. Under the premise of fraud, Gov agencies can and will get access. Based on historical examples, we know it’s possible.
This is probably the main reason why we do need crypto. A coded architecture that makes it incorruptible.
“Code is Law”.
Bitcoin has managed to provide a clear first example of incorruptibility, where growth and maturity of one system does not change the core.

UFO Theyyyyyyeeeeerrrrrrr Heeeeeerrrrrrrreeeee

2004 THIS IS A REAL UFO SIGHTING

“60 Minutes” in May, Mr. Bigelow said he was “absolutely convinced” that aliens exist and that U.F.O.s have visited Earth.

STUPID AMERICANS HELD BACK BY THEIR UFO JUVENILE TABOO TALK.

SCIENCE FICTION IS NOW FACT
SO GET OVER YOUR IGNORANT SELVES

The program collected video and audio recordings of reported U.F.O. incidents, including footage from a Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet showing an aircraft surrounded by some kind of glowing aura traveling at high speed and rotating as it moves. The Navy pilots can be heard trying to understand what they are seeing. “There’s a whole fleet of them,” one exclaims. Defense officials declined to release the location and date of the incident.

Luis Elizondo, who led the Pentagon effort to investigate U.F.O.s until October. He resigned to protest what he characterized as excessive secrecy and internal opposition to the program.
Mr. Bigelow, Bigelow Aerospace, Mr. Reid, Mr. John Glenn, Mr. Elizondo,  Mr. Stevens and Mr. Inouye, used to work with the Navy, C.I.A.  Pentagon, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Harold E. Puthoff, William Lynn III
Robert Bigelow, a billionaire entrepreneur and longtime friend of Mr. Reid, received most of the money allocated for the Pentagon program. On CBS’s “60 Minutes” in May, Mr. Bigelow said he was “absolutely convinced” that aliens exist and that U.F.O.s have visited Earth.

The sightings were reported to the Pentagon’s shadowy, little-known Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program
$600 billion annual Defense Department budgets, the $22 million spent on the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program was almost impossible to find. Which was how the Pentagon wanted it.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/16/us/politics/pentagon-program-ufo-harry-reid.html

How to report what the military calls unexplained aerial phenomena, or unidentified flying objects.

Videos filmed by Navy pilots show two encounters with flying objects.

One was captured by a plane’s camera off the coast of Jacksonville, Fla., on Jan. 20, 2015. That footage, published previously but with little context, shows an object tilting like a spinning top moving against the wind. A pilot refers to a fleet of objects, but no imagery of a fleet was released. The second video was taken a few weeks later.

#UFO Videos filmed by Navy pilots #UFOVideosfilmedbyNavyPilots

Resizeable pull the bottom right corner to the right

PAY SCALE Vice President-Members of Congress – Judicial Salaries

2019 PAY SCALE
Vice President,
Members of Congress,
Judicial Salaries

EXECUTIVE ORDER 13866
ADJUSTMENTS OF CERTAIN RATES OF PAY

SCHEDULE 5 — EXECUTIVE SCHEDULE

Bush nominated Chief Justice John Roberts observant Catholic to take Sandra Day O’Connor’s place. Roberts is now both chief justice and the court’s swing justice — which means that, increasingly, the law is likely to be what he says it is. Roberts joined Ronald Reagan’s Justice Department when it was on a campaign to drive American law to the right. It is the arm of the Rethuglican Party. Roberts and his wife hate feminists, the equal pay for equal work, a women’s right to have an abortion, and gays. He opposes the rights of blacks, gay people, the poor and other relatively powerless groups. Roberts helped take away health care from millions of the nation’s poorest people.

Roberts swept away campaign finance regulations, most notoriously in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which invalidated a well-established ban on corporations spending money to elect candidates.

Brett Kavanaugh ANOTHER conservative

https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/salaries-wages/retroactive-pay-executive-order-2019-adjustments-of-certain-rates-of-pay.pdf

Judicial Salaries #JudicialSalaries

The Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program

https://www.opm.gov/healthcare-insurance/healthcare/reference-materials/hitreport.pdf

http://www.healthit.gov/providers-professionals/ehr-incentives-certification

long term care https://www.ltcfeds.com/ 

1-800-582-3337  TTY 1-800-843-3557

The Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP) provides long term care insurance for its enrollees, who are Federal and U.S. Postal Service employees and annuitants, active and retired members of the uniformed services, and their qualified relatives.

HOW MUCH LONG TERM HEALTH CARE DO YOUR NEED

The three most common care options are home health care, assisted living, and nursing home care. To find the average costs in your area for each of these care options, select your state and nearest city below. Then, click the “Find the Cost of Care” button. All costs are based on the John Hancock 2016 Cost of Care Survey.

https://www.ltcfeds.com/ltcWeb/do/assessing_your_needs/costofcare

https://www.opm.gov/healthcare-insurance/flyers/long-term-care-overview.pdf

forms https://www.ltcfeds.com/documents/index.html#forms

Individuals’ Access and Use of their Online Medical Record Nationwide
https://www.healthit.gov/sites/default/files/consumeraccessdatabrief_9_10_14.pdf

Selective Inflation Increases Financial Gap by Jonathan A Weiss Esq.

