Understanding economic reality via a board game

I continually am puzzled by the misunderstanding (“disunderstanding”?) of Monetary Sovereignty. It is both simple and obvious, yet many (most?) people have trouble comprehending it.

MS is based on just four simple facts:The case against the American Constitution | The Week

  1. In the 1780s, the U.S. federal government created the laws that created the U.S. dollar from thin air — as many dollars as it wished – and gave them the value it wished.
  2. The government’s own laws give it the power to continue creating dollars, infinitely
  3. The government’s own laws give it the power to continue changing the value of the dollar — a power it has used many times.
  4. The government can change its laws at will.

Really, what could be simpler, more obvious, and less controversial?

Derived from these simple, obvious facts comes the following:

  1. The U.S. federal government never unintentionally can run short of U.S. dollars.
  2. No agency of the government can run short of dollars unless the government wishes it.
  3. Federal taxes are not used or needed to fund federal spending.
  4. By changing the value of the dollar, the government has absolute control over inflation

And that’s it. Monetary Sovereignty.

Intuition is powerful. Many of us prefer to believe our intuition than believe facts.

Interestingly, where fiction parallels facts, you might not believe the facts about the fiction, while still believing fiction about the facts.

That is, you might read a historical novel of fiction, and not believe the background facts presented. Yet, you might be fooled by a conspiracy theory website presenting fiction as fact.

So here is the explanation that may appeal to intuition as well as to facts.

You probably have played the hugely popular board game, Monopolytm. As a game, it’s fiction, but you believe and understand the facts (i.e. “rules.’)Amazon.com: Hasbro Monopoly Money : Toys & Games

Here are some of the facts.

The game is played with multiple players plus a Bank

The Bank pays Monopoly dollars to the players for various benefits.

The Bank collects taxes, fines, loans and interest from the players.

The Bank “never goes broke.” If the Bank needs money, it may issue as many dollars as needed by printing on scraps of paper or simply by creating a bookkeeping tally.

Example of a Monopoly running tally

A sample tally is demonstrated by the illustration at the right.

It reveals three things:

I. Monopoly money is not physical. Those printed $500, $100, $50, $20 $10 $5, and $1 bills aren’t dollars in of themselves.

They merely represent dollars, just as the numbers on a tally represent dollars.

II. The Bank can create an infinite supply of Monopoly dollars.

If needed, the Bank instantly could pay Tom, Dick, Harry, or Bob $1, or $100, or $1,000,000,000 in Monopoly dollars.

In the tally, there is no need to create a column for the Monopoly Bank.

This lack of a column demonstrates the Bank’s ownership of infinite dollars.

It also demonstrates that all dollars sent to the Monopoly Bank are destroyed upon receipt.

If Tom, for instance, sent $100 to the Bank, his $4,400 would be reduced to $4,300. So, what happened to the $100 Tom paid? They simply disappeared. They no longer exist.

Although the Bank can create infinite dollars this creation process does not create Monopoly Bank “debt.” The Monopoly Bank does not borrow dollars nor does it owe any dollars.

Thus, taxes are not levied to “pay off” any Monopoly Bank debt.

By rule, the Monopoly Bank simply creates all the dollars it needs. Although the Bank is not precluded from keeping track of the dollars it receives from players, that record would not indicate how many dollars the Monopoly Bank “owes” or has.

There is no ongoing debt owed by the Monopoly Bank.

All of the above is easily understood by you and by virtually anyone else who has played the game.

Now, in the above paragraphs, substitute the words, “U.S. federal government” for the word “Bank.” And substitute “members of the public” for “players.”

The facts remain essentially the same.

There are multiple members of the public plus the federal government. 

The federal government pays dollars to the public for various benefits.

The federal government collects taxes, fines, loans, and interest from the public.

The federal government “never goes broke.” If the federal government needs money, the government may issue as much as needed by printing on paper or simply by creating a bookkeeping tally.

[Former Fed Chairman, Alan Greenspan: “A government cannot become insolvent with respect to obligations in its own currency.”]

Continue reading and substituting until you come to the part that some people have difficulty understanding:

The federal government does not borrow dollars nor does it owe any dollars. Taxes are not levied to “pay off” any federal government debt.

[Quote from Ben Bernanke when, as Fed chief, he was on 60 Minutes:
Scott Pelley: Is that tax money that the Fed is spending?
Former Fed Chair, Ben Bernanke: It’s not tax money… We simply use the computer to mark up the size of the account.]

