Cross Road Blues in the Time of Biden
I went to the crossroad, fell down on my knees
– Robert Johnson, Cross Road Blues
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has a dreadful job. He lords over tens of trillions of dollars. Yet he only pockets $190,000 a year – a fraction of what most CEOs make. Still, he calls it fair.
Powell’s primary duty is setting the price of credit. This is an important job in a centrally planned economy. Nonetheless, in an open economy, where interest rates are determined by willing borrowers and lenders, the job wouldn’t exist.
There are worse jobs out there, however. Just ask Lael Brainard. On February 18, she resigned as Fed vice chair after less than nine months on the job. Now she’s Director of the National Economic Council. Another worthless position.
With Brainard out as vice chair, a simple question arises. Who will be the next sucker to fill this role? As the National Enquirer would put it, “Enquiring minds want to know.”
The question is simple enough. Yet nothing is easy in the time of Biden. Because in America, circa 2023, ‘who’ will be the next Fed vice chair takes a back seat to ‘what’ will be the next Fed vice chair.
As in: What is the color gradation of their skin? What is their gender, and, more importantly, what is their gender identification? Are they privileged benefactors of something called systemic racism?
To clarify, the position of Fed vice chair is that of an unelected bureaucrat. It comes by appointment of the U.S. President, with confirmation by the U.S. Senate.
And being most qualified for the job is a second-tier factor in President Joe Biden’s nomination process.
Here’s what we mean…
Are You a Freak?
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was recently asked by a reporter if Joe Biden is considering diversity in naming a new Federal Reserve vice chair. The bozo who asked the question seemed to think this was an important criteria. Jean-Pierre’s boastful response provided the anticipated confirmation:
According to Jean-Pierre, the nomination will come in the near future. She also added that the President “prides himself” on hiring minority candidates.
Here at the Economic Prism, we endeavor to be creative in our thinking while conservative in our personal habits. Such behavioral customs, these days, whether in academia or the corporate board room, make you a freak. Are you a freak too?
Quite frankly, we don’t give a rip about the color gradation or gender identification of the next Fed vice chair. Rather, what we care about is that they have the fortitude – los cojones – to stand up to Washington and the big bankers.
To tell them the gig is up. That the 40-year gravy train of artificially cheap credit has jumped the tracks. That going forward credit will be dear and should be respected in its use.
We relish the thought of a Fed chair who strives to give savers, wage earners, and pensioners a fair shake. One who will punish debtors and protect the dollar. Is that too much to ask?
Alas, standards like these would automatically disqualify any potential Fed candidate from nomination. Because no president will nominate someone who won’t keep Washington’s money sucking vortex in operation.
At this point, Americans that have any inkling as to what’s going on are sick and tired of playing a game that’s increasingly rigged against them. The inflation tax piled on top of the federal income tax is outright theft. The President’s Fed vice chair nomination – irrespective of ethnicity or gender identification – is part of a much bigger story.
That is, over the last 110 years, since the creation of the Federal Reserve and the establishment of the federal income tax in 1913, Washington has grown too big for its britches. The gross overreach and incompetence are inexcusable. Hence, some states desire to diminish the federal government’s control.
In flyover country, where the high school kids place “Buck Fiden” stickers on their pickup trucks, there’s a general aversion to Washington’s policies of control. Here in Tennessee, for example, the State government may reject $1.8 billion in U.S. government education dollars.
The intent is to free local schools from federal rules and restrictions and get busybodies in Washington out of the Volunteer State’s classrooms. Maybe it’s all talk and bluster. No state has said no to federal education funding so far. But that doesn’t mean it cannot happen.
In fact, this proposal comes on the heels of the Tennessee Health Department’s rejection of grant funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for HIV-related services. The State will now assume direct financial and management responsibility of these services.
Reducing dependency on the federal government, in particular the CDC after its terrible performance during the coronavirus panic, is an important step to increasing local autonomy and freedom. Federal money comes with countless strings attached. Those strings are generally unfavorable to state sovereignty.
The more states can sever their strings with Washington, the less pull Washington has to jerk them around.
What to make of it…
Cross Road Blues in the Time of Biden
When Robert Johnson fell to his knees at the crossroad and asked the Lord for mercy and salvation he’d already made his deal with the Devil. In exchange for his soul, Johnson could sing and play the soulful sweet-sounding blues that made him famous.
Unfortunately for Johnson, the bargain’s rewards came and passed faster than you can say Jack Robinson. Johnson was dead at age 27. And like Faust, he was consigned to an eternity in Hell.
Legends, despite their sometimes-suspect origins, convey important and universal themes. Did Johnson really make a deal with the Devil?
We don’t know. And we don’t really care. Instead, what we’re after is the essence of the legend. And the essence, as we understand it, is the basic recognition that you can’t get something for nothing.
You can potentially achieve great things through hard work, perseverance, and calculated risks – dumb luck can also help. Or you can take short cuts, lie, cheat, and steal, and operate through fraud and force. With the latter option, there’s always hell to pay.
Woodrow Wilson made his deal with the Devil many years ago when he signed the Federal Reserve Act into law. This single act committed the Nation to ultimate ruin. Most presidents and congressional representatives have gone along with the Fed ever since. Notable exceptions include JFK and Ron Paul.
And now, in the time of Biden, the crazy American hustle and flow has taken the Country on down the line.
“I may be a white boy, but I’m not stupid,” remarked Biden during a Black History event this week. “I know where the power is.”
Indeed, mercy and salvation at the crossroad are out of reach. The union is doomed.
But all’s not lost. For each individual there’s an important question to answer:
Are you stacking silver or are you singing the blues?
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