Uncle Ben Bernanke's QE2 Fairy Gold

A Ph.D. in economics plus decades of insulation from the perfidious private sector apparently makes one blind to a truth that is obvious to everyone who has ever had to meet a payroll, or even balance a checkbook, viz. that creating money where none previously existed amounts to a kind of indirect theft.

QE1 has already snuck into your bank account late at night and replaced some of your hard-earned savings with what amounts to Monopoly money. Following QE2, more of the dollars that you have worked so hard to save will be replaced with even more fairy gold courtesy of Uncle Ben, who refuses to allow the printing presses to lie fallow, however briefly. In short, the American worker is being robbed.

When inflation inevitably comes on the heels of this profoundly misguided policy, we schlub plebeians will be robbed again, as the value of our savings and investment portfolios (whatever is still left of them) is eaten away, percentage point by percentage point, like unseen moths nibbling at Aunt Gertrude’s heirloom sweater -- stashed away in the attic chest of drawers, next to the old bike with the bent front rim and the forgotten Dungeons & Dragons paraphernalia.

No genuine good exists in a vacuum, and very few are “zero-sum.” Industriousness and innovation create genuine new wealth, but this new currency churned out by a D.C. printing press is in any substantive sense entirely counterfeit. It is backed by literally nothing, and is created -- equally literally -- from nothing. How odd it is that so many who mock the notion of creatio ex nihilo display such naive credulity in embracing the concept of pecunia ex nihilo.

Of course, nothing is really created, and in fact much is destroyed -- personal savings, investments, and, most disturbingly, our national faith in the justice of our own monetary system, which creates money out of nothing and effectively gives it to itself.  Like Marx and his merry cohort, the regulatory state can conscientiously promise nothing more than equal shares of the collective misery it leaves in its wake.