In his memoirs, President Ronald Reagan (Feb. 6, 1911-June 5, 2004) recalled, "To get the spending and tax cuts we wanted through Congress, we needed the help of a substantial number of Democrats in the House as well as the votes of nearly all the Republicans in both houses of Congress."
Despite deep partisan divisions, Reagan won majorities of Republicans, Independents and "Reagan Democrats" by heeding James Madison's observation in Federalist No. 10 that "the most common and durable source of factions is the various and unequal distribution of property." (Madison defined 'property' broadly to include what's now called 'human capital.')
Voter party self-identification shadows the shares of family income received as gross labor or property income (chart below). This is why treating labor and property income roughly equally—e.g. cutting marginal income-tax rates "across-the-board" in 1981 and 1986 and rebalancing pay-as-you-go Social Security retirement pensions in 1983—was the glue in Reagan's winning coalition. Fiscal policy has been a losing issue for GOP presidential candidates since.
The next successful president—including success in reforming monetary policy—will readopt Reagan’s winning fiscal strategy.
... While the Fed's easy-money policies have not produced many jobs, they have produced a persistent, low rate of inflation that is choking the American middle class. Since the asset purchases began five years ago, the average American family has experienced rising prices and stagnant wages. The resulting decline in living standards explains why voters ranked rising prices nearly tied with unemployment as their top economic concern during the 2012 election.
... It is difficult to interpret [Jeb] Hensarling’s declaration to hold hearings on “the entirety of their hundred year history and what America has looked like since adopting a fiat currency” as anything but an intention to bring the Commission up for a vote. Hensarling promises to process vast amounts of information. The constraints on a committee hearing, and on a committee staff, cannot do such a huge topic justice. As Rep. Kevin Brady put it in his own remarks at Cato, a “brutally bipartisan” Commission — with Hensarling a Commissioner — is called for.
Publisher's Note: Originally released in June/July of 1991, this detailed report discusses Jacques Rueff's economic theories and applies them to modern economic events.
By John D. Mueller
The Problem of the Quantity Theory of Money
Rueff’s first work in monetary theory, Theorie des Phenomenes Monetaires (1927), was devoted partly to examining the theories put forward by Irving Fisher in The Purchasing Power of Money (1911). Rueff himself owed a large debt to Fisher, as does all of economics, for ideas like the modern understanding of income and capital. But Fisher is best remembered for his famous Equation of Exchange:
MV + M’V’ = PT
where M is the supply of money, M’ the supply of bank credit, and V and V’ referred to the “velocity of circulation” of money and bank credit, respectively.
"By means of the lawful stamp of convertibility to gold, a near-worthless paper was suffused with a monetary life of its own. It circulated in place of coins and bullion because it was even more convenient, equally divisible, and above all secured by the substance of real money. Moreover, convertible paper and deposit currencies conserved still further the scarce mineral, labor, and capital resources previously invested in the production and circulation of precious bullion or coins. One sees in the evolution of this extraordinary commercial institution of exchange that money became a unique conservator, and the effective mechanism of growth of a civilization born of scarcity."
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro rules by degree. His own puppet legislature is apparently not sufficient reliable. His latest decree lowered the prices of electronic appliances to populist-appealing levels.
Under Maduronomics, food producers have been driven out of business, and basic necessities have been driven off the store shelves. The Los Angeles...
This cartoon cleverly presents the tension between the proponents of the classical gold standard and the prairie populists demanding "the free coinage of silver."
Image courtesy of authentichistory.com via BigThink.com
In the mouth of the "silver dog with the golden tail" is a bone, labeled Election.
The 1896 election, which the gold standard...