Neoliberal Economists: Against Bernie Sanders and Common Sense

Published on ZNet (first on teleSTR english), by Jack Rasmus, April 2, 2016.

As U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has gained momentum in the presidential primaries, the attacks on his proposed economic programs have grown proportionally … //

… A Real Financial Transaction Tax: … //

… Paying for Single Payer Health Care:

Nearly every advanced economy in the world provides a version of single payer health care to its citizens—except the U.S. On the other hand, no country spends as much on health care as the US. The UK spends 9 percent of GDP, Japan about 10 percent, France and Germany 11 percent, for example. The U.S., in contrast, pays 17 percent plus of its GDP on health care. Given that the most recent US GDP is about US$18 trillion a year, 17 percent of US$18 trillion equals just over US$3 trillion a year.

If the U.S. spent, like other advanced economies with single payer, about 10 percent of its GDP a year on health care, it would cost US$1.8 trillion instead of US$3 trillion a year. The U.S. would save US$1.2 trillion.

Where does that current US$1.2 trillion go? Not for health services for its citizens. It goes to health insurance companies and other “middlemen,” who don’t deliver one iota of health care services. They are the “paper pushers” who skim off US$1.2 trillion a year in profits that average returns of 20 percent a year and more. They are economic parasites, or what economists refer to as “rentier capitalists” who don’t produce anything but suck profits and wages from those who do actually produce something. They then used the US$1.2 trillion a year to buy up each other, expand globally, and deliver record dividend and stock buybacks for their shareholders.

In other words, a true financial transactions tax, that is still quite reasonable at tax rates of 0.25 percent to 2.5 percent, can pay for all of a single-payer health care program in the U.S. and still have hundreds of billions left over — US$641 billion to be exact (US$2.41 minus US$1.8 trillion).

That US$641 billion residual could then be used to better fund current Medicare programs. It could eliminate the current 20 percent charge for Medicare Part B physicians services and provide totally free Part D prescription drugs for everyone over 65 years. The savings for seniors over 65 years from this, and the tens of thousands of dollars saved every year by working families who now have to pay that amount for private company health insurance, would now be freed up with a single payer system, to be spent on other real goods and services.

A financial transaction tax and single payer program would consequently have the added positive effect of creating the greatest boost in real wages and household income, and therefore consumption, in US economic history. More consumer demand would mean more real investment.

Yes, there would be less spending by the wealth speculating in stocks, bonds, derivatives, forex and other financial securities. But so what? If rich and wealthy investors don’t like that, well then let them eat cake — or some other four letter word.

(full text).

(Jack Rasmus is author of the just published book, Systemic Fragility in the Global Economy, by Clarity Press, 2016. His blog: Jack


Germany: CSU Weiterstreiten bis zur Wahl, in der Frankfurter Allgemeinen/Politik, von GÜNTER BANNAS. 4. April 2016: Edmund Stoiber verdammt Merkels Politik so lautstark, dass man keinen Zweifel haben kann: der Streit in der Union wird weitergehen;

Trump Tries to Improve Polls by Warning of Massive Recession, on teleSUR english, April 3, 2016: The GOP presidential hopeful said the threat of the “very massive recession” comes from high unemployment and an overvalued stock market;

Turkish ‘Ministry of Religion’ promotes martyrdom to children in colorful comic strips, on RT, April 3, 2016; the latest issue of a children’s magazine published by Diyanet, the Turkish Presidency of Religious Affairs, which is a government agency and the highest national religious body, contains a series of cartoons glorifying Islamic martyrdom …;

Syrian forces retake strategic Christian town of al-Qaryatain, April 3, 2016;

RWANDA: Africa should consider basic income social experiments, on The New, by GITURA MWAURA, April 2, 2016;

FRANCE – Finances: des geeks cogitent sur vos impôts, 25.54 min, dans Boursorama, le 2 avril 2016;

3 Surprising reasons Saudi Arabia may be getting out of the Oil Business, on informed Comment, by Juan Cole, April 2, 2016: Saudi crown prince Muhammad bin Salman announced Friday that Saudi Arabia would use its oil assets to back a $2 trillion sovereign wealth fund … // … In as little as fifteen to twenty years, petroleum may be illegal in some places …;
Juan Cole’s newest Book: New Arabs, how the millennial generation is changing the middle east, on Nicola’s Books;
(also on amazon);

Africa’s industrialization hinges on human capital, on rfi, by Christina Okello, April 1, 2016;

A Christian Defense of the Useless Liberal Arts Degree, on Patheos, by Chase Padusniak, April 1, 2016;

Gold Prices: If This One Buyer Steps In, Gold Soars to $3,000, on PROFIT Confidential, by Michael Lombardi, MBA, April 1, 2016: the worldwide collapse in government and corporate bond prices could result in gold prices rising substantially in the years ahead …;

[#LGDW] Le Grand Débat du Web N°19, dans Digital Business News, April 2016;

CANADA: Panel Delivers Poverty Report, on Blackburn News, by Miranda Chant, March 31, 2016;

The $10 Trillion US Tax Giveaway – $10 Trillion More Proposed, on teleSUR english, by Jack Rasmus, Feb 1, 2016: how U.S. Congress and Presidential Candidates keep the cash flowing to corporations and investors;

… and this:

Comments are closed.