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The Federal Reserve's Ridiculous Infomercial

By Jeff Clark, editor, Advanced Income
Thursday, September 30, 2010

Is anybody else getting tired of all these town hall meetings?
It started out as a good idea. Let's put our elected officials in front of an audience of their constituents. The audience members can ask questions in an unscripted format. And the elected officials can explain their positions on a number of policy issues.
But, like the idealistic farm boy who goes to Washington D.C. with the idea of saving the world, this good idea has been corrupted and defiled like a $3 hooker on the streets of Bangkok.
Town hall meetings are now nothing more than infomercials used by politicians to hawk their worthless products. Staged audiences toss softball questions to slick politicians who provide scripted answers while smiling with all the sincerity of door-to-door life insurance salesmen.
"But why," asks a wrinkled clothed housewife – her hair still in curlers and her four shoddily dressed children standing beside her in support, "should I give up my current laundry detergent and switch to your proposed Government Laundry Program?"
"Because the government can do it better," responds Mr. Politician. "Your whites will be whiter. Your colors will be brighter. All the stains will come out. Everything will be wrinkle-free. And all for less than what you're paying right now. Just look at what my Government Laundry Program has done for Eloise Funglehoffer from Clorox, Wisconsin..."
The camera pans the room and fixes on a lovely young lady wearing a bright summer dress. Her three well-coifed children are sitting next to her – all of them in perfectly pressed, well-starched uniforms.
The audience "oohs" and "aahs" and erupts in applause.
As sickening as it is, we've come to expect this from our elected officials. Heck, the traditional blue suit and red tie power-look of the Washington elite is being replaced by a blue apron, white chef's hat, and a briefcase full of Flowbees and Slap Chops.
That is how the modern politician sells his wares.
But what about the current day Fed Chairman? Why does Ben Bernanke need to hold a town hall meeting?
He's not an elected official. He doesn't have to rely on popularity in order to pursue an agenda.
In the 100-year history of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke is the only Chairman to host a town hall meeting. That was last July. Today, he's hosting another one.
Is it because of the economic upswing? Are things improving? Has the policy of debasing the currency and dropping dollar bills from helicopters actually worked?
Did using taxpayer money to buy worthless mortgages and bailout the banks save us from another Great Depression?
Maybe he'll use the meeting to stand at the podium and shout, "Mission accomplished!" Perhaps he'll say, "Thank you" to all the "rich" folks who worked hard, saved money, and lived within their means their whole lives... only to have the purchasing power of their savings wiped out so some Wall Street fat cats could keep their Christmas bonuses.
Or, maybe he'll just try to sell us something.
It all seems a little desperate, folks. Hold onto your credit cards and hide your wallets. The elixir salesman is coming to town.
Best regards and good trading,
Jeff Clark

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