tv Michael Strain The American Dream Is Not Dead CSPAN March 22, 2020 12:30am-1:32am EDT
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in the handlers, as he spent cities. >> good evening everybody will get started welcome to the american enterprise institute. and director of social cultural and constitutional studies. ai. it is my great pleasure tonight talking you to discussion of important new book by my good friend and colleague, michael read michael is the director of economic studies. ai is a widely published scholar labor economic public finance and many other areas in his new book is an exceptionally clear and broad overview of the state of an american economic life. the actual conditions we face, the trends, over recent decades and others relate to some of the dark stories that we hear in our politics about the conditions that americans are experiencing also where profits are.
any sort of saved things that are much better than the mode of our politics and the critics of the market economy would sometimes suggest that we do face risks in the navy that mood and those critics, are the among the most important of those risks. it is a controversial piece an essay as a conservative i am resistant to be turned up until everything is fine. but it is very powerfully argue of pieces and as you'll see in here tonight, very thoroughly supported thesis in the book. joining us to respond to my arguments, is richard recent one of the smartest social analyst and policy thinkers in washington. richard is the whitehead chair is senior fellow in economics study the brookings institution is director of the initiative on the future of the middle class and the the author of many important articles in a number of important books including the most recently dream borders and how the market middle class is letting everyone else in the dust and why that is a problem
and what to do about it. our format is going to be very simple. mike will offer us an overview of the argument of the book and richard both overt response and i will moderate a brief conversation between the two of them and then we will draw you into the conversation with some q&a so that was welcome michael. [applause]. >> thank you all so much for coming this a very generous introduction. mike: the title of the book contains the argument i am making wishes the american dream and is not dead. in the subtitle makes a secondary argument which is the populism so it is actually, an excellent, there's really no reason for any of you treated anything on the inside of it. "the american dream is not dead". what do we mean by the american dream. let's just start from the top. there many definitions and many
different things to many different people the freedom, choose how to live your life, to have a good life in a meaningful work and family and strong community can promote retirement and own a home con ownership is a big part of the american dream in the popular imagination. i would argue that a key part of the dream is based on economic success no matter what kind of specific flavor of the american dream you're most interested in, and the mentor your particular definition is an think everybody's definition involves a large economic component loosely defined. the idea that your kids, will grow up to be better off than you, and the idea that you can do better your self through hard work and that you can see your economic outcome advance. and then the idea that there's a rags to riches component. also a strong idea that the idea that you can be poor and grow to be present in sort of thing and
this is the kind of part of the american dream that a focus on in this book. the economic influence because it think it is so central to everybody's, shared understanding of this important motivating national contacts. some additional conversation assumes that the american dream is dead. president trump with his usual violence and said that the market dream is dead. this was of course the same during the primaries of the 2016 cycle. and after he was elected, his inaugural address. and how terrible everything is pretty he's changing that in the last two months which is good but this is sort of been the defining characteristic of his presidency. so they tell the story about his family. that about house how his family came to america and did not have a lot of education and how this success across generations.
he told the story back when he was running for president in 2016 as an example of the american dream being alive. in the past few years he says the same stories with the same set of facts except the incident to argue that path is no longer possible. the american dream has disappeared. elisabeth warren, the rich get richer. in the game is rigged. it bernie sanders, for many of the marketing has become a nightmare. josh, 70 percent of americans have not seen an increase in 30 years. and since the american economy is a billionaire investor. in the american dream is lost. referring to the dark age we are living through the says that the american dream is going. my point is that this is bipartisan. it's something you hear from elected officials from both parties. in viciousness you hear from public opinion leaders and from public election rules.
