Economy International Jake Johnson

100+ Ultra-Rich People Warn Fellow Elites: ‘It’s Taxes or Pitchforks’

Sign that reads "Tax the Rich Not Our Future"
( Plashing Vole / Flickr) (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

By Jake Johnson / Common Dreams

A group of more than 100 millionaires and billionaires on Wednesday presented fellow members of the global economic elite with a stark choice: “It’s taxes or pitchforks.”

In an open letter published amid the corporate-dominated virtual Davos summit, 102 rich individuals—including such prominent figures as Disney heiress Abigail Disney and venture capitalist Nick Hanauer—warned that “history paints a pretty bleak picture of what the endgame of extremely unequal societies looks like.”

“For all our well-being—rich and poor alike—it’s time to confront inequality and choose to tax the rich,” the letter reads. “Show the people of the world that you deserve their trust.”

The letter was released hours after an analysis conducted by the Fight Inequality Alliance, the Institute for Policy Studies, Oxfam, and Patriotic Millionaires showed that a modest annual wealth tax targeting the world’s millionaires and billionaires would raise $2.52 trillion dollars a year, enough to lift billions of people out of poverty and vaccinate the world against Covid-19.

But signatories to the new letter note that such a solution is unlikely to win broad support among attendees of the World Economic Forum (WEF), the yearly gathering of global elites that’s typically held in Davos, Switzerland. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s WEF is taking place virtually.

“If you’re participating in the World Economic Forum’s ‘online Davos’ this January, you’re going to be joining an exclusive group of people looking for an answer to the question behind this year’s theme, ‘How do we work together and restore trust?'” the letter reads. “You’re not going to find the answer in a private forum, surrounded by other millionaires and billionaires and the world’s most powerful people. If you’re paying attention, you’ll find that you’re part of the problem.”

The letter—signed by rich individuals from Denmark, Germany, Austria, and other nations—continues:

Trust—in politics, in society, in one another—is not built in tiny side rooms only accessible by the very richest and most powerful. It’s not built by billionaire space travelers who make a fortune out of a pandemic but pay almost nothing in taxes and provide poor wages for their workers. Trust is built through accountability, through well-oiled, fair, and open democracies that provide good services and support all their citizens.

And the bedrock of a strong democracy is a fair tax system. A fair tax system.

As millionaires, we know that the current tax system is not fair. Most of us can say that, while the world has gone through an immense amount of suffering in the last two years, we have actually seen our wealth rise during the pandemic—yet few if any of us can honestly say that we pay our fair share in taxes.

This injustice baked into the foundation of the international tax system has created a colossal lack of trust between the people of the world and the elites who are the architects of this system…

To put it simply, restoring trust requires taxing the rich. The world—every country in it—must demand the rich pay their fair share. Tax us, the rich, and tax us now.

Made significantly worse by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, skyrocketing income and wealth inequality has been at the heart of recent mass protest movements in South America, the Middle EastEurope, the United States, and elsewhere—grassroots uprisings that have frequently been met with brutal police repression.

“It’s time we right the wrongs of an unequal world.”

But little of substance has been done in recent years to reverse the decades-long trend of staggering wealth accumulation at the very top and declining standards of living for large swaths of the global population.

According to an Oxfam analysis published earlier this week, the 10 richest men in the world have seen their combined fortunes grow by more than $1.2 billion per day since the coronavirus pandemic hit two years ago while tens of millions worldwide have been pushed into poverty.

Progressive advocates and lawmakers have long argued that raising taxes on the rich—while far from a panacea for deep-seated societal ills—would help rein in soaring inequities and raise revenue for governments to spend on alleviating poverty, providing universal healthcare, and meeting other basic needs.

Gemma McGough, a British entrepreneur and a founding member of Patriotic Millionaires U.K., reiterated that case in a statement Wednesday.

“A common value most people share is that if something’s not fair then it’s not right. But tax systems the world over have unfairness built-in, so why should people trust them?” said McGough, one of the new letter’s signatories. “They are asked to shoulder our shared economic burden again and again, while the richest people watch their wealth, and their comfort, continue to rise.”

“It’s time we right the wrongs of an unequal world,” McGough added. “It’s time we tax the rich.”


