I begin writing this blog with passion. And resolve.
Will you join me in my efforts? These efforts should be our efforts, not mine.
Here are the fundamental beliefs about things in the world I want to change.
1. Terrorists - operate on the mission to create maximum, crippling terror, in the most people possible.
News media coverage of terrorism plays directly into their hands. Constant coverage generates crippling fear across the globe - even when the attempted act fails. Beyond that, terrorists can watch the entire process on TV of how we handle each case, and measure our response times to their efforts.
Terrorists are aware that if they blow up a bomb on a street corner anywhere on the planet - their actions on that corner will be heard globally. I want to take away their power. Let's together force an end to playing into their hands.
Action 1: If you see terrorist coverage on TV, or the internet. Turn it off. Do not accept the feeling of terror into your life. If they are going to get you, it will occur when nobody expects it and you may not be able to do anything about it. No sense building anxiety day-after-day over it.
- enough people do this and TV ratings go down for news coverage of terrorism.
- a few people do this, there are fewer people scared by the terrorists.
Note: I am an entertainer, I aim to create joy and wonder in the world. Terrorists work in direct opposition to my life's mission.
When you feel fear, I ask that you say - NO - I will not let them take away my good feeling, my spirit, my freedom, and my sense of vitality. In the face of this fear, I will go forward even stronger.
2. Political Activism "News Channels."
I want you to understand that Karl Rove - the architect of George Bush's rise to the white house, and re-election, has his own show on Fox. And is a driving force behind fox. I also want you to understand that Mike Huckabee - a candidate from the last election - and Sarah Palin - another candidate from the last election have their own shows on Fox News. They are using a "News Channel" to raise their profile and using the raised profile for fundraising. Often, directly asking for funds on the, "News."
I want you to understand that I have a degree in social-psychology. I am trained in the science of social influence, persuasion, and compliance building. I am trained to run a persuasion campaign. Most methods within those categories of influence just mentioned are built on the foundation of social-psychology research and I can point out the individual study behind the methods used as they occur.
Karl Rove, is using all social-psychology methods of persuasion to influence minds, and Fox "News" is a giant mouth piece for this. I do not have a problem with Fox News being known as a conservative viewpoint on issues. I have a problem with mass propaganda to a degree of social-psychological perfection on a so called "news channel."
I will begin with the simplest example. Color theory states that red is the color of advertising that attracts attention. It is an intense irritant. If red is placed in front of a pet bird it will begin hissing wildly. Red is the color of passion. It energizes. Fox News is bright red so that when they deliver a message over their airwaves that is negative about Democrats, their viewers get irritated, energized, and passionate. (And want to do things like generate a landslide wave of anger against Democrats.)
Note: I use color theory as an entertainer. A black wizard robe once caused a large dog to drop everything in his bladder and dive out the back window of a house through double-pained glass. The effect on humans was that people got creeped out and backed away. People would not come near me when I wore that costume.
I switched to bright yellow - the color that creates joy and positive energy feelings in people - and light blue -the color that relaxes people and has the most pleasurable sensations associated with it. All the sudden I was the most popular character on the block - as a court jester.
With four year olds, I wear light blue, and their shyness goes away quicker and they are comfortable with me. I wear the wrong color and the kids are crying and I can't do the show!
I use color theory to the benefit of mankind. Fox News uses it for the background of social-psychology based - ideological warfare - on a so called news station.
You may google a few of these theories to see what exists:
a. Commitment and consistency theorem of persuasion.
ex. This theory was used to attack John Kerry in the famous flip-flopper case.
b. conformity theorem of persuassion.
ex. Fox News will have 5 people of the conservative view in boxes on the screen and the sixth person has the liberal view. There is support in numbers and perhaps some more balance would be fair.
c. inoculation theory of persuasion: present a weak form of the argument that you don't agree with, then when you overcome that argument people are inoculated against a stronger form of that argument in the future. In fact, when you overcome that argument with the voice of five people, you induce conformity theory and inoculation together, doubling the strength (oh everyone thinks that except that one guy they must be right).
And the stronger arguments are given in such a way that the next time a listener hears the opposing argument - the stronger arguments will come rushing into their heads. In other words, you basically say, "Here's what the other side will say. Here's what to think when you hear them say that."
This is the most powerful form of persuasion that there is. Fox spends all day charging people for the Republican views and inoculating people against any Democratic ideas. Regardless of whether the ideas have any merit. And in many cases, the ideas were put fourth in legislation by the Republicans just a few years earlier when they held power.
3. Drumbeat of negative economic news, scares the economic force out of Americans.
A year after I finished college, I had a relationship end, that hurt so badly that I read every relationship book I could get my hands on. There was one repeated concept. Focusing on the problems and the negatives in a relationship creates a "problem relationship." This is a condition where love is not possible for the long term because the negative feelings make people want to withdraw from each other.
