Fed: Let Them Eat iPads?

March 17, 2011 (Chris Moore)
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Although the purpose of LoanRateUpdate is to provide our readers with the latest news on mortgages and the housing industry, every once in awhile a story comes along about a federal official who just seems to be totally out of touch with the economic realities being faced by everyday Americans. When that happens, my Libertarian political roots kick in to high gear and I just can’t leave it alone. So although this would make for better reading on a political blog, I thought I would share it with you…

Last Friday in Queens, New York, William Dudley, President of the New York Federal Reserve was addressing an audience of working class citizens whose main focus during the meeting was on rising food prices.

After being peppered with questions such as, “When was the last time, sir, that you went grocery shopping?” from the ever impatient crowd, Dudley attempted to explain how the Federal Reserve views rising commodity prices in a broader economic context; yes, food and energy prices may be rising, but at the same time, prices for other items are declining.

And when the big moment came for Dudley to explain his example of what he considers to be a commodity whose prices are declining, he chose the Apple iPad2 tablet which hit the stores on that very same day.

“Today you can buy an iPad 2 that costs the same as an iPad 1 that is twice as powerful,” he said. “You have to look at the prices of all things.”

Amongst the gasps and widespread murmuring from the audience, one audience member called the comment “tone deaf.”

“I can’t eat an iPad,” another said.

Ouch.

Perhaps the lesson learned here is that a federal official making in the neighborhood of $400,000 per year may not be the person best suited to understand the plight of the working man. Maybe next time they’ll send someone of a lower pay grade, like $125,000 a year, who can better relate to the citizens of one of America’s great working class neighborhoods. Or maybe not.

Tags: Queens, Federal Reserve of New York, commodities, economic realities, rising food prices, commodity prices, iPad2