When does a dollar become a dollar? The federal black box. Wednesday, Apr 25 2018 

Alan Greenspan: “A government cannot become insolvent with respect to obligations in its own currency.”

Image result for bernanke and greenspan

The public doesn’t get it.

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.”

St. Louis Federal Reserve: “As the sole manufacturer of dollars, whose debt is denominated in dollars, the U.S. government can never become insolvent, i.e., unable to pay its bills.

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The U.S. government, like certain other governments (Canada, UK, Australia, Japan et al), is Monetarily Sovereign. Two hundred and forty years ago, the U.S. created its sovereign currency, the U.S. dollar, from thin air, by creating laws, also from thin air.

The laws created the dollar, and so long as the U.S. doesn’t run short of laws, it never unintentionally can run short of dollars. It can create an infinite number of dollars, forever.

(The federal government also has absolute control over the value of dollars [inflation] by controlling the Demand for dollars, either via interest rate control or by fiat.

It has exercised this control many times in its history, by adjusting interest rates and by arbitrarily changing the relationship of a dollar to a specific amount of metal.)

Having that unlimited dollar-creation ability allows the U.S. government to pay any number of creditors any number of dollars, without its having any income.

Even if a billion creditors each claimed payment of a thousand dollars in invoices, the U.S. government instantly could make that payment by creating new dollars — which in fact is the way the government makes all its payments.

To pay a creditor, each federal government agency sends instructions (checks and wires) to the creditor’s bank, instructing the bank to increase the balance in the creditor’s checking account. At the moment the creditor’s bank obeys those instructions, brand new dollars are created and added to the nation’s money supply (M1).

The instructions then clear through the Federal Reserve. Being a federal agency, the FRB always clears all instructions from other federal agencies. No federal instructions ever have bounced.

This contrasts with payments by monetarily non-sovereign state and local governments, whose instructions also create dollars, but when cleared through the Federal Reserve, an equal number of dollars are deducted from their checking accounts.

Thus, while federal bill-paying increases the number of dollars in circulation, state & local bill paying does not.

Having that unlimited dollar-creation ability also means it is meaningless to determine how many dollars the federal government has.

If you somehow were to decide that the federal government has a million dollars, what would that mean? It would not tell you anything about the government’s ability to spend.

If today, the federal government paid $1 trillion worth of obligations, this would not change by even a penny, the federal government’s ability to pay obligations, tomorrow.

Image result for black box

Even with zero tax input, the federal black box could output infinite dollars.

Thus, the federal government’s financial system can be referred to as a “black box.”

Definition: A black box is a device, system or object which can be viewed in terms of its inputs and outputs without any knowledge of its internal workings.

In fact, the federal government is the blackest of black boxes, because the government requires no input whatsoever. One could say the federal government “has” zero dollars or infinite dollars, and both statements would be equally correct.

What becomes of tax dollars?
When you send your tax dollars to the federal government, they leave the economy.  They cease to be part of any money-supply measure. Effectively, your federal tax dollars are destroyed.

Contrast this with your state and local tax dollars, which are owned by the monetarily non-sovereign state and local governments, and deposited in monetarily non-sovereign, private banks. These dollars are not destroyed. They continue to circulate through the private sector, as part of the nation’s money supply.

All of the above provides the answer to the title question: “When does a dollar become a dollar?”

Any form of money becomes money when it passes from the hands of the creator into the hands of the users.

When a dollar is said to be “owned” by the federal government — i.e. when it is on the federal government’s books — it actually has no value and no real existence. At will, the federal government can add and subtract numbers from its own internal balance sheets, and these changes have no economic effect. They merely are recordkeeping files.

Adding or subtracting dollars from federal balance sheets neither increases nor decreases the federal government’s ability to pay its bills.

The federal government can pay any creditor any debt denominated in dollars, simply by creating dollars. So, one can say the government owns zero or infinite dollars, depending on their thought process.

Similarly, all foreign currencies when owned by the government or agency that created them, have no value. Monetarily Sovereign governments have infinite access to their own sovereign currencies.

But what about a U.S. obligation denominated in a foreign currency, say Japanese yen or Chinese yuan? Because these currencies are easily available on foreign exchange markets, the federal government can use its unlimited supply of dollars to purchase enough foreign currency to pay any foreign creditor.

This leads to the interesting reality that the U.S. federal government has either no assets or infinite assets, simply because with infinite money it has the infinite ability to buy infinite assets.

The public may find this confusing and counterintuitive, but it demonstrates how alien federal financing is when compared to personal, business, or local government financing.

Owning or selling federal assets neither increases nor decreases the federal government’s ability to pay its bills.

Like the above-mentioned “black box,” federal assets in themselves have no value to the economy. Only federal output has value.

Image result for statue of liberty

No economic value

The Statue of Liberty, the Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore — none of these has any economic value beyond their contributions to our dollar-based economy.

The federal government’s ability to deficit spend is limited only by an inflation that cannot be prevented or cured via interest rate control or by government fiat.

For a Monetarily Sovereign government, which has the unlimited control over its own sovereign currency, no such inflation is necessary.

