Majority don't trust Fed to fix it.1:01 PM, Aug 25, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Things are getting more expensive, and the American people know it. A new poll from Rasmussen Reports found three-quarters of Americans say they are concerned about inflation, with 81 percent saying they are paying more for groceries and 71 percent saying they expect to pay even more for groceries a year from now. Here's more:
Forty-three percent (43%) are now confident the Federal Reserve will be able to keep inflation under control and interest rates down. That's up six points from last month and the highest level of confidence since February. However, 50% still do not share that confidence. These findings include 11% who are Very Confident in the Fed and 14% who are Not At All Confident.
Republican Senate candidate Jeff Bell of New Jersey responded to the poll in a statement. "It's clear that inflation is a bigger problem for the average American than the Federal Reserve or the Democratic Party would like to admit," Bell said. "We know that the government's measurement of inflation is understated because of how much it weights housing costs (41%), and it's clear in the data that on everyday purchases like groceries people are experiencing problematic inflation. This is making it harder to save money and improve one's standard of living."
He went on to criticize his Democratic opponent, Cory Booker, for supporting a monetary policy that lets "the rich get richer while everyone else suffers under rising prices."
Booker, the former mayor of Newark, is perceived to have an easy path to reelection, but Bell has been slowly gaining on the Democrat. The latest poll of the race found Booker leading Bell by only 10 points. Bell's inflation-focused campaign for Senate is the subject of an Andrew Ferguson article in the latest issue of THE WEEKLY STANDARD. Here's an excerpt:
Bell came up empty in his search for a senatorial candidate who would make the gold standard the central issue of a campaign this fall. This left him nowhere to turn but the mirror.
“I’m a one-issue candidate,” he says over dinner in the hotel restaurant, with his staff tapping away across the lobby. “I don’t really want to get into state issues. With no money, my only real opportunity is to be known for just one thing.”
So Bell, an eloquent and ardent pro-lifer, defense hawk, and foreign-policy interventionist, ties nearly every issue he’s asked about back to the destructive power of paper money. He spent $90,000 on his primary campaign. Almost $60,000 of that went to mail a three-page letter to a list of 99,000 Republicans who had voted in the 2013 primary. The letter is charming and impressive in its earnest refusal to pander and condescend to its audience, or to affect the breezy tone of typical campaign come-ons. Breeziness is probably hard to do anyway when you’re talking about the gold standard.
“Why is it so important to return to gold-dollar convertibility now?” his letter asked the unsuspecting Republican voters of New Jersey. “Things have gone too far for limited half measures to work” [overemphasis in the original]. A return to the gold standard, he concedes, would of course result in higher interest rates, as the dollar sought its own level of value without direction from the Fed.
“Washington’s political elites and Wall Street’s financial elites are deathly afraid that cutting off the dollar printing press will hasten a new financial crisis,” the letter goes on. “They may well be right. What they don’t want to think about is that a new financial crisis will happen anyway. [Meanwhile], the U.S. economy is trapped in a bleak landscape and the middle class continues to be ground down.”
Read the whole thing here.
Go bold with gold.Jul 21, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 42 • By JUDY SHELTON
Republicans are searching for big, bold ideas that will inspire voters to embrace a conservative agenda. To unite its disparate segments, the GOP needs to uphold our nation’s founding principles—a key requirement for Tea Party adherents—while fostering the aspirations of those who believe the United States should play a strong leadership role in the world. A prime opportunity presents itself in the most compelling problem America faces: the need to restore confidence in its economic future.
12:20 PM, Apr 28, 2014 • By MATTHEW SCHOENFELD
Everybody seems to agree that the U.S. Federal Reserve's quantitative-easing program, which involves buying bonds to lower interest rates, plays a role in spurring economic growth. Folks differ on whether the contribution to growth outweighs the risk of inflation.
But what if the Fed's efforts are actually hurting growth, and the feared inflation has already arrived?
