–Japan’s stealth austerity doesn’t work. Who’da thunk?

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

Mitchell’s laws:
●The more federal 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 ultimately 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.
●The penalty for ignorance is slavery.
●Everything in economics devolves to motive,
and the motive is the gap.

Austerity, aka deficit reduction, stems from the belief that government income pays for government spending. This is belief is correct for monetarily non-sovereign entities: Cities, counties, states, businesses and people.

You and I need income in order to spend. So do our local governments. We are monetarily non-sovereign.

However, it is not true for Monetarily Sovereign entities: U.S., UK, Canada, China, Japan et al. A Monetarily Sovereign entity is sovereign over its own sovereign currency, and so, has the unlimited ability to create its currency. A Monetarily Sovereign entity never can run short of its own currency, and never needs to ask anyone for its own currency.

So, a Monetarily Sovereign entity never needs to tax or borrow, in order to obtain its own sovereign currency. It is sovereign.

In that regard, I recommend an outstanding article describing Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe’s humorous-if-not-so-sad efforts to stimulate Japan’s economy.

Here are a few excerpts:

The Move: (Have the) Bank of Japan double its inflation target to 2% (and) print “unlimited yen” to help achieve its inflation target.

In just three months, from January to April, Mr Abe said that his government would spend an extra $114bn (£75bn).

The Risk: If the measures work and prices start to rise, then eventually interest rates will too. This would see the government’s interest payments go up substantially.

In a worst-case scenario, the government may have to raise more money to meet those payments,

Why this is wrong: Banks don’t simply “print” currency. They create currency by lending, which requires more borrowers. No provision was made to increase borrowing.

Further, forcing government interest rates up is not a “problem”; it’s a benefit, as that does add currency to the economy. The notion that interest payments are a problem indicates a profound confusion about the difference between Monetary Sovereignty and monetary non-sovereignty.

After all, Japan already has said it wants to increase government spending, so how could interest payments be a problem?

The Move: Boosting government spending to help spur growth. In just three months, from January to April, Mr Abe said that his government would spend an extra $114bn (£75bn)

The Risk: Increased spending will further undermine Japan’s finances. Japan’s public debt, which stands close to 240% of its GDP, is already the highest among industrialised nations.

Why this is wrong: Actually, increased government spending is exactly what’s needed. But, Japan still believes it is monetarily non-sovereign, and is paranoid about government debt (which for a Monetarily Sovereign government is meaningless).

Japan could pay off that debt tomorrow if it wished, merely by transferring the yen already in debt accounts to checking accounts.

The fact that Japan’s debt is 240% of GDP, and Japan never has difficulty paying this debt, should have been the clue that debt/GDP is a meaningless number.

What the article doesn’t mention may be the most important factor of all:

Japan raises sales tax in an attempt to rein in public debt.
April 1, 2014

From Tuesday, sales tax will increase from 5% to 8%. It will rise again, to 10%, in October 2015. The stepped tax increases are aimed at covering rising social welfare costs linked to Japan’s ageing population.

Japan currently has one of the lowest birth rates in the world. It also has the world’s highest ratio of elderly to young people, raising serious concerns about future economic growth.

Why this is wrong: Taxes do not pay for the spending of a Monetarily Sovereign government. But sales taxes, which are highly regressive, remove money from the economy, especially from the very people whose spending is necessary to grow the economy: Lower- and middle-class buyers.

Japan has adopted the U.S. Big Lie that Social Security, and indeed the entire nation, will go bankrupt unless taxes are increased or benefits decreased. It can be true of a monetarily non-sovereign entity, but not of a Monetarily Sovereign government.

The tax increase is part of a stealth austerity that has as its sole goal and outcome: The widening of the Gap between the rich and the rest.

And now, it has not stimulated Japan’s economy, and it has not worked as advertised.

Gee, tax increases don’t stimulate?

Who’da thunk?

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

Ten Steps to Prosperity:
1. Eliminate FICA (Click here)
2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D plus long term nursing care — for everyone (Click here)
3. Provide an Economic Bonus to every man, woman and child in America, and/or every state a per capita Economic Bonus. (Click here) Or institute a reverse income tax.
4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone. Click here
5. Salary for attending school (Click here)
6. Eliminate corporate taxes (Click here)
7. Increase the standard income tax deduction annually
8. Tax the very rich (.1%) more, with higher, progressive tax rates on all forms of income. (Click here)

9. Federal ownership of all banks (Click here)

10. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99% (Click here)


10 Steps to Economic Misery: (Click here:)
1. Maintain or increase the FICA tax..
2. Spread the myth Social Security, Medicare and the U.S. government are insolvent.
3. Cut federal employment in the military, post office, other federal agencies.
4. Broaden the income tax base so more lower income people will pay.
5. Cut financial assistance to the states.
6. Spread the myth federal taxes pay for federal spending.
7. Allow banks to trade for their own accounts; save them when their investments go sour.
8. Never prosecute any banker for criminal activity.
9. Nominate arch conservatives to the Supreme Court.
10. Reduce the federal deficit and debt

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:
1. Federal Deficits – Net Imports = Net Private Savings
2. Gross Domestic Product = Federal Spending + Private Investment and Consumption – Net Imports

Monetary Sovereignty

Monetary Sovereignty

Vertical gray bars mark recessions.

As the federal deficit growth lines drop, we approach recession, which will be cured only when the growth lines rise. Increasing federal deficit growth (aka “stimulus”) is necessary for long-term economic growth.


6 thoughts on “–Japan’s stealth austerity doesn’t work. Who’da thunk?

  1. And now comes the UK:

    Miliband looks at health tax as defining feature of manifesto”>

    Ed Miliband is to put the NHS at the centre of Labour’s election campaign and is considering an earmarked “health tax” or exempting the health service from deficit reduction to prove that he can deliver a better service.

    Ah yes, a “health tax.” Something like America’s FICA, the single worst, most regressive tax in American history?

    Sounds like a perfect (and wholly unnecessary) way to screw the middle class, widen the Gap between the rich and the rest, and put the UK into recession.


  2. Rodger,
    I am an AV guy and sit in on many meetings. I’m the fly on the wall that makes the mics work and the projectors project. This past Wednesday a high level economist that teaches in New Mexico took the stage. He compared the World GDP vs the US savings and I wanted to shout out “Stock vs Flow” he went on to make several points about less jobs in the future, the way that you would, but he made it sound like a bad thing. Rodger? Should I confront these men? They know of 1971, but do they know? I have no economics schooling but I feel as if I know more then an economics teacher. Please give a MS degree along with dunce caps. As long as you have enough 🙂


  3. Banks create debt when they lend, which should not be confused with cash. It’s why no bank can honor their agreement. This is how fractional reserve banking.

    If banks could create money by lending, than whats to stop them from creating “borrowers” to create money they need to pay off someone else. But they cant and thats why many went bankrupt.

    So there are no Yen already in “debt accounts”. Those Yen would have to be created to pay off that debt, which is only beneficial to the banks that made the loans and should have taken the loss. In the US and all over the world, this has been the purpose of QE – to pay off the banks.


    1. Congratulations, Sorry. You’ve exceeded yourself in confusion and double-talk babble. For a while, it seemed worthwhile to post your comments, merely to demonstrate how far afield people can wander.

      But, I’m starting to rethink that.

      You said, . . . no bank can honor their agreement.”

      Really? Which agreement is it that no bank can honor?

      Don’t answer. It won’t matter.


    2. Banks create bank deposits when they lend, bank deposits are money and are govt guaranteed to be converted at par with US dollars up to $250K.


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