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

Trade War! Oh, woe is US ? Friday, Mar 10 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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I just received an Email from FT Exclusive. Here is the entire text:

White House civil war breaks out over trade

A civil war has broken out within the White House over trade, leading to what one official called “a fiery meeting” in the Oval Office pitting economic nationalists close to Donald Trump against pro-trade moderates from Wall Street.

According to more than a half-dozen people inside the White House or dealing with it, the bitter fight has set a hardline group including senior adviser Steve Bannon and Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro against a faction led by Gary Cohn, the former Goldman Sachs executive who leads Mr Trump’s National Economic Council.

At the centre of the debate is Mr Navarro, a firebrand economist who has angered Berlin and other European allies by accusing Germany of exploiting a “grossly undervalued” euro and calling for bilateral discussions with Angela Merkel’s government over ways to reduce the US trade deficit with Europe’s most powerful economy.

The officials and people dealing with the White House said Mr Navarro appeared to be losing influence in recent weeks. But during the recent Oval Office fight, Mr Trump appeared to side with the economic nationalists, one official said.

When evaluating the above, the key thing to remember is the U.S. government is Monetarily Sovereign. It creates unlimited dollars at will.

Bannon et al want the other nations to make our imports more expensive and our exports less expensive, so we can export more and import less. That leaves us with two questions:

  1. Should we want our Net Imports to be more expensive?
  2. Should we want to increase Net Exports?

Question #1 seems like a no-brainer.  Do you really want all the things you import to cost you more? Do you really want inflation?

No? Well, that’s the way to reduce imports, which is what Bannon and Trump want. (Though not even Trump knows what Trump wants, today. Tomorrow’s 4:00AM tweet could change everything.)

Which gets us to the meat of the argument, question #2. Should we want to increase Net Exports?

That is a no-brainer too, but not in the way you may think.

The fundamental effect of increased Net Exports is to increase the money supply, which on the surface would seem to be a good thing.

But remember, the U.S. government is Monetarily Sovereign. It has the unlimited ability to increase our money supply.

Congress controls the money supply by spending, which it has the unlimited ability to do. So, there is no money-supply need to increase or to decrease imports or exports.

Some may argue that increasing Net Exports by weakening the dollar helps American businesses that exportbut it hurts American businesses that import, as well as hurting consumers who will need to pay more dollars for imports.

And if our government really wants to help American business, it simply would reduce or even eliminate business taxes. Then there would be no need for silly trade conflicts like the Bannon, Cohn, Navarro, Trump ado about nothing.

Ah, but if the government reduced or eliminated business taxes, the populace first would complain about business not paying its “fair share,” as though business expenses somehow benefit the populace.

And then after the “fair share” argument ran its course, the populace might come to see that the federal government neither needs nor uses the tax dollars anyway.

Imagine the kerfuffle when government flunkies try to explain why our Monetarily Sovereign government does not need tax dollars, but has been collecting them all these years.

Here is the teapot on this tempest:

  1. A Monetarily Sovereign nation does not need to export. It can control its money supply, and can support its industries, endlessly.
  2. Importing benefits the nation. When we import we exchange dollars, which cost essentially zero to create, for goods and services which cost time, materials, and labor to create.

In effect, when a Monetarily Sovereign nation imports it gives nothing and gets something.

For instance, when we import from China, we give them dollars we create at the touch of a computer key, and they give us products and services that cost them the blood, sweat, and tears of their workforce along with their precious raw materials.

So who comes out the winner? Clearly, the importer. That so-called “grossly undervalued euro” benefits America.

Those are the simple facts of import/export for a Monetarily Sovereign nation.

Now, sit back and watch the fighting dispassionately, and shake your head in wonder at the treachery of our leaders and the ignorance of the populace.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

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THE RULES

•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.

•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.

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

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

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY

The Student loan con Saturday, Dec 31 2016 

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

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Three truths support the student loan industry:

  1. America needs college educated, young people in order to compete in the world economic and military power structure
  2. Lending is profitable.
  3. The very rich, who run America, promulgate  the Big Lie that the U.S. can run short of its own sovereign currency, so federal taxes are necessary to fund federal spending.