  1. UH HUH. That millionaire tickled our ears, and that was the intention of the letter by him. Billionaires and politicians are good at that-using words to satiate the public, while having absolutely no intention of carrying out the actions or policies that they SAY that they support. Yes, it is pitchfork time. They will stall and hedge and threaten and incarcerate and such, but the fact remains, there is NO SUCH THING AS A GENEROUS FILTHY RICH PERSON ON THE PLANET. The billionaires have one thing in common=greed. You shall know them by their fruits, not by their words.

  2. more common 9 year old ruling class analysis…there will be no pitchforks in societies where people believe there is a distinction between trump and biden and mobile phones are the preferred sex object

  3. Why tax to such a high degree at all when debt-free transactions remove a massive burden from both the market’s purse and the government’s purse ??? Placing the focus on real economic growth brings this all together.

  4. Lots of talk,like the US “leaders” talk of the fault of others eg Russia and China.
    Take 99% of the excess profits of the last two years from the few filthy rich and you could vaccinate everyone in the world against covid-19, I recently read.
    The “parliaments” of the democracies (!) that rule us do not care about their own populations, let alone those in other nations. China is demonised for its success and arrogantly accused of stealing intellectual property of the West. Russia is treated as if it is perpetually invading others, with complete lack of evidence or reason, and never accepted as worthy of respect or having the right to alleged “sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity” claimed for tinpot puppets like the Baltic states,while Iraq, Libya, Syria, Palestine(!) Yemen,Venezuela, DPRK….withstand vicious sanctions because they do not conform to the Washington dictates. Unless countries really cooperate fairly what hope is there of any decency in sharing wealth?

    1. Russia is treated as if it is perpetually invading others, with complete lack of evidence or reason, and never accepted as worthy of respect or having the right to alleged “sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity” “”
      Nobody denies Russia’s right to sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity!
      Crimea (taken from Ukraine), Abkhazia and Ossetia (taken from Georgia by Russian proxies), Transnistria (taken from Moldavia by Russian proxies) are evidence and reason enough!

  5. Not covered by the woke leftists, and your fellow you posted recently blathering about Universal Basic Income.

    read her stuff, and watch her videos . . . obsessed with this topic, and few are like her: ground truthers, a regular person, not some elite Ivy League puke with zero heart.

    People in crisis have limited recourse. Programmable money is a tool of economic warfare deployed against marginalized women and children who suffer social ills caused by globalization under the boot of debt-finance strong men who profess to want to “help” them out of poverty. While it may ameliorate some of the worst aspects of oppression, poverty alleviation schemes are about establishing new markets in human capital futures. What to do with a global economic model that devastates everything? Find a way to make that devastation profitable, of course. That is what predictive analytics, impact metrics, and data dashboards are for. The conditional cash transfer model set up in the late 1990s has opened the door to app-based financial services that will permit meta-data to be aggregated and made interoperable on blockchain. Finclusion apps mean the digital footprint of the poor will determine their right to participate in economic transactions. Conditional was the key aspect of the concept.

    The planned future of “money” for the masses of humanity is tokenized scrip on blockchain doled out for submitting to the rules of the game set the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Behave if you want to be granted “deserving poor” status in the precarious Circular Economy by the crypto overlords. Neo-banking, micro-finance, micro-insurance, and peer-to-peer “lending,” shocking Pavlovian wearables, KYC (Know Your Customer), and real time financial activity monitoring have been set up to channel Environmental-Social-Governance aligned capital flows through the bodies and social relations of the formerly “unbanked.” They are the ones at the center of the social impact finance gold rush. The insistence on transitioning people from informal local economies onto blockchain reached a fever pitch in the lockdown months. It is that manufactured dispossession that was intended to clear the decks of cash and usher in a global control grid.

    1. What country? Your third paragraph left me confused. In the US, the poor have no options. It’s like those Covid “checks for everyone:” How would those checks reach the masses of very poor, especially throughout rural America? In today’s US, they generally don’t have things like home addresses and bank accounts. There is no “programmable money” for them, and don’t be shocked to hear that they have no computers/devices by which to access some sort of digital accounts.

      1. –>> In the US, the poor have no options. I have to disagree but what I’m about to say is only because of current developments. The people of the US are free to monetize , price and distribute their own sovereign money of MARKET gold and silver and have been since Dec 31, 1974 by presidential Executive order. Research the date. You’ll note this date was only after the fixed price peg on gold was dissolved and the pricing and management of gold was handed to the marketplace.

