…by Jonas E. Alexis
Trump continues to reassert his role as an agent of the oligarchs and the capitalist system, which the Republican Party always supports. These people, as economist John Quiggin would have put it, still believe in “Zombie economics.” They still think that the usurious and capitalist system in America, which always ends up knocking the economy out of its existence in the national sphere, can create a prosperous country.
Trump has just passed his tax bill plan and the oligarchs couldn’t be happier. If you make less than $100,000, you more than likely will see your tax rises, but if you make more than that, then you don’t have to worry—you will pay less taxes, and perhaps no taxes.
Trump obviously knows that the average American doesn’t make $100,000. In fact, “approximately 80 percent of American households” do not even come close to that figure. So the only people he is actually representing here are the oligarchs and the money changers, the very people who always destroy the economy through their usurious contracts. Trump is actually making them great again. But should know that his tax plan is straight out of the Great Depression, which failed miserably. As historian Robert S. McElvaine puts it:
“The GOP has been singing from the Market-is-God hymnal for well over a century, telling us that deregulation, tax cuts for the rich, and the concentration of ever more wealth in the bloated accounts of the richest people will result in prosperity for the rest of us.
“The [Republican] party is now trying to pass a scam that throws a few crumbs to the middle class (temporarily — millions of middle-class Americans will soon see a tax hike if the bill is enacted) while heaping benefits on the super-rich, multiplying the national debt and endangering the American economy.
“In 1926, Calvin Coolidge’s treasury secretary, Andrew Mellon, one of the world’s richest men, pushed through a massive tax cut that would substantially contribute to the causes of the Great Depression. Republican Sen. George Norris of Nebraska said that Mellon himself would reap from the tax bill ‘a larger personal reduction [in taxes] than the aggregate of practically all the taxpayers in the state of Nebraska.’ The same is true now of Donald Trump, the Koch Brothers, Sheldon Adelson and other fabulously rich people.”
McElvaine moved on to add Republicans have already tried deregulation, and it failed miserably. Their solution? Well, they “deny its failure and try it again. And again. And again.” McElvaine was right on target. With Trump’s “new” tax bill, private prison investors are already laughing all the way to the bank. There is more:
“Since the Senate passed its version of the tax bill on December 2, 29 companies have announced $70.2 billion in stock buybacks, a maneuver that uses company cash to buy its own shares, which then drives up the price of those shares, rewarding major investors and executives whose compensation is directly tied to the company’s stock price.”
Senator Elizabeth Warren said that “Corporate CEOs have made clear that the massive tax giveaways in the Republican plan will not be passed on to workers but to rich investors — including the wealthy foreign investors who own about a third of the shares in American companies. This plan will do nothing to stimulate the economy or raise wages — but it sure will make a bunch of rich guys a lot richer.”
Is that true? Let’s just put it to the test:
“The case of Oracle in particular is instructive. The software maker had $52 billion stashed overseas as of the end of 2016, the fifth most of any U.S. company, according to Moody’s Investors Service. Under the tax bill, that money would come back to the U.S. at a dramatically reduced tax rate.
“On December 14, the company announced a $12 billion buyback, with investors enjoying the benefits of the repatriated funds. Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison will receive an estimated $103.7 million in stock over the next five years, which actually represented a drop from his previous stock awards. With the buybacks, Ellison’s stock holdings will jump in value.
“In 2004, President George W. Bush gave companies like Oracle a “repatriation tax holiday.” Hundreds of companies returned $312 billion in overseas earnings to the U.S. at a 5.25 percent tax rate. The Congressional Research Service cited one study showing that 91 percent of that money went to stock buybacks. Stock buybacks, as a result, jumped by 84 percent, according to a Goldman Sachs analysis.”
The central issue is that the oligarchs always try to play dice with the economy, a pernicious enterprise which always ends up ruining the nation. As E. Michael Jones has meticulously documented in his 1400-page tome Barren Metal: A History of Capitalism as the Conflict Between Labor and Usury, the oligarchs always try to cheat labor out of the workers. As Jones puts it,
“From the time of Roger Bacon to the Medicis to John Dee to Isaac Newton to George Soros in the present, alchemy [another word for usurious enterprise in the economic sphere] has exerted its unique attraction over the mind of man who is interested in getting out from under the necessity of labor as the road to wealth.”
The oligarchs don’t really want to pay taxes, but the government and the oligarchs want to bury the average worker beneath the avalanche of taxes.
