American Expertise: Could America's Know-How Be Our Strongest Export?

W. Michael Cox is a professor at the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University and a leading 
economist and analyst of the American economy. America ranks number one in the sale of services such as 
finance, management, education and transportation to a world hungry for American know-how. Cox argues the 
key to future American economic growth is for companies to sell their services in developing markets abroad.

Transcript

Grace Creek Media

Interview With Michael Cox

Correspondent:  Jim Glassman


JIM GLASSMAN:

Welcome to Ideas in Action, a television series about ideas and their consequences.  I'm Jim Glassman.  With all the talk about America's declining place in the global economy, you might be surprised to know there's a category where we're still number one:  selling our expertise.  And that's good news, at least according to today's guest, who sees a bright future in exporting services to a world hungry for American know how.


Michael Cox is the director of Southern Methodist University's William J. O'Neil Center for Global Markets and Freedom.  And the former chief economist for the Dallas Federal Reserve.  The topic this week:  exporting expertise.  This is Ideas in Action.  (MUSIC)

ANNOUNCER:

Funding for Ideas in Action is provided by Investor's Business Daily.  Every stock market cycle is led by America's never-ending stream of innovative new companies and inventions.  Investor's Business Daily helps investors find these new leaders as they emerge.  More information is available at Investors.com.

JIM GLASSMAN:

According to this week's guest, exports of American services have jumped by 84 percent since 2000.  America trails both China and Germany in sales of goods abroad but ranks number one in global services by a wide margin.  In fact America's sale of services like education, finance, management and transportation expertise has led to a trade surplus in services of nearly $132 billion.


President Obama says his goal of doubling U.S. exports by 2015 will create millions of new manufacturing jobs.  But it's America's service sector that is of growing interest to our trading partners and is the area from which real growth in exports will come.  Michael, you wrote in the New York Times that exporting services is absolutely essential to the U.S. economy.  I think people would be surprised to learn that services get exported at all.  So what do you mean by that?

MICHAEL COX:

Exactly that.  You know, Americans-- 82 percent of us now work in the service sector, right?  So it's critical that we learn to export our services to the rest of the world.  Otherwise, we can't take advantage of that large market.

JIM GLASSMAN:

People think of exports, loading goods onto a ship or onto a plane and sending them abroad.  How are services exported?

MICHAEL COX:

Well, it happens in many ways.  One way would be, for example, for students coming to take my class at SMU.  If they come from Thailand or Mexico or China or India and they come sit in my classroom, that's going to be booked as an export of education services to the rest of the world.  And rightly it should be.


If they travel to our hospitals.  Many South Americans travel up, for example, to San Antonio and the hospitals are full of Latin Americans.  If they come up for surgery, that's going to be booked as an export of American medical services.  That's one way.


Another way is for us, you know, exporting it directly-- without even them having to travel here.  Such as if we decide to be lawyers for the-- for them abroad.  If I'm-- say I'm a Chinese company and I'm selling lawn darts in America, I'm going to need some good legal assistance in the-- of the American type for consumer product safety.

JIM GLASSMAN:

What about-- consultants or architecture?

MICHAEL COX:

Right.  That's a good example.  Many of the buildings that were-- you know, designed for the Olympics in Beijing were designed by American architecture firms.  We export that.  We go abroad to their oil fields with our engineering services and we have the expertise there.  Maybe we have less oil, but we have more knowledge in that area, so we'll go make that stuff work.  China wants to be the-- the leading manufacturer in the world, but they're not going to do it apart from American expertise coming over there and showing them how to make that factory work the most efficiently and competitively.

JIM GLASSMAN:

So exports of services have been increasing.  And not only that, but the difference between exports and imports of services, that gap has been widening.  So Americans are exporting much more than they're importing in the service sector?

MICHAEL COX:

Exactly.  We have-- a growing export sector surplus.  And it's certainly growing faster-- our exports of services, faster than our exports of goods.  And-- and that's because two things.  First of all, as the world gets richer, they move down their list of needs and wants like we have.  Top of the-- list and needs and wants is food, clothing, shelter, furniture, which tend to be material goods.


But as you get wealthier you'll want more services.  So their demand for our service is growing just in the natural order of things.  But also technology has just recently evolved with the Internet and so on to the point where now an American programmer can write-- HTML code on-- design a website for anybody in the globe and export that service to the rest of the world.  So technology-- the relaxation of technology constraints is the another big-- the other big thing.

