The economic policy of Les Miles

Les Miles may not be such a moron after all. Miles found a way to win at Auburn. And Miles has a rather interesting understanding of economic policy. This quote from Les Miles comes to you from the Jackson Clarion-Ledger (H/T Jay G. Tate’s Auburn blog).

The final question posed to Miles today was whether he approved of the government’s multi-billion dollar bailout of the financial industry.

No, really, it was. I kid you not. I can only hope, and I do surmise, given the laughter I heard in the room, that there’s an inside joke here that we out-of-staters are missing.

But, Miles answered. “I turn most of those matters over to my wife, to be honest with you,” he said. “I think there’s some real concern about our national issues and making sure that our country continues to grow and thrive. I don’t think anybody’s paycheck absolves them from interest and want for the best of our country. I’m a free market guy, always have been, not irrespective of paycheck. I’ve always felt like the government should be less involved, and this may be the exception.”

Miles believes the government should be less involved in economic issues, except when it should be more involved.

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And I’m not going to make fun of that because it is a pragmatic and I believe a sophisticated view of the financial situation.

Credit markets operate on trust. And there is a deficit of trust in the major credit markets today brought about by reckless actions by the quasi-government institutions Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

However, just because government created the problem doesn’t mean it shouldn’t solve it (or at least attempt to do so.) The government bailout of AIG was necessary because of its global implications. Its failure could have brought down banks around the globe, which would’ve sent every economy spiraling beyond recession into depression.

And in the economic theory of Les Miles, this is understood. You want the theoretical perfection of a truly free market untainted by government interference, but you pragmatically understand that in the difficult times to ameliorate suffering intervention might be necessary.

Some day perhaps we’ll be talking about Miles in the same breath as Alan Greenspan and Milton Friedman.

Ok. Maybe not, but there is more to Miles than meets the eye.


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  1. 3

    The problems started in the 80’s. Leveraged buy-outs, “consolidations”, correspondent banking abuses and other such corporate moves allowed by the government have put us in this mess. We are no longer true capitalists. Capitalism is about competition, and the big corporate mergers and any other way you want to spin it are monopolies and they are about killing competition. The abundance of lawyers we send to congress obviously didn’t pay attention in Economics 101, but they sure grasped the concept of campaign contributions.

  2. 4
    Mr. Pragmatic

    I agree with Daddio. Freddie and Fannie might have known about the problem and failed to do anything to stop it; instead choosing to ride the gravy train until it went over the cliff.

    But they didn’t create the problem. In many ways, they were victims of the unregulated real estate derivatives created by the investment firms on Wall Street. The only difference is that they had a pre-negotiated fail-safe agreement with the federal government. The other real estate based investment firms that we bailed out prior to the Freddie/Fannie fiasco didn’t have that guarantee, but the bail out for them wasn’t any cheaper.

    An unregulated market is not a “Free Market”. It is little different from a Mafia. Any time that you come up with a scheme to create money from thin air — it is bound to crash like a house of cards eventually. The trick is to grab your share of the money and run before it tumbles down around you.

    I’m not a Socialist, but a true pragmatist understands that some reasonable government regulation has it’s place in a free market. We should have learned this lesson from the Savings & Loan fiasco — but we didn’t.

  3. 5
    Ballplay Indian.

    Les must be the only conservative Republican in the whole state of Louisiana. He must really be insane. the coonasses will tar and feather him for sure.

  4. 7

    You should really stick to sports. Why would we want the gov’t to “fix” something they messed up. They mess up everything they touch. If you understand free market, which you apparently don’t another better managed corporation will step in and buy out or take over a bellyup company which will fix the problem and weed out the corrupt mismanaged companies. Government take over helps nothing and leads to more socialism which we already have too much of.(see welfare state, and social security systems)

  5. 8

    thank you, nate. thanx to “government oversight”, if i’m lucky enough to keep a job, i’ll be working the rest of my life. my shot at retirement just flew thru the goose. i’m scared to look at my 401k. diversity. what does that mean if you screw the whole market???

    does anyone really believe the feds will back out of aig??? if u do, i have some swamp land in…………..wait, there’s no money to borrow anyway.

    saw a video of greenspan before congress in ’05 on special report today. the man sounded like a freakin’ prophet. everything he warned those idiots of has happened. everything.

    slaves. we’re all freakin’ slaves.

  6. 9

    Meh. Maybe we just need to elect more politicians whose basic ideology is that government can’t possibly work — therefore why even bother trying to make it work.

    That seems to have worked very well so far… No?

  7. 10

    during the formative years of our government there was a great debate on the amount of power a central (federal) government should have. some believed the feds should have more power over the states. others, like thomas jefferson, believed political power belonged at home with the people.

    he spoke at the time, i can’t quote verbatim, about how giving the federal government the power to take your money in the form of taxes to do good things like build roads and schools, you’ve set the precedent to allow them to take your money for things you might not agree with in the name of “the public good”.

    over the years the feds have, in the name of “the public good”, wrested power away from “we the people” for themselves in direct contradiction to the intents of the founders of this nation.

    i’ve had the feeling for some time and am now convinced that if the founders of this country could come back and see what’s going on today it wouldn’t take them very long to advocate taking up arms against these idiots who have directly threatened and jeopardized our ability to pursue “life, liberty and happiness”.

    can there be any question now about the reasoning behind those who advocate repealing the second amendment?

    who now is a greater threat to your children, your family?

    a handgun or those in washington who fiddle while rome burns by the very fires they themselves set?

    700 billion? they’re just getting started folks.

  8. 11
    Ballplay Indian.

    Washington, Jefferson, and Hamilton are spinning in their graves. the business world should be like the wild kingdom. If your not good enough to make it , you die. It keeps everyone else disease free and healthy. Less government, more tax breaks = healthy economy. Anyone who argues that is dumb as a post. If you were a politician, why would you vote yourself out of a job. or vote yourself a paycut ?

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