Sunday, July 13, 2008


When Greg Mankiw, rather than John Lennon does it ("What if the Candidates Pandered to Economists?", in today's NY Times), he mentions these: support free trade, oppose farm subsidies, leave oil companies and speculators alone, tax the use of energy, raise the retirement age, invite more skilled immigrants, legalize drug policy, raise funds for economic research. Mankiw imagines that these are the ones that economists agree on.

But I can also imagine that most economists agree on the merits of openness and competition. Government monopolies should not be the rule or the law. Government provision, for example in education, communications, space exploration, mail delivery, infrastructure, (and many others) should never preempt private provision. Rather, it should compete with private options. If government can do it better, that can be discovered in the marketplace.