If there is one plain economic truth in the United States, it is the steady rise of prices. Inflation is something every American can see and feel. It is a painful reality we know too well. It is an issue around which nearly all Americans find themselves rightfully united; as a whole, and as individuals, we hate higher prices.
Adding desperation to anger, the media’s experts tell us that inflation is normal, natural, unavoidable, and even healthy in modest doses, like red wine. This is a big lie. Inflation may give us headaches, but it is nothing like red wine. You never learned this in history class (blame government-approved textbooks), but between 1820 and 1913, prices steadily decreased, in much the same manner that they increase today–so we know that steady inflation is avoidable. It is not natural. It is not normal. It is not healthy. It doesn’t even give us a buzz. It’s bad for us, and we know it, so we should do what we can to remove the underlying cause of inflation, which is the creation of too much money.
Because my primary remedy for ending the creation of money out of thin air (disbanding the Federal Reserve and establishing a metal standard currency) usually yields only puzzled or horrified faces, I am offering an alternative that I hope will be more attractive in the mainstream. It’s very simple: force the Congress, President, Vice President, and all federal judges to keep all of their wealth in dollar form. Allow them to own one residence, and force them to keep the rest of their wealth in simple, FDIC-insured, U.S. demand deposit bank accounts (or, if they prefer, in their mattresses). If these accounts are a good enough store of value for the average American, they will surely suit the lawmakers who represent that American.
This proposal will more perfectly unify the interests of the public servants with the interests of the public, both financially and politically. It is Congress’ job to preserve the integrity of the currency, but most legislators do not actively seek to do so, and if asked to address inflation, many in Congress would not even know where to start. If all of the D.C. gang had their life’s work invested in the dollar, I imagine they would be more inclined to preserve our currency’s spending power.
There are advantages to this proposal beyond the obvious, the most important of which may be the reduction of conflicts of interest within our federal government. For example, we will be sure that our legislators are not packing unread bills with contractual assists for corporations in which they own stock, because they won’t own any stocks. Their only stock will be the dollar, and it’s the only stock every American owns, so when they help out their own stock, they will be helping out all Americans. This proposal will restore integrity to Washington and our dollar.