Do you think, that the constant drumbeat of negative economic news, 24 X 7 causes people to think, "Oh - the economy is bad - I better save my money and hold onto every penny."
I have news for everyone: WE ARE THE ECONOMY. WE ARE THE MARKET FOR ALL GOODS BOUGHT, SOLD, AND TRADED IN THE UNITED STATES!
If we are scared to death from spending, how on Earth will the economy recover? Who is going to do it?
So, the news, in its constant drumbeat of negative economic news, scares the crap out of everyone.
How do you boost your personal economy? Start where you are.
First, turn off the news and listen to Wayne Dyer on how to attract prosperity into your life.
Two, build confidence in those around you that things will in fact be Ok, and you are building consumer confidence.
Three, spend on investments right now. Buy assets that are really cheap - not liabilities and crap for decoration - and you will be cycling money through the economy and helping the economy.
Note: I am self employed now and investing in business. It is a time to grow.
ASSETS ARE CHEAP BECAUSE EVERYONE IS RUNNING AWAY FROM SPENDING. BUY ANYTHING YOU CAN RIGHT NOW THAT WILL EARN YOU MONEY IN THE FUTURE. YOU WILL SEE FINANCIAL RETURNS FASTER THAN YOU EXPECT AND YOU WILL PERSONALLY BE BOOSTING THE ECONOMY.
The Dalai Lama when asked how to impact world peace says, "start with the person right next to you."
I say - when you are trying to help the economy - "Start with the person next to you."
Back to the story here. The news is scaring everyone so badly that they are scaring every bit of breathe out of the economy. I turned off the news, my income is increasing, business deals are expanding, I have decided that no TV will be hooked up in my house now.
In other words, I greatly appreciate that the national dialog is how to perpetuate a recession relationship with each other. But, I (and several other friends) have turned off our TV's and decided we aren't going to participate in this recession.
Your income will rise to the levels you expect it to. All of us who have made such a decision are doing very well already. Way ahead of the economic recovery.
I challenge you to unplug your TV and put it in a closet. You will find yourself happy, upbeat, more energetic, thinking more, more physically active, and you will have your get up and go returned.
My friends - that is the definition of being an American. Being physically fit, industrious, creative, energetic, and driven.
Turn off music. Go back a few decades. Put on Bruce Springstein, "I was Born in the USA," And rock around your house.
And despite the best efforts of the news and terrorists, you will feel the awakening of your animal spirits. That un-tamable force of freedom that drives the American economy.
Bottom Line: To create a domino effect around you that will trigger economic improvement through every interaction you have, stop being a cowering wuss - turn on some Bruce and become an AMERICAN GOD DAMNIT!
And if you have any doubts - go listen to Billy Joel's "We didn't start the fire." Listen to all the problems we've had before that we have overcome. This is nothing new today. Get on your boots. Pull up your straps. And get to work. YOU ARE AN AMERICAN. AMERICAN'S ARE KNOWN FOR RISING TO OVERCOME ANY CHALLENGE.
4. How the news changes election results by broadcasting polling data.
When people hear that most people are going in one direction, they want to be on the winning team. They begin to find their own justifications for going to the winning team. This is another element of conformity theorem. People get the sense, "well they are going to win anyway," and they jump towards one side.
In this election, constant reporting of the fact that Democrats were going to loose many seats, actually triggers the bandwagon effect (google it - it is a tested theory of social-psychology) and causes people to jump in one directions. Thereby, the news becomes one of the biggest influencers of election results simply by creating the excitement of a horse race (so people will watch it more) and raving about, which horse is winning.
This force probably pushed the Republicans to bigger loses in the previous election than they would have had as well. Sure, we all thought Bush screwed everything up. Sure, we knew republicans would lose a lot of seats. But, the action of showing people where the tides are going - is proven - by social-pschology and the bandwagon effect to make things move in tidal waves. It makes things move even further than they actually should.
So, yes, we disagreed on policy with both parties. But, did the change go too far? Consider that Democrats in this election when they had stopped the economy from sheer free fall, moved from losing 700,000 jobs per month - to gaining between 40,000 - 90,000 in a very short period of time (with a faster rate of job additions than in any economic recovery by this stage of the recovery. Google it - jobs begin to add two years after a recession. This recovery of jobs, is the earliest recovery of any jobs in the history of recessions. Look up a chart of the timing of job additions after recessions.)
5. Republican method of gaining power back is to create a false reality - build an illusion so strongly that it becomes a reality. Doubt me on this? Consider that I make my entire career by entertaining audiences who think I can make people float in the air and objects vanish and reappear in other places.