        The hold-up wasn’t based on legal development or impediments but by the free market’s slow and steady development for making debt-free transactions feasible , efficient and user friendly.

        The call to action is in the marketplace as the consumer now has access to the monetary stage.

      2. That is what the fed accounts are for, and the Obama phones. The whole systems of human capital finance via fin-tech has been set up by the US Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the United Way-the ALICE program. Assets Limited Income Constrained Poor. If they can blockchain Syrian refugees as impact markets, you can be sure they can easily blockchain the rural poor in the US Midwest. Just because you have a hard time imagining it, doesn’t mean the program isn’t proceeding quickly.

  6. As I responded in the original posting, the key is how to distribute the revenues:
    a) tax collection is local (national, regional or local, for example
    b) where the tax is collected has a host of issues from government policies, political instability and corruption, to name a few.
    c) levels of poverty in, for example, East Africa differ from residents in islands in the Caribbean
    d) even a simple redistribution via a Universal Basic Income, UBI, is far from simple.

    There is movement for a universal tax across countries to deal with speculative extraction and movement of wealth compared to economic development thru wealth allocation, globally. But that is reactive and punitive and is a far cry to allocation of a tax of the proposed nature.

    Unlike the passive protests such as the Wall Street event, this has significant and visible consequences. To gain adherents, it needs actionable plans. The counter example is the multitude of wealth supported non-profits which have not made sustainable impacts. Perhaps a demonstration is warranted?

    1. Why makes a simple issue complicated ? Taxation rates and inflation are easily lower on the back of real economic growth. This shifts the question from one of taxation and how to deal with it toward the creation and sustainability of real economic growth. It’s a damn shame that Americans’ consciousness is not tuned into the fact and Americans can legall and lawfully monetize their own personal gold and trade it directly into the real economy where real growth takes on a whole new complexion.

      The door for personal monetization has been in effect since Dec 31, 1974, once the price model was set free from the fixed price peg that had been in place beforehand. The POTUS said so. Who was listening ?

      The whole society seems detached from realily given the wide opne moentay door where the consumer now has the stage.

  7. Standard. It always comes down to the middle class wanting wealth redistributed from rich to middle class. Imagine that. And obviously, 26 years into the Democrats’ war on the poor, they don’t want a penny to trickle down to those in greatest need. Tax cuts, in a country where millions of the still-employed are paid too little to owe taxes.

    1. When wealth is distributed fairly on the basis of proper effort, merit and productivity, much of the influence has to be governed by the free market where this incudes the creation, pricing and distribution of the market’s own sovereign money where the market money develops a symbiosis relationship with the state’s legal tender.

      Sustainable real economic growth is the end in mind and the win-win for all.

      We need some “monetary Yang” with our existing monetary “Yin”. Balance and symbiosis can only ensue.

  8. Russia is treated as if it is perpetually invading others, with complete lack of evidence or reason, and never accepted as worthy of respect or having the right to alleged “sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity” “”
    Nobody denies Russia’s right to sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity!
    Crimea (taken from Ukraine), Abkhazia and Ossetia (taken from Georgia by Russian proxies), Transnistria (taken from Moldavia by Russian proxies) are evidence and reason enough!

  9. Taxes have several purposes, including decreasing spending power, equalizing apparent wealth, and, in some cases, punishment for antisocial behavior, such as pollution of the environment.

    In countries such as the UK and the United States, which have fiat currencies, TAXES DON’T FUND SPENDING PROGRAMS. These countries create their currencies at will, each time their governing bodies pass an appropriations bill.

    In these countries, taxing the rich would satisfy the burning need of the working class which is suffering for justice, without addressing the basic mechanism of capitalism which is causing the problem.

    It’s as though the uber-wealthy are saying, “Here, I’m willing to part with a portion of my [ill-gotten gains] in order to continue to maintain the system which will guarantee that I will get more.”

    Moreover, their wealth has allowed them to establish an incredibly powerful propaganda program through the media which will keep the public from ever resorting to pitchforks.

    While some of the statements they made are true, I think that overall, it’s a good PR tool.

