Bernanke's Folly

Psst, remember this story?  The one where a panicked Ben Bernanke and his cronies at the Federal Reserve -- seeing more devastation in the jobs and housing markets -- say they will continue to disguise the failure of Obama-Reid-Pelosi-Dodd-Frank socialism by flooding Wall Street with even more dollars?

Well that's not exactly verbatim, but lost in the news shuffle of embassies being attacked while Marines are un-armed -- and Mitt's video of truth about 47% -- was Bernanke's latest announcement of quantitative easing by the Fed (QE 3).  This was followed a couple days later by Japan's central bank announcing their QE 8.  Yes, eight.  And while this was blown off the front page by other events, QE 3 might have a greater impact on the 2012 election and us in the long run than the embassy issues.  I mention Japan since they are now 20 years into a stagnant economy, and easing has failed every time.  

Yet as a prisoner of the typical liberal academic misapprehension of cause and effect, Bernanke is hoping that homes, capital equipment, and employees now considered unnecessary will somehow gain value if there are simply more dollars chasing them.  All the textbooks say this must occur.  You can state this with a straight face in Aspen, and no one will snigger. 

Reality is very different, however.  Frankly, those dollars are not going to chase homes, equipment, and employees.  Thus, easy sleazy monetary policy will not suddenly make the homes, equipment and employees worth more -- but it will make those dollars worth less. 

As in worthless.

The fundamental reason why this will fail is because Helicopter Ben is solving a problem that does not exist.  It is not a shortage of dollars making people queasy about buying real estate, hiring employees, or investing in new capital equipment.  It's the tsunami of new rules, regulations, taxes, and government bureaucrats to enforce them that is scaring money to the sidelines.  In other words, it's the socialism passed by Reid and Pelosi and continued by the Obama regime.  Bernanke should shut his textbooks and his much-ballyhooed academic study of The Great Depression, take the afternoon off, and rent the movie Atlas Shrugged.  Or maybe attend a Tea Party rally, and talk to some real folks.

If he did, he would learn that outside the D.C./Manhattan government-centered bubble, real-life Main Street entrepreneurs are simply on strike.  They have been since early November of 2008.  For the record, the first devastating jobs report of this last cycle was November of 08 -- when some 533 thousand jobs were lost.  That was followed by even bigger job losses in December of '08 and January of '09.  

Now let me see -- what could have possibly triggered this run of massive layoffs starting early November of 2008?  Oh yeah: the election of Barack Obama and the most radical Congress in our lifetimes.  Atlas saw this result and did indeed shrug.  Between Election Day and Inauguration Day, almost 2 million Americans lost their jobs.  Ironically, these losses statistically accrued to George W. Bush, but make no mistake: these were Obama layoffs.

The number-one job of a business owner or manager is to see around the corner and to position his/her business properly for what is coming.  And they saw what was coming.  The Roanoke "build that" speech was not necessary.  And business owners did not have to know the specific names of Cass Sunstein, Van Jones, Steven Chu, and Valerie Jarrett -- but they knew Obama, Reid, and Pelosi.  They knew that with that troika in charge, bulls-eyes were on their backs.  Why take a risk to expand when all success will do is invite more bureaucrats and higher taxes into your life? 

Come what may, this reality doesn't penetrate the Ivy League "theory-ocracy" of Bernanke and the Fed.  Nothing they do can address these problems.  QE 3 is an attempt to cure economic cancer by administering monetary CPR.  Pumping harder won't work, but you will bruise the patient.

Interestingly, while few connect the dots, this Fed strategy is borne of the same leftist psychoses that caused the housing bubble.  Stats show that families who own homes have higher net worth, longer marriages, and more educated kids than those who don't.  Economically, they are "worth more."  The liberal solution?  Make every family "worth more" by giving all of them homes they cannot possibly sustain.  The harsh reality?  Those families are not worth more, but every other family is now worth less as a result, because homes are worth less.

As reality turns out, people who are more disciplined in their finances, marriages, and educations will own more homes -- but people who are given homes will not be more disciplined in their finances, marriages, and educations.  Liberalism, as it always does, failed the test of cause and effect. 

The same will be true with QE 3.  The problem is Obama.  The problem is the increasing size, cost, scope, and reach of government and an army of unaccountable bureaucrats we are paying to destroy us.  Bernanke's actions do not solve these problems, but they do guarantee that the dollars we have to work our way out of them will be worth less.