The Captured Economy: How Government Rules Slow Economic Mobility
Mackinac Center Policy Forum – Virtual Event
Socialists on the left and populists on the right increasingly blame the free market for a host of issues: poverty, middle-class stagnation, income inequality and more. Economists and supporters of markets may find these claims overly broad, but they should not be ignored. But often, the root of the problem is not market failure, but government rules and restrictions that make it harder for people to get ahead. From doctors to real estate developers to undertakers to car dealerships and investment bankers, huge swaths of the economy is protected by government regulations that work to raise prices and reduce competition and market accountability. This, of course, harms low-income individuals the most. Plus, the creation of a class of ultra wealthy whose riches come from manipulating the rules also delegitimizes markets.
Contrary to the critics, a big part of the answer is scrapping regressive regulations, rather than just expanding government. Join Steve Teles, author of "The Captured Economy," and Michael LaFaive, senior director of fiscal policy at the Mackinac Center, at this upcoming event. They'll discuss the rules that are in place protecting the well-off and that work to restrict economic mobility and what should be done about them. Joseph Lehman, president of the Mackinac Center, will provide opening remarks.
As part of this event, we will be giving away five free copies of "The Captured Economy." We will choose five names at random from among all attendees who are on the call at the close of the event. Thank you again, and we hope to see your RSVP soon.
Steven Teles is a professor of political science at the Johns Hopkins University and senior fellow at the Niskanen Center. He is the author of, most recently, Never Trump: The Revolt of the Conservative Elites (with Rob Saldin), as well as The Captured Economy (with Brink Lindsey), Prison Break (with David Dagan), the Rise of the Conservative Legal Movement and Whose Welfare? He writes frequently for public outlets like the New York Times, National Review, Democracy Journal, National Affairs, The Nation and the Washington Monthly.
Michael LaFaive is senior director of the Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative with the Mackinac Center for Public Policy where he has worked for the past 25 years. He is the author or co-author of 23 studies on subjects as varied as cigarette smuggling, the state budget, school finance and state economic development programs. His most recent study, “Economic Development? State Handouts and Jobs: A New Look at the Evidence,” analyzed the impact of government subsidies on roughly 2,000 state incentive deals going back to 1982. In addition to his work at the Mackinac Center, LaFaive taught economic history and the economics of public policy at Northwood University in 2001 and 2002, respectively. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in economics from Central Michigan University.
An engineer by training, Joseph G. Lehman joined the Mackinac Center in 1995 and was named president in 2008. During his tenure Michigan has seen numerous free-market policy advances in education, labor and state fiscal affairs. Frequently published in national and state media, Lehman also has trained more than 600 public policy executives internationally on strategic leadership and communications. He and his wife are founders of Midland County Habitat for Humanity.