JIM GLASSMAN:

So when we hear these figures about the trade deficit, is that usually the merchandise trade deficit?  It doesn't include services?

MICHAEL COX:

Usually.  If they-- you know, the press tends to want to make a big deal out of bad news, so if they're looking to do that they're going to focus on the merchandise trade deficit.  Sometimes you'll hear both the overall trade deficit, though, which includes the surplus in services.  And that doesn't look as bad, of course.

JIM GLASSMAN:

But the-- but the trade deficit when it comes to goods is a lot greater than the trade surplus when it comes to--

MICHAEL COX:

Yes, it--

JIM GLASSMAN:

--Services.

MICHAEL COX:

--Is.  But that has a potential of one day to-- to-- to be reversed.  Where the-- if we continue to increase our services trade and-- and sales abroad at the rate we have, then there'll come a day when we could potentially have an overall balance of trade surplus, which would come from our services.

JIM GLASSMAN:

And are we increasing our exports of services at a greater rate than, for example, we're increasing our imports of goods?

MICHAEL COX:

Yes.  And, again, it's owing to the fact that as they move down their-- their list of what they want to buy and as technology relaxes, we're getting very good-- a lot of U.S. companies are starting to pay attention to this.  And they're marketing their services abroad.  Yum Brands is an example.  That's a service company.

JIM GLASSMAN:

Yum Brands is--

MICHAEL COX:

Yum Brands.

JIM GLASSMAN:

--Taco Bell and--

MICHAEL COX:

Right.  And they sell--

JIM GLASSMAN:

--KFC?

MICHAEL COX:

K-- Taco Bell, KFC, Kentucky-- you know, Kentucky Fried Chicken.  They have-- A&W root beer, Pizza Hut.  And so what they've done is they've gone over to China and India and they now expect to have more restaurants and profits in China one day than in America.  2,000 people stood in line in India recently to get a taco from Taco Bell.  And that's a service.  That's the service of delivering food to the-- global population.

JIM GLASSMAN:

I was going to say.  Isn't that-- isn't that a good?  Isn't chicken--

MICHAEL COX:

No.

JIM GLASSMAN:

--Fit into--

MICHAEL COX:

I--

JIM GLASSMAN:

--The goods category?

MICHAEL COX:

No, because you're delivering the service of preparing the food for the people in the-- and bringing it right to them and, you know, readying their food for consumption.

JIM GLASSMAN:

You're not saying the goods aren't important when it comes to trade, are you?

MICHAEL COX:

No.  No, goods are important.  And America could-- could and should do a better job at delivering goods.  We're less competitive in the goods market than we are in the services market.  And-- and it's no surprise that part of that owes to the fact that our labor's more expensive and produced often times by unionized-- firms.  And-- and that makes it difficult for them to be competitive in global markets.

JIM GLASSMAN:

You say unionized firms, but, you know, the-- there is a lot of concern, certainly political concern and I think social concern, about the fact that factory workers in America are losing their job.  That they're not competitive with workers abroad.  Tell us about the-- that problem or how much of it is a problem?

MICHAEL COX:

It's a problem in that-- if you think about like the hierarchy of human talents, what people can be used for at work.  Physical labor in the farms and the fields.  Manual dexterity and motor skills in the factory.  Formulaic intelligence and so on up to imagination, creativity, people skills, emotional intelligence.


The things at the bottom of the list, the physical, physiological supply of-- and then also manual dexterity and motor skills, those are what get-- happen in factory work.  And that-- that's where we're not competitive right now.  Most of us who graduate don't-- from high school or in college, especially college, don't want to go work in a factory.


Wages-- are not as great as they once were relative to services.  Most of us want to go use our minds and our brains.  And so we're not able to be competitive with the Chinese there.  But what-- what we have an expertise is in delivering highly educated services.

JIM GLASSMAN:

But of course not all Americans can do that.  And so what happens to the Americans who are-- who have been working in factories or have been using manual dexterity in their jobs?  Are they just kind of out of luck 'cause there's not-- not much we can do about it?

MICHAEL COX:

Well, they're not out of luck but we need more productivity in those factories-- to be competitive with these wages.  Certainly Americans are the most productive in the world.  Even in manufacturing.  And even in agriculture.  One U.S. farm worker, for example, makes 30 times what a Chinese farm worker does.


