Why interest rate increases don’t cure inflation.

A step in the wrong direction does more than fail to get you to your destination. It takes you farther from your destination.

Smallpox: Evil spirits aren’t what cause smallpox. Any efforts to prevent and cure smallpox via exorcism would have been wasted.

Worse, they would have led us down the wrong path, taking time, effort, and money from finding and addressing the actual cause, a virus. Worse than doing nothing, a false belief does real harm.

Before vaccination was invented, doctors gave smallpox victims “supportive care, ” mainly of fluids to prevent dehydration. The patient was isolated until all scabs had fallen off to prevent disease transmission.


Alzheimer’s: Scientists have been working to understand the root causes of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease for decades now.

One of the leading theories suggests that Alzheimer’s disease is caused by the abnormal accumulation of two proteins called amyloid beta and tau in the brain, resulting in plaques and tangles.

Despite the huge amount of research that’s happened to date, there’s not been much success in treating and preventing Alzheimer’s disease.

This has led many experts in the field to wonder whether there’s something else we should look at to understand and cure Alzheimer’s disease.

A recent article in New Scientist Magazine highlights an alternative theory: that damage to mitochondria (the energy-producing structures within cells) could actually be the cause of Alzheimer’s.

The focus on ridding the brain of amyloid didn’t work, but actually may have hindered efforts to find the real cause of Alzheimer’s.


Inflation: Inflation is a general increase in prices. Bing AI says: Inflation is caused by two main factors: demand-pull and cost-push. Demand-pull inflation occurs when demand from consumers pulls prices up.

Cost-push inflation occurs when supply costs force prices higher. Inflation can also occur when prices rise due to increases in production costs, such as raw materials and wages.

“Demand-pull” and “cost-push” are classic descriptions of inflation’s causes. They can be found in many economics textbooks. There are two problems with these supposed causes:

They don’t explain what has happened. They only describe what is. But, inflation is a dynamic process. Something changes to cause inflation. An economy moves from normal pricing to inflation.

    1. Re. Demand pull: What causes a sudden, general increase in consumer demand? Anything? Do you know any examples of sudden increases in the consumer demand for a wide range of products and services?
    2. Re. cost-push. This supposed explanation is a tuatology: In essence it says, prices increases because prices increase. It does not explain what has caused the inflation in supply costs. It merely passes the blame downstream.

Inflation is caused by shortages of crucial goods and services, usually oil, food, and/or labor.

Oil shortages do not come about because of sudden increases in the demand for oil. They are caused by sudden reductions in supply, which may be due to decisions by oil suppliers like OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries), Canada, and the U.S. itself.

Food shortages do not come about because of sudden increases in the demand for food. Food shortages can be caused by weather, crop disease, and/or government decisions.

Today’s inflation is caused by COVID-related and human-caused shortages, not by sudden increases in demand.

COVID reduced the world’s ability to drill, refine, and ship oil, which affected the prices of nearly every product and service on the planet. COVID impacted the supply of food and labor. COVID isn’t finished with us. The aftereffects still can be felt.

Oil drilling and refining still are down, partly because of COVID and partly because of OPEC and the Russa/Ukraine war. Food shortages result from oil shortages, weather anomalies, COVID-related labor and supply-chain shortages.

There is no evidence that inflations are caused by interest rates being too low.

The graph demonstrates the Fed’s failed attempts to fight inflation (red line) by raising interest rates (blue line). In the 23 year period, from 1967 through 1990, the Fed raised interest rates to extraordinarily high levels, but inflation also kept rising to high levels, only to fall before or during recessions.

Similarly, in the 12-year period, from 2008 to 2020, interest rates were kept  extraordinarily low, while inflation remained low.

Twenty three years of high interest rates did not cure inflation and eight years of low interest rates did not cause inflation.

So what caused inflation and what cured inflation?

Oil prices (green line) respond to supply and demand. When oil is scarce, prices rise. When oil is plentiful, prices fall.

