We're on Our Way

Benjamin Levine
Jan 13, 2012 at 3:59 PM

I wrote a recent article urging Washington and the media to listen to those who predicted the economic mess we're in right now.  Not surprisingly, as I mentioned, many of those who saw the housing bubble and financial collapse coming are in the liberty movement.  However, these economists and public figures are still laughed at when they discuss cutting government spending (real cuts, not false streamlining) and creating a true free market system.  It seems like the battle has been lost.  But if we look hard enough we'll find a silver lining.  That is the mere fact that we have created awareness for so many issues.  Google News shows we're making strides.

The Federal Reserve is now on the defensiveTake the Fed for example.  If you search "Federal Reserve" on Google News, there are 12,300 returns.  For a comparison, search "Alabama football" -- the team that just won the BCS National Championship -- and you'll get 14,000 results.  That means just a week after one of the biggest sports games in America, the Fed is making news on par with the team that won.  Sure, this might be an odd way to measure success but it certainly says something about how far our movement is pushing issues into public opinion.  Anyways, just a few years ago -- although I am speculating here -- I bet there wasn't half that number of results for the Fed.  Even more, Bernanke is now constantly questioned and his policies analyzed, even by the mainstream media.

How about libertarianism?  It is bigger than ever.  I know not everyone in YAL considers themselves a libertarian -- I am one of those, although I hold most libertarian ideals to be true -- but the philosophy is representative of YAL's mission and statement of principles.  It simply is no secret we have a strong libertarian base.  Once again, if you search "libertarian" on Google News you get big returns: 9,600.  Of course, this says nothing about the positive or negative sentiment of those results.  What it does prove is that the philosophy of liberty is relevant.  Search socialism in the same manner and you only get 2,990 results.

Finall, check this out: There are 7,540 results when you search "gold standard" on Google News.  Now, I'm not here saying we should go back to the gold standard because, to be honest, I am not smart enough to know how that change would take place (I have a suspicion we'd be better off if we would never have ditched it though).  Rather, the point is to show that discussion of monetary policy is now common.  The failure of the Fed and big government policies are now on display for the public to scrutinize.  Even better?  A pro-liberty philosophy of limited-government is now on the rise, giving an answer to those who are skeptical of the way our country has been run.  It looks like we are making progress, after all.