HENRY FORD: AN AMERICAN HERO
Trump could have learned a lot from Henry Ford, who paid his workers fair wages, which allowed them to feed their families and which produced a prosperous generation. Even the New York Times, of all places, admitted this:
“In the rancorous debate over how to get the sluggish economy moving, we have forgotten the wisdom of Henry Ford. In 1914, not long after the Ford Motor Company came out with the Model T, Ford made the startling announcement that he would pay his workers the unheard-of wage of $5 a day.
“Not only was it a matter of social justice, Ford wrote, but paying high wages was also smart business. When wages are low, uncertainty dogs the marketplace and growth is weak. But when pay is high and steady, Ford asserted, business is more secure because workers earn enough to become good customers. They can afford to buy Model Ts.
“This is not to suggest that Ford single-handedly created the American middle class. But he was one of the first business leaders to articulate what economists call ‘the virtuous circle of growth’: well-paid workers generating consumer demand that in turn promotes business expansion and hiring. Other executives bought his logic, and just as important, strong unions fought for rising pay and good benefits in contracts like the 1950 ‘Treaty of Detroit’ between General Motors and the United Auto Workers.
“Riding the dynamics of the virtuous circle, America enjoyed its best period of sustained growth in the decades after World War II, from 1945 to 1973, even though income tax rates were far higher than today. It created not only unprecedented middle-class prosperity but also far greater economic equality than today… From 1948 to 1973, the productivity of all nonfarm workers nearly doubled, as did average hourly compensation.”
The working class and the average American loved Ford precisely because his company allowed them to build nuclear families, which are the salt of any nation. Ford created the baby boomers. He paid his workers $5 a day when the going wage was simply $2.2. The financial editor at the New York Times thought that Ford was out of his mind. “He’s crazy, isn’t he? Don’t you think he’s crazy?”
Ford reduced the work day from 9 hours to 8 hours, “a significant drop from the 60-hour work week that was the standard in American manufacturing.” This also allowed him to have the best workers. Ford said: “If the floor sweeper’s heart is in his job he can save us five dollars a day by picking up small tools instead of sweeping them out.”
Ford’s formula was straightforward: keep wages high and prices low, then you will eventually have prosperous workers, prosperous businesses, and a prosperous nation. He said:
“The owner, the employees, and the buying public are all one and the same, and unless an industry can so manage itself as to keep wages high and prices low it destroys itself, for otherwise it limits the number of its customers. One’s own employees ought to be one’s own best customers.”
Was Ford right? Well, you be the judge: “In 1914, the company sold 308,000 of its Model Ts—more than all other carmakers combined. By 1915, sales had climbed to 501,000. By 1920, Ford was selling a million cars a year.”
“We increased the buying power of our own people, and they increased the buying power of other people, and so on and on. It is this thought of enlarging buying power by paying high wages and selling at low prices that is behind the prosperity of this country.”
The Saturday Evening Post reported, “In 1919, Ford raised his minimum wage again, this time to $6.00 a day. Again, the wage hike produced higher production numbers.”
Ford obviously understood the dark vision of the oligarchs of his day when he said: “We believe in making 20,000 men prosperous and contended rather than follow the plan of making a few slave drivers in our establishment multimillionaires.”
The wage of the average worker, said Ford in his autobiography, “determines the prosperity of the country.” He called the average worker “partners.” “It is not usual to speak of an employee as a partner,” he wrote, “and yet what else is he?” He continued,
“The moment a man calls for assistance in his business—even though the assistant be but a boy—that moment he has taken a partner…No man is independent as long as he has to depend on another man to help him. It is a reciprocal relation—the boss is the partner of his worker, the worker is partner of his boss. And such being the case, it is useless for one group or the other to assume that it is the one indispensable unit…
“It is foolish for Capital or for Labor to think of themselves as groups. They are partners. When they pull and haul against each other—they simply injure the organization in which they are partners and from which both draw support. It ought to be the employer’s ambition, as leader, to pay better wages than any similar line of business, and it ought to be the workman’s ambition to make this possible.”
That was devastating to the oligarchs and usurers, who saw their workers as expendables. Of course, there are limits to wages, and Ford understood that concept. But Ford was against employers oppressing or abusing their employees, and vice versa:
“The employer can gain nothing by looking over the employees and asking himself, ‘How little can I get them to take?’ Nor the employee by glaring back and asking, ‘How much can I force him to give?’ Eventually both will have to turn to the business and ask, ‘How can this industry be made safe and profitable, so that it will be able to provide a sure and comfortable living for all of us?’”
