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Andrés Velasco

Democratic Dilemmas – When should democratically derived choices in the past bind our current and future democratic choices?

27 November 2021

How and when should we decide today what areas of future public policy we are not prepared to trust our future selves to make wisely? In other words, when should we voluntarily constrain our future democratic choices by privileging our current democratic choices?

This is the theme of my discussion in this episode with Professor Andrés Velasco, the Dean of the School of Public Policy at the London School of Economics and the former Finance Minister of Chile.

While somewhat common in monetary economic policy (think independent central banks immune to short term democratic pressures), Andrés and I explore how/whether this self-restraint framework can/should be applied to areas like quantitative easing, fiscal and environmental policy.

Andrés not only has the intellectual firepower, matched by world class academic credentials, to address these questions. As the former Finance Minister of Chile, he was responsible for the creation of two special sovereign funds which attempted to stabilize Chilean governmental spending at a long-term sustainable level. His mixture of practical political experience and academic skill make him the ideal guest to discuss these issues. I hope you enjoy the conversation!

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