A penny for your thoughts: US monetary policy is deeply flawed

Column by Levi Lampe

I hear extremely little discussion concerning monetary policy in the violent storm that is American civic culture. A blatant disinterest among voters and political figures disturbs me because I feel we choose to ignore the issue of monetary policy — and of revamping our monetary system — at our own peril.

I must say, as a believer in the merits of capitalism, that our current understanding of the system is fundamentally flawed. In capitalism, the individual works for sustenance and what remains becomes his or her capital.

Capital refers, of course, to one’s savings. And yet, our monetary system is designed around the principle that we must constantly spend our money because consumers, we have been taught, are the driving force of the economy.

Indeed, the current monetary system actually discourages the individual from saving money because of the constant depreciation of the value of the dollar.

No one saves to buy a home anymore as he or she would in a true free market economy. Saving seems like such a long and hard road, and why should one traverse it when interest rates are amazingly low — and completely artificial.

No one has any real credit anymore. We have redefined the very word “credit” from its traditional capitalistic meaning. Credit doesn’t come from our savings any longer, but rather, from the Federal Reserve System. The central bank of the United States, the Federal Reserve, in its own words, “influences the availability and cost of money and credit.”

When the media speculates on what action the feds will take when the economy begins to slump, the question becomes one of how many billions of dollars the central bank will print and circulate in order to fix interest rates for a temporary period of time. Congress set up the central bank that controls all the money in our country, and yet, no financial committees in Congress have any knowledge of the fed’s deliberations according to USA Today.

The Federal Reserve Bank is accountable to no one as it manipulates the market. The dynamic organism that is the free market economy consistently awakens and adjusts itself against the favor of the fed’s manipulations — and when the market gets angry, instead of recognizing the problem, we turn to the federal government again to further fix prices and print more money, perpetuating the problem down the road until a complete collapse occurs.

The Federal Reserve System is unspeakably fraudulent. The amount of credit only increases by diluting the value of the dollar for the few of us who attempt to save our money. Ironically, the system robs us of money as it prints more to finance a bureaucratic welfare system and an ever-expanding military industrial complex.

The dollar today is a fiat currency, a debased currency. It’s not hard money by any means. Its value comes from the Federal Reserve rather than from the marketplace and therefore, cannot truly be measured.

If the dollar were based on an asset like gold, as it used to be (and as the Constitution requires it to be), it wouldn’t be possible for any governmental organization to “reproduce” money for fraudulent quick fixes to the economy.

Monetary policy is extremely important, and yet, we’ve nurtured a system that defies basic economic common sense and the Constitution. One simply can’t be a responsible voter and be ignorant of an issue as important as monetary policy.

Levi Lampe is a chemistry and biology junior. E-mail at [email protected]