Dr. Ben Carson was interviewed on the economy last week by Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal. Carson talked about America’s debt and made an important connection between the growth of the deficit and our abandonment of good money:
Now the only reason that we can sustain that kind of debt is because of our artificial ability to print money, to create what we think is wealth, but it is not wealth, because it’s based upon our faith and credit. You know, we decoupled it from the domestic gold standard in 1933, and from the international gold standard in 1971, and since that time, it’s not based on anything. Why would we be continuing to do that?
Republicans love to talk about the national debt, but Ben Carson has made an inspired leap by pointing out that creating more money doesn’t automatically create more wealth. The Federal Reserve has been able to artificially sustain our borrowing with a loose monetary policy, but the cost in America’s wealth has been staggering. If Carson continues down this line of reasoning, he might just find an economic message that resonates with the base and sets America on a path to equitable prosperity.
But at a minimum, given the spectacular failure of the Fed’s attempts to encourage robust economic growth, we could use a Centennial Monetary Commission to determine what would work better than our present broken monetary system.
Nick Arnold is a researcher for American Principles In Action.