And so we're very productive in the-- in the farming sector.  But if you look at the wage comparisons, often times the wage comparisons are even more extreme.  So I think we'll start to get more factory work back, actually.  There's been a lot of-- dissatisfaction with some of the work that's come out of Chinese factories.  And some of that has already come back to America.

JIM GLASSMAN:

Do you mean actually we're going to be employing more people?  I mean one of the points that-- that you make-- very cogently is that we're manufacturing more than we were manufacturing-- years ago but we're doing it with fewer people.  I know that-- productivity increasing.

MICHAEL COX:

Even without the competition from China and India, mainly China, in manufacturing, we would see fewer farm-- fewer manufacturing workers, that's-- because technology replaces people.  And, again, though, it-- part of it is due to the fact of unions.  I mean one of my favorite quotes ever-- is from Henry Ford where he says, "Well, at least I don't have to deal with a robot union."

JIM GLASSMAN:

You're-- you're saying that productivity is increasing, so we get more--

MICHAEL COX:

Per worker.

JIM GLASSMAN:

--Per worker.  But you still think that over the next few years there may be more and more people going into manufacturing?

MICHAEL COX:

Not necessarily more.  I-- I think that because productivity does continue to grow in manufacturing we would be lucky to offset some of the natural job loss that was growing.  In other words, if we can hold our own in manufacturing in terms of employment that's about the best I think you can hope for.


Because-- look, at one time, 95 percent of Americans worked on farms.  Today it's 1.5 percent.  So we got to the single digit numbers in farming maybe 20 years ago, 30 years again when less than 10 percent of Americans worked on farms.  Manufacturing is destined to go that way.


We-- we do have an export surplus of farming in this country.  So even for a nation who produces food for just-- not just ourselves, but for the rest of the world, we still have gotten technologically to the point where we only need one out of-- one and a half of every 100 people producing food.  It's going to happen in manufacturing as well.

JIM GLASSMAN:

Don't-- don't we have kind of an imbalance here?  You know, on the one hand, we've got a lot of people who were in manufacturing.  May be out of-- out of jobs now.  Forever.  And then on the other hand, you talk about the service economy.  Those are highly specialized workers in many cases.  And there we seem to have a shortage and we need to--

MICHAEL COX:

Right.

JIM GLASSMAN:

--Import workers from the rest of the world?

MICHAEL COX:

You know, I believe this is really a function maybe-- most-- mostly of education in America.  Our middle class-- America likes to have a middle class.  We always have.  Every nation needs a middle class.  Was-- that middle class that we have that became so large was built mainly on the backs of manufacturing.


But in the services age you can't put that-- that knowledge in my brain.  It's intellectual capital.  I've got to go study.  So it's really important that our schools be very good.  There we have a failure in our public education system to deliver us an American middle class-- of the service age.

JIM GLASSMAN:

Is there kind of a gap between needs for skilled service workers and our ability to supply them, while at the same time we have a lot of people that just don't have those skills and it's going to take-- a while for our education system to catch up?

MICHAEL COX:

It's going to take forever until we move education out of the hands of the public sector and into-- out of government schools and into private schools, which some-- our school system is falling behind.  Our typical student in this country in math falls below average.  In science even further down.  And in logic and problem solving they're in the bottom 10 percent of our peer nations worldwide.

JIM GLASSMAN:

So in the meantime-- you're in favor of exporting-- I mean, I'm sorry, importing foreign labor at a specialized level.  Is that right?

MICHAEL COX:

Absolutely.  I think that that's a role that many Americans can play this day.  Is to start a global business.  The question is not is America outsourcing too many jobs.  The question is are we creating enough global entrepreneurs, people who think about using that, you know, one and a half billion-- labor force that's combined in China and India together, to work for us.


China and India together have two and a half billion people.  America has 300 million.  There's eight times many of them as customers than us.  Also they're likely to grow at four times our rate this decade.  China and India probably grow at an average rate of eight percent.  We'll be lucky to get two percent with all this government debt we put into the economy and so on.  And so if you want to get ahead in this next decade hitch your wagon to foreign growth, not U.S. growth.

JIM GLASSMAN:

One point I want to come back to is bringing foreign labor, skilled labor, to the United States.  Now do you think that's a real necessity right now?

MICHAEL COX:

I think it's an-- it's a necessity for several reasons.  First of all, it would be nice to have that labor actually move here because immigrants tend to come into this country, most of them ready to work.  And they feed the good part of the natural cycle.  This is what's called the Titler Sequence where you-- from bondage to discipline and so on.


