American Elephants

Economist John Taylor on the Ethics of Wealth by The Elephant's Child

Professor John Taylor, who teaches at Stanford and is a fellow at the Hoover Institution, has served as an economic policy adviser to a number of presidents. He’s a big-picture guy and definitely someone to listen to. He finds our current economy disturbing. He is also an economic freedom guy. “Democracy” he often reminds others, “is not a spectator sport.”

Stanford economist John Taylor spoke March 14 as part of the Center for Ethics in Society’s “Ethics of Wealth” series. In this lecture John B. Taylor puts forth the view that government actions and interventions are themselves a major cause of domestic economic problems. Drawing on the history of economic policy during the past 50 years and empirical evidence on the impact of specific policy actions, Taylor shows that cutting back on those government interventions that suppress competition, blunt incentives, and encourage regulatory capture can be expected to increase real income growth, reduce unemployment, and alleviate poverty.

This is a fairly long lecture, and worth every minute, so plan to take the time. You’ll be glad you did.

Uncommon Knowledge: Economist John B. Taylor by The Elephant's Child

High unemployment. Business in the doldrums, the recovery that Obama keeps promising remains elusive, in spite of his claims. Many small businesses that are the usual engine of growth are struggling. The elephant remarked yesterday that the only business that seems to be visibly expanding is the gun range.

The business organizations, the Chamber of Commerce and Small Business Association and others readily say that uncertainty is holding them back. To open and run a business is a risk. There are all sorts of uncertainties that affect your bottom line. Nobody knows what will happen tomorrow. The actions of this administration have been to increase uncertainty across the board. Will taxes go up? Are energy costs going to rise and by how much? What new regulations are going to be issued? Have I broken any regulation that I don’t even know about that will have an armed swat team breaking in my front door? What crazy new environmental regulation is the EPA going to come out with tomorrow? John Taylor explains.


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