In summary:

    1. The federal government created the U.S. dollar from thin air by creating laws from thin air. By controlling laws, the government controls all aspects of the dollar.
    2. The finances of Monetarily Sovereign entities are substantially different from the finances of  monetarily non-sovereign entities.
    3. Monetarily Sovereign: Governments of the U.S., Canada, Japan, China, Australia and others.  Monetarily non-sovereign: The governments of cities, counties, states, euro nations, businesses, you and I.
    4. Even with zero tax collections, the federal government could not inadvertently run short of dollars.
    5. The federal government has absolute control over the Value of dollars (inflation) by controlling the Demand for dollars, either via interest rate control or by fiat.
    6. Federal finances are a “black box,” in which internal bookkeeping is meaningless to the economy. Such accounts as the Social Security “trust fund” and the federal General Account are bookkeeping illusions, used only for internal tracking. They do not reflect the economy’s financial reality.
    7. A dollar, indeed all assets, are part of the U.S. economy, only when they are owned by the U.S. private sector. Dollars shown on the federal government’s books are not part of the nation’s money supply.
    8. The private sector owns a limited number of dollars. The federal government owns an infinite number of dollars. Thus, every transfer of dollars from the private sector to the federal sector is recessive, while every transfer from the federal government to the private sector is stimulative.

The federal government could solve many more problems than it pretends it can. It has the unlimited ability to pay for education, healthcare, housing, clothing, food, transportation and any other of life’s necessities. The federal government could narrow the Gap between the rich and the poor by pressing a few computer keys.

The federal government resists taking these actions because of “Gap Psychology, the desire of the richer to distance themselves from the poorer.

If you are among the 99% of Americans who are not rich — if you own less than several million net dollars of assets — know this. The federal government has the wherewithal to ameliorate your financial struggles and worries.

The rich, who control the government, don’t want the Gap to narrow, so they brainwash you into believing it can’t be done.

Ignorance costs.

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

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The most important problems in economics involve the excessive income/wealth/power Gaps between the have-mores and the have-lesses.

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 The Ten Steps To Prosperity can narrow the Gaps:

Ten Steps To Prosperity:
1. ELIMINATE FICA (Ten Reasons to Eliminate FICA )
Although the article lists 10 reasons to eliminate FICA, there are two fundamental reasons:
*FICA is the most regressive tax in American history, widening the Gap by punishing the low and middle-income groups, while leaving the rich untouched, and
*The federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign, neither needs nor uses FICA to support Social Security and Medicare.
2. FEDERALLY FUNDED MEDICARE — PARTS A, B & D, PLUS LONG TERM CARE — FOR EVERYONE (H.R. 676, Medicare for All )
This article addresses the questions:
*Does the economy benefit when the rich can afford better health care than can the rest of Americans?
*Aside from improved health care, what are the other economic effects of “Medicare for everyone?”
*How much would it cost taxpayers?
*Who opposes it?”
3. PROVIDE A MONTHLY ECONOMIC BONUS TO EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD IN AMERICA (similar to Social Security for All) (The JG (Jobs Guarantee) vs the GI (Guaranteed Income) vs the EB (Economic Bonus)) Or institute a reverse income tax.
This article is the fifth in a series about direct financial assistance to Americans:

Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Employer of Last Resort is a bad idea. Sunday, Jan 1 2012
MMT’s Job Guarantee (JG) — “Another crazy, rightwing, Austrian nutjob?” Thursday, Jan 12 2012
Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Jobs Guarantee is like the EU’s euro: A beloved solution to the wrong problem. Tuesday, May 29 2012
“You can’t fire me. I’m on JG” Saturday, Jun 2 2012

Economic growth should include the “bottom” 99.9%, not just the .1%, the only question being, how best to accomplish that. Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) favors giving everyone a job. Monetary Sovereignty (MS) favors giving everyone money. The five articles describe the pros and cons of each approach.
4. FREE EDUCATION (INCLUDING POST-GRAD) FOR EVERYONE Five reasons why we should eliminate school loans
Monetarily non-sovereign State and local governments, despite their limited finances, support grades K-12. That level of education may have been sufficient for a largely agrarian economy, but not for our currently more technical economy that demands greater numbers of highly educated workers.
Because state and local funding is so limited, grades K-12 receive short shrift, especially those schools whose populations come from the lowest economic groups. And college is too costly for most families.
An educated populace benefits a nation, and benefitting the nation is the purpose of the federal government, which has the unlimited ability to pay for K-16 and beyond.
5. SALARY FOR ATTENDING SCHOOL
Even were schooling to be completely free, many young people cannot attend, because they and their families cannot afford to support non-workers. In a foundering boat, everyone needs to bail, and no one can take time off for study.
If a young person’s “job” is to learn and be productive, he/she should be paid to do that job, especially since that job is one of America’s most important.
6. ELIMINATE FEDERAL TAXES ON BUSINESS
Businesses are dollar-transferring machines. They transfer dollars from customers to employees, suppliers, shareholders and the federal government (the later having no use for those dollars). Any tax on businesses reduces the amount going to employees, suppliers and shareholders, which diminishes the economy. Ultimately, all business taxes reduce your personal income.
7. INCREASE THE STANDARD INCOME TAX DEDUCTION, ANNUALLY. (Refer to this.) Federal taxes punish taxpayers and harm the economy. The federal government has no need for those punishing and harmful tax dollars. There are several ways to reduce taxes, and we should evaluate and choose the most progressive approaches.
Cutting FICA and business taxes would be a good early step, as both dramatically affect the 99%. Annual increases in the standard income tax deduction, and a reverse income tax also would provide benefits from the bottom up. Both would narrow the Gap.
8. TAX THE VERY RICH (THE “.1%) MORE, WITH HIGHER PROGRESSIVE TAX RATES ON ALL FORMS OF INCOME. (TROPHIC CASCADE)
There was a time when I argued against increasing anyone’s federal taxes. After all, the federal government has no need for tax dollars, and all taxes reduce Gross Domestic Product, thereby negatively affecting the entire economy, including the 99.9%.
But I have come to realize that narrowing the Gap requires trimming the top. It simply would not be possible to provide the 99.9% with enough benefits to narrow the Gap in any meaningful way. Bill Gates reportedly owns $70 billion. To get to that level, he must have been earning $10 billion a year. Pick any acceptable Gap (1000 to 1?), and the lowest paid American would have to receive $10 million a year. Unreasonable.
9. FEDERAL OWNERSHIP OF ALL BANKS (Click The end of private banking and How should America decide “who-gets-money”?)
Banks have created all the dollars that exist. Even dollars created at the direction of the federal government, actually come into being when banks increase the numbers in checking accounts. This gives the banks enormous financial power, and as we all know, power corrupts — especially when multiplied by a profit motive.
Although the federal government also is powerful and corrupted, it does not suffer from a profit motive, the world’s most corrupting influence.
10. INCREASE FEDERAL SPENDING ON THE MYRIAD INITIATIVES THAT BENEFIT AMERICA’S 99.9% (Federal agencies)Browse the agencies. See how many agencies benefit the lower- and middle-income/wealth/ power groups, by adding dollars to the economy and/or by actions more beneficial to the 99.9% than to the .1%.
Save this reference as your primer to current economics. Sadly, much of the material is not being taught in American schools, which is all the more reason for you to use it.