I believe Illusions should be left for entertainment. Reality should be the name of the game in the political arena.
How does it work? If you see something on the news, you must understand that it is being shouted out of the speakers of a million TV's across the country when you see it. TV news is like a giant megaphone. It feels personal because they are talking to you - but one phrase hits millions.
The Republicans are capitalizing very well on the fact that news media wants the benefit of increased viewer-ship caused by a continuous, never-ending, horse-race of elections. They are already talking about 2012!!!!
What Republicans do is, select a group of people to say the same message in slightly different form, in as many venues as possible, to generate a whisper campaign throughout about 4-10 million people that will spread the rest of the way itself.
Today - November 6th, 2010, they began going directly after President Obama. The whisper campaign of the day is that he is "dispassionately interested in his job." Also, they will circulate the message, "Obama's policies are wrong for the country." And when enough people, who are political leaders with credibility, say it... it becomes true in the minds of the viewers.
They circle the wagons, focus their talking points, and drip a steady drumbeat every single day, manipulating the entire system. Doubt it works? Tell some-one tomorrow at work that Madonna died. See how fast it flies around and gets back to you. You are likely to learn what she died from by the person who returns the message to you. It moves like lightening. Republicans are using this exact method to deconstruct their opponents.
What they do is construct the exact picture of reality that they want, so strongly, that it overcomes real reality because TV viewers are not in Washington. Well, I AM!
An article on CNN money today analyzes the economic conditions in snapshot form in the month before the elections:
I want you to understand how deeply I study these things.
First, because we are in a condition of near deflation, when average wages increase in this case it is a much larger impact than normal. When inflation is between 2 - 4%, it mutes the impact of the 3.5% pay increase seen here. When in a state of deflation, 3.5% increase is a relative increase in pay closer to 5-7% buying power.
A source of this increase is quantitative easing. The Fed just launched it's next wave called QE2. This is the government circulating mass quantities of money into the economy. By the trillions. Market prices are then supported by money that exists. Rather than allowing deflation, money is in people's hands and they spend it. When demand increases for products, vendors can raise their prices a little and people will still pay it.
The Fed's strategy is to "reflate" the economy back to monetary levels where the markets were before.
Note: The biggest reflation trade would be to piggy-back on the feds action, by buyinh a house at fire sale prices.
The goal of the fed is to pump enough money back into the economy that the market forces can support home prices where they were before. The action is hoped to bring a large portion of the country who are underwater in their mortgages, out of that problem. Thus, if you purchase a home at a heavily deflated price now, and will benefit post - Fed Reflation. You will be able to sell the house and walk away with some cash in a few years. (During the bubble this was a problem because everyone thought you could do this. Now, you will be rewarded because the fact that nobody thinks you can do this has led to massive price drops in homes.)
How do I know this? I watch Ben Bernanke and Tim Geitner live and they say exactly what they are trying to do. This is why interest rates are at 0%. To make money so cheap it floods into the economy and reflates markets, allowing recovery.
Second, 151,000 jobs added is a very critical number. Due to new people entering the workforce in an economy of 300 million people - simply as a result of population growth - the economy requires about 125,000 new jobs to keep up with population growth. People, in October we had the first month when we had positive job growth that exceeded population growth.
One step further. This is an increase in jobs and theoretically would lower unemployment. But, unemployment is a measure of those who are actively seeking to re-enter the labor force. Those who have given up, will be triggered to try again. More people out searching for work, will increase unemployment, even though more jobs have been created. A big jump in job creation could raise unemployment over 10%.
Understand jobs added and the unemployment rate do not coexist in a direct relationship. It moves around.
Recovery occurs when the job market is moving forward. This is recovery.
Expansion occurs when we pass where we were.
So - we are in recovery because more jobs are being added than needed to exceed population growth.
Expansion happens when the recovery gains enough steam that the number of jobs held and GDP in the country exceeds where it was before the recession.
There is a slow dial up at the start of recoveries and then it snaps forward heavily.
Third, when you get a GDP reading today where we increase 2% GDP, you must understand a few facts. In a regular economy that stinks. In an economy where every business has cut all expenses down to the bone 2% GDP growth leaves massive massive quantities of cash on their balance sheets. Current corporate balance sheets have one of the largest supplies of cash on hand in history: 1.6 trillion dollars. Double the levels of the entire stimulus program.
Fourth, put this in context - the entire eight years Bush was President and the Republicans were in power (some of whom I voted for) there was no net gain in jobs. At the end, we hemoraged 700,000 per month, which totaled about 4 million right before Bush left office. Middle class wages actually decreased for about the first time since World War 2, over the entire decade. Look at the chart that I posted. Now they are increasing!
