Two Arguments Against the Fed We Should Make Over and Over
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Tags The Fed
Populism is the order of the day. And one particularly ripe populist issue is the Federal Reserve, which Americans quite reasonably think is complicit with Wall Street banks and the Treasury Department in creating an elite class that makes far more money than it should. While the details of how this occurs mechanically are complicated, it's no crime for working people not to follow the Fed's every move or understand the intricacies of its relationship with commercial banks.
The question is how anti-Fed libertarians might take this vague sentiment, seen among both Trump voters and Occupy Wall Street/Bernie Sanders supporters, and make hay of it. How do we make our fundamental criticisms of central-banks more meaningful to average Americans, while steering the debate away from deeply misguided anti-capitalist sentiment? Simply saying "End the Fed" sounds extreme and scary to many, but simply arguing about the details of this or that pronouncement by Janet Yellen allows our opponents to frame the debate from their status quo perspective.
Two ideas suggest themselves:
With these two points in mind, libertarians and Austrians should embrace anti-Fed populism. It is not inherently anti-capitalist or anti-intellectual, but rather grounded in truth: the Fed is a ripoff that leaves most Americans worse off. But how we explain the details of that ripoff matters.