this can do this. my point is it is misplaced and michael is not to be a contrarian printed markets have high expectations for their economic outcome and their wage growth and for the success their children will have is a good thing. and i get does face serious economic challenges and i spent a chapter in this book discussing something i think is most serious. also social challenges. i'm not trying to diminish or sugarcoat or to ignore any of the real problems these days. and soon i am trying to be accurate and i'm trying to be accurate about the broad picture. of the american experience. how american life is experienced by typical people by most people, in those circumstances. i think that we are focusing so much of the pockets of real struggle that we are confusing those pockets of struggle for the common experience facing people. i think the american people
comparing that their experiences is the same as the experience of people in places that who are really suffering and struggling. i don't want to deny that suffering for the struggle. i do want to say that those are atypical situations. and at the common experiences that much more positive than the narrative suggested. so simple assertions, the economy is delivering for market workers. over the past three decades, the quality of life has improved significantly over the past several decades. middle income jobs have been hollowed out. and they create and destroys. we hear a lot about the destruction and creative destruction. and if you look, you see a new metal may be starting to form where the old middle has been eroded. america's characterized by a poor economical ability. i made a couple of other
assertions as well. the american dream matters and we need to make sure we secure the dream for the next generation. so very briefly. i will stand up here for about 20 minutes that i will give richard and the opportunity to respond. some not able to cover all of that. but i will do the best i can. i thought it would be better to have some real disagreements. so the economy is delivering for workers. weekly earnings for in the bottom 10 percent is one over one third faster than the growth of the medium over the last several years. an employment rate for workers is further below the long-term average and the income for college roger is currently. and going faster than overall average wages since last february. the argument is that the gains from the hot economy were only
during and having the people of the top of the game is rigged against workers who were not at the very top. that is just not supported by the data. right now currently the recovery is managing a reaching wide arts of the labor market. my second argument, wages have not been standing for decades. this is a graph of wages. this is a graph of the wages of nonsupervisory workers. these are production workers in manufacturing, construction workers and nonsupervisory workers and services. these include this group of workers includes about 80 percent of all workers. about four in five workers pretty can think of these folks as workers, not managers. how i have done is swap the average wage for workers in that group, and adjusted for inflation. and i want to make some observations. what you see is that through the
1960s and going into the 1970s, there was rapid and sustained wage growth for this group of workers. then went to see, is from the mid- 1970s to the 1990s, this group of workers did not do so well. any seat stagnant and declining wages. since the early to mid 1990s, ic wages going up. i don't see wages being stagnant. either times where they were growing but on the whole of your choices to characterize this and stagnant or as increasing, i think it is quite clear that over the last three decades, the most accurate way to characterize this is that wages have been increasing. let's look at this. it is common to go back to 1973. in one of the things i want to do in this book is to argue that a comparison between 1973 in the year 2020, is too long of a
window to make comparisons about it. but it is, to go back to 1973. wages have grown 23 percent since 1973 and i would not call that stagnant or spectacular. but it certainly would not call it stagnant. i would argue that we should not compare to 1973. this debate, here in washington often gets hung up on what price index to use. to adjust for inflation. i want to say, that what we really should debating is the starting year. we should spend less time debating the price index and more time debating the actual. that we are making the comparison over. so why do the default and star in 1973 or 1979 when you see that there is this 30 year period where wages have been going up. i argued to start in 1990. when politicians argue wages
