The American Dilemma and How We Can Fix It

Let me take a moment to express my gratitude to all of you who read this blog on a regular basis.  You are the fuel that keeps the fire going.  Furthermore, I personally believe that you are a cut above the herd (several cuts, actually) and I wish all of you served in elected office.  The country would be much further ahead if we had thinkers instead of talkers running the show.

I received several comments via email about the Minimum Wage post which I put up yesterday.  Of course, you realized that this was tongue in cheek humor – but I plead “nolo contendere” as I had just finished watching several Marx Brothers movies and their spirit of light-heartedness overcame me.

Several serious questions were raised in your emails which I want to address in this post.

Q:  If we raised the minimum hourly wage to $50.00 for all American workers, wouldn’t that require us to re-define our base for what constitutes the “poverty level?”

A:  This is an excellent and insightful observation.  If your lowest paid American were now earning $100,000 per year, that would become the new poverty-level baseline.  Instead of paying athletes $10 million a year, we would have to increase their salaries to at least $30 or $40 million a year – just so they could keep up.  That doesn’t seem like a bad thing – especially if we taxed them at, let’s say, 90% of their income just to keep the social programs we have designed running.  And that would certainly ease the consciences of a Bill Gates and Warren Buffett who believe that they and those in their asset class are under-taxed.

Q,  Wouldn’t raising the minimum wage to $50.00 per hour create inflation?

A.  Yes it would – and that, of course, is a good thing.  Just think of the benefit to our farmers for a moment.  If they are able to sell their tomatoes for eight dollars apiece, consider how much value that would add to the GDP.  Now you may say that if they’re selling tomatoes at eight bucks a pop, the consumer would pay at least thirty dollars each – and that is true.  But the fact of the matter is that Americans don’t eat a sufficient quantity of fruits and veggies now – so the impact of this price escalation should be minimal.

Then there is the matter of the National Debt – rapidly approaching $17 Billion.  There is no way that we can ever pay that off.  Furthermore, our debt is clearly the fault of foreigners – primarily the Chinese and Japanese who hold the bulk of it – who through their purchases have encouraged our economic malfeasance.  I mean, come on – we always give these Orientals credit for being smart and shrewd – but look at all this worthless paper they’re holding.  If that one fact alone doesn’t shoot a gaping hole in the theory of the superiority of the Oriental mind, I don’t know what will.

So if we merely inflate our way out of our debt, making it worth, let’s say, only a quarter of what it’s present nominal value is, then we can declare ourselves in default and only say that we wrote off about $4 Trillion and thus we will save about $13 Trillion worth of face.  That’s something our Oriental friends might actually admire.

Why we let our Japanese/American citizens out of our WWII interment camps is beyond my understanding.  And it’s truly a pity that we don’t need to import any more coolies – but all of our railroads have been built.

Q.  Where would we get all the money we need to pay everyone a $50.00 per hour minimum wage?

A.  (I referred this reader to an excellent book on 15th century Germany).  With the greatest invention of all time, the printing press, Guttenberg set central bankers free to do as they will with their currencies.  We simply print more as we need it.

Now being someone who is ecologically concerned, it occurs to me that the quantities of money that we would need would probably exceed the number of trees that exist on planet Earth.  While I would be willing to chain myself to an old growth redwood in our Pacific Northwest, I really don’t have that on my “to do” list.  So, instead of doing things the old-fashioned way, why don’t we have the government just issue credit cards – like the ones that they give to people on public aid and as part of the SNAP program?

It’s been years since we attempted having solar power, via Solyndra, get established as a reliable source of affordable, renewable energy.  We could develop credit card production facilities in Nevada and Arizona using this technology.  That would help us out in Nevada with the highest unemployment rate in the nation – and it might just cut down on the number of illegals selling drugs imported from our southern neighbors by offering them nine to five regular jobs.  Besides, I read where our star is entering the phase of its eleven year cycle in which it spews out the greatest amount of energy.  Think of all that sun power just going to waste.

Q.  If the Federal government implemented your suggestions, wouldn’t there be a great deal more waste than we already know exists?

A.  Well, in the first place, it’s hard to conceive that it is possible to have more waste than already exists.  And in the second, do you think we are Germans and efficient?  This is America and we’re mostly all Americans here.  Waste is good.  It creates jobs which then requires more people to repair the damage that was initially created.  Don’t you understand the concept of unionism?  Capitalist pig.

Well, dear readers, I’ve fielded the questions that were posed in response to my earlier post.  Of course, I welcome any further questions which you might entertain and will do my best to address your concerns.

Faithfully yours in economic conundrum,



  1. Concur, and makes me glad I’m not German, can you imagine getting all the government we pay for? Yikes!!

  2. The people of my father’s generation voted for a party that articulated how they would solve that generations problems, and then that party actually did something to try and solve problems individuals had. That generation were not so apt to describe themselves as one party or another generally but went with the party of the moment most likely to solve their problems. These days it has developed into almost a civil war with one identified group opposed to the other regardless to policy. It’s about being in power! And our elected leaders are people who seize the moment and who are there for the giddy feeling of power and a chance to feather their nest. But with all its faults, capitalism is the best form of government. It doesn’t pretend that human nature is all about helping others along the way like Communism (Socialism) claims but doesn’t demonstrate. And because all are selfish no matter what class of society, our elected leaders have to produce something worthwhile for their constituencies or they will be thrown out at the next election. Certainly not the heaven on earth we all desire, but probably the best achievable under the circumstances of an increasingly materialistic and selfish present generation.

    • In past elected officials, whether I agreed with their philosophy or not, I had the sense that at least they believed what they were saying. Honesty has to be a starting point in any debate.

      The recent cadre of politicos is, I think, quite different. I believe the totality of their agenda is to gain more power for themselves – period, end of sentence. But power to do what? To reign over a mindless mob of fauning cretins who are so undereducated that they can be bought off by the most miniscules sops that the “chosen” throw their way.

      These people need a quick imersion course in the Roman Empire – with particular emphasis on Nero’s rule as Imperatur.

  3. Artificially create hyper inflation to eventually eliminate a staggering national debt – sounds good. But what about exports and those on fixed incomes?

    • Naturally, hyper inflation is a problem which almost inevitably results in our engaging in a war to get things stablized. (See WWII). As to those on fixed incomes, (translation “elderly”) see the “Liverpool Pathway” for how they will be dealt with.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: