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Does the Pursuit of Status Drive Growth?

After Scott Sumner surveyed, with aghast, the uselessness of the leather-bound backgammon sets and other luxury goods on the FT’s HowtoSpendit website, he couldn’t help but post an argument for progressive consumption taxes. Sadly, his argument ... [Read More]

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A New Year’s Resolution Worth Making

Real Clear Politics By Edward Conard | December 31, 2014 With oil prices plunging below $60 a barrel, the U.S. economy growing at an annualized 5 percent last quarter, and the Dow soaring above 18,000, it's easy to overlook academic research ... [Read More]

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No Role for Fed in Income Distribution

NEW YORK TIMES by Ed Conard | October 27, 2014 The Federal Reserve has neither the mandate to redistribute wealth nor the tools to do it effectively. Should it try, it will likely fail. Were it to succeed, it would likely lower middle- and ... [Read More]

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Does Rat Race Waste Resources? Krugman and I disagree

Paul Krugman demonstrates a laughable misunderstanding of economics in his blog post “Having It and Flaunting It” yesterday. He mistakenly claims “status competition…is a zero-sum game … where a lot of our economic growth has simply been wasted, ... [Read More]

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Does Economics 101 Apply to Immigration?

Robert VerBruggen, a writer for RealClearPolicy, has written a pithy summary of Harvard labor economist’s, George Borjas’, recently published tough-minded book, Immigration Economics. VerBruggen writes: “[Borjas] lays out evidence that ... [Read More]

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Krugman Ignores Failed Keynesian Predictions

    In his blog post yesterday, Paul Krugman claimed: “We have a pretty good model of aggregate demand, and of how monetary and fiscal policy affect that demand. … And it remains true that Keynesians have been hugely right on the ... [Read More]

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June Employment Worse than it Appears

Mort Zuckerman’s claim in today’s Wall Street Journal—that an increase of 288,000 jobs in June is the result of a 523,000 drop in full-time employment offset by an 800,000 increase in part-time employment—motivated me to look more carefully at ... [Read More]

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Rescuing Subprime Borrowers Won’t Fix the Economy

Fortune Magazine By Edward Conard | June 11, 2014 In their new book, House of Debt, Atif Mian and Amir Sufi make a persuasive argument that a decline in consumption caused by a drop in home prices slowed the economic recovery more than a weakened ... [Read More]

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Scott Sumner makes a noteworthy point about taxes

“You cannot put the burden of a tax on someone unless you cut into his or her consumption. If the Obama tax increases did not cause Gates and Buffett to tighten their belts, then they paid precisely 0% of that tax increase. Someone else paid, even if ... [Read More]

realclearpol

Piketty and Krugman Admit the Laffer Curve Is Real

Real Clear Politics By Edward Conard | April 23, 2014 Liberal and conservative economists disagree sharply over the extent to which a lower marginal tax rate motivates talented workers to take the risks and suffer the consequences necessary to ... [Read More]

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Brookings reports decline in income inequity

A new Brookings report, “Income Growth and Income Inequality: The Facts May Surprise You” reports that after-tax income inequality declined between 2000 and 2010, and likely declined through 2012 (the most recently reported numbers). While it’s ... [Read More]

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Alan Blinder Wages War on the Facts

Alan Blinder claims “in the late 1970s, the U.S. labor markets began to turn ferociously against workers with low skills and education,” that “technology was clearly the major villain,” and that “the U.S. government piled on” by “[waging a] war on ... [Read More]

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Response to Austan Goolsbee on inflation

Austan Goolsbee, former chair of President Obama's Council of Economic Advisers, makes a contradictory argument for loose monetary policy in a WSJ column on January 10th, 2014. Goolsbee claims that it’s time for “critics of quantitative easing” who ... [Read More]

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Larry Summers & The Causes of Slow Growth

In his December 15th Financial Times blog post, Larry Summers continues warming to the notion that the slow recovery stems from permanent structural problems and not a temporary Keynesian lull in demand. Presumably, then, optimal economic policy ... [Read More]

MiddleClass

Shamus Khan Declares War on the 1%

Shamus Khan declares war on the 1 percent in The New York Times claiming economics is zero sum and that U.S. growth has not trickled down to the middle class despite the U.S. economy and employment having grown twice as fast the high wage economies ... [Read More]

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Declining U.S. Poverty

A recently released study by a number of Columbia University professors, extends an approximation of the Census Department’s recently developed supplemental poverty measure (SPM) back in time to show that poverty has declined dramatically in the ... [Read More]

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Equity, Not Inflation, Drives Innovation and Growth

Real Clear Politics By Edward Conard | November 27, 2013 It has finally dawned on left-leaning economists like Paul Krugman and Larry Summers that the U.S. economy is not suffering from a temporary lull in demand but rather from a structural ... [Read More]

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Yellen Should Focus on Innovation, Not Inflation

Bloomberg View By Edward Conard | November 21, 2013 President Barack Obama has shown a determination to redistribute wealth by increasing government spending, despite unsustainable deficits. We shouldn’t be surprised if Janet Yellen, the ... [Read More]