The Monopoly Bank and the U.S. federal government both are Monetarily Sovereign. They both are issuers of their dollars. Neither of them can run short of dollars.

Both the Monopoly Bank and the U.S federal government have infinite dollars.

[Former Fed Chair, Ben Bernanke: “The U.S. government has a technology, called a printing press (or, today, its electronic equivalent), that allows it to produce as many U.S. dollars as it wishes at essentially no cost.”]

Neither the Monopoly Bank nor the federal government borrows or taxes in order to pay their financial obligations. Spending by the Monopoly Bank or the U.S. federal government does not create future taxpayer obligations.

For that reason, Social Security, an agency of the federal government, cannot run short of dollars, unless that is what the government wants. Even if there were no FICA tax (which contrary to popular myth, does not fund Social Security), that agency need not run short of dollars.

State and Local Governments With the Most Debt Per Capita
The “debt clock.” You have no share.

Medicare for All, college for all, upgraded infrastructure, good housing for all — every imaginable federal benefit — all are easily affordable. The so-called federal debt is not a burden on future taxpayers or on the government.

The famous “debt clock” implies the lie that somehow the federal “debt” is a danger to you, your children, and the federal government.

It is not a debt, and it is not a danger, to you or anyone.

It is just simple deposits by the public into accounts.

The parallels between the Monopoly game and federal financing are stunning.

Yet, though people tend to understand the rules of Monopoly, too many become hopelessly confused by the same set of facts when applied to real life.

Yes, one is fiction and the other is fact, but that difference is not the source of the confusion.

The confusion is caused by the longtime, ongoing, relentless dissemination of false information about the federal government’s finances and by the misnaming of T-securities as “borrowing” and “debt.” They are neither.

The misinformation is promulgated by agents for the rich, who want to prevent you from asking for the benefits the rich already receive: Retirement benefits, medical care, good housing, safe neighborhoods, college education, spending money for a good life.

Neither the government nor you owes the deposits that sit in T-security accounts. These accounts resemble bank safe deposit boxes, which the bank “pays off” simply by returning the contents. No “debt” or tax liability there.

The Monopoly board game is a good analog for the federal finance system. If you understand one, you should understand the other.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty
Twitter: @rodgermitchell
Search #monetarysovereignty
Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

……………………………………………………………………..

THE SOLE PURPOSE OF GOVERNMENT IS TO IMPROVE AND PROTECT THE LIVES OF THE PEOPLE.

The most important problems in economics involve:

  1. Monetary Sovereignty describes money creation and destruction.
  2. Gap Psychology describes the common desire to distance oneself from those “below” in any socio-economic ranking, and to come nearer those “above.” The socio-economic distance is referred to as “The Gap.”

Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics. Implementation of Monetary Sovereignty and The Ten Steps To Prosperity can grow the economy and narrow the Gaps:

Ten Steps To Prosperity:

  1. Eliminate FICA
  2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D, plus long-term care — for everyone
  3. Social Security for all
  4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone
  5. Salary for attending school
  6. Eliminate federal taxes on business
  7. Increase the standard income tax deduction, annually. 
  8. Tax the very rich (the “.1%”) more, with higher progressive tax rates on all forms of income.
  9. Federal ownership of all banks
  10. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99.9% 

The Ten Steps will grow the economy and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest.

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

How can federal spending increase the nation’s money supply?

The U.S. federal government created the very first U.S. laws from thin air, and some of those laws created the very first U.S. dollars, also from thin air.

Ever since then, the government has continued to create laws, and some of those laws allow the government to continue creating more dollars.

Thus, the U.S. government has given itself the power to create an infinite supply of U.S. laws and an infinite supply of U.S. dollars. The power is called “Monetary Sovereignty.”

You do not have this power. Nor does your city, county, state, or business. You all are monetarily non-sovereign.

While the federal government can’t unintentionally run short of dollars, you can, as can even the wealthiest people or businesses on earth.

So would you or anyone elect to send your precious dollars to the federal government?

Water Bottle Pouring Water To Ocean Canvas Print | Canvas Prints-somchaij
Sending dollars to a Monetarily Sovereign government is even more futile than pouring a bottle of water into the ocean.

Of course, you wouldn’t, because you are too wise to throw your money away.

The only reason why you would send money to the federal government is to obey laws requiring you to do so.

Otherwise, you would be a fool to send dollars to an entity that has infinite dollars.

Sadly, thousands, perhaps millions, of well-meaning Americans do just that.

