Why You MUST Be An Economist

It’s you against them, and they have lawyers by the battalion, whose job is to go through your pockets for loose change. So far they’ve cut your standard of living and boosted their own by several hundred percent. There are billions to be had if they can convince you and the government to make certain changes that shouldn’t be made.

It’s you against them, and
they have lawyers by the battalion.

They tell you that Social Security should be removed from government control and placed in the hands of more efficient private enterprise. Hah!

Private enterprise is not more efficient. SS and Medicare are managed at a cost much lower than what private corporations can produce. Why? Simple, the entire purpose of business is to make profit. Government doesn’t have to make a profit. SS has $2.6 trillion. If private enterprise could manage it and charge only 1%, that would bring them $26 billion per year. That’s why they want SS to be privatized. The $26 billion they want would come out of our pockets. (See Joe Stiglitz’ excellent new book, The Price of Inequality for lots of details.)

If you haven’t paid a lot of attention to economics, both yours and everyone else’s, I sympathize. I can never make any sense out of insurance, and the terms they use don’t seem to have any recognizable meaning. But in neither case is there much of an option, because if we don’t pay attention, it will cost us money we can’t afford to lose.

If we don’t pay attention,
it will cost us money.

Basically, if the mega-rich want it, they want you to pay for it. Their adventures in the past thirty years have given all the new money to them. Your money is still the same as 1980—or less.

One of the main ways they get into our pockets is by “rent seeking”. (See “Seeking Rent”, below, to learn about that.) Basically, rent seeking means to make money without making a contribution to the general welfare. Something for nothing. It is unearned income. It is pure greed.

When banks ding you with ridiculous fees, that’s rent seeking. When Wall Street makes money with computer trading that buys and sells within seconds, that’s rent seeking. When your credit card company charges you exorbitant fees, that’s rent seeking. When a millionaire CEO is paid a huge bonus, even though the company did poorly, that’s rent seeking. Each instance of rent seeking picks a small amount of money out of each of our pockets, but the total pickpocket haul explains a large part of the record economic inequality that’s killing us today.

Getting rid of these schemes of the rich
to pick our pockets is not so easy.
Congress is in on it.

Getting rid of these schemes of the rich to pick our pockets is not so easy. To begin with, Congress is in on it. They do what the mega-rich want because the mega-rich pay for their re-election—not to mention that most of them are millionaires too. We’re in a trap, and we have to find ways to get out of it. Our democracy depends on it.

You can’t afford to give rich guys all the endless gifts they want. You have to pay attention to economics. You have to know what they are really doing. You have to fight them tooth and nail.

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