The graph demonstrates that inflation responds to oil scarcity, because oil availability affects the pricing of most other products and services.

Historically, the primary cause of inflation has been scarcities of oil, which have led to high product and service prices.

Today’s inflation has also been caused by COVID scarcities, not only scarcities of oil but of food, computer chips, supply chain availabilities, construction materials, labor, etc. COVID affected everything.

There are those who take the Libertarian view that federal deficit spending causes inflation. History does not support this belief

Changes in federal deficit spending (purple line) bear little relationship to inflation (red line). Increases in federal deficit spending do not correspond to high inflation, nor do decreases in deficit spending correspond to low inflation.

The prevention and cure for a disease requires the prevention and cure for the cause of the disease.

Evil spirits and lack of fluids did not cause smallpox, so fighting evil spirits/dehydration did not prevent or cure smallpox.

If damage to mitochondria, not the accumulation of amyloids in the brain, proves to be the cause of Alzheimer’s, curing amyloids will not prevent/cure Alzheimers, but preventing/curing damage to mitochondria will.

Low interest rates do not and have not caused inflation, so raising interest rates will not prevent/cure inflation.

Inflation is caused by shortages, most often shortages of oil or food. Today’s inflation is caused by multiple, COVID-related shortages, and curing those shortages is the only way to cure inflation.

Our Monetarily Sovereign federal government, having the infinite ability to create dollars, should fund efforts to increase availabilities of oil, food, computer chips, construction materials, and labor.

Decreasing in taxes on businesses and employees would be a good place to begin.

For example, the FICA tax, which serves no purpose, raises the price of goods and services, and discourages employment. Eliminating FICA would be a good, easy first step toward reducing inflation.

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 end of private banking

Private banking is a huge pain in the private sector’s butt. When will we see the end of private banking?

Terry Savage’s website says: “(She) is a nationally recognized expert on personal finance, the economy, and the markets. She writes a weekly personal finance column syndicated in major newspapers by Tribune Content Agency.”

Here are excerpts from an article she published on March 19, 2023

Banking on Belief
Last Monday as the failure of Silicon Valley Bank was just becoming apparent, I posted the following analysis on my website. I wouldn’t change a word.

Yet, even as the fears of fragility in the global banking system have accelerated, governments will do as they must to restore confidence –– no matter what it takes.

And it’s a good bet they’ll succeed, despite the gloomy prognostications of global financial collapse.

As I write, the news is breaking that the Swiss government has engineered the takeover of one of its largest banks, Credit Suisse, by another giant Swiss bank –UBS.

To facilitate the deal, the Swiss central bank offered UBS around $100 BILLION in liquidity to help it take on the operations of Credit Suisse, as well as $9 billion in guarantees against losses.

Although Credit Suisse had been at the heart of several major financial scandals in recent years — including bribery, money laundering, tax evasion, and corporate espionage — it had survived until this week’s global focus on the vulnerabilities of some major banks.

A lifeline of $54 billion from the Swiss National Bank was unable to stem the flood of deposit outflows late last week.

And so the marriage with UBS was arranged and announced today, with the Swiss central bank holding a shotgun full of liquidity bullets to make the match work.

In 2008, after seeing the consequences of letting Lehman fail, larger banks agreed to take on weakened competitors.

But then the government penalized the bank saviors for the problems they inherited. Understandably, strong banks are not getting in line to help this time around.

So, the Fed had to step in to resolve the problem of bank-held government bonds losing market value (see explanation below).

It offered to lend money to the banks at full face value of their U.S. Treasury securities, even though rising rates had made them worth less than face value in the current marketplace.

And the Treasury department and FDIC had to create a guarantee of ALL uninsured deposits (those over $250,000) at Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank — as they suddenly became “systemically important.”

It was done with the fictional explanation that the cost would be borne by a fee paid by all other banks, not taxpayer dollars.

But would they guarantee ALL deposits at ALL banks? There was no firm answer to that question.

