On March 20, the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee (FOMC) unanimously decided to keep federal interest rates unchanged. Critics believe that the central bank’s policy of near-zero interest rates and quantitative easing (QE) has corrupted the U.S. economy for nearly a decade and spawned a generation of socialists.
The U.S. Federal Open Market Committee Too Stubborn to Raise Interest Rates
This week, numerous news outlets described how the Federal Reserve’s FOMC opposed changing interest rates again. The group seems leery toward normalizing the Reserve’s monetary policy. The central bank hasn’t budged on increasing interest rates higher than 3 percent since the financial crisis in 2008. This week’s FOMC shows the Fed is not willing to increase rates anytime soon and the current monetary policy will be sustained for the foreseeable future. A number of economists think that the Fed’s stubbornness will impact badly on the economy for a variety of reasons. For one, keeping interest rates low distorts people’s perception of a healthy economy when younger generations grow used to homes and car loans boasting near-zero rates.
Economists believe that the Fed’s low interest rates make savings an unattractive goal and with extremely low rates the idea of savings doesn’t make sense. Low rates hurt smaller banks like credit unions because individuals choose to keep fewer funds in checking and savings accounts. The rates also cause inflation to rise which makes savings even less worthwhile and to a majority of people borrowing makes more sense.
This, in turn, makes debt increase as near-zero rates encourage people to consume more than they can afford. With rates never rising above 3 percent, the last decade has seen growing debt and excess and quantitative easing has fueled the flames even more. In addition to low interest rates since the Federal Reserve and former Chairman Ben Bernanke’s administration, the Fed has been a money printing machine.
A Decade of Near-Zero Rates and QE Is Creating a Generation of Socialists
Back in the summer of 2016, it was estimated that the Fed had printed over $12.3 trillion of new money and nearly $10 trillion in negative-yielding global bonds since the financial crisis in 2008. Even today the Fed hasn’t stopped the printing madness and interest rate cuts continue unchallenged. In 2018, the Fed’s balance sheet exceeded $4 trillion and economists believe more QE is on the way. Skeptics think this has caused Generation Z and millennials to embrace socialism and the ideologies behind it. Notorious Zero Hedge columnist Tyler Durden explained on March 11 that a recent Harris-Axios Poll shows the Fed’s QE has likely bolstered the idea of a state fostered by socialism. Durden’s report emphasizes:
With younger generations financially penalized under QE to prevent the economy from a deflationary collapse, the Fed may have inadvertently transformed tens of millions of young Americans into socialist.
The poll shows that American millennials and Gen Z’s are dealing with the low-paying gig economy, renting rather than owning, increasing debt, and rampant cost of living expenses and inflation. Additionally, the poll points out that 50 percent of young Americans today would choose to live under a socialist regime. 37 percent polled desire a socialist-based economy over capitalism. Moreover, the Fed is doing a good job of educating society and even created a mobile app that teaches young children about the ‘benefits’ of promissory notes.
The Fed’s Failure: An Unimpressive Economy and Rising Inequality
A senior editor at the Mises Institute, Ryan McMaken, gives a seething critique of the FOMC decision and the Fed’s continued failure. McMaken denounces the FOMC’s fear of raising rates and believes the central bank’s actions have “coincided with both an unimpressive economy and rising inequality.” “If that’s not evidence of the Fed’s failure, it’s hard to imagine what is,” McMaken’s evaluation notes. Since the crash of 2008, QE, and the bailouts, cryptocurrencies have been a method for some to escape the manipulation created by the state and the Fed’s monetary policy. In fact, over the last decade, as the Fed has pursued this activity, safe haven investments like precious metals and bitcoin have risen in value exponentially.
What do you think about the FOMC’s decision to leave interest rates unchanged? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
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