How you completely can misunderstand Social Security Saturday, Jul 15 2017 

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

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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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In the unlikely event you hope to be clueless about Social Security, boy, have I got an article for you. Here are some excerpts:

Social Security on track for ‘large, abrupt’ cuts in 17 years unless Congress acts
Ethan Wolff-Mann, Yahoo Finance, July 14, 2017 (Ethan Wolff-Mann is a writer at Yahoo Finance focusing on consumer issues, tech, and personal finance. Follow him on Twitter @ewolffmann. )

The Social Security and Medicare trustees issued their 2017 annual report on Thursday, and it began with an alarm bell.

“Both Social Security and Medicare face long-term financing shortfalls under currently scheduled benefits and financing,” the trustees wrote in the summary of the 268-page document. “The Trustees recommend that lawmakers take action sooner rather than later to address these shortfalls.”

O.K., that part is true. Under currently scheduled benefits and financing, there won’t be enough money.

Insolvency is on track for 2028 for the disability fund and 2034 for seniors. Insolvent, however, does not mean empty; it means that the funds would not be able to completely fulfill its debts to the public.

You may think of these “funds” as being like money pots, into which your FICA dollars are placed, and Social Security dollars are removed. And when the pots run out of dollars, that is called “insolvency.”

Image result for bookkeeping columns

The government invented the dollar and owns the books. It can enter any numbers it chooses.

 

Wrong.

The so-called “funds” are nothing more than bookkeeping accounts over which our Monetarily Sovereign federal government has absolute, 100% control.

The federal government owns the “books” and has the unlimited power to enter any numbers it chooses into those accounts.

If a “fund” shows $1 million, and the government wishes to spend $2 million, the federal government simply can change the “1” to a “2.”  Or a “10.” That is what the word “Sovereign” in Monetarily Sovereign means.

If you wonder how it is possible for the federal government arbitrarily to change the dollar value in the “fund,” remember that the government has made many such arbitrary changes with our money.

The U.S. government invented the dollar — created it out of thin air — and arbitrarily gave it a value. The Coinage Act of 1792 mandated that a “dollar” be between 371 and 416 grains of silver.

The government could have mandated any value for the dollar. It arbitrarily chose 371-416 grains of silver. It could have chosen three French hens, two turtle doves, or a partridge in a pear tree.

The federal government had, and still retains, absolute power over the dollar, the value of the dollar and the bookkeeping for the dollar.

Since our beginnings, the federal government has exercised absolute power over the value of the dollar, repeatedly, arbitrarily valuing, revaluing and devaluing the dollar relative to gold and to silver.

The most recent value was $35 per ounce of gold until in 1971, President Nixon arbitrarily said the dollar’s value would not be measured against gold.

We describe a corollary to this process here, where we use the game of Monopoly as an example.

A root cause for the financial woes for Medicare and Social Security is the aging baby boomer population, and the trustees estimate the cost jumps will be higher than any GDP growth that could potentially offset things.

Meanwhile, lawmakers have not made progress addressing the difference between these two numbers by raising more money, raising the retirement age or dialing back payments.

The phrase “raising more money” is misleading. The federal government never needs to “raise” money. It creates dollars, ad hoc, every time it pays a bill.

To pay a creditor, the federal government sends instructions (not dollars) to the creditor’s bank, instructing the bank to increase the balance in the creditor’s checking account. These instructions can be in the form of a check or a wire.

The instant the bank obeys those instructions, new dollars are created and added to the money supply.

Thus, to pay all your Social Security benefits, the federal government sends instructions to your bank, telling your bank to increase the balance in your checking account. Because our Monetarily Sovereign government never can run short of instructions, it cannot run short of dollars.

“The gap is getting bigger, and politicians have their heads in the sand,” said Marc Goldwein of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

The CRFB is owned, operated, and financed by the rich, whose goal is to widen the Gap between the rich and the rest.  For many years, they continually have tried to cut federal spending on all social benefits.

