Monday, October 10, 2011

The Greenback Party is the new Tea Party

A reader wrote in to Yglesias today concerned that members of the 99% movement were taking on Ron Paul-type monetary policy views. One thing I always find interesting is the way individuals on the Left seem oblivious to the effects of monetary policy. This wasn't always the case. Here is a Wikipedia entry on the Greenback Party from the 1870s:
The party opposed the shift from paper money back to a bullion coin-based monetary system because it believed that privately owned banks and corporations would then reacquire the power to define the value of products and labor. It also condemned the use of militias and private police against union strikes. Conversely, they believed that government control of the monetary system would allow it to keep more currency in circulation, as it had in the war. This would better foster business and assist farmers by raising prices and making debts easier to pay.
The 99% does seem to be focused on the inability of citizens to pay off student and housing debts, so maybe that's a good place to start. Easier monetary policy would make these debts less burdensome.

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