Talk about Economic Successes and Follies

Russ Robert’s latest EconTalk is about my new book First Principles. As with so many of Russ’s EconTalk interviews, he quickly gets to the heart of the matter and spends a good part of interview on the “naming names” sections of the book including the chapter “Who Gets Us In and Out of These Messes?”

This part of the book is based on my personal experiences in Washington with policymakers such Alan Greenspan, Paul O’Neill, Charlie Schultze, or on long discussions with current or former colleagues such as George Shultz and Milton Friedman who were involved in making decisions in earlier times.

As Russ brings out in the interview, it’s important to try to identify policymakers who stuck to, or ignored, or compromised on the principles and then draw lessons from successes and mistakes. The history shows that neither political party wholly owns the successes or the mistakes.

The issues are quite relevant to the current situation as Gene Epstein brings out in this recent Barron’s interview with me, appropriately titled Fiscal Follies and Monetary Mischief.

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