We completely agree with the basic points in the article “How to Get America Moving Again” by George P. Shultz. As we look back through US economic history, it has been Shultz’s half dozen principles that are associated with times of prosperity, growth and rising middle class incomes. The “what” to do is not a complicated matter. The blueprint for growth has been proven. In Shultz’s list we would elevate a strong US dollar policy to number one. A strong US dollar enforced through correct monetary policy is the “just one thing” for the restoration of prosperity. Despite the power of this policy politicians often ignore it.
However, things are changing in the state of New Jersey.
Jeff Bell, a serious thinker but a 70 year old political no name, is now only several points behind the popular and young incumbent Cory Booker in the NJ race for United States Senate. Bell’s platform is based on one thing, the renaissance of NJ middle class jobs. His idea about how to accomplish this, and its a big idea, is to return the US dollar to its linkage with gold. Some people say the voters are listening to this sound dollar idea, propelling Bell up in the polls. We would say, as Jude Wanniski taught, that it is Jeff Bell who is listening. Bell is listening to NJ voters. He has tuned into the NJ electorate’s yearning for a restoration of the “good old days” when a dollar was worth its weight in gold. As Jude Wanniski wrote, “Great political ideas are not those which can be sold to the people, but are those ideas which the electorate craves even prior to their conception by philosophers and politicians.”
Many have forgotten that prior to 1971 foreign central banks could exchange unwanted US dollars for a guaranteed amount of gold. This system endorsed a relative balance in the supply of and demand for US dollars. This balance was not achieved by correct guesswork of politicians or Federal Reserve members but through a gold standard mechanism that ensured the balance could never tip too far off. Inflation was capped and the middle class soared. Jeff Bell is offering to return us to that time of prosperity, not with government giveaways, but by making the US dollar sound again. Bell’s simple and powerful platform is making it safer for more timid politicians to run against the failed weak dollar policies of the past 14 years. This issue could be a game changer this election cycle.
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