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

———————————————————————————————————————


MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

 

Great News! Wells Fargo to pay $1B penalty . . . uh, wait . . . Sunday, Apr 22 2018 

St. Louis Federal Reserve: “As the sole manufacturer of dollars, whose debt is denominated in dollars, the U.S. government can never become insolvent, i.e., unable to pay its bills.”

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Image result for street robbery

My name is Wells Fargo. If I’m caught, I’ll return a few dollars, and no jail time.

 

Wells Fargo will pay a $1 Billion penalty for its outright thievery in creating fake accounts and related scams. Isn’t that great news?

Uh, wait a min. Is that really good?

Read this article and the associated comments:

Where the $1 Billion From the Wells Fargo Settlement Goes
Tobie Stanger ,Consumer Reports•April 20, 2018

Wells Fargo bank will pay $1 billion in civil penalties and compensate hundreds of thousands of victims of its abusive lending practices, according to settlements announced Friday by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency .

The $1 billion penalty will be split evenly between the CFPB’s civil penalty fund and the Treasury Department. But how much the victims themselves get hasn’t been determined.

In a departure from how the CFPB worked under its former director, Richard Cordray, the consent order issued by the bureau doesn’t say how much Wells Fargo has to give back to consumers allegedly harmed by the bank’s activities.

The billion dollars will go to two agencies of the federal government, the CFPB’s civil penalty fund and the Treasury Department.

But the federal government is Monetarily Sovereign. It has the unlimited ability to create its sovereign currency, the U.S. dollar.

It has no need for, nor use of, that billion dollars, which simply will disappear from the economy. In short, the U.S. economy will be penalized $1 billion.

Just as a tax cut stimulates economic growth by adding dollars to the economy, this transfer of $1 billion will depress economic growth by taking dollars out of the economy.

Wells Fargo has to submit a compensation plan to both regulators within 30 days. Consumers will then be notified by the bank about how much money they will receive. Under the settlement, Wells Fargo neither admits nor denies wrongdoing

That’s the penalty? The criminals are allowed to pay a fine without having to admit they are criminals? No jail time for the top executives of Well Fargo? No loss of salary? Nothing?

Would a bank robber be treated with the same kindness?

Some observers were critical of the arrangement.

“This case is silent on how much restitution is being provided to the customers,” says Christopher Peterson, a law professor at the University of Utah and former senior counsel for enforcement policy and strategy at the CFPB under Cordray. “It says Wells Fargo can give money back to customers as they choose and CFPB can object after the fact. And my suspicion is, there won’t be objections.”

Defrauded consumers stand to receive only a pittance, and this administration’s CFPD has not indicated that it even cares. The rich Wells Fargo executives are laughing. The rich Trump executives are laughing.

The poor cheated people are left crying.

In the years in which Cordray led the CFPB, about $12 billion was returned directly to consumers by companies found to have defrauded them.

The CFPD had two, far better actions available to them:

  1. Criminally charge the top brass at Wells Fargo, not only as proper punishment, but as a deterrent to other banks.
  2. Rather than levying a fine, the money for which goes to the federal government, Wells Fargo and its executives should have been required to make every victim whole, and additionally paid them for time and suffering. This would not have penalized the economy.

According to the consent orders, Wells Fargo charged thousands of auto-loan borrowers for auto insurance they didn’t need.

The bank also unfairly failed to follow the mortgage-interest-rate-lock process that it explained to prospective customers. Many home-loan borrowers were improperly told that they had to pay fees to extend interest-rate locks on their pending mortgages.

The bank’s auto finance practices over recent years led to an estimated 800,000 consumers pushed into auto insurance they did not need, according to the Center for Responsible Lending, a not-for-profit organization based in Washington, D.C.