Recently, reader “Mark” mentioned this government website:

Gift Contributions to Reduce Debt Held by the Public
The Bureau of the Fiscal Service may accept gifts donated to the United States Government to reduce debt held by the public. Acting for the Secretary of the Treasury, Fiscal Service may accept a gift of:

Money, only on the condition that it be used to reduce debt held by the public.

An outstanding government obligation, only on the condition that the obligation be cashed and the proceeds used to reduce debt held by the public.

Other intangible personal property only on the condition that the property is sold and the proceeds used to reduce the public debt.

Gifts to reduce debt held by the public may be inter vivos (from a living person) gifts or testamentary bequests (in a person’s will).

The fiscal year to date information includes total gifts received for the months of October through September. Monthly data is not available for the years 1996 and 1997.

Read about how to make a contribution to reduce the debt.

Gift Contributions*
2021 $1,268,950.35   2020 $1,615,198.54    2019 $4,991,215.70    2018 $775,654.63

2017 $2,611,428.24   2016 $2,718,154.76    2015 $3,864,661.38    2014 $5,103,452.84

2013 $1,763,754.56   2012 $7,749,618.27    2011 $3,277,369.23    2010 $2,840,466.75

2009 3,063,057.05    2008 2,189,358.89     2007 2,624,862.42      2006 1,646,209.41

2005 1,455,541.65    2004 664,911.25       2003 1,277,423.40      2002 744,675.06

2001 1,645,082.28    2000 1,868,891.93     1999 1,457,510.59      1998 1,535,541.02

*Gifts to Reduce Debt Held by the Public have been reported in the footnotes of the Monthly Statement of the Public Debt since February 1988. Visit the MSPD to view historical information on the debt including fiscal year to date tables through and including 1987.

If a private citizen had written the above pack of lies to solicit money, a sheriff would be banging on his door. But who will arrest Timothy (Tim) E. Gribben, commissioner of the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service (Fiscal Service)?

If you go to his department’s website, you will see lies that would shame even Donald Trump. For instance:

. . . gifts donated to the United States Government to reduce debt held by the public.

What a con job. First, there is no reason to reduce the debt held by the public. This so-called “debt” is nothing more than deposits into T-security accounts held by the Federal Reserve Bank.

There is no reason to reduce these deposits, and the federal government has the unlimited ability to increase or constrain them.

Further, the government pays off the deposits every day upon maturity, simply by returning the money in the accounts. This is no burden whatsoever on the government or on taxpayers, as no tax dollars are used.

Second, the dollars you send to the federal government are destroyed upon receipt. The dollars you send come from the M1 money supply measure, but when they are received they immediately become part of no money supply measure.

Because the government has the infinite ability to create infinite dollars, there is no point in trying to measure or add to the government’s money supply. It is worse than hoping to raise an ocean level by pouring a bottle of water into the ocean because even an ocean isn’t infinte.

Infinity plus any number, still is infinity, which is why voluntarily sending dollars to the federal government is infinitely foolish.

∞ + 1 = ∞

“We are guided by our commitment to integrity, collaboration, accountability, learning, and excellence in our dealings with each other and with those we support and serve.”

Oh, puleeze. When someone brags about his integrity, collaboration, accountability, learning, and excellence, you can be sure he has none of those virtues, especially when:

“We . . . conducted 472 auctions to fund critical government operations and activities.”

His auctions do nothing to fund government operations and activities. Like federal tax dollars, auction dollars are destroyed upon receipt. The transition from being part of the M1 money supply to being part of no money supply effectively destroys dollars.

“We collected over $4.91 trillion in federal revenue of which 99.6% was settled electronically.”

Whether settled electronically or with an abacus, it was $4.91 trillion dollars removed from the U.S. private sector (aka “the economy”) or from some other nation’s private sector — and destroyed.

. . . processed nearly  202.2 million transactions valued at over $3.56 trillion in tax revenue.

He destroyed $3.56 trillion that formerly was in the economy.

“We collected $5.04 billion in delinquent debt.”

And gave that $5.04 billion to an entity that already has an unlimited supply of dollars.

Treasury Offset Program collected $271.76 million of delinquent child support collections and $294.8 million of State Unemployment Insurance. The Centralized Receivables Service processed 805,980 cases and collected over $79.1 million.

All of the above-mentioned dollars were taken from the private sector, and destroyed.

“We finance government operations by offering Treasury securities through reliable, accurate, flexible, and electronic systems.”

No, you do not “finance government operations by offering Treasury securities.” The government finances its own operations by creating dollars, ad hoc.