Contrast Ford’s workable way of doing business to our day, where companies like Goldman Sachs treat their customers as “muppets.” Greg Smith, who was a Goldman Sachs executive director and head of the firm’s United States equity derivatives business in Europe for more than two decades, wrote in the New York Times:
“What are three quick ways to become a leader? a) Execute on the firm’s ‘axes,’ which is Goldman-speak for persuading your clients to invest in the stocks or other products that we are trying to get rid of because they are not seen as having a lot of potential profit. b) ‘Hunt Elephants.’ In English: get your clients — some of whom are sophisticated, and some of whom aren’t — to trade whatever will bring the biggest profit to Goldman.
“Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t like selling my clients a product that is wrong for them. c) Find yourself sitting in a seat where your job is to trade any illiquid, opaque product with a three-letter acronym.
“Today, many of these leaders display a Goldman Sachs culture quotient of exactly zero percent. I attend derivatives sales meetings where not one single minute is spent asking questions about how we can help clients. It’s purely about how we can make the most possible money off of them.
“It makes me ill how callously people talk about ripping their clients off. Over the last 12 months I have seen five different managing directors refer to their own clients as ‘muppets,’ sometimes over internal e-mail.”
Here we are seeing two different visions. Ford was Irish, and Goldman Sachs is a Jewish company. Ford essentially built his company on sound economic principle, and Goldman Sachs ideologically built their company on Talmudic principle, which allows them to cheat the Goyim. We have seen this throughout history. And even Heinrich Graetz, the father of modern Jewish historiography, pointed out that this was exactly the case with Polish Jews in the 1600s.
So, Ford gave us the baby boomers, but the capitalist system, which is supported by the oligarchs and the Trump administration, is giving us “baby busters.” People now stop building families because they simply cannot afford them. This has led to a low birth rate in America, which is now “a national emergency.”
The solution? Drive out the money changers from the temple—and in this case in political or influential positions. Is Trump a representative of the money changers?
You should know the answer to that question.
-  John Quiggin, Zombie Economics: How Dead Ideas Still Walk among Us (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010).
-  Robert S. McElvaine, “I’m a Depression historian. The GOP tax bill is straight out of 1929,” Washington Post, November 30, 2017.
-  We will discuss this at length in an article entitled, “Between Ta-Nehisi Coates and Me.”
-  Ibid..
-  Ibid.
-  Jamiles Lartey, “Private prison investors set for giant windfall from Trump tax bill,” Guardian, December 28, 2017. Thanks to a reader for sending this article to me.
-  David Dayen, “CEOs aren’t waiting for the tax bill to pass—they’ve already started pocketing the windfall,” The Intercept, December 19, 2017.
-  Ibid.
-  Ibid.
-  E. Michael Jones, Barren Metal: A History of Capitalism as the Conflict Between Labor and Usury (South Bend: Fidelity Press, 2014), 855.
-  Hedrick Smith, “When Capitalists Cared,” NY Times, September 2, 2012.
-  Jeff Nilsson, “Why Did Henry Ford Double His Minimum Wage?,” Saturday Evening Post, January 3, 2014.
-  Ibid.
-  Ibid.
-  Ibid.
-  Ibid.
-  Ibid.
-  Ibid.
-  Quoted in Richard Bak, Henry and Edsel: The Creation of the Ford Empire (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2003), 64.
-  Henry Ford, My Life and Work (Grand Rapids, MI: Credo Four Publishing, 2016) kindle edition.
-  Ibid.
-  Ibid.
-  Ibid.
-  Greg Smith, “Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs,” NY Times, March 14, 2012.
-  Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry, “America’s birth rate is now a national emergency,” The Week, August 12, 2016; Tamar Lewin, “U.S. Birthrate Declines for Sixth Consecutive Year; Economy Could Be Factor,” NY Times, December 4, 2014; “As U.S. birth rate drops, concern for the future mounts,” USA Today, February 13, 2013.
Jonas E. Alexis has degrees in mathematics and philosophy. He studied education at the graduate level. His main interests include U.S. foreign policy, the history of the Israel/Palestine conflict, and the history of ideas. He is the author of the book, Kevin MacDonald’s Metaphysical Failure: A Philosophical, Historical, and Moral Critique of Evolutionary Psychology, Sociobiology, and Identity Politics. He teaches mathematics in South Korea.