By Bridget Lewis
The Alexander Hamilton Society (AHS) sponsored a lecture in upstairs Haggar titled “Keeping the Middle Class Down: The Federal Reserve and Easy Money” on Sept. 30. This lecture was given by Sean Fieler, president of Equinox Partners, L.P.
Fieler stated that one of the problems with monetary policy is that Washington is not worried about running out of money.
“Running out of money is pretty low on the list of concerns,” stated Fieler. “I think that’s kind of the problem that we have with monetary policy, talking about Monetary Policy, more [generally] there is just not a sense of urgency.”
Fieler also said he believes that the Tea Party and the Occupy Wall Street movement were healthy reactions to the economy. According to Fieler, roughly 77 percent of Republicans and Democrats believe the rich are doing better than the middle class in this economy and are concerned about the placement of the middle class.
Fieler cited several statistics to support his opinion. Forty-five years ago, the average American family had a median income of $9000. Today, the median income is $52,000, but purchasing power has been reduced roughly 85 percent. Since 1971, there has been a 27 percent decline of men in prime working ages (25-55) with full-time jobs since before the 2008 financial crisis. The implications of these trends have been realized in the past five years.
The government claims there has been a two percent growth in the economy, but Fieler argued that this has not been proven. He proposed one solution to this problem: simply to provide economic growth and opportunity to the middle class. The middle class is behind in technology and globalization. The reason why the middle class has not adapted to the crisis, according to Fieler, is because the K-12 education system has failed to train this generation. He said there has been a lack of consistent checks on the Federal Reserve’s power, resulting in the middle class mistaking the appearance of price stability for actual price stability.
According to Fieler, the Federal Reserve gave many Americans a false sense of progress, when inflation and interest rates are really the same. The solution to this, he said, is to start an “expansion revolution” in order to introduce truthful money at a state level. This will put competitive pressure on the dollar.
“If you go and want to buy something and sell something with a gold coin … you have to pay on our tax form the difference between the dollar-gold rate when you acquired that coin and the dollar-gold rate when you sold that coin,” Fieler explained. He pointed out that currently, gold is taxed as a collectible.
Ultimately, this requirement prevents any competition with the dollar. Fieler said he considers the electronic payment system to be one of the biggest technological challenges to the dollar and said it does create some competition for the dollar.
This panel discussion was the first event of the year for AHS. Fieler’s speech was followed by a Q-and-A session with students and professors. Refreshments were provided by university president Thomas Keefe. There are plans for AHS to host another talk on ISIS in October and one on Israel in November.