I’m at the United Nations in New York City for something called “The High Level Thematic Debate on the State of the World Economy.”
Most speakers so far, including the Secretary General of the United Nations, the President of the European Commission, Paul Volcker, and Professor Joseph Stiglitz, have to varying degrees blamed private markets and called for more government.
I speak later today as part of a roundtable on the economic crisis (see full schedule here), and I will be offering a different point of view.
The other thing I’ve noticed is the over-use of certain terms. Reminded me of the state-of-the-union bingo game about Obama’s buzz words. It seems every speaker was required to use all of the following phrases.
- “sustainable development”
- “equitable growth”
- “forward looking”
- “collective action”
- “women and youth”
Other than “collective action,” these are all fine concepts. Unfortunately, most of the speakers use them as part of speeches urging more statism.
Assuming I don’t get burnt at the stake for heretical thoughts, I’ll give an update tomorrow on how my remarks were received.
I will say, though, that at least the United Nations is willing to have contrary voices – unlike the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which threatened to cancel a Global Tax Forum because of my short-lived participation.