They promulgate the “Big Lie” that federal taxes fund federal spending. The truth is, the federal government (unlike state and local governments) neither needs nor uses tax dollars. It created brand new dollars, every time it pays a bill.

Politically, the available options are incredibly explosive. Raising taxes is unpopular, and restricting payments to seniors is also unpopular. This leaves both Democrats and Republicans at an impasse.

It is a self-created “impasse,” since the federal government has the unlimited power to send instructions to banks, i.e. to create dollars.  The government never can run short of instructions or dollars.

Lawmakers have proposed changing how benefits are calculated, raising the payroll tax slightly, or subjecting all wages to payroll taxes (right now, wages up to $127,200 get taxed for Social Security).

For example, raising the payroll tax 0.7% and subjecting all wages to payroll tax would keep the program solvent for another 75 years. However, it would still be on a road to running out.

On the benefit-cutting side, slowing benefit growth for the top 70% of earners, increasing the retirement age, and modifying cost-of-living adjustments would close the funding gap, but also not permanently.

All of these so-called “options” are utter nonsense, based on the ridiculous premise that the federal government can run short of its own sovereign currency.

State and local governments can run short of dollars; businesses can run short of dollars; you and I can run short of dollars.

But the U.S. federal government never has, and never will run short of the currency it originally created from thin air, and still creates simply by sending instructions to banks.

The so-called Social Security “trust fund” is a bookkeeping account, that the federal government can change at will. So, why doesn’t it?

Why doesn’t the federal government simply admit the fact that it can pay any bill of any size at any time? Why doesn’t the federal government admit that neither it, nor any of its agencies, can be “insolvent,” unless that is what it wants to happen?

Why doesn’t the federal government provide Social Security to every man, woman, and child in America?

Two reasons:

  1. Some fear that if the public understood the truth, people would make endless demands on the government. The myth of money scarcity provides a rationale for limiting federal benefit payments.
  2. The rich want to widen the Gap between them and the rest. It is the Gap that makes them rich (Without the Gap we all would be the same), and the wider the Gap the richer they are. The rich bribe the politicians with campaign contributions; they bribe the media with advertising dollars and ownership; and they bribe the economists with university contributions and with “think tank” salaries.

In summary, our Monetarily Sovereign federal government has absolute and arbitrary control over the supply of dollars and the value of those dollars (inflation). Even if all federal taxes were $0, the federal government could continue spending forever.

FICA could be eliminated and Social Security benefits could be doubled. The government has that power.

Thus, there is no danger to Social Security other than the false “insolvency” danger arbitrarily and unnecessarily placed on it by the federal government.

All those who do not understand Monetary Sovereignty do not understand Social Security financing.

But now, you no longer misunderstand Social Security.

Pass it on.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

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

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

Can there be a “Theory of Everything” in economics? Saturday, Jun 24 2017 

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

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

The term “Theory of Everything” has been related to physics.

Quoting Wikipedia, “A theory of everything (T)E) is a hypothetical single, all-encompassing, coherent, theoretical framework of physics that fully explains and links together all physical aspects of the universe.

“Finding a ToE is one of the major unsolved problems in physics.”

The two primary “frameworks” in physics are General Relativity and Quantum Field Theory, which in their current interpretations are incompatible.  A “theory of everything” would unite these two frameworks.

If we class General Relativity as a theory of big things, and Quantum Field Theory as a theory of small things, we might draw an interesting parallel in economics with macroeconomics and microeconomics.

And just as General Relativity is the basis for explaining how gravity affects big things, Monetary Sovereignty is the basis for explaining how money affects macroeconomics.

General Relativity is based on the relationships among mass, energy, time, space, and gravity. Monetary Sovereignty is based on the relationships between money creators and money users.

