William Dudley, the President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, recently visited Queens where he got a “street-corner” education on the cost of living. Evidently, the Federal Reserve has been trying to sell its monetary policy to average folks—who aren’t exactly buying into to its talking points.
Dudley, a former chief economist for Goldman Sachs, gave a speech in Queens in which he spoke about the economy’s progress and the Fed’s successes. When the question and answer period rolled around, people in the audience wanted to know why the prices for food and gas were rising. As noted in a Wall Street Journal article—“the Fed doesn’t think food and gas prices matter to its policy calculations because they aren’t part of “core” inflation.”
Dudley told his listeners that the economy was recovering and that inflation was under control. He tried to explain to his audience that the prices of some goods and products were indeed falling. “Today you can buy an iPad 2 that costs the same as an iPad 1 that is twice as powerful,” he said. “You have to look at the prices of all things.”
Unfortunately for Dudley, those comments prompted guffaws and murmurings from the audience. One person reportedly quipped, “I can’t eat an iPad!” Someone else asked Dudley, “When was the last time, sir, that you went grocery shopping?”
Do people who work for the Federal Reserve, Goldman Sachs, Wall Street firms, the politicians in Washington, and wealthy industrialists really know what is going on in this country? Do they understand how hard it is for working people and the unemployed? Do they even care?