Selective Inflation Increases Financial Gap

Serious Thoughts on How to Fix America

~ by Jonathan A. Weiss Esq.

Serious Thoughts on How to Fix America

“Controlled” inflation is generally considered superior to recession (a fortiori depression) with steady growth in the GNP. But inflation, particularly in certain areas, also can inflict harm on many citizens (our focus is on the United States of America). Allocation of resources, caused by public policy (including taxes on individuals and corporations coupled markets with corporation influence (particularly pernicious with monopolies) so that the poor and working classes, are often adversely affected. Trump’s tariffs will increase inflation for many items including household essentials.

Those on fixed income, even with minor raises, suffer from inflation in general. American teachers, for example, have less real income over the last ten years when salaries are adjusted for inflation. Social Security has been diminished in many ways and does not provide a sufficient living income for its recipients. It is now taxed as income although the employee’s contribution (one-half) has already been taxed.

The age of “normal retirement” has been raised to the particular detriment of manual workers whose bodies have paid a physical toll. The payment is now delayed to the middle or the end of the month. Ronald Reagan had payments rounded down to the lower dollar. The increases do not reflect actual inflation (yet there are moves now to use lower formulas than current) and, of course, are in lower cash amounts for the recipients of lower amounts. (Since the financial crash in 2008, not-risky investments pay those dependent on savings  and very low interest – CDs, money markets, saving accounts, and annuities – municipal bonds have disappeared.) Pensions promised, in effect delayed salary, in the private sector are often subject to substitution of claimed equivalent lump sum; unexpected reductions and extensive denials only possibly rectified by protracted litigation, terminations of plans (sometimes invoking the federal Pension Guarantee Fund) and assorted other difficulties.

Public sector pensions and associated fringe benefits, e.g. health insurance have often been reduced for later hires (New York has multiple tiers). Unemployment insurance has limited duration and amount. Workman’s Compensation not only often requires litigation for receipt but is limited with recipients generally unable to work in other secondary jobs as they once did (and often prevent private personal injury suits which would have resulted in substantially greater awards). “Welfare as you know it” was demolished by Clinton without reason although it was always inadequate to support women rearing children and those children. (The Supreme Court had already upheld the “Family Cap” which some States are now removing.) Food stamps have been decreased as are other benefits in what is absurdly called “the safety net.” All these exacerbate the negative effects of inflation on fixed income individuals.

The cost of necessities often rises faster than general increase in cost. In the background of housing exist the homeless. One source of this suffering group was initiated by Ronald Reagan who, not motivated by mistakes and deprivations in mental institutions, emptied mental health facilities in California to create a national trend. Some of the individuals were not able to function, particularly with no preparation, in the outside world. The needed provision for mental health community centers was not only not forthcoming but the existence of the ones available reduced and eliminated. Half way houses suffered similar treatment. Effective outreach to those in the streets (which are often preferable to them then “shelters” is minimum. In this time of mass incarceration with a Rhenquist led Supreme Court 1986 until his death in 2005 – focused on punishment rather than rehabilitation, we have not only the spectacle of prison horrors (e.g. solitary confinement, sometimes for many years “maximum security” jails, shackles, demeaning underpaid work, capital punishment etc.) specially featured by private prisons in the industrial prison complex, resulting in those released being unprepared for freedom and untrained for employment.

[The Associated Press reports that Chief Justice William Rehnquist has given the Smithsonian Institution the robe–the one with the ridiculous yellow stripes on the sleeves–that he wore while presiding over President Clinton’s impeachment trial in the Senate. Rehnquist valued the donation at $30,000, according to his 1999 financial disclosure form. How does he know the value? He had it appraised by Sotheby’s!
In writing his new book about O’Connor called First, which will be published in 2019, biographer Evan Thomas discovered that Rehnquist proposed to O’Connor in the early 1950s, after he graduated early from Stanford. As NPR reported, the two dated briefly, and O’Connor—at the time called Sandra Day—later referred to him as a “study buddy” (mid-20th-century vernacular for “friend zone”). That spring, Rehnquist wrote O’Connor a letter saying that he wanted to talk about “important things.” He went on: “To be specific, Sandy, will you marry me this summer?” O’Connor turned her “study buddy” down and married John O’Connor in 1952.]

The mass incarceration (considerably based on the War on Drugs I condemned  is grotesque to the extent it is now drawing some legislative and local attention. The ex-prisoners (often not able to vote, now under scrutiny and challenges) have tarnished records, along often with little training for jobs so their employment possibilities and any “benefits” are increasingly inadequate in inflationary times.

