Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Interview: Don Watkins says America should "rein in our own currency manipulating-Federal Reserve," explains why

This is the second segment of my discussion with bestselling author Don Watkins, a fellow of the Ayn Rand Institute. Text quoted below appeared in yesterday's article, offering background on the subject matter.
Story by Joseph Ford Cotto 
In the American political scene of today, few would dare argue that unfettered free trade is something worth aspiring to. Untold numbers of Make America Great Again-ers and Bernie Bros would pitch a fit should someone merely theorize such a policy. 
Nonetheless, a band of dedicated advocates for laissez-faire capitalism are not backing down. Far from it, in fact. 
Don Watkins is one of these people. An Ayn Rand Institute fellow who, in the words of his employer, "studies inequality, Social Security reform, the welfare state and the moral foundations of capitalism", Watkins formerly wrote a column at Forbes.com. He co-authored of two books: Free Market Revolution: How Ayn Rand's Ideas Can End Big Government -- a bestseller -- and Equal is Unfair: America's Misguided FightAgainst Income Inequality. On his own, he penned Rooseveltcare: How Social Security is Sabotaging the Land of Self-Reliance.

As the title of each of book makes clear, Watkins's limited government philosophy is delivered with no holds barred. For more insight, this publication featured a review of Free Market Revolution which can be read here.
Watkins spoke with me about American trade policy, our national monetary program, and the Donald Trump presidency. Some of our conversation is included below. 

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Joseph Ford Cotto: One reason the American economy fails to meet standards set by its postwar halcyon era is that it produces a decreasing number of material goods. What would you say could be done to reinvigorate our manufacturing sector?


Don Watkins: This is factually untrue. We produce more manufactured goods than ever. But we employ fewer manufacturing workers because technological innovation has made manufacturing more productive.


That’s something to celebrate—for the same reason that we celebrate the fact that we’ve advanced from 80 percent of the population having to farm to only 1 percent of the population. It means that the people who would have once been farmers or factory workers are now free to work on other projects, creating even more economic value.

The problem is that the advances in manufacturing have not been matched by opportunities for work in other industries. And that’s because the government has been crippling economic progress through onerous taxes and, especially, regulations.

Cotto: China is notorious for its currency manipulation schemes. Beyond this, however, it not only owns a tremendous amount of America's national debt, but accounts for much of our trade deficit as well. How do you suppose that the U.S. could level the playing field in the near future?  

Watkins: Our problem isn’t China—our problem is us. Let’s rein in our own currency manipulating-Federal Reserve, the out of control spending that has put us trillions of dollars into debt, and then unilaterally establish fully free trade. Do that and we will be so prosperous that we won’t have to worry about what China is up to.


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