Ed Conard at Mitt Romney’s 2016 Offsite: How Free Market Advocates Can Regain Control of the GOP

I addressed my friend and former colleague Mitt Romney’s 2016 offsite conference on how advocates of free enterprise could regain control of the Republican Party. I argue that if we ignore the true causes of growing income inequality—an abundance of unskilled labor in an economy constrained by properly trained talent and its willingness to take risk—and blame high wage-earners, it will lead to policies that slow (middle- and working-class wage) growth. One implication is that spreading constrained resources over more low-skilled workers expands employment at the expense of slower lesser-skilled productivity and wage growth relative to the rest of the economy. I suspect this is a key driver behind Trump’s support among Reagan Democrats. Given these constraints, I lay out a blueprint for raising middle and working class wages in a world with a near-unlimited supply of lesser-skilled labor. These themes are are featured in my new book, The Upside of Inequality: How Good Intentions Undermine the Middle Class.” Pre-order a copy here.