Public or “affordable” housing in often not available for the homeless but for many with low incomes (the current Trump-Carson HUD management is focused not on badly needed maintenance and (job creating) construction but rather eviction, particularly of immigrants in “mixed residences”, etc. The original provision of high rises (over five floors) and clusters have produced predictable social chaos with youth not prepared for gainful employment in a dangerous environment. The lack of maintenance has often created unlivable conditions. This country faces a great need for proper public housing properly maintained and “affordable housing”. Those in need often have to choose between payments for necessities or the equally important shelter. Building properly constructed and place public housing would also create jobs.

Of general concern is the rapidly rising rents and purchase prices in many urban centers, both residential and commercial (creating many empty stores formerly housing small businesses because of tax advantages) – and commercial rent control, which although desirable seems politically unlikely and even utopian, in spite of the obscene unjustified wealth of developers and many large Realtors and real estate owners (and resulting political power). Residential rent controls, when available, are under constant attack (only 20, 000 rent control tenants are left in New York City and only one million apartments are rent “stabilized”) with raises every year, a special inflation. Its absence has led to the gentrification of Washington, D.C. to compare with very high rents in San Francisco, New York. etc. which results also in gentrification with only some preservation of all types of diversity. Proposals for requiring some “affordable” housing in new residential buildings are resisted but enforced in some Cities but never near the real quantity needed. Rents and purchase prices for apartments, condominiums, coops and houses are accelerating upwards.

The resulting “gentrification” produces, in a partial reversal of suburban and ex-urban preference, with many rich people moving into formerly middle class, working, and poor neighborhoods in many cities. The former residents are driven out from proximity to commercial and industrial centers (to the degree they survive) thereby entailing costly (and time consuming) commutes – a hidden housing and transportation inflation along with the increases in rents and purchases.

Trump with his reflexive reactionary administration and Congressional supporters changed the tax code with an obvious retaliation against States whose citizens voted heavily against his election so that he lost by about 3 million votes (See my article on Trump and Hitler ) . The limitation of the deduction for State Real Estate taxes to $10,000 punishes the many who pay much more (often in order to provide for better schools) creating an inflation in the actual cost of house ownership. Construction and maintenance, particularly for quality, are increasingly expensive.

Encouraged by Eisenhower and his Secretary of Agriculture, agribusiness has transformed food production to become its very dominant force. (This situation has also led to the monopolistic intrusion in farming of poisonous pesticides, soil destroying fertilizers, monocropping, and even great reduction of seed variety. The movie, a few years back, Food Inc.

documented Monsanto’s (see Clarance Thomas)  evil activities in this area. They are now losing suits over the carcinogenic properties of the widely marketed pesticide Roundup).

A great deal of food has degenerated in quality and nutritional value. Fowl, swine, and beef are raised in inhumane settings. Chickens furnish a prime example. They have been bred (while confined with no movement possible) to grow much larger, particularly in the breast but shrunken in the legs so they can not walk with drumsticks much smaller – tasteless flesh purveyed with coatings for fast food. Champion layers of eggs used to produce about 250 a year. Now flocks produce eggs every day. Triple A eggs (and pullets) once were available. Double A is now almost unknown.

For many years the “Rutgers” tomato was standard (with some combinations like the Prichard crossed with Cooper’s Special.) Now there is a new variety designed for profusion, speed, and ease in machine (and maltreated migrants) harvesting. The result is no taste and less nutrition in their often partially white interiors. Berries, imported and domestic, with limited companies distributing. have suffered the same fate, often packaged so mold and rot are hidden.

Some popular fish are now “farmed”, consider the Franken salmon developed. It is impossible to ignore the devastating damage ecologically and environmentally (including the danger of specially bred fishes mixing with the natural ones). Fresh fish have been particularly eliminated by pollution, oil spills, water diversion, and dams. Richard Nixon once mistakenly urged people to buy fish instead of meat as fish was already more expensive. Desirable as fresh fish is for health, it is now priced notably higher than other protein sources widely available.

The list goes on. What is the consequence?
If one wants food with flavor and nutrition, one has to go to special sources.
(The purchaser should not be fooled by the slapping of “organic” on the labels since there is no legal standard. Extra virgin olive oil entails pressing without breaking the grapes’ skin – but similarly the label is slapped on without justification.) To buy from special sources means to pay more, often a multiple of what is available in standard stores. This requirement means a real inflation in the cost of desirable food.

warrenAccording to exit polls, health was the number one concern for voters in the 2018 election. Insurance and care costs have greatly increased. Even though every income earner pays into Medicare (with a limit on increasing premiums for those receiving over $225,000), it costs close to $300 a month to use as insurance. The needed “supplemental health insurance” (without long term care usually) costs about the same.

The Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) based on the right wing Heritage Foundation’s plan does nothing to control the highly profitable and powerful insurance industry. Premiums are therefore high.

