02 Jun Barry Asmus
Speaker: Barry Asmus
Senior Economist with the National Center for Policy Analysis, noted author and commentator on the economy and economic policy
- America’s Economic Future
- Globalization: International Prosperity and its Impact on America
- Freedom: Still America’s Best Investment
- Healing Health Care in America
- Powering America’s Energy Future
Dr. Barry Asmus is a Senior Economist with the National Center for Policy Analysis. Dr. Asmus has been named by USA Today as one of the five most requested speakers in the United States. Over the last twenty-five years, Dr. Asmus has spoken to thousands of companies and associations throughout the United States. He has testified before the House Ways and Means Committee regarding our income tax system and was a featured speaker in a privatizing Social Security conference for Western European leaders. On recent trips to Romania, Albania, China and Peru, Dr. Asmus has encouraged government leaders to pass free-market, low tax, protected property rights and free trade policies.
Dr. Asmus is the author of nine books. His book, Crossroads: The Great American Experiment was nominated for a H.L. Mencken Award. As a Professor of Economics, he was twice voted University Professor of the Year and was honored with the Freedom Foundation Award at Valley Forge for Private Enterprise Education. He co-anchored a syndicated radio called “Perspectives on the Economy.” Dr. Asmus is an effective advocate of free market economics. He is a recognized thinker who delivers his ideas in an enthusiastic and energy filled presentation.
America’s Economic Future
The U.S. has experienced 13 recessions in the past 80 years and the economy has always come back. The rapid fluctuations experienced over the last few years will eventually subside but there is still tremendous work to be done. We must fix the mistakes of the Federal Reserve’s massive credit bubble; the Congressional mistakes of pressuring lenders to extend mortgages to unqualified borrowers; and the blunders of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guaranteeing one half of the U.S. $12 trillion mortgage market and nearly all the sub-prime loans. The confluence of these anti-market incentives produced a catastrophic financial meltdown. The central task now is to focus on sustained economic growth: reduce taxes and deficits, encourage government entities at all levels to sell assets, encourage entrepreneurial actions, and harness the power of incentives to produce jobs and prosperity.
Globalization: International Prosperity and its Impact on America
The European economy is as large as the U.S. If Greece defaults, the Euro’s problems will automatically reduce corporate profits and makes it harder to export our products into Europe. It also means we buy less from China, which means they will buy less of our bonds and U.S. Treasuries. In short, there is an enormous connection between the U.S. and the rest of the world. While China is both a threat and an opportunity, the U.S. continues to be the world’s largest economy, possess the world’s largest military, and still owns the world’s largest reserve currency. International prosperity is not an option. Enhancing trade is paramount. Thanks to globalization and communication technologies, those who live in the developing world have first world aspirations. America will play its part.
Freedom: Still America’s Best Investment
The most vital force of our country has been freedom. Freedom unleashes more energy and genius than any alternative. America, the biggest island of freedom in the world, has always been the place people run to when, in hope or hopelessness, they are running from somewhere else. When freedom proceeds, prosperity follows. Dr. Asmus makes a compelling case for why America produces nearly a third of the world’s wealth, most of the world’s Nobel Laureates and a majority of the world’s inventions with less than 5 percent of the world’s population. Entrepreneurial capitalism and free markets are still the best hope for mankind.
Healing Health Care in America
Government-run health care conflicts with the American idea of a free society and the Constitutional principles underlying it. With that in mind, five changes are most desirable. First, everyone paying for health care should receive the same tax benefits. Employer provided health care must be re-thought and made equitable. Second, Health Savings Accounts would create the necessary incentives for a competitive health care system. A high deductible catastrophic insurance plan would cover all the high cost medical contingencies while the individual health savings account would cover the smaller charges. Third, states need to enact high risk insurance pools so that those with pre-existing conditions can obtain coverage. Fourth, if all companies could sell insurance across state lines, state mandates would be eliminated. Insurance costs would fall dramatically. And fifth, we must establish transparency. In a typical American city, an MRI could cost anywhere from $400 to $4,000; a by-pass surgery might vary between $5,000 and $100,000. This is ridiculous. Unless and until a consumer is able to compare prices and quality of services, there is not really a free market. These measures would empower consumers and force producers to compete. Competition works in every other sector of our economy and without question it would work in health care.
Powering America’s Energy Future
Dr. Asmus has argued for removing laws that restrict the development of domestic energy supplies. By 2020, Asmus estimates that America will consume 125 quads of energy, a 25 percent shortfall from the current supply. France doubled its energy independence by building 57 nuclear power reactors in the last 30 years. The U.S. should do the same. By drilling in Alaska, in America’s Outer Continental Shelf, in the Gulf of Mexico, and in states that have huge deposits of shale and natural gas, our dependence on foreign oil would fall dramatically, as would energy prices. The best scientific estimates find that the U.S. has more than 200 billion barrels of oil and 2,000 trillion cubic feet of natural gas that are recoverable with today’s technology. When fully developed, we would eliminate completely the 10 million barrels daily import of foreign oil.