weather icon Partly Cloudy

Green New Deal aims to improve lives

A few weeks ago, I went into a bar at 2 o’clock in the afternoon. As I walked in, I was greeted by three Boulder City gentlemen I hadn’t seen in some time. Of course, the first thing they asked was why I was in a bar at two in the afternoon. I explained I was having a meeting, and they hadn’t seen me because I had been really busy with some serious “stuff.”

After a few minutes of small talk, I looked at the group and told them, with complete seriousness, that I was certain all of us had more in common than any of us realized. With that, I reached into what I call a purse and took out postcards that explained the federal job guarantee, a component of the Green New Deal, something they may have heard of. Then I turned and left to begin the meeting.

So I’m in my meeting. I’m listening, offering advice, asking about the next steps and, quite by chance, with no planning or forethought on my part, the conversation turns to the Green New Deal and the federal job guarantee. Now, I’m thrilled because I want to share objective, genuine information every day and at least twice on Sunday.

In order to have a Green New Deal with a federal job guarantee, one has to know how the economic systems works. The U.S. government creates the currency we use. No one creates U.S. currency other than the federal government. Try it sometime and see what happens.

The dollar isn’t backed up by gold or silver or any other item or commodity. While President Franklin Roosevelt took the U.S. off the gold standard on June 5, 1933, it was President Richard Nixon who, on Aug. 15, 1971, no longer allowed the Federal Reserve to redeem dollars with gold.

Let’s continue. The president constructs a budget, which goes to Congress. For all the details governing this process, go to the Senate’s “The Executive Budget Process: An Overview” at http://bit.ly/2lSX7G4. So, the budget is passed by Congress and the president signs it. Now what?

The federal government spends money on all sorts of things that you can examine in detail from the Congressional Budget Office at cbo.gov/publication/55342. The federal government spends first and taxes later. Taxes do not and cannot logically finance government spending.

It is the tax liability everyone has to pay that gives currency its value. Have you ever attempted to pay your taxes using anything other than U.S. currency? A government deficit is, by definition, the surplus that is out in the economy. The government deficit is a surplus in the private, nongovernmental sector.

For example, if the federal government spends $100 and taxes $30, there is a government deficit of $70.

The idea of a government deficit being a nongovernment, private sector surplus may sound odd or counterintuitive to what many believe today, but I want to share these ideas with you to demonstrate with facts and explanations very basic ways in which our economy functions. This link, https://youtu.be/hChlbfpGcTI, is from a presentation given Sept. 7 by professor Fadhel Kaboub. If you watch the video and simply read the slides, the evidence presented is clear and concise, not economic jargon that is unintelligible.

Kaboub and many other economists belong to a school of thought known as Modern Monetary Theory. It’s from this theory the Green New Deal and the federal job guarantee logically advance.

I share this economic framework because it has shown me, and countless others, how to examine federal spending priorities and remedy what is destroying the planet while creating, through local control, employment for millions with good wages and benefits. With a shift in priorities, it never has to be a question of “we have to cut this to fund that.” We can have needed infrastructure without cutting social programs.

The Green New Deal and the federal job guarantee are about real people whose lives can be improved. It’s about unlearning the myths of “the federal budget is like a household budget” and “run the government like a business” perpetuated by politicians and the powerful. I’m talking about caring to learn and sharing that message with everyone, including men in bars at 2 o’clock in the afternoon.

Rose Ann Miele is a journalist and was public information officer for Boulder City for nine years. She can be reached at roseannrab@hotmail.com or at 702-339-9082.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Challenging times inspire creative solutions

It’s been 1,728 hours — 72 days — since Nevadans were first asked to work from home and begin isolating themselves from others to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Meaningful thoughts pass test of time

I enjoy well said, meaningful sayings. Thoughts that are well-spoken, especially during a time of confusion, desperation and perhaps, situations that seem impossible, are often priceless.

Political choices dictate nation’s economy

Since March 16, I’ve been at home on the computer sharing educational materials as much as possible with as many folks as possible on social media sites, sending them personal messages and calling them. I’ve done this because, believe it or not, I’ve seen education work wonders.

Science smashes coronavirus conspiracy theories

Baseball legend Yogi Berra famously quipped about a 1973 pennant race, “It ain’t over till it’s over.” Berra’s oft-repeated observation couldn’t be more apt for the current public health crisis, as governors (Republican as well as Democrat) lead efforts to contain the nationwide devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic. Berra’s Mets did eventually come back to win the division title that year. The U.S., and the world, must take decisive, even unpopular steps, to ensure that the coronavirus doesn’t also make a huge comeback.

Who is that masked man?

The other day, my husband and I had to run out to the grocery store to pick up a few things. In these days of COVID-19, it was certainly a different experience than it had been before.

Virus was scam to get political control

After three years of historic economic growth, record unemployment and a proliferating middle-class lifestyle, the anti-Trump cadre, without missing a beat, migrated from their failed three-year impeachment circus and transformed a pandemic into a gigantic economic demolition derby.

Make your mom proud

Sunday is Mother’s Day. To all the moms (and dads who fill that role) out there, I wish you a happy day and offer gratitude for what you do.

Sense of normalcy slowly returns

We are beginning to look toward making a way back to our normal lives. More likely, we will find ways to a new normal. It does not appear it will be done quickly as the COVID-19 virus threat still exists.

Little love, luck help us through quarantine

I hope you are among the lucky ones who are quarantined at home with someone you love. I can’t imagine the feelings of loneliness that would come with being truly self-isolated.

News organizations need your help

The newspaper or news website you are reading is in trouble. Like many other businesses, the COVID-19 crisis has eliminated most of its revenue but not its expenses, delivering a body blow to a business model that was already under pressure. But it continues to publish, providing your community with timely, accurate information about the crisis.