Meriam Says monetary Policy not Primarily an Economic Problem---Money a Social Tradition
Confidence Can Be Restored by Practical Man Alone, Not by Irritable Professors
The following interview was given the Crimson by Richard S. Meriam '14, associate professor of Economics.
"The administration must realize that the monetary question is more than an academic one for irritable professors to squabble over; that it is one closely connected with the traditions of the American community. Monday is more a social custom and a habit than a deliberately designed instrument to control human behavior, but the men attempting to regulate our monetary system do not seem to realize this. They treat the question in a purely theoretical manner, and instead of putting men of practical judgment who have the confidence of the people in control of the situation, they give to into the hands of brilliant, but unreliable and rarely understood, innovators, and thus lose the confidence of an already overexcited and distrustful nation.
"For this reason the monetary system should not be one that will excite the public, and its aim should be to establish confidence in the President, the treasury, and in the integrity and ability of the men formulating the system. The problem is not that of the old gold standard; it is inevitable that we have a managed currency under the control of the government and the banks, and we must decide whether we are going to attempt to maintain a price level as has been done in England, or whether we are going to attempt to drive prices up; to is flate.
"What the President needs at this moment, when he is assailed on all side by inflationists, is fair, honest, and constructive criticism from thoughts people. There are enough men of its type in his own party and they should he called upon to criticize and to aid it the monetary difficulties. The President already has too much to do. He will soon become a Mussolini, for he is now virtually his own foreign minister, secretary of labor, secretary of commerce, and secretary of war. To alleviate this situation there should be a change in personnel. Men of the type I have mentioned above should be acquired to fill the many government positions that are either in the wrong hands, or are being carried on the already overburdened shoulders of the President."