In summary, take pity on the well-meaning but ignorant folks who voluntarily pour their precious dollars into an infinite, unmeasurable ocean.

But take even more pity on those of us who are forced, by law, to do the same, unnecessary thing: Paying FICA.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty
Twitter: @rodgermitchell
Search #monetarysovereignty
Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

……………………………………………………………………..

THE SOLE PURPOSE OF GOVERNMENT IS TO IMPROVE AND PROTECT THE LIVES OF THE PEOPLE.

The most important problems in economics involve:

  1. Monetary Sovereignty describes money creation and destruction.
  2. Gap Psychology describes the common desire to distance oneself from those “below” in any socio-economic ranking, and to come nearer those “above.” The socio-economic distance is referred to as “The Gap.”

Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics. Implementation of Monetary Sovereignty and The Ten Steps To Prosperity can grow the economy and narrow the Gaps:

Ten Steps To Prosperity:

  1. Eliminate FICA
  2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D, plus long-term care — for everyone
  3. Social Security for all
  4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone
  5. Salary for attending school
  6. Eliminate federal taxes on business
  7. Increase the standard income tax deduction, annually. 
  8. Tax the very rich (the “.1%”) more, with higher progressive tax rates on all forms of income.
  9. Federal ownership of all banks
  10. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99.9% 

The Ten Steps will grow the economy and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest.

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

Student loans: Another screwing of the middle classes

Let’s be clear. Every time the government pays a creditor, it creates new dollars, ad hoc.
In fact, paying creditors is the method by which the government creates dollars.

Thus, the U.S. federal government cannot unintentionally run short of its own sovereign currency.

Let’s be clearer. The U.S. federal government has absolute control over the value of the U.S. dollar (aka “inflation.”) Not only does the government control interest rates (which affect the value of the dollar) but the government arbitrarily can and has changed the value of the dollar many times.

Coinage Act of 1792
Coinage Act  of 1834
Coinage Act of 1853
Coinage Act of 1857
The Mint Act of 1873
Coinage Act of 1965
Nixon “Shock” of 1971

With the unlimited ability to create dollars, and the unlimited ability to control inflation, the federal government has no need to ask anyone for U.S. dollars.

It already has infinite dollars.Facepalm - Wikipedia

In fact, all U.S. tax dollars sent to the federal government are destroyed upon receipt.

These dollars, formerly part of the M1 money-supply measure, cease to exist in any money-supply measure after arriving at the U.S. Treasury.

Thus, federal taxes are not collected to provide the federal government with spending money.

The sole purpose and effect of federal taxation is to control the economy by rewarding what the government wants to encourage and by penalizing what the government wishes to discourage.

Thus, the government never should lend dollars, because lending requires repayment of dollars, which the federal government doesn’t use.

The government should give dollars when it believes dollars are needed. Giving, rather than lending, adds growth dollars to the economy.

One goal of the federal government should be to ease the ability of middle- and lower-income students, to attend college if they wish to.

Unfortunately, to achieve that goal, the government provides colleges students with dollars, via lending.

The above facts are what make the following article so infuriating.

Predatory student loans
Servicing company required to cancel $1.7B in debts for 66,000 borrowers
By Stacy Cowley The New York Times

Navient, once one of the country’s largest student loan servicing companies, reached a $1.85 billion deal with 39 states to settle claims that it had made predatory student loans that saddled millions of borrowers with billions of dollars in debt that they were highly unlikely to repay.

The deal, announced Thursday, requires Navient to cancel $1.7 billion in private student loan debts for nearly 66,000 borrowers and pay $95 million in restitution.

The private loans were crucial to Navient’s ability to make a large volume of lucrative federal loans, prosecutors said.

“Navient repeatedly and deliberately put profits ahead of its borrowers,” said Josh Shapiro, the attorney general of Pennsylvania, one of several states that had sued Navient.

Most of those who took out the private loans attended for-profit schools, often ones with low graduation rates and poor job-placement records.

The private loans Navient made were — in the company’s own words, according to legal filings — a “baited hook” that the lender used to reel in more federally guaranteed loans.

At some schools, it anticipated that more than 90% of the loans would default.

Rather than helping lower- and middle-income students succeed, and narrow the Gap between the rich and the rest, student loans do exactly the opposite.

Student loans doom students to lifetimes of debt and low credit ratings.

Imagine lending money when you know 90% of the borrowers would be forced into default. It is yet another clever scam by the rich (who control the U.S. government), to widen that Gap, while not-so-incidentally, putting dollars in their own pockets.

