Vernon Orval Watts was one of the leading free-market economists of the World War II and postwar eras. Watts was hired by Leonard Read in 1939 to be the economist for the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, of which Leonard was executive director. Watts thereby became the first full-time economist to be employed by a chamber of commerce in the United States. Read later made Watts the leading economist at the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE). See Murray Rothbard's memorial in Making Economic Sense.
Ludwig von Mises: "If one wants to study the reasons for Europes backwardness, it would be necessary to examine the manifold laws and regulations that prevented in Europe the establishment of an equivalent of the American drug store and crippled the evolution of chain stores, department stores, super markets and kindred outfits." - Planning for Freedom