Until Ron Paul raised the issue at the national level in 2007, the Federal Reserve System had been treated with the kind of lazy indifference or acquiescence with which the public gradually comes to accept any institution of long standing. To be sure, most of the public still treats it that way. They have not lost sufficient confidence in the so-called experts, despite the debacle of 2008, to give the Fed a second (or even a first) look.
But a skeptical minority is growing sizable enough to influence the debate. Whether any major change to our monetary system will take place of course remains to be seen. What we can know for sure is that the kind of scrutiny of the Fed we have seen over the past several years is not going away. Monetary policy will forever take place against the backdrop of an articulate and expanding segment of the population that dissents from Fed policy not because it is too tight or too expansionary, but because it exists in the first place.
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