Even in the early days of America, days of a low-tech, agrarian America,  educating our young was recognized as necessary for the economic growth of this nation.

So cities, counties and states voted to provide free education through grades K-12. Some governments even have made such education mandatory for children up to the age of 18.

While cities, counties and states are monetarily non-sovereign, meaning they can run short of dollars and do require taxes or other income in order to spend, the U.S. federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign, cannot run short of dollars and can spend forever, with no income at all.

Yet, the less financially-viable states, counties and cities give money for education, while the unlimited-spending,  federal government has provided a lending system — a system that makes advanced education less available than if dollars simply were given.

Federal Student Loan History

The federal government began guaranteeing student loans provided by banks and non-profit lenders in 1965, creating the program that is now called the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) program.

The first federal student loans, however, provided under the National Defense Education Act of 1958, were direct loans capitalized with U.S. Treasury funds, following a recommendation of economist Milton Friedman.

One only can speculate about why Friedman wanted the Treasury to lend, rather than give, funds. The payback of those loans had no benefit to the Treasury, whatsoever, but it punished the private sector.

When Congress wanted to expand on that start, budget rules made the guarantee approach seem more attractive. Today, this system of guaranteed student loans has been entirely replaced, and all new loans are issued directly by the Department of Education.

Under 1965 budget rules, a direct loan would have to show up in the budget as a total loss in the year it was made, even though most of it would be paid back with interest in future years.

In contrast, a guaranteed loan, which placed the full faith and credit of the United States behind a private bank loan, would appear to have no up front budget cost at all — because the government’s payments for defaults and interest subsidies would not occur until later years.

This raised concerns among economists, who worried that the government was making financial commitments without accounting for the ultimate costs.

The so-called economists “worried” about the financial commitments of a government that never has had, and never will have, any difficulty paying those financial commitments.

In 1990, President George H.W. Bush’s  Federal Credit Reform Act (established that) all government loan programs—whether guarantees of commercial loans, or loans made directly from a federal agency—would have to account for their full long-term expenses and income. Every loan program would have an estimated “subsidy cost.”

The subsidy cost is the amount of money that needs to be set aside when the loan is made in order to cover the costs to the government over the life of the loan.

Here, federal financing is confused with private financing. While private lenders may need to “set aside money to cover costs,” the federal government has no such need.

Indeed, the federal government never sets aside money, simply because the federal government creates dollars ad hoc, by spending dollars.

According to the Government Accountability Office, the old approach “distorted costs and did not recognize the economic reality of the transactions,” while the new approach “provides transparency regarding the government’s total estimated subsidy costs rather than recognizing these costs sporadically on a cash basis over several years as payments are made and receipts are collected.”

The GAO completely confuses private financing with federal financing. The “economic reality” of federal transactions is: The federal government’s method for creating dollars is to spend dollars.

The federal government pays all its bills by sending instructions (no dollars) to each creditor’s bank, instructing the bank to increase the balance in the creditor’s checking account.

At the moment the bank does as instructed, dollars are created.

This more rational approach to budgeting changed the nature of policy discussions on Capitol Hill. Student loan programs were among the first to be affected.

“More rational” means “irrational” for a Monetarily Sovereign government.

In 1993, newly elected President Clinton proposed replacing the guarantee program with the direct approach as part of his deficit reduction plan. Estimates from all of the government’s budgeting and auditing agencies showed that direct lending would deliver the same loans to students at significantly lower cost to taxpayers.

President Clinton’s administration ran federal surpluses (took dollars out of the private sector) in the final years of his term, which led to the recession of 2001. Every depression and most recessions in U.S. history have resulted from decreases in deficit growth.

Federal spending does not cost taxpayers anything. Even if all federal taxes were reduced to $0, the federal government could continue spending, forever.

In 1994, Congress  passed a law that prohibited the Department of Education from encouraging or requiring colleges to switch to the direct loan program.

Those profiting from the guarantee system could use their substantial resources to lure or retain colleges and universities, while the direct loan program was not allowed to make its own case. Not surprisingly, campus participation in the direct loan program declined.

As usual, Congress voted for a system favored  by their rich banker campaign contributors, despite it being more costly to the public.

