Six Esteemed Economists: Government Intervention Stifling Economy

Tuesday, 26 Mar 2013 11:19 AM

By Dan Weil

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Government activity is subverting the free-enterprise system and holding the economy back, says a group of six senior fellows at Stanford University's Hoover Institution who also served in important government economic-policy jobs.

The six are George Shultz, Gary Becker, Michael Boskin, John Cogan, Allan Meltzer and John Taylor

“The country needs a long-term strategy to achieve its common goals of personal freedom, non-inflationary prosperity, broad-based economic opportunity and mobility, and national security,” they write in The Wall Street Journal. “With a good strategy as a foundation, sound economic policies will follow.”

Editor's Note: The Truth About the Economy — Government Documents Lead to Eerie Conclusion

Such a strategy will be grounded by free-enterprise principles, the six say, “with government's role limited to protecting property rights, setting predictable and transparent marketplace rules, and providing a safety net, infrastructure, defense and other functions if the market falls short.”

And that’s where the problem arises now.

“Many current government policies are going well beyond such limits, as shown by excessive spending and taxes, growing debt, interventionist monetary policy, and burdensome regulations that have slowed economic growth and job creation,” the six write.

GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt is another luminary concerned with regulation.

“The amount of regulation tends to grow during periods of fiscal strain, and we are certainly seeing that in the U.S.,” he writes in the company’s annual letter to shareholders.

“The number of ‘major regulations’ — regulations with more than $100 million in impact — has exploded in the last few years.”

Those regulations have thrown up an obstacle for business, Immelt writes. “Until we solve for these constraints, it is hard to see that the U.S. will return to its full growth potential.”

Editor's Note: The Truth About the Economy — Government Documents Lead to Eerie Conclusion

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