I promised when I returned from my blogging vacation (a little longer than I had anticipated) to address Richard Spencer’s critique of my TAC article “Breaking the Bank”, back in August, specifically his question “What then?”:

“A more fundamental problem with Scallon’s essay is that he never informs us what he wants to take the place of the Fed after we’ve “broken the bank.” What do we want? Free banking? (That is, should we allow independent entrepreneurs to establish private banks, perhaps even issue their own currencies, with no assistance and regulation by the federal government?) A national gold standard (like the one we had in the Good Old Days)? Or should we give the money printing and interest-rate powers to the Treasury or the Congress or the President?

My answer is that I have no idea what replaces the Fed.  Congress already has the power to coin money but I don’t think even Ron Paul wants to have politicians controlling the money supply. This is not Argentina. Returning to the gold standard sounds fine and no I don’t wish to see a situation develop like that in the Ohio Valley between 1813-1819  where local banks were giving loans out to everyone who could walk and crawl. Since I’m not an economist, I’ ll step aside and let them figure out what fills the void when central banking is taken out of the picture.

What I do know is that if the right wants to be taken seriously once again as an electoral force, it needs an issue or series of issues that two of two things: 1). Excites the base and 2). is intellectually serious. This addresses the dilemma that was posed by Jim Antle in his recent article.  The current crop of conservative “intellectuals” still support discredited Bush II policies that many within the “base” have given up on because they have failed. But what excites the “base”, whether it’s Obama’s birth certificate or “death panels” risks its further marginalization. Why not try a political strategy that both populistic and an idea discussed and proposed by thinkers and economists? Why not try idea that may very well enlarge the base and split your opponents?

Granted this all political strategizing but before anyone can even begin talking about “End the Fed”, people have to have the power to do so.