CNN: Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump agree on 1 big issue

Cultural Intelligence

cnn logoBernie Sanders and Donald Trump agree on 1 big issue

Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders aren't political pals. But they agree on one key issue: they think the U.S. government's jobs numbers are a crock.

Read full article (on unemployment, jobs, and taxes)

Robert David Steele Vivas
Robert David Steele Vivas

ROBERT STEELE: May I respectfully draw your attention to two sources you have overlooked?

The first source, respected by serious economists world-wide, is John Williams' Shadow Government Statistics. The true unemployment rate as of July 2015 is 23% — for select demographics it is 40%.

The second source, the Congressional Research Service (CRS), has published the following title: Sarah A. Donovan, “An Overview of the Employment-Population Ratio,” Congressional Research Service (27 May 2015). In that document CRS concludes that 40% of all US adults age of 16 and above are technically unemployed or underemployed.

On jobs, we have to deal with multiple realities. China did not take our jobs away, our CEOs gave them away. True cost economics as pioneered by Dr. Herman Daly and others demands that consideration be given to social capital. We can bring back as many jobs as we wish, particularly if we give up elective wars and focus instead on creating 21st century infrastructure. Dave Johnson's 2011 Today’s Big Idea To Get America Working: Revive American Manufacturing is still provocative.

We also have to deal with the fact that half the jobs that have vanished — the cubicle jobs and the line inventory jobs are not coming back. Between Oracle's cloud (I do not like the others) and the Internet of Things, those jobs are gone forever. This means we have to give serious thought to basic income, minimum wage, and shorter work weeks, while valuing social capital and community building in a manner neither Trump nor Sanders nor anyone else running can comprehend just yet.

We also need to radically rethink education and training.  Our universities have prostituted themselves and no longer teach liberal arts or critical thinking or whole man/woman/undecided development. We need to restore deep education and we need to radically revise how we train every profession including the medical profession. The Joint Defense-Labor Solution, “Building a Post Cold War Workforce for the 21st Century: Our Manpower Peace Deficit” is still valid.

We are in transition from the age of scientific reductionism — Voltaire's Bastards — and the age of techno-financial manipulation enabled by political corruption (Matt Taibbi's Griftopia is best in class on the problem, Charles Bednar's Transforming the Dream: Ecologism and the Shaping of an Alternative American Vision best in class on what needs to change). What I have learned in dealing with Congress for many years is  that it was not Wall Street that sought to bribe our politicians — it was our politicians from the two major parties, addicted to power, who shook down Wall Street. Once  they made it clear they could be bought — and could shut out the other six nationally accredited parties and all Independents from power — Wall Street did what all good businesses would do: bribed the craven.  $1 in lobbying gets $700 or more in taxpayer returns.  Put another way, the two-party tyranny discounts the public treasury by 95% — it will pay any price to get its standard 5% kickback (James Risen's Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War and Charles Lewis'  935 Lies: The Future of Truth and the Decline of America’s Moral Integrity are definitive books on this topic).

Creating jobs is not the challenge. Restoring integrity to our electoral process and thence to how we govern, that is the challenge and it is a challenge that needs to be addressed in 2015 with an Electoral Reform Act of 2015, if we are to elect both an honest executive and a sufficiency of honest Members (30 seats are being vacated) in 2016.

My last comment.  On taxation, those who advocate the Fair Tax or the Flat Tax are on the right track, they need to come together with those of us that advocate the Automated Payment Transaction Tax (thank you Dr. Edgar Feige). The key is to stop trying to run a complex government on borrowing, printed money, or the backs of those who earn incomes. Right now the tax system takes from the poor and gives to the rich and it covers less than 20% of the wealth in the country.  The APT tax would tax every transaction including every currency and stock transaction not now taxed, and produce more than enough money to reboot this great country. The IRS can and should be abolished, it's employees should receive a year's full salary and a year's full training toward community-level jobs.

As with jobs, what we lack here is integrity. Corruption has led to a documented level of waste that averages 50% whether one is looking at Agriculture, Defense, Energy, or Health or anything else. Until we have an honest government — and that government can do holistic analytics and true cost economics for Whole of Government strategy, policy, acquisition, and operations — we will remain a bloated country. Our “leaders” are not stupid, they are simply unethical.

My essay 2014 Robert Steele Answers to Richard Olivier on 21st Leadership with Annotated Bibliography & Links may be of interest.  I also recommend Lee Iacocca's lovely book, Where Have All the Leaders Gone?

Here is my bottom line on selecting a president: it is sheer idiocy to pick a president based on posturing about personal positions. The next president should be elected with one objective in mind: can that person bring together a transpartisan team that is able to govern on the basis of evidence instead of dogma, in the context of a balanced budget, uninfluenced by foreign powers or the many agents of foreign powers that have helped destroy our democracy?

The next president — in all probability an Independent — should not pretend to be the decider of issues, they need instead to be the enabler of integrity across the entire process. Among all the candidates out there, I do not see any that fully comprehend what has changed or what needs to be changed for 2016 to be a righteous useful election.

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