have been's decade stagnant they refer to their wages so wages of people are currently working. 1973 was 47 years ago. the purpose of the policy debate, mra sent year, hear this is more relevant to people are walking, seems a pretty straightforward. 1990 was a business cycle peak. the summer of 1990 is close to a structural break in the series. seems to occur about the mid-nineties. what, i mean, by that is if you start in 1973, we are doing is you're comparing and inviting the period of stagnation and decline to period of growth. and that's me seems to be statistically and advisable. i think instead calculate growth over the period where wages are going and calculate stagnation or print where wages are stagnating and out illness. the two if you're trying to get a handle on what wages are
doing. 1990 was rough for 30 years ago pretty her love talk about several decades. this seems like a reasonable length of time to go back. it is harder to adjust for inflation the further back in time you go. one of the ways we can sidestep all of these debates about which to go is just not try to go back all those years. if you go back ten years on the price index increase a lot more strongly than if you go by. if you about 20, they're more strongly than if you go back 30. when wait not to get narrowed down the price in this debate is to focus on a shorter time. my main point is that even if you do want to go back to the 70s, it is really not a complete picture to argue that wages have been stagnant. instead, i think you can characterize the two different periods so if you want to go back to the 70s fine, we should be saying is that wages stagnated throughout the 70s and throughout the 80s and
into the 1990s and then since the early 90s, wages have been crying. seems to me to be much more than a complete characterization of the behavior of wages. so 33 percent growth, over the last 30 years. it is improperly described as stagnant. slow growth and top 1 percent. it is a significant increase in purchasing power. we should not be content with it. not stagnant, but not fast enough, and let's acknowledge that it is different than it what is happening at the top. but is more wrong than right to describe this as stagnant. instead of one third increases of purchasing power is significant. this is a graph that adjust for wages and you see that the closer you get to the present,
the more the pricing and you another argument putting back so far. what a person's also going, medium wages and by 24 percent. wages for the 10 percent and one by about one third. twenty percentile by about one third and wages for the 30th percentile has grown roughly brothers will reduce you can argue medium wages have gone up by a quarter in the working class and low income grown by a third. again, not stagnation. three different measures of income if you look at the post tax and post transfer and cancel you see that that has none of my 44 percent median household, market is none of my 21 percent. if you look in the bottom 20 percent music that the transference has gone up by two thirds and marketed him has gone up by 44 percent and again, not stagnant. lower in the top 1 percent, yes but not stagnant.
if you look at the income series and you look at a standard measure of inequality, what you see is a significant increase in quality in the 1980s and 1990s printed and then since the great recession, when concerned about inequality exploded, you actually see a 7 percent decline in this measure of inequality using the transfer incomes and he look at marketing incomes amusing increase of about 2 percent. this is another example of how the narrative about american workers has not kept up with the data. wages were stagnant in the 1970s and 1980s. has not been true for three decades inequality was going rapidly in the 80s 90s for the past decade is been going growing much less rapidly. this is more straightforward measure. the ratio with the earnings from the 90th percentile.
another measures as well. you see these also have not showing any significant growth in inequality over that. enter people care about inequality. covered this very briefly. this chart here shows, concerned about inequality, grafton again factual inequality. some public perception about whether or not the rich are getting richer versus actual behavior of the coefficient. in fact the correlation is negative. if you look at this graph, this is concerned about inequality and wage growth. and you see, that wages are growing throughout the 1990s and concerned about inequality is going down. so combine all of those three facts together. measured inequality is going up, concerned about inequality is going down. wages are going up.
this estimate is about people care about how they are doing they care about the actual behavior of the rich poor gap. my third big point. life is better decades ago. i like to show the scruff. it is a graph of air conditioning. a very important to me. personally. and you see, significant growth in the share homes with air conditioning on this. and perhaps more seriously, have been significant advances in medical care printed and in transportation. the idea life would somehow better pretty 40 years ago, even for the white working class, really borders on the observed it and you actually take argument seriously, it is impossible to imagine as many people of anybody would actually go back in time 40 years ago. no matter what their current situation is now.