  10. This is basically how FDR got enough of the rich to support higher taxes on themselves to fund his social safety net programs. He told them that it was either that or communism, which was a realistic possibility at that time, and that communism would cause them to lose everything they had.

    1. FDR was in a definite jam. The monetary model was anchored to gold where the buying power and economic reach of gold (meaning the price), was fixed and pegged. (USD/oz) A liquidity crisis was simply waiting to happen. It was unavoidable over time.

      Bretton Woods (44-71) came out of the experience in the 1930’s , seeing how the fixed price peg was an abomination of market based principles and the law of supply and demand. Bretton Woods also marked the very beginning of the end of the fixed price peg. It had to be severed and relinquished to the marketplace.

      Few seen to realize it but the free market is legally and lawfully permitted to monetize and use its own debt-free gold in market based transactions as a form of money. Few seem to know this fact but following the freeing of the whole global price model in 1971, the POTUS then wrote Executive Order 11825 on Dec 31, 1974, thus allowing residents to own and use their own market gold in support of market transactions. The consumer has had the monetary stage ever since but the marketplace still had to catch-up with the law, from the standpoint of fully usability and efficiency, asper the monetary law of weights and measure. The USD plays a critical role as a measure of value in debt-free transactions, today. It’s begun.

      In the past, there was never a way to pour new wine into old wineskins. Everything has its time in God’s plan.

    2. Do you see how the fixed price peg on gold was a huge element of dysfunction within the monetary model and therefore, the economy and all markets ?? It can be like an elephant in the room .

  11. Funny. or better yet, the funnies. As always, these stories are just the wrappers for the stinky polluted fish and chips served to the 80 percent. And, I bet, many commentators here are in the 20 Percent, so they have skin in the game, investment portfolios, and are dream hoarders.

    But, here, keep your eye on these culprits, one and all. Social Impact Investing, on its way to digital gulag for us, the 80 Percent.

    Good work here —

    And, it’s not just Brazil or PayPal creep. Read, hit the interviews, hit the links, and then move forward and understand where this fourth industrial revolution is going.

    Omidyar Network And National Education Standards in Brazil

    Alison is dedicated, intensely deep into this stuff, and you shall learn, small potatoes Scheer Report!

  12. Elon Musk will pay $11 billion in taxes for 2021. He voluntarily paid more than he had to. He doesn’t avail himself of tax dodges, such as stashing money in offshore bank accounts, etc. He’s different than many of his fellow billionaires in that amassing a fortune isn’t his personal objective.

    1. Those who avoid taxation are a shining example to the rest of society, examples that prevent us from falling into apathy by keeping us on our toes.

    2. Amazing, the defender of this fellow. So he gets huge contracts from governments, from us, US taxpayer, for his earth destroying “innovations.” This is the caliber of defending one of the sociopaths? A billion in taxes?

      Musk is as bad as they get —

      “Bolivia had a right-wing coup backed by the U.S. to remove the first Indigenous president in Latin America in a majority Indigenous country, Evo Morales.

      It was a bloody event that brought in a year of harsh repression, and Evo Morales called it the ‘Lithium Coup’—[intended to] take over [Bolivia’s] supply of lithium and then privatize it for export to companies like Tesla, which was setting up next door in Brazil, a country run by a right-wing nationalist president, Jair Bolsonaro.

      Elon Musk had actually gone on Twitter while this coup regime was holding power, repressing the left-wing indigenous social movements and said, ‘We will coup whoever we want! Deal with it.’”

      “Planet of the Humans” crossed another bright green line by taking aim at the self-proclaimed climate justice activists themselves, painting them as opportunists who had been willingly co-opted by predatory capitalists. The filmmakers highlighted the role of family foundations like the Rockefeller Brothers Fund in cultivating a class of professional activists that tend toward greenwashing partnerships with Wall Street and the Democratic Party to coalitions with anti-capitalist militants and anti-war groups.

      Bill McKibben, the founder of and guru of climate justice activism, is seen throughout “Planet of the Humans” consorting with Wall Street executives and pushing fossil fuel divestment campaigns that enable powerful institutions to reshuffle their assets into plastics and mining while burnishing their image. McKibben has even called for environmentalists to cooperate with the Pentagon, one of the world’s worst polluters and greatest exporters of violence, because “when it speaks frankly, [it] has the potential to reach Americans who won’t listen to scientists.”

