Is This the Fed’s Plan to Balance the Books?

Suppose you lent someone $100, and when they paid you back they only handed you, say, $99 or $80. Would you consider the borrower to have kept his promise and contractual obligation? Or would you think that he had cheated you out of a part of the money you had lent him in good faith? Well, there are those who say that doing so is just fine, if it’s done through price inflation so the borrower repays the lender in depreciated dollars.

Binyamin Appelbaum, who makes this argument, is the lead writer for The New York Times on financial and economic affairs. He approaches economic and social policy issues from a consciously “progressive” perspective on the regulatory role and redistributive responsibility of the U.S. federal government. Indeed, he is so “progressive” in his thinking that in a recent article on the opinion page of The New York Times, Mr. Appelbaum made it clear that he considers FDR’s New Deal to be, well, almost socially “reactionary.”

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The New Deal was enlightened government reform by men in government for men out of government, and designed to make it easier for the “little woman” to stay at home rather than enter the world of “man’s” work. Equally “backwards,” Roosevelt’s policies did not mandate that the private sector had to provide paid family leave or paid sick leave. How “unprogressive” for Roosevelt to presume to leave such questions and issues to the people themselves, based on marketplace voluntary association and agreement.


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