middle-class jobs. this is a chart that shows the hollowing out of the shelf distribution. uc employment losses in the middle. production workers and clerical workers, these are the jobs with a lot of political failures during the trump era. and you see an increase in most of the low-wage jobs along with increases in higher jobs. in this event of course a considerable economic dislocation and considerable suffering the lives of many people. a collision between expectations and reality where expectations were not filled. and is a very serious reality of americans economic and social life. it was the numbers on it, if you look at low middle and high occupations amusing that those
constituted 31 and 3 percent of total employment, roughly equal spread. and he looked from 1970 to the present, you see the middle occupations only constitute for about 23 percent of total unemployment. that is a significant decline. but what happened to these workers. a whole lot of them ended up moving into higher income bracket. so you see in the start of the redlines show that the share households making between 500k, passes on down considerably. they've been replaced with households that are earning more than 100k. they've not been replaced with households earning less than 35k. so this is a distraction. in some positives. i will skip over this in the second time. and if you focus, if on the
production jobs in the construction jobs in the clerical jobs, and getting all of the political tension from edc their declining. that is the blue line but if you look, you see there's actually significant growth in the types of middle school and middle wage jobs. these are healthcare support occupations. transportation occupations education and training occupations. personal care and services. this because there's a lot of growth in the chef occupational category. apparently we want more chefs. i have a list. i was lying. head cooks and food service managers are right there at the bottom. the moral of the story is it creates distress but also creates and we hear a lot about the distraction but not a lot about the creativity so what is happening in those middle-aged occupations, it's what happens at the dynamic capitalist economy where technology comes
along and replaces some workers replaces some tasks. that creates new opportunities workers need to take advantage of those opportunities. public policy needs to assist workers in doing so. but the moaning, economic change and attempting to stop it is going to dip hurting the very workers that you're trying to help. afford mobility. rags to riches. i was explain this in a great detail. i did some calculations to see what is share of people who were born in the bottom, make it to the top. it is about 7 percent. what share people who were born in the top, i get to the bottom and i can't read that. looks like is 8 percent. so this still happens in america. it is not common. it is not the norm. it is not something to be
expected if you born into the bottom 20 percent. t you can go from the bottom to the very top in america. if you want to cover that. and look at rags to comfort. uc considerably more upward mobility. people born in the bottom 20 percent into the next quintile. end up rising into the middle class and a pretty good clip. the measure of upward mobility is sort of relative rank thing and instead i just want to ask are you doing better than your parents did. and what they've done is these calculations is look at people who are in the 40s today. how can their household income. and if you're 40 something years old today, are you earning more than your parents earned when your parents the same age.
and about three quarters of the people who are in the 40s today have a howard higher household income and when their parents were the 40s. if you are born in the bottom 2e 40 -year-olds have a higher household income the present when the parents were in the 40s this strikes me as considerable upward mobility. how much more, a bike 54 percent rated and if you're raised in the bottom 20 percent, it's a bike 153 percent. so these are not trivial games. without earnings. that income including government transfer. i like to man and i say, of the men who were in the 40s, how many of them earn more money in the labor market and the father earned when the father was in his 40s. there's about 60 percent if you're raised in the bottom, it is about 80 percent.
the reason it is 60 percent is because people in the 40s today who were raised at the top, all of them actually earning less than their dance did. so the central tendencies a pushoff but there is still the norm, foreman to outline their fathers, and if you were raised in the low income bracket reviewer race in the working class three quarters to 80 percent outline their fathers. how much more, raise the bottom, about 30 percent. i have some material prepared on the populist threat to the american dream. but i'm going home and that because the issue of time. i will advance through all of this. i copied this pretty much verbatim from when it published in the washington post today. what you really should do is buy
the book. and then by the paper and see if i am consistent. but i would now like to invite richard after the stage freedom i think him for doing this. ai is a competition of ideas. the ideas i am tackling in this book, are difficult. and they're not straightforward. there's plenty of room for reasonable disagreement so when i was thinking about how to book this book event to together, that it would be better to have some of that reasonable disagreement on display here. rather than me just sent a parent present my version of this situation. i was thinking to myself, was most thoughtful person i could find to present a compelling counter and he wasn't available so that when i asked my friend richard if he could come,. [laughter]. and richard was happy to do so. welcome richard. [applause].
