Political Economy Archives - Page 2 of 7 - Ethics & Public Policy Center

Hamiltonian Advice for Chicken Littles

  To ask “Is the S&P downgrade fair? Whose fault it is? What can be done about it?” is like posing those questions about a thermometer that reads 99 when the temperature in Washington, D.C., is actually 90 degrees in early August. The thermometer is inaccurate, possibly due to malfeasance on the part of the […]

Dollars and Sense

When the stock market dramatically and swiftly declined in September 2008, prompting Senator John McCain to suspend his presidential campaign and return to Washington, D.C., to discuss federal action to prevent a financial meltdown, it signaled that something was fundamentally wrong with the American economy. That jittery month did not just mark the twilight of […]

The Demographics of Social Security

The deep and punishing recession that began with the financial crisis of 2008 will almost certainly become, in tomorrow’s history books, a demarcation line separating what was and what is yet to come. Since the end of World War Two, the United States and other Western democracies have used their growing wealth and prosperity to […]

What If the Smartest Guy in the Room Doesn’t Get It?

“I got along with him fine. But Ben Bernanke thinks he’s the smartest guy in the room, and wanted everyone to know it,” remarked an acquaintance who used to sit in policy meetings with him. I recalled the remark when I read that Bernanke would become the first Federal Reserve Chairman to hold press conferences […]

What If the Smartest Guy in the Room Doesn’t Get It?

“I got along with him fine. But Ben Bernanke thinks he’s the smartest guy in the room, and wanted everyone to know it,” remarked an acquaintance who used to sit in policy meetings with him. I was reminded of the remark when I read that Bernanke would become the first Federal Reserve Chairman to hold […]

Why the Next Successful President Will End the ‘Reserve Currency Curse’

Atlas Foundation Conference on “Consequences of Progressive Policy on Money and Investment” Dallas, TX, 1 April 2011 I’m grateful for Alex Chafuen’s invitation—I’ve long admired his work—to take part at the Atlas Foundation conference on the consequences of progressive policy on money and investment, on this panel on the principles of sound money. I’d like […]

Why Real Monetary Reform Can—and Must—Be Done Now

Under President Reagan, Congress reformed the income tax code and balanced pay-as-you-go Social Security despite deep partisan divisions. Yet by Reagan’s self-assessment, the Reagan Revolution was incomplete when he left office. We believe the monetary and budget reforms left unfinished in the 1980s now seem finally doable. “When a conservative says it is bad for […]

"Reagan Democrats" Still Key to Economic Reform

In his memoirs, President Ronald Reagan (Feb. 6, 1911-June 5, 2004) recalled, “To get the spending and tax cuts we wanted through Congress, we needed the help of a substantial number of Democrats in the House as well as the votes of nearly all the Republicans in both houses of Congress.” Despite deep partisan divisions, […]

The Wiki’leak,’ MAD Men, and the Dollar

Is Wikileaks founder Julian Assange channeling Don Draper in the TV series Mad Men –– the brilliant but ethically challenged publicist with retro lifestyle issues? Assange got the Daily Telegraph breathlessly to report an old June 2009 “confidential” cable from the U.S. London Embassy to the U.S. Treasury, State Department, Beijing and Moscow embassies, headed […]

State of Monetary Chaos

By all accounts, President Barack Obama will refocus in his 2011 State of the Union address on “jobs and competitiveness.” One must hope he succeeds. But Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s previews strongly suggest that both men are unaware that these two problems are essentially unrelated, and that even with continued economic recovery, Obama won’t propose […]