More income inequality? You can thank the Federal Reserve, and Richard Nixon

“…half of all American households have less wealth today in real terms than the median household had in 1970.”



Nixon did two particularly horrible things (aside from Watergate of course). He ended the gold backed dollar completely and he initiated the war on drugs in earnest. Both actions have hurt the working and middle classes particularly.

How the drug war has hurt communities is now obvious. The ending of the gold standard completely and the ensuing near total financialization of the US economy is less obvious to most.

When Nixon severed the gold tie he disconnected the dollar from reality. As such the real economy and the financialized economy parted ways. Those who were in the financialized club, the well to do, saw strong paper gains in relative terms. The “real economy” people saw far fewer gains in the post Nixon years.

(From Mises)

As new money enters the economy, it benefits some people — usually high-income people — more than others. The new money does not enter the economy evenly and equally for everyone, but benefits certain politically-connected firms, institutions, and persons first.

This is why we call the Federal Reserve the prime mover of crony capitalism.

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