Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Webfoot Wednesday: The Fed Again

While perusing the Oregonian's latest "Occupy Portland" photos just now, I came across one showcasing a sign stating "End the Fed." For reasons I outlined here following a ridiculous statement by Rick Perry in August about Fed chairman Ben Bernanke's "treasonous" activity, criticism of the Fed from the right or the left on the grounds that is somehow betraying the American public is ridiculous.

Yes, the Fed makes mistakes. Sure, decisions could have been made differently, both now and at various points throughout the Fed's history that would have alleviated suffering. (The 1930s spring to mind as a far better example of unfortunate Fed decisions than the present situation, however.) Human frailty aside, the Fed and the governmental administrative structure underlying the American banking system is one of the the 99 percent's best friends. The wisdom of bank bail-outs and corporate decisions can be debated endlessly, but the fact remains that because the Fed and associated institutions like the FDIC exist, citizens' money hasn't disappeared when banks have failed. The money supply hasn't been tampered with according to the individual whims of banks and other profit-making institutions. We need the Fed. The 99 percent --and the other 1 percent, too -- would be far better served by reasoned, informed discussion based upon the public interest than we are by the hyperpartisan, context-free banter that presently masquerades as a national debate.

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