Category: Getting Personal

The Death of Common Sense

I borrowed my title from a great book by Phillip Howard. In it, he gives many telling examples of outcomes that don’t make sense because the powers that be keep trying to make rules and laws impervious to human interpretation and implementation. They don’t trust people to apply common sense so that try to make […]

Remembering China

The visit of China’s President Hu Jintao reminds me of my first trip to mainland China in 2003, shortly after he took office. I was invited to represent the Fed at a government sponsored conference in Beijing, and several attendees were invited to meet with the new President in the Great Hall. We sat in […]

Martin Luther King Day

I gave this speech in Sulphur Springs, Texas, on Martin Luther King Day, 2006. I was invited by a group of churches in East Texas meeting together in a larger facility. The invitation came through Texas A&M Commerce, one of the universities in The Texas A&M System, where I was Chancellor at the time. Bob […]

Happy Father’s Day

There are many ways of looking at the wealth of nations, the well being of families, growth and prosperity. Some focus on macro factors, and some focus on micro factors. One neglected way is to focus on the role of our fathers. It occurs to me that family histories are very repetitive. For eons nothing […]

The New York Times/CBS Poll and My Advice for the President

The front page of today’s New York Times reports on the results from the latest New York Times/CBS News poll. It is largely about who polls the lowest between President Obama and the Congress, President Obama and the Republicans, and Republicans versus Democrats. It made me wonder whether poll results can go below zero. Here […]


A Tragedy of the Commons in a Motel Parking Lot My ain’t-no-private-property-around-here blues I used to advise high school and junior college teachers on what to teach their economics students, with an emphasis on free-enterprise. Sometimes I forgot to include private property rights on my list. Never again. I’ve been stranded for two days, with […]

Ben Bernanke and Harry Reid

According to Senator Reid, his support for Chairman Bernanke means the Chairman would have to: “redouble his efforts to ensure families can access the credit they need to buy or keep their home, send their children to college or start a small business.” Such a scandal! Imagine that! (Like, Elaine, am I using too many […]

Dollar-Yuan Diplomacy

My 15 Seconds I attended a conference in Beijing in 2003 sponsored by the Chinese government. While in China, I also met with several Chinese officials, including the new Premier, Wen Jiabao, officials of the central bank, and the agency in charge of maintaining the exchange rate of the Yuan, or Renminbi. In several television […]

Policy Lessons from the Great Depression

I’ve been reading Amity Shlaes’ wonderful book, The Forgotten Man, A New History of the Great Depression, with an eye out for parallels and lessons for our current crisis. You will find some of those and much, much more. Amity showed great restraint in writing her book. A scholar with her expertise could have driven […]

Rose Friedman

  I just learned of the death of our beloved Rose Friedman. This picture of me with Rose and Milton Friedman was taken at a Dallas Fed conference celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary of their Free To Choose. Both of them graciously flew to Dallas and participated fully. A few years earlier I had the honor […]