An estimated 274,000 customers ended up in delinquency, and an estimated 25,000 cars were wrongfully repossessed as a result, the organization asserts.

Wells Fargo identified both issues independently and began providing restitution in late August 2017, according to Wells Fargo spokesperson Kate Pulley.

To date, the bank has issued 235,000 checks totaling $11.7 million. The company has estimated that it will pay a total $182 million to customers, Pulley says.

If Wells Fargo’s figures are to be trusted, the average defrauded customer received $49.79. Some received less, some more. But does $49.79 compensate for buying insurance you don’t need, having your credit rating destroyed, and losing your car to repossession?

Would you accept $49.79 for that financial and emotional disaster?

Wells Fargo said an estimated $98 million in unnecessary rate-lock fees was paid by 110,000 customers, though it estimates the actual amount to be refunded could be lower.

It began issuing refunds to consumers late last year.

 

Wells Fargo won’t even return the amount it stole, let alone any dollars in punishment. In short, Wells Fargo will make a profit on its crime.

It’s like a robber who steals $1,000 and when caught, is required to return $200, and no jail time. That is how the Trump administration punishes high-level criminality.

Consumer groups hailed Friday’s announcement, the first enforcement action completed since November, when President Donald Trump appointed Mick Mulvaney the CFPB’s interim director.

Mulvaney, a longtime critic of the bureau he now heads, has announced that under his leadership the CFPB will follow through on enforcement investigations already in progress but will initiate no new ones.

As bad as the Obama administration was, in punishing criminal bankers, the Trump administration is far worse. Mulvaney has given bankers an open invitation: “Steal as much as you can, and at worst you will be given a soft tap on the wrist.”

Pamela Banks, senior policy counsel for Consumers Union, warned: “You can’t stop lawbreakers if you aren’t looking for them. The CFPB’s future ability to uncover and stop financial rip-offs is being seriously compromised by Mulvaney’s push to ease investigations of the financial industry.”

Consumers beware. The Trump administration cares nothing for you. It encourages theft.

The $500 million the CFPB will collect from the settlement will go into its civil penalty fund. The fund provides direct compensation to consumers harmed by companies that go bankrupt or don’t have enough money to make these customers whole. Money that is left over goes toward consumer education.

Just like the Social Security “trust fund,” and the Medicare “trust fund,” there is no “CFPB civil penalty fund.” It is an accounting fiction.

Because the U.S. federal government never can run short of U.S. dollars, and in fact, creates dollars at will, it neither needs nor has any sort of trust funds.

Ben Bernanke, former Chair of the Federal Reserve: “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.”

In summary, the $1 billion fine is a disgrace:

  1. It takes $1 billion from the economy
  2. It does nothing to compensate the millions of Wells Fargo’s victims
  3. It does nothing to punish the top executives of Wells Fargo, who perpetrated the crime.
  4. It does nothing to dissuade future criminality.

It is Donald Trump’s invitation to bankers: “The more you cheat, the more money you will make.”
(No surprise from the man who created the scam known as Trump University. He too, got away with a fine.)

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

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

The most important problems in economics involve the excessive income/wealth/power Gaps between the have-mores and the have-lesses.

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 The Ten Steps To Prosperity can narrow the Gaps:

Ten Steps To Prosperity:
1. ELIMINATE FICA (Ten Reasons to Eliminate FICA )
Although the article lists 10 reasons to eliminate FICA, there are two fundamental reasons:
*FICA is the most regressive tax in American history, widening the Gap by punishing the low and middle-income groups, while leaving the rich untouched, and
*The federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign, neither needs nor uses FICA to support Social Security and Medicare.
2. FEDERALLY FUNDED MEDICARE — PARTS A, B & D, PLUS LONG TERM CARE — FOR EVERYONE (H.R. 676, Medicare for All )
This article addresses the questions:
*Does the economy benefit when the rich can afford better health care than can the rest of Americans?
*Aside from improved health care, what are the other economic effects of “Medicare for everyone?”
*How much would it cost taxpayers?
*Who opposes it?”
3. PROVIDE A MONTHLY ECONOMIC BONUS TO EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD IN AMERICA (similar to Social Security for All) (The JG (Jobs Guarantee) vs the GI (Guaranteed Income) vs the EB (Economic Bonus)) Or institute a reverse income tax.
This article is the fifth in a series about direct financial assistance to Americans:

Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Employer of Last Resort is a bad idea. Sunday, Jan 1 2012
MMT’s Job Guarantee (JG) — “Another crazy, rightwing, Austrian nutjob?” Thursday, Jan 12 2012
Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Jobs Guarantee is like the EU’s euro: A beloved solution to the wrong problem. Tuesday, May 29 2012
“You can’t fire me. I’m on JG” Saturday, Jun 2 2012

