–The single, most misunderstood fact in all of economics. It will blow your mind. Tuesday, Jul 19 2011 

Those, who do not understand the differences between Monetary Sovereignty and monetary non-sovereignty, do not understand economics.
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When you ask the wrong question, you get the wrong answer. Congress and the President are asking, “How should we reduce the federal deficit?” The correct question is, “Should we reduce the federal deficit?” And the answer is “No.”
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Sometimes, something is so simple it can be hard to understand, as though “It just couldn’t be that easy.” This is one of those times.

The media don’t understand it. The columnists don’t understand it. The Tea Party, the Republicans, the Democrats and the debt hawks don’t understand it. For sure, President Obama doesn’t understand it. The old-line economics professors do understand it, but they’re afraid to admit it, because it makes them look like boobs for not telling you, all these years.

It is the single most important equation in economics. It’s so simple as to be laughable, yet it will amaze you (unless you are among the one-in-ten-thousand who already understands it). And once you understand it, you will look at the politicians in wonderment at their incredible ignorance.

Are you ready? Here it is:

Federal Deficits – Net Imports = Net Private Saving

This is not a hypothesis. It’s not a theory. It’s not my opinion or anyone else’s opinion. It is an accounting fact. In a closed economy (where money exports equal money imports), your annual savings, plus my annual savings, plus everyone else’s annual savings equals annual federal deficit spending, to the penny. In such an economy, Federal Deficits = Net Private Savings.

This means, if the federal deficit is reduced $1, our combined savings will be reduced by exactly $1 — not $.99; not $1.01 — exactly $1.00.

Today, the politicians in Washington are talking about a $4 trillion (!) deficit reduction. That means our savings will be reduced by $4 trillion. There are about 310 million people in America. A deficit reduction of $4 trillion will reduce the savings of each man, woman and child in America by an average of $12,900.

That’s $12,900 out of your pocket, another $12,900 out of the pockets of your spouse, each of your children and each of your grandchildren. A four-person family will lose $51,600 in savings. If both your parents are alive, they’ll lose another $25,800 in savings.

Why do the politicians want to reduce your savings? Sheer ignorance of Monetary Sovereignty. They think “deficit” is a bad word and want to eliminate it. But a federal deficit is money in your pocket. And a federal surplus? That’s money taken out of your pocket.

How can this be? Again, simple. When federal spending exceeds federal taxes, it’s called a “deficit.” When the federal government spends, its payments for goods and services enter the economy. When you pay taxes, the money leaves the economy. So federal deficits add money to the economy, and where does that money go? Into your pocket as savings. Similarly, federal taxes take money out of your pocket.

(If you want to see a longer, more erudite explanation, you might try Deficit = Savings, or Mosler letter to the President but I think you get the picture.)

Now tell me, how much would you like the federal deficit to be reduced? That is, how much of your savings would you like to lose? Tell your Congressperson.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
http://www.rodgermitchell.com


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Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
http://www.rodgermitchell.com


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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.

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

–Is NPR in league with the Tea Party, or simply clueless? Monday, Jul 18 2011 

Those, who do not understand the differences between Monetary Sovereignty and monetary non-sovereignty, do not understand economics.
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It was at 11:00 AM Central time, today, that I heard a discussion on National Public Radio, station WBEZ. The participants claimed the media are hamstrung by the need to present both sides of each issue.

They lamented the fact that “fairness” required them to give equal weight to opposing opinions, even when one opinion was far more persuasive than the other — and shouldn’t the media have more leeway in exercising their judgement on this?

Aside from the fact that columnists and editorials do exercise a form of censorship (aka “judgement”), there is one other aspect to the conversation that troubled me. The specific subject was the federal deficit. Both participants agreed the deficit must be reduced, so the “two sides” were: Raise taxes or don’t raise taxes.

As readers of this blog know, those are not both sides of the deficit issue. Those “two sides” are mere details in the real issue: Increase the deficit or don’t increase the deficit.

The media, including public radio, have been derelict in not presenting the “increase the deficit” side. And its not as though they don’t know or can’t find out. They easily can access such sources as this web site, Warren Mosler’s The Center of the Universe), Bill Mitchell’s Billyblog ), almost the entire faculty at the University of Missouri, Kansas City (far ahead of traditional Nobel winners like the University of Chicago and Harvard) and many,many others, to see powerful arguments, substantiated by facts, about why the federal deficit should be increased.

Why do they never broadcast these opinions and facts? It’s yet another puzzle surrounding the entire Monetary Sovereignty subject. Because “everyone” agrees the world is flat, the media don’t consider the possibility it may be round, so nothing is said.

There is only one solution. I’m following it and I urge you to follow it: Contact your local NPR station (www.mpr.org) and ask them to do as they claim to do: Broadcast both sides of the issue – the real both sides. If enough people request it, NPR finally may realize they are missing an important part of the economics debate.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
http://www.rodgermitchell.com


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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.

