Yellen At The Low-Information Crowd
April 2, 2014 by Bob Livingston
Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan rarely said anything intelligible. Ben Bernanke rarely said anything intelligent. Janet Yellen, on Tuesday, pandered like a politician in a room full of dependent-class voters. Since when did it become the job of the Fed Chairman to politic to the low-information crowd?
In a Chicago speech this week, Yellen lamented the plight of three people who are among the long-term unemployed. According to Yellen, the Federal Reserve needs to continue debasing the currency through profligate money printing because two ex-cons are unable to find work.
Yellen’s speech highlighted three people who “face big challenges” because the “job market is tougher now than in any recession.” Dorine Poole, who lost her job “just as the recession was starting;” Jermaine Brownlee, who “saw his wages drop sharply as he scrambled for odd jobs and temporary work;” and Vicki Lira, whose longtime job went away when a plant closed and another disappeared “when the housing market crashed” are “real people behind the statistics, struggling to get by and eager for the opportunity to build better lives.”
All were enduring long-term unemployment or suffering from being underemployed. But Yellen failed to mention several facts important to her narrative. Poole is a felon, convicted 20 years ago of theft. Brownlee is on parole following a drug conviction last year. Jobs are hard to come by for those not tainted with felony convictions not because the Fed is not doing enough. Jobs are scarce because the Fed is doing too much, and Obamacare is helping the Fed kill jobs. Lira’s job as a mortgage application processor was cut after the housing market crashed. The crash was a direct result of Fed policies.
“Although we work through financial markets, our goal is to help Main Street, not Wall Street,” Yellen said. If that’s truly the case (it’s not), the Fed needs to reverse course and do exactly opposite of what it’s been doing.
Thanks to Fed policies, workforce participation is the lowest it’s been in decades. Real unemployment (not the government-contrived number) is north of 23 percent and food prices (a real inflation indicator) are skyrocketing.
But Yellen brought out the cookies and milk for her speech. For the low-information crowd, that’s all it takes.
And by the way: Money printing will continue unabated for the foreseeable future. The stock market rose on the news.