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.