Nonetheless, it managed to cover many individuals for whom insurance was not possible (e.g. the broadly defined “prior condition” exclusion which includes pregnancy). John McCain, lauded a hero, for his necessary vote to save that Act, then voted to exclude the “mandate” to enroll.

It was that linchpin, considering it as a tax, which led Chief Justice Roberts to forge a 5 vote majority to save the increased coverage. Without that provision, the Court may not uphold the law thereby casting an estimated over 20 million off any insurance to pay for health care.

As it is, many famed specialists, and others, do not take Medicare (many more Medicaid) and insurance often only covers small amount. This inflation excludes many possible patients. Medical costs now include not only many care providers (often stopped early when still needed for recovering people’s assistance and rehabilitation) but expensive machinery and tests. Rehabilitation is expensive with a 30 visit limit for Medicare. Many hospitals have closed, particularly in rural areas, limiting access and increasing transportation costs (particularly ambulances.

Nursing home costs are so high, people divorce to be eligible for Medicaid, set up (paying lawyers) Special Needs trusts, or spend all their savings to become eligible, a suffering subset.

Drug prices are a well known scandal.

Bush Watson HitlerGeorge W, Bush established Part D payments for drug companies to increase their market with no funding source.

  • Medicare does not negotiate prices of drugs so they pay twice what the Veteran’s Health Plan negotiates.
  • Some drug prices have escalated thousands of percent when a company so decides, including life saving drugs.
  • Many will have to sacrifice on essentials to pay for expensive drugs; some, who can’t afford them, will suffer and die. Deadly separate inflation.

Many drugs are developed by government research. Drug companies (uniquely in the world able to advertise on television) spend as much on advertisement as they do on research as part of the costs to consumers.

The research developing drugs is often paid, in full or part, by the Federal Government but then sold with great profit by drug, manufacturers.

When I went to Yale to graduate in 1960, tuition, room and board were $2,000.

With scholarships and student work, work on vacations (much easier to obtain, in menial and manual) I lived comfortably with money for socialization and recreation. I left Chicago and Yale schools while enjoying a similar life style with only $5000 in loans which I was able to pay off in under two years.

The contrast with today is striking. The cost is 40 times more (with many administrators and buildings provided.) Startling increase.

Attendance at the best Public schools often require moving to special areas with higher costs including taxes. To get into specialized schools, parents pay fortunes for tutoring, etc. Private schools have costs similar to colleges. For the “best” schools donations and activities are often required (impossible for the poor.) (In New York, the welcome trend is to free State colleges, dependent on income. and NYU medical school for free.) Charter schools, a bad privatization, and “home” schooling are often inadequate, bad, and undermine the great American history of providing public education.

TEXAS – READING FIRST PROGRAM OWNED BY PRESIDENT BUSH’S BROTHER NEIL BUSH IS A FRAUD SCAM Ignite! whose original investors include Neil’s parents BARBARA BUSH AND PRESIDENT GEORGE BUSH. “Neil Bush had raised about $23 million from more than a dozen outside investors, including Mohammed Al Saddah, the head of a Kuwaiti company, and Winston Wong, the head of a Chinese computer firm.”

#Technology #STEM #SECURITY #edtech #edchat #edutech #edtechchat

Computers (with all their negative effects on reading, writing, communicating, concentrating, and posture caused in part by being subject to randomness, no uniformity in systems and software as well as unnecessary changes) are required for students (note effect of class and cultural orientation.) Schools now have them with costly internet and their provision is one public project. A new cost. The necessity for education costs can create a real burden except for the “better off”..

I discussed transportation  in my article on this website of the desirability of free transportation. With tolls, fuel, parking, “congestion prices” (currently debated in Washington, D.C. half implemented in New York. D.C and price of purchase, purchases owning a car has become more expensive for those dependent on them (a necessity in many rural areas.). In this connection, whereas bikes are an excellent means of transport in place like Amsterdam, in New York, the bike lanes (and parking for revenue) reduces the room for cars by a half, while bike riders, ride the wrong way, in the street, on the sidewalks, and weaving (some are people delivering goods spurred on by need for money) with no identification, warning systems and now often illegally very fast powered by electricity – all laws and safety concerns not being subject to police action while endangering money. The resulting traffic jams produce much noise and pollution while decreasing efficiency in moving around. Chicago, St. Louis and other American cities have subways and rails to the airports; New York only has a “skyline” from Brooklyn for one airport (with a local bus with limited pick up on West Side) to another, and nothing of this nature for the third, forcing flyers to use motor vehicles creating more congestion.

Of particular note for car owners, is unibody exteriors and computer controls so repairs can no longer be done by the owner but require special equipment – so that that cost has accelerated specialty. Of course, given complication and randomness (and unnecessary features now considered, in this country, requirements, such as buttons for windows, automatic shifting) and the mania for SUVs, costs for car ownership has increased considerably more than it should have. Commuter costs (invoked above and often required more for “lower classes.”) have escalated more then many other costs. Public transportation, used by workers and the non-wealthy) has often gone up considerably and declined disastrously as part of the great decay of the infra structure including roads, bridges, and tunnels now dangerous.