Economic growth should include the “bottom” 99.9%, not just the .1%, the only question being, how best to accomplish that. Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) favors giving everyone a job. Monetary Sovereignty (MS) favors giving everyone money. The five articles describe the pros and cons of each approach.
4. FREE EDUCATION (INCLUDING POST-GRAD) FOR EVERYONE Five reasons why we should eliminate school loans
Monetarily non-sovereign State and local governments, despite their limited finances, support grades K-12. That level of education may have been sufficient for a largely agrarian economy, but not for our currently more technical economy that demands greater numbers of highly educated workers.
Because state and local funding is so limited, grades K-12 receive short shrift, especially those schools whose populations come from the lowest economic groups. And college is too costly for most families.
An educated populace benefits a nation, and benefitting the nation is the purpose of the federal government, which has the unlimited ability to pay for K-16 and beyond.
5. SALARY FOR ATTENDING SCHOOL
Even were schooling to be completely free, many young people cannot attend, because they and their families cannot afford to support non-workers. In a foundering boat, everyone needs to bail, and no one can take time off for study.
If a young person’s “job” is to learn and be productive, he/she should be paid to do that job, especially since that job is one of America’s most important.
6. ELIMINATE FEDERAL TAXES ON BUSINESS
Businesses are dollar-transferring machines. They transfer dollars from customers to employees, suppliers, shareholders and the federal government (the later having no use for those dollars). Any tax on businesses reduces the amount going to employees, suppliers and shareholders, which diminishes the economy. Ultimately, all business taxes reduce your personal income.
7. INCREASE THE STANDARD INCOME TAX DEDUCTION, ANNUALLY. (Refer to this.) Federal taxes punish taxpayers and harm the economy. The federal government has no need for those punishing and harmful tax dollars. There are several ways to reduce taxes, and we should evaluate and choose the most progressive approaches.
Cutting FICA and business taxes would be a good early step, as both dramatically affect the 99%. Annual increases in the standard income tax deduction, and a reverse income tax also would provide benefits from the bottom up. Both would narrow the Gap.
8. TAX THE VERY RICH (THE “.1%) MORE, WITH HIGHER PROGRESSIVE TAX RATES ON ALL FORMS OF INCOME. (TROPHIC CASCADE)
There was a time when I argued against increasing anyone’s federal taxes. After all, the federal government has no need for tax dollars, and all taxes reduce Gross Domestic Product, thereby negatively affecting the entire economy, including the 99.9%.
But I have come to realize that narrowing the Gap requires trimming the top. It simply would not be possible to provide the 99.9% with enough benefits to narrow the Gap in any meaningful way. Bill Gates reportedly owns $70 billion. To get to that level, he must have been earning $10 billion a year. Pick any acceptable Gap (1000 to 1?), and the lowest paid American would have to receive $10 million a year. Unreasonable.
9. FEDERAL OWNERSHIP OF ALL BANKS (Click The end of private banking and How should America decide “who-gets-money”?)
Banks have created all the dollars that exist. Even dollars created at the direction of the federal government, actually come into being when banks increase the numbers in checking accounts. This gives the banks enormous financial power, and as we all know, power corrupts — especially when multiplied by a profit motive.
Although the federal government also is powerful and corrupted, it does not suffer from a profit motive, the world’s most corrupting influence.
10. INCREASE FEDERAL SPENDING ON THE MYRIAD INITIATIVES THAT BENEFIT AMERICA’S 99.9% (Federal agencies)Browse the agencies. See how many agencies benefit the lower- and middle-income/wealth/ power groups, by adding dollars to the economy and/or by actions more beneficial to the 99.9% than to the .1%.
Save this reference as your primer to current economics. Sadly, much of the material is not being taught in American schools, which is all the more reason for you to use it.

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

———————————————————————————————————————


MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

When should a nation buy or sell gold? Friday, Apr 20 2018 

Image result for ben bernanke using a computer
“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.” Ben Bernanke, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve

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When should a nation buy or sell gold? Here is an article that gives the “The Daily Bell” answer to that question. (Spoiler alert: The Daily Bell is gold-bug paradise.)

How the poster boy for bad financial management lost shareholders $25 billion
By Simon Black – April 19, 2018

In January 1980, the price of gold hit a record high of $850 per ounce. Then it began a nearly two-decade slide. By the summer of 1999, gold hit $250 per ounce– a level not seen since the 1970s.

So naturally it was at this point that the British government made the infamously stupid decision to sell the bulk of their gold reserves.

They began dumping their gold on July 6, 1999. And it took more than two and a half years to auction all 395 metric tons. Gold prices remained depressed during the auctions. The Brits received about $275 per ounce on average.

Almost immediately after the sale, the price of gold started to rise. By the summer of 2002, gold was over $300 per ounce. It was over $400 in 2003… then $500 in 2005. Gold cracked $1,000 in 2009. And it’s $1,350 today.

The British government literally sold most of its gold reserves at the bottom of the market.

In retrospect, the decision looked completely short-sighted and idiotic. And taxpayers were rightfully furious.

Now, let’s get back to the title question: “When should a nation buy or sell gold?”Image result for buried in gold

This is not meant to be a market-timing question like, “Is now the time to buy gold or to sell gold?” Instead, it means, “Should a nation ever buy or sell gold?”

The answer is: It depends upon whether the nation is Monetarily Sovereign, and whether its currency is widely traded on foreign exchange markets.

The above article specifically describes the UK, which is Monetarily Sovereign and whose currency is widely traded. The article claims that the UK was “completely short-sighted and idiotic,” because it should have been able to predict that gold prices would rise.

If the British government were not so “short-sighted and idiotic” it could have received more British pounds for its gold.

I suggest that the article itself is “completely short-sighted and idiotic.” Examine the premise: That the British government should have waited until gold prices were higher.

But why? If they had waited until prices were higher, they would have received more British pounds.

