I hope that this election is neither a referendum on Barack Obama nor a (stark, of course) choice between two competing visions for America. I hope instead that this election is a referendum on the collected works of Ayn Rand.
I always go back to, you know, Francisco d’Anconia’s speech, at Bill Taggart’s wedding, on money when I think about monetary policy.
Dave Weigel explains:
The problem, says d’Anconia, is that statists — looters and moochers — see dollar signs and think they can, must redistribute them. “Whenever destroyers appear among men,” he says, “they start by destroying money, for money is men’s protection and the base of a moral existence. Destroyers seize gold and leave to its owners a counterfeit pile of paper. This kills all objective standards and delivers men into the arbitrary power of an arbitrary setter of values. Gold was an objective value, an equivalent of wealth produced. Paper is a mortgage on wealth that does not exist, backed by a gun aimed at those who are expected to produce it. Paper is a check drawn by legal looters upon an account which is not theirs: upon the virtue of the victims. Watch for the day when it becomes, marked: ‘Account overdrawn.'”
Now, take all of that and apply it to our current debates about the Federal Reserve. Since the Nixon years, the dollar has been de-linked from the price of gold. The Federal Reserve can print money and use it to buy up government bonds — which it has recently, in several rounds of Quantitative Easing. It does this because Congress gave the Fed a dual mandate to fight inflation and to reduce unemployment. Creating “free” money helps with that latter goal. I hope it doesn’t surprise you that Ryan, since at least 2008, has wanted the Fed to abandon the employment madate. He doesn’t say this in a stupid way, like Rick Perry. He says it by citing Ayn Rand.
Ayn Rand is simply “Lord of the Rings” for wingnuts. Fine, everyone is entitled to their own fantasy books, even adults.
But when was the last time you heard a liberal say that every time he considers military action, he always thinks of Frodo’s speech about the danger of the lure of power?