Benjamin Studebaker

Yet Another Attempt to Make the World a Better Place by Writing Things

Tag: Federal Reserve

John Oliver Doesn’t Understand How Stein’s Student Debt Policy Works

Last Week Tonight‘s John Oliver recently ran a segment in which he slated Jill Stein’s proposal to eliminate student debt through quantitative easing:

His criticism seemed to suggest that the Federal Reserve is obviously irrelevant in this policy area:

It’s basically akin to saying, ‘I’ll make us energy independent by ordering the Post Office to invade Canada.’ No, Jill. That’s impractical, it’s a terrible idea, and you don’t seem to understand anything about it.

Oliver, who is usually quite perceptive and well-informed, gets this wrong, and he gets it wrong in no small part because monetary policy is complicated and difficult to understand, both in terms of the economics and in terms of the politics. So let’s talk about how Stein’s idea works.

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Bartels Redux: The Fed’s Political Influence

I have been somewhat dissatisfied with the explanations I offered a few days ago for the surprising gap between democratic and republican economic performance in election years. Today I have decided to dig a little deeper, and I believe I have found a more satisfactory explanation for the gap.

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