NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- When I was a lad, I first heard the term "ivory tower" in the lyrics of a 1956 song by that title: "Come down, come down from your ivory tower."
The Federal Reserve has been in its own ivory tower for more than a decade, as the housing bubble inflated and then popped while Fed policy helped cause of the "Great Credit Crunch."
The term "ivory tower" has been around for millennia, going back to biblical times, but the definition I refer to came from the 19th century. A group of intellectuals engaged in pursuits disconnected from the practicalities of everyday life were in their ivory tower.
In today's world, the Fed's ivory tower of "trial and error" has created monetary policies that just don't work on Main Street, USA.
The middle class is shrinking, according to the Pew Research Center. Since the end of 2007, more people are feeling poorer, even after the end of the Great Recession. The number of people who say they are in the middle class is now 44%, down from 53%. Former professionals are stocking store shelves, and retirees are struggling with rising costs. Many people have accepted part-time jobs when they seek full-time jobs.
Last week, Fed Chair Janet Yellen came down from her ivory tower to give a speech and answer questions at the Economic Club of New York. She told her audience of intellectuals and media folks that low inflation is a larger threat to the U.S. economy than rising prices.
Say what? Consumers, taxpayers and homeowners on Main Street have been suffering for years due to the rising cost of living, and paying more for food, fuel, insurance premiums and health care while earnings decline.