A certain number of members of the 99 Percent Movement seem to have picked up on some very unsound ideas about monetary economics, perhaps through the mechanism of joint participation with Paul-ites in anti-war activities. Christopher wrote in with a question about this:
I’m down here in Gainesville, Florida, and the Occupy Gainesville Facebook page is currently full of posts about the evil of fractional reserve banking, the danger of inflation, & other such Ron-Paulishness. I am trying to get them & my leftish friends interested / aware of monetary policy, but I don’t know where to point them.
Any tips on a few articles, blog posts, videos, anything I can point people to that would explain, succinctly, to people who don’t know much about economics, why the Fed matters so much, what monetary stimulus means, why it would work, etc.?
Your own posts are good but I’m having trouble finding a single one to point to that’s useful if you’re not already following this issue or don’t know any macroeconomics. Your article Fed Up in Democracy Journal is great, and I’ve pointed people to it, but it’s process-oriented, it’s a good argument that progressives should care but it’s not a good one-stop primer on the issues themselves.
Obviously, I’m not above recommending my own work here. But I wonder if other people have ideas? Paul Krugman on the babysitters’ co-op is great, totally non-technical and totally divorced from institutional specifics, but a fantastic explanation of the basics. In fact, I think everyone should read his The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008. But other suggestions?