–Japan, Ireland, Greece: Facts vs. Mainstream Economists

The debt hawks are to economics as the creationists are to biology.

The mainstream economists never change, but my hope is if I continue to demonstrate the inconsistencies of mainstream economics, eventually the word will get to the politicians, the media and the public. Here is a quick sampling of 10/26/10 AP articles:

TOKYO — Japan’s Cabinet approved an extra budget to help finance $63 billion of stimulus spending aimed at spurring the country’s lackluster economy as it battles deflation and a strong yen.”

The CIA’s World Factbook 2010 shows Japan’s Debt/GDP at 189%. According to mainstream economics (aka debt-hawk economics), that Debt/GDP ratio should force a terrible inflation on Japan, and its debt should be “unsustainable.” But Japan is battling deflation, and seems to have so little difficulty “sustaining” its debt. And it will spend an additional $63 billion. See the disconnect?

The same source lists the Debt/GDP ratio for the U.S. as 53% (More recent data from the Treasury shows this to be 66%), far lower than Japan’s. Yet, the debt hawks claim – without any supporting data — the U.S. federal debt must be reduced by raising taxes and/or reduced spending, either or both of which will injure the economy.

But wait, there’s more. According to mainstream economics, all that borrowing should have forced Japan’s interest rates up, which should be bad for economic growth. But Japan’s benchmark interest rate is 0%, as low as it has been in 5 years. The reason: Japan’s benchmark interest rate is not market-derived; it is set by the Japanese government, just as the U.S. Fed Funds rate is set by the Fed.

“DUBLIN — Ireland’s government said it must slash euro15 billion ($20.8 billion) from its annual budgets in a four-year plan designed to bring Europe’s highest deficit back within EU limits.”

The EU demands that its nations have a Deficit/GDP ratio below 3%. However, as Ireland reduces stimulus spending, GDP also will fall. So, Ireland must chase a moving target, in which reductions in the numerator cause reductions in the denominator. Visualize a dog chasing its tail, and you have the EU mainstream economics version of Ireland.

ATHENS, Greece — Greece’s central bank governor says the government must not relent in its planned deficit-cutting efforts but warns against further tax increases, which would deepen the recession.

Just so we understand, tax increases will “deepen the recession” (by removing money from the economy), but deficit cuts, which also will remove money from the economy, are O.K.???

And this is what the science of economics has become.

There are two and only two solutions for Greece and Ireland. Either,
1. Return to Monetary Sovereignty by re-adopting your sovereign currency
2. Have the EU create a true United States of Europe whereby the EU would supply euros to its member nations as needed.

There are no other solutions. Oh yes, and stop demanding that your member nations commit economic suicide.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

No nation can tax itself into prosperity. Those who say the stimulus “didn’t work” remind of the guy whose house is on fire. A neighbor runs with a garden hose and starts spraying, but the fire continues. The neighbor wants to call the fire department, which would bring the big hoses, but the guy says, “Don’t call. As you can see, water doesn’t put out fires.”

–Gold bugs, debt hawks and the EU

An alternative to popular faith

8:55 am ET 03/13/2010 – UPI: European Union ministers are nearing completion of a bail-out package for Greece. . . The package . . . could contain as much as $34 billion in aid with primary backing from France and Germany . . . Options include loans to Greece and a bond issue guaranteed by eurozone countries . . . The deal must be constructed to circumvent EU rules that prohibit a bail-out for a country on the edge of insolvency. . . “

Think of what this really says: EU rules prevent Greece from creating money. So, unlike the United States, Greece legally cannot service its debts. The EU will break its own rules to lend Greece more money, while insisting that Greece destroy money by running surpluses. (Debt creates money; destroying debt destroys money.)

Thus has the debt-growth-restricted world of the debt hawks merged with the money-growth-restricted world of the gold bugs in one currency, the euro. Each day, the euro will encounter problems with reality, problems that will require patches and rule-bending, and will devolve to a jerry-built, recession-prone, Frankenstein currency, eventually to be abandoned in the midst of crisis.

Those who have read this blog, my web site and FREE MONEY will not be surprised by Greece’s and the EU’s problems. The euro is the inevitable result of beliefs by debt-hawks and gold bugs — which are identical.

Debt hawks, gold bugs and the EU all are the same people, though they may not realize it. They all wish to restrict the growth of money, just through different mechanisms. Debt hawks would restrict money growth by outlawing its creation. Gold bugs would restrict money growth by tying it to a commodity with limited growth ability.

The EU nations are hobbled with both. They are tied to a “euro standard” (ala a gold standard) and the growth of the euro is legally restricted. Why does restricting the growth of money have such widespread appeal, when money growth so obviously is needed for a growing economy? Because even sophisticated economists do not seem to understand the three-word sentence the forms the very basis of all economics:

“Money is debt.”

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell