There’s No Such Thing as a Value-Neutral Economic Choice

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Charles Lane complains about the politicization of the Federal Reserve:

The 1978 Humphrey-Hawkins Act, passed by a Democratic Congress and signed by Democratic President Jimmy Carter, put the Fed in charge of value-laden (i.e., political) trade-offs by requiring it to minimize both inflation and unemployment.

The implication here is that restricting the Fed’s mandate solely to inflation wouldn’t be a value-laden decision. But it is. It’s a decision to conduct monetary policy exclusively for the benefit of the moneyed class, which likes low inflation, and the corporate class, which dislikes tight labor markets—and without concern for the preferences of the middle class, which likes having a job.

Remarkably, a lot of people in Washington DC are blind to this. They simply take it for granted that conservative economic doctrines are value-neutral, and they tend to dismiss opposing views as just so much partisan nonsense. That’s what produces sentences like the one above.

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And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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