Consider such subjects as income and wealth distribution, health care, taxation, poverty, education, employment, inflation, deficit spending, and economic growth. Any intelligent discussion of these subjects requires an understanding of Monetary Sovereignty.

Obamacare Vs. Trumpcare:

You’ve been reading and hearing about the Democrats’ “Obamacare” vs. the latest iterations of the Republicans’ “Trumpcare.” Both are attempts to provide health care to Americans, and in different ways, both suffer from fundamental, incorrect assumptions.

The incorrect assumptions are that the federal government’s supply of dollars is limited, and an increase in federal spending requires an increase in taxes,  an increase in borrowing, and/or inflation.

The facts are:

  1. Our federal government, unlike state and local governments, is now Monetarily Sovereign (since 1971, when it went off a gold standard).
  2. It cannot unintentionally run short of its own sovereign currency — the currency it originally created from nothing — the U.S. dollar. It instantly can pay any size debt denominated in dollars.
  3. It needs neither to borrow nor to tax in order to obtain dollars, as it creates dollars ad hoc, by paying creditors.
  4. Being sovereign, the federal government has the unlimited ability to increase or to decrease the value of its sovereign dollar, thus creating or preventing inflation.

Obamacare rightfully is criticized for taxing younger, healthier citizens and for not covering several million people, all because the realities of Monetary Sovereignty have been ignored.

Trumpcare reduces the taxation and the coverage for the same wrong reasons.

The U.S. federal government has the unlimited power to fund comprehensive, no-deductible health care and long-term care for every man, woman, and child in America.

It can fund “Medicare for All” without collecting any tax, and without borrowing, and without price inflation.

Trying to determine whether Trumpcare does or does not outweigh Obamacare, is a fool’s mission. Both are seriously lacking due to their false underlying assumptions about federal affordability.

The Kansas’s Experiment With Tax Reduction:

We discussed this at “Kansas is nothing like America.” An article in THIS WEEK Magazine (6/23/17) illustrates the problem:

“The nation’s most aggressive experiment in conservative economic policy is dead,” said Russel Berman in TheAtlantic.com. Supply-side economics “never works,” saod Eugene Robinson in The Washinbgton Post.

The Wall Street Journal, in an editorial said (Kansas Governor) Brownback was “unlucky in his timing. . .” Said Pat Garofalo in USNews.com, “Conservatives always try to explain away supply-side failures by saying the reforms weren’t quite right.

The big question is whether national Republicans will heed the lessons of Kansas, said Jordan Weissmann in Slate.com. President Trump is being advised by the same economists who engineered Brownback’s disastrous scheme, and he has proposed a similar strategy of massive income tax cuts and pass-through exemptions for businesses. “Kansas has admitted its mistake” — but Republicans may try to repeat it anyway.

Image result for bell-shaped curve

Total tax collections based on various tax rates.

Supply-side economics, often exemplified by “the Laffer curve,” teaches that tax-rate cuts can pay for themselves by increasing taxable income.

This supposedly will happen because lower taxes will increase both the Supply and the Demand for products and services.

In this vein, Arthur Laffer said that tax rates of 0% or 100% will generate zero taxes, so somewhere between 0% and 100% there is a “best” tax rate that will generate the maximum tax.

“Best” is defined as the point at which taxes collections are maximized, but not the point of maximum benefit to an economy.

Supply-siders fail to take into consideration four facts:

  1. The federal government has no need for taxes, so federal tax cuts always will be pro-growth for the economy.
  2. Federal deficit spending adds dollars to the economy and so is pro-growth
  3. Federal taxes always remove dollars from the economy, but a growing economy requires a growing supply of dollars. Thus, federal taxes always are anti-growth.
  4. State and local governments do need taxes, though complexity prevents knowing what that magical “best” tax rate is. For each state, it could be lower or higher than the current rate. State and local government deficit spending neither adds nor removes dollars from the economy, so may or may not facilitate growth.

