Paul Krugman is out with his second piece in less than a week attacking The New York Sun. He calls us a “marginal publication, with strong gold bug tendencies.” His ire is up because we have failed to endorse Governor Janet Yellen as the next chairman of the Federal Reserve board. His first attack on the Sun called the Fed’s vice chairman the “she-devil of Constitution Avenue.” Mr. Krugman’s column today accuses us of combining “sexism with very bad economic analysis” and being part of the “more extreme” and “open” of two campaigns he says are operating against Mrs. Yellen on account of her gender.
Let us just say that the Nobel laureate is absolutely right that the Sun is a marginal publication with strong gold bug tendencies (it beats us why he keeps quoting the Sun), but that’s the only accurate statement in his entire column. The Sun doesn’t have any problem with Governor Yellen’s gender. We haven’t even opposed her elevation to Fed chairman. What we have done is express bemusement — in an editorial called “The Female Dollar” — that with all the problems in the American economy, the issue the New York Times has been focusing on is the fact that one of the leading candidates for the job is a woman.
Discrimination against women is a serious issue, but is the gender of the Fed chairman really the problem with our economy? America is in the fourth or fifth year of sub-par employment and slow or no growth. The Obama presidency will go down in history as the Great Recession. There is a widespread, though not universal, view that the policies of the Federal Reserve have contributed to the problem. Millions of people are still out of work. Mr. Bernanke is on track to bequeath America a dollar whose value, at a 1,300th of an ounce of gold, would be less than half the value of the dollar on the day he came in as chairman.
That is the issue — the collapse of the dollar. Mr. Krugman writes that the Sun’s editorial “took it for granted that the Fed has been following disastrously inflationary monetary policies for years, even though actual inflation is at a 50-year low.” Speaking here just for the Sun in all our marginality, we don’t really worry about the consumer price index, and Mr. Krugman’s income streams are such that he doesn’t worry when he goes to the supermarket or pulls up at the pump. What we worry about is the value of the dollar, as it is measured in the specie the Founders of America intended it to be measured in.
No one wants to talk about that issue. Paul Krugman doesn’t want to talk about it. Ben Bernanke doesn’t want to talk about it. Barack Obama hasn’t addressed it since the 2008 campaign. Governor Romney had a chance to talk about it — the 2012 Republican platform called for the establishment of a new monetary commission — but failed to do so (and lost). Our own belief, though, is that Americans understand this issue. They understand that it’s not the value of gasoline or a college education or a car or a house that’s gone up. It’s the value of the dollar that’s gone down. But nobody wants to talk about it, lest the New York Times hire a Nobel laureate to call them sexist.