Blame slow economic growth, abysmal wage growth, low inflation, inequality, and the next economic crisis on the Federal Reserve.
The American economy is growing too slowly. The unemployment rate is down, but labor force participation is at the lowest level since the late 1970s. Too many new jobs created over the last eight years have been low-paying or part-time service jobs, not high-paying careers. The result is flat-lining incomes in Middle America, and the very real prospect of a reduced standard of living for many Americans. Blame the malaise on bad monetary policy.
Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio could repeal and replace Obamacare, repeal Dodd Frank, overhaul the tax code, and cut the regulatory state down to size, and America still wouldn’t achieve sustainable 4 percent growth. It is imperative that conservatives understand this.
As life gets harder for the working class because of our slow growth, voters will demand more wage protection, less immigration, and less free trade. Enter Donald Trump, stage right, and Bernie Sanders, stage left. If a bubble blows up and bursts because of bad monetary policy, as happened in the 2000s, markets are blamed, and voters turn to, Trump, Barack Obama, or Sanders, who offer easy—but dangerous—solutions to complicated problems.
If conservatives care about winning elections and having a lasting effect on the country, they would do well to know the monetary state of our nation. Our recovery since the financial crisis stands out for being both the slowest on record since World War II, and a time of unprecedented monetary experimentation.
What QE and ZIRP Have Done to Us
Through a program called quantitative easing (QE), the Fed has purchased U.S. government debt and mortgage backed securities (MBS) using newly minted money, expanding the value of the securities the Fed holds from under $1 trillion before the crisis to over $4 trillion now. The first round of QE attempted to push down short-term rates. Later, when the Fed had bought up all available Treasury bills (short-term government debt), it began to purchase Treasury bonds (longer-term government debt) and MBS, which meant to push down long-term rates.
Open your eyes and keep reading…