But, being Monetarily Sovereign, the British government has the unlimited ability to create its sovereign currency, the British pound.

Having that unlimited ability, the British government has no need for, and obtains no benefit from, receiving pounds from any source. Even if the Monetarily Sovereign British government levied zero taxes, it still never could run short of pounds.

Visualize that you own a special computer; it allows you to add unlimited pounds to your checking account. You just press a couple keys and (poof!), your checking account has a few billion additional pounds.

You also own a bicycle, that two people wish to buy from you. One offers you ten British pounds and one offers you a million British pounds. To whom would you sell?

The answer: Clearly, it makes no difference. 

You don’t need the pounds; you create them at will. And if your goal simply is to get rid of the bicycle, you can give it to either person, or to anyone else.

The result would be the same. You would be rid of the bicycle, and you would have access to exactly the same number of pounds — i.e. infinite.

Does the British government need to own gold? No. If ever it wishes to make a new crown for the queen or to fill a prince’s teeth, it can get all the gold it needs simply by creating some British pounds, and exchanging them for gold on the open market.

Back to the question: “Should a nation ever buy or sell gold?” This time, let us consider a monetarily non-sovereign entity, like London or France, or you, or me. None of us uses our own sovereign currency. We don’t have one.

Cities, people, and businesses, even those in Monetarily Sovereign nations, need income, so they may have reason to trade — buy or sell — gold, silver, copper or any other commodity or product.

Being monetarily non-sovereign, we do not have the unlimited ability to create a sovereign currency. So we need income to fund our spending. London and France need taxes; you and I need salaries or some other form of income.

There may come times when you have a greater need for whatever currency you use than for gold, and those would be good times for you to sell gold.

There may be other times when you prefer to own a little-used product of limited functional value, that pays you no interest or dividends, costs you money to store and ship, and even more money to insure, and subjects you to more risk than does owning shares in an S&P index fund.

When that time comes, you can trade your currency for gold.

One other question should be answered: If net exports grow an economy, why don’t net exports of gold grow the economy?

Net exports are, in fact, imports of currency, and are part of the equation for Gross Domestic Product:

GDP = Government Spending + Non-government Spending + Net Exports

However, there is a vast difference between imports of currency to a Monetarily Sovereign government and imports of currency to the monetarily non-sovereign economy.

The former, having the unlimited ability to create its sovereign currency, does not benefit from imports of that sovereign currency. The latter grows because of currency imports, as the above equation demonstrates.

If a Monetarily Sovereign government exports gold, the currency goes to the government, where it is destroyed. If a person or business sells gold to another nation, the money goes into the economy, and is stimulative.

In summary, Monetarily Sovereign nations, whose currency is freely traded on foreign exchange markets, never need to sell anything to obtain more of their own sovereign currency. These governments need no income.

Yes, the Daily Bell article was “completely short-sighted and idiotic,” from the standpoint of financial advice, but it made perfect sense for a gold-bug web site.

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

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The most important problems in economics involve the excessive income/wealth/power Gaps between the have-mores and the have-lesses.

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 The Ten Steps To Prosperity can narrow the Gaps:

Ten Steps To Prosperity:
1. ELIMINATE FICA (Ten Reasons to Eliminate FICA )
Although the article lists 10 reasons to eliminate FICA, there are two fundamental reasons:
*FICA is the most regressive tax in American history, widening the Gap by punishing the low and middle-income groups, while leaving the rich untouched, and
*The federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign, neither needs nor uses FICA to support Social Security and Medicare.
2. FEDERALLY FUNDED MEDICARE — PARTS A, B & D, PLUS LONG TERM CARE — FOR EVERYONE (H.R. 676, Medicare for All )
This article addresses the questions:
*Does the economy benefit when the rich can afford better health care than can the rest of Americans?
*Aside from improved health care, what are the other economic effects of “Medicare for everyone?”
*How much would it cost taxpayers?
*Who opposes it?”
3. PROVIDE A MONTHLY ECONOMIC BONUS TO EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD IN AMERICA (similar to Social Security for All) (The JG (Jobs Guarantee) vs the GI (Guaranteed Income) vs the EB (Economic Bonus)) Or institute a reverse income tax.
This article is the fifth in a series about direct financial assistance to Americans:

Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Employer of Last Resort is a bad idea. Sunday, Jan 1 2012
MMT’s Job Guarantee (JG) — “Another crazy, rightwing, Austrian nutjob?” Thursday, Jan 12 2012
Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Jobs Guarantee is like the EU’s euro: A beloved solution to the wrong problem. Tuesday, May 29 2012
“You can’t fire me. I’m on JG” Saturday, Jun 2 2012

