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At the Fed, It’s “A Tale of Two Diversities” – Robert Aro (04/26/2021)

Official portrait of Governor Jerome H. Powell. Mr. Powell took office on May 25, 2012, to fill an unexpired term ending January 31, 2014. For more information, visit http://www.federalreserve.gov/aboutthefed/bios/board/powell.htm

We often hear of this word “diversity.” In 2021, it seems this word is more important than ever when electing cabinet positions, bureaucratic appointments, or other facets of organizational structures throughout the country. Merriam-Webster defines diversity as:

the condition of having or being composed of differing elements : VARIETY

The ironic thing about diversity is it appears to create two “divergent” paths in which it can be obtained. Just last week, the Brookings Institution appeared to inadvertently fall into a “diversity trap” of sorts, when it published the article, “Diversity within the Federal Reserve System.”It begins with:

A growing chorus has called on the Fed to diversify its ranks at all levels to reflect better the heterogeneity of the United States. So far most of these efforts speak to the diversity of the Fed’s principals, namely, the members of the Fed’s Board of Governors and the presidents of the twelve Federal Reserve Banks. 

This is the first, more common usage of diversity. The goal is to ensure a variety of races, genders, or other minority groups are represented. True to definition, by having various physical features, variety could be achieved. Brookings looked at the directors of the Federal Reserve banks as they are the ones responsible for choosing the president of the twelve banks across the country.

To little surprise:

We find a staggering homogeneity among them, with only recent signs of diversification. They are overwhelmingly white, overwhelmingly male, and overwhelmingly drawn from the business communities within their districts, with little participation from minorities, women …

They mention other areas of the economy such as “labor, nonprofits, the academy” with the routine push for diversity requiring more minority representation, based on physical features of the candidates.

To provide better context to the reader, as an author and a black male, I understand “diversity” from my own life experiences; however, it is important we don’t fall into such a diversity trap. While having more people of color, females, or even transgendered would bring a different physical look to the Fed, there remains the unseen and overlooked area of diversity, i.e., “intellectual diversity.” This form of diversity appears to have been ignored entirely, supplanted for aesthetic traits.

Last year, I wrote several articles about Judy Shelton, including “Why the MSM Hates Judy Shelton.” While her potential appointment was the responsibility of Congress, one could suggest she may not have gotten nominated to the Fed board because she is a woman. However, studying her history such as questioning the manipulation of interest rates by the Fed, and other such ideas which go against the current mainstream economic dogma, one could argue her rejection by Congress could largely be attributed to her economic views of the free market.

While a racial/gender diverse Federal Reserve might mark a lot of societal checkboxes, and even be inspirational for those in marginalized groups, we should focus on intellectual diversity and how much it appears to be lacking in the Federal Reserve system. Whether the Fed is run by all white males or a mix of males, females and a multitude of races means absolutely nothing as long as the ideas of liberty, freedom, and Austrian economics are excluded from diversity inclusion.

We must ask ourselves: Would you feel better if your oppressor was the same race and gender identification as you? We are told diversity at the Fed is an issue that should be addressed, but it’s superficial, meant to appease popular opinion under the guise that forced inclusion matters. Nowhere are we discussing the diversity of opinions, economic understanding, or beliefs in a free society. Until a high-ranking Fed official speaks out against the Fed proposing ways to wind down its power, it doesn’t really matter who sits atop the Fed’s ivory tower, and diversity is nothing but a ruse.