Heavy Lifting - thoughts and web finds by an economist
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Wednesday, May 05, 2010

who knew?

That President Clinton would blame many of our woes on leaving the gold standard in 1971?



I am fascinated by the different tone and intellectual approach that Clinton (and other ex-presidents, but especially Clinton) has taken since he left office. One wonders if, during his presidency, he simply said what he needed to in order to survive politically. That is definitely one of the more popular public choice theories. On the other hand, one wonders if he has had a pure change in intellectual stance since he left office. This would be, to me, more satisfying.

Granted, Clinton's run included my graduate school years (during which I did not spend a lot of time listening to his speeches) and my first few years of my first tenure track job, during which I did not spend a lot of time listening to his speeches. However, I wonder if during two years of campaigning and eight years of office Bill Clinton ever mentioned one time that the gold standard might have had some benefit. I doubt it, only for political reasons, but it is fascinating.

Perhaps we should take all presidential speeches/statements/promises with a large lick of salt while they are campaigning (obviously) but also while they are serving and then look at what they say/do afterward? Unfortunately, we have to vote on the promises/hopes/dreams/vibes of the candidate, we can re-elect (and perhaps temporarily respect) on the action/inaction of the serving president, but can (should?) we respect only on the actions/words/thoughts of the ex-president? I wonder.

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