PHOTO COURTESY | WIKI COMMONS
Economist Stephen Moore, a former Trump aid, visited NDSU last week.
Economic analyst Stephen Moore came to North Dakota State to give a talk Tuesday, Feb. 20. His talk, “How Free Enterprise Can Restore Economic Growth”, was presented in Barry Hall’s AgCountry Auditorium and was hosted by NDSU’s Center for the Study of Public Choice & Private Enterprise.
Jeremy Jackson, an associate professor in the department of agribusiness and applied economics and director for the center, opened up the event by giving an introduction. Over 100 students, staff and faculty were in attendance.
Stephen Moore is an economic analyst who serves as Distinguished Visiting Fellow at The Heritage Foundation. He is a co-founder of the organization Club for Growth. Club for Growth is dedicated to various economic issues, such as tax cuts. He served as the organization’s president from 1999-2004. Moore is also a former member of the editorial board for The Wall Street Journal.
Moore did his undergraduate work at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He received his master’s degree in economics from George Mason University, a college that boasts two Nobel Prize winners in economics.
Moore also served as President Trump’s main economic adviser during his presidential campaign. He mentioned during his talk at NDSU that he aided Trump with the plan for passing his tax reform.
Introduction and advice from Moore
Moore began his talk informally by giving a few pieces of advice to students. His first piece of advice to students was they should do what they love. Not for the sake of the money or pay-scale that comes along with it, but because they love and enjoy doing it. His next piece of advice was for students to find a job or internship while they are in school. Doing so will help one develop his or her skill set while in school. According to Moore, it will help develop an appreciation for their work as it helps pay for their tuition. His final piece of advice to students was they should start investing early. He pointed students toward investing index funds for example.
The example of a man named Theodore Johnson was mentioned. Johnson was a retired United Parcel Services (UPS) employee. Ever since Johnson started working at UPS, he would pocket a portion of his paychecks into buying stocks in the company. He did this with every paycheck throughout his nearly 30-year tenure with UPS. Moore mentioned that the most Johnson’s salary reached in a year was $43,000. His investments in the company’s stock are worth $70 million today.
One of the first points that Moore made was that under Obama’s direction, the economic recovery was the weakest recovery from any recession in the last century. Later, he pointed out that he does not intend to pick on Obama. He pointed out that Bush made some mistakes that hurt the economy before Obama took over.
Another big highlight of his talk came when he showed a picture comparing North Korea and South Korea at night time. North Korea has hardly any lights on at night, while South Korea has lights on all over. Moore used this visual aid to explain that socialism is an economic detriment to North Korea. South Korea, Moore explained, is more of a free-market, capitalistic society compared to North Korea.
Another highlight of Moore’s presentation came when he mentioned that people are migrating from blue states like California and New York. They happen to migrate over to red states like Texas and Florida. A more liberal economist suggested that people move to Texas and Florida because of the weather, not for economic reasons. Moore said that is sensible in the fact that he would much rather be away from the coldness that comes with North Dakotan winter weather.
He proceeded by saying that it was otherwise nonsense. His reasoning for this is because California has the same weather climate as Texas and Florida, yet many people migrate from California to Texas and Florida all the time.
Some Moore highlights
Perhaps one of the biggest highlights came when he started talking about North Dakota. Without states like North Dakota, Moore said, the United States would not have gotten out of the recession. North Dakota has consistently held one of the lowest unemployment rates throughout the entire country.
North Dakota’s contribution to the oil business is what helped save the nation’s economy. The invention of fracking and horizontal drilling helped decrease the price of oil barrels for the United States.
A final highlight came during the question-and-answer session. While answering someone’s question, Moore advised students to become entrepreneurial and start their own businesses. He noted he had gone that route on three separate occasions. The first two failed before he started one that did fairly well.
During his talk, Moore pointed out that many people, especially students, tend to defer their opinions to experts before they form their opinion. Moore wants to see more people think for themselves for a change and be bolder about it.