07/17/2017

Monetary Policy And The Fed [Watch]

Marginal Revolution

Spider-Man fans likely recall Uncle Ben advising his nephew, Peter Parker, that “With great power, comes great responsibility.”

As it turns out, that sage wisdom is also pretty applicable to the U.S. Federal Reserve System (aka the Fed). The Fed Chairperson, currently Janet Yellen, may not shoot webs out of her wrists, but she and the organization she represents have some super powers over our money supply.

The Fed also has quite a few limitations – monetary policy can only do so much. We’ve previously covered the quantity theory of money and long- and short-run economic growth. If you think back to those videos, you’ll remember that an increase in the money supply (which, in the U.S., is controlled by the Fed) only affects growth in the short-run. Even then, it’s often not smooth sailing.

In this video, we’ll give you an introduction to the function of the Fed as well as some of the problems it faces, and raise the question, “What is money?”



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In Search Of History

The Reagan Tax Cuts Worked

Thanks to "bracket creep," the inflation of the 1970s pushed millions of taxpayers into higher tax brackets even though their inflation-adjusted incomes were not rising. To help offset this tax increase and also to improve incentives to work, save, and invest, President Reagan proposed sweeping tax rate reductions during the 1980s. What happened? Total tax revenues climbed by 99.4 percent during the 1980s, and the results are even more impressive when looking at what happened to personal income tax revenues. Once the economy received an unambiguous tax cut in January 1983, income tax revenues climbed dramatically, increasing by more than 54 percent by 1989 (28 percent after adjusting for inflation).

 

-- Daniel J. Mitchell,

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*[cpi-u is the Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation rate for all urban consumers]

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