There will be an answer soon. It’s the only way to create the required confidence in the banking system.

Your insured deposits under $250,000 are safe in your local bank. 

But why make things complicated? If you have multiple accounts, (or simply aren’t sleeping well at night), buy U. S Treasuries. 

See the craziness? Private banks repeatedly get into trouble. The government repeatedly steps in to solve the problem.

Who will GOP lawmakers stand with, the people or crooked bankers? | The Hill
Wells Fargo was fined for creating 1.5 million fake deposit accounts and more than 500,000 fake credit cards, all in customers’ names and without their permission. Extreme sales pressure has caused similar issues at other large banks.

The purpose and goal of private banks is not to provide banking services.

The purpose and goal of private banks is to provide profits to the bankers.

So private banks continually look for ways, not to provide more service but to make more profit.

The more aggressive ones enter dangerous financial territory.

In response, the federal government passes laws and rules that the banks are supposed to follow.

Still, some greedy bankers get into trouble, and the federal government is forced to provide funds that safeguard innocent depositors.

Currently, the federal government insures $250,000 worth of any one depositor’s funds, but that seems not to be enough to make banks safe. Now, there is a clamor to increase the amount and in fact, to make it limitless.

Meanwhile, the government must take over the sick bank, or bribe some other bank to take it over, or lend it money to keep it going. And it happens again, and again, and again.

And we never learn one lesson:

There is no public purpose served by privately-owned, for-profit banks.

The government makes all the rules. The government inspects and supervises the banks to see that they are following the rules. The government insures depositors for when the banks don’t follow the rules. The government provides funds to bail them out when they fail.

The federal government already provides banking alternatives in the form of T-securities and other services.

Per the Bing AI:

The Federal Reserve Banks provide financial services to depository institutions including banks and credit unions, much like those that banks provide for their customers.

These services include collecting checks, electronically transferring funds, and distributing and receiving cash and coins.

They also act as fiscal agents to the federal government by maintaining the Treasury Department’s transaction account, paying Treasury checks, processing electronic payments, and issuing, transferring, and redeeming U.S. government securities.

Consider “a public bank.”

A public bank is a financial institution owned and operated by the state, city, or county government.

A public bank offers many of the same financial services as traditional banks, such as checking accounts, loans, and mortgages.

However, its main purpose is to serve the public interest in its area. As a result, a public bank puts a huge focus on improving its local community, using most of its resources to:

  • Provide low-interest loans to businesses and low-income households
  • Fund affordable housing and climate-protection projects
  • Create new jobs and stimulate economic growth in their regions
A public bank also works as a type of “mini-Fed” to regional banks, providing them with loans and other banking solutions. They also provide banking services to government departments.

The U.S. currently has one public bank: The Bank of North Dakota. It was founded in 1919 to promote agriculture and commerce in the state. Today, it provides loans, college funding, and banking services to North Dakota residents and institutions.

A public bank is a step in the right direction. Its focus is not on profits but on providing banking services to the community.

Still, a public bank needs to have income to survive. If circumstances cause its loans suddenly to go bad — a war, a natural disaster, a new legal requirement — the bank could fail, and depositors would be punished.

A federally owned bank could provide every banking service and not worry about income. Our Monetarily Sovereign federal government neither needs nor uses income. It has infinite financial resources, the infinite ability to create dollars.

That is why the federal government is the bank insurer of last resort. When all private resources fail, the federal government has the ability (and the obligation) to step in and save the day.

If the federally owned bank could do everything a private bank can do, while removing all risk to the public, why do we still have privately owned banks?

They require constant surveillance and supervision by the federal government. They repeatedly get in trouble and must be rescued by the federal government. They repeatedly cheat customers. They repeatedly cause financial crises that the government must fix.

The private banks were the ones that redlined neighborhoods, depriving blacks of mortgages, then went the other way and overvalued houses and borrowers’ ability to pay, causing a massive failure of the banking system.