The disparity between the wealthy, middle class, and poor reached an extreme just before the great recession. Do a search for how much of the nations wealth was concentrated in the top 1% of indivuduals in 2008. You will be stunned.
This disparity was only as strong one other time in history - the great depression.
Right now, Joe Biden is the head of the "Middle Class Task Force." Look at Whitehouse.gov and see what their mission is. You will see that their mission is to adjust the structure of society so that the majority of people earn more money. The intension is that this quantity of people will then spend much of it and pour money rapidly into the economy causing a massive, enduring expansion.
This is in opposition to the Republicans economic theory called, "trickle down economics." Where money from the rich will trickle down through an invisible hand. If this occurred, would the disparity have gone so far?
I believe specific sets of beliefs keep people operating at the same level of income. There is a middle class mindset about money. So, if the mindset remains the same, people will remain in the middle class. If the economic structure of society changes and recourses flow away from the middle class they don't get it back because their mindset doesn't adjust.
Here is an example:
Poor people have a mental concept that: 1) rich people are greedy. 2) money is the root of all evil
Poor artists and entertainers call themselves 1) starving artists 2) sell-outs if they make too much money.
The mental constructs exist to keep people poor.
Rich people think. 1) Money is power; imagine what I can do with it 2) I can do so many good things with money to help others I want to earn more 3) I am worth money so it is rightfully mine to earn
So - people are sort of locked in to their social strata in society.
When policy is shifted that changes the relationship towards money - the psychology of people of different wealth levels remains unchanged.
This creates problems. Here is an example tea party belief.
Tea party members believe in a flat tax - vs. the staggered system where higher earners pay a higher percentage of their wage in taxes.
If there is a 10% flat tax on everything that takes place - as Tea Party members want - then this is a massive tax increase on all those who earn $10,000 or less and currently pay no taxes. A person currently paying no taxes, scraping by trying to feed a family, all the sudden has a tenth of his income removed.
A person who earns $1,000,000 will see a tax cut from 44% down to 10%. This is a tax cut of $340,000 for the wealthiest Americans and a tax increase of 10% of the income of those barely scraping by, who have to spend every penny they earn just to have a place to live and have food.
Then, cycle that reduced income through poor people, whose psychology remains the same. And they stay down further. Cycle that reduced income through wealthy people who know how to leverage resources, and the man making $1,000,000 is all the sudden having a personal income of $2,000,000.
There is a magic number that is very important. When one earns this dollar amount, they reach a level of income that all needs and wants that effect happiness can be fully covered beyond the shadow of a doubt. That magic number is $125,000.
When you get to keep more than $125,000 a year you have bought a house, a car, can send your kids to school, and buy just about anything you want in life - that is needed for normal life.
Under $24,000 income is the poverty line and half the country is under it. Under a flat tax, all those people would all the sudden face a massive tax cut.
This structural element of economic policy would massively exasterbate the disparity and the country would go further into depression.
So - Democrats achieved the results in the chart that I showed.
Tea party and Republicans have an agenda that does what I just mentioned previously.
On principle, I hate the idea of taxing the rich more. The rich might just have a tendency to work a lot harder to get where they are and they should keep it.
In reality, Henry Ford paid his autoworkers far more than the normal wages of laborers. He knew that it would be critical for the adoption of the automobile if his massive work force could afford to buy the products he made.
That is the philosophy I ascribe to. Americans must have the capacity to earn enough to buy the products that we make for the economy to boom. Under the Republican's leadership we did not get this. We got the opposite, and the economy tanked.
One more magic number. The Democrats want to return taxes to the pre-Bush tax cut levels for those earning more than $250,000 per year. So, they want to raise taxes on people who earn more than double what is needed to live in complete comfort and have every single thing one could imagine that would contribute to their own personal happiness.
Give you an example. The total cost of a flight on Richard Branson's new spaceship, in his company Virgin Galactic, to leave the planet and enter low Earth orbit is $200,000 per seat. And there are so many people who already put deposits in that he is sold out for years in advance of the first flights with tourists in 2013.
Some people can't eat. Republicans want to raise taxes on them.
Some people can sit on a rocket and fly to outer space, and Republicans think they need a tax cut.
Now - with 3 boys in private school, or a kid or two at Harvard - $250,000 all the sudden shrinks away. So, no, I don't like the taxes. but, America is founded on the dream that here we can be upwardly mobile.
If we go to far, society, for the poor people, is not built to allow upward mobility for those who want to achieve and are willing to work for it.
Democrats achieved that chart above, right before being booted out of office. Republicans wish to have a philosophy that exasterbates the massive disparity that created the problem in the first place.