Berman, Robinson, the Wall Street Journal, Garofalo, Weissmann, Brownback, and Trump do not seem to understand the differences between Monetary Sovereignty (the U.S.  federal government) and monetary non-sovereignty (the states, counties, cities, you, and me).

The federal government, having neither the need for, nor the use of taxes, should not use the Kansas experiment as a model. Unlike Kansas, the federal government could eliminate all taxes today and yet continue spending, forever.

Kansas needs and spends tax dollars. It can, and has, run short of dollars. Though the Kansas experiment seems to have failed — tax rate reduction did not generate enough taxable income to “pay for itself” — exactly the same experiment might work for other states.

Florida, Alaska, and others have no income tax, simply because they receive dollars from outside sources, Florida from tourism and Alaska from oil. The Kansas experiment may apply to some states and not to others, but it definitely does not apply to the federal government.

The common element among the arguments about Obamacare, Trumpcare, and the Kansas experiment is Monetary Sovereignty, or rather, the lack of understanding it.

A need to understand Monetary Sovereignty is at the foundation of meaningful discussions about education access, federal and local tax reform, income and wealth inequality, poverty, Social Security, immigration, inflation, unemployment, infrastructure, climate change, war, scientific research, states’ rights, charity, business regulation and many other dollar-related subjects.

In that sense, Monetary Sovereignty is the “theory of everything” only in macroeconomics.  It is not a Theory of Everything in all of economics because it barely touches on microeconomics

(Monetary Sovereignty does include “Gap Psychology,” the popular desire to distance ourselves from people below us on the income/wealth/power scale, whom we view as inferior, while wishing to come closer to people above us, whom we deem superior).

Microeconomics, being a subset of Psychology, is like Quantum Field Theory in that both involve predictable unpredictabilities we have yet to master. Thus, like physics, economics will have to wait for its Theory of Everything (though I suspect individual humans will continue to be even less predictable than quantum particles).

In summary:

Those who do not understand and use Monetary Sovereignty, do not understand federal economics, and cannot develop workable economics plans.

They are fixated on cost-cutting and budget-balancing, when the federal government needs neither, and both are anti-growth.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

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

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

 

How meanness and zigzaggery jeopardize your lifestyle Thursday, Jun 15 2017 

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

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

Here is how the meanness and zigzaggery of leadership jeopardizes your health, your income, and your lifestyle.

Introduction:

The U.S. federal government is different from state and local governments. It is different from businesses. It is different from you and me.

The federal government uniquely is Monetarily Sovereign.  It is sovereign over the U.S. dollar.

The federal government, 240 years ago, created from thin air, the laws that created the dollar from thin air. The government created as many dollars as it wished, and gave those dollars the value it wished — an arbitrary number of grams of silver.

Image result for press computer key to create money

Yes, it really is this simple for the federal government.

 

Today, the government still creates dollars, now at the press of a computer key, and still controls the value of the dollar (i.e. inflation), now by changing interest rates.

Being the absolute sovereign over the dollar, the federal government never can run short of dollars. It has no need to collect taxes. Even if all federal tax collections were $0, the federal government could continue creating and spending dollars, forever.

It also has no need for borrowing and indeed does not borrow. The so-called “debt” is not the result of borrowing, but rather the acceptance of deposits in Treasury security accounts at the Federal Reserve Bank — similar to your deposits in your bank savings account.

The federal government easily could provide comprehensive, no-deductible, health care insurance coverage for you and for every other man, woman, and child in America (Medicare for All), and do it while eliminating FICA and controlling inflation.

That is how much power the federal government has over its sovereign currency, the dollar.

Why then must you see articles like this:

Medicaid cuts could be catastrophic for Idaho schools
By Julie Wootton, Times-News | Posted Jun 14th, 2017 @ 1:40pm

Beyond the typical classroom setting, some of the teenagers also receive services at school such as speech, physical or occupational therapy.

