Free Enterprise at the Baugh Center

Economic Growth is Not Hard Explains John Tamny of Forbes

Oct. 17, 2013

Growth is important for economies. Achieving and sustaining growth often eludes countries including the United States in recent years. To address this current topic, The Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship & Free Enterprise hosted t.v. news regular, pundit and Wall Street veteran John Tamny of Forbes Opinions, RealClearMarkets.com.

John Tamny

During two days of lectures to over 800 students, Tamny established his thesis that market exchange and growth is a natural process rather than one that needs interference or stimulation to occur. Tamny used the historical economic downturns in the 1930's and 2000's as evidence that recessions were extended due to government interference in the areas or currency, taxation and regulation. Tamny stated, "Recessions are a wonderful thing!" Steve Bradley, Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship noted that, "John Tamny's surprising statement is actually an interesting idea that he explained well. Recessions are natural corrections to market imbalances. Unfortunately, history shows that governments trying to protect citizens from recessions often make them worse than the short-term correction. Markets stagnate when participants are uncertain whether governments will change the rules."

Tamny was particularly critical of attempts by the Fed to prime the economy through artificially low interest rates and currency manipulation. "Trying to grow the economy with the value of the dollar fluctuating is like trying to bake a souffle while the measurement of a minute or degree is changing wildly. It is virtually impossible for anyone to get it right." According to Dr. Blaine McCormick, "The Introduction to Business students really resonate with John Tamny and others like him. Students are drawn to speakers who think abundantly and remind them that they can trust their natural propensity to, in the words of Adam Smith, truck, barter, and exchange."

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