Economic growth should include the “bottom” 99.9%, not just the .1%, the only question being, how best to accomplish that. Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) favors giving everyone a job. Monetary Sovereignty (MS) favors giving everyone money. The five articles describe the pros and cons of each approach.
4. FREE EDUCATION (INCLUDING POST-GRAD) FOR EVERYONE Five reasons why we should eliminate school loans
Monetarily non-sovereign State and local governments, despite their limited finances, support grades K-12. That level of education may have been sufficient for a largely agrarian economy, but not for our currently more technical economy that demands greater numbers of highly educated workers.
Because state and local funding is so limited, grades K-12 receive short shrift, especially those schools whose populations come from the lowest economic groups. And college is too costly for most families.
An educated populace benefits a nation, and benefitting the nation is the purpose of the federal government, which has the unlimited ability to pay for K-16 and beyond.
5. SALARY FOR ATTENDING SCHOOL
Even were schooling to be completely free, many young people cannot attend, because they and their families cannot afford to support non-workers. In a foundering boat, everyone needs to bail, and no one can take time off for study.
If a young person’s “job” is to learn and be productive, he/she should be paid to do that job, especially since that job is one of America’s most important.
6. ELIMINATE FEDERAL TAXES ON BUSINESS
Businesses are dollar-transferring machines. They transfer dollars from customers to employees, suppliers, shareholders and the federal government (the later having no use for those dollars). Any tax on businesses reduces the amount going to employees, suppliers and shareholders, which diminishes the economy. Ultimately, all business taxes reduce your personal income.
7. INCREASE THE STANDARD INCOME TAX DEDUCTION, ANNUALLY. (Refer to this.) Federal taxes punish taxpayers and harm the economy. The federal government has no need for those punishing and harmful tax dollars. There are several ways to reduce taxes, and we should evaluate and choose the most progressive approaches.
Cutting FICA and business taxes would be a good early step, as both dramatically affect the 99%. Annual increases in the standard income tax deduction, and a reverse income tax also would provide benefits from the bottom up. Both would narrow the Gap.
8. TAX THE VERY RICH (THE “.1%) MORE, WITH HIGHER PROGRESSIVE TAX RATES ON ALL FORMS OF INCOME. (TROPHIC CASCADE)
There was a time when I argued against increasing anyone’s federal taxes. After all, the federal government has no need for tax dollars, and all taxes reduce Gross Domestic Product, thereby negatively affecting the entire economy, including the 99.9%.
But I have come to realize that narrowing the Gap requires trimming the top. It simply would not be possible to provide the 99.9% with enough benefits to narrow the Gap in any meaningful way. Bill Gates reportedly owns $70 billion. To get to that level, he must have been earning $10 billion a year. Pick any acceptable Gap (1000 to 1?), and the lowest paid American would have to receive $10 million a year. Unreasonable.
9. FEDERAL OWNERSHIP OF ALL BANKS (Click The end of private banking and How should America decide “who-gets-money”?)
Banks have created all the dollars that exist. Even dollars created at the direction of the federal government, actually come into being when banks increase the numbers in checking accounts. This gives the banks enormous financial power, and as we all know, power corrupts — especially when multiplied by a profit motive.
Although the federal government also is powerful and corrupted, it does not suffer from a profit motive, the world’s most corrupting influence.
10. INCREASE FEDERAL SPENDING ON THE MYRIAD INITIATIVES THAT BENEFIT AMERICA’S 99.9% (Federal agencies)Browse the agencies. See how many agencies benefit the lower- and middle-income/wealth/ power groups, by adding dollars to the economy and/or by actions more beneficial to the 99.9% than to the .1%.
Save this reference as your primer to current economics. Sadly, much of the material is not being taught in American schools, which is all the more reason for you to use it.

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

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MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

Lie with the pig. Embrace the pig. Muddy like the pig. Thursday, Apr 19 2018 

It takes only two things to keep people in chains:
The ignorance of the oppressed
And the treachery of their leaders

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If you lie with the pig –if you embrace the pig — you will become muddy like the pig.

That is what I think about when I read articles like this one that appeared in the 4/18/18 Chicago Tribune and other papers:

Donald Trump is contagious. He turned James Comey into Donald Trump.
By Karen Tumulty

Donald Trump is contagious. He turns everyone he touches into Donald Trump. Now he has done it to James B. Comey.

The former FBI director has a book to sell, one that knits a compelling and credible story about his experiences with a president who built “a cocoon of alternative reality that he was busily wrapping around all of us.”

If only Comey had stayed focused on what is important. But instead, he stooped, revealing a pettiness, insecurity, and need for affirmation that are among the hallmarks of Trump’s own character.

He noted that the president’s hands were not as large as his own, and we know what that means. Comey, who is 6-foot-8, observed that Trump is shorter than he appears to be on television, that his face is “slightly orange, with bright white half-moons under his eyes where I assumed he placed small tanning goggles.”

The former FBI director also wanted us to know that President Barack Obama respected his integrity and his ability, even after Comey’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation contributed to her 2016 defeat.

He tells us that a tearful Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) sympathized with his “impossible position.” As he blasts the president for being driven by ego, Comey reveals that his own stays in high gear as well.

Another case in point: White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly. Comey writes that after he was fired by the president, Kelly — then homeland security secretary — called him to say that he wanted to resign, rather than work for “dishonorable people who would treat someone like me in such a manner.”

Less than a year later, Kelly would show that he was capable of calling a top staffer accused of spousal abuse “a man of true integrity and honor.”

Nor could he resist humiliating former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on the way out, making sure that reporters were informed that Tillerson was on the toilet when Kelly delivered the news of his dismissal.

In big ways and small, everyone around him ends up being Trump.

And then there’s this article from The Week

GOP strategist Steve Schmidt has some advice for Nikki Haley: Run
By: Catherine Garcia

Steve Schmidt, a Republican strategist who has worked on campaigns for George W. Bush and John McCain, is doling out free advice to Nikki Haley, and President Trump’s not going to like it.

Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said on Sunday that the Trump administration was planning to impose new sanctions against Russia on Monday, which ended up not happening.

