On July 2, 2019, President Donald Trump nominated Mrs. Judy Shelton to join the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. She has a distinguished career as an economist and even co-authored a book called Roads to Sound Money, which supports ideas such as sound money and individual liberty. To those who support the free market and monetary/fiscal responsibility, her nomination is nothing short of a Godsend. But as of Tuesday’s vote, the Republican majority Senate still has not confirmed her nomination. Despite this process being highly bureaucratic and requiring many if’s, she actually still has a shot! CNN reports:
The final vote was 47-50.
The 50 votes against Mrs. Shelton include:
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who had initially voted for the nominee, switched to vote against her, giving him the procedural right to bring her up for another vote in the near future.
Mitch switched his vote, utilizing a “procedural right,” something most citizens could never cite nor likely even knew existed.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, a Republican from Iowa, announced he would have to quarantine after potential exposure to Covid-19 and miss the vote -- his first missed vote in 27 years. He joins Florida Republican Sen. Rick Scott, who announced Saturday he would be away from the Capitol for the same reason.
“If” the two Republican Senators were in attendance, and “if” Mitch voted for Shelton, then things would look much different; but that did not happen. So where does that leave things?
Should there be another vote, CNN goes on to say, it will likely be scheduled after Thanksgiving. But this complicates things as:
Sen.-elect Mark Kelly, a Democrat who won a GOP seat in the special election in Arizona, is expected to be sworn in, meaning there would likely be one more Democratic "no" vote…
This wouldn’t bode well, as the Wall Street Journal reports that Democrat Mark Kelly would be sworn in on Nov 30, if combined with the three Republicans Mitt Romney, Susan Collins and more recent “dissenter” Lamar Alexander, it would make an already slim “yes” confirmation all the more difficult.
Once the math, voting strategy, and party lines become drawn, a new question arises:
When did the Federal Reserve governor nomination become “partisan politics” in Washington?
Even the Wall Street Journal notes:
Party-line votes for Fed board positions haven’t occurred before, reflecting the institution’s apolitical nature.
For all that’s been said about this “controversial” pick, Mrs. Shelton would have only one vote on a seven member board. She’d hardly be a threat to stopping the (unofficial goal of) US dollar debasement overnight, nor would she be able to implement a gold standard anytime soon. But what she has already done, even if inadvertently, is illustrate various problems with the way this system of democracy and central banking works. Since her nomination, we’ve seen countless displays of this “system,” which appears to not even help those it claims to serve.
Republican Senator Lamar Alexander displayed this on Monday when he came out against Mrs. Shelton, as CNBC quotes him saying:
I don’t want to turn over management of the money supply to a Congress and a President who can’t balance the federal budget.
Lamar is just one of 100 elected Senators, chosen “by the people” to represent their interests. In this case, they must confirm someone to serve on the board of governors to manage the nation’s central bank, an idea championed by many anti-capitalists, including Karl Marx.
Nonetheless, as the system is currently designed, it requires elected Senators like Alexander to be charged with managing the economic affairs of the entire nation; whether these senators understand economics is besides the point. Luckily, in instances where an elected official doesn’t understand, or wishes to be rid of someone with an idea they disagree, they can employ demagoguery to sway public opinion. As noted above, the Senator can paint a picture that the nation’s money supply would be somehow handed over to the President and Congress. This is misleading because it completely misunderstands the notion of sound money, limited government, and the control of the money supply, all which underline the gold standard.
If Judy Shelton does not get confirmed to the Federal Reserve, we lose an opportunity to expand the knowledge base at the Fed. We’ll have to add that to the list of things gone wrong in 2020, then move on. This leads us to the inevitable, unpleasant question: If not Judy, then what must the next candidate say or do in order to appeal to both sides of the political aisle?