Entertainment and recreation are not considered necessities. Yet they are a component of a rich fulfilling life.

Once again, the escalation of prices is remarkable, particularly recently. Movies are much more expensive. The theater has gone up considerably (even discount services). Some “hits” like Hamilton sell seats at $350 (most Broadway productions have extra expensive select seats in the orchestra.) The Metropolitan Opera in New York starts the Orchestra at $350 and seats in the second balcony for $150. Museums and parks charge much more even some which used to be free. Consider also National Parks- also now being irreversibly destroyed by Trump – some for oil extraction with bad environmental consequences.

David Zinn has demonstrated the rip off of the public to build new Sports stadiums for teams with ultra-rich owners which just move the entertainment dollar around rather than create new revenue.
They now are like shopping malls (and some indoor arena like dance floors with excessive noise and flashing lights.) Cheap seat areas are now replaced by enclosed “sky boxes”, like fancy hotel suites, for multi-millionaires and billionaires. Once a simple cheap excursion for a family, not only are ticket prices way up, but children are assaulted with temptations of all sorts while food is now not just a cheap snack but expensive bites or more, some offering expensive liquor and beer at $15! For a family, even avoiding the mall, unable to bring their food and drink in as they used to be able, the experience is more akin to an amusement park than cheap family spectating. <more>

Many maintain that with television and these costs, the three most popular American sports have degenerated (as well as expanded so that teams and players are much harder to follow.
Fundamentals in baseball, such as sliding, bunting, base running have disappeared so that games feature home runs (with lower pitching mounds, juiced balls, closer fences and sometimes high altitudes) and strike outs (by those seeking home runs, particularly; basketball has three point shots and dunks (often preceded by non-called “traveling”) with a decrease in ball handling, passing, and running; football features 300 pounders (and up) straining against each other with a plethora of passing,- perhaps retired Suma wrestlers should be used for “goal line” stands. Football’s “prevent defense” predictably leads to touchdowns, extending the time of game greatly (“2 minutes” take up to an half hour allowing for many more commercials.)

Sadly American horse racing 23 DEAD HORSES Santa Anita Track had badly declined (longer seasons and gambling have contributed to this decline).
The “sport of kings”
attracted many far from rich, offering way better odds than lotteries, and somewhat better than casinos. Money now is made on stud fees. not racing, so stand out colts are retired sometimes after three years and certainly after four. Ironically, breeding does not work out with a few cheap horses winning and the most expensive colts and fillies failing. Bold Rules was a very good sire of sprinters. Yet his son Secretariat, maybe the greatest racer of all time, was better the longer the course, as demonstrated in the Belmont. He, in turn, was a complete failure at stud. Horses here are now bred and trained only for sprints (no more steeple chases) which becomes boring. Horses, possibly as a result, seem to be breaking down (while running with chemicals infused) considerably more often in American racetracks. Greyhound racing has been banned as inhumane…suggesting that possibility in this country.

There are now a plethora of television channels.
No one could watch them all. Most watch only a few. There are many devices on which to watch the presentations. On most, the commercials are mind numbing in quantity and quality (particularly at the end of football and basketball games). For home television, cable TV is required for many in the cities because of the big buildings and for most for the preferred channels. Originally offered for about $9 a month, basic cable costs often around $150 plus any specialized channels for entertainment or some foreign language. It often offers the main entertainment for poor and working people – and for the mobility limited.

Eating out is often almost required for entertainment.
Restaurants (in part because of rising rents) are now much more expensive than a decade ago. (The famous fancy ones range in the multiples of $100 for each person (up to $700) before costly special water, wine (way up), and/or drinks.) Pity the poor people who must drive in, park, eat, pay for a baby sitter, just to go to the theater or movie.

Special treats for home consumption are for the wealthy alone.

  • Real caviar (particularly if environmentally acceptable) costs more than a normal household spends on food for a week.
  • Jewish delicatessen (Sable once the “poor man’s sturgeon” – now costs as much as sturgeon due to Japanese demand – which is also a factor in the extraordinary cost of some fine fresh fish) there  is no longer “appetizing” but “gourmet”.

Many other “luxury” items are exclusive territory for the wealthy.
Wine has become notably expensive. (The Chinese are reputed to have bought up a large number of French wines). Even though many countries and American locales now produce wine, its inflationary costs rise (with extra increases in bars, restaurants, etc.) I do not invoke the fancy extravagant whiskeys, tequilas, and vodkas (most identical in flavor and just prestige priced) as they basically represent indulgence and “conspicuous consumption.” Much consumable now is the province only of the rich.