Trump’s top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, said on Tuesday that Haley had “momentary confusion,” to which Haley responded, “With all due respect, I don’t get confused.”

Schmidt thinks Haley must step down. “Trump has shattered Nikki Haley’s credibility as irrevocably as he obliterated his moral authority after Charlottesville,” he tweeted Tuesday night.

“Trump has humiliated her and she is at a fork in the road. Her choice is either to resign or take on the permanent stench of one more tainted factotum.” The “first person to resign from this cancerous administration on principle will look back on that day the same way Powerball winners look back on the moment they bought their golden ticket.”

Should Haley remain part of the administration, he added, “it will be at the cost of her dignity.”

James Comey, John Kelly, Nikki Haley, Larry Kudlow — once respected, they all had their times of lying with the pig, and all now are muddied.

Never mind the Michael Cohens, the Sean Hannitys, the Steve Bannons, the Anthony Scaramuccis. They began with dirty reputations that merely became dirtier from their association with Trump.

But what of Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the daughter of hyper-religious Mike Huckabee, the woman who is forced, every day, to lie on behalf of Donald Trump? Her press conference responses have become a running joke. What will be her reputation and legacy after lying with (for) the pig?

What of Kellyanne Conway, a bright woman whose attempts to explain what cannot be explained, are even more humorous than those of Sarah Sanders. Will she be remembered for anything other than her outrageous misstatements?

And then there’s Defense Secretary Jim Mattis:

Mattis Wanted Congressional Approval Before Striking Syria. He Was Overruled. It marked the second public divergence of views between Mr. Trump and Mr. Mattis over Syria in the past two weeks. (The 105 missiles did not hit Syrian military units believed to be responsible for carrying out an April 7 suspected chemical weapons attack on Douma.)

Part of Mattis’s legacy will be as the general who fired 105 million-dollar missiles that hit nothing.

What of Ethics Office Director Walter Shaub (Donald Trump has an ethics office???) How will Shaub be remembered. The New York Times offers an opinion on that:

“Departing Ethics Chief: U.S. Is ‘Close to a Laughingstock’

Mr. Shaub called for nearly a dozen legal changes to strengthen the federal ethics system: changes that, in many cases, he had not considered necessary before Mr. Trump’s election. Every other president since the 1970s, Republican or Democrat, worked closely with the ethics office, he said.

A White House official dismissed the criticism, saying on Sunday that Mr. Shaub was simply promoting himself and had failed to do his job properly.

“Mr. Schaub’s penchant for raising concerns on matters well outside his scope with the media before ever raising them with the White House — which happens to be his actual day job — is rather telling,” Lindsay E. Walters, a White House spokeswoman, said in a statement that misspelled Mr. Shaub’s name.

“The truth is, Mr. Schaub is not interested in advising the executive branch on ethics. He’s interested in grandstanding and lobbying for more expansive powers in the office he holds.”

And let us not forget elfin Jeff Sessions as described in this article:

“In Trump’s latest move to make Sessions look like an idiot, he has sided with states that have legalized marijuana.”

Sessions thought he was going to be a Trump guy, coming out early in support of Trump for president. He thought he was in for sure when Trump put him up for the U.S. attorney general job.

Poor, stupid Sessions. When he recused himself from the Russia investigation, he should have known old Donnie was a fair-weather friend.

Then, dare we mention Trump’s daughter, Ivanka? Remember her? She was supposed to modify Trump’s erratic behavior, essentially being the adult in the room. Having failed, she has disappeared along with her revealed-to-be-crooked husband, Jared,  and her revealed-to-be-idiot brother, Don Jr.  Three reputations, besmirched.

Donald Trump is the tar baby of American politics. You cannot touch him and come away clean.

Let us not forget the so-called religious-right, nee “moral majority,” which so long as they can own guns, deport dark-skinned people, and prevent poor girls from getting abortions (Rich girls have no problem with that), they are willing to overlook the immorality of a multiple adulterer, assaulter of women, compulsive liar, and cheater of employees, students, and creditors.

In short, the religious right, faux Christians have sold their souls to the devil, and that is how history and perhaps even their Lord will remember them.

In that same vein, consider the Republican Party. Traditionally, it had been the party of “law-and-order,” the party of honor and morality, the party of family values.

But its leaders — Mitch McConnell, John Cornyn, Orrin Hatch, Paul Ryan, Kevin McCarthy, Steve Scalise — felt that political expedience was more important than law, honor, morality and family values.

So, they defended and embraced an unlawful, immoral man, a man most distant from family values.

Political expedience is proving not to be so expedient, as the nation now moves away from the Republicans in disgust, and I expect this will be reflected in coming elections.

And finally, and most importantly, think about the reputation of the United States of America, being led by the least qualified President in your lifetime, perhaps ever.

Trump’s First Year: Everyone Hates Us Now
A damning new Gallup poll shows how the perception of the United States has changed under Trump.

In 2016, 48 percent of the world’s citizens approved of the United States from a leadership perspective. By 2017, just 30 percent did.

What changed, of course, was the leader. President Donald Trump has overseen a destructive period for America’s reputation abroad since he took the reins from Barack Obama a year ago.

Thus, does Trump “make America great, again.” If you lie with the pig –if you embrace the pig — you will become muddy like the pig.

Trump has muddied us all. Many years will be required for us to cleanse ourselves.

Pray.

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


MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

 

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