Archive for February, 2010

What can we do about The Federal Reserve?

Thanks so much to everyone who has taken the time to read the slides and spread the word.  I sincerely believe, as I mention on one of the slides, that this is the most important issue that we face today.  People disagree on so many issues.  What should people be allowed to do?  Who should be taxed and how much?  How should that money be spent?  When is force justified to protect rights?  A significant consideration with all of these questions is the expenditure of money.  Before we can can even debate these issues, before we can consider the costs of political action, we have to stand on a foundation of money that is steady and not in a state of uncertain flux.  Money has to be something constant.  Something we all understand and trust.  It is like language.  We can’t have a conversation unless we agree on the definition of words, and we trust those definitions to remain basically constant.

Today we don’t really know what a dollar, a peso, a franc, a pound, or a euro is.  Today, debates on the expenditure of money are like debating the appropriate length of a highway in terms of miles when the definition of a “mile” changes from day to day.

I have convinced many of you that this is, in fact, the most important issue we face today.  This leads to the inevitable question: what do we do about it?  If you live in the United States, we have an unprecedented opportunity.

Since its inception in 1910, the Federal Reserve has operated under a veil of secrecy.  Even though an act of Congress created it, Congress is largely kept in the dark when it comes to its day-to-day workings.  We don’t know the specifics of the assets it purchases (with newly created money), or from whom it purchases them.  We don’t know the specifics of the loans made by the Fed.  While the jury is still out on the need for, and even the essential legitimacy of, the Fed, it seems reasonable that we ought to at least be allowed to know the details of its behavior.

This notion that we ought to at least be able to know what they do is catching on.  A bill has been introduced that will subject to the Fed to an audit by the Government Accountability Office.  While there is significant opposition to the bill by mainstream economists and those close to the Fed, virtually everyone else supports an audit.  In fact, most of the House and the Senate have signed on as cosponsors already.  The support is bipartisan.  What can you do?  This website will educate you on the details of the bill, and even provides tools for contacting your representative and senator.  If yours don’t already sponsor the bill, make sure they do.  Let them know now.

Welcome

On October 19th of 2008 I made matt.com, and the lesson of government, money, and economics live to the world.  Since then, tens of thousands of people have visited the site, and hundreds have emailed me with questions and comments.  Moving forward, I plan to start replying to these questions via my blog so I can engage everyone in the discussion.

And while I believe the issue of money and economics is probably more important than any other issue, I don’t intend to limit the scope of this blog to that topic.  I have lots of musings and opinions on politics and people, and I hope to get a lot of people interested in and talking about a lot of different things.

We will see what happens!  Please check back soon!