David R. Henderson  

Would Rogoff's Preferred Policy Reduce Liberty and Privacy?

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I've posted a few times (here and here) on Kenneth Rogoff's proposals to get rid of the $100, $50, and possibly $20 bill. Here are a few more questions I asked about his writing at the colloquium:

On page 93, second paragraph, Rogoff distinguishes between "protection from government snooping and protection from relatives, friends, employers, or other private entities." He would like less protection from government snooping than from relatives snooping.

Question: Does he have his priorities right? If we must choose, which would you prefer: more protection from government snooping than from relatives or less protection from government than from relatives? And why would you choose the way you would?

On page 101, Rogoff writes:
"the government already has eavesdropping capabilities once thought to be purely in the realm of science fiction. And it is only going to get worse."

(i) Is Rogoff right that government surveillance of us is extreme and will get more extreme? Why or why not?
(ii) If he is right, then does he sufficiently handle the related potential problem with his proposal, namely that government surveillance of our money will threaten us in an important way?

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CATEGORIES: Money , Regulation

COMMENTS (3 to date)
Thomas Nagle writes:

I never cease to be amazed how conservatives who claim to favor "small government" are so enthusiastic and trusting of ever bigger government for "defense" and "crime prevention". Given the history of our government on both fronts (Vietnam, Iraq as initiatives made possible by a large "defense" budget; the never-ending "drug war" made possible by large expenditures on policing that have achieved the highest percapita prison population in the world), one would think they would learn from experience that big government is as damaging in the non-economic spheres as it is in the economic ones.

David R Henderson writes:

@Thomas Nagle,
I agree with you, but I doubt Rogoff would ever think to call himself a conservative. In his writing, he comes off as a left/liberal who is hostile to illegal immigration.

Katherine Mort writes:

Kenneth Rogoff has put forth some very important points on government surveillance and privacy but concern is why he questions government protection.

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