–Scientific American magazine not so scientific.

Mitchell’s laws:
●The more budgets are cut and taxes increased, the weaker an economy becomes.
●Austerity is the government’s method for widening the gap between rich and poor,
which leads to civil disorder.
●Until the 99% understand the need for federal deficits, the upper 1% will rule.
●To survive long term, a monetarily non-sovereign government must have a positive balance of payments.
●Those, who do not understand the differences between Monetary Sovereignty and monetary non-sovereignty, do not understand economics.


Perhaps it is too much to expect a magazine titled, “Scientific American” actually to understand the principles of science, like demanding at least a modicum of evidence before promulgating wrong hypotheses. After all, they just are writers, not scientists. So the following post may be a bit unfair.

Anyway, SA has published numerous articles correctly decrying the failure of the U.S. government to support various science projects and education. But all their articles are hampered by one significant, wrong assumption.

Here is only the most recent:

Future Jobs Depend on a Science-Based Economy
The next administration must prime the true growth engine

The 2012 presidential election will be won by the candidate who can convince voters that he has the vision to lift the nation out of the economic doldrums.

The economy is the right topic, but the discussion neglects the true driver of the country’s prosperity: scientific and technological enterprise. Half of the U.S. economic growth since World War II has come from advances in science and technology. To neglect that power—and the government’s role in priming the pump—would be foolish.

President Barack Obama makes much out of having rescued Detroit’s carmakers from bankruptcy. This achievement won’t hold up, however, unless the thousands of small auto-parts manufacturers down the supply chain stay globally competitive.

One way to help them would be to foster initiatives like the National Digital Engineering and Manufacturing Consortium, which is providing independent manufacturers potent information technology at Purdue University and the Ohio Supercomputer Center.

Is providing manufacturers with “potent information” important to America’s growth. Of course it is. So why is there even a hint of concern about this obvious need? Read on.

The German government encourages a close partnership between technical universities and industrial manufacturers; it supports centers where scientists and engineers pursue fundamental research in close proximity to industrial colleagues investigating more applied technologies.

German battery makers, for instance, work with technical universities on nanotechnology, while textile makers contribute to research in carbon fibers for composite fabrics. Could there be a grander vision for harnessing U.S. research talent in this way? On this, both candidates have been silent.

Not exactly silent, but rather more concerned about reducing the budget than about having an insufficient budget.

The U.S. Department of Energy funded and helped to develop the shale-cracking techniques that have released the country’s current surplus of natural gas. And no nuclear reactor has ever been built in this country without financial and scientific support from all levels of government.

While Obama touts the $90 billion in federal investments in clean energy research made on his watch, Romney repudiates this “green energy agenda.”

His thinking is shortsighted. The bankruptcy of solar panel maker Solyndra in 2011, which critics have used to argue against government support of energy research, instead shows why such investment is so important: experimental projects always carry a high risk of failure, which is why commercial firms are reluctant to undertake them. Yet without them, innovation will slow.

The DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy funds ideas that may sound like science fiction to some—genetically modifying microbes to produce fuel, for example. History shows that such bold efforts will yield the beginnings of new industries.

In 1962, for example, a researcher envisioned a fanciful “Galactic Network” that would connect distant computers, inspiring the Pentagon project that eventually became the Internet.

O.K., already. We’re sold. Government funding for science benefits America in myriad ways we cannot anticipate. So what’s the problem?

A high-tech economy needs the best scientists and engineers, yet in science and math, U.S. students are middling. The Obama administration has had some success by tying grants for K–12 schools to Common Core math standards, but neither candidate has come out in support of the Next Generation Science Standards recommended by the National Research Council.

Right. Scientific research, development and education is underfunded, much to the disadvantage of America. Why?

With looming unemployment and debt, such concerns may not seem urgent. Yet unless we invest in an economy built on scientific and technological skills, we will only be papering over our economic troubles.

And there it is. Scientific American magazine agrees with the popular notion that (federal) debt is “looming.” What does use of that word, “looming,” say about SA?

To me, it says SA buys into the myth that federal debt is an actual problem, is “looming” over the economy, like some giant vulture, waiting to peck our livers, rather than the benign and boring total of T-security deposits in the Federal Reserve Bank.

As a long time subscriber to SA, never have I seen an article discussing the reality (or rather, the mythology) of this silly belief. SA may opt for science everywhere – except in economics.

So long as the upper 1% income group is able to maintain the Big Lie that the federal deficit and debt are too big, no amount of whining, begging and pleading will produce adequate federal support for scientific research, development and education. The game is lost before the opening whistle.

It’s like asking your rich daddy to give you money for a round-the-world trip, but prefacing your plea with the statement, “Daddy, I agree the world is flat, but . . . “

My hope is to live long enough to see a science magazine publish an informed article about Monetary Sovereignty. (As you can see, I’m wishing myself a long life.)

