Skeptics of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy are likely anxious now that Janet Yellen has been officially nominated for Chairperson of the Federal Reserve. It is inevitable that the chairperson has opinions about the financial and economic system that many economists will disagree with. There is no doubt that Janet Yellen is well-informed about the economy and the financial system however, she is different from the previous Fed leaders in that her policies have frequently called for more QE on part of the Fed than ever before.
Over the last two decades, opponents and critics of the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing and fiscal stimulus policies have expressed concern over the volume of currency printed. From 2007 to 2013, the Federal Reserve’s assets has increased from 800 billion to more than 3.5 trillion. Yellen, based on her statements, is likely to increase the stimulus program.
Janet Yellen has openly declared herself to support Keynesian economics despite it being a known discredited theory. Her political and economic views were discussed in the New York Times:
They were both Keynesians, believers in the view that people act irrationally, markets function imperfectly and the resulting problems are not self-correcting; the government must help.
“While admirers of capitalism, we also to a certain extent believe it has limitations that require government intervention in markets to make them work,” Ms. Yellen said in a 2012 interview with Berkeley’s business school magazine.
She said that she wants to use the platforms of reducing unemployment and rewarding government regulation in the economy as a basis for bond-buying and quantitative easing. Despite the current Fed Chairperson, Ben Bernanke, and his goal to taper in 2013 when the economy was supposedly picking up, he did no such thing. Based on Yellen’s previous press statements, I would guess it is highly unlikely that she will taper despite recovery.
So why is Janet Yellen bad for feminism? To get to the point, her policies will likely lead to more inflation because she plans on printing more money. If she causes more inflation she will take away purchasing power for the lower-middle class individuals who are employed. Despite her plans to reduce unemployment by QE, it would not really matter who is employed anymore because what they can buy in an inflated economy will be next to nothing. Reducing unemployment will not help much if being employed does not lift people out of poverty.
Peter Schiff said in his radio coverage of Janet Yellen’s Fed nomination that being so proud of nominating the first female to lead the Fed is almost like congratulating the captain of the Titanic (pre-iceberg) had she been the first woman to pilot a cruise. Although the statement is somewhat harsh, it is not exactly untrue.
The fact that Yellen is a woman has absolutely nothing to do with why reasonable people are skeptical of her policies. As a woman myself, I was skeptical of Bernanke’s stimulus plans which have led to more inflation, and I will be even more skeptical of Yellen’s stimulus plan because she plans on taking Bernanke’s platform even further.
Modern feminism in the Western world has become less about promoting the equality of women in society and more about championizing them because they happened to be born as one. When the press was printing stories about the possible nominations for the Federal Reserve it was between Lawrence Summers and Janet Yellen. The feminists have been pushing Mr. Obama to nominate Yellen. Why? Because she would be the first female chair. Yellen’s economic policies were rarely mentioned, and when Summers’s name was mentioned it was to discuss his sexist comments in the past about women studying business at Harvard.
It is embarrassing that so much lobbying and pressure was put on an incredibly influential role in the global economy just because of gender. No one likes what Summers said about women and it was disappointing to hear remarks like that from someone so educated, however, the Fed leader should be recognized and selected for their economic and financial policies. Gender and social justice is important as well, but it should not be the priority for a position such as this.
Time will tell if Yellen will be a good person to lead the Fed and by association the global economy, but if such a decision is made because of gender it will reflect very poorly on the modern feminist movement.