Zero interest rates have side effects.Feb 17, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 22 • By CHARLES WOLF
Income inequality in the United States has been increasing for a generation. The share of pretax income received by the top 1 percent of earners rose from 7.8 percent in 1973 to 17.4 percent in 2010. A broader and widely used measure of inequality—the Gini coefficient—indicates that inequality for the entire range of income recipients rather than only the top 1 percent has risen by 26 percent since the early 1970s.
A modest proposal for the new Fed chairman. Jan 27, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 19 • By ANDREW FERGUSON
It's been more than a week now and I’m beginning to suspect she’s not going to call, so here I will offer Janet Yellen the advice I’ve been hoping to give her privately since the Senate confirmed her as the new chairman of the Federal Reserve. My advice is: Think about John Cowperthwaite. By this I mean: Really think about
Bill de Blasio and Wall Street. Nov 25, 2013, Vol. 19, No. 11 • By FRED SIEGEL
First, a matter of numbers and nomenclature: Bill de Blasio, who is being hailed like Eliot Spitzer before him as the new face of American liberalism, won his race to be New York City’s next mayor with a near-record victory margin but also record low turnouts in both the primary and the general elections. There was no “populist” surge as reported in the press. De Blasio won 40 percent of the 22 percent who showed up for the Democratic party primary.
Hosted by Michael Graham.4:50 PM, Sep 19, 2013 • By TWS PODCAST
THE WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with the American Enterprise Institute's James Pethokoukis on the recent actions by the Federal Reserve.
10:53 AM, Sep 19, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Yesterday, the Fed decided that the economy was not yet sufficiently robust for it to "taper." Wall Street celebrated.
Today, the consumer put in his two cents, which is about what he thinks this "recovery" is worth. As Ben Schenkel at Bloomberg writes:
Consumers views of the U.S. economic outlook deteriorated in September to the weakest level in a year as higher borrowing rates started to chip away at progress in the housing market.
12:00 AM, Sep 7, 2013 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
It’s not that anyone here in Washington begrudges Britain, and to some extent Spain, their fledgling recoveries. But President Obama and other proponents of more government spending aren’t delighted that those nations’ austerity programs seem to be paying off in renewed growth rather than in the perpetual recession the Keynesian try-another-stimulus-crowd in the White House has been predicting. Conservatives are saying that the austerity sauce for the British roast beef would be just as tasty on the U.S. hot dog.
It’s policy that counts, not personalities. Aug 12, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 45 • By JUDY SHELTON
At first, it was fun—this parlor game of guessing who the Obama administration will appoint as the next chairman of the Federal Reserve. We all assumed it would be Janet Yellen, because she’s a woman. And then suddenly we had Larry Summers all over the leading financial newspapers receiving multiple endorsements from respected economists. There were sly references to his intellectual prowess and invaluable experience, not to mention (but they always did) his connections with Obama’s closest advisers on economic and financial matters.
No, no, and no.12:31 PM, Jul 31, 2013 • By ETHAN EPSTEIN
Have you heard the news? Janet Yellen is positively clairvoyant!
Yellen, vice chairman of the Federal Reserve and, evidently, a front-runner to replace Ben Bernanke as chairman in several months, “was one of the first members of the Federal Open Market Committee . . . to realize that the [housing market’s troubles] could cause a major recession.” (Alan Blinder, Wall Street Journal, July 29.)
12:00 AM, Jul 20, 2013 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
Data-driven, legacy-driven. Keep those two descriptives in mind and you will know a good deal about the prospects for a dialing back of asset purchases—“tapering”—by Federal Reserve Board chairman Ben Bernanke.
12:00 AM, Apr 27, 2013 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 2.5 percent in the first quarter, well ahead of the paltry 0.4 percent in the final quarter of 2012.
12:00 AM, Dec 15, 2012 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
The fiscal cliff is a diversion, designed by politicians to conceal their inability to come to grips with the fact that they continue to spend too much, and refuse to reform a tax structure that reduces the competitiveness of American companies in world markets. No matter what deal is cut, whether before or after the new year, it will at best nibble at the edges of the trillion-dollar annual deficits that are being piled up.