Trickle-Down Monetary Policy and What to Do About It

 

“There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion.  The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe.”
Ludwig von Mises, Austrian economist, 1881 – 1973

The economist/investor John Mauldin writes a weekly newsletter, “Thoughts from the Front Line” (http://d21uq3hx4esec9.cloudfront.net/uploads/pdf/140426_TFTF2.pdf) which offers good general insight.  In the latest issue Mr. Mauldin writes “For all intents and purposes we have adopted a trickle-down monetary policy, one which manifestly does not work and has served only to enrich financial institutions and the already wealthy.  Now I admit that I benefit from that, but it’s a false type of enrichment, since it has come at the expense of the general economy, which is where true wealth is created.”
CaptureMr. Mauldin also quotes the economist William White, “When you talk about crisis resolution, it’s about attacking the fundamental problems that got you into trouble in the first place.  And the fundamental problem we are still facing is excessive debt.  Not excessive public debt, mind you, but excessive debt in the private and public sectors. … With ultra-loose monetary policy, governments have no incentive to act.  But if we don’t deal with this now, we will be in worse shape than before.”
What then should government do?  The best single thing is to develop a concentrated focus on boosting the economy.  This would put millions of people back to work and raise salaries for the entire workforce.  Tax revenue would rise and both public and private debt would be paid down more quickly.
The way to do this is with fundamental, broad-based tax reform.  This means lowering tax rates for both individuals and corporations, paid for by closing loopholes and shrinking deductions.  This would have the effect of taking from the rich and giving to the poor, i.e. putting more money in the hands of those who are most likely to spend it, thereby creating more demand leading to faster economic growth.
It’s not that hard to figure out!

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