Is the Federal Reserve even necessary?

It's not a great question in its current form, but we're going to get it whether we like it or not, and Corone has a pretty decent answer.

Should we just bite the bullet and make this a community wiki to flag the future ones as duplicates of?

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    $\begingroup$ Not without massively editing the question. Otherwise I feel we signal that we like the question in its current state. $\endgroup$
    – FooBar
    Commented Dec 12, 2014 at 22:02
  • $\begingroup$ Why do you want it to be edited easily? That's all making a question community-wiki does. I don't see a need to add to that answer over time, which is the normal community wiki purpose. The most common use of community-wiki answers is for the maintenance of lists, which grow over time. Do you mean that you want to tag it faq instead maybe? $\endgroup$
    – Brythan
    Commented Dec 12, 2014 at 22:17
  • $\begingroup$ @FooBar I was suggesting massively editing the question. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 12, 2014 at 22:26
  • $\begingroup$ @Brythan because I feel like there should be a repository for the inevitable Fed related questions of, and tagging faq seems to run contrary to the idea of flagging duplicates $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 12, 2014 at 22:27
  • $\begingroup$ So are you saying that you want to create a community wiki in meta to hold all the questions that are commonly duplicated? That's not at all evident from your question. We don't want to make this a community wiki, we want to make a Commonly Duplicated Questions community wiki. $\endgroup$
    – Brythan
    Commented Dec 12, 2014 at 22:37
  • $\begingroup$ @Brythan my goal was to create one Canonical 'What is the Fed?' question to address all future, 'Is the Fed X?' questions and point them to that instead of having 100 people ask different variants of the same. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 12, 2014 at 22:40

1 Answer 1



The name for what you want to do is not a community wiki. A community wiki is easier to edit by low reputation users. You actually want to edit the question now and then lock it so that it doesn't attract future edits or supportive answers. The wiki format struggles with controversy. On Wikipedia, they tend to lock topics like this so that they can't be edited.

This would be a horrible question on which to hang "What is the Fed?" duplicates. I'd just ask a new question and get a new answer or answers. The current answer is too closely associated with the current question to make a good description of the Fed. Corone would have to chop out half the answer.

Note that this question is really a gold standard question. There's a group that wants to bring back the gold standard with full reserve banking. They blame the Fed for a variety of ills including the purported impossibility of paying off the government debt. Ron Paul is a proponent of this view and it has a sizable following in absolute terms although small as a percentage of the population. Closing questions like this as duplicates of a "What is the Fed?" question is just asking for trouble. If you want to keep them off the site, just close and delete them.

There are some questions that could be closed as duplicates of this one. I just wouldn't describe them as "What is the Fed?" It's more, "Could we replace the Fed with a gold standard?"

If you want, I could edit the current question such that it displays a better understanding of what proponents claim.

  • $\begingroup$ I'm familiar with goldbug arguments, I just feel bad negatively impacting user rep if avoidable. I agree your route would be better though. I think you should ask the question you believe the OP is driving at separately, and then we can solicit votes/answers to yours and protect accordingly. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 12, 2014 at 23:40
  • $\begingroup$ Perhaps we should seed some questions and post pre-planned answers. For example, the answer I always give to the 'is the fed evil' question when I get it in class is that 'Secretive organisations hell bent on world domination rarely post the minutes of their meetings on line'. But more seriously, questions like Does a gold standard/full reserve (not the same thing btw.) regime guarantee monetary stability... etc. do have factual answers with more references than the Ron Paul's of this world certainly seem to care about reading. $\endgroup$
    – Lumi
    Commented Dec 14, 2014 at 13:03

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