Richard Spencer has written a response to my response to his critique of my TAC article “Breaking the Bank.” He correctly points out that populist movements in the past, when they’ve dealt with the economy, have been inflationary rather than deflationary.
However, it should be pointed out that’s not always been true of all strains of populism. The early Christian right was a populist movement that did not deal with money or finance. The Perot movement concerned itself with reducing the deficit, not more government spending. And those students at a Ron Paul campaign rally at the University of Michigan back in 2007 were burning dollar bills, not asking for more.
A person would burn paper money only if they felt it was worthless. I suspect those adherents of a new populist movement, after watching attempts to grow the economy through deficit spending, subsidizing risky mortgages to pump prime the housing market and creative, dishonest financing so the Feds could spend billions on wars and farm subsidies and give out funds to other favored interest groups are not going to demanding a 16-to-1 ratio of silver coinage to gold. They’re going to be demanding a change in the system so that the federal government live within its means with real money back real things like silver and gold.
One can disparage the GOP and be well justified and one can call for a new major party and be right, but alas, the real world of politics is what we have to deal with and if a Republican Party, or any opposition party for that matter, cannot attack and stand against the takeover of this nation’s economy by Goldmann Sachs and their thievery of the nation’s taxpayers, then such a party does not deserve to exist and we might as well accept a one-party socialist state (instead of a multi-partied one).
There are many kinds of populism and many kinds of issues that populist movements form themselves around. But the one thing they have in common is not inflationary policies, but the sense of aggrievement by the masses against a powerful, controlling, distant few.