–Open letter to John Mauldin re. his myths Sunday, May 9 2010 

      John Mauldin is President of Millennium Wave Advisors, LLC (MWA) which is an investment advisory firm registered with multiple states. He also is a registered representative of Millennium Wave Securities, LLC, (MWS) an NASD registered broker-dealer. He is the author of Thoughts from the Frontline, a blog at Mauldin.
      Recently, Mr. Mauldin wrote an article for his blog, and I wrote to him with a critique, as follows:

5/9/10
Mr. Mauldin:

      This note is sent to you in the spirit of helpfulness. Your article titled “The Center Cannot Hold,” quoting G. Cecchetti, M. S. Mohanty, and Fabrizio Zampolli contains several widely quoted, commonly believed myths. For example:

      Myth: “Long before we get to the place where we in the US are paying 20% of our GDP in interest (which would be about 80% of our tax collections, even with much higher tax rates) the bond market, not to mention taxpayers, will revolt. The paper’s authors clearly show that the current course is not sustainable.”
      Fact: Federal borrowing no longer (after 1971) is necessary nor even desirable. See: How to Eliminate Federal Deficits

      Myth: “A higher level of public debt implies that a larger share of society’s resources is permanently being spent servicing the debt. This means that a government intent on maintaining a given level of public services and transfers must raise taxes as debt increases.”
      Fact: Society’s resources do not service federal debt. See: Taxes do not pay for federal spending.

      Myth: “And if government debt crowds out private investment, then there is lower growth.”
      Fact: This also commonly is stated, “Government debt crowds out private borrowing” and government debt crowds out private lending.” There is no mechanism by which federal spending can crowd out investment, borrowing or lending. On the contrary, federal spending adds to the money supply, which stimulates investment, borrowing and lending. See: Why spending stimulates investment

      Myth: “A government cannot run deficits in times of crisis to offset the affects of the crisis, if they already are running large deficits and have a large debt. In effect, fiscal policy is hamstrung.”
      Fact: This is the strangest myth, since running deficits in a time of crisis is exactly what the U.S. government has been doing. It would be true of Greece and the other EU nations, but not of then U.S., Canada, Australia, China and other monetarily sovereign systems. See: Greece’s solution

      Myth: “[…] the current leadership of the Fed knows it cannot print money.”
      Fact: This myth is even stranger than the above “strangest” myth, since printing money is exactly what the Fed does. See: Unsustainable debt.

      Myth: “As frightening as it is to consider public debt increasing to more than 100% of GDP, an even greater danger arises from a rapidly aging population.”
      Fact: The famous federal debt/GDP ratio is completely meaningless – a classic apples/oranges comparison – that neither describes the health of the economy, nor measures the government’s ability to pay its bills nor has any other meaningful purpose. See: The Debt/GDP ratio

      If you would like to see more common myths about our economy, go to: Common economic myths

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

–The EU and the “hair of the dog” Friday, May 7 2010 

An alternative to popular faith

AP 5/7/2010: “European leaders sought Friday to convince fearful markets that the Greek debt crisis won’t spread to other countries and derail the continent’s hesitant economic recovery. France and Italy approved their share of a euro 110 billion ($140 billion) bailout to keep Greece from imminent default […] EU leaders have insisted for days the Greek financial implosion was a unique combination of bad management, free spending and statistical cheating that doesn’t apply to any other eurozone nation, such as troubled Spain or Portugal.”

As I’ve noted elsewhere, GREECE has problems neither unique nor unanticipated. In a June 5, 2005 SPEECH at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, I said, “I mentioned Germany. They are in trouble, again. Their economy is stagnant. They want to increase their supply of money by cutting taxes. But, because of the Euro, no European nation can control its own money supply. The Euro is the worst economic idea since the recession-era, Smoot-Hawley Tariff. The economies of European nations are doomed by the Euro.

We have a similar, though thankfully different situation here in the U.S. Replace “Greece” with “California,” and you have an identical problem. Until 1971, the U.S. was on a gold standard, which limited its ability to create money. Today, Greece is limited by the “euro standard”. California is limited by the “dollar standard.” All standards have the same function: Limit money creation.

Like Greece, California is unable to create money at will. It has borrowed as much as it can, and no sources of money are on the horizon. Now try to imagine the other states, Illinois, New York et al, giving or lending money to California to bail it out of its immediate problems. Obviously, that wouldn’t work:
1) The states can’t afford it.
2) The “solution” would, at best, be temporary. It merely would delay the inevitable, while putting California deeper in debt.
3) It would exacerbate the looming bankruptcies of the other states.

Now, the E.U. proposes a “hair of the dog” solution for Greece. It is asked to commit financial suicide by raising taxes, reducing spending and borrowing even more money, the very thing that got it into trouble. Meanwhile, the other E.U. nations will commit suicide along with Greece, by lending it precious money they can’t spare.

The solution for the U.S states is clear: Federal creation and input of money. The federal government has this power, in fact, gave itself this power specifically to prevent American bankruptcies, and has used this power many times, most recently to end the recent recession.

The solution for the E.U. states is equally clear, and that solution is not loans from wealthier E.U. nations to poorer E.U. nations. The solution is for the E.U. to function just like the U.S. Fed. Create money and supply it to the E.U. states. Until then, the E.U. will live in a dream world, or rather a nightmare world of ongoing financial desperation.

More than 200 years ago, the U.S. was a group of independent nations, each with individual mores and beliefs. Yet for mutual survival, they had the good sense to ignore their differences and come together under one rule. The EU should do the same.

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

No nation can tax itself into prosperity

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