Maybe golf clubs’ costs have just matched regular inflation having traditionally been for rich white men to play, drink, and consummate business deals. Trump has said golf is for the rich to play with the rich. (His malignant megalomania reaches revelatory heights in cheating there see Reilly, The Commander in Cheat a golfer’s attack on Trump, or at least on the way Trump plays the game, a game Reilly reveres as revealing of character. Recently, however, the terrific charismatic Tiger Woods has led to greatly increased popularity for the public (with integration in clubs, possibly connected.).

Here lies a research project.
Consider what is destroyed to create a golf course (years required for some tournaments’ preparation once built), what it costs for water, planting, fertilizing, pesticides – particularly how they destroy the environment (including flying creature migrations) and contribute to pollution and global warming. The result of such research for environmental harm may produce figures that are dismaying…at the least. Inflation may be an indirect result (even without costs for spectators to attend and watch on television.) Trump golf course partially destroys Site of Special Scientific Interest

Allocation of Resources
Offers the Major Key

These inequalities augmented
by selective inflation
can be remedied

The vast majorities of remedies are quite feasible politically. We have suggested, implicitly or explicitly, some obvious ones above. Some of the above accounts of inflationary problems, correlated with disparate treatment based on wealth, indicate the needed solutions while we now suggest other partial systematic solutions.

When, and if, there is a new Administration, all the regulations removed can be listed, examined, and restored. (Also too withdrawal from Treaties, foreign non-military engagement, subsidies (e.g. high speed rail – See California) and “sanctions” against selected countries which deprive the people of real needs but do not succeed in “regime change.” (Consider invasions which failed from MacArthur’s foray into North Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and disastrous effects in Libya.). Privatization and contracting out can be eliminated or greatly reduced for governmental justifiable actions. Obviously adding profits to cost does not increase efficiency but only expense. (Compare The Tennessee Valley project with military subcontracts, public housing maintenance by contract and subcontract, street repairs with safety installations, etc.).

The tax code cries for revision and return to its formerly progressive nature (with simplification and elimination of loopholes for corporations and the wealthy) – same for Medicare if continued.

Putting a cap on what heirs could inherit and a low limit on taxes starting over a million or so.

Decreasing the military industrial complex (e.g. no one can calculate great cost of Destroyers – we have six, no other country more than one; the budget is great than the next four-six countries combined, not to mention the nuclear armaments, etc.) the industrial prison complex, and, I have suggested, abolishing the “War and Drugs” and changing the CIA can add to disposable funds (At some later date, scrutiny of the FBI will be desirable).

In the Meantime . . .
We have the Political Precedents

A combination of FDR’s New Deal (although lacking the rights he later proposed) in all aspects (most now eroded badly), the Great Society, supported by the accompanying Civil Rights legislation inching toward Reconstruction (with community based practical education including help with housing, nutrition, real provision of free unfettered Legal Services, Vista, Peace Corps job training, particularly for new opportunities in a changing employment world, etc.,

Bracero programs properly administered for seasonal foreign migrant workers, etc.) now mainly abolished would answer close to all the support required for the oppressed, poor, working and middle class (with the additions of adequate food stamps -SNAP, etc. if still needed)

Anti-trust law enforced with full vigor will help destroy monopolies which adversely affect costs, environment, working people, and consumers.

Restoring the bankruptcy provisions for credit cards and student loans would help countless individuals struggling under debt…and other improvements (cancelling all student debt is another possibility for student indebtedness.)

A universal free health care system, including but not limited to drugs, equipment, and living facilities for the sufficiently disabled have been achieved in Europe and Scandinavia with varying degrees of success. Some social agencies such as Family Court, institutional care, home health assistance, community mental health, universal injections to prevent diseases such as polio, chicken pox, typhoid, diphtheria, tetanus. measles etc., may still need special attention and adequate funding (particularly if “free”). Urged therefore is the justice in the universality of adequate, efficient, prompt, and advanced medical care – not dependent on expensive insurance.(life expectancy will still be greatly effected by water, air, nutrition and other necessities – some studies show the life expectancy of the “rich” is about 15 years more than the “poor.”)

Given the current context, repealing the Taft Hartley law and supporting unions would help.

Community banks (not monopolistic “too big to fail”), coops of all sorts, and even DeLeonist worker run production industries, support for family farms. may be flavored with utopianism but would augment the great improvements by achieved by restoring old politically approved programs and the proper allocation of resources. The aspirations announced in the Green New Deal include some of these proposals while emphasizing the frightening global challenge of destruction of resources, live and inanimate, extreme weather, (suggesting we consider over population.)

Maybe inflation may be expected, but specific greater inflation creates a greater distance in the deplorable, unnecessary, disgusting income and financial gap with the infamous 1% -often based on preferential treatment and financial structures (often themselves insecure.) The rapidly rising costs for necessities (and what may give some surcease in pleasure) for the poor and unprivileged produces a special, unique, and a disgrace in a world of great wealth disparity especially in our rich country).

The solutions are available.

Can they be implemented over corruption, propaganda (including mass media) and evil people in power?

