Mitchell’s laws: Reduced money growth never stimulates economic growth. To survive long term, a monetarily non-sovereign government must have a positive balance of payments. Economic austerity causes civil disorder. Those, who do not understand the differences between Monetary Sovereignty and monetary non-sovereignty, do not understand economics.
In economics, there is one Big Question we often neglect to ask, but instead we ask many, small and wrong questions, which is why we arrive at the wrong answers, this recession being one of the wrong answers.
Economics either is very complicated or very simple, depending on how you approach it. If you slip into economics’s many formulae, or argue the details of positive, normative, rational, behavioral, macro, micro or heterodox economics, you quickly may find yourself drowning in abstruse terminology and hypothetical argument, from which you never will emerge nor be seen again.
But economics can be simple if you look at the big picture which leads directly to the Big Question. The big picture in economics revolves around the fundamental purpose of economics, which I submit is to improve our lives.
Now you may believe economics has another purpose or purposes, and that’s all right. I won’t argue, so long as somewhere in your belief statement are the words, “improve our lives.” That’s what economics is really about. That’s why people devote their careers to economics. They wish to understand how to improve our lives.
But strangely, this often is forgotten, when people discuss economics. In our ongoing, historical effort to improve our lives, we have created our greatest invention: Government. All social animals have some sort of government, and as the most sophisticated social animal, we have created the most sophisticated governments, rife with labyrinthine and intertwining laws and interpretations of laws, and elaborate systems for interpretations of interpretations.
To guide our detailed, complex social structure we need such intricacy in our government, or at least, such intricacy is inevitable. For each problem we devise a solution, which we add to all the other solutions previously devised – solution upon solution upon solution, growing ever larger, until what millennia ago began as a few, small shrubs has evolved into a great, expanding jungle of giant trees, which no one could hope to understand in it entirety.
The economic jungle, this Government, has become so big it has acquired a life of its own, a living organism separate from those of us who created it. It demands that we support it and care for it, and that is where we have lost our direction. Remember, government was created to “improve our lives,” but because government has become so large and powerful, the purpose often is perverted to “improve the government’s life.”
Thus, we have invented such initiatives as federal debt reduction, federal spending reductions, firing of federal workers, taxes and austerity. Consider this October 4, 2011 article in the Huff Post:
Should the federal government concentrate on paying off its debt, even if it comes at the expense of a more robust economic recovery? Or should it focus on stimulating the economy, even if that means running up more costs?
According to a poll published Wednesday, 59 percent of Americans want the government to make national debt reduction its top priority, even if it comes at the expense of kick-starting the economy. Only a third think the focus should be on stimulation.
Talk about a perversion of purpose! We have become so confused by the complexities of government, we have forgotten why government exists at all. We have been led to believe caring for a tool we created and can modify in any way we choose, is more important than caring for ourselves. We have been led to believe we must sacrifice for the sake of the tool rather than re-making the tool to work for us.
The Big Question we repeatedly should ask is this: Does this improve our lives, now?
When someone tells you to pay more taxes, because the government needs taxes, ask, “Is my taking money out of my pocket and sending it to the government the best way to improve our lives, now?” Or should I change the government so it doesn’t need my taxes?
When someone says to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits, ask, “Does providing lower benefits to humans, while reducing government costs, improve our lives, now?” Or should I change the government so it can pay me these benefits?
Does firing federal human workers, so the government can pay less, improve our lives now? Does reduced federal purchases of goods and services, to save the government money, while hurting the human vendors of those goods and services, improve our lives, now? Or should I change the government so it can hire us and buy from us?
We are asked to sacrifice for the “greater good,” but is it for the greater good of human people or the greater good of the government? We own the government. We created it and we can change it. It is our lump of clay. We can make it taller or shorter, fatter or thinner. We can make it walk or run or jump or sit. It can create money, stop inflation, prevent recessions, facilitate education, eliminate poverty. It can do or be anything we want. Government is infinitely malleable. It is our creation.
When we are told to provide for this lump of clay, we should refuse. The lump of clay should be molded to provide for us. If government wants more taxes, change the government. If government wants to pay less benefits, change the government. If government wants to fire people, change the government.
The right wing wants smaller government. They want us to be forced to be self-sufficient, to do with a weaker, less effective tool. Exactly wrong. Self sufficiency is not a goal; it is one means to a goal, and a terrible means it is. We created government specifically so we would not have to be self sufficient. We created government to improve our lives. We created it and we can modify it, not be enslaved by it.
Yes, the Big Question we must ask is, “DOES THIS IMPROVE OUR LIVES, NOW?” not later, not eventually, not someday, but now. Life is short and death is forever. We cannot wait for a distant, unknowable, unpredictable future. We cannot wait for politicians’ promises or guarantees. They know nothing. Ask the question, “Does this improve our lives, now?”
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
No nation can tax itself into prosperity, nor grow without money growth. Monetary Sovereignty: Cutting federal deficits to grow the economy is like applying leeches to cure anemia. The key equation in economics: Federal Deficits – Net Imports = Net Private Savings