richard: thank you michael for that kind introduction. he is a privilege to be here. michael has written a clear and compelling it grounded and aired temptingly well written book. congratulations. i displayed it very briefly outline some and then focus on some areas than think that there will be mutual disagreement. and then general comments. and it will focus a little bit on what the incentives are pretty is it true that we are able and is fully because it is working for us in some ways. so let's start with the agreement. i agree there's an understatement on both many of the broad trends that are affecting us. the middle class are being killed. the american college, president trump, etc. i think that is true. the bipartisan overstatement. as a problem in fact wages, have been solid. not spectacular and not stagnant. those are the right words to be using. in his right to split the post
world war economy and brought into three phases. a very strong growth followed by stagnation followed by more growth. though found a strong in fact one of the problems of the debate is the postwar years. that's an exception we are having an economy that is borne by an average of 4 percent a year. almost 25 years. you'll get an lot of upward mobility. a lot of people getting better off. and in that era of american history, was a shadow over content great debates. because at some level particularly those who are old enough to remember those years, thought it was norman it was not the norm. we agree the trade is good. in the long run, the china shop, the u.s. manufacturing was real. but it was small and mostly geographically targeted for it is magnified in certain places pretty estimated that impacted
anti- populist and for the need of limited government relatively straightforward as michael is but it seems to me to think about this that it takes two to tango the government can provide insurance insecurity and human capital and rather than see the two oppose each other and like the two arms that you might put out too much of one and then you might fall a little go for anti- on - - anxiety and i am reminded of the conservative in my home country to make a very strong free-market argument on the
grounds you never have to worry where your healthcare is coming from more than risk of move i don't plan to get into that particular debate here but as a result you can have a strong and active government and an open economy i would argue it is a false choice to choose between the two on the left and on the right with the biggest dangers that we face they are stuck in the air are defined by her attitude towards government. the bigger question is what are our goals and then to achieve those goals rather than having the pro- antigovernment approach very often i will give one example
until the tax reform record of trump for every dollar every us federal government spent on trade assistance for every single dollar that we spend we spent $25 on tax subsidies to the elite. i would argue quite strongly we should be spending that kind of money but on the workers who might be affected by trade and no wonder people think it isn't working for them but $25 go to elite politics and what shows the difference between the post- tax and transfer inequality levels but the government has done a lot. i will be brief but the second
thing is that having agreed to some of these it is not death but one thing in particular you can make an argument as we run the project designed to help the middle class it has been doing quite well the cumulative percentage change going back to 1979 so this shows the income growth for the top 20 percent and the blue line below is the bottom 20 percent in the red line is the middle quintile. so that 80 percent plus increase of household income but of those income groups is twice as much over the distribution. so that made the but the cbo
includes all taxes and transfers. and if you take out the democratic healthcare the bottom one drop significantly the reason it has kept up with the top 20 percent is government and that's a story for government provided health care subsidies. the way that i interpret this that over the longer time. the markets of the top 20 percent the government has served the bottom 20 percent reasonably well but the bottom is not being as well served on page 87 i find it difficult for downward mobility with these quintile transitions will not disastrously cheer but if you want more people rising up to the top 20 percent then people have to
fall out. but i more subtle that the 20 percent at the time that there is not more movement it's lower than another country but more importantly we should ask ourselves how it is if you are the top 20 percent and i would say some of the ways that we do that through the higher education system are basically unfair. i also think the contribution for the downward mobility is a different chart the what michael showed but that your chances are better off going from 90 percent born in 1940 and then that eighties are all kinds of issues with this chart adjusting for household size et cetera. but then the chances to be better off than your parents or the distribution of that
growth and what they show is what it would be like if we held in a quality at the same level. that ship is it is a change of the distribution of growth so there are distributional problems to this story so i want to make a couple of bullet points the first is as michael suggested you can choose your story and then your data later we do not propose to get into a longer session but i want to make the point this is cumulative of wages and i have a different data set but i put that up on his data set to assure you and then with my data but this is his preferred time. and low wage growth.
great. now if i use the median no question but be careful if you say typical american celerity brought it down. now i want to get it lower so we use the inflation measure the one that michael does not like. there are seven people who care about this. [laughter] for what it's worth you can argue one is better for wages so anyway now let me go lower. so now i'll go back to late seventies and then i get lower and i met 3 percent.
and now i have a really nice drop. but now to make big arguments what is the right one or the wrong one but that was why that year why you only looking at men? there are women now. but we should be careful we don't choose the narrative to find the facts that support it. so i will make two brief comments. number one expectations really matter if you can't read the whole book read the exchange i think about these issues right now so what do people expect? how much wage growth do they expect?
