Memo

Introduction

November 21 2019 • Amy Ganz, Melissa S. Kearney

 

A national debate about the strength and fairness of American capitalism is taking place against a backdrop of vast levels of income and wealth inequality, growing pessimism about the state of economic opportunity and mobility, increased market concentration in many sectors, and a precarious fiscal   situation. Restoring the promise of America’s capitalist system will require policies that enable more Americans to succeed in our market-based economy. Designing effective policies requires an accurate diagnosis of what is ailing American capitalism in order to effectively strengthen it. This volume brings to bear perspectives from leading subject matter experts on the diagnosis of and treatment for capitalism’s ailments.

The volume is organized around three broad economic challenges facing the United States today. Section I addresses the widespread concern that increasing market concentration in many sectors is stifling competition and undermining a more dynamic economy. Section II explores the federal government’s unsustainable deficit and debt position and the associated concern that such trajectories imperil the long-run stability and security of the American economy. Section III considers a range of current policy ideas—including a federal wealth tax, “Medicare for All,” and universal basic income—that would dramatically change our economic institutions and policies in order to achieve greater progressivity through taxes and government spending.