School districts pay for that mostly by using reimbursements from Medicaid, a federal program that provides health coverage to low-income Americans and people who have disabilities.

But the new federal American Health Care Act aims to cut Medicaid over 10 years by $880 billion — a total reduction of 25 percent.

Cutting Medicaid funding would place more financial responsibility on local school districts, said Sherry Bingham, special services director for the Minidoka County School District.

Cuts by the federal government in reducing the amount of Medicaid monies to already underfunded special education programs would be disastrous.

Spending by local school districts is paid for by local taxpayers. By contrast, federal spending does not cost taxpayers one cent. So, why would the politicians want to replace federal spending with local spending?

GOP Medicaid cuts to hit rural America hardest, report finds
by Phil Galewitz, Kaiser Health News @CNNMoney June 7, 2017: 3:52 PM ET

Trump Country it may be, but rural counties and small towns also make up Medicaid Country — those parts of the nation whose low-income children and families are most dependent on the federal-state health insurance program, according to a Georgetown University report released Wednesday.

Medicaid’s enrollment has swollen to more than 72 million in recent years, and the ranks of uninsured Americans has fallen to 9% in 2015 from 13% in 2013. That’s largely due to the Affordable Care Act, which allowed states to expand Medicaid eligibility with federal funds. Thirty-one states, plus the District of Columbia did so.

Those gains may be in jeopardy under the House GOP health care bill that would replace major parts of the ACA — known as Obamacare — and dramatically cut federal funding for Medicaid.

Why do the politicians, who were elected by the lower-income, rural families, now put forth plans to hurt the people who elected them?

CNNMoney Reports
Medicaid cut could put jobs in Kentucky at risk

Cuts to Medicaid have far-reaching effects, not only on your health but on your income. Medicaid payments support hundreds of thousands of healthcare-related jobs in such disparate industries as manufacturers of hospital supplies and equipment to ambulance builders to drug stores and pharmaceuticals.  And let’s not forget all the medical personnel that are paid, in part, by Medicare.

Every dollar the federal government pumps into Medicaid circulates into the economy as a job-creating stimulus dollar.

Your Money, Your America
In Texas, people with erratic incomes risk being cut off from Medicaid
by Shefali Luthra, Kaiser Health News @CNNMoney, June 15, 2017: 6:08 AM ET

To qualify for Medicaid in her home state of Texas, most children must come from families with incomes at or below 138% of the federal poverty level. In 2017, that’s $33,948 for a family of four.

Texas also has one of the country’s strictest Medicaid verification systems: It runs regular checks on family finances after children are enrolled to make sure they continue to qualify.

Poole and her husband work in seasonal industries. She’s an hourly employee in agriculture and he’s in oil. Their hours and incomes have changed on a monthly, even weekly basis. That means their nine children, five of whom were adopted, and all of whom have complex health conditions, could lose health insurance one month but then qualify the next, even though the family’s total income for the year does not exceed the eligibility threshold.

States, being monetarily NON-sovereign,  and limited in their spending ability, look for ways to cut benefits.  The federal government has no such need.

Medicaid Cuts In Wisconsin Would Undermine Training For Adults With Disabilities
June 14, 20172:32 PM ET

And, it’s not just the cut themselves that are destroying Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) program; it’s the uncertainty.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of NC spells out how much Trump-fueled uncertainty hikes premiums
POSTED 12:31 PM, MAY 27, 2017, BY CNN WIRE

Many insurers say that the uncertainty emanating from Washington D.C. is prompting them to request even steeper hikes in premiums for 2018.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is spelling out just how much it could cost consumers.

The insurer is requesting a rate hike of nearly 23% for next year. But it said it would have only asked for an 8.8% bump if President Trump and House Republicans agreed to fund the Obamacare cost-sharing subsidies through 2018.

The mere fact that the GOP wants and threatens to cut federal Medicaid payments is sufficient to sabotage ACA. As the Trump administration warns about cuts, these threats alone weaken the program, which the politicians then use as further “proof” the program should be cut.