      Perhaps the most provocative critique contained in “Planet of the Humans” was the portrayal of full-time climate warriors like McKibben as de facto lobbyists for green tech billionaires and Wall Street investors determined to get their hands on the whopping $50 trillion profit opportunity that a full transition to renewable technology represents. Why have figures like Google CEO Eric Schmidt, Michael Bloomberg, Virgin’s Richard Branson, and Tesla founder Elon Musk been plowing their fortunes into climate advocacy? The documentary taunted those who accepted these oligarchs’ gestures of environmental concern at face value.

      For years, leftist criticism of professional climate activism has been largely relegated to blogs like Wrong Kind of Green, which maintains an invaluable archive of critical work on the co-optation of major environmental organizations by the billionaire class. Prominent greens might have been able to dismiss scrutiny from radical corners of the internet as background noise; however, they were unable to ignore “Planet of the Humans.”

      That was because Oscar-winning documentarian Michael Moore put his name on the film as executive producer, alongside his longtime producer, Gibbs, and the scholar-researcher Ozzie Zehner. “Michael Moore validates this film,” Josh Fox, the filmmaker who led the campaign against “Planet of the Humans,” told me. “So if Michael Moore’s name is not on that film, it’s like a thousand other crappy movies.”

      By racking up millions of views after just a month on YouTube, “Planet of the Humans” threatened to provoke an unprecedented debate about the corruption of environmental politics by the one percent. But thanks to the campaign by Fox and his allies, much of the debate wound up focused on the film itself, and the credibility of its producers.

      “I had some sense that the film was going to ruffle some feathers, but I was unprepared for that response from what ended up being a group of people who are like an echo chamber – all related to the same funding organizations,” said Zehner. “It’s a pretty tight circle and it was a really strong, virulent pushback.”

      1. @Paul+Haeder
        Speaking as a radical environmentalist who worked as a volunteer campaigner, paid employee, and environmental attorney, my objections to alternative energy sources are that they are just as if not more ecologically and environmentally destructive as fossil fuel sources. Right now we are fighting a lithium mine in the next state that will destroy a large amount of natural land. That lithium is proposed to be used for car batteries for all the electric cars they want to build.

        If humans want to stop destroying the planet by their use of energy, they have to stop living industrially (they also need to greatly lower their population, because without industrial things like artificial fertilizer, everyone but one billion people would starve to death). There is no magical techno solution to living unnaturally that would allow humans to do so without greatly harming the Earth and all other life here. THAT’s the real message of Planet of the Humans. Unfortunately, they didn’t articulate the real message strong or often enough, just referring to it occasionally.

        I suggest reading Deep Green Lies by Derrick Jensen et al. The book is far more detailed than Planet of the Humans (needlessly so in some instances, but it shows you exactly what is wrong with all the alternative energy sources).

  13. SpaceX signs a $653 million contract with the US Air Force in 2020. The US Air Force has joined in on the SpaceX action as well. In 2020, Musk’s SpaceX and United Launch Alliance won two contracts for National Security Space “launch services” worth a combined $653 million, which they will provide between 2022 and 2027.

  14. Tesla accepted some of the $600 billion that Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin offered corporations early in the pandemic. As Insider reported in July 2020, Tesla did so while Musk was tweeting against government aid for individuals.

    “Another government stimulus package is not in the best interests of the people imo,” Musk tweeted.

    In Tesla’s July 2020 regulatory filing, it mentioned that the company received “certain payroll related benefits,” but did not specify any dollar amounts.

  15. Overall, Musk’s companies had received $4.9 billion in government support as of 2015, according to a report published that year by the Los Angeles Times — much of which came in the form of subsidies.

  16. Since Citizens United that legislation Americans clearly want can’t even get a debate in the Senate, much less push a vote past a Republican filibuster:

    Reduce student debt?

    Free or low-cost college?

    Dental, hearing and eyeglasses for seniors on Medicare?

    Raise the cap on Social Security so it’s solvent for the next 75 years?

    Get the Post Office into postal banking for low-income people?

    Stop global warming?

    Clean up all that e. coli and salmonella in our food supply?

    Make pharmaceuticals affordable?

    Medicare for all?

    Tax the Rich?