Navient, which did not admit any fault in the settlement, said it did not act illegally.

“The company’s decision to resolve these matters, which were based on unfounded claims, allows us to avoid the additional burden, expense, time and distraction to prevail in court,” said Mark Heleen, Navient’s chief legal officer.

Oh sure. All innocent companies settle lawsuits for $1.7 billion + $95 million.

Several state attorneys general also filed state lawsuits claiming that Sallie Mae — Navient’s predecessor company, from which it split off in 2014 — made private, subprime loans to borrowers it knew were likely to default.

Under Education Department rules, no more than 90% of a school’s tuition payments can come from federal funding. The private loans were intended, according to court filings, to fill that gap and lure in students, who would then take out the lucrative federal loans that the schools — and Navient — relied on.

The settlement calls for payments of around $260 per person to be distributed to 350,000 federal loan borrowers.

That $260 is a pittance compared to what the students owe or have paid.

To maintain America’s competitiveness in the world, a college education has become more necessary for America’s young people. To increase America’s wealth and to decrease poverty, the Gap between the rich and the rest should be narrowed.

If the government truly wished to encourage America’s competitiveness, and to narrow the Gap, rather than merely feeding the rich, it would fund free education for all.

Consider that the states, counties, and cities, none of which have unlimited dollars, already fund free K-12, and you can see what a scam the federal student loan system is.

The federal government should adopt Step 4, Free education for everyone, and Step  5, Salary for attending school  of the Ten Steps to Prosperity (below).

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty
Twitter: @rodgermitchell
Search #monetarysovereignty
Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

……………………………………………………………………..

THE SOLE PURPOSE OF GOVERNMENT IS TO IMPROVE AND PROTECT THE LIVES OF THE PEOPLE.

The most important problems in economics involve:

  1. Monetary Sovereignty describes money creation and destruction.
  2. Gap Psychology describes the common desire to distance oneself from those “below” in any socio-economic ranking, and to come nearer those “above.” The socio-economic distance is referred to as “The Gap.”

Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics. Implementation of Monetary Sovereignty and The Ten Steps To Prosperity can grow the economy and narrow the Gaps:

Ten Steps To Prosperity:

  1. Eliminate FICA
  2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D, plus long-term care — for everyone
  3. Social Security for all
  4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone
  5. Salary for attending school
  6. Eliminate federal taxes on business
  7. Increase the standard income tax deduction, annually. 
  8. Tax the very rich (the “.1%”) more, with higher progressive tax rates on all forms of income.
  9. Federal ownership of all banks
  10. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99.9% 

The Ten Steps will grow the economy and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest.

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

The Federal Government Has Infinite $. So why this?

The U.S. federal government is Monetarily Sovereign. That means it has the infinite ability to create its own sovereign currency, the U.S. dollar.

In the 1790’s the government created from thin air, a group of laws that in turn, created from thin air, an arbitrary number of U.S. dollars, and gave them an arbitrary value.

Subsequently, it has created trillions of U.S. dollars (arbitrarily), and often has changed their value.

In short, the U.S. government can do whatever it wishes with the U.S. dollar and never unwillingly can run short of them. U.S. dollars.

Further, the U.S. government has absolute control over the value of a dollar, thus having absolute control over inflation.

So why this:

Our COVID test prices vs. the world’s


Why not free tests?

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty
Twitter: @rodgermitchell
Search #monetarysovereignty
Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

……………………………………………………………………..

THE SOLE PURPOSE OF GOVERNMENT IS TO IMPROVE AND PROTECT THE LIVES OF THE PEOPLE.

The most important problems in economics involve:

  1. Monetary Sovereignty describes money creation and destruction.
  2. Gap Psychology describes the common desire to distance oneself from those “below” in any socio-economic ranking, and to come nearer those “above.” The socio-economic distance is referred to as “The Gap.”

Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics. Implementation of Monetary Sovereignty and The Ten Steps To Prosperity can grow the economy and narrow the Gaps:

Ten Steps To Prosperity:

  1. Eliminate FICA
  2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D, plus long-term care — for everyone
  3. Social Security for all
  4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone
  5. Salary for attending school
  6. Eliminate federal taxes on business
  7. Increase the standard income tax deduction, annually. 
  8. Tax the very rich (the “.1%”) more, with higher progressive tax rates on all forms of income.
  9. Federal ownership of all banks
  10. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99.9% 

The Ten Steps will grow the economy and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest.

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY