Day By Day

Sunday, April 24, 2011

I Thought She Was Supposed to Be the Dumb One

From the New York Sun:

The big question as Chairman Bernanke gets set for his first quarterly press conference is how Sarah Palin was able to figure out sooner than everyone else that the Federal Reserve’s campaign of quantitative easing wouldn’t work. Disappointment in the Fed’s policies is being reported this morning at the top of page one of the New York Times. It reports that “most Americans are not feeling the difference” from the Fed’s “experimental effort to spur a recovery by purchasing vast quantities of federal debt.” It reports that “a broad range of economists say that the disappointing results show the limits of the central bank’s ability to lift the nation from its economic malaise.”

It’s a terrific story, and well-timed, given that on Wednesday Mr. Bernanke will break tradition and meet with the press. It is part of the Fed’s effort to get ahead of what is emerging as a public relations catastrophe, as gasoline is nearing six dollars a gallon at some pumps, the cost of groceries is skyrocketing, and the value of the dollars that Mr. Bernanke’s institution issues as Federal Reserve notes has collapsed to less than a 1,500th of an ounce of gold. Unemployment is still high. Shakespeare couldn’t come up with a better plot. But how in the world did Mrs. Palin, who is supposed to be so thick, manage to figure all this out so far ahead of the New York Times and all the economists it talked to?

She did this back in November in a speech at Phoenix, which the Wall Street Journal, in a laudatory editorial at the time, characterized as zeroing in on the connection between a weak dollar and rising prices for oil and food. “We don’t want temporary, artificial economic growth brought at the expense of permanently higher inflation which will erode the value of our incomes and our savings,” the Journal quoted Mrs. Palin as saying. “We want a stable dollar combined with real economic reform. It's the only way we can get our economy back on the right track.” Now here is the New York Times quoting a raft of economists who have reached the conclusion that Mrs. Palin’s warning was right down the line.
The past few years should have been a humbling experience for the self-proclaimed "best and brightest" who arrogantly claim on the basis of achieved academic credentials the right to order other people's lives. Time and again they have erred in judgment and made an unholy mess of things. Nowhere has the failure of expertise been more on display than in the official response to our current economic crisis.The fact that the much derided former Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, a product of public schools and universities, should have more clearly seen the consequences of Fed action than Chairman Bernanke and a host of highly acclaimed economists should be a sobering reminder that effective governance has little to do with technocracy. Wise governance is learned not in textbooks or academic and administrative settings, but in the hurlyburly of practical political striving. Few politicians in my lifetime have displayed such profound understanding of the needs and aspirations of ordinary people as has Sarah Palin. She understands life in ways that Ben Bernanke and the credentialed elites never will. Hers is a voice that should be heeded, but in their blinkered arrogance the beltway crowd will never understand that. It is up to the voters to teach them that essential lesson. 

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