why? because of their race or gender? and quantitatively people doing qualitative work they compare themselves to previous generations thinking they are like them so working-class white men that may be the wrong thing to do. the last thing i want to talk about then why is it we are drawn to the stories? politicians will do it so it has to stay broke so i can fix it america is dead now he brought it back to life according to his latest statement but media narratives are always drawn to extremes but the pessimism dangers are greater to the left than the right the government has done
a lot more so it's true to offer more government investment and then to legitimately say where did the money go? the government has done pretty well. this brings it closer to home but the fact that something of intellectual with pessimism and polemicist them it is a pessimistic polemic to say in the middle of the 19th century it is essential for any man that knows anything of the world the study of people looking at book reviewers asking people to rate the intelligence of the review it is much more clever than the review. that is stupid about optimism into many of our minds.
and the danger selling books as we are but that danger to overstate the problem to justify is great indeed especially if they are radical solutions to gain a larger share to get more people to sign up to our idea it is attractive with the incentive to do so and even more to michael's credit he can produce an argument that i agree with it is provocative but not polemical and to be reasonable and modulated and responsible but without any loss of intellectual brilliance. and that just makes it even more annoying altogether. thank you michael. [applause]
>> thank you both. congratulations on a great book thank you for being here with great commentary i am here to open things up for the people in the room. i want to give you a chance to respond to richard anything that requires an answer? >> no. >> great. [laughter] >> but i will push you on one point it seems and some of the arguments you are having with the friends on the right. there is a lot of traipsing carefully around the question of women. >> less carefully in the case of tucker carlson. >> i think he described of women other than the workforce as a disaster.
>> but i wondered if first of all do you thank you do that yourself? there are places in the book you mentioned men have had it worse. certainly populism is driven they have had it worse but there's not a lot of discussion what you make about that fact i assume the debates we are having that men are lagging and women are rising is one cause of the other or the resulting politics best understood through the lens of the difference between them? what you make of the economic effect? >> i didn't want to get bogged down in discussions of specific specifics. but i am here wanted to try and focus on the picture but since you are asking male
workers were relatively more educated have been doing fine. but if you are a man and did not graduate high school you are in bad shape. the opportunities available to you in the labor market are significantly eliminated that is the minority of workers of course. but it is still imperative we have better public policy to advances economic opportunity to those workers and also that that group of workers particularly in those states have been driving current political. >> so you're saying they're not wrong? >> there it is not wrong to think there opportunities are less than they would hope for. they are not wrong to think it's less of they could have reasonably expected when they were growing up.
but the conservative and where i take issue with the friends on the right the conservative response to this reality has been deeply disappointing. >> we had a major debate in the eighties and nineties about welfare reform in this country. conservatives got very accustomed to making the argument low income african-american single moms should be expected to work. the argument somehow that was beyond their capability or their stance in life was denying them agency that there was economic opportunity public policy was corrected. the bill that eventually passed into law has the phrase social responsibility in the title they reformed welfare but now talking in the homeland with college
education now all of a sudden they are victims of a rigged game and the victims of the elites and the wall street elites open up china to free trade to enrich themselves that eviscerated them at their expense and the conversation on the right ask is if they do not have responsibility or agency and they are able to take advantage of those opportunities that they have i find that disconnect to be extremely troubling and i also think the narrative on the right is a little bit wrong we need their policies for those workers but there is ample economic opportunity for many of those workers in the current economy more than the public debate would suggest. finally i would say they word respond better to a different
message and we need our leaders to give that a shot. >> the stagnant wage story is true everyone disagrees with that but significant wage growth for women if you put them together to have a different story but economically the rise of women is hugely beneficial to the economy in the labor force. but what is at stake is the fact the capacity those that are only focused on men. and that's a good reason why that is wrong but to take seriously the idea the capacity of men is significantly less than it was today the requirement is less
than it was but the expectation men have of themselves and the women still have is the breadwinning capacity. so there is a lag between the ability of the men in the current market and the ongoing expectation to empower women that they should do so. and that could be at the heart of many problems we are seeing. >> please think about what questions you want to have but one further related question you begin with the premise the american dream is about economics. but then you wonder why people complain even though the economy is doing fine maybe it's not about economics fundamentally. >> that may be true it is a
complicated concept a lot of the complaints i think are driven by the great recession which was an economic event that was tremendously disruptive millions of workers in household suffered enormously as a consequence. and that disruption is the spark that lit the fire that we are still living through. this is part of a pattern if you look back at the last 150 years or the world the leading democracies you see the regularity of there is a financial crisis followed by a severe recession you see in of string one - - an upswing in the large increase in the legislature held by populist candidates. the united states has said that pattern the financial
crisis we experienced is much larger and stands to reason it would take longer for that system and there's other structural reasons why we have a presidential system and not a parliamentary system. i see this being driven largely by economics people experience life as participants in their communities. there are a lot of times of trouble and i am very open to the idea this is more complicated. >> let's take questions. >>.