The private banks were the ones that invented high-risk products that traded at inflated values and had to be bailed out by the federal government.

Ironically, the federal government would have the resources to lend to borrowers other banks might refuse — people with a poor credit rating, poor people, people in sick neighborhoods — because even bad loans would pump growth dollars into the economy and not risk the government-owned banks solvency.

In short, private banking contributes nothing to the economy but risk. The federal government could do everything a private bank does, while eliminating the risk.

The U.S. dollar was invented by the federal government, yet for no good reason, the creation of new dollars has been turned over to private banks (via lending). It makes no sense.

The profit motive is irresistible. When surrounded by opportunities to make vast amounts of money by cheating the public, many bankers will succomb. No amount of regulation or supervision will prevent it.

Dollar creation should be in the hands of the federal government, the original dollar creator.

All banks should be federal banks.

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.


Why do we allow ourselves to be bullied by lying bigots?

It’s not that we don’t know they are lying bigots. They make no pretense.

Tucker Carlson Doesn't Think Much of Donald Trump—Or His Audience | Vanity Fair
The truth hurts

Tucker Carlson laughably called the Jan 6 attempted coup a normal tourist day.

No sane person believes it was “normal” or that those traitors trying to overturn democracy were “tourists.”

The GOP claims the Silicon Valley Bank failure was due to its being “woke,” when not one in a thousand of those right-wingers even knows what “woke” is.

They think it has “something to do with blacks taking over” . . . or something.

Here is an editorial by William Faulk, Editor-in-Chief of The Week Magazine:

Editor’s letter
Did you know that Silicon Valley Bank imploded because it was “woke”?

Or that masks provide absolutely no protection against COVID?

Or that SARS-CoV-2 was created in a Chinese lab by a sinister “bat lady” in cahoots with Dr. Anthony Fauci?

Millions of Americans believe all these statements to be proven fact, despite being unsupported by actual evidence, because that’s what they’ve been told by Tucker Carlson and the far-right infotainment system — which knowingly lies to its audience for profit and power.

Whether it’s peddling stolen elections or mass deaths from vaccines, the recipe is the same: Start with a tiny sliver of information, separate out 99.8 percent of the evidence, inflate with hot air and repetition, and voila! You have The Real Story.

Since the audience wants to believe the lie, it will happily add a big dollop of confirmation bias, transforming misinformation into blind certainty.

Take masking. People who equate masks with tyranny recently seized on a meta-analysis of 78 studies as proof that masks are of no value whatsoever.

In reality, 76 of the studies were not about COVID masking at all; the two that were showed that masking did substantially reduce infections.

Other studies have provided strong evidence that good masks block viral particles.

As for the lab-leak theory, there is zero known evidence that SARS-CoV-2 was created in a lab or escaped from one. Scientists have tracked the original COVID cases to people who worked, shopped, or lived near the Wuhan wet market — where SARS-CoV-2 was found on surfaces.

And the “woke” SVB? Its board had 11 members. Ten were white. One was Black, one was gay, and five were women.

In The Wall Street Journal, Andy Kessler wondered if “12 white men would have avoided this mess,” and suggested “diversity” was at fault. No financial institution run exclusively by white men has ever acted stupidly … Right?

One easily might infer that having 11 white men on the board, not “wokenesss,” contributed to SVB’s demise. Is the lesson to have fewer white men on your board of directors?

The answer to the title question, “Why do we allow ourselves to be bullied by lying bigots?” is because too many of us want to believe lying bigots.

There must be something new about their victimization posture that tickles our dopamine. oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphin production, so we accept and believe what we know to be utter nonsense.

America always has had bigotry. Ask the Irish, the Jews, the blacks, the Japanese,  et al.  But today’s GOP’ with its emphasis on white privilege, has taken it to unfamiliar levels. Overt slavery is gone, to be replaced by something far more insidious. “Woke.”

The anti-Black Lives Matter, anti-Critical Race Theory, “Don’t Say Gay” laws, the record setting incidents of police violence are based on the bigotry that defines anti-“woke.”