In 2003, a team of investigative reporters at U.S. News and World Report looked into what was causing some colleges to switch back to the guarantee program.

Their front-page story found that much like old-time political ward bosses, the student loan industry “used money and favors, along with their friends in Congress and the Department of Education, to get what they wanted.”

The #1 criminal enterprise in America is the U.S. Congress.  It freely and legally (Congress makes the laws) accepts bribes to favor the rich.

If the RICO laws ( Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) applied to Congress, every Senator and Representative would be in jail.

By 2007, new volume in the direct loan program had reached the lowest share of total federal student loan volume since it began in the 1990s. This trend, however, reversed in 2008.

Widespread credit market disruptions in 2008 and 2009 threatened the ability of many private lenders to make loans under the federal guaranteed student loan program, and numerous private lenders discontinued participation in the program.

In response, schools that previously participated in the guarantee program switched to the direct loan program, and direct loan program volume, as share of total loan volume, began to increase in 2008.

Note that no consideration was made regarding what was best for students or for the American public at large. The sole concern was for bank profits.

Congress and President George W. Bush enacted a temporary program in May 2008 to allow the U.S. Department of Education to buy guaranteed loans made by private lenders. The proceeds from the loans would be used to originate new student loans.

The temporary program, the Ensuring Continued Access to Student Loans Act (ECASLA), marks a major historical change in the guaranteed loan program, as it provides federal capital to private lenders making student loans. In this regard, the guaranteed program now shares more characteristics with the direct loan program.

In 2010, Congress passed and the President signed into law a bill that eliminated the FFEL program for all new loans made as of July 1, 2010.

With ECASLA, the banks lend to students; then the government buys the loans, giving the banks immediate profits. The banks use that money to make new loans, and thereby their profits multiply.

The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the elimination of the FFEL program under the law would generate $68.7 billion in savings over the next ten years. These savings were used to increase funding for the Pell Grant program.

The supposed “savings” to the federal government are not used to fund Pell or any other government program. All dollars sent to the U.S. government are destroyed upon receipt. They cease to be a part of the money supply. The government creates new dollars, ad hoc, when it spends.

“Pell” provides one drop of water when the entire Great Lakes are needed.

The Federal Pell Grant Program supplies grants for students who have limited income with funding to pursue an undergraduate post-secondary education. The Pell Grant does not have to be repaid, and eligible applicants are determined by specific criteria.

Federal Pell Grants are awarded via participating colleges and institutions to individuals who are enrolled in specific programs that are directed towards teacher certification or licensing.

According to the Federal Student Aid website, “The maximum Pell Grant award for the 2008-09 award year (July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2009) is $4,731.

The student loan scam is brilliant in that it widens the Gap between the rich and the rest in three ways.

  1. It saddles “the rest” with a debt from which they have difficulty recovering, even into retirement, thus forcing them to work longer and harder. Unlike Donald Trump, who “smartly” used the bankruptcy laws for his own profit, students can’t discharge their loans in bankruptcy.
  2. The burden of debt makes it difficult for the young people to start businesses that would allow them to move up the financial ladder.
  3. The prospect of debt forces not-rich young people to seek out less prestigious, cheaper universities (making them less competitive in the job market) or to give up college altogether (making financial advancement less likely).

The student loan program guarantees the rich a large and desperate population of underpaid workers to toil in job slavery.

What makes the program truly brilliant is that the populace doesn’t object. Aside from FICA, the student loan program is our single, most regressive federal program, and the people happily accept both.

If Congress were sincere in its desire to educate the American public it would provide Steps #4 and #5 of the Ten Steps to Prosperity:

Step 4. FREE EDUCATION (INCLUDING POST-GRAD) FOR EVERYONEFive 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.

Step 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.

The public is well aware of the need to educate our young people, but the elite .1% have bribed all sources of information.

The Politicians are bribed with campaign contributions; the media are bribed via ownership and advertising budgets; the university economists are bribed with university donations.

Thus the public is led to believe that the federal government can’t afford to provide free college education, and that the 99.9% don’t deserve free education.

As always,  the Big Lie  dominates political and economics discourse, and no one of influence seems to have the knowledge or the desire to debunk it.

The federal student loan programs constitute a gigantic con, and the public has bought into it, like fish rushing with mouths agape, at a hooked worm.