    Break up the big monopolies to restore competition and lower prices?

    All of these positions, when polled as a single policy point rather than through a partisan frame, are overwhelmingly supported by the American people. None can get into law because either a few billionaires or corporations have paid off enough politicians to stop it.

    1. Please tell me why they should get into law when the American people were given the choice to begin debt-free trading to support real economic growth and provide all the wealth creation and revenue for each of those issues. Check Executive Order 11825, Dec 31, 1974. You should take special note that this was only after the fixed price peg on gold was released from the fixed price peg and the trading value of gold became scalable for market use. Gold cannot act as a long term form of money, being limited and finite, if the price is fixed and pegged by fiat. It’s a breach of free market principles. The buying power (price per ounce) had to be made scalable to be congruent with free market trades that are agreed upon by price.

      What happened ? Did the American people simply fall asleep ? Did they become too comfortable with the use of IOU’s (legal tender) ? In any case, the lack of awareness or the apathy falls on the marketplace in this case.

      The one thing that would be dropped from that list would be higher taxation for the rich because the massive increase in government revenue would cover all your points

      Americans fell asleep on the easy road and now you think they should be permitted an audience ???
      There’s a little growing up to be done here. You’re either poorly informed or you’re a whining socialist.

      Know the facts and then form your opinion.

    1. Fair taxes are a pipe-dream until the free market embraces debt-free transactions in support of real economic growth. Tax is not a problem. Inflation is the underlying cause where costs have to be carried and taxpayers pay the bill. Unfair taxation is but a symptom. Strike the root. The good news is that the consumer has far more power in the monetary model by comparison with the taxpayers’ power in the political (fiscal) model We need to go with strength.

      Inflation s not a political (fiscal) concept. It’s monetary just as debt creation (legal tender) is monetary.

      Only the free market can legally and lawfully monetize its own sovereign market gold and trade it into the real economy for goods and services. The wealth creation increase and the revenue increase to government will be staggering.

      It’s the consumer who now has the stage and that stage door has been open since Dec 31, 1974 when the POTUS reenacted people’s ability to win and trade their PERSONAL gold within the USA. You’ll note that this was after the pricing model was given over to the marketplace when the fixed price model was dissolved in 1971.

      Americans simply feel asleep or got too comfortable with passing around IOU’s. Review the history by referencing the link with special attention to Executive Order 11825

      1. More absurdity. They … rich and super rich and almost…. lock them up. Devil’s Island or Epstein’s Island.

        Why isn’t congress using the anti monopoly laws to break Blackstone up? They are allowing Blackstone to get bigger and bigger and monopolize housing and they are getting damned near free money from the Fed to do so. Mnuchin couldn’t throw money at Schwarzman fast enough

    2. Fair taxes, so the taxes go to? Oh yeah, back in Big Pharma’s pockets, back into Big Oil’s pockets, back into Amazon’s pockets, back into the pockets of, well, millionaires and billionaires. No comments about monopolies, about privatizing everything? There should be NO billionaires. You know that. Ill gotten riches. Shoot, you put a dude in prison for 20 years for bilking Netflix, but Prince-Prick Andrew gets to pay off a nonprofit (sic) for his alleged rape? End the rich, and you know that is the solution, but not in today’s Disneyfied world, where fines, levies, evictions, foreclosures, penalties, tickets, code violations, double and triple late fees, tolls, repossessions, and that old soft shoe PayDay loan smile runs 80 percent of us into hell, aka, the poor house. Redistribution of wealth? Right, so poisons products get manufactured, poisons in foods, soil, air, water continue unabated, the entire destruction of communities through the Walmartization/Amazonification of the world?

      Sad sad commentary that we talk about ptichforks. These people need to be ended, as the brave USA goes after El Chapo types, the BlackRocks rule the world? Time to revolt BIG Time, and Commondreams is armchair buffonery.

      1. Tax is not a problem the market can address or affect in a direct manner. Tax is a symptom of over-leveraged inflationary debt where somebody has to pay the government bill.

        The consumer is free to support real economic growth by choosing to transact debt-free with his/her own sovereign debt-free gold and silver. The legal door has been opened since Dec 31, 1974 by way of Executive order 11825. The path has been given. Americans fell asleep or got too comfy with circulating IOU’s.

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