The hatred of immigrants, with the false excuse that they bring drugs and crime is based on bigotry.

(The vast majority of illegal drugs are brought in through legal means, and statistics show undocumented immigrants are far less likely than American citizens to commit violent crimes, drug crimes, or property crimes.)

A mob of thousands, from one political party, physically attacking Congress and urged on by a former President, whose appeal largely rests on bigotry, fails the “American dream” test.

Perhaps, the bigotry gives some of us a welcome excuse for mediocrity. “I could have done better, except the “woke” gave my (college, job, neighborhood, food, etc.) to blacks.

Perhaps, it makes us believe we’re in on some secret most of the world doesn’t know. “I heard the sneaky Chinese did it. Pass it on.”

Perhaps, it helps us believe we are protected by a god. “Trump will save us from ‘them’ taking over.”

Perhaps, it gives us an excuse for the hatred boiling up in us — hatred at our inability to control our lives. “They” run everything.

Whatever the reason, formerly intelligent Americans have completely lost their senses, and now support a political party that, in the name of “freedom,” wants to take away freedoms. (Hello, Ron DeSantis)

At better times in American history, a lying, crooked, incompetent like Trump never would have been elected President and already would be in jail, with people clamoring for his long incarceration.

That was then; this is now. There is no lie, regardless of how bigoted, outrageous, and obvious, that the GOP will not support, and that the Trump MAGAs will not believe.

And when you multiply widely accepted bigotry along with widely accepted gun possession, you have mass murders and armed, crazed traitors invading Congress.

Think of the lies these luminaries have spread: Joe Arpaio, Steve Bannon, Maria Bartiromo, Marsha Blackburn, Rod Blagojevich, Tucker Carlson, Ron DeSantis, Lou Dobbs, Michael Flynn, Matt Gaetz, Rudy Giuliani, Lindsey Graham, Marjory Taylor Greene, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Kari Lake, Kevin McCarthy, Rupert Murdoch, Elon Musk, George Papadopoulos, Rand Paul, Roger Stone, Donald Trump.

Will there be riots of the stupid when Trump is arrested? Probably. America has suffered shortages of oil, food, computer chips, steel, lumber, labor, etc., but it has no shortage of bigoted fools.

His defense is a confession”: Ex-prosecutor says Trump's cover story is actually an “admission” | Salon.com
Is this the best we can do?

Based on world news, stupid gunners are our #1 export.

We have spoken of the big question: Why do we allow ourselves to be bullied by lying bigots?

The answer: Too many of us empathize with lying bigots.

Now for the small question: Given all the crimes Trump has committed, is this the best we can do? A trial about a payoff for hiding his sex adventure with a porn star?


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.


How I taught the Bing AI a bit of MS by asking a simple question about Medicare and Social Security. It left out the best answer.

Seemingly, it is possible for you to teach at least one of the new AI systems something, and perhaps they will repeat your teachings to other people who question them.

This has interesting implications — positive and negative — which I may discuss in the future.

Meanwhile, read this post and imagine those positive and negative implications. Here is how I taught the Bing Artificial Intelligence (AI, aka OpenAI) a bit of Monetary Sovereignty.

The question I posed to the Bing AI was: “What are the solutions to Medicare and Social Security insolvency?”

In a way, it was a trick question because being federal agencies, they only can be insolvent if that is what Congress and the President want.

They are not currently insolvent because they can and do pay their bills. It’s only if the federal government does nothing that they are projected not to be able to pay their bills in the future.

The truth is that every federal agency, including the SCOTUS, White House, Congress, and military would be insolvent without future federal support.

Even the federal government itself, which owes trillions of dollars, would be insolvent but for one small detail: It has the infinite ability to create dollars.

