It wasn’t long ago when the American public had little awareness of the Federal Reserve. Nowadays, the Federal Reserve is considered a public enemy of sorts. One would think the big wigs at the Fed would keep a low profile during these trying economic times. Unfortunately, the Fed’s leaders have done the exact opposite by establishing a Federal Reserve Facebook page.
A Case of bad Timing
If the economy had fully recovered from the Great Recession of 2008, establishing a Federal Reserve Facebook page for would have made some sense. Such a page would educate the public about the Fed’s role in maintaining a healthy economy. Yet the U.S. economy is still mired in a well-documented slump. It appears as though the student loan and housing bubbles are set to burst. Nearly 100 million working age Americans are out of work. This is precisely why the public lashed out against the Fed after its Facebook page launched last Thursday.
The Overwhelmingly Negative Response to the Fed’s Facebook Page
Moments after the Fed established its Facebook page, all sorts of nasty public responses were posted. Facebook users had no qualms about attaching their real names and pictures to these highly critical, snide and vicious text attacks. Some posted comments regarding the popular rumor that the Fed is covertly managed and steered by a cabal of multi-billionaire families. Others levied complaints that the Fed is completely controlled by the uber-wealthy Rothschild clan. A handful of users posted vitriolic attacks rife with curse words and capital letters. If you didn’t know, using all caps is the Internet’s version of yelling. It is clear that the general public is disenfranchised with the Fed from top to bottom.
The Federal Reserve Facebook Page Statement
The Fed did not simply sign up for a Facebook account and leave an empty canvass for the masses to express their frustrations. Rather, the Fed’s representatives posted an initial statement in which they attempted to explain the intended goals of monetary policy. The statement described the Fed’s role in building a strong economy and Congress’s guidance of the Fed’s monetary policy (known as the “mandate”). In summary, the Fed’s first Facebook post aimed to make the masses aware of the aim to maximize employment, keep prices stable and adjust interest rates with posterity in mind.
The problem with posting such a statement to a public forum like Facebook lies in the fact that the Fed has failed at all three facets of the “mandate”. The actual unemployment rate likely hovers around 15 percent or higher. Prices have steadily increased yet wages have stagnated for years. Interest rates have been reduced to the point that banks are now considering whether it is prudent to pay borrowers to take out loans. The economy is much worse than most of the talking heads on TV and radio would ever admit. The public’s backlash against the Fed is absolutely warranted.
An Example of a Public Relations Campaign Gone Wrong
One has to wonder why the Fed chose this brutally hot summer month to make its Facebook debut. The economy is not growing at the expected rate yet wealthy investors have been making a killing in the stock market. Baby boomers are working much longer than they anticipated. Millennials are drowning in student loans, rent payments and unfairly high (age-discriminatory) insurance rates.
The only people who seem to be happy with the economy are the elite members of the bourgeoisie who comprise the 1 percent. The question begs: Why did the Fed choose this point in time to attempt to establish an in-road with the general public? If the Fed has a head of public relations, he may soon find his head on the proverbial chopping block.
How the Fed Should Have Handled Its Facebook Debut
If you were to poll average Americans who work eight hour days and live modestly, most would testify that they feel as though the power brokers at the Fed are akin to the feudal lords and slave masters of years past. If Fed leaders were absolutely insistent on establishing a social media presence in the uncomfortably hot summer of 2016, they should have done so with much more tact than was demonstrated last Thursday.
Though the Fed’s Facebook page generated over 10,000 “likes”, the number of total harsh responses may eventually outnumber those “likes”. If the Fed truly had its finger on the public’s pulse, it would have waited for the economy to begin an upward ascent before launching a social media outreach campaign.The Fed’s first Facebook post should have included a statement that recognized the typical American’s economic struggle. This post could have solicited Facebook user questions and possibly even suggestions. The bottom line is that the decision makers at the Fed are completely out of touch with ordinary Americans, and are proving it with the Federal Reserve Facebook Page.