Occupy Wall St: Abolish the Fed, Back to the Gold Standard?
The Center for Popular Economics stands in solidarity with the Occupy Wall St. movement. CPE economists have been doing teach-ins in NYC, Boston and Amherst. We have also developed some resource materials on important issues that have been raised by some protesters. (See links below.) The demands to abolish the Fed and to return to the gold standard are frequently heard. It is true that the Fed favors the interest of the banks, and is plagued by a lack of transparency and accountability. However, the Fed serves an important function and rather than destroy, we need to democratize it. A return to the gold standard is not particularly good for the people – it was the Populist movement that demanded an end to the gold standard and the establishment of a Central Bank in the first place.
In 1896, Populist firebrand William Jennings Bryan declared, “If they dare to come out in the open field and defend the gold standard as a good thing, we shall fight them to the uttermost, having behind us the producing masses of the nation and the world. We shall answer their demands for a gold standard by saying to them, you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold.”