An insightful post by Prof George Selgin.
He picks a ppt from a Fed official who taught monetary economics to a school class. Prof Selgin says that the official tried to show how Fed is a superior system compared to the alternatives:
One of the chief goals of Cato’s Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives is to make people aware of alternatives to conventional monetary systems—that is, systems managed by central bankers wielding considerable, if not unlimited, discretionary authority. The challenge isn’t just one of informing the general public: even professional monetary economists, with relatively few exceptions, are surprisingly ill-informed about such alternatives.
I recently came across a document that perfectly illustrates this last point: a power point presentation by a senior Federal Reserve Bank research economist, given at a conference aimed at school teachers specializing in economics.
I have no desire to single-out the economist in question, who I will therefore refer to simply as “our economist.” On the contrary: I offer his presentation as an example of the all-too common tendency for otherwise competent monetary economists (and our economist is in fact very accomplished) to misread the historical record regarding potential alternatives to central banking and to otherwise give such alternatives short shrift.
This unfortunate tendency rests in part on the fact that most economics graduate programs stopped teaching any sort of economic history decades ago (our economist earned his PhD in the early 1990s), while burdening their students with enough mathematics and statistics to all but guarantee that they never so much as crack open a book on the subject. But the trouble isn’t just that many monetary economists don’t know their monetary history: it’s that they know, and teach, monetary history that ain’t so. That’s what our economist did when he lectured a roomful of teachers on the merits of central banks and “Alternative Monetary Systems.”
Hmm.. Standard way to show how useful you are to the society.
It is frustrating how none of the real monetary history is taught to students. I mean one may disagree with free banking stuff, but atleast it should be taught.