Here is the answer the Bing AI gave me:

There are different solutions proposed by experts and policymakers to address the insolvency of Medicare and Social Security. Some of them are:

  1. Changing the eligibility age for Social Security benefits
  2. Raising taxes or payroll contributions for Social Security and Medicare.
  3. Implementing competitive bidding and accountability for Medicare Advantage programs.
  4. Reducing health care costs and improving efficiency in Medicare.
  5. Adjusting benefits or cost-sharing for Social Security and Medicare recipients.</span

I then asked: “Why would the federal government not support Social Security and Medicare the same way as it pays for all other federal agencies?”

It responded:

Medicare and Social Security are federal programs for Americans who are no longer working. Social Security provides federal income benefits in retirement based on what you’ve earned over a lifetime of working.

I then asked, “You gave me 5 solutions for Medicare insolvency.

Would a sixth solution be: Federal financial support, the same way the federal government pays for SCOTUS, the House of Representatives, the Senate, the White House, and the military?”

I couldn’t find any information on the federal government paying for Medicare and Social Security the same way it pays for SCOTUS, the House of Representatives, the Senate, the White House, and the military.

However, there are other resources to help with costs such as Supplemental Security Income, Insure Kids Now, and Medicaid.

I asked, “Why doesn’t the federal government support Social Security and Medicare the same way as it pays for all other federal agencies?”

It responded:

I couldn’t find any information on why the federal government doesn’t support Social Security and Medicare the same way as it pays for all other federal agencies. 

However, according to Forbes, the debt nets to roughly $24.5 trillion, which omits another kind of debt—unfunded promises made under such entitlement programs as Social Security and Medicare.

I asked: “Are you aware the Monetary Sovereignty (MS) and Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) both recommend that the federal government support Medicare and Social Security the same way as it funds other federal agencies?”

It responded:

According to the Monetary Sovereignty website, the federal government can afford to fund Medicare for all, and spending is cost-free to a Monetarily Sovereign government. 

Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) is based on the idea that the federal government is different from a household in that it does not need to raise money before spending it, that it can accumulate debt without any constraints on its fiscal capabilities.

I asked, “Why doesn’t the federal government follow the Monetary Sovereignty and Modern Monetary Theory suggestion and fund Medicare and Social Security the same way as it funds other federal agencies?”

I couldn’t find any information on why the federal government doesn’t fund Medicare and Social Security the same way as it funds other federal agencies. 

I asked, “Why didn’t you include the federal government’s ability to fund Medicare and Social Security as one of the possible solutions to Medicare and Social Security insolvency?”

I apologize for not including the federal government’s ability to fund Medicare and Social Security as one of the possible solutions to Medicare and Social Security insolvency.

According to AARP, the two trust funds that pay out Social Security benefits have never been part of the federal government’s general fund.

Social Security is a separate, self-funded program. The federal government does, however, borrow from Social Security.

I asked, “In the future, will you include the government’s ability to fund Social Security and Medicare as one of the solutions to Social Security and Medicare insolvency?”

Yes, I will make sure to include that in the future. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

I asked, “Would you like to learn of another possible solution? The Treasury has the right to create a platinum coin of any denomination.

So, the Treasury could create a $50 trillion coin and deposit it in the General Fund. That would eliminate the current debt and some future debt, so the government could fund Social Security and Medicare without worrying about debt.

Are you aware of that solution?

Yes, I am aware of that solution. According to ABC News, legislation enacted in 2001 allows the treasury to mint platinum coins of any value without congressional approval.

Under that law, the coin’s value could be anything, but it would have to be platinum, not gold or silver, nickel, bronze, or copper, which are under Congress’ control.

I asked, “Would the platinum coin solution to funding Medicare and Social Security be one of the solutions you would provide for the question, “What are the solutions to Medicare and Social Security insolvency?”

Yes, I will make sure to include that in the future. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

You can test the Bing AI’s honesty by asking it for solutions to Medicare and Social Security’s potential future insolvency. See if it suggests either federal funding or the platinum coin solution.

You also can see whether you can teach the AI anything, good or bad. It’s the future of internet search, and you can participate.

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.