For years, America has been plagued by slow economic growth and increasing inequality. In The Captured Economy, Brink Lindsey and Steven M. Teles identify a common factor behind these twin ills: breakdowns in democratic governance that allow wealthy special interests to capture the policymaking process for their own benefit. They document the proliferation of regressive regulations that redistribute wealth and income up the economic scale while stifling entrepreneurship and innovation. They also detail the most important cases of regulatory barriers that have worked to shield the powerful from the rigors of competition, thereby inflating their incomes: subsidies for the financial sector's excessive risk taking, overprotection of copyrights and patents, favoritism toward incumbent businesses through occupational licensing schemes, and the NIMBY-led escalation of land use controls that drive up rents for everyone else. An original and counterintuitive interpretation of the forces driving inequality and stagnation, The Captured Economy will be necessary reading for anyone concerned about America's mounting economic problems and how to improve the social tensions they are sparking.
14/01/2019 Regardless of where your sympathies lie - redistribution is both good and bad - what connects all these activities and many others is that they don't result in the production of goods and services. Instead, they involve the shifting of money and wealth from one party or group to another. They recall the spirit of 19th-century politicians' defense of patronage jobs: 'To the victors belong the spoils.' This sort of economy may be larger than you think. That's the gist of the provocative new book 'The Captured Economy' by Brink Lindsey and Steven M. Teles . . . They argue that the economy is riddled with self-serving arrangements, mainly benefiting the rich, that impose excess costs on the poor and middle class and reducreduce economic growth. -Robert Samuelson, The Washington Post A clear and brilliant explanation of what has happened to America over the last few decades. Anyone who wants to understand what has happened to our economy, or our politics, needs to read this book. -Megan McArdle, Bloomberg View Steven Teles and Brink Lindsey ask one of the most important questions of our times: What are the political reforms we need to reduce the ability of the wealthy to maintain their capture of our government? Combining the analytic forces of liberalism and libertarianism, they provide a much-needed investigation into why the U.S. government works on behalf of the powerful and the steps we can take to address rising inequality and regressive regulation so that it instead acts in the public interest. * Heather Boushey, co-editor of After Piketty: The Agenda for Economics and Inequality * American politics is mired in endless arguments about how much downward redistribution we want and how to provide it. But as Brink Lindsey and Steven Teles point out in this engaging, powerfully argued book, the reality of our political economy often looks much more like upward redistribution. In one arena after another, public policy enriches the already rich and advantages the already advantaged. * Yuval Levin, editor of National Affairs * Are you looking for how to get out of our current mess? The Captured Economy is perhaps the very best place to start. * Tyler Cowen, Professor of Economics, George Mason University * A compelling and original argument about one of the most pressing issues of our time, The Captured Economy challenges readers to break out of traditional ideological and partisan silos and confront the hidden forces that are strangling opportunity in the contemporary United States. * Matthew Yglesias, Vox *