I am not quite sure if Republicans are in denial about severity of the damage done to the labor market throughout the Great Recession or if they are more interested in scoring political points at the expense of the long term unemployed. In this Bloomberg article, they are making hay out of the fact that two of the people Janet Yellen mentioned in her speech yesterday have criminal records, supposing that is why they are unemployed. That fact, of course, is obvious as Yellen was touring a publically funded job training program called U-Turn and spoke about some its students in order to personalize it. The day was about the students, not about some political venture of the Fed Chair. I find the spin appalling and the spinners themselves disgraceful and/or ignorant of Bureau of Labor Statistics data in general that show the tragic and heartbreaking state of the labor market today that they wish to spin into a problem of two-thirds unemployable. It is also personally insulting as I have been through the unemployment squirrel cage of the Great Recession without having the blemish of a criminal record just as the likely majority of the statistics.
These people who are so apparently apt at finding the chinks in the armor of a personality have made a huge mistake in assuming they can hide a very real and grave societal problem by lying about it because it says far more about the leadership capabilities of their allies than anything else ever could. The message I got from the article is loud and clear – Republicans think they can solve problems by pretending they don’t exist, leaving the hardest hit by the worst economic disaster in generations with no workable solution at all. “There’s nothing more to see here, folks. Move along.” It has a way of reinforcing my idea that I will never again support with time or money, or vote for another Republican – and I deeply regret spending the majority of my life doing so. I’d like to have my money back, please, my fair-weather friends.
Besides pointing out the bunch of asses the GOP made out of itself today, I had intended to talk about my purpose, as a layperson, for being in the debate about macroeconomic policy on the side of Market Monetarism as it is somewhat related. I am in this debate from the standpoint of average Jane, and as such it isn’t so much about the technicalities of nominal targets. I leave debating technicalities to the experts, of which I am not. I understand enough about the debate to get the concept of nominal instability and its impact to the quality of life for average people. To reiterate, I care about the rule of law, what the law says about what the Federal Reserve is supposed to be doing, and whether it is doing it. It matters not to me how it does it. The important part from my perspective is the doing.
If, for example, the officials at the Fed say they can meet the statutory mandates with the current IT regime and they do it, then it’s fine by me. But that isn’t where we are right now. No, all we have heard is a pile of excuses as to why inflation is more than 50% below target, how the financial crisis was the consequence of exogenous factors rather than the truth of it being a consequence of the vulnerabilities and perverse incentives of that particular policy regime, and excuses about why the law can’t apply in this particular situation. And they do nothing but lie about the real problem in the labor market while stubbornly holding on to a policy regime that obviously doesn’t deliver as the real financial suffering of average people goes on, unabated. To me, that is what this debate is all about: the excuses, the cover ups, the inflation and bubble hysteria propaganda campaign, the outright lies being trotted out of the bureaucracy (sadly, Mian and Sufi are only the latest example), and concern about everything else financial besides what the law says the Fed should be concerned about. Our monetary policy is being conducted with ethics that could be compared to children playing with nukes with no adults in the room.
And, damned straight, I have something to say about it.