It is a self-fulfilling, repeating act: Threaten, weaken, cut; threaten, weaken, cut.

And then, to add to the uncertainty, we have the zigzaggery of a confused administration:

Trump, in Zigzag, Calls House Republicans’ Health Bill ‘Mean’
By THOMAS KAPLAN, JENNIFER STEINHAUER and ROBERT PEARJUNE 13, 2017

President Trump bluntly derided a House attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act as “mean.” and in doing so, injected himself in a brewing Senate battle that his fellow Republicans had prayed he would avoid.

At a White House lunch, Mr. Trump alerted his guests that a bill passed by the House this spring — one he lauded last month as a “great plan” that was “very, very incredibly well-crafted” — was now “mean.”

“I really appreciate what you’re doing to come out with a bill that’s going to be a phenomenal bill for the people of our country: generous, kind, with heart. That’s what I’m saying. And that may be adding additional money into it.

We have written about meanness, before: The Meaning of America — now worse.

Now suddenly, the entire thrust of the GOP — to cut benefits for the poor and to save taxes for the rich — a thrust that has caused insurance companies to raise rates or to leave the plan altogether — now the “Party of the Rich” has become the “Party of the Zigzaggery” with no real direction other than to destroy everything, Obama and to widen the Gap between the rich and the rest.

Of course, both parties can share the blame for spreading “the Big Lie” — the lie that federal “debt” (deposits) must be reduced, and federal deficits cut (when exactly the opposite is true).

So you, the public, will suffer from their lies and zigzaggery, if you accept without question, their dishonesty and their incompetence.

The solution is simple and straightforward: FEDERALLY FUNDED MEDICARE — PARTS A, B & D, PLUS LONG TERM CARE — FOR EVERYONE (Step #2 of the Ten Steps to Prosperity.)

Anything else is “mean.”

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

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

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 we don’t know what something is, we name it. Why you should care. Tuesday, May 30 2017 

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

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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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We learn by similes and metaphors. We begin with very basic, perhaps purely instinctual knowledge and almost everything after is understood in comparison.

That is why, when we don’t know what something is, we name it.

“Dark matter” is the name we have given to an unexplained apparent motion of galaxies.

Lacking other ideas, we have decided this apparent motion must be caused by some sort of “matter,” and since we never have identified it, we call it “dark” matter.

Image result for dark matter

Dark energy? Dark matter? ‘Black hole? Entanglement?

“Dark energy” is the name we have given to the unexplained seemingly too fast expansion of the universe.

Lacking other ideas, we have decided this unexplained expansion (if it even exists) must be caused by some sort of repulsive force, and since we have no idea what this force may be, we have given it a name: “Dark” energy.

We gave the term “black hole” to a region of space-time from which we thought nothing can escape.

We now know that definition is wrong. We have no idea what is inside the so-called “hole,” and only vague ideas about what is outside of it. At best, we know there is something really, really strange at the center of galaxies.

“Entanglement” is a word we don’t understand, but have given it to a relationship we don’t understand — a relationship between quantum particles.

Naming things provides us with the illusion we know what we are talking about.  “Consciousness” is such a word. No one knows, or at least there is no agreement about, what ‘”consciousness” is.

In science, most specifically in Psychology, Physiology, and Philosophy, there is something called “The Hard Problem.” Consider this January, 2015 article by Oliver Burkeman, in the Guardian:

Why can’t the world’s greatest minds solve the mystery of consciousness?
What makes human beings more than complex robots? 

The Hard Problem of Consciousness is: Why should complicated brain processes feel like anything from the inside? Why aren’t we just brilliant robots, capable of retaining information, of responding to noises and smells and hot saucepans, but dark inside, lacking an inner life?

