Brenda Cooper

Musing on Alan Greenspan’s book, The Age of Turbulence

Alan Greenspan has much in common with many of my favorite classic science fiction writers. Heinlein, Niven, and others claim Libertarian leanings, and so does Greenspan. They are also all pretty smart people that really want to understand the world.

Greenspan’s book is pretty close to a key about how some parts of the world work — and the old addage “follow the money” is more than just a cliche.

It seems that Federal Reserve Bankers have quite a bit of power. I would have said so before, but now I understand the nature of that power and its strengths and limitations more deeply.

I’ve been doing a lot of back-of-the-brain thinking about world governance. There’s much to be said for the invisible hand of market forces coupled with appropriate law and principles.

How do you solve problems like climate change without it? How do you keep such a concentration of power from creating or doing evil? How do you maintain a balance of diversity in a world governance structure?

No, Mr. Greenspan didn’t try to give me those questions, at least not directly. But I think a set of simple principles that gets applied as an “International Rule of Law” and enforced – probably via court – and which includes property ownership (and IP laws), lack of barriers to trade and information, requirements for honesty, and environmental regulation (or an equal rights for all species, not just humans principle) might work well when coupled with good economic policy.

So now the question in my head is “Seed of a good idea, or have I been drinking the Kool Aid?”