Capital Account -- 1/10/12
With the Iowa caucuses behind us, voters in New Hampshire head to the polls for the first primary of the Republican nomination process today. Central to at least one populist candidate's – Ron Paul – campaign platform is the battle against easy money. The battle of capital versus credit….of the saver vs the speculator. He is critical of the Federal Reserve System, and its rolling presses of easy, fiat money. But populist candidates did not always campaign for hard money. William Jennings Bryan rose to national prominence off the wave of free silver and the populist move of mid-western farmers who wanted higher prices for their produce, easier money and more access to credit. We will speak with historian and author of "A Godly Hero: the life of William Jennings Bryan," Michael Kazin about how this has changed, and what the similarities, as well as the differences are between then and now. And…money in politics is something that we hear about a lot these days, but the two have always gone together, it's just a matter of degrees. However, the issue has taken center stage again, especially with the occupy wall street movement, and with the citizens united decision that allows corporations to donate unlimited amounts of money. We may not be living in an era of Robber Barons, but we may be headed there. Again, we will speak with historian Michael Kazin about this, and whether money in politics is making a comeback similar to its role during the gilded age, or whether the more things change, the more they really stay the same.