Join the Hoover Book Club for engaging discussions with leading authors on the hottest policy issues of the day. Hoover scholars explore the latest books that delve into some of the most vexing policy issues facing the United States and the world. Find out what makes these authors tick and how they think we should approach our most difficult challenges.
In our latest installment, we will feature a discussion between former Senator Phil Gramm, John Early and John B. Taylor the George P. Shultz Senior Fellow in Economics at the Hoover Institution on Senator Gramm's and Mr. Early's latest book The Myth of American Inequality: How Government Biases Policy Debate co-authored by Robert Ekelund.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Senator Phil Gramm is an economist by training and has had a long and distinguished career in public service, academia and the private sector. Senator Gramm was the vice chairman of UBS Investment Bank, where he provided strategic economic, political and policy advice to important corporate and institutional clients. He served in the US Congress representing Texas for more than two decades, first as the 6th congressional district representative to the US House of Representatives, then later as senator. His legislative record includes landmark bills like the Gramm-Latta Budget – which reduced federal spending, rebuilt national defense and mandated the Reagan tax cut – and the Gramm-Rudman Act, which placed the first binding constraints on federal spending. As chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, Sen. Gramm steered legislation modernizing banking, insurance and securities laws. The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act amended the 70-year-old Glass-Steagall Act, allowing banks, security companies and insurance companies to affiliate through a financial services holding company. Sen. Gramm taught economics at Texas A&M University for 12 years before becoming a member of Congress. He has published numerous articles and books on subjects ranging from private property, monetary theory and policy to the economics of mineral extraction. As a visiting scholar at AEI, he will be working on a comprehensive plan to fix the US economy through reform of the tax code and entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare.
John F. Early is a mathematical economist, president of the consultancy Vital Few, LLC, and an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute. Early has also served twice as assistant commissioner at the Bureau of Labor Statistics where he directed the statistical design, economic analysis, and survey operations for the Consumer Price Index (CPI), the Consumer Expenditure Survey (CES), Point of Purchase Survey (POPS), and estimates of pre‐retail price changes.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Everything you know about income inequality, poverty, and other measures of economic well-being in America is wrong. In this provocative book, a former United States senator, eminent economist, and a former senior leader at the Bureau of Labor Statistics challenge the prevailing consensus that income inequality is a growing threat to American society. By taking readers on a deep dive into the way government measures economic well-being, they demonstrate that our official statistics dramatically overstate inequality. Getting the facts straight reveals that the key measures of well-being are greater than the official statistics of the country would lead us to believe. Income inequality is lower today than at any time in post- World War II America. The facts reveal a very different and better America than the one that is currently described by policy advocates across much of the political spectrum. The Myth of American Inequality provides clear and convincing evidence that the American Dream is alive and well.