Dr. Paul London began his career as a State Department Foreign Service Officer (FSO) focusing on European economic issues. The U.S. was promoting a European Common Market at the time and pushing Great Britain to join. Our aim was to rebuild Western Europe to help us counter and defray the costs of dealing with the Communist threat. At the same time, we were struggling to keep European and other markets open to U.S. exports. Paul became an expert on U.S. farm exports. On July 4, 1964, however, he and other French-speaking FSOs were pulled out of Europe to go to Viet Nam.
After three years in Viet Nam, Paul was assigned to Italy but decided that U.S. politics and economic policy-making were more important than foreign assignments. So he left the State Department to get a doctorate at Harvard and then work as an economist in the office of Senator Walter Mondale who was a member of the Senate Banking Committee. The Small Business Subcommittee of the Banking Committee was the only place holding hearings on energy issues in 1971 so Paul immersed himself in energy issues. Then the first Oil Crisis hit and New England was hurt by the tripling of oil prices. Paul was asked to become the first Executive Director of the New England Economic Research Office, working mostly on energy questions with the chairs of the bi-partisan 25 member New England Congressional Caucus, future Speaker of the House “Tip” O’Neill (D) and Cong. Silvio Conte (R).
In 1978-9, Paul was Deputy Assistant Administrator for Conservation Policy in what was to become the Department of Energy. There he led the development of the first national appliance standards. From 1980 to 1993 he ran his own economic consulting firm focusing on energy, trade, and competition issues. He then joined the Clinton administration as Deputy Undersecretary of Commerce for Economics and Statistics. There he chaired the Department’s Committee on the Pricing Outlook and worked to increase business input to healthcare reform.
He moved to the business-oriented American Enterprise Institute (AEI) in 2000 to write “The Competition Solution – The Bipartisan Secret behind American Prosperity” (AEI Press 2005). The book argues that the Founders believed that free competition was in America’s DNA and should be central to the new country’s economic and political life. The book shows that consistent with that 200 year-old insight between 1968 and 2000 leaders of both American political parties promoted more intense competition despite fierce opposition from some of the country’s most powerful businesses and unions, e.g. the trucking companies and the Teamsters, the Big Three car companies and the UAW, Ma Bell and the Communications Workers of America (CWA). The increased competition that resulted, London argues, has done more to subdue inflation over the last 3 decades than the Federal Reserve.
London has a BA and PhD. in Political Economy from Harvard and has taught courses on Energy Politics, the history of the Progressive Era and Its Demise, and the Great Depression.