It’s the ones you love that you hurt the most. The unfortunate objects of Obama’s affection are America’s poor.
Take an eight-slice pizza. Cut it into 16 slices. Cut those into 32. Do you have more pizza? Only a fool would think so. Unfortunately, it’s only fools who are running American monetary policy.
Despite the president’s declared war on our nation’s nefarious “millionaires and billionaires,” it’s the lower and middle classes that the Obama/Bernanke/ Geithner Triumvirate is assaulting without compunction and with devastating, self-evident impact. Disclaimer: I don’t have an economics degree from Harvard or Dartmouth, so pardon me if what I write about money makes sense.
Quantitative easing is a purposefully nebulous term for printing money. The Triumvirate insists that they have a reason for doing it. They assure us that it’s having a stimulative effect in the short term. I’m not certain what the ultimate effects will be, and neither are they. The New York Times’s Paul Krugman insists that quantitative easing is “the right way to go,” so it is certainly treacherous in the long term. But the obvious harm will befall the poorest among us.
Let’s get back to the pizza.
With each new slicing, there are more pizza slices, but there is the same amount of pizza. So every time the pizza is sliced, individual slices get smaller. If you have three slices out of eight, you’ve got plenty of pizza. But what if a uniformed pizza regulatory official comes over to your table uninvited and slices your pizza into 64 tiny slices? You now have a 3/64 share of the pizza. You’re going to be hungry, confused … and a little upset.
That’s essentially what quantitative easing is doing to the dollar. By printing money, the Fed is making each dollar less valuable. For socialists, there’s a poetic symmetry in the fact that the policy harms every individual dollar equally. But the same does not hold true for individual Americans. For those fortunate enough to have millions or billions of dollars, the loss of value will have an impact, but a tolerable one. The fewer dollars one has, the more precious they are. For America’s poor and fixed-income set, the loss in purchasing power will be striking.
Inflation is creeping upward, but it hasn’t hit us full bore yet. It will. And it will affect us all.
Those Americans who are now doing well will get by. Those who are now getting by will begin to struggle. And those who are struggling will become destitute. More Americans will qualify for food stamps and become dependent on a strapped government’s largesse.
This is not a subtle observation. Surely, the Triumvirate knew that the inflation caused by quantitative easing would hurt the poor more than any other group. For a president who seems to be in a class-warfare rhetorical loop, it’s baffling to watch him knowingly harm those he champions. Well, baffling at first.
Now that his administration is openly musing about a third round of quantitative easing, I believe I’ve come to understand Obama’s love for the poor. He loves them so much that he wants more of them.
Message to all, God save you when the Democrats take up your cause.
Yates Walker is a conservative activist and writer. Before becoming involved in politics, he served honorably as a paratrooper and a medic in the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division.