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 AN ANNUAL ECONOMIC BONUS TO EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD IN AMERICA, AND/OR EVERY STATE, A PER CAPITA ECONOMIC BONUS (The JG (Jobs Guarantee) vs the GI (Guaranteed Income) vs the EB) 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 EVERYONEFive 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 CORPORATE TAXES
Corporations themselves exist only as legalities. They don’t pay taxes or pay for anything else. They are dollar-transferring machines. They transfer dollars from customers to employees, suppliers, shareholders and the government (the later having no use for those dollars).
Any tax on corporations reduces the amount going to employees, suppliers and shareholders, which diminishes the economy. Ultimately, all corporate taxes come around and reappear as deductions from 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 corporate 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. 

Good comes from bad Wednesday, Nov 9 2016 

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

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My family’s motto is, “Good comes from bad.”

It means that when bad things happen, they often provide lessons or opportunities that otherwise might not have appeared.

Unquestionably, the Donald Trump we all know, has the most awful résumé for filling the job of President of the United States.  His promises to “make America great again” (again?) ring hollow when coming from a compulsively lying, often bankrupt, misogynist, bigoted, inexperienced and ignorant egomaniac of infidelity.

Yet his victory, as bad as it seems, makes abundantly clear something we have been saying for years: The Democratic Party, the traditionally liberal party of the working class, neither is liberal nor cares anything for the working class.

Barack Obama is a right-winger who loves bankers more than workers, money more than principle, and compromise more than leadership. Hillary Clinton is an even more conservative version of Obama.

Did you see those thousands of people at Trump’s rallies, you know the “basket of deplorables” Hillary scoffed at? Those were working class people — people who should have been Democrats if only there were any Democrats running for President.

Not many “too-big-to-jail” bankers in those crowds — just ordinary working people, trying to make a life for themselves and their children. Unfortunately, they can’t get ahead; they can’t reach that elusive American dream. The rich have stolen it.

 The Gap between the rich and the rest has grown, as the middles have merged with the lowers, while the idle rich criticize the working poor as “takers.”

Ironically, along comes a classic example of the cruel rich, a billionaire who has cheated thousands of workers out of their salaries, a nativist who has his merchandise produced abroad and who tries to evict “deplorables” from his properties.

But he told the people what they wanted to hear, so desperately, they ignored his reality in favor of the tales he has spun. Who can blame them? The Democrats offered more of the same old, same old.

Republican leaders are proud to be conservative, but Democratic leaders, having spent their lives hobnobbing with the rich, want nothing to do with liberalism. Even union leaders, whose sole purpose ostensibly, is to fight for the working class, have become mere tools of the rich.

Money talks and big money screams through a megaphone.

The Democrats have lost their leadership, lost their direction, lost their liberalism, and as a result, have lost their base and this election.

Having lost to such as Donald Trump, the least qualified Presidential candidate in generations, shows just how far the Party has fallen.

Elizabeth Warren, perhaps the sole liberal in Congress, could have won this election.  She should have run.

I suspect she would have instituted the Ten Steps to Prosperity (below) or something very much like it.

Meanwhile, we must suffer years of a Donald Trump, and a Republican Party, and a right-wing, activist Supreme Court, that will continue to steal from the working class, and give to the rich, unless and until the Democrats return to their roots.

Good may come from yesterday’s bad, but at my age, I probably won’t live to see it.  I hope you will.

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 rich and the rest.

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 AN ANNUAL ECONOMIC BONUS TO EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD IN AMERICA, AND/OR EVERY STATE, A PER CAPITA ECONOMIC BONUS (The JG (Jobs Guarantee) vs the GI (Guaranteed Income) vs the EB) 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 EVERYONEFive 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 benefiting 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 CORPORATE TAXES
Corporations themselves exist only as legalities. They don’t pay taxes or pay for anything else. They are dollar-transferring machines. They transfer dollars from customers to employees, suppliers, shareholders and the government (the later having no use for those dollars).
Any tax on corporations reduces the amount going to employees, suppliers and shareholders, which diminishes the economy. Ultimately, all corporate taxes come around and reappear as deductions from 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 corporate 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

 

 

 

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