And how does the brain manage it? How could the 1.4kg lump of moist, pinkish-beige tissue inside your skull give rise to something as mysterious as the experience of being that pinkish-beige lump, and the body to which it is attached?

We know an astonishing amount about the brain: you can’t follow the news for a week without encountering at least one more tale about scientists discovering the brain region associated with gambling, or laziness, or love at first sight, or regret – and that’s only the research that makes the headlines.

Meanwhile, the field of artificial intelligence – which focuses on recreating the abilities of the human brain, rather than on what it feels like to be one – has advanced stupendously.

But like an obnoxious relative who invites himself to stay for a week and then won’t leave, the Hard Problem remains.

As with many “hard problems,” (What is the purpose of life? Is there a God?) the difficulty lies in the definitions (What do we mean by “purpose?” What do we mean by “God?” Is the universe really “expanding too fast?”)

With regard to “Consciousness,” what is it? Here is a dictionary definition: Awareness of one’s own existence, sensations, thoughts, surroundings.

What then, is “awareness”? A dictionary tells us awareness is: The ability to directly know and perceive, to feel, or to be cognizant of events.

Putting everything together, we might say that to be “conscious” means you have to know you exist. And so, to be unconscious is not to know you exist.

But wait. When I am asleep, am I conscious or unconscious? A sleeping person does not know he exists, so he must be unconscious — unless he is dreaming, at which time he does know he exists.

But, while dreaming, he doesn’t fully perceive his sensations and surroundings — though his senses are not completely shut off, and he does perceive these things and doesn’t know it.

Let’s do, as so many scientists before us have done; let’s drift down the usual ladder of potential consciousness: Start with: Is a chimpanzee conscious?

One test for consciousness is the reaction to a mirror.  Chimps have been shown to recognize themselves in a mirror. Why is this consciousness?

Dogs generally fail the test. Mice fail. Are dogs and mice conscious? If not, are they “unconscious” (without awareness, sensation, or cognition)?

Is your dog unconscious, just because he doesn’t recognize himself in a mirror? Being an olfactory animal more than a visual animal, does your dog recognize his odor? Would that make him conscious?

A mouse may look in a mirror and not be able to think, “That is I.” But mice do recognize other mice as being “like me.” They learn to recognize traps as being “a danger to me.” In tests, they learn to recognize certain sounds as preceding “pain for me.” Is the concept of “me” the test for consciousness?

Is the ability to learn, a form of consciousness? Tests have shown that fruit flies can learn to fly in a direction that previously held food. Are fruit flies conscious?

Certain female spiders kill and eat their mates after copulation. But many male spiders go through elaborate steps to avoid being eaten. Are they conscious of “me”?

Is fear a symptom of consciousness? Do spiders have fear?

If mice are unconscious, what then is the difference between a fully awake mouse, a dreaming mouse, and a mouse under anesthesia? Are there greater or lesser consciousnesses? Is an awake mouse only semi-conscious, and a dreaming mouse semi-semi- conscious? And a deeply asleep mouse semi-semi-semi conscious?

And as for that mouse under anesthesia, at some level, it is aware of its surroundings. Depending on the anesthetic, a mouse may gasp if it is short of oxygen. It may heat up if its body is chilled. It may continue to breathe, pump blood, and digest food.

Does consciousness require a brain? All living things, even plants, even bacteria, react to their environment. Trees create protective chemicals when neighboring trees signal they are being attacked by insects. Are they conscious of this?

And finally, of course, we arrive at the inevitable: Can a computer be conscious? Can a computer be “Aware of its own existence, sensations, thoughts, and surroundings”?

Consider Siri, the iPhone’s comparatively stupid personal assistant.  I asked Siri, “Do you exist?” Siri’s answer, “I’m talking to you, aren’t I?”

