This year I got an early Christmas present. From out of nowhere, a friend asked if I wanted to write articles for a nonprofit organization. I had never heard the name Real Progressives, but said I’d be interested if I could write about homeless issues.
He gave me some information and I went to Real Progressives’ YouTube channel and watched a video featuring Steve Grumbine, founder of the organization. I can’t tell you the exact date in February or March I watched, nor can I tell you the title of the video. What I can tell you is that his words hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks. It was like a light went on in my brain. Oh, man! This is how the economy works? There are solutions to those oh-so-complicated problems everyone agonizes over? And the solutions were in front of me! How could I have missed this?
The gift I received was knowledge. I had completely missed how the economy works today and has been operating for many years.
Everybody talks about what they could do if they had a million dollars, or if they could just win the lottery, but who thinks about how the system works? Say the word economics and folks go crazy. Yet they don’t question why the federal government operates the way it does. They just accept what the “experts” say over and over. Why bother? The politicians are crooked. Everyone gets paid off. The powerful and those “in charge” do whatever they want.
Wait a minute. Those statements may or may not be true, but what if you don’t know the facts? What if the government, those politicians and “experts” can provide solutions, not simply be the problem?
I’m not going to give you an economics lecture, but I will share with you a few facts that I learned when I received my 2019 Christmas present. The federal government issues the money we use. No one other than the federal government can legally create money. Currency is no longer backed up by gold. Congress decides how the federal government is going to spend funds. The federal government spends and then taxes everyone. End of sharing facts for now.
You know how it’s said that knowledge is power? Well, with the knowledge I gained from Grumbine and Real Progressives, the power I’ve always felt has grown even more intense. There is a fact-based framework called Modern Monetary Theory that clearly shows macroeconomic reality today, how programs can be and have been paid for in the U.S.
The problem is, society has been indoctrinated with — yes, and I’ll say it — lies. Over and over we’ve been told to “tighten our belt” or “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” to the point that this indoctrination has been taken as truth. People simply accept what they have been told repeatedly, no questions asked.
Easier to follow along than search for the truth? Probably. But I was lucky. The truth fell into my lap and I accepted it. Once the reality is staring you in the face, there’s no going back.
Consider the fact that Congress decides how the federal government is going to spend. Then ask, what is the purpose of the government? The Constitution states: “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
Since the Constitution was established by the people of the United States for all the reasons above, isn’t it our responsibility to understand and learn what the heck is going on? I was unaware of so much knowledge for far too many years and now I welcome what I consider to be my responsibility to share my early Christmas present of 2019 with each and every one of you.
I continue to receive the gift of knowledge regularly from Grumbine and the talented guests on Real Progressives and Real Progress in Action YouTube channels. And now I share my gift with all of you.
Happy holidays. Celebrate daily.
Rose Ann Miele is a journalist and was public information officer for Boulder City for nine years. She is the national outreach director for Real Progressives. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 702-339-9082.