>> what is populism and how could it kill the american dream? >> populism is a system of animosity. and it has different flavors i would argue there is more than one threat right now but the characteristic is the people fighting against the elites. it could kill the american dream in two ways. one way is policies. and populist response to be
perceived of the white working class of the presidents trade for. the most salient expression in terms of actual public policy. look at the trade war consumer prices a variety of products that households can buy. it could hurt the stocks that are supposed to be helped and most recent evidence suggest the trade war has reduced manufacturing employment rather than increase manufacturing employment. these policies are not bad for american workers. bernie sanders running a populist campaign that agenda would be a disaster for american workers and households even though he would only get a small fraction in and of itself. the policies affect long-term prosperity.
the president's extreme animosity that the united states role and the destination for the best and brightest for the world to come the direct threat of long-term prosperity they attack on institutions and his attacks on the governance that are carried out on behalf of the people against the system to threaten long-term prosperity with those institutions like the fed and weaken the culture of governance. bernie sanders would have similar tax and said that billionaire should not exist that exactly the opposite message the president of the united states should be rooting for more billionaires not less the president should not be sending a message success should be punished and the successes something to despise.
there are serious risks of the policies and the posture but it is deeply damaging to the american dream that precisely because it is not true the game is rigged. precisely because it is true hard work pays off. workers enjoy the fruits of their labor. incomes are not stagnant. america is upwardly mobile. if they could reduce their energy and sense that is false if they work less hard the economic outcome will suffer. and not just the policies. the narrative is also deeply troubling. >> i don't thank you can
discount the idea of the political economy never use the word rigged it is for those that are in positions of power. there is a strong case the housing market is rigged but there are other examples it is a complexity it is not rigged for the well-educated. and with middle america and there is some truth to that. >> and then where i come from
with that anti- elite that singularity to it. and that is the real distinction to be very dangerous and i agree with that but also greed and pessimism which is the argument here. and to be very careful. and to take seriously the problems because capitalism generally runs on optimism because that will pay off in the future and that utility coming from that investment. if you start to believe that it won't, why move for risk college are starting a business?
if you cease to believe in a better future and with capitalism and everything is not right but then we go to hell in a hand cart. >> there is time for one more quick question. >>. >> it sounds like you are simply defending the status quo at all cost but all taxes with the crisis goes up not just tariffs income tax and property tax or any that you apply will eventually reach
the price tag with increasing prices so free trade that trump did in the trade war is bad because it makes consumer product go up to make some all go up not just tariffs. one of the things i would mention. have you ever heard of the credit school in britain the idea is is not that the economy is rigged but it has defects with the debt -based money system and the problem is consumerism that we need a debt-free monetary system based on introducing new money into the economy so it is an
infrastructure problem the government could be involved like you point out have you ever looked at that aspect not to be confused of the chinese social credit. >> i would contend it is the monetary infrastructure problem and the inability of people to buy what is produced because there is a shortfall. >> i am not attempting to defend. but there are obvious areas in housing is one of them. i remember all the ones that you mentioned. in the book i devote a chapter and i devote a chapter to
those solutions that i think could help improve things. there are no problems. but my point instead is to say that the national narrative is so completely disconnected from the underlying reality and that there needs to be a corrective doesn't mean and to be recontextualize. >> the book is the american dream. [applause] - - "the american dream is not dead". [applause]