Who is the most powerful man in all the galaxy? Why, Alan Greenspan of course, the chairman of the Federal Reserve. He’s twirling the dials of the whole U.S. economy. He’s scanning the indicators and figuring out where the economy has been and where it’s going. Where we’ve all been . . . where we’re all going. Are things too sluggish? Al will give it a goose, with a half-point interest rate cut here, half-point there, half-point everywhere. Easy money to keep everybody happy, everybody investing.
Uh oh. Now there’s some “overheating.” Hey, don’t worry . . . Al’s under the hood, checking the carburetor and nudging that interest rate back up. Are we saving or spending too much, too little? Don’t worry, Al is there to prod us in the right direction. Al will save us.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Mr. Greenspan is a smart guy. Anybody who can spout all that jargon the way our four-term Fed chairman does, has got to be pretty brainy. Greenspan is a trained economist who worked many years as a consultant in the private sector before he started spinning dials for the government. When he speaks publicly about the economy, he’s often right. But Alan Greenspan is just one guy. And our economy is very big, very complex, very various.
The totality cannot be conveyed in any one set of statistics, nor planned by any one mind. So maybe there shouldn’t be any single captain at the economic helm. Maybe it should be up to each of us where the economy goes. And maybe we’d do just fine.
This is Common Sense.Â I’m Paul Jacob.