I have noted on several occasions (most recently “State Ownership of Businesses) the growing threats to America’s economic productivity of ever greater government involvement in the economy. This productivity is the basis of our high standard of living and of our influence in the world. It is almost impossible for the government to get involved, especially as a shareholder without replacing commercial judgment and considerations with political considerations. Rather than better goods and services at lower prices we get more expensive goods that provide employment or profits for the benefit of a congresswoman’s constituents at tax payer expense. Today’s Washington Post has an article that so clearly illustrates this corrosive danger that I must pass it on: "Time to Click and Drag Car Sales into the 21 Century". The government’s involvement in the economy reduces its productivity but of equal if not greater importance it erodes the integrity of government.
On Friday in Las Vegas I debate whether we should get rid of the Federal Reserve as part of FreedomFest. If interested, you can see it on C-SPAN.
Author: Warren Coats
I specialize in advising central banks on monetary policy and the development of the capacity to formulate and implement monetary policy. I joined the International Monetary Fund in 1975 from which I retired in 2003 as Assistant Director of the Monetary and Financial Systems Department. While at the IMF I led or participated in missions to the central banks of over twenty countries (including Afghanistan, Bosnia, Croatia, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kyrgystan, Moldova, Serbia, Turkey, West Bank and Gaza Strip, and Zimbabwe) and was seconded as a visiting economist to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (1979-80), and to the World Bank's World Development Report team in 1989. After retirement from the IMF I was a member of the Board of the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority from 2003-10 and of the editorial board of the Cayman Financial Review from 2010-2017. Prior to joining the IMF I was Assistant Prof of Economics at UVa from 1970-75. I am currently a fellow of Johns Hopkins Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health, and the Study of Business Enterprise. In March 2019 Central Banking Journal awarded me for my “Outstanding Contribution for Capacity Building.” My recent books are One Currency for Bosnia: Creating the Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina; My Travels in the Former Soviet Union; My Travels to Afghanistan; My Travels to Jerusalem; and My Travels to Baghdad. I have a BA in Economics from the UC Berkeley and a PhD in Economics from the University of Chicago. My dissertation committee was chaired by Milton Friedman and included Robert J. Gordon.
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