Steve G.

Does ‘Joe Six-Pack’ care about the Federal Reserve System?

In Media on May 8, 2008 at 1:45 am

Over the course of the past two days, I have been in online discussions with our fearless leader, ElfNinosMom, and LFV newcomer, Jeff Wartman, about whether “Joe Six-Pack” — alias John Q. Taxpayer, etc. — cares about the Federal Reserve. Well, as luck would have it, CNN.com took a break from its riveting coverage of female bathroom habits and ran a story about a recent survey concerning the Fed.

Americans skeptical of Fed

Poll shows that majority of respondents are unsure about the central bank’s ability to improve the economy.

The findings:

  • 17% of Americans are “not confident at all” that the Fed can stimulate the nation’s “shaky economy”
  • 34% “not very confident”
  • only 8% were “very confident” in the Fed’s abilities

Of course, it is the 8% that are most likely correct — the Fed almost certainly can “stimulate” the economy, just as a shot of heroin can stimulate a junkie. But, to me, these numbers show the nation does not have confidence in the cabal of central economic planners running the money system, and they’re starting to catch on to the scam.

Thanks to government intervention, Joe Six-Pack’s six packs now cost what a case did a few years ago, and he’s mad as hell about it. Now is the time for Libertarians to champion honest money and economic liberty — not to cower from these “complicated” issues that “don’t matter to regular people.” People are being robbed on a daily basis, and they care plenty.

  1. I wonder if Joe Six-Pack thinks you misspelled “Fred”.

  2. I should be more involved with economic issues. My concerns have always been social.

  3. Jason – The cause of many social ills is the Fed’s inflationary policy. All great Empires of the past experienced social decline and unrest with debasement of their currency. Ron Paul (correctly, in my opinion) blames racism, xenophobia, and other reactionary attitudes on the discontent sown by the Fed. As government is the negation of liberty and the Fed is the financier of big government, then the connection is easy to make. Inflation and the welfare state that’s supported by it turn people against one another and make them look for scapegoats. Just look at the hyper-inflationary pre-Nazi Germany.

    There is a lot of misinformation out there about the Fed and what it does — put out by people who are supposed to be on our side! I’d say the two best and most succinct sources for understanding the Fed and monetary policy are these short books written by Murray Rothbard and Ron Paul; the Case Against the Fed and Gold, Peace and Prosperity. They are available for free from the Mises Institute.

    http://mises.org/books/fed.pdf

    http://mises.org/books/goldpeace.pdf

    I don’t think there can be separation of social issues from monetary policy. Theft from the working people is most certainly a social issue, in my opinion!

  4. I support a return to the silver standard, but alas, I’m a populist at heart.

  5. Silver’s supply and demand are too variable for it to serve as a reliable monetary base. But I don’t support a silver or a gold standard, but a free market in money, in which you’d be free to hold your wealth and transact in silver. I wouldn’t recommend it, because gold would undoubtedly maintain its value better, but more power to the silver-bugs! (By the way: I think silver is poised for a major bull run right now, so if you want to buy silver, do it now!)

  6. The headline and conclusion is a little bit misleading here.

    I can ask 1000 people a question like “do you think the Fed can stimulate the economy,” and all 1000 people, excluding some small percentage who don’t want to be bothered or think I’m crazy, will probably give me an answer ranging from yes to no to maybe to helifino.

    However, the fact that I asked those 1000 people a question and that they answered it doesn’t mean that they “care” about it — especially when said caring is to be expressed as inquiring into political candidates’ position on the issue and then voting according to those candidates’ answers.

    I’d be surprised to learn that the Federal Reserve is considered a campaign issue by as much as 10% of the electorate, and I’d be surprised to learn that the Federal Reserve is considered a PRIORITY campaign issue by as much as 1% of the electorate.

    I’d certainly like to see it be a priority campaign issue with voters, but pretending that it already is won’t make it so. It’s still very much in the stage where it needs to be popularized as an issue before it can be exploited as an issue. Including it in a campaign for public office might help popularize it, but it’s not where you’re going to get your votes, so making it your signature issue or one of your top three probably isn’t a good idea.

    Yes, I know someone’s going to say “bullshit — look at Ron Paul,” so I’ll reply to that preemptively: Exactly! Ron Paul highlighted the Fed as an issue. His highlighting of the issue got very little attention from people who didn’t already care about it except of a minor “what the hell is he babbling about up there now? He sounded cool when he was talking about the war, but this is just weird!” variety, and the fantasies of cultists notwithstanding, no, he’s not going to be the GOP’s presidential nominee.

    GE, I’ll be addressing the Federal Reserve at some point in my congressional campaign (not one of my top three issues, but I do want to have a solid statement on it). Are you available as an advisor/consultant on the subject?

    Regards,
    Tom Knapp

  7. Knapp – I’m not “pretending” that it’s more important than it is. Of course, most people don’t really understand it — most people can’t correctly name the three official branches of government, let alone understand the fourth. But they know the value of their dollars is eroding, and they’re looking for answers as to why. I don’t agree with your characterization of how the issue was received by Ron Paul’s audiences — I think he spread interest and awareness in the issue of monetary policy like no candidate in the past 100 years. I worked in the Ron Paul campaign and a lot of the diehard volunteers were not all that aware of the Fed BEFORE Ron Paul. We had people off the street come in and want to know more about it.

    As for your final question, as a former defender of the Fed System, I think I understand both its technical and operational aspects and the immorality and illegality of its operations quite well. I would be honored to be an advisor/consultant on the issue for your campaign. My first piece of advice would be to make it a bigger issue then you think it is to people!🙂

  8. I’m still looking for the Michelob truck driver, to see if he cares more about the issue than the Budweiser truck driver did. It might also be interesting to talk to the driver of an imported beer delivery truck, to see if it’s an issue to Joe Six Packs internationally. 😉

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