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Public Transportation Should Be Free by Jonathan A. Weiss

Public Transportation Should Be Free

by Jonathan A. Weiss

Food, shelter, and clothing are clear human necessities.

Many, notably Communists and Socialists, propose that the State should provide them in adequate measure as a crucial role.

Transportation to should be so considered as essential for the provision of goods to others, formation and cohesive flourishing of communities, global connections in the modern world, trade, and production both industrial and nutritional (fishing, hunting, raising edible animals, fishing, and, obviously the mixed blessing of agribusiness with subsidiary often dangerous chemicals.)

Walking, riding beasts of burden, and biking (recent in human history) are both healthy exercise, enjoyable, informative of the environment, and of utility. They are not enough, however, for the modern urban, food production and provision (domestically and even internality), industrial, crafts, and other possibilities (entertainment, group enjoyment, recreation, etc.) as well markets requirement and conditions.

Most cities are badly polluted with toxic air (compare London in the 1800s with smog from coal burning heaters) and toxins. Noise pollution from construction, deliveries, road repairs also damages the quality of life (with demonstrable effects on health – particularly for those living with exposure to the street.) Photographs are common of pollution produced hanging darkness over cities (e.g. Beijing, Mexico City.) Much of this pollution could be diminished if public transportation were free, extensive, and efficient (as well as accessible to as many as possible, e.g. those in wheelchairs, or using strollers). Before banning fossil fuel vehicles (or those using batteries or electricity derived from polluting sources or ecologically damaging dams or river diversions – even if quieter, with danger noted of not being able to hear electric power vehicles approach, particularly prevalent with reckless bikers) the extent of diminution of pollution might very well be effective. (In an experiment, Atlanta low bus fare reduced other vehicular traffic markedly.) In New York City, to the contrary, the creation of bike lanes (not obeyed or enforced by police in direction or confinement or speed – even illegal electric) has created great peril for pedestrians. Combined with parking in traffic lanes (for revenue purposes apparently) the restricted traffic space available had produced not less traffic but instead increased traffic jams with motors running in vehicles with frustrated drivers and passengers. Here particularly many pollutants would be reduced as a result of free available public transit. In general, there are social benefits as people from different backgrounds, races, cultures, religions, and attitudes are found in groups together. (Although there are bad verbal interchanges in buses and subways, sometimes leading to violence therefore requiring some police presence, there are many enjoyable and even enriching ones, and acts of generosity with seats offered to pregnant woman, the elderly, the handicapped, and assistance to those with infants. Some,some places, argue that mixed mass transportation harmonizes integration.)

When the Soviet Union built its system, with beautiful Stations in Moscow they were well placed so that people often define their neighborhood by the nearest stop, the charge for use was 5 kopeks, virtually nothing with no enforcement at the turnstile exits. (Cf. Philadelphia with advertisements even on the front of trains to be seen before ticket purchase). Clocks displayed the time since the last train left and passengers would often pass on the way into and from the station. Kiev and Leningrad’s (deep) featured similar systems. Rome, which also preserved a large part of its street cars, Madrid and other cities have also expanded substantially. Travel on them decreases surface traffic. Subways, in many locales, reflecting wise government allocation of resources, can be constructed quickly. Shanghai built a system with more mileage than New York in six years. Many cities, most recently in Qatar, have made their provision a growth industry.

The poor and working people (particularly low income) have to use public transportation. The rich need not. Some fly first class and use helicopters. (On the Upper East Side, highly paid workers in Wall Street area queue up to share cabs.) Others use limousines. (Query, why are these not banned?)

Charging for public transportation is therefore a regressive tax, an important cost for those who have little money, a cost not worth reckoning for those who have a lot or not even relevant. (In New York currently the subway system has badly degenerated with funds badly, perhaps corruptly, spent, with big expenditures of new fancy stations for rich developers new architectural monstrosities to be rented by the wealthy who may not live there, even using the property obtained for money laundering – while also building stations which would be better off just cleaned with employment for many possible.

Meanwhile trains come less often than previously (more crowded as a result), sometimes not at night or weekends or with great delays then. (Yet, for those who work at night or go to entertainment, New York does set an example of 24 hour service, perhaps unique in the world.) In London, Margaret Thatched wrecked a comfortable subway system, with carpets on the car floors, so that it is dirty and unattractive. How many other systems are so mismanaged with money improperly allocated or diverted?)

Brazil and China have worked on increasing bus transportation speed of loading and moving with efficiency. Even with carbon emissions, this provision still offers desirable mobility for most locales. Without fossil fuels, electric buses. moreover, will cut pollution substantially. No matter what, they also provide the best means of transportation for some rural and remote areas (including sections of some sprawling cities). These areas lack more and more essential services as well as local railroad stations (e.g. with the general closure of hospitals – increased administration and technological gadgets – absence of rural conveniently accessible adequate health facilities creates a major public health problem.)