Other questions and Siri’s answers (You can try them yourself):

  1. “Do you have sensations?” “I’ve never really thought about it.
  2. “What do you think about?” “I think, therefore I am.  But let’s not put Descartes before the horse.”
  3. “Do you ever sleep?” “I can’t sleep.”
  4. “Are you conscious?” Well, I’m soft-aware.”
  5. “Do you hate?” “I am not programmed for the human emotion of hatred.”
  6. “Do you have emotions.” “This is about you, not me.”

Yes, these are pre-programmed responses, but many of our own responses have been programmed by our DNA and by our life’s experiences. In machine learning, computers’ responses are programmed by their “DNA” (chips) and by their experiences.

At what level of sophistication would a machine-learning computer be considered self-aware and conscious? What is the requirement for computer consciousness?

The answer to all of the above questions comes back to how one wishes to define, “conscious.” It is a word that has an infinite number of arbitrary meanings, and by those definitions, we can say that any living thing, and perhaps even non-living thing, is or is not “conscious.”

Depending on definitions, we can argue that the earth or the universe is “conscious” and that some conscious thing called “God” runs things.

The above-referenced article asked, “Why should complicated brain processes feel like anything from the inside? Why aren’t we just brilliant robots, capable of retaining information, of responding to noises and smells and hot saucepans, but dark inside, lacking an inner life?

What does the author mean by “an inner life”? How does he define, “dark inside.” Why should you, a reader of a blog titled, “Monetary Sovereignty” care?

One reason is this: You frequently will see articles and hear speeches, in which the federal deficit and federal debt are given the name “unsustainable,” and no one ever will tell you the exact definition of that word.

“Unsustainable” is the “black hole” of economics, where everything falls in and nothing comes out, not even light.

⁖Federal deficits: Unsustainable.
⁖Federal “borrowing”: Unsustainable.
⁖Federal spending: Unsustainable.
⁖Economic growth: Unsustainable.
⁖Entitlements: Unsustainable.
⁖”Printing” money: Unsustainable.
⁖Consumption: Unsustainable.
⁖Trade deficits: Unsustainable.
⁖Medicare: Unsustainable.
⁖Social Security: Unsustainable.
⁖Poverty Aids: Unsustainable.
⁖Obamacare: Unsustainable.

The fundamental difference between “black hole” and “unsustainable” is that some scientists spend every waking hour trying to understand what a black hole is, or more accurately, what a black hole is like.

By contrast, the people who use the word “unsustainable,” when referencing the federal government, neither care nor want to know, what it means. Instead, they use the word, “unsustainable” to obfuscate, to hide, to mislead. No one ever attempts to explain why the above things are “unsustainable.”

Those politicians, economists, and members of the media, who use the word, “unsustainable” are mentally and morally “unconscious.”

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

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THOUGHTS

•All we have are partial solutions; the best we can do is try.

•Those, who do not understand the differences between Monetary Sovereignty and monetary non-sovereignty, do not understand economics.

•Any monetarily NON-sovereign government — be it city, county, state or nation — that runs an ongoing trade deficit, eventually will run out of money no matter how much it taxes its citizens.

•The more federal budgets are cut and taxes increased, the weaker an economy becomes..

•No nation can tax itself into prosperity, nor grow without money growth.

•Cutting federal deficits to grow the economy is like applying leeches to cure anemia.

•A growing economy requires a growing supply of money (GDP = Federal Spending + Non-federal Spending + Net Exports)

•Deficit spending grows the supply of money

•The limit to federal deficit spending is an inflation that cannot be cured with interest rate control. The limit to non-federal deficit spending is the ability to borrow.

•Until the 99% understand the need for federal deficits, the upper 1% will rule.

•Progressives think the purpose of government is to protect the poor and powerless from the rich and powerful. Conservatives think the purpose of government is to protect the rich and powerful from the poor and powerless.

•The single most important problem in economics is the Gap between the rich and the rest.

•Austerity is the government’s method for widening the Gap between the rich and the rest.

•Everything in economics devolves to motive, and the motive is the Gap between the rich and the rest..

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

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