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty


Nine Steps to Prosperity:
1. Eliminate FICA (Click here)
2. Medicare — parts A, B & D — for everyone
3. Send every American citizen an annual check for $5,000 or give every state $5,000 per capita (Click here)
4. Long-term nursing care for everyone
5. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone
6. Salary for attending school (Click here)
7. Eliminate corporate taxes
8. Increase the standard income tax deduction annually
9. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99%

No nation can tax itself into prosperity, nor grow without money growth. Monetary Sovereignty: Cutting federal deficits to grow the economy is like applying leeches to cure anemia. Two key equations in economics:
Federal Deficits – Net Imports = Net Private Savings
Gross Domestic Product = Federal Spending + Private Investment and Consumption – Net Imports


6 thoughts on “–Scientific American magazine not so scientific.

  1. “So long as the upper 1% income group is able to maintain the Big Lie that the federal deficit and debt are too big…etc.”

    Yes, and so long as “scientific” publications like SA insist on defending the Big Lie, they will cut their own throats by jeopardizing funding for scientific R&D.

    A lie only has power if someone insists on believing it, against all facts. Hence, the liar and the stubborn believer are equally to blame. The stubborn public is as much to blame for its woes as are the 1% and their puppet politicians. That’s my opinion, anyway.

    I expect politicians to lie, but it is disheartening to see SA support the lies. Worst of all is when I see comments from average readers who support the lies. It is one thing when the 1% herds millions to the slaughterhouse. What’s depressing is when the millions insist in staying in line.


  2. Rodger,

    Alas. What seems to pass for science also seems to work for economics.

    You are one of the few individuals I’ve found that recommends further deficit spending to grow the economy. Most authors encourage views more along the lines of this post at ZeroHedge.com titled – Debt And Deficits – Killing Economic Prosperity:


    Such views are so wide spread, and have been adopted around the world with so little criticism, that they may indeed pass for science one day.

    Anyway, I have learned much from reading your book and blog Rodger. Your efforts to educate are much appreciated.


    1. “Such views are so wide spread, and have been adopted around the world with so little criticism, that they may indeed pass for science one day.”

      They already pass for “science.” Trying to explain Monetary Sovereignty to people today is like trying to tell people of the past that the sun does not orbit the earth, or that bloodletting does not cure disease. The more you speak the truth, the more you are attacked. The more you speak intelligently, the more you are labeled a moron. Galileo was put under lifelong house arrest. Ignaz Semmelweis was tortured and confined to a madhouse, where he died. It’s the nature of society. Any society.


  3. Mark and Trozer, you are correct, but this isn’t just a strange quirk of human nature. There always is a motivation for the widespread promulgation of ignorance.

    The priests feared that understanding the truth about the sun and planets would undermine their power over the people. The doctors attacked Semmelweis, because they feared the people would see how fatally inept they had been.

    The myths about federal “debt” are promulgated by the 1%, because austerity (the “cure” for federal debt) widens the gap between the rich and the rest.

    This is not ignorance on the part of our leaders. It is logically unimaginable that the President of the United States, his advisors, the entire Congress of the United States and the thousands of people working in media all are ignorant of the difference between Monetary Sovereignty and monetary non-sovereignty, and the fact that the U.S. became Monetarily Sovereign on August 15, 1971.

    The only conclusion making any sense at all, is that these people are lying because they are motivated to lie, They believe it is to their benefit to keep the “peasants” in ignorance.

    And since it is the 1% who benefit most from the Big Lie, and who seem to be the ones pushing it hardest, they must be the ones intentionally responsible. No other conclusion is possible.

    Rodger Malcolm Mitchell


    1. Worth repeating…

      “The only conclusion making any sense at all, is that these people are lying because they are motivated to lie, They believe it is to their benefit to keep the “peasants” in ignorance.

      And since it is the 1% who benefit most from the Big Lie, and who seem to be the ones pushing it hardest, they must be the ones intentionally responsible. No other conclusion is possible.”

      Anyone not talking about the intentional nature of this MORAL crisis is either drinking the Kool Aid stupid, or selling the Kool Aid deceptive.


      Deception is the strongest political force on the planet.


    2. Yes Rodger, the 1% and their puppet politicians deliberately maintain the Big Lie in order to maintain their power and privilege. Anyone who says different is a liar or a fool. In fact, it annoys me to see people like Warren Mosler and Stephanie Kelton imply that politicians are “simply ignorant.”

      That aside, my previous point was that a lie only has power if someone chooses to believe it. The 99% choose to believe the 1%. The 99% choose to not ask questions. They angrily defend the 1%’s lies that enslave them.

      This happens in most societies. You have addressed some of the causes, e.g. your previous post about sacrifice (“How your lords use myths to rule you.”) As for me, I am less negative toward the lying 1% and politicians than I am toward average people who refuse to see the truth. The former are enemies. The latter are traitors.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s