What is the source of required payment? In the short run, it is a matter of taxation. Most of the rich are obscenely wealthy. Raising taxes considerably for the rich, their property, their companies, abolishing tax shelters and loopholes, would create a large source for public transportation and other public projects. Not only are education, health, arts, parks, preserving nature and even enhancing its beauty. worthy of sufficient government support so is free public transportation. In the long run, the savings in health from illness and accidents will more than likely make up for the cost. The United States spends $1.25 trillion a year on “national security”- a large portion “privatized” (raising costs for profits with no visibility or transparency or accountability. The Veteran’s administration spends half of what medicare does for drugs because they negotiate prices. Why drugs, often developed with public money, should be sold at such high prices sharply raises another allocation of money issue. ). Money could also be allocated from this great military expenditure (much larger than any other nation) for public transportation.

Even Eisenhower warned against the “military industrial” complex; reforms would free up money for the public good, including free public transportation.

After World War II both European Continental nations and the United States selected transportation paths. In Europe, they built trains. Eisenhower, with Engine Charlie Wilson from General Motors, selected highways and cars (in Europe they are now increasing super highways). The justification was that it would make moving military heavy equipment to the Coasts for shipping abroad in wartime. Now, that “infrastructure” with so many miles and structures has degenerated greatly. Extensive repair in not only necessary and costly but will bring jobs.

Traffic jams create nightmares for many involved or near with increase wear. (In New York City, as noted, the situation is exacerbated by removing lanes). Reagan hastened the destruction of highways, etc. by raising the limit on truck loads considerably. But, as the weight ascends arithmetically, the damage multiplies geometrically. Clinton approved the selling of SUVs without fuel restrictions of cars because of their truck chassis. (Noteworthy, these behemoth are often difficult to impossible to enter for those who are short and/or with weak legs. Some New York cabs suffer the same bad condition.) Both of these Presidential permissions should be immediately repealed. For the SUVs, there would have to be a “grandfather” clause and then a buy back for used ones to be replaced. A policy of banning those with only the driver would offer a start Again, these changes offer long term advantages which would bear fruit.

On the other hand, tolls were originally assessed on bridges, tunnels, and superhighways (query: a burden on interstate commerce raising Constitutional considerations?) were organelle justified as paying off the cost of construction (also funded by bonds). Now, with the costs usually long gone paid for, they are used as a source of revenue increasing the costs for commuters considerably (while often contributing to congestion.) It is often very hard on the budgets of commuters, and is, again, a regressive tax. They should all be free.

American particularly value the independence of automobile use. It has become part of the “American dream” of owning a house, preferably in the suburbs (“white flight” contributed.) The hope is that the highway system (roads, bridges, tunnels, surrounding area, and medians) is repaired while the cars and buses run with energy produced and used in a non polluting fashion in the future with a base in solar, wind, or tide power and materials for conversion, supply and preservation used whose activity and materials used do not cause environmental harm.

Trucks, equipped the same way, not too overloaded, could continue to serve a use (like cars in the future, they may be self driving leaving displayed drivers with a need to be helped with money and job training.) A proper rail system would divert some of that traffic.

Long distance travel by rail is now quite feasible. In China they have many high speed rails including from Beijing to Hong Kong and Tibet. Japan has had “bullet trains”. Europe used to feature beautiful overnight trips (eg. Paris-Madre; Paris-Florence or Rome). (Before World War II, there were many in the United States. The Broadway Limited, for example, even featured two cars for eating – one kitchen and grill for cooking excellent meals, the other for elegant dining and fine utensils and dishes.) In Western Europe, the high speed trains now abound (Rome-Florence in an hour and a half; a four hour trip at least by car and predecessor trains.) It is high time for the United States to follow suit.

Railroads mean not only powerful efficient engines but rails and roads. Their construction is labor intensive as is the infrastructure. Programs for building both would increase jobs with a Keynesian multiplier working to help the economy from hopefully adequate wages. The establishing a high speed rail system would greatly ease the roads and airport congestion. The US government could eliminate its current subsidies, indirect and direct, for private planes and helicopters, moving towards their elimination as an unnecessary class “privilege.” (How accurate was Thorsten Veblen in his Theory of the Leisure Class; Theory of Business Enterprise.)

This exposition leaves us with the question of long distance travel, particularly to and from the undeveloped countries. At the moment, airplanes seem the answer. But, we may gently suggest a subsidy program for poor people with distant relative. Certainly the space and amenities should be greatly improved below business and first class. Subsidies and support for competition between airplane builders deserves careful examination with real planning for the future (while high speed rail diminishes their need, reducing overcrowded expensive airports with their congestion producing cars and buses backed up in long lines). With all the lines of people waiting and the accommodations, most airplane travel is a real burden – particularly for the handicapped and those with children. (The inclusion of pets and “comfort” animals merits critical consideration.)

Free public transportation could greatly enhance civilization. The time to start implementing it is now.<