You-- you-- they feed-- they feed that cycle really well and they give us-- the right mindset that America needs to stay competitive in the world.  But a second reason is that we need them in our production function.  Most-- and increasingly successful business models in this country use both American workers, especially as managers, and salespersons.  But they use foreign labor for programmers and all this back office work.  So we'd need them for that.  In other words, if they don't move here, we still need what they do.

JIM GLASSMAN:

But what-- what-- but what about moving here?  I mean there is-- there is a concern, for example, that H1B visas are too limited.  That--

MICHAEL COX:

Right.

JIM GLASSMAN:

--That bringing skilled workers here-- maybe not true during a recession--

MICHAEL COX:


Right.

JIM GLASSMAN:

--Or a sluggish economy, but when the economy gets going again it could be a-- there could be a labor shortage in the United States for--

(OVERTALK)

MICHAEL COX:

Absolutely.

JIM GLASSMAN:

--Foreign workers?

MICHAEL COX:

There has been.  Except during this recession, for the last two decades there's been a labor sortage-- shortage.  How do I measure the-- how do I know that?  What variable do I use to measure the labor shortage?  The unemployment rates.  If you look at the unemployment rates among doctors, the unemployment rates among technical people and so on, they're very low.  That's a sign-- they're at least below the national average of unemployment rates.  That's a sign that we need more of those kinds of workers.

JIM GLASSMAN:

Is there something that the federal government can do to encourage more exports of services?

MICHAEL COX:

Well, they could at least qui-- stop denigrating outsourcing, because America is winning the insourcing/outsourcing battle.  You can't just focus on one side of the balance sheet.  You can't just look at this, "Oh, American is-- programmers.  Some of that work is being exported to India."


Out of the 22 areas in which we have services exports and imports as categorized by the Department of Commerce, America has a surplus in 17 out of 22.  We only have deficits in five.  And our deficits are very small.  We have a very small deficit in the-- in the importing of our programming services from the rest of the world.  But we-- we do export a lot.  We have a small deficit in our back office work and our accounting and so on.


But we have a surplus in education, a surplus in medical care, a surplus in engineering services, a sur-- plus in architecture.  Huge surplus in the film industry.  Huge surplus in commercial leasing.  And so on down the line.  Seventeen out of 22 we're winning the battle.  So if you start talking bad about outsourcing and you're going to stop outsourcing, well, you're not going to stop outsourcing apart from stopping insourcing too, in which case you'd be just cutting our throats.  This is the lifeblood of America today.  Is exporting our services to the rest of the world.

JIM GLASSMAN:

And companies that outsource the most tend also to increase their employment in the United States the most?

MICHAEL COX:

That's right.  And-- the-- you know, here's a website I'd like people to go and look at and just think.  Go to Tutor Vista.  T-U-T-O-R-V-I-S-T-A.com.  And what you'll notice, that there's a company there where your children, my children can get for $100 a month all the programming-- all the tutoring services they want.  In their bedroom with their computer right in front of them from a person in India who has a PhD or a Master's in science and engineering or math.  $100 a month.


Well, that employs Indian labor, but the management is American.  The sales force is American.  So that's a good business model.  American management, know how, American sales and so on.  But no trying to compete with them directly in areas like, say, programming where we might have yesterday.

JIM GLASSMAN:

So you're saying we shouldn't be afraid of outsourcing and in fact--

MICHAEL COX:

Use it.

JIM GLASSMAN:

--It's beneficial?  And we should-- and we should use it more?

MICHAEL COX:

Use it.

JIM GLASSMAN:

You know--

MICHAEL COX:

Start a global company.

JIM GLASSMAN:

And I-- I think this is one of your-- your themes-- Michael Cox, in general, that-- the United States is actually doing a lot better than we think it is.  And a lot of the things that we're afraid of are-- are actually-- can be very beneficial to us?

MICHAEL COX:

In fact, if you go back and you look at my book, Myths of the Rich and Poor that what-- that's what you'll find as a theme throughout that.  Is that not only are the people who bring you the bad news and the fear typically wrong, they're exactly backwards in terms of what-- were they see fear and America failing, it's-- you should see opportunity.  That's why the market typically goes up in this country.  Is that we tend to-- to-- make the best of all of the circumstances.  This is another opportunity for America to stay ahead.

