Please Crucify Me on a Cross of Gold

Here’s a random thought.  The Populists of the 1890s strongly supported inflationary policies–the abolition of the gold standard in favor of bimetallism (gold and silver).  The Populists of the 2010s strongly support deflationary policies–cutting spending and limiting the Federal Reserve’s power to increase the money supply through extraordinary measures.  Not sure whether there is any deeper meaning to this–it just struck me as interesting.

Blogging will be light to nonexistent until after Labor Day.  I’m back working on the Bingham book (I’m up to 1842) and need to prepare some talks that I’ll be giving this semester.


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2 Responses

  1. Frank Pasquale says:

    Does today’s anti-Fed, anti-spending Tea Part really want deflation? Or are they mainly motivated by distrust/hatred of government?

    Perhaps I’m too committed to the view that voters of the late 19th century were more informed than those of the early 21st, but I have a sense that monetary politics was much more vivid then than it is now. If you asked the average Tea Partier why they wanted to stop “money printing” or balance the budget, I’m pretty sure you’d get a “confidence/growth” story, not a deflation story.

  2. Ken Rhodes says:

    Frank, you beat me to it by 30 minutes.

    The existence of the Internet gives us an opportunity to be much better informed than any prior generation, but unfortunately, it also gives us the opportunity to be much more propagandized.