That resulted in uproar from the statists in the financial sector who consider Hamilton their hero.
The statist eruption was led by Ben Bernanke.
I must admit I was appalled to hear of Treasury Secretary Jack Lew's decision last week to demote Alexander Hamilton from his featured position on the ten dollar bill. My reaction has been widely shared, see for example here, here, here, here, and here.
Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury, would qualify as among the greatest of our founders for his contributions to achieving American independence and creating the Constitution alone. In addition to those accomplishments, however, Hamilton was without doubt the best and most foresighted economic policymaker in U.S. history.But make no mistake, Hamilton's "foresighted economic policy" was pure statist.
Thomas DiLorenzo informs:
The current economic crisis is the inevitable consequence of what I call Hamilton’s Curse in my new book of that name. It is the legacy of Alexander Hamilton and his political, economic, and constitutional philosophy. As George Will once wrote, Americans are fond of quoting Jefferson, but we live in Hamilton’s country.
The great debate between Hamilton and Jefferson over the purpose of government, which animates American politics to this day, was very much about economic policy. Hamilton was a compulsive statist who wanted to bring the corrupt British mercantilist system — the very system the American Revolution was fought to escape from — to America. He fought fiercely for his program of corporate welfare, protectionist tariffs, public debt, pervasive taxation, and a central bank run by politicians and their appointees out of the nation’s capital....
Hamilton complained to George Washington that "we need a government of more energy" and expressed disgust over "an excessive concern for liberty in public men"...
Hamilton was neither the inventor of capitalism in America nor "the prophet of the capitalist revolution in America," as biographer Ron Chernow ludicrously asserts. He was the instigator of "crony capitalism," or government primarily for the benefit of the well-connected business class. Far from advocating capitalism, Hamilton was "befogged in the mists of mercantilism" according to the great late nineteenth century sociologist William Graham Sumner....
When Hamilton and George Washington led some 15,000 conscripts into Pennsylvania to enforce the hated whiskey tax, the purpose was not only to collect the tax and reassure bondholders, but also to send a message to any future tax resisters....
James Madison remarked that this episode revealed Hamilton’s agenda of "the glories of a United States woven together by a system of tax collectors."
In other words, it would be an upgrade for the currency if even Bernie Madoff were to replace Hamilton on the Ten.
That said, it appears that something much more horrific is about to be announced.
Lew, stuck between mad politically correct non-make-up wearing, short-haired females and mad statist financial criminals, is about to go full circus. During a recent interview with Kai Ryssdal of MarketPlace, the following exchange took place::
Lew: We’re doing something bigger than just one face on one bill and we’re going to be looking at a whole series of bills: the $5 bill, the $10 bill, the $20 bill. And we’re looking at how to use the front and the back of the bill to tell stories, and it is going to be a little bigger than people think because they kind of focus on the one piece of it. But stay tuned we’re going to have an interesting announcement.
Ryssdal: Soon? Soon? Can you say?
Lew: Yeah, very soon.Robert Wenzel is Editor & Publisher at EconomicPolicyJournal.com and at Target Liberty. He is also author of The Fed Flunks: My Speech at the New York Federal Reserve Bank. Follow him on twitter:@wenzeleconomics