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The case for hostage taking

POLITICO By Edward Conard | October 14, 2013 As the budget and debt ceiling-standoff continues in Washington, many are asking the wrong question: Which party will pay a political price for the government shutdown? Democrats are comparing ... [Read More]

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We don’t need more humanities majors

Washington Post By Edward Conard | July 30, 2013 It’s no secret that innovation grows America’s economy. But that growth is constrained in two ways. It is constrained by the amount of properly trained talent, which is needed to produce ... [Read More]

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What we can learn from the Fed’s failures

Fortune Magazine By Edward Conard | July 1, 2013 Bernanke's efforts have failed to produce a robust recovery and they've underscored the need for lower government spending. After Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke announced the Fed would ... [Read More]

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How to Fix America

Which Tools Should Washington Use? Unleash the Private Sector By Edward Conard | May 13, 2013 In "Can America Be Fixed?" (January/February 2013), Fareed Zakaria argues that American democracy has grown increasingly dysfunctional since the 1970s ... [Read More]

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Ed Conard on The Marc Steiner Show

Ed Conard discusses President Obama's proposed budget with Margaret Flowers, co-director of It’sOurEconomy.US, and Scott Lilly, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. ... [Read More]

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The Goal of Tax Policy

People often view debates over economic policy as debates between selfish libertarians, who seek to keep what they earn, and generous communitarians seeking to help the poor. Communitarians recognize that talent is randomly distributed among ... [Read More]

politco

Why tax hikes fall short for cliff talks

POLITICO By Edward Conard | December 12, 2012 To accelerate private-sector growth, Republicans will need all their negotiating leverage to minimize taxes on investors by maximizing spending cuts. In a world where the majority of voters garner ... [Read More]

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Warren Buffett Is Wrong About Taxes

Bloomberg By Edward Conard | December 3, 2012 The U.S. is holding a debate that is critical to its future: whether to tax, redistribute and consume income that would otherwise be invested. Warren Buffett has weighed in, supporting higher taxes ... [Read More]

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The Book of Ed

Huffington Post By Howard Fineman | July, 2012 Ed Conard's book Unintended Consequences is onThe New York Times best-seller list, but it was hard to find at my neighborhood Washington bookstore, Politics and Prose, deep in what you could call ... [Read More]

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What Obama Didn’t Learn From the 1990s

The Wall Street Journal By Edward Conard | August, 2012 With the prospects for a postrecession economic rebound fading, it has grown increasingly obvious that the United States must eventually raise taxes or cut spending. President Obama claims ... [Read More]

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Inside the List

By Gregory Cowles Published: July 6, 2012 UNEQUAL EXCHANGE: For a few weeks now, two drastically different arguments about America’s income gap have been bouncing around the hardcover nonfiction list. In “The Price of Inequality” (currently at ... [Read More]

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Ed Conard’s interview with the Heritage Foundation

Edward Conard spent 14 years as a partner at Bain Capital, the most scrutinized company in America. But these days, he’s in the news for another reason. As the author of “Unintended Consequences,” Conard has challenged the conventional wisdom about ... [Read More]

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Please Don’t Soak the Rich

A successful economy requires outsize rewards for the able (and lucky) few who overcome very long odds to produce valuable innovations that others are willing to pay for. By Brian M. Carney In the wake of the 2008 financial panic, a narrative has ... [Read More]

Future of Capitalism

Ira Stoll’s review in “Future of Capitalism”

Mitt Romney's private equity firm, Bain Capital, has been in the news lately because of the Republican presidential candidate's record there, which is being attacked by President Obama. But Mr. Romney turns out not to be the only participant in ... [Read More]

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How to Get Our Savings on the Move Again

      Harvard Business Review Friday June 8, 2012 by Edward Conard Some politicians claim that unsystematic loan losses, like the $2 billion loss JP Morgan recently suffered, significantly increase the risk of another ... [Read More]

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How America Can Lead the Global Economy

What I learned at Bain Capital working with Mitt Romney: outsourcing is good and America's future isn't manufacturing, it's ideas. Foreign Policy Magazine By Edward Conard | June 7, 2012 The United States must integrate its economy more fully ... [Read More]

BusinessWeek

Businessweek review by Roger Lowenstein

With his bashing of private equity, Barack Obama has given Mitt Romney a huge opening. Edward Conard, Romney’s friend and former partner at Bain Capital, is eagerly seizing that opportunity with his manifesto for private investment, Unintended ... [Read More]

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How Roe v. Wade Empowered U.S. Investors

Bloomberg By Edward Conard It’s possible, but unlikely, that small differences in culture alone can explain the greater economic success of the U.S. relative to Europe and Japan after the introduction of the Internet. The U.S. has poured ... [Read More]

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Edward Conard on “Big Think”

Ed Conard: The Man Behind the 'Most Hated Book in America' Jonathan Fowler and Elizabeth Rodd | May 21, 2012 Due to his argument that income inequalty is a sign that the economy is working, The New York Times called former Bain Capital Managing ... [Read More]

TheTakeAway

NPR’s “The Takeaway”

NPR The Takeaway Thursday, May 03, 2012 Guests: Pippa Malmgren Produced by: Ben Gottlieb Over the past year, "We are the 99 percent" has become a near-ubiquitous expression of solidarity against income inequality. It's growing and many cite it ... [Read More]