JIM GLASSMAN:

Now-- I think you said that when you see Americans consuming a lot of imports that that's actually a good sign rather than a bad sign?

MICHAEL COX:

Well, sure, because-- I mean it-- typically you don't consume it unless it's-- it's more-- more affordable.  And so it's a way for us to increase our living standards.  Look at what people buy at Wal-Mart.  Wal-Mart's the best thing that ever happened to low income Americans.  They can go there and buy products at cheap cost and-- get the basket full on low incomes.  But where do those products come from?  They come from typically the rest of the world.

JIM GLASSMAN:

So to go back to my question about what can the federal government do, you said that they ought to stop denigrate-- the federal government ought to stop denigrating-- outsourcing as well as I guess deni-- denigrating-- imports.  So what-- what do you think, for example, of President Obama saying that he wants to-- double the level of U.S. exports in a very short period?

MICHAEL COX:

The way he could improve things would be to preach a little bit more free trade.  Open up-- trade restrictions.  Stop the protectionism.  Stop-- you know, punishing the Mexicans for driving trucks in America.  There was a lot of trade retaliation to that when his administration decided to move forward and stop Mexican truckers from-- driving, you know, up into America.


Well, out of that we got-- companies like Mary Kay.  The Mexicans were not allowed to import those products anymore to their country.  And a lot of household products at Kimberly Clark or Proctor Gamble might-- produce got hurt by that.  You know, we-- we've learned the lesson the bad way back in the 1920's and '30s with the Smoot Hawley Tariff that when you do-- protect an industry, you destroy it.


And-- so-- and then we learned the lesson the good way during-- off-- it was during the Clinton administration, actually.  And subsequently we learned-- that when you open up trade with NAFTA and-- the-- the-- also several rounds of GAT which were very positive that the markets will respond, that's a solution.  It's free trade.  Adam Smith taught us that 225 years ago with his book Wealth of Nations.

JIM GLASSMAN:

And is there something that the federal government could do to, let's say, subsidize exports?  Do you think that's a good idea?

MICHAEL COX:

No, I don't.  I think it-- it weakens an industry to subsidize it.  This is a lesson of life.  Really, the excellence of product is the only means by which a company needs to secure a market.  We are not subsidizing our services industries in this America, by and large.  We're not sub-- subsidizing them.  And look how well they're doing.  They're very competitive globally.

JIM GLASSMAN:

So-- excellence of product.  Where is the service sector growing?  Or service sector exports grow-- what-- what are the--

MICHAEL COX:

The medical services.  Look at the excellence of our medical services.  We're going to be doctors for the world.  People can afford to travel here.  Get surgery.  You know, and-- and get treated.  We have the world's best doctors.  Our education, we have four out of the top four universities in the world are American, seven out of the top 10, 19 out of the top 40.  We've got the world's best education.  We don't need protection.  What-- we have an excellent product.  And the students are coming here to get that.

JIM GLASSMAN:

What-- what about in-- in finance or insurance?

MICHAEL COX:

Well, I would say finance-- what-- certainly enjoyed-- that was one of our big service sector exports.  I haven't seen the most recent data on finance.  I know that with what happened in the financial sector, some of the foreigners may have shied away from now using financial advisors.  But I have to see where the-- I don't know where they're going to go to find better ones.  They-- they won't.

JIM GLASSMAN:

What about insurance?

MICHAEL COX:

Insurance, we have a deficit, actually.  We have-- but that's because the United States buys reinsurance from the rest of the world.  Once you take that reinsurance out of the equation we're almost exactly at a balance.  And you brought up an area, one I think-- which is a big opportunity for Americans.  To sell insurance to the rest of the world.

JIM GLASSMAN:

And reinsurance is what?  Insurance that backs up other insurance?

MICHAEL COX:

Right.  It's-- for example, when we hire Lloyds of London or--Swiss Re or something to back up our State Farm insurance.

JIM GLASSMAN:

You know--

MICHAEL COX:

We-- we're-- we're rich as a nation and we don't want to be vulnerable.  We can afford to not be vulnerable so we reinsure our insurance to the rest of the world.

JIM GLASSMAN:

Who are-- competitors in-- in services?  For example, I know that Germans do a great job of-- of exporting but I'm not sure whether-- is that just goods or is that goods and services?

