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Captured Economy

“I think the tax bill is illustrative of how Washington has for decades focused on tax policy as the end all and be all of growth policy,” Brink Lindsey, co-author of The Captured Economy: How the Powerful Enrich Themselves, Slow Down Growth, and Increase Inequality told Hollywood on the Potomac at a book party in his honor at the Kalorama home of Juleanna Glover and Christopher Reiter. “So if republicans think we need to stimulate growth, their imagination is pretty much limited in thinking the tax cuts can get the economy moving again. In general, the evidence that those work is pretty paltry, so I’m afraid this bill we’re seeing now is mistimed and miscast. Instead, what Washington should be paying attention to is the vast and arcane regulatory code where all kinds of growth killing mischief is located.”


“In particular, what my co-author Steve Teles and I focus on in our book are areas of regulatory policy where special interests have captured or dominated the policy making process, twisting the rules for their own benefit and doing so in a way that slows down growth at the exact same time that it funnels income and wealth. So right now, the US economy is suffering this double whammy of slow growth and high inequality and we’ve identified a bunch of policies that are actively contributing to both; which means the good news is we’ve identified ideas that could kill two birds with one stone. The tax bill does very well in my opinion for the people at the top. We’ll see how his base reacts to policy. Some of them seem to not be interested in policy one way or another: They’re interested in the show where a culture warrior is standing up against the people they don’t like and who they feel despise them,” he added referring to the President.