Since 1991, Robert Barro has been a lively contributor to the
Wall Street Journal and other popular financial media. Getting It
Right brings together, updates, and expands upon these writings
that showcase Barro's agility in applying economic understanding to
a wide array of social issues.Barro, a "conservative who takes no
prisoners," and a self-described libertarian, believes that most
governments have gone much too far in their spending, taxation, and
regulation. The dominant theme in these wide-ranging essays is the
importance of institutions that ensure property rights and free
markets. The discussion deals especially with the appropriate range
of government: which areas represent useful public policy and which
are unnecessary interference.The first section of the book
considers these questions in the context of the determinants of
long-run economic growth. In addition to basic economics, Barro
assesses related political topics, such as the role of public
institutions, the optimal size of countries, and the consequences
of default on foreign debt. The second section deals with the
proper role and form of monetary policy. Barro argues that
government should provide markets with a stable nominal framework
and then stay out of the way to best allow for price
stability.Writings in the third section cover fiscal and other
macroeconomic policies. Topics include the distorting influences of
taxation, especially taxes on capital income; infrastructure
investment and other government spending; and the consequences of
public debt and budget deficits. In a final section, Barro looks at
more micro issues such as cartels, tax amnesties, school choice,
privatization, cigarette-smoking regulation, endangered species
regulation, the market for baseball players, and term limits for
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