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Last week President Trump insisted that: “Our objective will be a quantum leap in the American standard of living.”
But, how can we possibly reverse the decades long collapse of the once vaunted American standard of living? Lyndon LaRouche famously insisted that the key would be the reversal of every change in economic policy implemented since the assassination of President Kennedy. That is shorthand for many changes. But even that would only be the first step, because the situation was devolving in many respects already back then. So, what do we have to do now?
Of course, we cannot cover everything in this short post. But, we’ll highlight some important points from a different standpoint which might help us think about this.
How do we raise the standard of living? First, above everything else, we must shut down the predatory speculative system which is the most important part of the modern British Empire, looting us now as it once did India. This calls for an America First policy, as President Trump has so often said. Whenever you hear phrases such as “Well, they had to keep Wall Street happy,” or “The markets would not look favorably on that,” you are feeling the Empire reaching down to suppress progress. When you suffer the prices of rents and homes getting out of your reach, you are witnessing the long arm of the Empire.
How do we dry out the speculation now sucking us dry? The key is to separate out normal transactions from pure speculation. That is the principle behind the Glass-Steagall Act whose restoration is the first of LaRouche’s Four Laws to Save the USA, Now.
At one time we had a “graduated capital gains tax.” The beauty of this tax system is that it taxes capital gains (the difference between what you paid for something and what you received for it when you resold it) differently over time. Since we want people to own homes, or properties, or stocks, or bonds for a long time (not a few minutes or days) we can reduce the tax to 0% after a long period (say 15 years for a home), while imposing a high rate of tax on the gains made over short periods. This sucks the profits out of the quick-buck schemes of speculators and helps to maintain a modicum of stability in the various types of markets—to the benefit of the general citizenry.
We need to encourage investment for the long term—not speculation on short-term fluctuations in prices. Under regimes of relatively stable valuations and prices, farmers, businesses, and citizens can usually figure out a long-term strategy for growth and success. By contrast, the Empire specializes in manipulating valuations in order to suddenly squeeze targeted victims, and then sweep in and buy up assets at fire sale prices—that’s one of the keys to building an Empire!
Similarly, we’ll need the restoration of a fixed-exchange rate gold reserve (not the British gold standard) monetary system by the minimal concerted agreement of the US, Russia, China, and India, plus any other nations which wish to free themselves from the grip of the predatory speculation which takes place in the name of “the floating exchange rate system.” Such a four-power agreement of the world’s largest economies overwhelms the ability of the British imperial system to respond. This ties into the second and third of LaRouche’s Four Laws, for a National Bank and credit system. Our high value exports cannot be sold to other countries unless both parties can assure themselves that the loans which are made to finance export purchases will be paid back in dollars which cost the borrower the same amount of effort to procure as was the case at the time that the loan was initiated.
Finally, among these preparatory measures, we need strong tariff and trade measures to encourage the development of domestic manufacturing of every type. That does not mean that we will go into isolation from the rest of the world. We will still trade with everyone, but we will not be the dumping ground—the buyer of last resort—for the world’s manufacturers. Trade will not be one-sided but to mutual benefit.
All of that forms the foundation for the “quantum leap in the American standard of living” President Trump is seeking. The leap is actually created by the introduction and deployment of new technologies throughout the economy and society, which actually make production and life easier all around.
There was once a time when engineers spoke of making electricity “too cheap to meter” for most customers. That would indeed have been the case had we continued on the pathway of developing nuclear power. Instead, the Empire has waged war on the underpinning of every aspect of modern life—but especially cheap energy. Nuclear power, coal, oil, natural gas, and even hydroelectricity have been targeted for destruction. The results have been grid instability, blackouts, and high prices which go into the cost of every product and service, and thus into the reduction of your standard of living.
Contrast that energy policy to what I will call the “connectivity revolution.” Wave after wave of investments into new communications technologies were fostered by the Department of Defense, NASA, and many, many different private interests. Surcharges for long distance and overseas communications which were once prohibitively high for most people, now exist only in rare circumstances. Now you can live-stream 4K video to the world as you walk down the street, at no extra charge.
It is of utmost importance that the war on energy be ended, and that especially fission and fusion power development get the same type of full backup and promotion as has been given to the connectivity revolution. Not only will it mean that your electricity bill will eventually become too cheap to meter, but that energy costs throughout the various areas of manufacturing and production will drop to very low levels as compared to today. And it will mean that civilization will be able to take root on the Moon and Mars.
Due to SpaceX’s innovations, costs to reach orbit have gone down by a factor of 10, and look to go down by another factor of 10 if the SpaceX Starship/Superheavy technology succeeds in its quest to establish a quick turnaround, fully reusable transport system to orbit and beyond. In the next few years, there will be private space stations in orbit producing unique products which will enhance life on Earth. An array of other new American low-cost launch systems will be taking flight this year and in the next few years: Sierra Space Dreamchaser, Relativity Space Terran, Rocket Lab Neutron, Stoke Space fully reusable launch system, and the Boeing Starliner.
All of that is now reasonably predictable. We’ve been looking forward to it for a long time, and it will all have a very big effect on raising your standard of living.
But President Trump is calling for a “quantum leap”—that means a revolution in science and technology. He spoke of taking the lead in the development of what are called Advanced Air Mobility systems. At the moment, many American, Chinese, and European companies are working on the development of various types of personal or family-sized, and usually autonomous or semi-autonomous, air taxis, or flying cars. To lead in this area requires that government and private investment go into developing the hardware, software, and regulatory framework to ensure safe operation and commercial viability of at least some of the new designs. Much trial and error and unconventional thinking will go into this exciting area of development before an array of standard services becomes a new part of everyday life.
Then there is the question of supersonic and hypersonic flight. Boom is developing a supersonic passenger airliner, and Hermeus is developing a hypersonic airliner design. All of this is based upon long term research and development and initiatives of young engineers. But we’ll require much more investment into basic and applied research to keep revolutions coming.
There is the question of robotics in general. Many companies are working on various types of robots which can navigate and perform physical tasks without step-by-step programming. Can we build humanoid robots to replace workers in dull and dangerous situations? Can we build cars and trucks which drive themselves? Giant robotic trucks already operate in open pit mines, a few robotic taxis are operating in relatively small territories, and of course Perseverance is navigating itself across Mars. But the question remains: can we build robots at scale which reliably and economically begin to fill in more and more for manufacturing and transportation workers? If we can, this could prove to be the biggest boost to productivity in history.
Finally, we can say with certainty, based on all scientific and technological revolutions in history, that some folks out there have revolutionary ideas which will change the world for the better. But we don’t yet know about them. President Trump and LaRouche PAC are striving to create the credit and general conditions where these creators can bring their seemingly wild ideas to life. As with all renaissances in history, those apparently wild ideas are the promise of the future.