MICHAEL COX:

It's mainly goods.  But the-- for example, we have-- competition crom-- coming from India in certain services.  Programming services.  We have competition coming from-- Russia in programming services.  There are some smart kids up in Siberia who are vanquished there with their parents, you know.  But they're-- so they're supplying services in the market too there.  Medical services, again, I go back to-- some of the medical travels as in-- going to India.  Or even Brazil.

JIM GLASSMAN:

Just quickly, I'd love to get your take on the economy.  You mentioned that you thought the United States would have a hard time growing at two percent.

MICHAEL COX:

Right.

JIM GLASSMAN:

I assume that's kind of long-term or medium-term.  How do you see the economy in the short-term and then in the longer-term?

MICHAEL COX:

I think we have a lot of weakness still in the short-term.  I think that there's been almost a wholesale destruction of the things that make-- a nation-- and has made-- has made an-- America-- strong.  There is a proper role for government in-- in-- in society, but the role is to create the environment in which people have an incentive to be honest, get educated, work instead of goof off, save their money, start a business, innovate, invent and-- and engage in productive risk taking.


Well, I-- I don't see anything coming out of the administration now which addresses those issues.  Instead the policy has been just spent and print money and that's going to solve the problem.  That's-- if that worked we would all be fabulously wealthy by the gov-- through the government spending and printing money.


What works is for you and me to have an incentive to be rich.  Well, I know I'm-- I know my taxes are going up.  Does that make me want to work?  I-- I get-- I get taxed when I work.  I get taxed for producing.  So I-- I think that we're going to-- it's going to be a decade of slow growth for America until we go back to some of the principles-- of what makes an economy strong.

JIM GLASSMAN:

But do you think we're on the verge of maybe changing, moving in the other direction?  I mean people talk about-- about what's going to happen in the next election or maybe even in the election after that.  That there's a kind of dissatisfaction with-- the interventions that the government has-- has already fostered on the economy.

MICHAEL COX:

I certainly hope so and increasingly I do think so.  I think that-- so many Americans are hot right now that-- as my fend-- friend-- Fred Smith at the Competitive Enterprise Institute likes to say, "America's molten."  And the question is what shape we're going to pour ourselves into.


Are we going to pour ourselves in the shape of Western European democratic socialist state?  You know, socialist democratic.  Demo-- democracy can bring you socialism once the majority of the people to vote themselves money from-- the minority.  Or are we going to pour ourselves more into something like a constitutional democracy?  I personally hope we get back more to a constitutional-- based system and-- and less where we put everything up for vote.

JIM GLASSMAN:

Thank you, Michael Cox.  I think that's a good place to end.

MICHAEL COX:

Thank you, Jim.

JIM GLASSMAN:

Before we go, I want to remind viewers that you can catch Ideas in Action whenever and wherever you choose.  To watch complete shows, just go to our website, IdeasinActionTV.com, or download a podcast from the iTunes store.  (MUSIC) That's it for this week's Ideas in Action.  I'm Jim Glassman.  Thanks for watching.

ANNOUNCER:

For more information visit us at IdeasInActionTV.com.  Funding for Ideas in Action is provided by Investor's Business Daily.  Every stock market cycle is led by America's never-ending stream of innovative new companies and inventions.  Investor's Business Daily helps investors find these new leaders as they emerge.  More information is available at Investors.com.  (MUSIC) This program is a production of Grace Creek Media and the George W. Bush Institute, which are solely responsible for its content.

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Featured Guests

W. Michael Cox

Director, O'Neil Center at SMU's Cox School of Business

W. Michael Cox is Director of the O'Neil Center for Global Markets and Freedom at Southern Methodist University's Cox School of Business, the focus of which is the study of the impact of competitive market forces on freedom and prosperity in the global economy.

Dr. Cox is formerly Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, where he served for 25 years advising the President on monetary and other economic policies.  He holds the unique distinction of being the Federal Reserve System's only Chief Economist in history. 

Dr. Cox co-authored the Fed's acclaimed series of annual report essays on capitalism, globalization and American living standards. He is also author of Myths of Rich and Poor, which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

He is Past President of the Association of Private Enterprise Education, a CATO Institute Adjunct Scholar, Senior Fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis, Senior Fellow at the Dallas Fed's Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute and a Distinguished Scholar of his undergraduate alma mater Hendrix College. His thirty-four years of university teaching include Virginia Tech, the University of Rochester and Southern Methodist University.  

Dr. Cox is also President and CEO of W. Michael Cox and Associates, LLP, a Dallas-based private consulting group. 

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