Choose Economic Freedom
Choose Economic Freedom

Choose Economic Freedom

Enduring Policy Lessons from the 1970s and 1980s


136 Pages, 5.25 x 8

Formats: Hardcover, Mobipocket, ebook: PDF, ebook: EPUB

Hardcover, $14.95 (US $14.95) (CA $16.95)

Publication Date: March 2020

ISBN 9780817923440


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George P. Shultz and John B. Taylor draw from their several decades of experience at the forefront of national economic policy making to show how letting the market work on its own, without government intervention, is a recipe for success. Choose Economic Freedom reconstructs debates from the 1960s and 1970s about the use of wage and price controls as a tool of policy, showing how brilliant economists can hold diametrically opposed views about the wisdom of using government intervention to spur the economy. The words of iconic economist Milton Friedman—whose "free to choose" ethos inspired the free-market revolution of the Reagan era—along with lessons Shultz and Taylor learned from the front lines, demonstrate that tried-and-true economic policy works.


"George Shultz and John Taylor's parable reminds us of a time when Americans suffered greatly from bad economic policy choices. Most people, honorable men and women included, had convinced themselves that those policies were called for. It turned out that most people were wrong. I was there for this story—but I learned much from this book that is new and highly relevant to today, and so will you." —Alan Greenspan, former chair, Council of Economic Advisers and Federal Reserve Board

"John Taylor is a damn good economist steeped in public policy. His name alone would guarantee a world-class rendition of US policies in the 1970s and 1980s. But when John Taylor is combined with George Shultz—my candidate as the single most important public figure in the last one hundred years—you not only have the truth, but you have the whole truth. The Nixon years and the Reagan years stand in stark contrast when it comes to policies and outcomes. Good policy is not about party or ideology; it's all about economics, and economics is all about incentives. This book debunks the notion that facts don't matter. Facts do matter, and as this book shows, the story facts tell is as clear as clear can be. Markets work. This book by two of the most honest and knowledgeable policy experts gives you much more than just a peek behind the opaque curtains of the US 'C' suite. It's a full-blown expose." —Arthur B. Laffer, former chief economist at the Office of Management and Budget and member of Ronald Reagan's Economic Policy Advisory Board 

"John Taylor and George Shultz have done a great service in Choose Economic Freedom. The book covers a lot of territory—my whole economic career—and a lot of interesting people. The writing is clear and, yes, fun to read. What you will not get from them are 'guideposts,' 'wage and price guidelines,' or offers to get something valuable without working for it. Here we are with puritans like Milton Friedman and George Shultz, University of Chicago colleagues from the 1960s. We read of Shultz resigning his position under Nixon when Nixon continued to support what he (and Friedman) thought to be bad economics. There followed ten years of pointless inflation with Nixon, Ford, and Carter. Then, finally in 1980, Ronald Reagan, Paul Volcker, and Shultz wound the inflation down back to what it could have been in 1970. What a waste, but at least that's over. Well . . . maybe you had better first look at Taylor's analysis of 1990 or 2000!" —Robert E. Lucas Jr., John Dewey Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in Economics and the College at the University of Chicago, and 1995 recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences

Author Biography

 George P. Shultz has had an eminent career in government, academia, and business. John B. Taylor is the George P. Shultz Senior Fellow in Economics at the Hoover Institution and the Mary and Robert Raymond Professor of Economics at Stanford University. Milton Friedman was the recipient of the 1976 Nobel Prize in economics.