Alan Greenspan

Alan Greenspan is without question one of (if not the) brightest people in government. Always was, and likely will continue that legacy for many decades. What else would get him an amazing 5 terms as the Chairman of the Federal Reserve. Both Republican and Democrat Presidents have nominated him. He shows no real bias to any political party and has an amazing ability to foresee future economic problems.

He’s made quite a few bold statements lately that got rather little press since they go against the grain at the White House.

Nevertheless, he acknowledged that individual accounts do not address the shortfalls the Social Security system will face over the next 75 years.

In fact, they would create additional costs because workers who opt for accounts would divert a portion of their payroll taxes away from the system….

Greenspan warned, however, that if accounts are introduced into the system, “We have to do it in a cautious, gradual way. … (We) should go slowly and test the waters.” Feb 16, 2005

That’s far from being for the policy. He’s advocating having a good plan B, and testing the waters very carefully. But that’s not how most of the media, and the White House took his comment. He’s clearly not against them, but not confident.

Now he’s saying that Protectionism (a core aspect of Bush’s Agenda which essentially won him the election) is bad

I’m getting increasingly disturbed about some of the pressures of protectionism that are emerging in the world because, were we to get a rigidify of international market forces, I’m fearful of what the implications could be to the American economy and, of course, to the world as a whole… May 5, 2005

I’m curious how the White House will react to this one. This was a big part of Bush’s (and all Republicans) agenda. Keeping jobs at home by imposing tariffs and other barriers. I doubt it will be silent. Just interesting to see how Greenspan is going against the grain, yet the spin factory ensures his voice isn’t heard.

His track record is rather remarkable. To ignore someone with such great accuracy is really a shame. I wish people would actually listen to what he has to say. There’s really nobody out there who is as good at understanding the US economy as him. That’s why he’s kept his position through so many administrations.

Why is he kept on board if nobody wants to listen to him?