This post is not actually about anyone from Brooklyn. But as I sat down to write, thinking about what to title it, the phone rang. I glanced at the caller ID on the phone, as if by now I need to look, and it said Brooklyn, NY. Like almost every evening at just after 6 PM, someone or something purporting to be from Brooklyn rings me up. When this annoyance first began a few weeks ago, I’d answer to dead silence. This was particularly annoying one day last week when one call just after 6 PM wasn’t enough. By then I had been in the habit of looking at the ID before answering. I saw Brooklyn and let it ring. Not being satisfied in getting my voicemail, it rang me up again and again for about 15 minutes straight. If I had eventually answered the call and there had been someone on the other end, they would have been treated to the largest piece of my mind ever received by anyone!
Enough about annoying phone calls, though.
What is post is about is a suggestion that was posted in my comments section about class bias being alive and well at the Fed and in the FOMC. I want to be clear that it was never my intention to insinuate that anything those people do is entirely so glib. I don’t know anything more than what I see in the data I’ve looked at, some of which I find interesting enough to post. As I’ve stressed many times, data is only numbers in a database and it says nothing about the plight or intentions of the real people behind it.
Of course, I have some idea of what it means to be one of many real people behind the unemployment data during the Great Recession, and on the receiving end of an unjustified policy that can be gleaned from publicly available data to be more of a decades-long customary policy practice that became quite severe.
The data paints the picture that we go along so long economically, and as customary, the powers that be at some point opine that we’ve had enough and subsequently decide to reduce NGDP to zero, knowing what will come. We’ve heard enough about the Philips curve and the sorry condition of having too many jobs recently to understand what is being said (at least I don’t need a ton of bricks to fall on me to get it). Some people lose everything they’ve worked their whole lives to achieve; their careers, their homes, and/or their family; and the people pulling the monetary levers to make it all happen dress it up in propaganda making it all look innocent enough, and perhaps for our own good, telling us recessions come from somewhere else and they are there to help. Though, sometimes, they throw in a few insults, claiming people can’t control themselves and that’s why we’re in such misery now.
It’s really all an immoral, dishonest, and unconstitutional crock of catastrophe that the government allows to rain down on unsuspecting citizens. It hurts everyone financially, but the people who can afford a downturn the least get hurt the most. If allowed to worsen, as was the case in 2008, the pain spreads from the bottom up with the severity. By the time a problem becomes apparent to just about everyone, millions of people are all ready experiencing a trial, perhaps the trial of their lives.
What I am describing here is discretionary, and it completely boggles my mind that a policy that does something like this, and is clearly a violation of the takings clause, isn’t questioned to deserving extent in Congress or anywhere else but here. Honestly, I’ve never felt more hung out to dry and abandoned than after listening to the constant drumming on of inflation bogeyman tales coming out of FOMC officials.
It doesn’t matter anymore WHY they do it. It matters that they do it. It matters that the people I vote for and send to Congress or the White House don’t bother to ask why they do it, which never gets them to the place of putting an end to discretionary recessions and the damage done by them; the kind of stuff that, obviously, they all feel the need to cover for with dishonesty. It is so completely beyond me how anyone can believe that we can plan anything for the longer term (the intention claimed to be behind explicit inflation targeting back in 2005) when the government takes it upon itself to create millions of paupers out of otherwise productive people nearly no less than once per decade with time being non-renewable resource.
I suppose it is infinitely easier for the politicians to look at the state created by this policy choice and say disgraceful things about people on UI or other safety net programs than it is to do as much as possible to reduce the need for these programs starting with seriously questioning the inflation targeting folly. A good way to approach it would be to ask, “So, Chairman Powell, tell me something about the Phillips curve…,” and get ready for some really absurd and perverse answers. Then ask, “How much does this cost?”