Thomas E. Woods, Jr., is the New York Times bestselling author of 11 books, including The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History and Meltdown (on the financial crisis.) A senior fellow of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, Woods has appeared on MSNBC, CNBC, FOX News, FOX Business, C-SPAN, Bloomberg Television, and hundreds of radio programs... (Read More)
In terms of sheer incomprehension, begging the question, unstated assumptions, gratuitous nastiness, and overall ignorance, I’m not sure we’re going to beat this piece by Christopher Maloney (who among other things still lives in the world of the Phillips Curve, as if the intellectual beating it’s taken had never occurred):
There are powerful forces arrayed against growth in the world today: the Dallas Fed, the Bundesbank, the ECB, the Ron Paul family, the entire German nation, Obama’s monetary ignorance, and the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal, the official organ of the orthodox right.
The WSJEB, headed by the estimable Paul Gigot (and controlled by my guy Rupert Murdoch) is an avatar of hard money, pain, discipline and depression. Like the Republican right in 1896 and 1933, they think that the problem is imminent inflation, and the populist challenge to the divine gold standard. They are what we now call “Austrians”, which has nothing to do with the wonderful people who inhabit Austria and serve great food.
“Austrians” want hard money, oppose the idea of central banks, and want zero inflation. It is a charming and in many ways an admirable philosophy, but it is nonetheless pre-Copernican. The earth is not flat, and money matters. Yes, it would be a better universe if the earth were flat, and the sun revolved around the earth on a daily basis, and money didn’t matter. But it just ain’t so.
The WSJ doesn’t like Mark Carney (the new Canadian head of the BoE) because he is a monetarist, indeed maybe even a secret market monetarist. He has said things that have been interpreted as verging on Sumnerism: nominal targeting. In other words, he is an inflationist in the Fisher-Friedman-Bernanke-Krugman tradition. These are the kind of people whom one doesn’t want one’s daughter to meet, let alone date or, God forbid, marry. They are cheap and unclean.
The WSJ is worried that Carney might decide to target nominal growth, even if that meant massive money growth and higher inflation. No, in the eyes of the Journal, high unemployment is peachy, but inflation above 2% would be catastrophic.
Why is the Right so in love with hard money, low inflation, and high unemployment? Here is my answer: because they do not believe that there is such a thing as a free lunch. You could spread out a smorgasbord of caviar, salmon, lobster and Dom Perignon, and they would turn their heads and eat a cheese sandwich. Reflation is easy and thus sinful. It’s that Protestant thing. The only people who understand monetary policy are Jews and Catholics.
(If by Jews and Catholics he has in mind Ludwig von Mises, Murray Rothbard, Jesus Huerta de Soto, and Guido Hulsmann, then he is right.)