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

–What are the best recession/depression investments? Sunday, Jul 17 2011 

Those, who do not understand the differences between Monetary Sovereignty and monetary non-sovereignty, do not understand economics.
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It looks like Congress and the President, with the approval of the media, old-line economists and the voting public, are determined to reduce the deficit. Historically, deficit reduction has resulted in recessions and depressions. Federal deficits are the government’s method for adding money to the economy, and economic growth requires money growth.

So, we will cause ourselves a recession or a depression. I’m resigned to the fact that the vast majority doesn’t believe this, so I suppose I should enjoy the pleasant irony of seeing all the fact doubters lose their money, their jobs and their homes in the years to come.

But I don’t, partly because my own children and grandchildren will be hurt by the mess Congress is creating. I’ll be hurt, too – unless I can think of some recession-proof investments. While it seems nothing can prevent the out-of-control freight train known as “Congress” from destroying America, I’d like to protect my own family as best I can.

Many of you are investors. Some may know far more about stocks, bonds etc than I do. So I ask you this:

Given that we will have deficit reduction, which absolutely, positively will cause a recession or a depression (depending on how big the deficit reduction will be), what are the best investments to make today? Cash may be safest, but there’s no income. Treasuries are safe too, but again, there is scant income. Its a dilemma. What do you suggest?

Thank you for your help.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
http://www.rodgermitchell.com


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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.

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

-Debt hawks — Economics’ Chicken Littles Saturday, Oct 17 2009 

An alternative to popular faith

Are you too young (or too old) to remember the fable about Chicken Little, who believed the sky was falling down when an acorn fell on her head? She ran around in a panic, screaming “The sky is falling,” a now common idiom denoting an hysterical or mistaken belief that disaster is imminent.

Thus, have the debt hawks, aka Chicken Littles, been telling us for 30 years that the sky is falling, and that federal deficits will create disaster. Neither has occurred, or is likely soon, but failure of prediction neither embarrasses nor educates debt hawks.

We have arrived at a deficit of $1.4 trillion. In the past 30 years, the gross federal debt has grown an astounding 1,400%. The economy has grown, inflation has not been a problem, federal borrowing has not replaced private borrowing, countries have not refused to lend to us and because federal tax rates actually have gone down, no one’s grandchildren have paid for the $12 trillion gross debt.

The problem with debt hawks is they don’t understand money. They think of money as a scarce physical substance. It may be scarce to you and to me, but it no longer is scarce to the federal government, which since 1971, has created money at will, simply by creating T-securities from thin air, then exchanging them for the dollars it created earlier — also from thin air.

Visualize this. You go to a football game and the scoreboard reads 14 – 7. You might say one team “has” 14 points and the other team “has” 7 points. But in reality, the scoreboard merely has credited one team with 14 points and the other team with 7 points. The points are not physical things. No one “has” them.

Why is this important? Because in the economy, you and I are the teams and the government is the scoreboard. Points are not a real substance. Teams are merely credited with points. Money no longer (after we went off the gold standard) is a real substance. You and I, or more specifically, our bank accounts, merely are credited with money.

The scoreboard (government) never runs out of points. The government never runs out of the ability to credit you with dollars. The scoreboard does not need to ask either team to return some points so it can credit more points. Crediting a team with points does not reduce the scoreboard’s ability to credit more points. Crediting people or companies with money does not reduce the government’s ability to credit more money.

The scoreboard does not need to borrow points. The government does not need to borrow dollars. It as easily, safely and prudently can create dollars directly, rather than by creating and selling T-securities.

Imagine you decide to start a country from scratch. What is the first thing you will do? The people in your country need money, so you, as the government, will credit them with money. How? Perhaps by buying things from them. The people will give you material things and services; you will credit their bank accounts.

Debt hawks will call this exchange “deficit spending,” and they will demand that the people credit you, the government, back with some of the money. That’s called “taxation.” It is identical with giving the scoreboard back some points.

The scoreboard neither has nor needs points. The federal government neither has nor needs money. It never needs to be credited with money. It never needs to borrow money. It is the scoreboard. It can credit, endlessly.

The debt hawks continue to use obsolete, gold-standard thinking, from when money was a substance and was scarce to the government. Today, if the government wanted to give you $1 trillion, it simply would credit your bank account for $1 trillion, and debit its own balance sheets. Nothing physical would happen except the movement of a few electrons. The government can do this endlessly. In fact, last fiscal year, it did.

The government does not have a stash of money from which it spends. The government has no money at all. It merely credits bank accounts — yours, mine, foreign governments’.

Some may fear this can cause inflation, but the government now has absolute control over the value of its money through its control over both the supply and the demand (interest rates) for money.

The world changed in 1971, and the debt hawks have not yet understood that. Perhaps “hawk” is the wrong bird. More appropriate might be “Chicken Little.”

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
http://www.rodgermitchell/

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