Many economists take for granted that the Federal Reserve has contributed positively to economic stabilization in the U.S., but its track record warrants a critical appraisal. Since the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913 the U.S. has experienced the Great Depression in the 1930s, severe inflation and unemployment during the 1970s, a major banking crisis in the 1980s, and a severe financial crisis and recession in 2008. Recessions have not become less frequent or shorter in duration, and output has not become less volatile since the Fed was created. Even the supposed taming of inflation during the Fed’s tenure comes with several caveats, least of all that it is unique to a narrow time period.

Furthermore, while the Federal Reserve is supposed to be an independent arbiter of monetary policy, its unorthodox actions during the 2008 crisis are only the latest example of how the Fed props up failing firms. Throughout its history, the Fed has operated within a purely discretionary policy framework, so its poor performance is not surprising. Given the continuance of America’s government-run monetary arrangement, Congress can improve economic outcomes by requiring the Fed to implement rules-based monetary policy.

Conservatives Improve on Important Attributes/Characteristics.

In 2013, The Heritage Foundation launched the American Perceptions Initiative, a comprehensive market research program to help conservatives take our ideas to the American people.

Heritage’s Matt Streit reports on some good news for conservatives in the latest survey:

In a rather significant change from October 2013, more Americans believe that conservatives are better equipped to handle the issues personally important to them. Strengthening the economy, fighting terrorism, protecting family and community and passing policies that create jobs are personally important to most Americans and perceived to be conservative equities…

Another notable shift from 2013: Americans’ perceptions of conservatives improved in terms of the characteristics or attributes that a national political movement would need to provide leadership and direction for the country.

Streit urges conservatives to build this momentum by “reinforcing in America’s mind that they are ready and capable of leading on issues of national importance.”

Do you think conservatives are gaining ground with the American people?

The New York Times reports that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is meeting with Heritage chief economist Steve Moore and other conservatives for advice on economic policy:

Economists Larry Kudlow, Arthur Laffer, and Stephen Moore will host Walker, according to several people with knowledge of the event.

For decades, that trio of friends — all associated with President Ronald Reagan’s economic policies — have been high-profile proponents of using tax cuts to boost economic growth…

Moore, a former Wall Street Journal editorial writer and founder of the Club for Growth, now works at the Heritage Foundation.

What advice should Moore give potential presidential contenders?

Ben Carson stopped by The Daily Signal booth at CPAC today. The Heritage Foundation and The Daily Signal have a robust presence at the annual conservative gathering outside Washington, D.C.

Heather Pfitzenmaier

“Higher debt threatens opportunity and stifles growth,” Heritage’s Heather Pfitzenmaier told the Senate Budget Committee in testimony today.

“My generation does not want to be the first generation in living memory that will be worse off than our parents.”

Pfitzenmaier, who directs Heritage’s Young Leaders Program, explained how young people will bear the burden of paying off today’s soaring federal debt.

The Young Leaders Program includes Heritage’s rigorous internship program and our work to promote conservative principles on college campuses nationwide.

Should we be concerned for younger generations as our government piles debt onto their shoulders?

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